Football Language: (to) fancy

This short post explains fancythe football phrase ‘to fancy’ which is often used to talk about predictions.

  • Find out more about this phrase by reading the transcript below.
  • You can also find many more examples of soccer vocabulary by going to our football cliches page here and our huge football glossary here.

To fancy

To fancy someone of something means to like someone or something; if you say you fancy someone, it means you are attracted to them. In football, we use this phrase to talk about which team we think will win a competition (it isn’t often used to talk about one game). At the beginning of the football season, pundits and fans talk about who they think will win the league, who they fancy to win the league. It can also be used to talk about one-on-one battles: Player A fancies her chances against Player B. This means she thinks she can get past or do better than her opponent.

Example: “That’s the big question and the main reason I don’t fancy them (Liverpool) as an each-way proposition at 12/1.” (Football 365)

Example: Deli Alli – “We know how good we are as a team and we fancy ourselves against anyone. The boys really feel it when we lose so it’s good to bounce back with a win.”. 2016


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I was born and brought up near Chester in the north west of England. I have always loved playing and talking about sport, especially football!
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