Saturday 20 October 2012

Week 10: I love to go a-Grambling, along the mountain track...

The taste of victory is still lingering in my mouth from last week, like when you brush your teeth and then drink some milk and end up with a weird taste stuck there for half a day.  Was it a fluke?  Or shall it be repeated today?  Only Gramblor, God of Grambling knows!

Here are some football game thingies:

Game 1: York City vs Dagenham & Redbridge
Prediction: Home win

York is a city known for many things... Yorkshire puddings, Yorkie bars, Dwight Yorke... None of those things, but many other things.  However, their football team is not as famous as these unrelated counterparts.  Last season was a good one for the Minstermen with victory in the FA Trophy followed by promotion back to the football league.  They have put in some impressive displays in their first season back in the league since 2004, with only three losses in the first twelve games.  Unfortunately, a few too many draws have left York in the bottom half of the table but a win today could see them closing in on the play-off places.  Dagenham & Redbridge are (is?) a youngster in the footballing world, having only been formed in 1992.  Whilst this makes them too old for Jimmy Saville, they are still a team in their infancy and hungry to prove that they can hold their own.  Currently sitting in 17th position, their main objective may well be to avoid the wilderness of the Conference League.  One win and three draws away from home suggests a team which is hard to beat on their travels.
Reliability balls: 6/10
Odds on this result: 11/10

Game 2: Swindon Town vs Scunthorpe United
Prediction: Draw

Swindon have had something of a resurgence under 'lovable rogue' Paulo di Canio, a man who openly claims to be a 'fascist and not a racist' (because, you know, the two are normally mutually exclusive.)  He has also described Benito Mussolini as being 'misunderstood'... And while we're on politics of the early 20th century, did you know that Mussolini's shift from socialism to fascism was funded by MI5?  Anyhoo, that all has little to do with football and Swindon sit 6th in League One, just two points away from second place.  Scunthorpe have not had such a great start to the season.  Nine points from the opening twelve games sees them languish third from the bottom of the division like a langoustine.  They have now gone four games without a win and have only taken one point away from home this season.  And to compound their misery, their team name frequently falls victim to the Scunthorpe Problem, whereby internet search engines add them to a blocked list due the appearance of a dirty word in their name.  Poor old Sc***horpe United! 
Reliability balls: 5/10
Odds on this result: 11/4

Game 3: Crystal Palace vs Millwall
Prediction: Millwall
Crystal Palace have made a fine start to the season under the stewardship of Dougie Freedman and are currently fourth in the Championship, just three points from pace-setters Cardiff.  But Palaces have a tendency to crumble in time and if the team has been built on weak foundations, they might find themselves evicted from the play-off places.  In their last game, they emerged as victors in a seven-goal thriller against Burnley, with much-coveted youngster Wilfried Zaha scoring a double, so expect goals-a-plenty again today.  The lions have not had such a fine start to the season.  Currently sitting just outside of the relegation zone, manager Kenny Jackett will be hoping that his side's form improves lest he has to Jackett in.  Millwall appeared in The Grambler a fortnight ago and on that occasion, victory resulted in the sacking of their opponents manager.  But Freedman has a better standing at his club than Owen Coyle had at struggling Bolton, so there is little chance that he will be freed, man. 
Reliability balls: 4/10
Odds on this result: 12/5

Game 4: Dumbarton vs Falkirk
Prediction: Draw
Dumbarton are another team who have put in a Grambler appearance already and on that occasion, they allowed Livingston to defeat them in order to keep the coupon intact, nice chaps that they are. The Sons, who took their nickname from the rare occurrence whereby each player is someone's son, have had 'a couple of setbacks recently' according to the official website.  Well, that is one way to put it... Having picked up just two points this season from eight games, they are rooted to the bottom of the first division.  Falkirk have not fared much better.  Having started the season as one of the favourites to challenge for a spot in the SPL, Falkirk have taken seven points from their eight games and the Bairns fans have started to call for manager Steven Pressley's head.  Other fans meanwhile have suggested that this would be harsh and just want him sacked.  
Reliability balls: 3/10
Odds on this result: 14/5

Game 5: Liverpool vs Reading
Prediction: Home win
Liverpool have managed to be the most unwatchable and disagreeable team in the Premiership over the last few seasons.  Dull football and support of unpleasant racists under Kenny Dalglish has been replaced by dull football and support of unpleasant racists under Brendan Rodgers.  Rodgers decision to send Andy Carroll out on loan could come back to bite him with the news that Fabio Borini will be out injured leaving unpleasant racist Luis Saurez as their only recognised striker.  And worse still, Mark Lawrenson has predicted a Liverpool win.  Is that guy ever right!?  The Collins English dictionary defines Reading as 'the act of a person who reads'.  But I wouldn't read too much into that.  Reading were a regular choice in the pre-season predictions for relegation candidates and have lived up to expectations by spending the season thus far in the relegation zone. Striker Jason Roberts has made headlines this week by refusing to wear a 'Kick It Out' anti-racism t-shirt this week as he feels that the organisation do not do enough to help the game of football.  For the same reasons, he should refuse to wear a Reading shirt (ba-zing!)
Reliability balls: 7/10
Odds on this result: 1/3

Game 6: Partick Thistle vs Airdrie United
Prediction: Home win
Plastic Whistle currently ride high in the First Division and look set to challenge Dunfermline for the top-spot this season.  They have a fantastic home-record this season; all four games played at Firhill won and also no goals conceded at home.  But they have shown that they are still prone to slip-ups, as seen in a 3-1 defeat at Morton a couple of weeks ago.  Airdrie will be travelling down the A8, onto the M8 and finally off at the A82 with a pretty poor start under their belts.  Only seven points from eight games puts them equal with the previously mentioned Falkirk.  However, their record on the road has been better than that at home, with four points taken during away games.  The Jags could be in for a prickly encounter if the Diamonds can produce a gleaming performance, otherwise expect the home-side to continue their 100% record.  
Reliability balls: 8/10
Odds on this result: 1/3

Game 7: Hull City vs Ipswich Town
Prediction: Home win
Hull City (named for Rod Hull, it was purely a coincidence that they happened to be based in Hull) have the greatest claim to fame in British league football; their name is the only one without any letters which can be coloured in.  They have made a reasonable start to the season under the stewardship of Steve Bruce and currently sit 10th and just two points away from a play-off spot.  Ipswich (a team that perhaps take their Tractorboys nickname a little too seriously) have rarely threatened the top end of the Championship in recent years and are currently second bottom of the division.  A win today cannot remove them from the relegation zone but would be a boost.  The board's approval to sign Nigel Reo-Coker (who has a silly name) suggests that they intend to remain in the Championship.  He could make his d├ębut today.  Also, I have a button which switches my internet on or off.  It's an IP switch...
Reliability balls: 6/10
Odds on this result: 4/5

How do you like them apples?

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