Entries in predictions (6)
I should've done this post ages ago, but between being busy with real work and forgetting to update my blog, it's been delayed until now, four days after it started. I think this Euro is a lot more open that most people think, and we could be in for a surprise come the final. The favourites, the Netherlands and Germany have been less than impressive, especially the former, while Spain struggled to draw against Italy. I actually fancy the latter, as they always seem to perform amidst match fixing scandals, so they could very well make the final.
The other team that looks good is Russia. Unless a team from group D do better, they have been the most impressive team so far lead by young striker Alan Dzagoev and a reborn Andrei Arshavin (why can't he ever play that way for Arsenal??). I reckon they are real outsiders. They definitely go through, and then if they come up against Holland like in last Euro anything could happen.
The other issue I want to talk about is England. Today they face France, which for the media in the UK will go one of two ways. A win and we will become instant favourites to win and the best team in the tournament, a loss and Hodgson should never have been hired and we will be knocked out in the group stages. In no other country is the media like that, and you can guarantee and erratic response whatever the result.
I would not have taken Rooney, instead I would have taken Kevin Davies, Grant Holt or Gary Hooper, as I feel that while they do not have the international experience, they get you goals, and most importantly will be able to play the two first games. Carroll should start against France, as if we're adopting a defensive approach we may as well go the whole way. Defoe would have been my first choice but I think with the events of the past week he won't be in the right state of mind, so it's best for the first game he sits out before returning later.
All derbies are important. That much is clear. Whether it be Arsenal vs Chelsea, Man Utd vs Liverpool, Inter vs AC Milan and especially Barcelona vs Real Madrid, they are all at the pinnacle of the footballing calendar. However on the 30th of April, a different type of derby will take place. One that will not only put the rivalry into play but also the fate of the entire championship. If Man City win, then try will have won it, if Man Utd win they will have won it. It's as simple as that, and it is very rare for the season to bring up such a situation.
You could call it the final of the Premier League it's that important. It's one of those games you'll be able to look back on and say that exactly where the title was won, as both teams were neck and neck coming into it. While you could argue that on form alone, Man City deserve to win (let's face it, Man Utd have played terribly at times yet they're still somehow in this position), all that really matters in football are the points on the board, and Man Utd, you can't deny it, have done what they always do and delivered in that area.
Moving on to my predictions for the game, it's and extremely tough one to call, as this derby always is. While City thrashed United first time round, this is a very different set of circumstances. As much I am hoping for City to win, my brain tells me to go with United. They have more experience at this stage of the season, and Ferguson will simply not let a slip up happen. Also if they draw, United will probably win the title, so unless city win, you can essentially consider it Man Utd's 20th league title.
I haven't really been following the UFC much lately, I admit, so I figured I'd update myself and write this post. There have essentially been three big fights in the time I stopped following it: Evans vs Davis, Diaz vs Condit and Edgar vs Henderson, the latter resulting in a new lightweight champion.
I have to say that Ben Henderson, rather like Jon Jones, seems to be the real deal. He's been impressive in his fight and is establishing himself as the best in the lightweight division, a title that Frankie Edgar has held for a while up to now. Who knows who his next opponent could be, but a rematch could be quite nice, if not immediately then within the next year or two.
As for Condit vs Diaz, the former has proved that he is not to be messed with. His bout with GSP got cancelled, and he then went onto win the Interim Welterwieght Title against Diaz, even though the latter was probably completely stoned when in the ring as he tested positive for marijuana. Just kidding, he probably wasn't but Diaz's discipinary problems seem to be neverending, and his temper also seems to be problematic.
Finally, Rashad Evans in slowly building up for his huge clash against Jon Jones. That fight promises to be one of the most intersting bouts in a while and will once and for all settle who the best in the light heavyweight division is today. So the UFC has got plenty of good looking upcoming fights, including Dos Santos vs Overeem. I look forward to a good few months of UFC action ahead!
My final predictions on the Australian Open. Who do you think will win?
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