Left field

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from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Why our predictions panel rates a less than perfect 10

People can be divided into 10 types: those who understand binary and those who don't.

I mention this only because a look down our scores for this week would reveal a great many ones and zeroes, and very few fives.

To recap: in this game, you get a point for predicting the right result from the English football, but make that five if you bag the correct score.

The big winner for us this week was Simon Evans, our man in Miami, who is the new leader after grabbing 14 points, including correct scores on Villa and Bolton.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Can you out-predict Reuters Soccer Blog?

It's that time of the week again, folks. The best brains at Reuters Soccer Blog are off, so it's just the usual crew of no-hopers here to embarrass ourselves trying to predict the outcome of the weekend Premier League action, and with no help from that lottery bobbins bloke.

To recap: with one point available for getting a correct result -- and make that a whopping five for the correct score -- there are at least 50 points up for grabs each week. Given that most teams have played five matches the total number of points a perfect tipster would have got by now would be well over 200.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Live blogging the Champions League

The Champions League is back and our reporters are currently wringing out their wet things (Mitch Phillips at Chelsea)/basking in the evening sunshine by the River Manzanares (Iain Rogers at Atletico) and undergoing all climactic variations in between.

Tonight's first tranche of eight matches includes a repeat of the very first Champions League final, with AC Milan visiting Marseille, plus the European debut of Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka for Real Madrid, with the Spaniards visiting Zurich.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Back to the real world: league predictions

Now we've got that pesky international interlude behind us (it'll all end in tears, you know it will) we can get back to the serious business of predicting the scores in the Premier League.

Remember how it works: We, at Reuters Soccer Blog, publish our individual predictions for the weekend Premier League matches here on a Friday. You, laughing snidely at our pathetic efforts, send in yours in the comments section below the post.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Predicting the unpredictable … take your best shot

Do you feel you've been sitting on the bench too long this season? Are you itching for a chance to get out there and show what you can do? Confident you can show all those pundits how little they know about the game?

Well, my friends. Now. Is. Your. Chance.

Scores have been so low in our modest little predictions slot that one good week -- one! -- could see you overtake the vast majority of the Reuters Soccer Blog panel.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Premier League predictions: your chance to put us right (Update)

UPDATE: Have added the panel predictions that were emailed to me on Friday night/Saturday before kick-offs. (Mike Collett loses 10 points for shamelessly trying to predict Saturday's scores on Sunday morning ... and getting them all spot on.)

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So come on, be honest, who was expecting Burnley to beat Manchester United in the Premier League on Wednesday?

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Midweek Premier League special. Can you beat the panel?

Never let it be said that we at Reuters Soccer Blog shirk a challenge. Our attempts at score prediction on the opening weekend produced results that were modest at best but never fear, we're straight back in for another shot (that'll doubtless be blasted over the bar).

Once again, please send in your own predictions ... they can scarcely be any worse than ours, and if you do especially well, we'll gladly let you lord it over us here on the blog.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Premier League: Our predictions, your predictions — Update

UPDATE: Now with added rollcall of shame! Click here for full details of just how badly our panel did...

The new Premier League season is upon us and this year we at the Reuters Soccer Blog have decided to stick our necks out as never before.

from Changing China:

China’s infertile ground for (some) Western sports

Soccer is in a tight spot in China -- literally. Huge crowds roar for Manchester United but the national team is a laughing stock at 108th in FIFA world rankings. Poor coaching, lack of grassroots development, even corruption and violence are variously cited as reasons for the sport's demise. But the real reason may be more basic: the fact of physical space, or the lack thereof, in China.

If geography is a determinant of economic development, then it is fair to extrapolate that urban geography underpins the development of sports. And here's the rub for soccer, not to mention American football and baseball. With few parks, small concrete schoolyards and a dearth of quiet streets, urban China offers little of the space needed for the sprawling play that defines those sports. Soccer has deep roots in China, but playing space has been squeezed as cities sprawl and swallow land in big gulps.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Can Owen revive career at Manchester United?

On the face of it, replacing world player of the year Cristiano Ronaldo with an injury-prone forward whose side just got relegated does not seem like a great bit of business.

The British media is certain that Michael Owen, a free agent after leaving Newcastle United, is on the verge of joining Manchester United if he passes a stringent medical.

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