Premiership Predictions – Relegation return for Championship hopefuls

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YESTERDAY I predicted a Chelsea Premier League win come the end of the season, and to be honest picking the winner was harder than an a tungsten carbide statue of Roy Keane.
At the other end of the table, it’s far more clear cut in my eyes.
The promoted teams from the Championship are, for me, in a different league. A lower one.
Or at least they should be – when you line them up alongside the likes of last season’s strugglers Sunderland, Newcastle, Aston Villa, Southampton and Stoke.
Of the three I’d back Cardiff City to put up the biggest fight, especially with their summer signings such as Caulker and Cornelius, but Hull City Tigers and Crystal Palace will need a miracle to turn over enough points to stay within distance of 17th and safety.
I can only see it going one way – meaning it will be the first time all the promoted sides have been sent straight back to Championship since 1998.


Chelsea to win Premier League say number crunchers

JOSE Mourinho’s Chelsea are going to win this season’s Premier League – according to cold hard maths.
Statisticians at Bloomberg Sports have revealed their first ever Premier League end of season projections – forecasting the finishing position and points of every team in the league.
And their number crunching has revealed that the Blues will pip United and City to the title in a three horse race, with Moyes finishing third in his first season at United.
They predict that Arsenal will beat off their rivals to the last Champions League spot, and all the promoted teams – Crystal Palace, Cardiff City and Hull City – will be relegated straight back to the Championship for the first time since 1998.
Bill Squadron, President of Bloomberg Sports, said: “As fans around the world debate the 2013-2014 Premier League season from a purely subjective standpoint, we are adding our mathematically-derived predictions to the debate.
“Using the same objective data analytics that drives our Match Analysis tool, we are pleased to unveil a purely data-driven projection for each team.
“Not only does this make for great content for fans, but it also provides data that helps them beat the bookie.”
For more information go to

Palace turn to hynotherapist for help

PREMIER League newcomers Crystal Palace are to enlist an hypnotherapist to help their squad overcome Spurs on the opening day of the season.
After a chance encounter while out walking, boss Ian Holloway has recruited former WBC super-middleweight boxing champion-turned-qualified hypnotherapist Glenn Catley.
Glenn said: “I underwent hypnotherapy for 10 years in my boxing career. I wasn’t the most talented of fighters but I believe it helped me get to the top. When I retired eight years ago, I took a course.
“Two months ago I was out walking the dog and bumped into Ian, a good friend from way back in the west country where we both live. After talking to him about what I did, he invited me to meet with his players.
“He told me they have all the talent but psychologically they were letting a few demons creep in.
“Now I see them for a few days every week, including the first team squad. We work on a one-to-one basis and part of the therapy is to hypnotise them, putting them in a trance. It is a completely natural state, nothing like a stage show.”

Smeared excrement was a blessing, says Holloway

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IAN Holloway has thanked whoever left excrement in Crystal Palace’s dressing room prior to their play-off semi-final at Brighton for giving him the easiest team talk of his career.
The Eagles were greeted by the disgusting deposit when they arrived at the Amex Stadium for last Monday’s second leg.
Holloway’s side were big underdogs – but two Wilfried Zaha goals secured a 2-0 win and a Wembley final against Watford.
Eagles boss Holloway said: “I have to thank that person for doing me the biggest favour.
“I didn’t have to gee the players up at all, in fact I had to calm them down. I’ve never seen a look like that on Wilf’s face.
“So how stupid is that person? He got Palace to play like that.
“It never ceases to amaze me, how low will some people go?”
Brighton have formally apologised to Palace and launched an internal investigation over the incident.

Supporters come out in support of The Crystals

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CRYSTAL Palace’s cheerleading troupe The Crystals have been cheered on by supporters following criticisms.
Some fans had said that the saucy song-and-dance act were off-putting and had even been distracting Eagles players.
But Tom got in touch to say: “Sort it please.
“One nigel said he didn’t like them and we haven’t lost a home game since they started. MARE.”
Steve said: “Well this is a load of old rubbish! Palace haven’t lost at home since the introduction of the cheerleaders.”
And pom pom fan Mr Another Unsatisfied Echo Reader – if that is your real name – blasted: “What utter toss. Crystal Palace have not lost in the presence of the cheerleaders at home, so I would be interested to see the research behind this.”

Saucy cheerleaders putting off own team

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A SEXED up cheerleading squad have been blamed for putting off their own team’s players.
After Crystal Palace FC switched to a “more provocative” style of cheerleading troupe, the squad has slumped to 21st in the Championship and are close to the relegation places.
This led to fans calling for The Crystals to hang up their pom poms and stop supporting the Eagles – as they put off the players.
But Sharon Lacey, marketing manager for Crystal Palace, said: “The girls are excellent and they’re passionate about what they do.
“They do it off their own bats and don’t earn a penny.”

Cantona says kung fu kick was career high

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ERIC Cantona’s flying kung-fu kick on a Crystal Palace fan is the best memory of his career, the Manchester United legend has said.
The Frenchman – whose trophy cabinet boasts Premier League and French league triumphs alongside FA Cups, Charity Shields and Coupe De France wins – was banned in 1995 after launching himself into the crowd with a kick at Palace fan Matthew Simmons after being sent off.
The incident was seen as a black spot on a magnificent career but Cantona – who recently became director of football for the New York Cosmos – insists it was his highest point.
He said: “I think maybe it’s like a dream for some, you know sometimes to kick these kind of people.
“So I did it for them. So they are happy. It’s a kind of freedom for them.
“So I speak about that because maybe they felt it. Because they felt something special physically. Maybe it was a different feeling.
“It’s a great feeling, but different.”