Rounds 17-23, 2018

Round 16 review & round 17 comments – by Penny Dredfell (added 12 July 2018 before team announcements)
My picks last week: very good work on the Dogs / Hawks match (although not a not of help to many); you saw both aspects of what I was talking about – the Dogs off to a good start but not enough to get a decisive lead; then falling away terribly after that; a similar story on the Crows, they had the first multiple inside 50s for 1:3 to nil, but then they were gone soon after; I was spot on re the Lions; they won huge against the Blues; although it should be noted that the Blues lost Kade Simpson before the game and had injury troubles as well; I was wrong on the Swans, they did lead at QT, but not by enough.

This week is a tough week coming up and I don’t have much confidence in tipping; the most important games for tipsters are, in order: Roos / Swans; Crows / Cats; GWS / Tigers and Pies / Eagles; I rate Roos and Swans as a tie before the teams come out; would like to leave that game alone; Crows and Cats I want to mainly avoid as well; not sure how the Crows will be after their blip at the start and then being thrashed by the Tigers; likewise, the Cats had a good win last week but the Swans had injury troubles; just looking at teams that lose a game with an errant kick after the siren and then exceed expectations the following week (Cats rounds 15 and 16) and then how they do the week after that… the stats are all over the place with no clear pattern from a smallish sample size; BUT all 5 that I could fins won Q3; it did not help them win the game necessarily; I will go for the Cats to win Q3; on to more genuine tipping predictions: I have little confidence in the Tigers and Pies this week; I expect at least one of them to lose; they play the Giants and Eagles respectively; watch if you can for late changes and team selections – especially the Eagles and GWS; the Tigers have been vulnerable away and the Giants might get some players back; the Tigers have multiple changes due to injury (but with some talent returning); the Giants won 4 in a row and then lost to the Eagles away; it was an honourable loss by a small margin and in line with expectations; teams in this situation can often exceed expectations the following week;  the Eagles are looking to get at least 1 key forward back and the Collingwood injury list is growing; I feel that the Magpie winning run of 7 is teetering on the brink; after this, they play the Roos, Tigers and Swans – key games for  grabbing a top 4 spot;  my BIG tip is to steer clear of being too confident on the Pies and Tigers and – another wimpy tip in a way – at least 1 of them will lose; happy tipping

Added 19 July 2018 before team selections
Finals – who can win it and how is your team going:  okay, I might be a bit brutal here so look away now if you suspect your team might be in the gun.
I’ll start at the bottom:
Carlton – their last big positive move was in the 1980s; that was when teams bought premierships and bought players. The Blues got Stephen Kernaghan and Craig Bradley plus a few others; it snared them the 1987 flag as well as helping win the 1995 premiership.  The Blues are still, to a degree, in that era.  They aren’t as good as other teams as developing talent from scratch; and now the plethora of players they get from other clubs (esp. GWS) are no longer of the Kernaghan / Bradley quality.  They need to fix this problem to improve.

Gold Coast Suns – most tipped them for 17th or 18th and 17th looks likely now; I will give them a tick, because they have had the hardest travel schedule of any team in the history of the AFL.  Plus they have had injuries as well. Judge them on their 2019 performance

Brisbane – looking good at present with 3 wins in a row; need to keep building next year

Saints – awful early but better recently, including a good win over the Dees; their rucks were injured in the pre-season and they never recovered from this; even so, they have been a disappointment

Dogs – surprisingly for some, they almost look like they are on a mini-rebuild; have had terrible injury troubles and never been able to get a settled side in 2018

Dockers – admitted they are on a massive rebuild; patience is required

Bombers – 2017 was a huge year from their – coming out of the wilderness; 2018 was always going to be a tough follow-up year; again, judge them more on their 2019 efforts

Crows – too injured to challenge for the flag this year; Sam Jacobs looks to be playing injured; expect them to play finals in 2019

Hawthorn and North – bracketed together and are 10th and 9th – not good enough to play finals, but injuries to other teams have put them in the mix; good improvement from both teams compared to 2017; especially the Roos who were tipped for the spoon by many; Longggey tipped them for 15th and many considered that too high!

Geelong and GWS – both are teetering on the brink due to a run of injuries; the Giants look the more potent of the two at present, but not expecting either to challenge for the flag

Melbourne – have struggled in big games and / or after long breaks between games; their best is good enough, but I want to see them fire more regularly against quality opposition – next few weeks will be interesting, with them playing Cats away, Crows away, Suns, Swans, Eagles away and then Giants

Port – awful loss last weekend away versus Dockers; would have won bar for injuries, I reckon; some chance for the flag if Paddy Ryder comes good quickly; their current injury list looks long, but includes a fair few fringe players in it

Swans – some chance for the flag if they can avoid injuries from here on in; but I reckon they are just short of being able to win a prelim or GF on the MCG

Collingwood – at 0-2, many pies fans wanted Bucks sacked; now he might be the messiah; the Pies had 2018 earmarked for some years now; they have exceeded all expectations; but I reckon that long term injuries to the following will prevent them from being a flag chance: Tim Broomhead, Lynden Dunn, Tyson Goldsack, Adam Treloar (hopefully back for finals) and Daniel Wells

West Coast Eagles – almost everyone east of Ceduna tipped them to miss the finals; Nicnat is gone for another 12 months (brought his coach to tears – good to see the heart side of footy), but the rest of the list is healthy and they are a huge chance

Richmond – certs to play GF day; but they have the technical charts against them; teams that win big in a GF and also make it the next year tend to get outscored after half time.  those to lose the second half in these circumstances are Roos in the 1976 GF; Hawks 1984 & 1987 & 1989; Bombers 2001; Lions 2004; Cats 2008;  Pies 2011; 7 of these 8 lost the GF, with the Hawks in 1989 falling over the line; the one exception was Hawthorn in 2015; they won the GF in 2014 by 63 points (in my opinion, that game was the best they played in their 4 flag era of 2008 to 2015); then backed it up by outscoring the Eagles by 15 points in the second half in 2015; to summarise, in the past approx 50 years 7 out of 9 teams to have a huge GF win and then make the GF the next year lost; the Tigers seem to be the best team and they are a chance to have a full list to pick from come finals time; I like them as flag favourites from that viewpoint, but the technical charts say BEWARE!!!  If they do make the GF and lose, who will beat them?  I reckon the Eagles (with Sam Mitchell in the coaching group) look the most likely.

Eagles for the flag!!

Round 17 review & round 18 comments – by Penny Dredfell (added 20 July 2018)
My picks last week: very good except for a stupid speculative tip on the Cats winning Q3; really pleased about the Richmond and Collingwood games; last week there were things that stood out clearly to me; this week it’s a little murkier; when an outsider travels interstate and does what the Eagles did last week – look out of it in Q1 (but the Pies didn’t nail it on the scoreboard); fight back in Q2 to be approx level; then draw away in the second half…. both teams usually slightly underperform the following week; but there’s a catch; the Eagles lost Nicnat to an ACL and this may also affect their output; maybe up, maybe down; and they play the Dogs in a lop-sided looking affair; I wouldn’t be surprised if the Dogs lose by less than the 6-7 goals tipped, but I’m leaving this game alone; on to the Pies; they would normally be expected to underperform this week after last week’s technical lead; but they play the Roos and the Roos had a shoot-out with the Swans last Sunday – maybe both teams could be a bit flat this week; again, murky; if the Roos perform poorly, I would expect the Swans could underperform as well, but they play the Suns – who are still trying to get over injuries and the insane travel situation; murky, murky!  The Tigers and Giants played an absolute ripper game which went down to the wire; again, maybe both teams could underperform; the Tigers are expected to win by 5-6 goals tonight; so if the lose or win by under 5 goals, I would be more confident in tipping Port. Now on to my actual tip.  The Bombers are an EXTREME variance team, so I normally wouldn’t do this; but I reckon they are well placed here; the Dockers beat Port in the west last week, but only due to Port injuries and the fact that Port were on the road for the second week; they lose 2 players, Aaron Sandilands is not back as hoped; and the Bombers’ team looks stronger after a rebound win over the Suns; the Bombers are tipped by most to win by 6 goals; I say they will win by 7 plus goals and maybe a bit more.

Round 18 review & round 19 comments – by Penny Dredfell (added 27 July 2018)
Oh Essendon; I tipped them to win big, but they ruined their chances by poor kicking and kept Freo in it; ARGGGH!  anyway, they other results were interesting; the Roos played about 30 minutes before the Swans; the Roos got off to a horror start against Collingwood and were down about 5 goals before the Swans game started; I mentioned that the Swans may (perhaps – not too confident) underperform if the Roos perform badly; lo and behold, the Suns caused the biggest upset of the decade (the only team to be outsiders by 10 goals or more and win in the 2010s); so my lead on this was good, except that I was a bit wishy-washy about it.

This leads me nicely on to this week’s games; I was putting together all my thoughts on Wednesday; then yesterday (Thurs), I heard Daisy Pearce talking to Gerard Whateley; she had been reading my mail; she mentioned that the Swans and Roos had played that epic on Sunday round 17 and then they both were poor the next week; the usual expectation is that they would both rebound strongly in round 19; that was my initial expectation; but murkiness exists again (regrettably); then I looked at teams that were hot, hot favourites that lost – and how they performed the following week; I expected to find that they outperformed expectations comfortably; wrong!! Looking at the 2010s, there were 13 teams that lost as favourites of 6 goals or more; on average, they went 12 points worse than expected the following week; only 3 of the 13 did better than expected; the three that did do better – 2 of them were extremely hot favourites; the third was a huge underdog and lost narrowly; of interest is that the teams that played in what we would call competitive matches the following week – let’s say that the expected margin was 3 goals or less – in all 5 of these cases, the team underperformed AND lost the game;  this is bad news for the Swans; I am leaning more towards this than the “Roos and Swans both do very well in round 19” theory;  so here is the tip: Bombers to win by over 2 goals; now here is the confidence level in this tip – not real high; Essendon have been an EXTREME variance team for much of the past decade, so I shouldn’t ever be too confident in making predictions about them; here is part 2 of the tip: the better the Swans perform, the more confident I would be about the Roos; my fundamental analysis of North is that they seem to have hit the wall to a degree and that the Eagles deserve to be slight favourites in Tassie on Sunday; but if the Swans look REALLY good on Friday night, I would look at changing my tip; thinking another way – for those in 2 of more tipping comps – in one pick Essendon and the Eagles; in the other, pick the Swans and Roos.

More news about Daisy – she was also concerned that the Cats might struggle to get up for the Lions game this weekend after such an emotional win last weekend; this is a good point; again, something I needed to research a bit more (a curio is that both Dees / Cats games this year were decided by a kick after the siren); on average, teams since 2000 that have won with a kick after the siren have underperformed by 6 points the following week; the teams that trailed at 3QT performed 10 points worse than expected the next week; teams that trailed by more than 2 goals at 3QT were -20 = 30 points worse than expected the following week; the Cats were 23 points down last week at 3QT and it looked a hopeless case, but they somehow won; they are favoured by 5-6 goals this week versus the Lions at KP; the technical lead makes this a slight danger game; I am tipping the Lions to win or to lose by less than 4 goals.

Which leads on to the Gauntlet – if you are still alive, well done; you may have penciled in Geelong weeks ago for round 19; what once looked safe is now a slight risk; GWS would be the best Gauntlet tip if you still have them as an option; others may have earmarked the Suns as their tip; what about them?  They caused the biggest upset of the decade last weekend; teams which win when outsiders of 6 goals or more generally underperform the following week; on average, they do 20 points worse than expected; that’s almost exactly their expected winning margin this week at home against the Blues; on this basis, it becomes a flip of the coin job; but I also want to throw in a different technical chart – the Suns snapped an 11 game losing streak last weekend; when a bottom team (eg the Suns) does this and then plays another bottom team the following week, they usually do very well; in fact, on average they outperform expectations by 17 points; this lead is the opposite to the previous lead; I slightly lean towards the idea of the Suns doing better than expected; the thought of playing at home after such an outstanding upset win and after all the travel + injuries should be a plus for them; I would prefer to pick the Suns as certs ahead of Geelong this weekend; I will stay away from making any tip on the Suns this week; on to the Pies; they began the week as some chance, but the Tigers have become hotter favourites as the week progressed – especially after de Goey was ruled out; the Collingwood injury list is getting shorter, but there are multiple players just back in the VFL but not quite ready for AFL football (Jamie Elliott, Jarryd Blair, James Aish and Alex Fasolo); add to this 6 players out from the best 22 plus a few fringe players and you will see how much the Pies are behind the 8-ball this weekend; so why are they still 3rd on the ladder?  Well, they have over-achieved like crazy this year; but the injury list has been growing; since the bye, they had so-so wins over the Blues and Suns, then beat Essendon when the Bombers had more injury troubles on the day than Collingwood; then they got steamrolled by the Eagles at the MCG; then they got North at the right time – and the Roos had a lot of blood rule delays on the day; now they face a hot Richmond team; the Tigers have a few injury concerns of their own, but they are way better off than Collingwood; I am tipping the Tigers to win by 4 goals or more;

Other things to note: Roarke Smith is a late withdrawal for the Dogs – having being in a car crash since the team announcement; and Port said Paddy Ryder + Tom Jonas were to be named but both still need to pass fitness tests before getting the nod; Billy Frampton gets his chance to “come alive” (ask your grandparents) as a standby ruckman for Port.  Even if both Ryder and Jones don’t play, I would still tip Port

Round 19 review & round 20 comments – by Penny Dredfell (added 01 Aug 2018)
Mixed news on my round 19 tips – mostly good; I was correct on the Bombers (wish I had been more bullish on them); I was incorrect on the Lions – they failed to get within 4 goals as I predicted; in retrospect, there was something I ignored – the Crows were banged up late in the round 18 game against Brisbane at the Gabba, but still won; as such, the 5 point loss by the Lions in this game flattered them – they should’ve lost by more; I was correct on the Tigers winning by over 4 goals – just!!  I may have been a bit fortunate in this one – as the Pies copped a couple of bad injuries during the game.

Some other notes on last weekend – I mentioned that IF the Swans excel, then it may be good to tip the Roos; the reverse was not necessarily true; I actually changed my tip to the Roos on Saturday – but based on fundamental reasons only, not technical reasons; the final outs for the Roos were Luke Davies-Uniacke (21 Supercoach points in round 18) and Alex Morgan (20 SC); the outs for the Eagles ended up being Lewis Jetta (107 Sc in round 18), Josh Kennedy (70 SC) and Luke Shuey (97 SC); in such a line ball game this was enough for me to swing to the Roos.

Now on to round 20; I was particularly interested in following the Swans – who had an AS (Absolute Shocker) against the Suns and then performed poorly against Essendon the next week; the technical data suggested that they would underperform the week after losing “the unlosable game” against the Suns; I was surprised that the data fell this way, but it proved a reliable guide and helped me to tip the Bombers.  I then looked at how these teams do 2 weeks after losing as HUGE favourites; the numbers were off the charts for the small sample of 11 cases I have since 2010; two weeks after losing as huge favourites, teams outperform expectations by 22 points on average; 9 of the 11 exceeded expectations and 10 of the 11 won; the one loser was Freo in 2014 – losing to Geelong by 2 points but exceeding expectations by 12 points and losing the game with a failed shot at goal after the siren; the teams to underperform were Essendon in 2014 winning narrowly against the Dogs the week after an ANZAC Day loss to Collingwood (maybe an excuse to consider, or maybe it is just Essendon being a loose cannon type team?); and the other under-performer was Port in 2012 – losing by heaps to the Eagles, but that was a ‘sack the coach’ time frame, so I am happy to ignore this; the other thing of interest is that these teams (2 weeks after horror loss as huge favourites) often finish the game well – winning Q3 by 11 points and Q4 by 14 points, despite being only slight favourites.  So here is my tip: Swans to beat the Pies this week by over 2 goals (like last week’s Essendon game, this is virtually a 50/50 game) and the Swans to win the second half.


Round 20 review & round 21 comments – by Penny Dredfell (added 09 Aug 2018 BEFORE  team announcements)
My round 20 tips were looking hunky-dory at the last break; then the Swans dropped off late and were probably lucky to win; they failed to win by 2 goals as I predicted but clearly won the second half.

What a huge weekend of footy last weekend – 5 games decided by under a goal; probably first time ever; but Sunday’s lop-sided games were of more interest to the general public come Monday.  I want to focus on 2 games last Sunday – those involving the Blues and Suns.  They played each other in round 19 and then both performed terribly the following week.  Often there is a single reason for this. EG Swans vs Roos in round 17 played a classic shoot-out and then both teams were poor the following week.  In this case, I suspect that there are 2 different reasons.  The young Suns’ players had been looking forward to coming to play in Melbourne with Captain Tom Lynch there to support them; a day or two out from the game, he says he’s out. O top of that, they were missing David Swallow, Steven May and Rory Thompson from the previous week; they played as flat as compact disks early; the Blues won at the Gold Coast and then had a couple of extra days up north.  This was meant to be good for the players longer term. It may be, but it was an interruption to their normal rhythm and they were really poor early; for lower clubs to have a good week, then an absolute shocker, they often underperform in week three of this sequence when it happens late in the season.  I just have  a sneaking suspicion that the “break that was good for them” might kick in this week when they fly to Perth to play Fremantle; Perth has had some big rain recently – which can interrupt training; the Dockers are favoured to win by 4-5 goals; I reckon the Blues are a good chance to win (especially if Kreuzer is back and fit) or get within 3 goals of Freo.

Back to the Suns – they are tipped to lose by 11 goals; I am a little cautious here, because of their huge injury count; but I reckon they are a big chance to lose by a bit less than that – maybe 9 goals or less; but I am not hugely confident.

The Giants had no rotations lat when they beat the Blues but still romped away; “How embarrassment”, said Effie. Their injury list is growing; they host the Crows who may have been a tad lucky last week but their injury list is shrinking; I am keen on the Crows and tipping them to win (despite being 2 – 3 goal outsiders).  Teams like the Giants that win very well despite bad injuries on the day often underperform the following week.

If you’re alive in the Gauntlet, I like the Tigers, Dees and Roos as the best three certs.  I would also tip Essendon and Collingwood to win, but I have small doubts about them.

Round 21 review & round 22 comments by Penny Dredfell (added 16 Aug 2018 BEFORE  team announcements)
My round 21 tips were all askew; the Blues looked like doing the right thing by me, but capitulated after half time; the Crows were extremely disappointing – given MORE injuries to GWS on the day; see the green word above, it was supposed to be Suns, but Dockers appeared; I am okay with my thoughts on the Suns; they lost 2 to injury on the day and still performed about as expected.

On to round 22; this is a difficult round, because there are a lot of conflicting trends; there are teams I would like to avoid, but they  are playing each other.   First off, teams which win despite injuries often under-perform the next week; those who could fall into this category are Essendon, Swans and GWS.  The last 2 on the list play each other, so this is a game I would like to avoid.  I would be wary about tipping the Giants because of their long and growing injury list, but I also wonder if the Swans win would cause them to be overrated; an important game to tip, but hard work for technical analysts and I’m leaving it alone.

The Bombers situation is more straight-forward. They finished with 4 injured but still managed to maintain their big lead over a disappointing Saints team.  Now they play the Tigers at the MCG; expect the Bombers to have a downer this Friday night. Most are tipping a Richmond win by about 4 goals; I say they will win by 5 goals plus.

Now, the teams which lose to teams with bad injuries on the day often perform poorly the following week; these teams are St Kilda, Dees and Crows.  I would normally be confident that these teams would all under-perform; and they may. But there are also reasons this week why all 3 could do well; Don Pyke is on the AFL website to say “tough review of failure”.  This is the Crows last home game – with an away game against Carlton to finish off the season. Nobody is going to give them any kudos for a round 23 win over the Blues; so this is their last chance to “perform” in 2018; but whether they will or not is up in the air; the Crows are slight favourites over the Roos, and I will tip them but without a great amount of confidence.  The Dees looked awful against Sydney, but could have blown the game apart early. They kicked poorly and kept the Swans in the contest.  Gawn was not 100% and Hogan had a foot problem; they have been under the blowtorch and now go to Perth to play the Eagles; as I wrote above, the Dees would normally be expected to underperform; but they play the Eagles – who won by a kick after the siren AGAIN vs Port; teams who kick a goal after the siren to win on average underperform by a goal the following week; so we have 2 conflicting technical trends; leave me out of this tip; on to the Saints; there is every reason to believe that they will get flogged by the Hawks who, as Bobby Davis would say if he were still alive, are going along very nicely just at the minute; the Hawks are favoured by  5 – 6 goals; here is why I think the Saints might be able to out-perform expectations; firstly, there was a 2 page spread on them in the Herald Sun on Wednesday – detailing everything that has or is going wrong; this is the sort of thing that can often get a club to fire up a bit; they are looking at major changes to the assistant coaches (a bit similar to Richmond at the end of 2016 and Collingwood after last year); the Saints have had back to back shockers (vs Dogs and Bombers); it is unusual for a lowly club to underperform multiple weeks in a row through to year’s end; so expect them to surprise to the positive this week or next (vs Roos); the Hawks have played 2 huge games for their finals aspirations (winning narrowly over Bombers then Cats) and have a round 23 clash vs Swans in Sydney; this could be the one where they “relax” a bit; their win over Geelong was, in retrospect, won at selection – picking an extra ruck; then Geelong last their sole ruckman Stanley early in the game and that was where the Hawks got their break. I could be wrong about the timing for the Saints, but I reckon they will either win (highly unlikely) of lose by less than 4 goals this week.  There are 2 dangers with this tip, however – firstly, a team like the Saints could come out firing , but stumble and still end up losing by 6 goals plus; secondly, if there is some huge trouble in the club, they could go down by 15 goals plus; so if I’m wrong, I could be wrong in a big way; such is Footy analysis!

Sorry to not help much on the tough games to pick; please note that Paddy Ryder will be tested on Friday; so expect him to be named but not be a cert to play; late changes could be critical for several games this weekend.

Gauntlet – 15 of you left! fantastic work; hope you have the Cats available to pick – the biggest certs of the round; next I would go for Richmond, then Dogs and then maybe Hawks or Lions.

Round 22 review & round 23 comments – by Penny Dredfell (added 23 Aug 2018 BEFORE  team announcements)
My round 22 tips was a mixed bag; I was bullish about the Tigers, but then they had significant changes to their team line-up; I was still confident after that, but their drop-off late ruined my tips; it took me back to me comments midyear sometime about the Tigers making the grand final but not winning the flag; looks like they have come down from their high a bit; sorry!

But I was very pleased with the Saints tip; they easily overachieved and almost won the match.

On to round 23; I don’t like the round overall from an analysis viewpoint, but otherwise it is a wonderful weekend of footy; there are three “close” games – where the favourite is fancied by less than 2 goals; these favourites are the Swans, Port and the Eagles; the Swans play the Hawks and both teams have found a way to win recently – 3 in a row for the Swans and 5 in a row for Hawthorn; in each of the last 3 weeks, both teams could have potentially lost their games; but their opponents had troubles of sorts; I would have been keen to tip against both teams this week but, alas, they play each other.  Forced to tip, I would go for the Swans; that’s because the Hawks have been up for a while and look due for a loss (diminishing list of wins, and the late match slowdown – led by 24 points around mid Q3 and just fell in by a whisker; this often leads to a further poor end to a game and a loss; but, I am too wary of the Swans to tip in the game; just thought you should know that the potential exists for this to occur)

Of the other 2 close games, I like Port and the Eagles; but am not particularly bullish about either.

Now to my real tip; the Dockers lost by 133 points last weekend at the Cattery; the surprise was the margin and having 23 goals in a row kicked against them (no team has ever won in a game when that happened to them! – joke); the loss wasn’t just a bad one – it was a humiliation; it is quite common for teams out of the finals to have an away shocker in the late season; I want to look at teams travelling interstate (from their perspective) and getting thrashed in the second last round – then how they go in the final round; this will help us tip in the Freo game.  Freo play the Pies – who are doing fantastically well this year despite a lot of injuries. The Herald-Sun yesterday gave us a detailed report of where teams finish. The Pies can finish anywhere from 2-6. The key players for the Pies are Eagles, Dees, Giants, Swans and Hawks. They ALL play AFTER the Pies; so the players won’t have focus problems; they just need to win to win by a goal or more and they will be in second spot; then wait and watch to see what transpires; the other teams will have to monitor their calculators.

Back to the teams NOT playing finals and putting in an absolute shocker away from their home state in the second last round; then playing back home for the last round; since 2012, there have been 5 occurrences: Eagles 2013, Blues 2014 & 2015; suns and Dockers 2016; the Eagles are the odd ones out – having another shocker in the last round – but that was John Worsfold’s last game as coach, so I will ignore that one; 3 of the other 4 outperformed expectations in the final round – with the Dockers being the only 1 of the 4 to actually win in round 23.  The 4 were 17 points better than expected on average. Given that there is no likelihood of the coach being sacked, I expect the Dockers to outperform expectations; most think they will lose by 5-6 goals; I am tipping that they either win (unlikely) or lose by less than 4 goals.