Archive for December 2009

Gunners continue scoring spree

Thursday, 31st December 2009 9:40am
Arsenal became the first team this season to reach 50 goals after winning 4-1 against basement club Portsmouth in round 20 of the English Premiership.

This was the Gunners third match in a row when they have scored three goals or more.

In 19 matches the Gunners have scored three goals or more in ten of them.

The Gunners average just under 3 goals per match and they have reached the half century mark as they completed the first part of their season's matches.

There were no changes in the top three positions after this round with Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal all winning but there were changes beyond that.

Tottenham has now moved into fourth place after Aston Villa's last two losses made sure the Midlands outfit slid down to sixth.

Villa had only lost three matches before the Christmas matches but then lost to Arsenal and Liverpool to lose the momentum they have been building up until then.

Birmingham City continued their unbeaten streak after winning away to Stoke but the two draws before that match means they no longer top the form table.

At the bottom, Portsmouth still anchor the table and they are joined by Hull City and Bolton in the relegation zone.

Bolton and Hull played each other in this round and the match ended in a draw despite Bolton being 2-nil up at one stage in the second half. Bolton has since sacked the manager Gary Megson.

Maybe at this time as the league reaches the halfway stage its time to put focus on relegation and show the league table upside down:

TeamPlayedGoal DiffPoints
Portsmouth 20 -1414
Hull City 20 -2218
Bolton 18 -1018
West Ham 20 -918
Wigan 19 -2319
Wolverhampton Wanderers 20 -1919
Burnley 20 -1820
Blackburn 20 -1521
Stoke City 19 -821
Everton 19 -622
Sunderland 20 -323
Fulham 19 527
Birmingham City 20 232
Liverpool 20 1233
Aston Villa 20 1135
Manchester City 19 1135
Tottenham 20 2037
Arsenal 19 3041
Manchester United 20 2743
Chelsea 20 2945

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Category: English Premiership | Comments : 1

Bolton sack boss Megson

Thursday, 31st December 2009 6:58am
Bolton Wanderers has sacked its manager Gary Megson after the team's poor performance so far this season.

Bolton are third from bottom and in their last match under Megson they squandered a two goal lead as they drew 2-all against Hull City.

Megson had been at the Reebok Stadium and this season found his team flirting with relegation although his team has two games in hand.

Here is stats for the Trotters so far this season:

Megson's Wanderers
Goal difference-10
Clean sheets0
Failed to score4
Goals scored26
Goals conceded36
Ave. goals scored1.4
Ave. goals conceded2.0
Biggest winBolton 3 - 1 West Ham
Biggest lossBolton 0 - 4 Chelsea
Aston Villa 5 - 1 Bolton
Scored 3 or more4
Conceded 3 or more4
Home matches
Goal difference-5
Goals scored16
Goals conceded21
Ave. goals scored1.6
Ave. goals conceded2.1
Away matches
Goal difference-5
Goals scored10
Goals conceded15
Ave. goals scored1.3
Ave. goals conceded1.9

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Category: English Premiership | Comments : 0

Villa face Liverpool test

Monday, 28th December 2009 3:36pm
Aston Villa suffered a rare loss against one of the 'Top Four' teams after losing to Arsenal 3-nil and they can make amends as they meet Liverpool next.

Liverpool is coming off a win over Wolverhampton Wanderers in which the Anfield team won 2-nil against ten-man Wolves.

Villa are currently in fourth place and Liverpool are placed seventh.

A win for Villa could take them as high as third depending on other results but a loss could see them as low as sixth.

A win for Liverpool could see them gaining just one place depending on the Manchester City/Wolves match.

Here is the rest of the stats between the two teams going for a top four come May 2010:

LiverpoolAston Villa
Goal difference1112
Clean sheets67
Failed to score42
Goals scored3629
Goals conceded2517
Ave. goals scored1.91.5
Ave. goals conceded1.30.9
Biggest winLiverpool 6 - 1 Hull
Aston Villa 5 - 1 Bolton
Biggest lossLiverpool 1 - 3 Aston Villa
Chelsea 2 - 0 Liverpool
Fulham 3 - 1 Liverpool
Portsmouth 2 - 0 Liverpool
Arsenal 3 - 0 Aston Villa
Score 3 or more53
Concede 3 or more21
Home matches
Goal difference1511
Goals scored2617
Goals conceded116
Ave. goals scored2.61.9
Ave. goals conceded1.10.7
Away matches
Goal difference-41
Goals scored1012
Goals conceded1411
Ave. goals scored1.11.2
Ave. goals conceded1.61.1

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Category: English Premiership | Comments : 0

Sydney finishes year on top

Monday, 28th December 2009 3:22pm
Sydney FC's win over Adelaide has ensured that the Sydney team will finish the year on top of the A-League table.

Sydney's cause was helped by Melbourne Victory's loss to bottom team North Queensland Fury.

Adelaide on the other hand will finish the year at the bottom of the ladder.

I think they will hope that the New Year will bring them goals. Adelaide has scored the least number of goals so far having only scored 16 goals. All the other teams have scored more than 20 goals each.

After going for four rounds without a loss, Newcastle Jets suffered a heavy loss against Perth Glory.

Glory won 4-nil after scoring three goals in the first half.

The other match was the M1 derby between Gold Coast United and Brisbane Roar where the Roar lost 5-1 despite scoring first. The match was one-all at half time.

There is still one more match in this round and that will be the New Year's eve match between the Central Coast Mariners and Wellington Phoenix.

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Category: A-League | Comments : 0

Gunners too good for Villa

Monday, 28th December 2009 3:07pm
Arsenal proved too good for Aston Villa as they trounced the Midlands team by 3-nil at the Emirates Stadium.

A win for Villa would have seen them leapfrog the Gunners into third place but they had no reply to the hosts' three second half goals.

Manchester United maintained its pressure on leaders Chelsea with a 3-1 away win at Hull. Chelsea could only draw its away match against Birmingham which finished goalless. Its gap at the top has now been reduced to just two points.

West Ham had a massive win over Portsmouth winning 2-nil and getting out of the relegation zone.

Bolton after their 1-all draw against Burnley replaces the Hammers in the relegation zone.

For the second time this season there were five draws in a round. The number of draws has been picking up especially considering that they were just four draws from the first seven rounds of the season.

So this time I will take a quick look at the draws table and see how its shaping up now:

TeamPlayedGoals ForPoints
Manchester City 18 138
Everton 18 107
Fulham 18 76
Stoke City 18 66
West Ham 19 106
Aston Villa 19 55
Birmingham City 19 35
Blackburn 19 15
Bolton 17 85
Burnley 19 75
Hull City 19 55
Sunderland 19 64
Tottenham 19 54
Wigan 18 54
Wolverhampton Wanderers 19 54
Chelsea 19 43
Liverpool 19 43
Arsenal 18 32
Portsmouth 19 12
Manchester United 19 21

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Category: English Premiership | Comments : 0

3rd vs 4th : Arsenal vs Aston Villa

Thursday, 24th December 2009 6:20am
In round 19 of the English Premiership third placed Arsenal will face fourth placed Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium.

The two teams are equal on points but the Gunners take third place because of their superior goal difference.

This is a key match in terms of both the title and the top four positions as these clubs are in direct competition on both fronts.

Villa currently lie second on the form table having accumulated 14 points from their last six matches and its important to note that Villa is one of only two teams who haven't lost a match in their last six at the moment. The other is Birmingham City.

The winner of this tie could go into second place depending on Manchester United's result against Hull City.

A loss for either team could see them go down to sixth place also dependent on the Fulham/Spurs match.

Its interesting to see that Villa's next match after this one is against Liverpool, another team aiming to finish in the top four places.

This is the first time for the two teams to meet this season but in the same fixture last season Villa won 2-nil.

This is the rest of the stats for the two teams so far this season:

ArsenalAston Villa
Goal difference2415
Clean sheets57
Failed to score21
Goals scored4429
Goals conceded2014
Ave. goals scored2.61.6
Ave. goals conceded1.20.8
Biggest winEverton 1 - 6 Arsenal
Aston Villa 5 - 1 Bolton
Biggest lossArsenal 0 - 3 Chelsea
Aston Villa 0 - 2 Wigan
Score 3 or more83
Concede 3 or more20
Home matches
Goal difference1811
Goals scored2517
Goals conceded76
Ave. goals scored3.11.9
Ave. goals conceded0.90.7
Away matches
Goal difference64
Goals scored1912
Goals conceded138
Ave. goals scored2.11.3
Ave. goals conceded1.40.9

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Category: English Premiership | Comments : 2

Queensland battle : Gold Coast vs Brisbane

Thursday, 24th December 2009 5:57am
Round 21 of the A-League will see the Gold Coast United host Brisbane Roar for the first time in what promises to be a tight battle as the two teams fight for finals places.

Both teams are coming off wins and they have both accumulated ten points from their last six matches with three wins, two losses and one draw.

The difference could be that the Roar has won its previous two matches and Gold Coast hasn't.

In their previous two encounters at Suncorp Stadium the Gold Coast came on top and this will be a final chance for the Roar to get something from their near neighbours.

A win for the Gold Coast will keep them in third place whilst a win for the Roar could take them as high as fourth on the table.

Here is the rest of the stats for the two teams so far this season:

Brisbane RoarGold Coast
Goal difference1-2
Clean sheets56
Failed to score46
Goals scored2827
Goals conceded2729
Ave. goals scored1.41.4
Ave. goals conceded1.41.5
Biggest winNewcastle Jets 0 - 3 Brisbane Roar
Brisbane Roar 4 - 1 Wellington Phoenix
Gold Coast 5 - 0 NQ Fury
Biggest lossBrisbane Roar 0 - 3 Central Coast Mariners
Wellington Phoenix 6 - 0 Gold Coast
Score 3 or more42
Concede 3 or more45
Home matches
Goal difference-38
Goals scored1316
Goals conceded168
Ave. goals scored1.11.8
Ave. goals conceded1.30.9
Away matches
Goal difference4-10
Goals scored1511
Goals conceded1121
Ave. goals scored1.91.1
Ave. goals conceded1.42.1

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Category: A-League | Comments : 0

Stalemate at the Riazor

Monday, 21st December 2009 10:11pm
There was a stalemate at the Riazor as Valencia held Deportivo La Coruna to a goalless draw in round 15 of La Liga.

A win for the home side would have seen them up to fourth place but they will remain in sixth place.

With Seville losing 2-1 at home to Getafe a win for Valencia would have seen them regain third place but for now they will maintain fourth position going into the Christmas break.

Its interesting to see that none of the teams in positions third to sixth managed to secure three points and that has moved Athletico Bilbao nearer to the European places after their 2-nil win over Osasuna. Athletico is in seventh position.

There wasn't much change at the bottom with Xerez not in action having already played Barcelona earlier in the month but Malaga had a good win over Mallorca.

Real Zaragoza had a nightmare at the Bernabeau losing 6-nil to Real Madrid. Madrid were already 4-nil by half time and they scored a further two goals after the break.

This was the second match this season where a team has scored six goals and the sixth match were the winning team had scored five goals or more.

After taking a look at the goal margins after the last round, this week I will take a look at the scorelines after 150 matches so far in La Liga.

0 - 0 9
0 - 1 8
0 - 2 10
0 - 3 3
0 - 4 2
1 - 0 18
1 - 1 18
1 - 2 10
1 - 3 2
1 - 4 3
2 - 0 9
2 - 1 14
2 - 2 8
2 - 3 3
2 - 4 1
3 - 0 6
3 - 1 5
3 - 2 5
3 - 3 1
4 - 0 3
4 - 1 3
4 - 2 3
5 - 0 2
5 - 1 1
5 - 2 1
6 - 0 1
6 - 1 1

Interestingly the two most popular scorelines at the moment are 1-0 and 1-1 which have been the final score in 18 matches apiece.

14 matches have so far finished 2-1 in La Liga which is the third most popular scoreline.

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Category: La Liga | Comments : 0

Chelsea fail to take advantage

Monday, 21st December 2009 5:29pm
Chelsea drew with West Ham United and failed to take advantage to increase the gap at the top after second placed Manchester United lost to Fulham in round 18 of the English Premiership.

Chelsea could have increased its gap at the top to six points with a win at Upton Park but a one-all draw means the gap is now just four points going into the busy Christmas period.

Manchester United lost 3-nil to Fulham to register the champions' biggest loss this season.

Arsenal won its match against Hull City to close the gap to second place to just two points with one game in hand.

Liverpool lost its seventh match of the season after losing 2-nil to relegation threatened Portsmouth.

This is the fourth match Liverpool has lost with a two goal margin with the other three having been just one goal margins.

Pompey's win did not change its position on the ladder but its now within reach of sides four places off the bottom if it wins its next match.

Wolverhampton Wanderers moved out of the relegation zone after its win 2-nil over Burnley. Bolton slipped into the relegation zone but they are still to play Wigan Athletic on Monday night to complete round 18.

I will this time take a look at the away table having looked at the home table in the last round.

TeamPlayedWonDrawLostForA gainstGDPts
Chelsea 9 5 13 1810 816
Man United 9 5 04 189 915
Aston Villa 9 4 32 128 415
Tottenham 9 4 32 1614 215
Arsenal 9 4 23 1913 614
Man City 9 2 52 1314 - 111
Bham City 9 3 24 1113 -211
Liverpool 9 3 15 1014 -410
Wolves 9 2 25 819 - 118
Fulham 8 1 43 811 - 37
Everton 8 2 15 1116 - 57
Bolton 7 2 14 914 - 57
Stoke 9 1 44 411 - 77
Wigan 9 2 16 1126 - 157
West Ham 9 1 35 1015 - 56
Portsmouth 9 1 26 514 -95
Sunderland 9 1 17 816 -84
Blackburn 9 1 17 623 - 174
Hull 9 0 27 524 - 192
Burnley 9 0 18 829 - 211

Not surprisingly poor travellers Burnley are bottom of this table with their one point draw at Eastlands.

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Category: English Premiership | Comments : 0

Jets notch four wins in a row

Monday, 21st December 2009 5:06pm
Newcastle Jets became the first team this season to win four matches in a row when they beat North Queensland Fury 3-2 in round 20 of the A-League.

The four wins means the Jets have moved from bottom of the table to fourth place in around five weeks and they now look certain of securing a finals place.

Whilst the Jets have been in ascendancy, the same cannot be said for Perth Glory who are now in seventh place after losing to the Gold Coast United 2-nil.

The Glory have lost their last two matches and they have won just once in their last six matches.

The two top teams could not be separated after the match between Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC ended in a goalless draw. This was the sixth goalless draw this season in the A-League.

Elsewhere in the round, Adelaide United drew Wellington Phoenix and the Central Coast Mariners lost to Brisbane Roar at home.

This week I think it will interesting to take a look at the A-League form table and here it is:

Newcastle Jets 6 5 01 136 715WLWWWW
Melbourne Victory 6 3 21 95 411LWWDWD
Brisbane Roar 6 3 12 106 410LWDLWW
Gold Coast 6 3 12 89 -110WDLWLW
Central Coast Mariners 6 2 13 129 37WWDLLL
Sydney 6 2 13 67 -17LLLWWD
Perth Glory 6 1 32 45 -16DWDDLL
Wellington Phoenix 6 1 32 58 -36DWLDLD
NQ Fury 6 2 04 715 -86LWLWLL
Adelaide Utd 6 1 23 48 -45LDLLWD

So the form team is the Jets and Adelaide with just five points from the their last six matches anchor the table.

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Category: A-League | Comments : 0

Man City sack Hughes, appoint Mancini

Sunday, 20th December 2009 7:15am
Manchester City has sacked manager Mark Hughes and replaced with former Inter Milan manager Roberto Mancini.

Hughes' Man City currently lie sixth on the ladder with just two losses and the second one being the midweek 3-nil loss to Tottenham Hotspurs.

Man City's problems has been the number of draws the team has had so far. City has drawn nearly half of its matches.

City has drawn three at home and five away. The draws have cost City a total 16 points.

Two of the draws like against Aston Villa and Liverpool were maybe not that bad but the rest should have been wins for a top team like City.

So here is the stats so far this season for Hughes' Man City:

TeamMan City
Goal difference6
Clean sheets4
Failed to score2
Goals scored33
Goals conceded27
Ave. goals scored1.9
Ave. goals conceded1.6
Biggest winBlackburn 0 - 2 Man City
Man City 4 - 2 Arsenal
Man City 3 - 1 West Ham
Biggest lossTottenham 3 - 0 Man City
Scored 3 or more6
Conceded 3 or more5
Home matches
Goal difference7
Goals scored20
Goals conceded13
Ave. goals scored2.5
Ave. goals conceded1.6
Away matches
Goal difference-1
Goals scored13
Goals conceded14
Ave. goals scored1.4
Ave. goals conceded1.6

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Category: English Premiership | Comments : 0

Inter paired with Chelsea

Saturday, 19th December 2009 7:35am
Inter Milan has been paired with Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 draw.

Inter finished second in their group and face Chelsea who won their group and therefore the second leg will be at Stamford Bridge.

This fixture will bring back Jose Mourinho back to the Bridge and will also bring Mourinho face to face again with Carlo Ancelotti, the former AC Milan coach.

In other fixtures in the draw Manchester United has been drawn against AC Milan, Barcelona against Stuttgart whilst Real Madrid will face Lyon.

Arsenal will have to fight it out with FC Porto whilst Fiorentina will be tested by Bayern Munich who knocked fellow Serie A club Juventus.

Sevilla drew CSKA Moscow and Bordeaux will face Olympiacos.

The sixteen fixtures will be played over four rounds instead of two with the first fixtures being played on the 16th February 2010 and the last fixture on 17th of March 2010.

The next draw for the quarter-finals and semis will be conducted on the 19th of March 2010.

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Category: Champions League | Comments : 0

Tenerife face Atletico test

Friday, 18th December 2009 9:02pm
Tenerife will face Atletico Madrid in round 15 of La Liga with a win vital for both teams as they try to rise up the table.

In their previous six matches, Atletico has accumulated six points from two wins whilst Tenerife has bagged five points from one win and two draws.

In round 14 both teams lost with Tenerife losing away to Getafe but Atletico lost a home fixture against Villarreal.

So one point separating the two teams at the moment this could be a very interesting fixture especially as Atletico now no longer has the distractions of European competition.

So here is the rest of the stats for the two teams after 14 rounds:

Goal difference-6-13
Clean sheets22
Failed to score35
Goals scored2014
Goals conceded2627
Ave. goals scored1.41.0
Ave. goals conceded1.91.9
Biggest winAtletico 4 - 0 Espanyol
Tenerife 2 - 1 Osasuna
Tenerife 1 - 0 Athletic Bilbao
Tenerife 1 - 0 Xerez
Tenerife 2 - 1 Sporting Gijon
Biggest lossMálaga 3 - 0 Atletico
Barcelona 5 - 2 Atletico
Osasuna 3 - 0 Atletico
Villarreal 5 - 0 Tenerife
Score 3 or more11
Concede 3 or more44
Home matches
Goal difference32
Goals scored139
Goals conceded107
Ave. goals scored1.91.3
Ave. goals conceded1.41.0
Away matches
Goal difference-9-15
Goals scored75
Goals conceded1620
Ave. goals scored1.00.7
Ave. goals conceded2.32.9

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Category: La Liga | Comments : 0

Everton face in-form Birmingham

Thursday, 17th December 2009 8:56pm
In round 18 of the English Premier League Everton will face an in-form Birmingham City that is top of the form table at the moment.

Birmingham has picked up 16 points from its last six matches compared to Everton's five and hence it sits on top of the form ladder.

In the last round Birmingham beat Blackburn 2-1 at home but in its last away match the team beat Wigan 3-2.

Everton drew Chelsea at the weekend and did not play in the Premier League because of Europa Cup commitments. In its last home match, Everton drew Tottenham Hotspurs 2-all.

So its going to be interesting to see if Everton can stop Birmingham's splendid run or whether Birmingham can continue its climb up the table.

Here is the rest of the stats for the two teams so far this season:

EvertonBirmingham City
Goal difference-81
Clean sheets27
Failed to score34
Goals scored2218
Goals conceded3017
Ave. goals scored1.41.1
Ave. goals conceded1.91.0
Biggest winEverton 3 - 0 Blackburn
Bham City 1 - 0 Portsmouth
Hull 0 - 1 Bham City
Bham City 2 - 1 Sunderland
Bham City 1 - 0 Fulham
Wolves 0 - 1 Bham City
Wigan 2 - 3 Bham City
Bham City 1 - 0 West Ham
Bham City 2 - 1 Blackburn
Biggest lossEverton 1 - 6 Arsenal
Arsenal 3 - 1 Bham City
Score 3 or more21
Concede 3 or more51
Home matches
Goal difference-33
Goals scored118
Goals conceded145
Ave. goals scored1.40.9
Ave. goals conceded1.80.6
Away matches
Goal difference-5-2
Goals scored1110
Goals conceded1612
Ave. goals scored1.41.3
Ave. goals conceded2.01.5

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Category: English Premiership | Comments : 0

First vs second: Victory vs Sydney

Thursday, 17th December 2009 1:54pm
In round 20 of the A-League, league leaders Melbourne Victory will take on second placed Sydney FC in a battle of the top two teams.

Victory is on a good run at the moment having won 13 points from its last six matches compared to only 9 for Sydney but Sydney has won its last two matches.

In their last match at the Etihad Stadium Sydney came out victors with a 3-nil win over their rivals and it was then Victory's biggest loss at home.

A win for Victory will open a six point gap at the top and a draw will still keep the Melbourne outfit in first place.

Sydney can take pole position if they win by two goals or more.

So here is the rest of the stats for the two teams so far this season:

Melbourne VictorySydney
Goal difference87
Clean sheets56
Failed to score35
Goals scored3125
Goals conceded2318
Ave. goals scored1.71.4
Ave. goals conceded1.31.0
Biggest winMelbourne Victory 4 - 0 Gold Coast
Melbourne Victory 0 - 3 Sydney
Sydney 4 - 1 NQ Fury
Biggest lossMelbourne Victory 0 - 4 Central Coast Mariners
Perth Glory 2 - 0 Sydney
Sydney 1 - 3 Newcastle Jets
Score 3 or more64
Concede 3 or more31
Home matches
Goal difference-28
Goals scored1416
Goals conceded168
Ave. goals scored1.61.8
Ave. goals conceded1.80.9
Away matches
Goal difference10-1
Goals scored179
Goals conceded710
Ave. goals scored1.91.0
Ave. goals conceded0.81.1

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Category: A-League | Comments : 0

Man City lose second match

Thursday, 17th December 2009 1:36pm
Manchester City lost only their second match this season when they lost 3-nil to Tottenham Hotspurs at White Hart Lane in round 17 of the English Premiership.

Before this match Man City had only lost once and that was the loss at Old Trafford. The result leaves the team in eighth position on the ladder.

City is still the team with the least number of losses but what pushes the team down the ladder is the fact that it is also the team with the highest number of draws. City has drawn eight matches so far.

Arsenal regained third position on goal difference after a draw against Burnley. Burnley has the fifth best home record in the league at the moment and has lost just once at home.

There was no change at the top after both Chelsea and Manchester United won their matches against Portsmouth and Wolverhampton Wanderers respectively.

However, there was change at the bottom with Bolton moving out of the relegation following a win over fellow strugglers West Ham.

In round 16 only one home team won but in round 16 six home teams won in the last two days. So this time I will take a look at the home form table that only considers home matches and after the next round I will take a look at the away form table.

Here it is:

Chelsea 9 8 10 255 2025
Man United 9 7 11 198 1122
Tottenham 9 6 03 248 1618
Arsenal 7 6 01 227 1518
Burnley 9 5 31 138 518
Liverpool 9 5 22 2411 1317
Aston Villa 8 5 21 166 1017
Sunderland 9 5 22 1712 517
Bham City 9 5 22 85 317
Fulham 8 5 12 126 616
Man City 7 4 30 1610 615
Blackburn 8 4 31 117 415
Hull 9 4 32 1213 -115
Stoke 8 4 22 119 214
Wigan 8 3 23 912 -311
Everton 8 2 42 1114 -310
Bolton 9 2 34 1419 -59
West Ham 8 2 24 1519 -48
Wolves 8 2 24 712 -58
Portsmouth 8 2 06 1012 -26

As pointed out already Burnley has one of the best home records as shown in this table.

Man City and Chelsea are still to lose at home and Blackburn Rovers.

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Category: English Premiership | Comments : 0

Queensland battle : Roar vs Fury

Tuesday, 15th December 2009 5:55pm
Round 19 of the A-League has matches in different weeks and between other rounds and the first match of this unique round will be the Queensland battle between Brisbane Roar and North Queensland Fury.

In the previous round the Roar suffered a defeat on the hands of Adelaide United.

In that same round the Fury got an all important win over Perth Glory to make sure they avoided sitting at the bottom of the ladder again.

The Fury lie in eighth place just above the Roar and the two teams are separated by a single point.

Whichever team wins this battle will move closer to the finals places as a win for the Fury will land them in sixth position.

A draw will suit neither team but as the away team it could be good enough for the Fury. Their only match ended in a draw.

So here is the rest of the stats so far:

Brisbane RoarNQ Fury
Goal difference-2-12
Clean sheets43
Failed to score44
Goals scored2320
Goals conceded2532
Ave. goals scored1.31.1
Ave. goals conceded1.41.8
Biggest winNewcastle Jets 0 - 3 Brisbane Roar
Brisbane Roar 4 - 1 Wellington Phoenix
Gold Coast 0 - 2 NQ Fury
Biggest lossBrisbane Roar 0 - 3 Central Coast Mariners
Gold Coast 5 - 0 NQ Fury
Score 3 or more31
Concede 3 or more45
Home matches
Goal difference-5-5
Goals scored1110
Goals conceded1615
Ave. goals scored1.01.1
Ave. goals conceded1.51.7
Away matches
Goal difference3-7
Goals scored1210
Goals conceded917
Ave. goals scored1.71.1
Ave. goals conceded1.31.9

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Category: A-League | Comments : 0

Relegation fight: Bolton vs West Ham

Tuesday, 15th December 2009 5:28pm
Round 17 of the English Premiership is a midweek round and on of the interesting fixtures pits Bolton against West Ham United.

Bolton are currently second from bottom whilst the Hammers are just above them.

The two teams are separated by just one point and therefore if the Trotters win, they will go above the Hammers.

Depending on other results, a win for either team will get the team out of the relegation zone.

The Trotters have so far won just one match at the Reebok in the league whilst the Hammers have also won just one match away from Upton Park. So it sounds like its going to be an interesting encounter.

Here is the rest of the stats for the two teams:

West HamBolton
Goal difference-7-12
Clean sheets20
Failed to score44
Goals scored2420
Goals conceded3132
Ave. goals scored1.51.3
Ave. goals conceded1.92.1
Biggest winWolves 0 - 2 West Ham
West Ham 5 - 3 Burnley
Portsmouth 2 - 3 Bolton
Bham City 1 - 2 Bolton
Bolton 3 - 2 Everton
Biggest lossWest Ham 0 - 4 Man United
Bolton 0 - 4 Chelsea
Aston Villa 5 - 1 Bolton
Score 3 or more23
Concede 3 or more54
Home matches
Goal difference-4-7
Goals scored1511
Goals conceded1918
Ave. goals scored1.91.4
Ave. goals conceded2.42.3
Away matches
Goal difference-3-5
Goals scored99
Goals conceded1214
Ave. goals scored1.11.3
Ave. goals conceded1.52.0

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Category: English Premiership | Comments : 0

Sevilla regains third place as Valencia slips

Monday, 14th December 2009 9:40pm
Sevilla's narrow 1-nil win over Sporting Gijon made sure the team regained third place on the La Liga table.

In round 13 Valencia had taken over third place but Valencia lost 3-2 to Real Madrid at home to drop back to fourth place.

With both Barcelona and Real Madrid winning their matches there is no change at the top of the table. Barca beat Espanyol 1-nil and the loss was Espanyol's fifth in a row.

Taking a look at the other end of the table, Xerez still has one win this season after losing to Racing Santander and therefore remain anchored at the bottom of the table.

Malaga are second from the bottom despite not losing their last five matches. This was Malaga's fifth draw in a row.

This week I will take a look at goal winning margins in La Liga after 14 rounds. The table below shows the goal margins:

Goal MarginFrequency
0 34
1 55
2 27
3 16
4 6
5 3

So the most popular winning margin is one goal and only three matches have been lost by a five goal margin.

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Category: La Liga | Comments : 0

Arsenal outgun Liverpool to stay in the hunt

Monday, 14th December 2009 8:30pm
Arsenal beat Liverpool 2-1 at Anfield in round 16 of the English Premiership to close the gap on the table behind the league ladders.

With Chelsea drawing Everton 3-all and Manchester United losing 1-nil to Aston Villa, the Gunners win means that it has reduced the gap at the top to go back in contention for the title.

This round saw the highest number of draws in a round with six matches ending in a draw. Previously the highest number of draws was five in a round and that was in round 8.

Also in this round only one home team won its match and this was Birmingham City's 1-nil win over West Ham United. This was lowest number of wins by home teams this season in a round. The previous number was three achieved in round 2.

Birmingham is now level on points with Liverpool but is eighth on the table because of goal difference. Liverpool is seventh.

In relegation matters, both Portsmouth and Bolton drew but the Hammers lost.

Wolverhampton Wanderer's win over Tottenham takes them out of the relegation zone and was replaced by the Hammers.

Arsenal was the third away team to be losing at half-time and come winners at full time. In a way Liverpool won the first half and the Gunners won the second and so following on from last week, this week I will take a look at the second half ladder.

Chelsea 16 12 13 245 1937
Man United 16 10 33 257 1833
Liverpool 16 8 53 1911 829
Arsenal 15 9 15 2011 928
Man City 15 7 62 1712 527
Aston Villa 16 7 54 127 526
Tottenham 16 7 45 2313 1025
Fulham 16 6 73 148 625
Sunderland 16 5 56 1213 -120
Bham City 16 4 75 1010 019
Portsmouth 16 4 75 711 -419
Burnley 16 5 47 1118 -719
Wigan 16 5 38 1228 -1618
Everton 16 3 85 1417 -317
Wolves 16 2 104 1113 -216
Stoke 16 3 76 613 -716
Blackburn 16 4 48 717 -1016
Hull 17 4 211 619 -1314
West Ham 16 3 310 1018 -812
Bolton 15 1 86 918 -911

So Bolton has the worst second half performance whilst Chelsea has the best.

Its interesting to see how this table differs from the actual one especially from the third position downwards.

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Category: English Premiership | Comments : 0

Jets flying up the table

Monday, 14th December 2009 5:10pm
Newcastle Jets are in fourth place on the A-League table after the 3-2 win over Gold Coast United in round 18 of the A-League.

Four rounds ago the Jets were anchoring the table and their good run started after beating Sydney FC and from then on they have picked an extra six points.

There was a big result for Melbourne Victory when they beat the Central Coast Mariners 3-nil in Gosford. In their previous two encounters at the Etihad Stadium the Victory shipped in six goals with no response.

That victory kept the Melbourne outfit on top of the ladder especially after a rare loss in New Zealand for Wellington Phoenix who lost to Sydney FC 1-nil.

Like Jets, Sydney FC are on a mini good run and haven't lost a match since losing to the Jets.

There was also a huge result for Adelaide against Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium. Even though Adelaide stay rooted to the bottom of the table, the win means they are still in touch at least with the bottom four sides.

There were no draws in round 18 and the other team to win was North Queensland Fury who beat Perth Glory. Glory are in some sort of free-fall especially after going as high as third on the ladder not so long ago.

Round 18 is the third round so far this season without a draw and so this week I will take a look at the drawing trend as shown in the table below:

Draw at half time, draw at full time 1458.3
Home team leading at half time, draw at full time 729.2
Away team leading at half time, draw at full time 312.5
Drawn matches 2426.7

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Category: A-League | Comments : 0

Valencia face Real challenge

Friday, 11th December 2009 6:11am
Third placed Valencia will face Real Madrid in round 14 of La Liga knowing that a win will take them into second place.

Valencia currently top the form ladder having collected 16 points from their last six matches whilst Real Madrid has picked up 13 and are third.

Also Valencia are still to lose at home and so this will be a real challenge for Valencia to keep their push for the title.

Sevilla are just one point behind Valencia and a Valencia slip up will see them back in third place assuming they win their away match against Sporting Gijon.

So here is the rest of the stats for these two teams after 13 rounds:

Real MadridValencia
Goal difference2012
Clean sheets75
Failed to score21
Goals scored3125
Goals conceded1113
Ave. goals scored2.41.9
Ave. goals conceded0.81.0
Biggest winReal Madrid 5 - 0 Xerez
Almeria 0 - 3 Valencia
Biggest lossSevilla 2 - 1 Real Madrid
Barcelona 1 - 0 Real Madrid
Getafe 3 - 1 Valencia
Score 3 or more74
Concede 3 or more01
Home matches
Goal difference164
Goals scored2210
Goals conceded66
Ave. goals scored3.11.7
Ave. goals conceded0.91.0
Away matches
Goal difference48
Goals scored915
Goals conceded57
Ave. goals scored1.52.1
Ave. goals conceded0.81.0

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Category: La Liga | Comments : 0

Battle Anfield : Liverpool vs Arsenal

Friday, 11th December 2009 5:51am
In round 16 of the English Premier League Liverpool will host Arsenal at Anfield in a match that is possibly more important for Liverpool to win than Arsenal.

This is a very interesting fixture because Liverpool has beaten Manchester United and drawn Manchester City at Anfield whilst Arsenal has lost to both teams away.

Arsenal currently lie in third place on the table whilst Liverpool are in seventh place. A win for the home team will make them go one point behind Arsenal and depending on other results could take them as high as fourth.

A win for Arsenal will help them maintain third place and keep abreast with Chelsea and Manchester United while a loss could see them in sixth place assuming Tottenham Hotspurs and Aston Villa win.

So here are some of the stats for the two teams going into this battle at Anfield:

Goal difference1120
Clean sheets54
Failed to score32
Goals scored3138
Goals conceded2018
Ave. goals scored2.12.7
Ave. goals conceded1.31.3
Biggest winLiverpool 6 - 1 Hull
Everton 1 - 6 Arsenal
Biggest lossLiverpool 1 - 3 Aston Villa
Chelsea 2 - 0 Liverpool
Fulham 3 - 1 Liverpool
Arsenal 0 - 3 Chelsea
Score 3 or more57
Concede 3 or more22
Home matches
Goal difference1315
Goals scored2122
Goals conceded87
Ave. goals scored3.03.1
Ave. goals conceded1.11.0
Away matches
Goal difference-25
Goals scored1016
Goals conceded1211
Ave. goals scored1.32.3
Ave. goals conceded1.51.6

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Category: English Premiership | Comments : 0

Inter, Barca through

Friday, 11th December 2009 5:35am
In the end there were no dramas as Inter Milan and Barcelona won their respective Group F fixtures to get through to the knockout stages in the UEFA Champions League.

Barca won 2-1 away to Dynamo Kiev to top the group and with the home team leaving the European stage for the season.

Inter finished second in the group and Rubin Kazan will get into the Europa draw.

Fiorentina stunned Liverpool at home to win Group E and push Lyon into second place. Debrecen became the second team to finish with zero points after a 4-nil home loss to Lyon.

In Group G, Stuttgart secured their place in the knockout stages with a win over Unirea Urziceni who themselves will be in Europa Cup.

Finally in Group Olympiacos' win over Arsenal will see them play in the knockout rounds whilst the draw between Standard Liege and AZ Almaar will see the former play in the Europa Cup.

At this stage I thought it would be interesting to have a look at all the different scorelines in this season's UEFA Champions League and here they are:

0 - 0 7
0 - 1 11
0 - 2 2
0 - 3 3
0 - 4 1
1 - 0 12
1 - 1 14
1 - 2 7
1 - 3 3
1 - 4 3
2 - 0 10
2 - 1 6
2 - 2 3
2 - 3 2
2 - 5 1
3 - 0 1
3 - 1 3
3 - 3 1
3 - 4 1
4 - 0 2
4 - 1 1
5 - 2 1
6 - 1 1

So the most popular result in the group stages of the Champions League was a 1-all draw.

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Category: Champions League | Comments : 0

A-League: Mariners vs Victory

Thursday, 10th December 2009 6:13am
One of the most interesting matches in round 18 of the A-League will be the match between Central Coast Mariners and Melbourne Victory.

The Mariners have beaten Victory twice already and both matches were at the Etihad Stadium.

The Victory failed to score in both matches.

Now the last league match is at Bluetongue Stadium and Victory has a last chance to at least score against the Mariners.

The Mariners have the best defence in the league at the moment having only conceded just 11 goals so far.

Although the Mariners have lost more matches than Victory, they are still to lose by more than one goal.

So here are the rest of the stats for the two teams

Central Coast MarinersMelbourne Victory
Goal difference125
Clean sheets84
Failed to score73
Goals scored2328
Goals conceded1123
Ave. goals scored1.41.6
Ave. goals conceded0.61.4
Biggest winMelbourne Victory 0 - 4 Central Coast Mariners
NQ Fury 1 - 5 Central Coast Mariners
Melbourne Victory 4 - 0 Gold Coast
Biggest lossBrisbane Roar 1 - 0 Central Coast Mariners
Adelaide Utd 1 - 0 Central Coast Mariners
Sydney 1 - 0 Central Coast Mariners
Newcastle Jets 2 - 1 Central Coast Mariners
Gold Coast 2 - 1 Central Coast Mariners
Melbourne Victory 0 - 4 Central Coast Mariners
Score 3 or more45
Concede 3 or more03
Home matches
Goal difference4-2
Goals scored714
Goals conceded316
Ave. goals scored1.01.6
Ave. goals conceded0.41.8
Away matches
Goal difference87
Goals scored1614
Goals conceded87
Ave. goals scored1.61.8
Ave. goals conceded0.80.9

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Category: A-League | Comments : 0

Bayern outclass Juve to reach last 16

Wednesday, 9th December 2009 8:35pm
Bayern Munich beat Juventus 4-1 away from home to secure a place in the last 16 with Juventus heading to the Europa Cup.

Juventus only needed a draw to maintain second place in the group but the loss now means they now drop to the Europa Cup.

Maccabi Haifa finished the campaign without a single point after a narrow home loss to group leaders Bordeaux.

In Group B Manchester United won the group after beating Bundesliga champions Wolfsburg 3-1 away.

That loss meant that CSKA Moscow secured second place after beating Besiktas 2-1. This will be the first time for CSKA to reach the knockout stages.

In Group C the big guns Real Madrid and AC Milan took first and second place respectively. Marseille will enter the Europa Cup draw after losing 1-3 to Real.

In Group D the first two places were decided in the previous round and although Apoel Nicosia managed a draw at Stamford Bridge that was not enough to keep them in Europe.

In match day 2 Debrecen could be the other team to finish with zero points if they dont get at least a draw against Lyon.

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Category: Champions League | Comments : 0

Valencia climb to third in La Liga

Monday, 7th December 2009 4:18pm
Valencia took advantage of Sevilla's second successive draw to go into third place in the Spanish Primera division.

Valencia played in the last fixture of round 13 knowing that a win would put them above Sevilla and they did that winning 3-1 against Athletic Bilbao.

For the second successive round Sevilla's match finished in a draw and this time the team was held by one all by Valladolid.

The top teams, Barcelona and Real Madrid, both won to make sure there were no changes at the summit of La Liga.

Xerez lost again and this time the bottom team lost 2-nil to Atletico Madrid to remain anchored to the bottom of the ladder.

Malaga draw against Osasuna for its fourth successive draw and now sits just one point above Xerez.

After round 12 I looked at the home ladder and now its the turn of the away ladder:

Barcelona 8 5 30 154 1118
Valencia 7 6 01 157 818
Sevilla 6 4 02 104 612
Deportivo La Coruña 6 4 02 97 212
Real Madrid 6 3 12 95 410
Athletic Bilbao 6 3 12 74 310
R Santander 7 2 32 118 39
Osasuna 7 2 23 79 -28
Getafe 7 2 05 913 -46
Sporting Gijon 7 1 33 610 -46
Valladolid 7 1 33 713 -66
Espanyol 6 1 23 510 -55
Almeria 7 1 15 814 -64
Atletico 7 1 15 716 -94
Málaga 6 0 33 710 -33
Mallorca 6 0 33 613 -73
Xerez 6 0 24 113 -122
Zaragoza 7 0 25 721 -142
Villarreal 6 0 15 611 -51
Tenerife 6 0 15 418 -141

So just like real ladder, Barcelona are on top where they are tied with Valencia who have also collected 18 points away from home.

At this point Tenerife and Villareal have the worst away record having just picked a point from their travels.

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Category: La Liga | Comments : 0

Everton comeback earns draw against Spurs

Monday, 7th December 2009 12:19pm
Everton staged a comeback to avoid two league losses in a row at Goodison Park after they snatched a 2-all draw against Tottenham Hotspurs.

Spurs had gone to a 2-nil lead in the second half but Everton managed to score two of their own. Spurs missed a penalty in injury time.

Portsmouth managed a rare win at home after downing Burnley 2-nil but stayed at the bottom. They now trail Bolton in 19th place by just points.

At the top Manchester United closed the gap at the top to just two points after a 4-nil comprehensive win over West Ham United.

Manchester City stopped their run of draws with a win over league leaders and title rivals Chelsea. Man City won 2-1 and Chelsea like Spurs missed a penalty.

Arsenal's win over Stoke City takes them to third place replacing Spurs and Villa maintained fifth after a convincing 3-nil win over Hull City.

This week I will take a look at the first half ladder for the English premiership. This ladder considers the results from the first half only and next week I will take a look at the second half ladder:

Arsenal 14 10 22 207 1332
Chelsea 15 7 62 146 827
Aston Villa 15 7 44 137 625
Tottenham 15 6 54 128 423
Man City 14 6 53 107 323
Man United 15 5 73 96 322
Stoke 15 4 92 85 321
West Ham 15 5 55 1413 120
Sunderland 15 5 55 99 020
Liverpool 15 4 74 1211 119
Bham City 15 4 74 66 019
Wigan 15 4 74 67 -119
Everton 15 5 46 611 -519
Burnley 15 5 46 916 -719
Bolton 14 4 46 912 -316
Fulham 15 4 47 69 -316
Blackburn 15 3 66 911 -215
Hull 16 3 67 1115 -415
Portsmouth 15 3 57 712 -514
Wolves 15 3 210 315 -1211

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Category: English Premiership | Comments : 0

Sydney back to winning ways

Monday, 7th December 2009 12:01pm
Sydney FC went back to winning ways after beating the North Queensland Fury 4-1 in round 17 of the A-League.

Before this win Sydney had lost three consecutive matches and were in danger of losing the second spot on the ladder.

Newcastle United continued with their resurgence beating rock bottom Adelaide United 2-nil at Hindmarsh Stadium.

Before last week the Jets had never won away from home this season and now they have notched two away wins and scoring five goals in the process and conceding just one.

The result pushed the Jets to sixth position on the ladder and this is not bad for a team that was anchoring the ladder not so long ago.

Good news for Adelaide though is that the Fury lost and therefore remain a point ahead of them and a -13 goal difference.

Elsewhere there were draws for leaders Melbourne Victory against Wellington Phoenix and Brisbane held Perth Glory 1-all at home .

The Gold Coast United managed to win their match 2-1 against the Central Coast Mariners after trailing at half-time.

This is only the third time this season that an A-League team trailing at half time has gone on to win and its also the second time for a home team to do so.

Below is the rest of the winning trends so far for the A-League:

Home team leading at half time, home team winning at full time 2134.4
Away team leading at half time, away team winning at full time 1829.5
Home team trailing at half time, home team winning at full time 23.3
Away team trailing at half time, away team winning at full time 11.6
Draw at half time, home team winning at full time 1321.3
Draw at half time, away team winning at full time 69.8
Matches ending in result 6171.8

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Category: A-League | Comments : 0

Brazil draws Portugal, Ivory Coast

Saturday, 5th December 2009 11:46pm
The draw for the 2010 FIFA World Cup has been conducted and these are the eight groups:

Group A: South Africa, Mexico, Uruguay, France

Group B: Argentina, South Korea, Nigeria, Greece

Group C: England, USA, Algeria, Slovenia

Group D: Germany, Australia, Ghana, Serbia

Group E: Netherlands, Japan, Cameroon, Denmark

Group F: Italy, New Zealand, Paraguay, Slovakia

Group G: Brazil, North Korea, Ivory Coast, Portugal

Group H: Spain, Honduras, Chile, Switzerland

The hosts South Africa will kickoff the tournament on June 11 2010 in a group A match against Mexico.

Four and a half hours later, Uruguay will place France to complete the round 1 matches for Group A.

TipsChallenge will run a 2010 World Cup tipping competition and this is already set up with the fixtures for the first three rounds available.

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Category: World Cup | Comments : 0

La Liga: Bilbao vs Valencia

Friday, 4th December 2009 6:38am
Athletic Bilbao will face Valencia in round 13 of the Spanish Primera division knowing that a win will put them two points behind their rivals.

A win for Valencia who are currently in fourth position will get them as far as second place depending on other results.

Bilbao has accumulated seven points at home so far from two wins and one draw whilst Valencia has a very good away record having only lost once so far away from home.

So here are the rest of the stats so far after 12 rounds:

ValenciaAthletic Bilbao
Goal difference111
Clean sheets55
Failed to score14
Goals scored2314
Goals conceded1213
Ave. goals scored1.91.2
Ave. goals conceded1.01.1
Biggest winAlmeria 0 - 3 Valencia
Almeria 1 - 4 Athletic Bilbao
Biggest lossGetafe 3 - 1 Valencia
Athletic Bilbao 0 - 4 Sevilla
Home matches
Goal difference4-2
Goals scored107
Goals conceded69
Ave. goals scored1.71.2
Ave. goals conceded1.01.5
Away matches
Goal difference73
Goals scored137
Goals conceded64
Ave. goals scored2.21.2
Ave. goals conceded1.00.7

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Category: La Liga | Comments : 1

Pompey face poor travellers Burnley

Friday, 4th December 2009 6:24am
Portsmouth under the new manager Avram Grant will face poor travellers Burnley who have only accumulated one point away from home in round 15 of the English Premier League.

Burnley hasn't won a match away from home and their only point came from a draw against Manchester City.

Pompey prop the ladder with just seven points and having won just once at Fratton Park.

A win for the Pompey will only lift them from the bottom if Wolverhampton Wanderers lose.

On the other hand a win for Burnley depending on other results could see them be in the top half of the table.

So for the rest of the stats for the two teams at this point of the season see below:

Goal difference-12-12
Clean sheets33
Failed to score74
Goals scored1119
Goals conceded2331
Ave. goals scored0.81.4
Ave. goals conceded1.62.2
Biggest winPortsmouth 4 - 0 Wigan
Burnley 3 - 1 Sunderland
Burnley 2 - 0 Hull
Biggest lossArsenal 4 - 1 Portsmouth
Portsmouth 1 - 4 Man United
Tottenham 5 - 0 Burnley
Home matches
Goal difference-45
Goals scored811
Goals conceded126
Ave. goals scored1.11.6
Ave. goals conceded1.70.9
Away matches
Goal difference-8-17
Goals scored38
Goals conceded1125
Ave. goals scored0.41.1
Ave. goals conceded1.63.6

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Category: English Premiership | Comments : 0

Jets face Adelaide test

Thursday, 3rd December 2009 7:45am
Newcastle Jets won their first away match of the season in the last round and now face bottom placed Adelaide in round 17 of the A-League.

The 3-1 victory over Sydney FC was the Jet's first away win over Sydney but also the first away win for the season.

In round 16 Adelaide lost away to the North Queensland Fury and they replaced them at the bottom of the ladder.

Depending on other results, a win for Adelaide could take them as high as seventh place whilst for the Jets a win could take them to sixth whilst increasing between them and Adelaide to five points.

So here are stats for the two teams so far this season:

AdelaideNewcastle Jets
Goal difference-6-6
Clean sheets42
Failed to score65
Goals scored1417
Goals conceded2023
Ave. goals scored0.91.1
Ave. goals conceded1.31.4
Biggest winNQ Fury 0 - 2 Adelaide Utd
Newcastle Jets 2 - 0 NQ Fury
Sydney 1 - 3 Newcastle Jets
Biggest lossAdelaide Utd 0 - 2 Gold Coast
Adelaide Utd 0 - 2 Melbourne Victory
Melbourne Victory 3 - 1 Adelaide Utd
Adelaide Utd 0 - 2 Brisbane Roar
Newcastle Jets 0 - 3 Brisbane Roar
Wellington Phoenix 3 - 0 Newcastle Jets
Home matches
Goal difference-3-2
Goals scored99
Goals conceded1211
Ave. goals scored1.01.1
Ave. goals conceded1.31.4
Away matches
Goal difference-3-4
Goals scored58
Goals conceded812
Ave. goals scored0.71.0
Ave. goals conceded1.11.5

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Category: A-League | Comments : 0

The 2010 World Cup draw format

Wednesday, 2nd December 2009 11:28pm
FIFA has now announced the 2010 World Cup draw format with the confirmation of the seeded teams.

The seeded teams are host South Africa and then holders Italy plus Argentina, Brazil, England, Germany, Netherlands and Spain.

The seeded teams will be in put in eight groups and South Africa the hosts will be in Group A and the rest of the seeded teams will head groups B to H.

Port 2 will comprise Asia, Oceania and North and Central American teams. The teams in this pot are Australia, Japan, Honduras, Korea DPR, Mexico, New Zealand, South Korea and the United States.

Port 3 will be for African and South American teams. The teams are Algeria, Cameroon, Chile, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Paraguay and Uruguay.

The last pot comprises of the unseeded European teams and these are Denmark, France, Greece, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Switzerland.

So for the World Cup draw On Friday, a group will comprise a team from each pot but no group will have more than one team from that confederation apart from Europe. There can be two teams in a group from Europe with one being seeded and another being unseeded(pot 4).

Group A for example will comprise of South Africa and then one of Chile, Paraguay or Uruguay, an unseeded European team and then one team from the Asia, Oceania and North and Central American pot.

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Category: World Cup | Comments : 0

A 33 team World Cup draw format

Tuesday, 1st December 2009 6:34pm
The Football Association of Ireland(FAI) has requested FIFA for an extra place at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa so making the number of teams 33 instead of the usual 32.

In the unlikely event that FIFA grants this request, it will result in an interesting World Cup with one group having 5 teams. This changes the whole dynamics of the World Cup draw in order to accomodate the extra team and the extra four matches and the byes to go with them.

So in this post I will take a quick look at what a 33 team World Cup would look like.

In a normal 32 team World Cup the draw has eight groups of four teams each. Basically each group cannot have two teams from the same confederation apart from teams from the UEFA confederation. Also no group can have three teams from the UEFA.

So in a 33 team World Cup draw I think there will still be eight groups but one of them with 5 teams. This will result in a 68 match World Cup instead of the normal 64.

The teams in the five team group will have to play four matches each in the group stages and the two top teams would qualify for the second round.

It will not be possible to play the last group matches at the same time because one team in the five team group will have a bye and so FIFA will have to think about this one.

In this case I think the draw would have to put Ireland in that group because they are the ones who requested that extra place and therefore may not mind playing four games instead of three.

So the question is what happens to the other four teams. I think they will have to choose a team each from the other confederations including UEFA but maybe not put France in there.

So to fit in with the extra four matches in the group stages and still finish on the scheduled date, 11 July 2010, this five team group would have to start their matches before the opening ceremony, 11 June, 2010.

The opening match is normally played by the host nation(2006) or the defending champions(2002) but in the 33 team World Cup the opening match would have to come from the five team group and before the opening ceremony.

As I said the 33 team World Cup will be an interesting proposition and so lets wait and see what FIFA will do.

If you have any other ideas of how the 33 team World Cup can go just post that in the comments.

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Category: World Cup | Comments : 0



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