Predictorship Week 5 – Where There’s Hope …

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Players: 41 out of 49. Points scored: 229. Highest score: 9 (Sally Moon, Stewart Newport). Average score: 5.58. Prediction of the Week: Reading 1-1 Manchester United (Nicola Savage).

Results: Arsenal 3-0 Sheffield United; Aston Villa 2-0 Charlton; Fulham 0-2 Chelsea; Liverpool 3-0 Tottenham Hotspur; Manchester City 2-0 West Ham; Middlesbrough 0-1 Blackburn; Reading 1-1 Manchester United; Wigan 1-1 Watford; Newcastle 1-1 Everton; Portsmouth 0-1 Bolton.

On the most exciting weekend of the Predictorship season so far, the lead changed hands no less than three times. Dave Taylor (Chelsea) started on top with 28 points, but his five-point haul was not enough to stave off the challenge of Dave McAleer (Crystal Palace), who bagged seven points to take him into the lead, but only for a few seconds. Enter Hope Arnold (Manchester United) …

Risking a host of terrible puns on her name, Hope rises to the head of the class from sixth place with eight points, the pick of her scores being Middlesbrough 0 Blackburn 1. Hope now has 35 points, one point clear of Dave McAleer and two ahead of Dave Taylor, Pete Yoder (Wolverhampton Wanderers) and Nicola Savage (Winchester City), who storms into the top five for the first time and was the only predictor to favour a draw between Reading and Manchester United.

Sally Moon (Blackburn Rovers) and Stewart Newport (Wycombe Wanderers) – he of the world record Predictorship score of 15 – enjoy nine-point weeks but, after five weeks of the 2006-2007 Predictorship season, still nobody has broken the 11-point threshold. QPR defectee Stewart and Gabe Bevilacqua (Philadelphia Eagles) each secure the same three correct scores, which comes as a huge relief to the latter: Gabe was still searching for his first correct score going into last weekend’s action. Much like London buses, you wait ages for one and then three come along all at once.

Stuart Claxton (Reading) is the new owner of 49th spot, but only on goal difference from GWR picture desk supremo Michael Whitty (Bunch of Losers), whose team are doing exactly what it says on the tin. Michael will need to call his losers in for extra training sessions to turn them into winners. And finally … the answer to last week’s poser. The highest attendance for a football match at Old Trafford was the 1939 FA Cup Semi-Final between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Grimsby Town, watched by 77,000 people. Strange but true!

Quote of the week: “It is a work of eerie beauty” – Rob Dimery (Cheltenham Town) on Ipswich Town fan Nick Watson’s much-admired Predictorship logo

Quote of the week 2: “I would also like to add, for the record, that I have neither received nor handed out financial inducements at any time during my career as a Predictorship player” – More words of wisdom from Rob. Let’s hope that goes for the rest of you too …

If you have any ideas about how this weekly round-up can be improved or would like to see any additional facts and figures during the season, please send your suggestions to mattwhite03@hotmail.com. As always, Predictorship Statto reserves the right to quote you on anything you divulge in your e-mails when you submit scores. You have been warned!

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