Sunday, 17 June 2018

World Cup 2018: Tunisia v England

After so long waiting to put right the errors of 2014, England can finally make a mark on the FIFA World Cup once again. They arrive at the tournament loaded with pace, athleticism and ingenuity. Add in a nice blend of youth and a real desire to make up for lost time for some of the more experienced players, and this is an England side to be very excited by. Can they do anything here with Tunisia, though?

On paper, it sounds like an easy game. England fans will know, though, that’s not often the case.


Tunisia News
With star man Youssef Msakni out for the long-term, Tunisia have turned their eyes elsewhere for inspiration. In Naim Sliti and Anice Badri, they have two options who might be able to offer something else instead. In midfield, we expect to see Ferjani Sassi and Ellyes Skhiri start together, with Saif-Eddine Khaoui in behind Fakhreddine Youssef.

In defence, we expect to see Syam Ben Youssef and Yassoune Meriah line up together for the Tunisians in what is a solid, strong line-up.


England News
With the rumour that Jordan Henderson will get the nod ahead of Erci Dier, we might see a Hendrson and Dele Alli midfield partnership. Jesse Lingard is expected to play in behind Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane, with the two forward offering a decent tandem partnership up top.

Ashley Young and Kieran Trippier will be expected to provide the width, with Kyle Walker playing as a third center-back at present for club and country. John Stones and Harry Maguire will likely take the other two defensive spots.

Jack Butland looks set to sit out for Jordan Pickford in goals.


Verdict

Hard one to call. Tunisia, on paper, are the kind of team that England should dismiss. They are, however, a decent outfit and any complacency will be strongly punished. We expect an England win, but for the Three Lions to make extra hard work of it dont they always?

Monday, 4 June 2018

Britain's Got Talent 2018 Final - Voting Percentages

Well that was certainly an entertaining final and Lost Voice Guy, aka Lee Ridley, a deserving winner. Britain's Got Talent must be a brutal competition to come second in, considering it's the difference between £250,000 and zilch, but as with all of these shows there has to be a winner.

Performing early has historically been something of a kiss of death on BGT, whereas appearing later in the running order provides a boost. With that in mind as there wasn't much separating first and second place (Lost Voice Guy - 21%, Robert White 17.2%) it makes me wonder who might have come out on top had their performance order been reversed. But still both performed well and either would've been a deserving winner. Brave performances from both in their own way.

B Positive Choir certainly highlighted a worthy cause, but they finished bottom and in many ways I'd have rather the likeable and cheeky Mandy Muden had been given the wild card entry.

The Giang Brothers once again impressed with an unbelievable physical display. DVJ and Micky P Kerr perhaps gave their best prior to the final, as this wasn't the best performance for either. It must be difficult for acts to judge really though, as getting through each round is far from a formality and so you have to give your best.

An entertaining series all in all. The full Britain's Got Talent voting results are below!


FINAL


Lost Voice Guy- 21.0%

Robert White - 17.2%

Donchez Dacres - 11.2%

Gruffydd Wyn - 11.2%

Giang Brothers - 9.5%

DVJ - 7.1%

The D-Day Darlings - 7.1%

Jack & Tim - 6.2%

Calum Courtney - 3.5%

Micky P Kerr - 3.3%

B Positive Choir - 2.7%

Sunday, 3 June 2018

Britain's Got Talent Final 2018

Britain's Got Talent certainly builds up a head of steam as it approaches the final and the need to whittle down the contestants becomes a priority. On Friday for instance we lost Father Ray Kelly, a favourite of many, and the 'naughty but nice' Mandy Muden, perhaps one of the few genuinely funny comedians to have graced the BGT stage. It's pretty much the luck of the draw at the semi finals, where you can either breeze through or struggle depending on who you happen to be up against. There is of course still the 'wild card' to consider though, and so it's not over 'til it's over.



But as it stands the finalists are:

Singers


D-Day Darlings - Performers of Vera Lynn's 'We'll Meet Again'. Where the patriotic vote might find a home.

Calum Courtney -  10years old. Sang Michael Jackson's Who's Lovin You

Gruffydd Wyn Roberts -  A 22 year old singer from Wales

Tim and Jack Goodacre - The father and son singing duo

Donchez Dacres - An entertaining 60 year old singer. This year's 'fun/ light relief' act. Winner of heat (somehow!)


Comedy


Micky P Kerr -  Singing comedian and all round nice guy! Winner of his heat.

Lost Voice Guy - Inventive taped act by comedian with cerebral palsy Lee Ridley. Winner of his heat.
 
Robert White - musical comedian with Aspergers.  Didn't hold back when addressing the judges! Winner of his heat.


Dance and Gymnastic


The Giang Brothers - Acrobats showcasing their amazing body strength and balance.


DVJ (Diversity Juniors) - Young dance troupe. The brainchild of Ashley Banjo from Diversity. Winners of their heat.


My initial thought is that it's a wide open year, with a collection of genuinely good and very diverse acts, so betting wise that makes it tricky.

I honestly think that the sheer number of singers compared to other acts, makes it more difficult for any of them to individually get enough of the vote, so I'm tempted to rule them out. Interestingly, no singer, other than humour based singing acts, won any of the semis.

Of the other acts, I don't think Micky P Kerr has enough to win, Lost Voice Guy is definitely in with a shot, and with Robert White  it's dependent on what he brings in the final. He goes close to the knuckle, so if he gets it right on the night, he's in with a shot.

As for the other acts, dance act Diversity Juniors clearly have good pedigree and so that works in their favour. Giang brothers were amazing, but didn't win their semi (Micky P Kerr beat them) so that doesn't bode well for winning the final.

So I'd say it's out of DVJ, Robert White and Lost Voice Guy. As the only dance act, and with proven form with the grown up Diversity, I'm going to predict DVJ as winners at 7/2. Enjoy the show!