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U'sual Champions League 2020 - Round of 16 Week 03
at 19:15 5 Aug 2020

Yep, definitely okay - one permitted exact match with Sector4, but no problem with that.

Okay, for everyone who qualifies, the quarter-finals are going to be challenging, and with only four matches to predict I have a feeling that scoring is going to be very very close. We already know two of the four quarter-finals are Atalanta v PSG and Leipzig v Atletico Madrid on Wednesday 12th and Thursday 13th next week. The teams competing in the other two matches, to be played on Friday 14th and Saturday 15th, will be known this weekend once the last four Round of 16 matches are completed.

As a result, I suspect tie-breaks will be needed, and we have no more matches to predict attendances for (and they'd all be zero anyway). Number of spot-ons will of course be the first measure, but after that, the fairest way I can think of is for all quarter-finalists to also predict the minute of the first substitution in the last match on Sat 15th August. There'll be no points for this, it'll just be used if a tie-break is required. Nearest the actual minute (as recorded by BBC Sport) will win, whether higher or lower, and should there be no substitutions at all, the closest to zero will count. Incidentally, I believe that traditionally half-time substitutions are registered as 46 minutes, and injury-time minutes will not count (e.g. 45+3 minutes will be 45 minutes). Finally, and as always, all predictions will be for normal time only - extra-time and/or penalties will not count.

I'll repeat the above in a new thread, once we know who our eight qualifiers are - good luck everyone!
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Jevani Brown
at 09:59 5 Aug 2020

This is good news, otherwise it would have been a massive waste of money. Things clearly weren’t right last season (inc. rumours circulating), so maybe after a relatively unsuccessful loan and then Covid-19, it was time for a significant reality check. I hope so, because Brown really could play a major part in the coming season for the U’s.
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U'sual Champions League 2020 - Round of 16 Week 03
at 00:58 5 Aug 2020

LOL - the rules were clear, deadline for any match is kick-off, so whilst it could be suggested you’ve benefitted from Covid-19 lockdown, you’re still good. I haven’t had a chance to put your predictions in to the database, but all looks okay.
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U'sual Champions League 2020 - Round of 16 Week 03
at 10:07 4 Aug 2020

No problem BFG

So, in order, with four matches to go, you’re top of Group A with noah and mfb close behind. However, they’ll both have to overtake you to prevent you from qualifying. Sevebalo, remarkably, is still top of Group B by 1 point, but he’s yet to make any second leg predictions. Coincidentally, Lewis_1 is 3 points behind sevebalo in Group B, so still got a lot to do to qualify even if sevebalo remains a no-show. Basher is 2nd in Group D, level on points with leader concordman, but with one less spot-on. Both are 5 points ahead of Blue4U2, and must be confident of qualification.

So, firstly, even though the actual quarter-finals are going to be one-off matches instead of 2-legged affairs, I’ll stick with the original format, splitting the top two qualifiers from each group into two mini-leagues of four.

TIE BREAKS
Tie breaks will be decided on number of spot-ons. If players can’t be separated that way, it will be highest scores for the last four yet to be played matches. If players still can’t be separated, I’ll just have to draw from a hat I’m afraid.
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U'sual Champions League 2020 - Round of 16 Week 03
at 18:53 3 Aug 2020

Another bump ahead of Friday. We now also know that the quarterfinals will be one-off matches, not played over 2 legs, as will the semi-finals. I will also have a think about whether this requires a rethink on required predictions - hopefully not, but I'll get back to you all on that.
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To be a Pilgrim .
at 18:50 3 Aug 2020

Glad he's found a new club, and very best of wishes to him.
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On the Ball .
at 17:50 28 Jul 2020

This will be a challenging season for football in general, and certainly for the U's. Steve Ball will be the manager, and he therefore gets my support. I'm certainly not writing off the season or the U's before even a ball is kicked in anger.

Up the U's!
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Brandon Comley
at 12:26 22 Jul 2020

Pretty flimsy as a conspiracy theory Noah, but fun to read nonetheless.

As it happens, Colchester United has one of the most complete records on Wikipedia of virtually any club side in Europe, but I don't think Matt was responsible for much/ any of it. You can view who edits pages, and there is a username who crops up time and time again throughout, but it isn't Matt.
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Wheels come off for Danny Cowley?
at 00:09 21 Jul 2020

No thanks to the Cowleys. We’ve got the wrong squad to fit with their style. I’d rather we play the beautiful game properly, something I know we’re capable of with the right management.
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John McGreal
at 20:17 17 Jul 2020

A fantastic and dignified farewell from John.

https://www.cu-fc.com/news/2020/july/john-mcgreal-says-goodbye/

Good luck chap, thanks for all you have done, and very best wishes for your next endeavour.
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Fans back in stadiums
at 13:11 17 Jul 2020

I am almost certain that (to begin with at least) there will be no away fans anywhere once they start letting supporters in. From a personal perspective that will be tough for me, given at least 80% of my football trips per season are to away matches, but there's a bigger picture to take into consideration, and I certainly can't fault the reasoning.
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Fans back in stadiums
at 23:41 15 Jul 2020

I suppose it's possible that Robbie was including match credit holders in his speculative assessment of potential value to Club United?
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Fans back in stadiums
at 15:44 15 Jul 2020

Indeed - certainly at our level.

I don't know the exact numbers involved, but I'm pretty certain we only have about 1,500 ST holders (anyone know for sure?), so still 1k+ of other spaces if the stadium is only at 25% capacity. Without away fans, and with (sensible) people still concerned about social distancing and the risk of infection, I'm not sure we'd expect many more than 2.5k wanting to be there for most games?
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John McGreal
at 16:28 14 Jul 2020

I'd agree with a lot of the above - I can't see an external appointment, particularly given they'd almost certainly expect a new player budget that won't exist. We won't be the only ones having to make do with what we've got either, there'll likely be plenty more in the same boat - but at least we have got a decent academy to fall back on.
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Happy League 2019/20 Final tables
at 17:34 12 Jul 2020

Another great competition Mick, thanks for all your hard work making it happen. Well done to all the victors and those still with matters to play for. Special congratulations to Noah for smashing it out the park in such emphatic style, and I'm particularly pleased for Daniel - being no stranger to no-shows myself in the past, it wouldn't have felt right if he'd lost his play-off spot for a simple oversight.
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Happy League 2019/20 Week 35 (of 35) - Deadline Saturday 11th July 12.30
at 22:24 10 Jul 2020

Another cracking season mfb, albeit in unusual circumstances - well done chap!

Here goes for the last roll of the play-off dice.

NORWICH CITY v WEST HAM UNITED (12.30) 1-2
WATFORD v NEWCASTLE UNITED (12.30) 0-1
CHARLTON ATHLETIC v READING (12.30) 1-1
DERBY COUNTY v BRENTFORD (12.30) 0-1
BARNSLEY v WIGAN ATHLETIC 2-1
BLACKBURN ROVERS v WEST BROMWICH ALBION 1-1
HULL CITY v MILLWALL 2-0
MIDDLESBROUGH v BRISTOL CITY 2-0
PRESTON NORTH END v NOTTINGHAM FOREST 1-1
QUEENS PARK RANGERS v SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY 2-0
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John McGreal
at 07:51 7 Jul 2020

Wayne Brown has indeed previously worked for the club since his comments at Leicester, and I would hope there had been some level of due diligence at the time. It may well be the ‘long discussion’ between Robbie and Brown before he withdrew his interest in the position of manager included consideration of his political views. But we live in different times now, and I believe a club with such strong links in the wider community like ours should think very carefully before appointing someone with his publicised views on race to one of the top 92 jobs in English football. It may well be that Wayne Brown’s opinions have mollified since his outburst, that he’s come to realise he was wrong, but I’m not aware that’s ever been said by him or anyone else? Of course, normally I would be the first to insist that the personal opinions of an individual, however repugnant, are their business so long as they don’t affect their ability to do their job, but I think Wayne kind of waived that entitlement when he said what he did?
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John McGreal
at 18:51 6 Jul 2020

I made that very point on the OMB thread, but it didn't gain too much traction from some there.
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Your favourite moment of the season
at 10:37 4 Jul 2020

The first half 3-0 demolition of Plymouth Argyle was the most breathtaking performance from the U’s all season, just magnificent. Tom’s penalty obviously ranks very highly as well, as does Norris’s instant response at Crawley to set up our trip to Old Trafford.
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Happy League 2019/20 Week 34 (of 35) - Deadline Saturday 4th July 12.30
at 18:54 3 Jul 2020

NORWICH CITY v BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION (12.30) 1-1
LEICESTER CITY v CRYSTAL PALACE (15.00) 2-0
MANCHESTER UNITED v AFC BOURNEMOUTH (15.00) 3-1
WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS v ARSENAL (17.30) 2-1
CHELSEA v WATFORD (20.00) 3-0
DERBY COUNTY v NOTTINGHAM FOREST (12.30) 2-2
BLACKBURN ROVERS v LEEDS UNITED (15.00) 1-2
BRENTFORD v WIGAN ATHLETIC (15.00) 2-0
BRISTOL CITY v CARDIFF CITY (15.00) 1-1
FULHAM v BIRMINGHAM CITY (15.00) 3-1
HUDDERSFIELD TOWN v PRESTON NORTH END (15.00) 0-2
LUTON TOWN v READING (15.00) 2-1
STOKE CITY v BARNSLEY (15.00) 1-0
SWANSEA CITY v SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY (12.00 Sun) 1-1
MIDDLESBROUGH v QUEENS PARK RANGERS (15.00 Sun) 2-1
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