Sunday, 19 May 2019

Eurovision Song Contest 2019 Result

It's the guilty pleasure of millions and I'm sure many of you tuned in once again to the Eurovision song contest, this year held in Tel Aviv, Israel. Whether it was the powerful and heartfelt Arcade (Duncan Laurence - Netherlands), crazed S&M screamfest HatriĆ° mun sigra (Hatari - Iceland) or Catchy Yodelfest Spirit in the Sky (KEiiNO - Norway) there was something here for everyone. We even got to see Madonna successfully traverse a flight of stairs for once. The annual campfest had it all.

Going into the 2019 show the Netherlands entry was even money favourite, and it was certainly hard to deny that it was a stellar entry. I watched the show with my brother, and opted to support the visual spectacle that was the Australian entry, while my brother opted for the Norwegian entry. Sadly neither of us held much hope for the uninspiring UK entry (Bigger Than Us by Michael Rice) We were proved right on that count at least, as the UK came last.

Following the entertaining performances, the jury vote seems very all over the place, but I did have an inkling that the song by North Macedonia wouldn't do as well with the public as it had unfathomably done with judges across Europe. As it turned out, the favourite from the Netherlands did end up winning, though at several stages throughout it wasn't quite a formality. Interestingly. the Norwegian entry actually received more votes from the public than any of the other entries! (see below) It's a shame the judges didn't see it in the same light. In fact. the Netherlands didn't win the public or the jury vote, they just ranked highly enough in both to take the title.


Eurovision Jury Vote (won by Sweden)


Eurovision Telephone Vote (won by Norway)

Overall result - Top Ten:

Netherlands: 492
 Italy: 465
Russia: 369
Switzerland: 360
Norway: 338
Sweden: 332
Azerbaijan: 297
North Macedonia: 295
Australia: 285
Iceland: 234


Eurovision Song Contest 2019 Winner - Duncan Laurence - Arcade




Friday, 10 May 2019

Brighton vs Manchester City


With the Premier League title on the line, Manchester City travel to now-safe Brighton and Hove Albion. Funnily enough, the freedom from relegation might just open Brighton up to give a bit more than they usually can in the big games. With so much sitting on this one match, though, it’s hard to know how the nerves will impact upon City. The Citizens have been tremendous in 2019, their UEFA Champions League defeat aside, so a slip-up would seem very rare indeed. Stranger things, though, have happened (have they?).

Brighton News


The Seagulls arrive at their last home game of the season knowing they’ll compete for a third year in a row in the Premier League. That should give them some relief from the challenges and fears to come. Jose Izquierdo and Davy Propper will miss out here. Expect to see Anthony Knockaert play again, as well as Pascal Gross.

Brighton will be reliant, as ever, on the goals of Glenn Murray. If they are going to shock the world, it’ll be down to the big man up-front.

Manchester City News


Meanwhile, City are without Kevin de Bruyne and most likely Fernandinho. However, Liverpool fans should not get too excited; City have been missing the dynamic duo for some time now, and have kept the wins rolling in. If they miss out, expect Phil Foden to take part in this showpiece occasion, with Ilkay Gundogan and David Silva likely to play alongside him.

Bernardo Silva and Raheem Sterling will power the flanks, with Sergio Aguero likely through the middle.

Verdict


City win. If they slip up now, it would probably be the single greatest slip-up in English history – unless Liverpool manage to fail as well. They have won 13 on the spin; it would be an incredible shock to see them do anything other than make that 14 wins in a row.

City to win, and lift the title in the process. There’s a reason the ‘real’ Premier League is going to Brighton, and a replica is heading off to Anfield: the chances of a City slip-up are almost nil.

Saturday, 4 May 2019

Leicester vs Manchester City


With Liverpool playing on Saturday, Manchester City will spend two days waiting for Leicester City to arrive knowing they could either wrap the title up, or have to battle to get to the top again. It will be an interesting challenge, and though it would be a massive shock for a City slip-up now, odder things have happened in the past. Can City make sure they sow up the league title?

Manchester City News


The loss of Kevin de Bruyne is obviously ak ick in the teeth, and the fact that Benjamin Mendy and Fernandinho will both miss out is also a bit of a blow. However, for City, they have the nous, the depth, and the quality to come out of this without too much effort. We can see them winning here thanks to the depth of their attack, with the trio of Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane and Sergio Aguero

Leicester City News


With just Daniel Amartey out, the Foxes have a full complement to pick from. They have nothing really to worry about, and will likely go with the same team that they went with last week. They have been quite stable and solid under Brendan Rodgers in that regard, and we do not really expect that to change here.

They have a solid base to work from, so we cannot see them risking that needlessly.

Verdict


City win – and by a fair amount. Leicester are a good side, but the motivation in winning a title will see City come out on top and win the match without much effort. We fancy Jamie Vardy to score, but other than that we can see this being easy for the Blues.

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Champions League - Barcelona vs Manchester United (Agg 1-0)


As two of the biggest teams in the world, it should shock absolutely nobody that Barcelona and Manchester City are in the last eight of the UEFA Champions League. After a dour win at Old Trafford in the first leg, can Barcelona make the most of their growing advantage and put the Red Devils to the sword in Barcelona?

Barcelona News


The only missing party for the home side is going to be that of Rafinha. The talented Brazilian will sit this one out, having suffered an injury again. However, the return of Ousmane Dembele is timely: he’s likely to take a starting berth ahead of Philippe Coutinho. This match-up should be an interesting one, with Dembele likely running at either Ashley Young or Antonio Valencia.

Sergi Roberto or Arturo Vidal are likely to be fit enough to return to the midfield, a well, in what should give them some extra energy to compete against the English outfit.

Manchester United News


United, meanwhile, are missing a fair few of their main players. For one, Antonio Valencia might not make it; the same goes for Eric Bailly and Nemanja Matic. Luke Shaw is out for sure, as is Ander Herrera. Shaw is suspended.

This will likely mean a start for both Matteo Darmian and Diogo Dalot, with the latter likely playing in the midfield. Scott McTominay will play again, as will Marcus Rashford. Expect Jesse Lingard to start ahead of Juan Mata, who is being linked with a move to Barcelona.

United are short in numbers, which could mean that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has to get pretty creative with his line-up.

Verdict


Barcelona to go through. United have grit in abundance, but performances recently have been poor. Barcelona are unlikely to fall to pieces as they did last year against AS Roma, or as Paris Saint-Germain did in the last sixteen.

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Manchester City vs Cardiff


If ever a game sounded like a gimme at this time of the season, it’s this. Despite Sergio Aguero likely missing out, we can expect to see Cardiff City struggle here. Neil Warnock has not gotten many results of note against he biggest teams in his tenure as a Premier League coach. With Manchester City on an incredible run, it’s unlikely that this will change on Wednesday night.

Manchester City News


As mentioned above, the loss of Sergio Aguero is a minor blow for Manchester City. So, too, is the continued absence of Fabian Delph and Benjamin Mendy. Vincent Kompany will miss out, too, which will probably give Pep Guardiola one or two things to think about.

For this game, though, they could just about field any side and probably get the three points. Cardiff are in freefall, and aren’t doing great whatsoever in terms of results or performances. City have enough firepower on the bench and in the squad to overcome them: expect them to come out flying here and do the damage regardless of injuries.

Cardiff City News


Cardiff will be without Callum Paterson and Sol Bamba, as well as Matthew Connolly. Manager Warnock has threatened to play a weakened team, which is ironic given his decade-plus long tirade against West Ham United for the same thing. They’ll probably go with many of the same team who played at the weekend in the shocking loss to Chelsea.

Two wins in their last six, though, does leaves the away side with little hope.

Verdict


Anything but City plus two goals seems generous. Cardiff are running out of games to stay up with, but we don’t see them getting anything from this. City are in the title hunt, and should clear one of the easiest hurdles that they have left at present.