Darts Nickname

Using the Sky Sports Darts Nickname Generator, my darts nickname is…

#LoveTheDarts

A post shared by Matt (@matt.oswin) on

Two questions for you.

1. What is your darts nickname?
2. As Matt ‘The Mint’ Oswin, what should my walk on music be?

Leave a comment with your answers.

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Champions League 17/18 Last 16 Draw

The draw has been made for the Last 16 of the Champions League.

Juventus V Tottenham Hotspur

An interesting looking tie. Spurs topped their group (arguably surprisingly) and have been rewarded with a tie against a traditional European powerhouse. A tie that could go all the way to penalties, but I think Juventus will be able to find a way to progress.

Basel V Manchester City

Manchester City will have too much firepower for Basel and will qualify for the Quarter Finals. I would expect them to qualify quite comfortably.

Porto V Liverpool

I would expect Liverpool’s front four to overwhelm Porto and secure their passage to the Quarter Finals. However, Liverpool’s defensive issues give Porto a chance and it is unlikely to be as comfortable as Liverpool would hope.

Sevilla V Manchester United

A tricky tie for Manchester United, but I expect Mourinho to mastermind a victory across the two legs. I think they will qualify by the odd goal in the tie.

Real Madrid V Paris Saint Germain

PSG’s reward for topping their group is a Last 16 clash against the defending champions. It’s definitely the tie of the round as strong arguments could be made for either team winning the competition. Both teams have an abundance of attacking talents, but I think Real’s defence is slightly stronger and this will be enough for them to edge past PSG.

Shakhtar Donetsk V Roma

A trip to Ukraine is always tricky, but I expect that Roma will have enough over the two games to qualify for the Quarter Finals.

Chelsea V Barcelona

If Conte is serious about Chelsea being out of the title race, they may focus on the Champions League, making them dangerous opponents. Barcelona are not quite the force they have been in the past, but I think they will be able to get past Chelsea.

Bayern Munich V Besiktas

Turkey can be a difficult place to visit for teams in the Champions League, but I can see Bayern Munich heading there with a comfortable lead that will see them progress.

The Group of Death is…

Information about the groups (and my thoughts) can be found here.

After voting, leave a comment with why you voted for the group that you did.

World Cup 2018 Draw

The draw for the 2018 World Cup was made earlier today.

Group A: Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay

I would imagine that Uruguay are happy with their draw and will be favourites to qualify from the group. The other three teams will all believe that they have a chance of qualifying for the second round. I think that Egypt will qualify just ahead of Russia.

Group B: Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran

A group that looks quite straight forward; I would expect the Iberian neighbours to qualify from the group with relative ease.

Group C: France, Australia, Peru, Denmark

France will be favourites to qualify from the group and I expect them to do so. The other three teams will fancy their chances, but I think Denmark will finish as group runners-up.

Group D: Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria

An interesting looking group. The firepower of Argentina should see them through. The expectation would be for Croatia V Nigeria to be the game that decides who joins Argentina in qualifying from the group, but underestimating Iceland is never a wise idea… Having said that, I think Nigeria will qualify along with Argentina.

Group E: Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia

It’s difficult to see Costa Rica progressing from the group, but the same was said at the last World Cup and they qualified as group winners. Brazil will win the group and I think they will be joined by Switzerland.

Group F: Germany, Sweden, Mexico, South Korea

The Group of Death! Germany will be favourites to progress as group winners, something I am sure they will be keen to achieve as the runners up are likely to face Brazil in the second round. A strong case can be made for the each of the other three teams, but I think Germany will be joined Mexico.

Group G: Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England

A group that looks straight forward on paper, but (as the cliche goes) football is not played on paper. Belgium and England will be strong favourites to progress from the group. However, for all their talented players, Belgium seem to struggle as a team. England find it difficult to break down sides that defend deep and look for either a draw or a goal on the counter. I would expect Tunisia and Panama to play quite defensively against Belgium and England. I think the two European sides will progress, but not necessarily as easy as some are predicting.

Group H: Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan

A group that appears to be quite open. An argument for any combination progressing could be made, but I think Poland and Colombia will be the two sides to make it to the second round.

Leave a comment and let me know who you think will qualify from each group.

Simulating Russia 2018 – The Final

How has the World Cup Final been reached? See my previous predictions based on a simulated draw.

Group Stage

Last 16

Quarter-Finals

Semi-Finals

Third Placed Playoff

Germany V Brazil

A clash of footballing superpowers as the two best teams in the world meet in the World Cup Final. Brazil have a score to settle following their Semi-Final clash in the 2014 World Cup, that saw Germany triumph 7-1 over the hosts. Brazil are determined that Germany will not do the same again and set up deeper than they have in previous matches. They succeed in frustrating German attacks, whilst posing a danger of their own when attacking. It’s an interesting match and with 10 minutes to go, the scores are level. The final German substitution proves to be the pivotal moment of the game as with 5 minutes to go, the fresh pair of legs is able to put away a chance and win the World Cup for Germany. Their strength in depth has been key throughout the tournament and they are worthy winners.

Let me know how you think this World Cup Final would play out by leaving a comment.

Simulating Russia 2018 – Third Placed Playoff

Catch up on my earlier predictions following a simulated World Cup draw.

Group Stage

Last 16

Quarter-Finals

Semi-Finals

Uruguay V France

Traditionally, the third placed playoff tends to be an open game as neither team really wants to be there. This one proves no exception as both sides launch attack after attack. Uruguay pip a heavily rotated French side by the odd goal.

Let me know who you think would win by leaving a comment.

The next post will be the World Cup Final.