Predictorship Week 4 – Seattle Gooners Outshine Norman

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Players: 47 out of 49. Points scored: 158. Highest score: 8 (Mazair Sattari). Average score: 3.36. Prediction of the Week: Jill Taylor (West Ham 0-2 Newcastle).

Results: Bolton 0-0 Middlesbrough; Charlton 0-1 Portsmouth; Everton 2-2 Wigan; Sheffield United 1-2 Reading; Watford 0-0 Aston Villa; Blackburn 4-2 Manchester City; Chelsea 1-0 Liverpool; Manchester United 0-1 Arsenal; Tottenham Hotspur 0-0 Fulham; West Ham 0-2 Newcastle.

This week’s average score – 3.36 – says it all. Three no-score draws, Arsenal’s surprise Henry-less win at Old Trafford and West Ham coming unstuck at home to Newcastle (even with THOSE two Argentinians in the Hammers’ team) made scoring a hatful of points almost impossible – unless you happened to be Maziar Sattari (Seattle Gooners).

Maziar’s magnificent eight-point haul includes three correct scores (Manchester United v Arsenal, Tottenham v Fulham and Charlton v Portsmouth) and takes him from 34th to 15th in the week 4 table. Even Norman No Mates (The Nil-Nils) – with the aid of three blank scoresheets – cannot match Maziar’s feat and has to settle for seven points along with the only two predictors who didn’t submit scores this week. To paraphrase that hairy rocker Mr Loaf: 47 out of 49 ain’t bad.

At the business end of the table, Dave Taylor (Chelsea) is still the man to catch on 28 points. 2005-2006 champion Mike Dufficy (Jersey United) rises to third and is one of six predictors on 27 points. Two-time Predictorship king Steven Dunlop (Benfica) drops to eighth after scoring a solitary point, but he’s in good company – 2005-2006 runner-up Cathryn Harker (Clapton F.C.), Cup holder John Collins (Millwall), who predicted all the way from Australia, and Rob Molloy (Farnborough Town) all chalked up a single point, as did Alex Iskandar Liew (Tricky Trees), who is now 49th and last.

Also noteworthy is FC Camena mastermind Gabe Bevilacqua (Philadelphia Eagles) who, four weeks into the campaign, has no correct scores to his name but sits comfortably in 25th. Skilful!

And now for something completely different …

From the Manchester United v Arsenal match, where Jens Lehmann’s head was nearly decapitated by a close-range Ronaldo shot (“That’s why you don’t see too many pretty goalkeepers” remarked the commentator), here’s a question for you: The attendance at Sunday’s match was 75,595, a record crowd for a Manchester United game at Old Trafford but bizarrely not a stadium record. That occurred in 1939 for an FA Cup semi-final between which two teams? Answer next week …

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