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Picking Your Squad

Updated: Jun 22

Before a ball is kicked in Season 22/23, you'll need to assemble your 'Squad' of teams and players that will then work for you in 'The Lottery' contest that will run until the final ball of the Season is kicked in the League & Cup games included in that contest.


A selection is needed from every group, and you can make these if you wish, or leave them to chance. You can even pick the same team in multiple sections, for example if you think Arsenal will win the Premier League, the FA Cup, the Carabao Cup, the Europa League and will be the dirtiest team in the Premier League, and will win the Women's Super League and Women's FA Cup then you can pick them. You can't pick them to win the Champions League though (LOL). You can even pick Arsenal players from the goalscorer, keeper and dirtiest player groups..


Likewise, if the thought of being allocated any Manchester United, or any Chelsea players, in any category, physically results in the taste of vomit in your mouth, then you need to make sure this doesn't happen by making choices in the groups they appear in, to avoid the chance of being allocated them randomly.


If you want, you can pick from just a few groups, and leave the rest of the choices to chance. You might want to pick from the Premier League, and the Main Cup Competitions, but leave everything else to the luck of the draw.


Or you can join, and just leave everything to chance.

Everything has been handicapped to 'level' the playing field a little, so this is perhaps not as crazy a notion as you think.


HOWEVER, if you are going to make picks, you're going to want to know how the categories work, and what are teams being awarded and deducted points for, so you can make an 'educated' decision regarding those picks. Won't you.


And importantly if you're competing in the Main Competition, 5% of the points your team wins here will also be added to your points tally there, as you earn them, so the 'Picks' could be critical come the end of the campaign.

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So here's a brief explanation about the groups, how teams will be handicapped, and how points will be scored...... You never know, a team might end up winning the 'Quad'.


League Groups


Teams will get 7 Points for a Win, 2 Points for a Draw.. In addition they will be awarded a point for the margin of victory (a 3 goal margin is worth 3 extra points). Additional points will be awarded for multiple goal scorers (each player scoring 2 goals in a game will be worth 2 bonus points) and a player scoring a hat-trick or more will be worth a 5 point bonus. Yellow Cards will carry a 2 point penalty, a second yellow an additional 2 point penalty, a straight red, a 6 point penalty.


Every team has a handicap score allocated to them. The intention of the handicap is to create a more 'level' playing field in each and every group. Handicaps have been calculated by simply using the points scored by the lowest team in the division last season, and comparing this to the points total from the other teams in the division, at the end of 21/22.

As an example the choices available in the Women's Super League are shown here.


Chelsea won the league narrowly from Arsenal, and they both carry the same handicap.


Liverpool replaced Birmingham who were relegated. The bottom teams (and the teams that replace them) have the highest handicap score.


Effectively wins against the top teams by teams that just escaped relegation last season, or that are newly promoted, will carry a higher value than similar rated teams beating each other. A Leicester win over Manchester City would be worth nearly 2x as much to them, as a Man City win would in the same game.


Full details of all the points scoring will be on the website.


Cup Competitions Groups


The value of the wins in the Cups will increase round by round. Wins in the 1st Round the team takes part in will be worth 5 points, 2nd Round 10 points, 3rd Round 15 points, and so on, The result WILL include extra-time and penalties, and therefore there will be no draws. If replays are re-introduced into the FA Cup, the result will be determined at the end of the replay.


In Cups where entry is staged, the Round could be different for the teams involved. In the FA Cup, for example, a League 1 team, let's say Derby County, would win 15 points if they won a game in the 3rd Round, whereas, Sunderland, would only win 5 points for a win in the same Round, as that's the round they first play in.


As per the League games, points will also be awarded for the margin of victories and multiple goal scorers, and there will be deductions for cards shown against the teams. If games go to replays, both games will be taken into account for extras (multiple goalscorers and cards) And Handicaps will apply making 'Giant-Killing' really valuable.


In the event of the game going to a penalty shoot out, the winning points on offer will be split 65% to the Winner and 35% to the loser. (in the example above, if Derby were playing Sunderland, the points available at the time of the shoot-out would be the average from both teams (Derby=15, Sunderland=5, so points for on offer 10). The Winner would therefore get 6.5, the loser 3.5 (before handicaps are applied).


In the Champions League and Europa League competitions, the group games will be treated as Round 1 games, then the knock-out games will start at Round 2.


However points will be similar to the League Games points, both legs will be counted, and penalty shoot-outs will be ignored.


The winner of the Cup, MAY NOT BE THE BEST SCORING TEAM, in the cup competition.


Full details of all point scoring will be on the website.


Most Valuable Goal Scorer


The Golden Boot, with a twist!!


If not only the amount of times the ball hits the back of the net, but also, whether it's from open play or the penalty spot was taken into account, what difference would that make to this award. If not only the amount of goals scored, but scoring regularly and not just multiple goals in a game when your team is thrashing an opponent, and if the goals were being scored against stronger, rather than weaker opponents, then what difference would that make to this award. And finally, if not only scoring goals, but assisting and importantly ending up on the winning side were key factors, who would come out on top.


Using the above criteria, the Premier League Goalscorer table might be a little different, as team handicaps get taken into account, for example, a Mitrovic winner for Fulham from open play against Liverpool would be worth considerably more points than a Salah winner against Everton.


Most Valuable Goal Keeper


At the other end of the scale, the Golden Gloves reward Clean Sheets.


That's all. The only measure is Clean Sheets. Even I get one of them once every four weeks!!! Surely this has as much to do with the players in front of you, as it does the keepers individual skill and guile.


So let's test the theory.


Up for grabs are points for clean sheets obviously, but also points for the number of saves made in a game, and the saves per goals ratio (if you've let a goal in but saved nine, surely that should be recognised).


Saves from penalties will count extra, and the opponents the keeper is making the saves against will also be taken into account as club handicaps will be taken into account. Giving penalties away though, and yellow and red cards will incur penalties.


Dirtiest Player & Team


There are plenty of tables around showing teams and players with the most cards, and fouls awarded.


But to really gauge the dirtiest, don't we need to look in a bit more detail at, 'the details'. A Red Card in the first half is surely worth more than a Red late in the second. A straight Red must be worth more than a second Yellow.


Surely, in this battle, teams and players should be penalised more for games where they don't commit fouls and get cards, and being dirty and winning, should be rewarded more than being dirty and losing.


So points will focus on these rules. There will be two tables, one for Premier League Teams and one for Premier League Players.


Virtual European Super League


Only teams selected by at least one of us from the Premier League, Championship, Leagues 1&2, National League, Scottish Premier & The Euro 'Super' League, will be included in the Virtual 'Euro Super' Table.


As well as the handicap system in place for calculating points in the leagues the teams appear in, to level the playing field further, all teams will be treated as though playing 38 games in a season, so those playing more (the lower leagues in England) and those that play fewer (Germany) will have the results adjusted to reflect the different number of games played.


You don't need to do anything extra.


There will be 50 points awarded to anyone that backs the team that wins this Virtual League, 35 points for second, 20 points for 3rd, 10 points for 4th, 6 for 5th and 3 for 6th. The points will be added to the points won by your League & Cup Teams, and your goalscorer and goalkeeper points.


Your Own League


If there's a group of six or more of you playing along in the main competition, I can build your own League, and even adapt some of the rules and points scoring for you if you want. Your own table will then be posted on the site, and you and those in your league will have access to that part of the site.


What Do I Need To Do Now....


The deadline for making selections is 29th July 2022, 6PM UK Time.


The Championship and lower leagues kick off on the Saturday (30th July), the Premier League kicks off a week later.


Your 'Selections' can be made by using this on-line form.


All you need to do now to let me know you want to join, is complete the form below, and then I can make sure your team name appears in the Drop-down, or if you want to Join in, and leave all the selections to chance, then simply select the option in the form below.




If you want to join the Main Competition, and as well as getting these initial guesses submitted, want to send in your 12 'score predictions' every week for the season, we'd love to have you on board, just let us know on your Joining Form. (At time of writing we've 34 taking part next season)


The fees are £15.00 for the 'Lottery' Season, or £40.00 for the Main Season, which includes the entry fee into the 'Lottery' section.


10% of all entry fees will be paid when the Season starts to charity. For this season the charity that has been selected is Prostate Cancer UK.


Any questions feel free to message me, any recommendations or comments are always welcome, if not always acted upon!!


Finally, Season 22/23 feels as if it's going to be one of Blood, Sweat & Beers, and hopefully here's to more of the latter and less of the former.


Best of Luck


Stevie P






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