Season 8 - Week 3

First off, apologies for the missing analysis in previous weeks, due to my impending fatherhood I have been somewhat busy at work trying to get everything done before I go off for two weeks on holi.... Paternity leave.

On to business, well boy have I missed a lot, it is only week 3 and already we have seen the highest odds record matched by Tim Hughes and Nik Simms, and the corresponding potential for record breaking seasons.  After 3 weeks their lead at the top is £6-8 clear of 3rd, but they still need to pick winners to ensure that the gap is not closed..... a tough ask for these perennial underachievers.

At the bottom we have eight without a winner, the notable names being Gary Lewis and Simon Gurd, both Pele league hopefuls, both having the worst possible start.

A disappointing start as well for the newest overseas players, with both Ayako and Goga suffering in the early stages.... maybe we should allow them to bet on baseball and sumo wrestling instead (stereotypical? me?)

Pele League

Given the Pele league has more big guns than Debbie does Dallas, it is perhaps unfair to say the big guns are misfiring, but Messrs Ingham, Rosser, Gurd and Lewis have decorated the upper echelons for so long, it is a major surprise to see them at the occupy the bottom four spots.

Nevertheless, the semi-big guns of Kelly and Noyce occupy the top two spots and Kelly in particular has started off like a domestic building en flagrante, storming into +£4.75 and 3rd overall (althoughlike the Chinese women's long distance running records as not really counted, some would say that he is really in first)

In third is the return of the Shak(espeare) and he is joined in the top half by bookies favourites for the drop, Cornwall and Clare.  Tim Lines is hovering precariously.

Maradona League

What a rubbish league, Matthew Gibbons is the only person in positive figures (what a hero!), but with Drury (-£0.60) and Pilkington (-£0.72) occupying the other promotion spots, it is hardly competitive, although with mediocrity abound, we can at least eulogise over the tightness, with only 8p separating 3rd from 6th and £1 2nd to 9th, this league is as open as a bookies on Easter Friday.

Only the disappointing Southworth (oh how he wished I wasn't around to do the analysis this week) has failed to pick a winner, the normally reliable Everton being..... well unreliable.

Oh and I'm beating my Dad, woohoo!

Lineker League

Matt Bailey leads the way, backing the Spanish giants Goliatho (okay Barcelona) to beat Valladolid (try saying that when you're drunk).  Nick Lines seems to have found his level after two relegations and has started brightly... at least in comparison to the other dullards in the league, with nary a winner above 1.53 this league is hardly exciting!  The bottom six all picked losers, consigning the rapidly falling Holland and fast-fading Virdi to a 0% record and relegation nightmares.

Dickov League

The top four all lost... but retained their top four positions, as the five beneath them all picked winners of 1.40 or less, prising the dullard award from the Lineker league and embracing it fully.  None of the top fours picks were outrageous, but in a week of shock results they came unstuck in a horrible fashion.

At the bottom Wrigley did go for a longer shot (although given their form betting against Newcastle can not really be termed outrageous!), but the Toon's first win under Keegan did for him, and he now sits at the bottom without a winner all season.  Joining him in the bottom three is Wickett and Malone, who will both have high hopes of not only escaping relegation but also mounting a promotion charge (don't we all this time of the season!)

Lee League

Tim Hughes £11 win in week 1, has all but sewn up the title, but behind him a high quality race for promotion (belying the low league status) has started, impressive winners for Drury, Roberts and Callan have hauled back Jones (A) after a good start and with positive figures all the way down to Ross Jones in 7th, an epic battle for the two remaining promotion spots is assured.  7/10 in a week is an impressive return for the league in a difficult week and augurs well for a competitive season.

At the bottom there is no-one with no winners (the only league to boast this feat) and correspondingly there is no-one cast adrift.  A plethora of Jones's litter the bottom four, with a solitary Firth intertwined in the relegation battle.

Dia League

8/11 represents the best performance of any league this week, and the Dia League should be suitably congratulated.  Heading the way is Nik Simms who looks set to break David Rossers' record season.... if only he can find 7 more Celtic v Gretnas!  Despite the good week, only 3 other contestants are in positive figures, after a poor start in general, and at the moment it is Bradley, Curphin and Tustin making a name for themselves, it is a long way up to the Pele League, but at least they are moving in the right direction!

Behind them are is a mixture of fallen stars and eager beavers, with Hickey and Lewis keen to regain their previous heights (although with poor starts they should be more fearful of further falls).  Martins, Tustin (B), Brennan, Ono and Nikuradze are relatively inconnu in the predicting game, and need to raise their performance levels and profiles to be taken seriously.

Hopefully I'll be around to write my analysis next week, but if you see a new Gibbons popping up in the Holdsworth league, then please bear with me, the nappy changing may take priority for a while!



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