Div 1 [VMSL Div 1] Predictions, Results & Banter 2017/2018

Discussion in 'VMSL' started by kokanee, Jul 7, 2017.

  1. Canucks4Ever

    Canucks4Ever Well-Known Member

    Jan 9, 2011
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    It's a New Year and it's time to revisit my Pre Season Predictions and see just how off base I was!

    NorVan Lions
    Current Standing: 1st
    Pre-Season Prediction: 4th

    Well I got this one wrong, though I don't think anyone quite saw this amount of success coming for the North Shore boys. After looking woeful in their return to Division 1 after yo-yoing between this level and Premier for three consecutive season, Lions have had it all their way. They have been utterly dominant and look a real tight group as well. The remain unbeaten, having dropped only two points all season, and look all but out of sight at the top. They require only 11 more points to confirm a return to the top flight and even if they were to lose all three of their games against their promotion rivals, they still should be able to take the points from their remaining four games against teams in the bottom half. Presuming they are able to tie things up before February, they should be able to focus on the Imperial Cup and could be good odds for an upset or two depending on the draw they get.
    Final Prediction: 1st

    Columbus FC
    Current Standing: 2nd
    Pre-Season Prediction: 1st

    It all almost went horribly wrong for the Italians in their second stint in three season in Division 1. After making an immediate return to Premier in their only other appearance at this level things were looking very bleak when fellow promotion contenders Guildford came to Empire in Week 10. All loss might well have condemned Columbus to another season at this level, but they were emphatic 4-0 winners on the day and have kicked on from their posting a 4-0-1 record since and putting up and impressive 25 goals over that span. This has pulled them into sole possession of the second promotion place and they look a good bet to go on from here. It's all still very nip and tuck with only five points separating the three teams vying for second place however, and Columbus will need to be at their best right from the off in the New Year as they will place promotion rivals Metro Athletic straight away followed by a trip to unbeaten NorVan. A win over Metro would really put the East Van boys in the drivers seat and, in their current form, they might just fancy their chances against the North Shore boys. They have certainly showed their Premier pedigree over the past month, can they keep it up come the New Year?
    Final Prediction: 2nd

    Guildford FC
    Current Standing: 3rd
    Pre-Season Prediction: 2nd

    Alas, it looks like bridesmaids again for the Surrey boys. Almost like clockwork, they seem to simply disintegrate after a positive start. The month of November was absolutely torrid for Guildford as they came into the month comfortably in second before posting a disastrous 1-1-3 record that saw they, once more, tumble out of the promotion places. They weather perhaps helped out when fog postponed their fixture with Richmond who were in good form at the time and the Newton crew were out of sorts. Maybe that bye week was exactly what they needed to clear their heads, because they returned the final week before the break with a massive 1-0 win over fellow promotion rivals Metro Athletic. That result might just indicated that Guildford are in fact up for this fight, but their next run of fixtures will really show their level of interest. The play mid-table teams and below until February when they will finish the year back to back against the top two. In order to ensure that those games are meaningful, they can not afford any slip-ups against the league's lesser lights. If they can keep pace and wait for their chance they might just be in a position to knick promotion right at the death.
    Final Prediction: 3rd

    Metro Athletic FC
    Current Standing: 4th
    Pre-Season Prediction: 3rd

    A good debut season for the Burnaby based club with some decent heavy hitters on the roster. One more win will mathematically confirm that they are safe from relegation and they remain very much alive in the promotion race. Fancied to be one of the challengers to go up coming into the year, back-to-back promotions is very rare in VMSL Division 1 as nobody, recent history excepted, tends to go straight through. This light might just be fading from their promotion dreams though as a 1-0 loss to fellow hopefuls Guildford right before the break will be followed by a match with the team currently occupying second place, Columbus, as soon as play resumes. Another loss would leave Metro eight points back with only six games to play, a hill that would likely be insurmountable.
    Final Prediction: 4th

    Burnaby Selects White Eagles
    Current Standing: 5th
    Pre-Season Prediction: 11th

    Quite the debut season for the former Serbians as they have shown that they can more than just compete at this level. They have posted some eye-popping results but, perhaps most impressive, are their offensive numbers. Their 47 goals for is easily the most outside of the top two teams in the division. They sit firmly in mid-table and will certainly be around to try an build on this campaign next season. If they can spread out the goals to turn a few of those losses into wins and pick up a few more bodies to fill out the depth chart, they might just be looked at as a promotion contender next term. In the meantime, they will be trying to finish as high up the table as possible and, given their offensive prowess, there's no reason to think they won't be the best of the rest.
    Final Prediction: 5th

    FC Romania
    Current Standing: 6th
    Pre-Season Prediction: 9th

    One of a few surprise packages this season, along with their mid-table cohorts White Eagles, the Romanians quickly put to bed thoughts of yet another relegation battle and instead found themselves hovering around the fringes of the promotion race. That dream has since been handed a reality check, but, overall a season that has to be considered as a massive success for the Europeans. With safety all but confirmed, look for Romania to perhaps take their foot off the gas coming down the stretch at times. Not to say that these guys are in anyway not competitors, but having ostensibly stayed in the league already and without any realistic chance at promotion, it's essentially job done at this point which leaves them susceptible to desperate teams, as evidenced in their 2-1 loss to relegation threatened Binger's right before the break.
    Final Prediction: 7th

    NorVan Storm
    Current Standing: 7th
    Pre-Season Prediction: 10th

    It was tough to know what to expect from this newly promoted lot. Having not earned promotion the conventional way, but having long been playing at a promotion calibre level in Division 2, the Storm finally got their chance to prove themselves right and go toe-to-toe at the next level of the VMSL ladder. It was an inauspicious beginning, as they started their season 0-0-3 while shipping 15 goals in the process, however, since then things have leveled out and they have found their footing while taking points of some of the division's big boys as well. The Storm will still need to be weary of the teams behind them as a few bad result could see them dragged into a relegation battle, but signs, for the most part, point to the NorVan boys being able to put their money where their mouth is and stay in the league. With a chip on their shoulder and perhaps a point still to prove to themselves and others, keep an eye out for one or two eye catching result down the stretch.
    Final Prediction: 6th

    Rino's Fury
    Current Standing: 8th
    Pre-Season Prediction: 6th

    Any way you cut it, this has been a disappointing season for the Vancouver boys. After being in the promotion fight of all places last season, it took Rino's until Week 5 before they put any points on the board this campaign. Since then the Fury having been inconsistent at best, mixing lopsided losses and dropping points to last placed GN North Delta with wins over the few teams below them in the table and one big upset against promotion hopeful Metro Athletic. Rino's have plenty of winnable games down the stretch once play resumes and should have enough in the tank to keep above the relegation places, though things have to be a little close for comfort at the moment only four points above the drop. One concern might be the fact that the Fury appear to be largely a one man show given that Pablo Zubiria 10 of their 27 goals which is more that double anyone else on their squad.
    Final Prediction: 8th

    GN Sporting
    Current Standing: 9th
    Pre-Season Prediction: 8th

    It looked as though GN had exorcised the demons of last seasons relegation escape when they posted some strong results to begin the year and sat comfortably mid-table in the middle of November. However, since then they have lost five in row and by some fairly lopsided scorelines to boot. That familiar sinking feeling might just be creeping in again and they have a tough schedule to finish off the season. Back to back games against fellow relegation candidates Binger's and Richmond at the end of January will likely decide their fate. Those two teams have show an ability to find another gear in recent week and GN will need to find some similar desperation if they are to avoid returning to Division 2 after a battling to stay at this level. Given their past history, I think it will be a tall order.
    Final Prediction: 11th

    Richmond FC Royals
    Current Standing: 10th
    Pre-Season Prediction: 5th

    The former South Delta boys merger with Richmond has not wound up baring the fruit that their brain-trust no doubt expected. A miserable campaign saw Richmond take just four points from their first 10 games. However, they seemed to turn a corner and followed up a win over NorVan storm with another win in a massive relegation six-pointer against Bingers. They would then go on to draw promotion hopefuls Metro Athletic before the fog denied them a chance to continue their new found good form against a very out of sorts Guildford side. Perhaps that week off knocked their mojo out of whack because they were well beaten at home by White Eagle just before the break. They have a very similar schedule to Binger's down the stretch, including matches against both GN teams, and it will likely come down to who can pick up more "bonus" points against teams higher up the table. In the end I think Richmond will have enough to get it over the line.
    Final Prediction: 9th

    Binger's Army
    Current Standing: 11th
    Pre-Season Prediction: 7th

    It is looking like a very real possibly that the seemingly omnipresent Binger's Army may be finally leaving the VMSL's Division 1 and, unfortunately, it is going to the wrong direction. Just two seasons removed from sitting atop the table at this point in the season and contending for promotion, age or other factors have seemingly caught up with the division's stalwarts. The Army are a veteran crew however and showed right before the break with a big 2-1 win against Romania that they certainly have not thrown in the towel on their season. It appears to be now or never though as Binger's play three games, against GN North Delta, Rino's and GN Sporting, immediately following the break before playing the top two teams in the division. Their rivals all have similar schedules, so the Army will need to pick up points from somewhere if they are to leapfrog someone and escape the drop.
    Final Prediction: 10th

    GN North Delta
    Current Standing: 12th
    Pre-Season Prediction: 12th

    I think just about everyone was on the same page with this crew being on the bottom coming into the year. Still unsure on the origin story for this group, born out of North Delta's return to the FVSL, but, regardless, it has being a predictable difficult campaign. They did manage a win and a draw to avoid complete embarrassment this season and may well knick a few more before everything is said and done, but being seven points from safety with seven games to play is too much to overcome without a massive injection of skill and determination and there is no reason to suspect that they have that kind of cavalry waiting in the wings. Will be interesting to see what sort of version of this team, if any, plays in Division 2 next season.
    Final Prediction: 12th
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  2. Canucks4Ever

    Canucks4Ever Well-Known Member

    Jan 9, 2011
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    Only five games on the docket as Division 1 gets back at it. It appears that Richmond and Romania have arranged for an extended break and agreed to tack their fixture this week on at the end of the season. It will be interesting to see how Richmond now holding two games in hand will affect the relegation race. In the meantime, let's take a look at how everything else is shaping up this week:

    Completely Baseless Predictions for Week 16:

    Metro Athletic v Columbus
    First up is the MOTW as Columbus has the chance to all but finish off Metro's promotion hopes. Funny to think that back in the middle of November the shoe was very much on the other foot, with Columbus clinging to the edge of the promotion race with second place Guildford coming to town. The Italians would come up with a big win and since then have kicked on to sit alone in the second promotion spot. Now it is Metro who are desperately trying to stay relevant at the top of the table as a loss would see Columbus and promotion move eight points up on them with only six games left to play. Given that Guildford would still need to be leapfrogged as well, a loss here certainly leaves a fairly steep mountain to climb. Around about when Columbus turned things around Metro saw their debut campaign at this level lose steam. After beginning the season with eight wins, including one in this reverse fixture, and only two losses over their first ten games, the Burnaby boys posted a 1-2-2 record leading into the winter break. Their promotion rivals have seized the opportunity to put some distance between themselves and Metro and now Columbus can all but cut them adrift. This is as close to must win as it gets without being a mathematic necessity. Unfortunately for Burnaby, Columbus is ready hot and riding a four game win streak over which they have potted 22 goals. One look at Burnaby's stats show that they have only a plus five goal difference, a minuscule number compared to their promotion rivals. Looks like the dream is fading for the newly promoted boys, look for Columbus to stay hot in this one.

    GN Sporting v NorVan Lions
    The wheels are getting dangerously close to coming off for GN. At one point they looked to be a solid mid-table team but now they have lost six straight and have shipped seven goals to their opponent twice over that span. Don't look for any mercy out of league leaders NorVan. The North Shore boys are ticking the boxes along the way to a return to Premier and they are down to 11 points required to make that a reality. Not much to analyze in this one, NorVan to be comfortable.

    Burnaby Selects White Eagles v Guildford
    There is a pulse in Guildford as the Surrey boys shrugged off the duldrums of their annual winter hibernation and came up with a massive 1-0 win over Metro Athletic right before the break. Is their a fight left in Guildford? They need to keep within striking distance of Columbus and currently sit five points back of the Italians, with a game in hand however. With a rematch between those two still to come, this technically means that Guildford still control their own destiny. They cannot afford to drop any further points though, so a win on the back side of the winter break against White Eagles is a must. The former Serbians have already seen off Columbus at the last time of asking and continue to put up mammoth offensive numbers. Not sure why they have moved this game from their traditional Sunday night kickoff at Burnaby Lake, but perhaps it is to try and catch Guildford short on bodies. The Surrey boys are a young group and may have students still away on holiday. Not helping matters for Guildford either is the fact that they will be missing Iwan Jecanski and Dhani Sharma to suspension, both are big parts of the team's leadership core and their presence will no doubt be missed in a game of this magnitude. It should be a cracker of a game as both teams have a tendency towards the rough stuff and some nasty attitudes. I like the Burnaby boys attacking prowess in this one and I think it will cause Guildford problems, however, the Surrey boys caught my attention with that big result right before the break so I will say they have refocused and will find a way to come out of this one with all three points.

    GN North Delta v Bingers Army
    A massive game at the bottom end of the table and it has been all the more so by the fact that Richmond, who currently sit tenth, will be idle this week. A win for Bingers would move them ahead of Richmond and out of the drop zone on 13 points, though Richmond would still have those two games in hand. It would also mark the first time this season that Binger's have won back to back matches. The Army showed their fighting spirit knocking off this years surprise team, Romania, right before the break and now this is essentially a must win game against the team that has sat on the bottom of the table since day one. GN have been bad this year, though they did pick up four points over a brief two upturn in form. Since then however, it has been back to regularly scheduled programming, including a 10-0 embarrassment at the hand of Columbus and a 7-0 drubbing away to NorVan Storm before the break. Almost unfathomably, they are not dead and buried yet and if they find a way to win this week and next week, when they play Richmond, they will be within shouting distance of safety. I'll believe it when I see it though. Binger's know the opportunities to pick up points the rest of the way will be few and far between. They are a veteran group and I back them to take care of Business in this one.

    Rino's Fury v NorVan Storm
    Two well matched sides in this one and two teams that, barring a catastrophic collapse, will be set to exchange pleasantries twice more next season. Rino's will be looking to continue their run back towards respectability after a dismal start to the campaign that was halted as before the break when they took on the top two teams in back to back weeks. NorVan, meanwhile, have been running riot of late and are in their best form of the season. They have won four on the spin and scored 19 goals in those games. Certainly they will have perhaps answered their critics who said they did not earn their way to this level. Currently the safety line sits at 31 points, though that figures to come down sharply over the next few weeks. Storm sit on 21 points and are all but assured of their place at the table next season. Rino's are much less comfortable on only 14 points, but their improved goal difference and arguably easier run in to the end of the season, they play only Guildford from the teams contending for promotion, points toward brighter days to come. As for a prediction, these two drew 2-2 in their first meeting, a game that they rearranged for Thanksgiving. A draw is not a bad bet here either, but I like the form that NorVan are enjoying at the minute, so I'll tip them for a win here.
  3. dezza

    dezza Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2005
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    Rino's Fury 2-1 Norvan Storm

    Both teams were missing their top scorers, so unsurprisingly many quality chances at both ends went begging.
    We were up 2-0 and in cruise control, until a Norvan corner kick wasn't cleared well enough, bounced around the box a few times and was finally bundled over the line. We had a couple chances on the break to put the cherry on top, but lacked the composure to finish, and likewise Norvan had us on the ropes a few times late, but blazed high over the net when presented with their best opportunities.

    Quick turn around for us now as we face Binger's on Wednesday, who will likely be desperate after dropping all 3 points to GN North Delta.
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  4. ref44

    ref44 Member

    Aug 13, 2015
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    Don't forget th
    e bar we hit as well late.
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  5. Canucks4Ever

    Canucks4Ever Well-Known Member

    Jan 9, 2011
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    A busy week means I missed the chance to get a full slate of predictions in ahead of Bingers/Rino's. Not sure I would have called that one though after the performances by those two over the weekend. Obviously a desperate Bingers group and a mid-week fixture all add to the mix, especially when they are up against a Rino's team that they know well and are confident that they are capable of beating. Still, great result after a shock loss to GN ND at the weekend. As for the rest of this week's fixtures...

    Completely Baseless Predictions for Week 17:

    Guildford v Romania
    In the absolute best case scenario for the Surrey boys Columbus and Metro Atheltic drew. Thanks to their win over White Eagles, this means that, if Guildford can win their game in hand over Richmond, they will pull level with Columbus in the second promotion place, while, at the same time, it kept Metro safely behind them. Their initial time out against Romania, Guilford laid their first egg of the season, slipping up with a 0-0 draw. Given that the Surrey boys are slated to finish the season with games against Columbus and then league leaders NorVan, they cannot afford any similar slip-ups against the Europeans this time around. Fortunately for Guildford, the Romanians are just about done with this season. They are solidly mid-table and unlikely to move far from their current standing. While I am sure they would no doubt love to play spoiler, they can almost be forgiven if a Friday night trip to Newton, likely in the rain, is not the highest priority for every member of their squad. Add to that the fact that Romania arranged to have their fixture with Richmond postponed until the end of the season which means, because their previous game before that was mid-week against Bingers, that Romania will be playing their first match in almost a calendar month. Maybe they will be hungry and raring to go, but I think a motivated Guildford side who have new life in the promotion race should be able to get the job done.

    Richmond Royals v GN North Delta
    Well GN North Delta proved that they have no interest in simply resigning themselves to relegation with their win over Binger's Army last weekend. The ND boys now have another match against a relegation threatened opponent in Richmond. Tough to gauge the Royal's motivation level going into this one. They were in a good vein of form through November into December, picking up seven points over three games, but then they were fogged out in Guildford before being hammered 5-1 at home by White Eagles before the break. Last week they postponed their match with Romania, so it is tough to get a read on them. Normally I would say this should be a slam dunk for Richmond, especially needing the points in a relegation battle and after their uptick in performance, but after GN's win coming out of the break it is difficult to be quite so confident. It is still a long an unlikely road to safety for ND, but if it were to happen it would surely need to include a win in this one. All of GN's points have come at home though, so it is difficult to make them favourites given that they must travel to Richmond this week. That being said, with Richmond being a bit of a wild card this weekend, I will, for the first time this season, not pick GN North Delta to lose and, instead, say that this game ends in a draw.

    NorVan Lions v Columbus
    Absolutely the MOTW here as two former Premier teams tangle in their respective quests to return to the top flight. Surely at this point NorVan can taste it. Another win last week over GN Sporting, combined with Columbus dropping points means that we are nearly at a tipping point. Should NorVan win this week, they will move 14 points clear of promotion with only five games remaining to play. That would set up next week's match against Metro Athletic as their first opportunity to confirm their return to the Premier division after two seasons away. However, surely the North Shore boys won't be looking much past this one as Columbus are not an easy proposition by any means. Last time these two met the Italians were in the midst of a torrid run of form that saw them take only one point from nine and nearly slip out of the promotion race in the first half of the season. This time around, despite a major slip up in a 2-2 draw with Metro Athletic last time out, Columbus are unbeaten in five and have scored a remarkable 24 goals over that span. That brings their total for the season to 55, the same as NorVan's, and means we should surely be in for a top class game this weekend. Veteran Steve Deblasio has shot to the top of the Division 1 Golden Boot race, netting 21 goals and overtaking NorVan's Will Kendall, who has 17, along the way. Columbus will need both his offensive fire power as well as his leadership and experience if they are to come away with anything from this match. It sets up as a cracker and let's hope that it delivers just that. As for a prediction, NorVan have not put a foot wrong this season and, with a chance to all but clinch their promotion on the line, it is tough to bet against them now.

    NorVan Storm v GN Sporting
    GN Sporting are reeling at the moment. Make it six straight losses after a predictable reversal at the hands of league leaders NorVan Lions last weekend. A purple patch back in October/November where they went four games unbeaten, picking up eight points and putting up results like a draw with Guildford and a 4-2 win over White Eagles, now surely seems a distant memory. This dreadful form has seen them tumble towards the relegation battle and, if they fail to come away with all the points this week, a massive game on the horizon next week against Bingers will get even bigger as the Army will be in a position to leapfrog them with a win. Sporting take on another lower to mid-table side in NorVan Storm this week so surely there is an opportunity to pick up some points. The Storm have seen other relegation threatened teams like Bingers and Richmond take points off them, so GN might just fancy getting something out of this fixture. The Surrey boys have only picked up four points away from Newton this season and have not won away from home since their first game of the season at Rino's however, thus, a trip to North Van might not bode well for Sporting. Storm have to be disappointed with dropping points to another team below them in the table after losing to Rino's last Sunday and will no doubt be keen to get back on track when GN come to town. Before slipping up to Rino's, NorVan had won four straight heading in the winter break and that has just about done enough to keep them in the division after coming up this year. That being said, their next three are against three of the top four teams which could spell trouble. The current safety mark is 28 points and the last thing NorVan want is to have to start biting their nails because they let the points slip against a team like GN. A win this weekend would put them on 24 points and make the rest of the season almost academic and that should be all the motivation that they need to get the job done.

    Burnaby Selects White Eagles v Metro Athletic
    The Burnaby derby, round two, between these teams and this edition find them sitting next to each other in the table, occupying the fourth and fifth places. Metro Athletic are running out of track quickly in their pursuit of back to back promotions. They managed to stave off complete disaster as they battled to a 2-2 draw with their promotion rivals, Columbus, last Friday, but they are currently five points back in the race to go up with only six games left to play. The problem lies in the fact that they must overtake both Columbus and Guildford, neither of whom they come up against again this season. They must now rely on both those teams dropping the requisite number of points needed for Metro to climb back into things while, of course, not slipping up themselves. That is a tall order, especially when you consider that they have a date with league leaders NorVan on the docket next week and the North Shore boys might just find themselves in a position to clinch their promotion. As for this week, White Eagles are a team that don't have too much to play for, given that they look assured of a mid-table finish in their debut campaign. They are currently sitting on 24 points while the current mathematical mark for safety is 28. Therefore, it is just a matter of time before their place in Division 1 is confirmed, likely regardless of whether or not they pick up any further points this season. I'm sure they would like to really finish off their local rivals, but, at the same time, I am sure they are not overly concerned one way or the other. The reverse fixture was a narrow 1-0 for Metro Athletic and one of the few times this year Selects have been kept off the score sheet. If Metro leave gaps at the back, White Eagles powerful offense will surely exploit them, but if Metro are still motivated to stay in the promotion race they should have enough to get the result in this one.

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