Most of us might think our season is 'livin' on a prayer' (Jurgenawinit Again), but in the well known lines of another hit, "It ain't over, til' it's over". There's hope for everyone. Et nous avons encore le meilleur à venir, as they say round these parts.
As R25 is done, we now make the turn and head for home, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to wish you all a great second half of the season, all the best of hopes and luck for 2024 and a great Christmas.
And, whilst watching all the old Christmas Specials this week, it did remind me of Xmases gone by.
I used to love the old annuals at Christmas, Roy of The Rovers and Victor were always my favourites, possibly a bit later on, Shoot and I think Match Of The Day were favs.
So I thought, I'd give a bit of a more detailed summary in 'A Xmas Bumper' edition here, to cover what's been going on, and provide a reminder of what interesting stuff (OK, only I find most of it interesting) is on the website, and where to find it, and perhaps just remind what's coming up between R26 & R50.
As always, everything that's happening every Round can be tracked 'Live' on the Dashboard, and currently you can check if I've got your Boxing Day guesses here, by ensuring Buddy The Elf appears next to your team name!! As a result of the Dashboard being constantly updated, actually most of what's mentioned in the updates has been noted there, before the report comes out.
I've mentioned a few times if you did want to have a root around the site, it's usually easier to view on a laptop or iPad rather than your phone.
So here goes with the Xmas Update for Round 25.
After yesterdays League decider between Liverpool & Arsenal, if the Premier League finished now, then Woolwich would be Champions. Over the last 38 Premier League games, Arsenal win by a clear 4 points, City are runners-up, Villa 3rd, Liverpool 4th, and Spurs ahead of United & United on goal difference.
This table quite simply replaces last seasons results, with this seasons result. So last season, the match at Anfield finished 2-2, so this seasons result, 1-1 replaces that. Actually last season Forest got beat 2-3 at home by Bournemouth as well, and Palace and Brighton drew 1-1!!
Where teams are playing promoted sides, the closest result from last season against the relegated sides is replaced. Most improved is a little unfair to get over-excited about. City finished on 89 points last season, so not too much room for improvement, and shite seasons last time round, (Chelsea & Spurs), means that 'improvement' is arbitrary.
No getting away from the numbers posted by Villa, Everton and Bournemouth though.
The Finale of the Grand Prix Trophy takes place over the next 12 games. Since Round 1, teams have been winning points for finishing in the top 10 each Round, the winner getting 25 points, 2nd place 18, third 15, similar to the way points are won in F1. The points won though have been 'Pure' points. No Banker wins or losses are taken into account, just correct results and scores.
In Round 25, McGinn & Tonic topped the podium ahead of The Old Aprentices and Chips & Gravy.
McGinn have had an impressive run in, with two 6th places and now 2 wins in the last 5 rounds. It's pushed them into the chance of winning the competition.
All those in the 'Green' are within a shout, and as only M&T scored in the top 10 this time, it's potentially any ones. As a footnote, at 1-0 to Wolves, You'll Never Guess Alone had also made the green section.... Hey Ho (HO HO).
The winner will pick up £100, runner-up picks up £30.
From Round 28, the Last Team Standing competition will start, where each round the bottom team(s) will be 'Out Out'. Everyone is in that from the start. Full points for this one, so Banker points included!
It will start with, no getting away from it, the worst team being eliminated each week, until Round 40, when the bottom two will go out. In the event of the lowest team being in a tie, they will escape elimination. The Final will be won by the best team left in the competition in Round 50.
The Picks leaders have been close to the summit since early on this season, and have benefitted from good selections made in the League, and the Cup Competitions, so far.....
You'll Never Guess Alone took this round, ahead of Hunterzmoon and Scoregasms.
Todabogs are out on top, ahead of Lard Lovers XI, as the two change places frequently. The 'peleton' led by Jolly Green Sleeping Giants, continue to chase.
If you remember, you could pick 4 teams from the Premier, 4 from the Championship and 5 from League 1, 2 & The National. Teams from leagues across Europe as well as then teams from all the cup contests, at the beginning of the season.
So far across all the categories, I've tracked 2,699 games (LOL).
The Tables can all be viewed here, definitely better viewed on a laptop.
The Pick leaders have chosen well across those groups. Todabogs appear in the best 10 for the Premier, Championship and Lower Leagues groups, whilst Lard Lovers XI have the best picks in the Championship and Lower Leagues.
These are the league places based on points won in this competition by the teams in each division in this competition, not the actual tables, and therefore cover the teams you're winning points in The Picks with. The easiest way I can show who's doing well is to add up the positions the teams are in, so the higher placed your teams are, the smaller your total will be.
Cup Compeititons will make a big impact now during the second half of the season. Points increase each round a team progresses. In the Carabao SFs only Jolly Green Sleeping Giants are guaranteed a finalist, with Chelsea & Middlesbrough in their Picks. You'll Never Guess Alone also have 2 picks left, Liverpool & Chelsea, and could be the only one with two finalists. 29 of the 55 still have interest with a team left in the contest, the majority being behind Liverpool or Chelsea.
14 of us have 6 out of 6 still left in the European Competitions, whilst Bakers Dozen have had a bit of a mare and have only one side left in Europe. In the FA Cup, we had 7 Picks in total, 2 from the Premier, 2 form the Championship and one each from L1, L2 & NL. Red Dogs, Muzzy's Allstars & RonalDeanio are the only teams left with a full compliment still left in.
And there's also the cups in France, Italy, Spain & Germany, where after two rounds, only four of us have teams left in the competition!!! Still loads of twists and turns to take place in The Picks as the points ratchet up as we move through the rounds.
As well as finishing in the top 3 of the Picks this time round, there are also 3 random prizes on offer. These are currently paying out to 24th, 45th and 52nd place teams, but obviously won't stay here, and could finish any where.
The Head2Head Divisions run in the background. Every Round, you go H2H with a team in the same division as you, and at the end of each season, promotion and relegation takes place. All for Kudos, nothing more important. After R24, the top of each table is as follows. Saved By The Belle, McGinn & Tonic, Muzzy's AllStars and Ally's Army top the tables after 9 rounds in this season, with 6 rounds to play.
And for kudos only, from R27, until R50, the Fans League & Fans Cup will start. We've 20 teams represented across the guessing, and all will go H2H in League games and a Cup competition. I'm not saying the most knowledgable fans will win, but you never know.
Nearly done. Lastly, but no means least, the League Competition.
Top score this round was Surreal Madrid, in new eight rounds ago when a number of you joined in, with Ange Management second. Still top score this season, 93.85, comes from MC11 in Round 7, where Inter Row-Z scored the next best scores of 88.04. Points from every round are on the link, including Addicks Fans MINUS 42.11 in R23. Cash is on offer for the top two scores.
The top of the table is still led by 2 T'Wire, despite another negative score, and Scoregasms have closed the gap to less than 10 points.
There's obviously still another 25 rounds to go, so still not celebrating winning a title here.
R26 starts Boxing Day, and runs over a few days, before R27 sees out 2023 and heralds in the New Year.
Time to get some points accumulating whilst you stuff your face with turkey and left-overs.
And don't forget that the FA Cup Competition will also be with us the first week in January, and if you've not registered, then shout. Also, it's open to everyone and anyone, so share around, mates, family players in any other footy competitions you're involved in, share it around.
So that's pretty much it.... For this Round.
Remember to get R26 in before Boxing Day deadline... I will chase you