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Newcastle United's Allan Saint-Maximin celebrates a goal.

Hard: A game in hand

Hard: A game in hand

Premier Vocabulary is a mini-podcast for you to learn football English one word at a time. We have three different levels for you: easy, medium and hard.

This episode is hard so we’re looking at more difficult football phrases and idioms.

Summary

Learn more football vocabulary with Premier Skills English. Each lesson in our Premier Vocabulary section looks at one football word or phrase. This lesson looks at the phrase a game in hand

You can find more lessons on the side of this page.

Transcript

Rich: Hello my name’s Rich and welcome to Premier Skills English - Premier Vocabulary.

Jack: Hi there! I’m Jack. We’re here to help you with your football English. 

Rich: Remember you can find transcripts for all of our podcasts on the Premier Skills English website.

Jack: Premier Vocabulary is a mini-podcast for you to learn football English one word at a time. 

Rich: We have three different levels for you: easy, medium and hard.

Jack: This episode is hard so we’re looking at more difficult football phrases and idioms. These phrases can be used to talk about football but are often useful when talking about other topics.


Rich: The phrase we are looking at in this episode is: a game in hand.

Jack: A game in hand. We use this phrase when a team has played one match fewer than another team or other teams. 

Rich: A game in hand is usually seen as an advantage for the team that has played fewer matches because they have a chance to win more points and go above other teams in the league table.

Jack: For example, we might say City are two points behind Liverpool but they have a game in hand so could go above them if they win their game in hand. 

Rich: Near the end of the season, a team might have two or three games in hand on other teams.

Jack: Yes, this often happens because league matches have been postponed earlier in the season. This is sometimes because of bad weather but more often because teams are doing well in cup competitions.

Rich: So top teams often have to play lots of matches in a short space of the time near the end of a season.

Jack: We’ve just said that it is an advantage to have games in hand but some people will say that it’s better to have points on the board than games in hand.

Rich: This means it’s better to have played and collected the points than what might or might not happen in future matches.

Jack: I think it depends if you are a team near the top or the bottom of the league table. 

Rich: Why’s that?

Jack: If you are in second place and are two points behind first place with a game in hand, you’d probably prefer the game in hand.

Rich: Because you’re near the top and usually win so there’s a good chance you will your game in hand.

Jack: Exactly. But, if you’re near the bottom and you have a game in hand on the team in front of you ... 

Rich: Yes, I understand. You haven’t been playing well so it’s less likely you will your game in hand so it’s probably better to have the points on the board already.

Jack: I think that’s probably right generally but at least a team always has a chance if it has a game in hand on the team in front of them.

Rich: Have you noticed we use the preposition on when we talk about the other team. One team has a game in hand on another.

Jack: I’m looking at the Premier League table now. Here are a couple of examples:

Jack: Aston Villa have a game in hand on all the teams above them. They could go to the top of the table if they win their game in hand.


Jack: There is the final whistle!

Rich: We’ll be back soon with more Premier Vocabulary from Premier Skills English.

Jack: Bye for now and enjoy your football. 

Comment

Discuss

Is it better to have games in hand or points on the board?

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Comments

Alex_from_Ukraine's picture
Alex_from_Ukraine
24/11/2020
UA
5380
points

It's definitely worse to have games in hand than points on the board.


Alex_from_Ukraine's picture
Alex_from_Ukraine
24/11/2020 05:48
Ukraine
Liverpool
5380

It's definitely worse to have games in hand than points on the board.

Robert Tavares's picture
Robert Tavares
21/11/2020
BR
290
points

Hi guys!
I agree with Jack.
It depends if the team is near the top or the bottom of the league table.
If my team had on the top of the table, I'll prefer to have a game in hand. But, its in the bottom, I'll prefer had the points on the board.


Robert Tavares's picture
Robert Tavares
21/11/2020 00:23
Brazil
Leeds United
290

Hi guys!
I agree with Jack.
It depends if the team is near the top or the bottom of the league table.
If my team had on the top of the table, I'll prefer to have a game in hand. But, its in the bottom, I'll prefer had the points on the board.

mobeckham's picture
mobeckham
20/11/2020
TR
5488
points

I think it's better to have games in hand so other teams might underestimate you and forget that you could go above them in a blink of an eye.
It's like saving money away from your hand or in different currency.
They will be beneficial when needed at a specific time :)


mobeckham's picture
mobeckham
20/11/2020 21:11
Turkey
Manchester United
5488

I think it's better to have games in hand so other teams might underestimate you and forget that you could go above them in a blink of an eye.
It's like saving money away from your hand or in different currency.
They will be beneficial when needed at a specific time :)

Alex_from_Ukraine's picture
Alex_from_Ukraine
24/11/2020
UA
5380
points

Better a sparrow in hand than a stork in the sky though. :-)


Alex_from_Ukraine's picture
Alex_from_Ukraine
24/11/2020 05:50
Ukraine
Liverpool
5380

Better a sparrow in hand than a stork in the sky though. :-)

hsn's picture
hsn
20/11/2020
TR
1401
points

We should look at the statistics of the cancelled or postponed matches results. It depends on circumstances like fitness condition of team.
It might be disadvantage, there is no certainity.It's not a piece of cake.

In my opinion getting points and making something sure is better way.
Waiting for surprise or chance make us dissapointed.
Both of them always will be with team which trained so much.


hsn's picture
hsn
20/11/2020 14:10
Turkey
Tottenham Hotspur
1401

We should look at the statistics of the cancelled or postponed matches results. It depends on circumstances like fitness condition of team.
It might be disadvantage, there is no certainity.It's not a piece of cake.

In my opinion getting points and making something sure is better way.
Waiting for surprise or chance make us dissapointed.
Both of them always will be with team which trained so much.

Yoshichika's picture
Yoshichika
20/11/2020
JP
21
points

I think that games in hand is better, because the club teams have a chance to reverse position on the league table.
But I also think that there will be high stress for team and player, if games in hand come to a match which never lose.


Yoshichika's picture
Yoshichika
20/11/2020 06:11
Japan
Liverpool
21

I think that games in hand is better, because the club teams have a chance to reverse position on the league table.
But I also think that there will be high stress for team and player, if games in hand come to a match which never lose.

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1Manchester United134256
2Liverpool91361
3Chelsea78421
4Arsenal71538
5Manchester City44322
6Tottenham Hotspur11783
7Leicester City11763
8Newcastle United9832
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Average: 3 (1 vote)

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