FC Metz


Long shots: Adding Fulham, Spezia Calcio and Elche to the plan (week two)

This is starting, just a little, to liven up. With the final European seasons on the horizon, I now have four confirmed teams to follows, though as of yet only two have actually kicked a competitive league ball. Here’s who the odds have chosen as my sides for the season (see here), and how Fulham and FC Metz did last weekend…

Premier League: Fulham (evens to go down) 0-3 v Arsenal at home (league game one)

Day one, and Fulham, who the fairly ungenerous bookies had at evens to go down on the opening day of the season, get hammered at home by Arsenal. To be fair, the way the Premier League is at this stage, getting any points at all from the top few clubs when you’re hanging at the bottom is a bonus (hell, Villa got nothing worth mentioning out of the top half until the final few games last year, and still stayed up).

Fulham will clearly be better up-front with the return of Mitrovic, who made a brief late appearance here. He’s a bit of a battering ram but a damn effective one who I expect to finish the season with a good 15 goals. Worryingly, it’s the defence that looks shaky at the moment; the first two goals were scrambly type efforts that Arsenal got the better and suggest this Fulham team might not be quite scrappy enough – Arsenal aren’t exactly known for their fight (the third from Aubangayang was quality). It’s early days, but it could be a long, long season for Fulham, and there’s little to inspire here.

Long Shots: Unlucky FC Metz lose to Monaco (week one)

I’d like to pretend I spent months planning this ‘long shots’ project (explained here, if you’re catching up), but I didn’t. In fact, it occurred to me a few days before I wrote the intro post outlining the plan, and that means I’m learning on the fly. That will apply particularly to the French league, which is not something I spend any time on normally, to be honest.

It worked out well, then, that Metz got underway over the weekend against Monaco with none of my other four (as yet unchosen) sides having started their season.

I was surprised to see France is allowing reasonable (though much reduced) attendances, and the below highlights feature Metz fans socially distancing on terraces and seating as they watch their team.

FC Metz finished 15th last season, and actually won only three fewer games than Monaco before the league was called to a halt with about ten games to go. Monaco are, it’s fair to say, not the force they once were. The current Metz team has a heavy African influence, and of the 15 players who appeared on Sunday (yes, they’re still allowing five substitutes), 11 were of African origin, including 8 of the starters.