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2018/19 prospects
at 19:31 30 Jul 2018

Taken from https://www.thepunterspage.com/2018-2019-league-two-season-betting-preview-tips/ (and sourced from the OMB)

"Colchester (5/1) are a fairly young side but certainly one full of promise. Their academy is producing talent and manager John McGreal isn’t afraid to blood their youngsters into the starting line up. Frankie Kent, Tom Lapslie and Sammie Szmodics are all likely to play higher in the football pyramid in years to come. All three are under the age of 23 and all were regular starters last season – they’ll only improve. Szmodics is a player that I’ve kept tabs on ever since I saw him score a hat-trick against Bradford City in the FA Youth Cup a few seasons ago. He’s a clever player, great with the ball at his feet, good pace and a nice finisher; he could be key for the Essex side. Bournemouth were interested in the player but Colchester is a place were he will play regularly. I expect him to be one of the best players in the league this season.

In the transfer market, the U’s have added more of an attacking threat with Luke Norris coming from Swindon and Frank Nouble arriving from Newport – both were regular starters for league rivals last year. They also bought in Harry Pell from Cheltenham who chips in with his fair share of goals from midfield. Aaron Collins has been brought in on loan from Wolves and they still have Mikael Mandron. They have serious strength in depth going forward and will be a nightmare to defend against next season."
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U'sual Champions League - The Final
at 18:30 12 May 2018

As it is now just two weeks away, here goes for the UCL final, between BFG and RSCOSWORTH, and 3rd place play-off between thrillseeker and mfb_cufc.

Saturday 26th May 2018
Real Madrid v Liverpool (1945 kick-off)

As usual, there are nine categories to predict. For categories C-H, as usual there will be 2pts if spot-on, but as a slight change this season, if neither get a spot-on, then there will be one point for whoever is closest (or 1pt each if equidistant).

 (A) Result - 3pts spot-on, 1pt for the outcome; 
 (B) Goal scorer - pick one, get 1pt for each goal they score (including own goals); 
 (C) Attempts on target - 2pts for spot-on, 1pt if closest; 
 (D) Attempts off target - ditto; 
 (E) Corners - ditto; 
 (F) Fouls - ditto; 
 (G) Yellow cards - ditto (a straight red is not two yellows); and 
 (H) Red cards - ditto (two yellows will count as two yellows and one red). 
 (TB) The tie-break is the minute for the first substitution, closest (either side) wins. In the unlikely event that there are no substitutions, this will be counted as 0 (zero) minutes. Note that for the final alone, a spot-on result will not count towards the tie-break, it's just the total points scored. 

All predictions will be for the normal time match, extra-time or penalties will not count. The only questions you can't match exactly on are (A), (B) and (TB), so whilst there is no other advantage to predicting first, predicting last may mean having to change one or more of those predictions.

Please PM me your predictions, and I will reveal when they are all in. I will bump this thread nearer the time as a reminder to all.

All stats will be taken from the BBC Sport website, just in case there are discrepancies elsewhere.

Good luck everyone!
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And welcome to...
at 12:26 28 Apr 2018

Joining us next season from League 1, definitely Bury and almost certainly the Mongs. Given their inferior goal difference, I will be amazed if Oldham and Northampton aren't the other two.

Coming up from the Conference, Macclesfield have been champions for some time now. Tranmere are definitely in the semi-finals of the play-offs already, to be joined by either Sutton United or Aldershot (the latter only if they can win at Sutton United today). The first round play-off four will come from one of those two, plus three from Aldershot, Ebbsfleet, Fylde, Boreham Wood, Bromley or Dover - mathematically Wrexham could make it, but they'd have to beat Fylde by a lot of goals, and hope Boreham Wood fall apart at home to bottom of the table Guiseley.

We'll be losing Accrington and Luton, and I reckon Wycombe going up automatically, and I'll stick my neck out and go for Lincoln via the play-offs (a victory for win-ugly I'm afraid). Chesterfield are down, and I can't see Barnet escaping either.
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U'sual Champions League - Semi-finals
at 20:53 17 Apr 2018

Many thanks to Concordman for his honesty in declaring an interest regarding the offer to carry out the semi-final draw, and thus gracefully declining the opportunity. I have therefore carried out my own version (using the Excel Rand() function), and the draw is as follows:

thrillseeker v RSCOSWORTH
BFG v mfb_cufc

The matches to predict are:

24th April 2018
Liverpool v Roma
25th April 2018
Bayern Munich v Real Madrid
1st May 2018
Real Madrid v Bayern Munich
2nd May 2018
Roma v Liverpool

In addition to the score prediction, each competitor must also predict one goal-scorer per match.

As usual, there will be 1pt for an outcome, 3pts if you get a result spot-on, and a bonus 1pt for each goal scored by your nominated goal-scorer in that particular match (and own goals will also count).

You cannot match anything with your opponent, so whilst first to post won't matter, it may make a difference in restricting popular options. For the second legs, the scores that matter (and goal-scorers) will be at the end of normal time - extra-time and/or penalties won't count.

If a tie-break is needed, it will be to predict the attendance at the next U's match, which is currently scheduled to be our last game of the season, at Exeter on Saturday 5th May. As a heads-up, the U's have been allocated 350 tickets, and me and Durham have one each already :-)

Good luck everyone
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Luton matchday thread
at 15:19 30 Mar 2018

Terrible injury to Luton midfielder Luke Berry, resulting in 12 minute delay whilst he was taken away in an ambulance - Eastman puts us 1-0 up almost straight from the re-start!

Come on Col U!
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U'sual Champions League - Quarter-finals
at 22:50 14 Mar 2018

As the dust settles on the UCL Round of 16, and with no extra-time needed for any matches, here are this weeks' results:
Man Utd 1 v 2 Sevilla
Roma 1 v 0 Shakhtar Donetsk
Besiktas 1 v 3 Bayern Munich
Barcelona 3 v 0 Chelsea

Group A
1} TheHappyGooner......2/8......14pts
2} BFG............................1/6......9pts

3} Daniel........................1/4......7pts
TheHapsG was always likely to claim first place, but this was consolidated with his Barca v Chelski spot-on tonight, and two more outcomes, to finish top on 14pts. Mind you, BFG was no slouch this week either, with another 5pts (including the Roma v Shakhtar spot-on) to finish in second place. Remarkably, despite missing six matches, at one moment tonight Daniel was lined up to sneak through with two spot-ons, until Messi scored Barcelona's third against Chelsea.

Group B
1} concordman..........3/8......17pts
2} mfb_cufc...............0/8......8pts

3} burnsieespana......0/6......6pts
The overall performance of this round is Concordman, picking up a massive 3 spot-ons and 8 outcomes to finish comfortably top on 17pts. MFB's impressive 50% outcome hit-rate was enough for second place on 8pts, ahead of Burnsie on 6pts.

Group C
1} thrillseeker..........2/6......12pts
2} gsy163.................1/9......12pts

3} durham_exile......0/7......7pts
With Gsy picking up 3 outcomes this week, it was a real nail-biter at the top, but Thrillseeker claimed first place after getting his Man U result spot-on, to finish on equal on 12pts, but top with 2 spot-ons. Durham did well with another 3 outcomes of his own this week, but the absence of spot-ons cost him.

Group D
1} RSCOSWORTH......2/5......11pts
2} Gate16.................2/4......10pts

3} gerry_us...............0/7......7pts
RS finished top, thanks to the Roma result spot-on and 2 other outcomes, but pressed hard by Gate with his own Besiktas result spot-on and another outcome. Commiserations to Gerry, who did well with 3 outcomes this week, but not enough to move into the top two qualifying slots.

So, with Winner A, Runner-Up B, Winner C, Runner-up D forming Group 1, and Runner-up A, Winner B, Runner-up C and Winner D forming Group 2 of the Quarter-finals, the groups are as follows:

Group 1
TheHappyGooner
mfb_cufc
thrillseeker
Gate16

Group 2
BFG
concordman
gsy163
RSCOSWORTH

Congratulations to the qualifiers, and commiserations to those that leave the competition at this stage. The quarter-final draw is this Friday - more news to follow after that.
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FAO Gate16 - U'sual Champions League
at 15:16 7 Feb 2018

Afternoon Gate16 - as Noah has gracefully declined from participating in the competition this season, and as you finished 13th in the qualification race, I would be pleased to offer you the opportunity to replace Noah in Group D, alongside Gerry and RS. I should add that both have been consulted, and are more than happy with this arrangement.
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U'sual Champions League - Round of 16 predictions
at 16:59 31 Dec 2017

Here are the fixtures for prediction, which commence on 13th February 2018:

First Legs
13/02/2018
FC Basel v Man City
Juventus v Spurs

14/02/2018
FC Porto v Liverpool
Real Madrid v PSG

20/02/2018
Chelsea v Barcelona
Bayern Munich v Besiktas

21/02/2018
Sevilla v Man Utd
Shakhtar Donetsk v Roma

Second Legs
06/03/2018
Liverpool v FC Porto
PSG v Real Madrid

07/03/2018
Man City v FC Basel
Spurs v Juventus

13/03/2018
Man Utd v Sevilla
Roma v Shakhtar Donetsk

14/03/2018
Besiktas v Bayern Munich
Barcelona v Chelsea

I will bump this nearer the time, but you are free to post some or all of your predictions at your leisure - deadline is kick-off for each game, which I understand are all scheduled to be 1945. A reminder that you can only exact match one prediction with either of your fellow group members during this stage of the competition, and top two based on points scored and number of spot-ons goes through. Should a tie-break be needed, it will be the attendance at the next U's match, which is currently scheduled to be U's v Yeovil at Fortress WHCS, on Saturday 17th March 2018.

Good luck everyone!
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