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.

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Chelsea to win Premier League say number crunchers

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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 www.bsports.com

Worst football kits compiled

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A NEW book is to be published bringing together The Worst Football Kits of All Time.
Author Dave Moor has compiled kits including David Seaman’s Euro ’96 shocker, and last season’s electric pink Everton strip.
His favourite worst kit is Hull City’s 1992 home, tiger print effort.
He said: “It’s a beauty.
“However obscure, uncoordinated and down-right quirky designs have been around since the Victorian era.
“The Worst Football Kits Of All Time is a celebration of some of the most outrageous strips foisted upon both club and country – from clashing colours and disastrous designs to surprising sponsors and bad luck omens.”
Any suggestions of shocking kits, please leave a comment.

Okocha to say ‘wotcher’?

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SO GOOD they named him twice – could Nigerian wizard Jay Jay Okocha be making a shock return to English football?
Oh, I hope so.
If the January transfer rumours are to be believed – and I’m 83 per cent sure they’re actually probably not – Barnsley have agreed a deal with the former Bolton, Fenerbache, Paris St Germain, Frankfurt and Hull player.
Tykes manager Mark Robins had previously promised fans a “household name” would be arriving – and the name in the frame is Okocha, who retired from the game in 2009, and is now 37-years-old.
Should a deal be completed before the weekend, Okocha could sign in time to line up against his old club Hull City.

It’s time for East Midlands teams

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SINCE Derby County limped out of the top flight in 2008 licking its considerable wounds, it’s been possible for football fans to drive the length of the M1 on away days without passing by a Premiership stadium.
And last May, both Leicester City and Nottingham Forest blew the chance of a regional showdown after losing their play-off semifinals against Cardiff and Blackpool.
However, like I mentioned for Middlesbrough yesterday, 2010/11 could yet be a good season for the region’s teams.
While Premier League drop-outs Portsmouth, Hull and Burnley look far from ready to bounce back, canny manager Billy Davies has kept faith with the majority of the squad that finished third last time out, and with another year of experience under their belts, they should be ready.
And while Derby may struggle to excite again this term and end up mid-table, Leicester also have a relatively unchanged squad looking to repeat last year’s heroics, and while they have lost manager Nigel Pearson it should be remembered that newbie Paulo Sousa took Swansea to just a point off the playoffs last term.
You never know, next season the likes of Rooney, Tevez and Torres could be dusting off their Leicester and Nottingham street maps once again…