Tag

Spezia Calcio

Browsing

Long Shots: Battling points (week six)

I keep stats of the five relegation favourites at the bottom of these posts, and what’s becomng clear as things go on is that all these teams are competitive. I mean they’re losing more than they win, but they’re not conceding too many, and while they’re scoring still less, there are goals in them. Only Fulham, really, are letting the side down so far. Here’s how we’re going six weeks in…

Premier League: Fulham (evens to go down) 1-1 vs Sheffield United at away

Is it possible to have a relegation six-pointer only five games into the season? On the evidence of these two sides so far this season, I’d say that it is. Both are not only losing, but looking like they’ve not got a lot to offer.

This game was both competitive and highlighted where many of the problems are. Both clubs look incompetent up front, with Fulham struggling to fire at all even with the sometimes brilliant Mitrovic, and Sheffield United looking nothing like a team that threatened European football for most of last season.

Lookman and Loftus-Cheek, though, are quality signings, and an obvious lift to the overall strength of the team that might give them hope. Lookman fired in the Fulham opener here, though Mitrovic’s silly penalty miss cost them the game. In fact, both teams conceded ridiculous penalties. Still, at least it’s a point on the board for Fulham (game link). Arguably a good one, given they were away.

Long Shots: Win, win, win! (week four)

Welcome to a winning week – we’re starting to upset the odds! As it stands, ust one of my five relegation favourites are in the drop zone, and this week we got first league wins of the seasons for Arminia Bielefled, Spezia Calcio and Elche CF. The long-shots are taking shape…

Bundesliga: Arminia Bielefeld (5/6 on to be relegated) 1-0 at home to FC Koln

What a start to the season for Bielefeld, one that, amazingly considering the holders won 8-0 on the opening day, puts them above Bayern in the latest Bundesliga table, and outside the European places on goals scored.

Of course, Arminia haven’t played anyone that good yet (they’ve even lucky enough to have an indifferent Werder Bremen next), but points mean prizes, and Koln, who haven’t won a league game since March, are likely to be one of the teams Arminia are ultimately fighting to finish above.

This was a game of not many chances, but a glorious cameo in the form of substitute Joan Simun Edmundsson, a lad from the Faroe Islands who became the first-ever player from that corner of the globe to play in the Bundesliga. He promptly marked the occasion with a brilliant takedown and finish from a ludicrously tight angle to win the game.

Koln should have taken at least a point, and looked pretty toothless up top, but who cares. One of my teams is flying unexpectedly high…