In this week's podcast, Jack and Rich talk about superstitions and strange pre-match routines that both Premier League players and fans have. The language focus is conditional sentences and we have a new riddle in our 'What's my Team?' competition.
How to enter the competition?
Press play on the podcast below
Listen to Sophie, who is this week's Premier League fan.
Guess Sophie's favourite team.
Write your answer in the comments section at the bottom of this page.
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How much did you understand?
"The Liverpool players believe in their new manager."
"We’re going to speak about some of the things that Premier League footballers do to bring them luck."
Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge has a strange pre-match routine - he always walks onto the pitch backwards!
In the podcast, Jack and Rich used different conditional sentences. Have a look at the sentences and activities below to help you understand. If you want to know more, take a look at the grammar pages on our Learn English website.
"When Manchester Utd’s Juan Mata gets ready for the match, he always puts on his left boot first and walks on the pitch with his right foot."
"If they don’t do their pre-match routines, they will have bad luck or their team will lose."
Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's superstitions include hopping before he comes onto the pitch.
Jack: Hello my name’s Jack and welcome to this week’s Premier Skills English podcast.
Rich: Hi everyone. I’m Rich and every week we talk about football and help you with your English.
Jack: This week, we’re going to talk about some strange routines called superstitions, the language focus is conditional sentences and later Rich will make another Premier League prediction.
Rich: And you have another chance to win a Samsung Galaxy tablet in our ‘What’s my Team?’ competition.
Jack: What was the answer to last week’s riddle Rich?
Rich: Ah, yes. Last week it was Kingsley ... his favourite Premier League team is Watford.
Jack: We had lots of correct entries so congratulations to everybody who got it right. I think this one was a little more difficult and we probably had a few people googling Elton John’s favourite team or the club whose nickname is the Hornets.
Rich: Yes, most clubs have a few famous fans. Did you know that Prince William was an Aston Villa fan, that Sylvester Stallone was an Everton fan or Usain Bolt a Man Utd fan?
Jack: I didn’t know about Sylvester Stallone, no.
Rich: We have selected a winner at random from the correct answers...
Jack: and the sixth winner of the What’s my team? competition is Haydi a Newcastle Utd fan from Tunisia. Congratulations Haydi, we’ll be in contact with you this week.
Rich: Well done Haydi! Later on in the podcast, you can listen to this week’s What’s my team riddle.
Jack: Last week, you made a prediction about the Chelsea - Liverpool match. How did you do this time?
Rich: I know, I was wrong again, but this time I was happy I was wrong because Liverpool got a fantastic 3 points and Jurgen Klopp got his first Premier League win as Liverpool boss.
Jack: You should really support your team a bit more Rich. A few of our listeners actually predicted a Liverpool win.
Rich: Well done to Mkoriev and Ruslanjon from Uzbekistan, GalaUA and Alex from Ukraine, Wutyee Nandar from Myanmar, Verdmead96 from Poland and August1994 from Iran.
Jack: Most people predicted a Chelsea win or a draw like Rich, so congratulations to you!
Rich: Last week we spoke about some expressions that use ‘run’ and it was great to see some of you using these expressions in your comments.
Jack: For example, we learnt that football runs in Ayan Red Devil’s family.
Rich: And sport also runs in Natka’s family from Russia, but it’s not football, it’s cycling.
Jack: And moving away from sport; teaching runs in Nyinyi’s family in Myanmar and also in Rafael24’s family in Ecuador.
Rich: We also had a great comment from Besian in Kosovo. He wants to know if we can send the competition winner’s email after posting the podcast.
Jack: He thinks this will make the announcement more exciting because nobody will know if they have won or not!
Rich: Besian - we think you are right so from now we will only send the winner the email 24 hours after the podcast has been posted!
Jack: Sorry if we haven’t had time to mention your comment, but please continue to write to us with any your comments or questions and we’ll get back to you.
Jack: Last weekend there was a big win for Arsenal, Manchester City got a last minute winner against Norwich and Leicester City continued their amazing season with a 3-2 win away at West Brom.
Rich: Do you know that Leicester striker, Jamie Vardy, has scored in 8 consecutive Premier League matches. Only Ruud van Nistelrooy, who scored in 10, has ever done this in the Premier League.
Jack: He must be wearing his lucky boots!
Rich: I’m not so sure it’s luck. Luck is when good things happen to you by chance, I think it’s Jamie Vardy’s hard work and talent that means he’s the Premier League’s top scorer.
Jack: You’re probably right, but today we’re going to speak about some of the things that Premier League footballers do to bring them luck. These things are sometimes called superstitions.
Rich: A superstition is a belief in a supernatural cause, something that can’t be explained by science.
Jack: And if you believe in superstitions, you are superstitious. Superstitious people might wear certain colours or have a lucky number because they believe it brings them luck. Lots of Premier League players believe in superstitions and do special things before the match to bring them luck.
Rich: And sometimes these superstitions become part of a routine - and sometimes they can seem a bit strange
Jack: Did you know that Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge always walks on the pitch backwards at the beginning of the match?
Rich: I did know that yes. It’s a superstition and he believes it brings him good luck. When Manchester Utd’s Juan Mata gets ready for the match, he always puts on his left boot first and walks on the pitch with his right foot.
Jack: Jack Grealish at Aston Villa always wears his socks rolled down, and Kolo Toure at Liverpool is always the last on to the pitch.
Rich: Once when he was at Arsenal, Toure’s teammate, William Gallas, was getting some treatment from the physio at half-time. Toure waited for Gallas because he wanted to be the last on the pitch. When they got to the pitch they realised they were late and Toure was given a yellow card for walking on the pitch without the referee’s permission.
Jack: But some players might take their superstition too far. Arsenal’s Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain says before he comes on the pitch he hops three times on his left leg, then does two small hops followed by one big hop. He says he doesn't know why he does it but he does it every time.
Rich: So superstitions don’t always bring good luck and sometimes they can seem a little strange, but it’s not only players that have superstitions, fans are often very superstitious, too.
Jack: Clothes are a common superstition. I’ve met fans who have lucky T-shirts, socks and even pants! If they’re not wearing their lucky clothes, their team will certainly lose.
Rich: And if you’re watching the match at home, I’ve heard of some fans who always sit in the same chair and in the same position.
Jack: When we were talking about the players’ superstitions we used a lot of conditional sentences.
Rich: For example, I said earlier; “When Manchester Utd’s Juan Mata gets ready for the match, he always puts on his left boot first and walks on the pitch with his right foot.”
Jack: This is an example of the zero conditional and is used when something is always true.
Rich: Let’s look at another example - the players believe that if they don’t do their pre-match routines, they will have bad luck or their team will lose.
Jack: This is an example of the first conditional which we use for situations that are possible to happen in the future.
Rich: If you want to learn more about different conditional sentences, there are some activities below and there is also a link to our Learn English website on the right of the page.
Jack: If you have any match day superstitions or routines, we would love to hear them!
Rich: Right, I think it’s time for this week’s competition: ‘What’s my Team?’
Rich: Here is what you have to do. Listen to a Premier League fan, who will talk about their favourite team and then write the name of the team in the comments section on the Premier Skills English website.
Jack: And for each of the 20 podcast competitions the lucky winner will receive a fantastic Samsung Galaxy Tablet. We wish you the best of luck!
Rich: Right, so this week, our Premier League fan is Sophie. Listen to Sophie’s riddle and try to work out what’s her team?
Sophie: We had a great season last year and surprised a lot of Premier League teams - we even qualified for Europe! We were the only Premier League team on the south coast of England until Bournemouth got promoted last season. This has created a bit of a rivalry but we love the competitive spirit! Come on you Saints!
Jack: Shall we give everyone a clue? Well, they won their local derby last weekend so I’m sure Sophie is very happy this week. Now, it’s time for your prediction Rich. Let’s see if you can improve on your recent predictions!
Rich: The big match this weekend is the North London Derby between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur. Arsenal are doing well at the moment and have won their last five Premier League matches, scoring 16 goals. And if Arsenal win, they can go back to the top of table. They’ve also already beaten Spurs this season - in the League Cup. Tottenham are doing pretty well but unless Harry Kane has a fantastic game I can’t see them winning at the Emirates Stadium. Final score: Arsenal 3-1 Tottenham.
Jack: Thanks a lot Rich! Predicting an Arsenal win, means Spurs will definitely win this weekend! If you’ve got a prediction for these matches let us know in the comments section below.
Rich: That’s it for today - we’ve run out of time! Thanks for listening. And don’t forget to write your answers to the competition, and any questions you have about the website or football English in the comments below.
Jack: Don’t forget if you sign in, you can score points to see if you can get your club, your country and your name to the top of our leaderboard.
Rich: Bye for now and enjoy your football.
The answer to last week's 'What's my Team?' competiton was Watford. Congratulations Haydi from Tunisia! Your prize is on its way!