No-one could have seen Leicester winning the league last year. It was one of the most unexpected things to happen in football history, one of those once-in-a-lifetime things that we’ll talk about for decades to come.
This year was supposed to be back to the beautiful, sepia-toned days of the 2014-15 season. The status quo would reassert itself and we’d go back to the predictable type of football that we all know and love, which we find relentlessly boring yet still talk non-stop about it.
And then last weekend happened. Leicester, now the reigning Premier League champions, took on Hull City. Hull are recently promoted but in disarray. They only had 13 senior players available. Their manager resigned, and has been temporarily replaced by Mike Phelan. Mike Phelan, whose main contribution to football so far was this:
And Hull won.
I… I don’t know what to say. Things were supposed to get more predictable again, and yet in the first game of the season the reigning champions lost to the favourites to get relegated. Somehow, someway, The Tigers beat The Foxes.
Hang on. The Tigers beat The Foxes. Is it just me, or does that totally make sense? Of course tigers would beat foxes. It’s a nature mismatch.
Maybe we’ve been going about it the wrong way all this time. Maybe, just maybe, the key to making things a bit predictable has been there in front of our faces all along.
With that in mind, I’m going to predict the results for this weekend using nothing more than literal translations of the nicknames. I’ll also throw in actual odds for the score via William Hill in case you are insane enough to try it.
Manchester United (The Red Devils) vs. Southampton (The Saints)
The weekend kicks off this evening at Old Trafford, and boy-oh-boy is it a stormer.
I mean, sure, the game should be decent, but just look at those nicknames. The Red Devils vs. The Saints. It’s going to be biblical.
I imagine that the Devils will probably get ahead, what with their satanic ways and all, but in the end light has to defeat the dark, doesn’t it? If I know anything about the Bible, and I don’t, it’s that the God team overcomes Satan’s crew in the end.
Prediction: Red Devils go 1-0 up early through sly means, but the Saints battle back to get a late winner. 2-1.
Stoke City (The Potters) vs. Manchester City (The Citizens)
Well, this one is less exciting.
A quick Google search leads me to believe there are 580 registered Potters in Great Britain. There are 65,162,405 citizens of the UK. That sounds like the kind of game of football you’d play on a camping trip with the Scouts or something.
Prediction: Given there are 112,349 times more citizens than potters, I think this might be a landslide. 8,000-0.
Odds: Unavailable for some reason.
Burnley (The Clarets) vs. Liverpool (The Reds)
3pm on Saturday will see the battle of the colours as claret takes on red. But which is better?
Claret is a little more unique, but it’s kind of depressing in a way. It feels dark, and sort of blood-like. Plus red is more flexible. That has to count for something.
Prediction: 3-1 to the primary colour.
Swansea City (The Swans) vs. Hull City (The Tigers)
Now we’re talking.
Swans are known to be far more dangerous than people expect, but they ain’t tigers. People already know how dangerous they are for a reason.
I imagine the swans will run around and flap their wings a lot, but the tigers will get to them eventually. If Attenborough has taught me anything, it’s that you can only run from a predator for so long before it finally catches you and mauls you to death. Which is, um, what I’m expecting here?
Prediction: 6-0 and a hell of a lot of blood for the Tigers
Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) vs. Crystal Palace (The Eagles)
Eesh. This sounds grim.
I imagine much of this game will be at arm/wing’s length, with spurs trying to get close enough to the eagles to attack, only for the eagles to fly away at the last minute. Eventually, once the spurs are close enough it’ll be on, and it’ll be a bloodbath.
Prediction: 4-0 to the pointy sharp object against the bird
Watford (The Hornets) vs. Chelsea (The Blues)
That doesn’t really work, does it? Hornets versus the colour blue? That’s like trying to compare a… a… well, a hornet to the colour blue. I don’t think there are two things less related than that.
Luckily, Chelsea have an older nickname that we may be able to use.
Prediction: Hornets versus pensioners? Holy sh*t, that sounds horrific. 5-0 to the fast moving stinging flying machines against the elderly, state-funded humans.
West Bromwich Albion (The Baggies) vs. Everton (The Toffees)
Apparently “The Baggies” nickname started life as a taunt from opposition fans about the baggy trousers won by the working class, miner West Brom fans.
Against toffees and those baggy trousers won’t be baggy for much longer.
Prediction: 1-0 to the Toffees in a tight affair (HA!)
Leicester City (The Foxes) vs. Arsenal (The Gunners)
I imagine foxes might actually do well in most matches, but against actual guns? Nah.
Prediction: 5-1 to the guys carrying the weapons. The one is for when a fox manages to bite one when he’s not paying attention.
Sunderland (The Black Cats) v Middlesbrough (The Boro)
If there’s a less interesting nickname than “The Boro”, then it’s “The Blues” for Chelsea. But apart from that it’s pretty bad.
Luckily, they are also sometimes known as “The Smoggies”. I don’t see cats handling heavy smog very well, but this is only over 90 minutes and these cats are lucky. I think they’ll be able to get by without dying, which I guess is a draw.
West Ham United (The Hammers) vs. AFC Bournemouth (The Cherries)
A heavy blunt object designed to smack in to things vs. a small fruit? This is as one-sided as the hornets versus those poor, poor pensioners.
Odds: Also strangely unavailable.
So there are my tips. If you were to lay just £1 on each and they all come in you’d make a cool £1,186.50. And that doesn’t even count the odds you’d get on West Ham to win 27-0 or Man City to win 8,000-0. There’s your profit.
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