Friday, March 30, 2012

Spain: Eduardo Alvarez's Weekend Quiniela

The widely acclaimed (ahem )Wiktionary defines a 'reverse jinx' as a prediction which is the opposite of the outcome desired by the person making it. The term, obviously relevant to a column devoted to predict the outcome of matches - mostly wrong, I know -, has become even more interesting after Josep Guardiola's blatant reverse jinxing campaign started last month. Four weeks ago, and with his club ten points behind the leader, he understandably stated that 'We won't win this title'. However, his defeatist speech remained untouched when Real Madrid drew not only one, but two consecutive matches. A six-point difference with one derby remaining still seemed unassailable to Pep: 'Real Madrid will win again, this league is over', he psychically said last Saturday. But not even Pep is perfect, and the stylish Catalan ended up blowing his own cover right before Barcelona's Champions League match in Milan. 'If we don't perform in the next two matches (meaning AC Milan and Athletic de Bilbao), we could lose two titles'. Uh? Two titles? I thought La Liga was already lost, Mr Guardiola. Superstitions abound in the world of football. Reverse jinxing, emotional hedging or lowering expectations have always been part of the game and, of course, football gambling as well. Pay attention to what you read, someone could be reverse-jinxing your team right now. Shall we? Remember, it's '1' for a home win, 'X' for a draw and '2' for an away win.

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