Players: 38 out of 49. Points scored: 218. Highest score: 11 (Brian Dunlop). Average score: 5.73. Prediction of the Week: Chelsea 4-0 Wigan Athletic (David Roberts).
Results: Blackburn Rovers 0-2 Arsenal (8); Bolton Wanderers 0-0 Manchester City (2); Charlton Athletic 1-3 Middlesbrough (0); Chelsea 4-0 Wigan Athletic (1); Manchester United 3-1 Aston Villa (7); Sheffield United 1-1 Portsmouth (10); Watford 0-3 Liverpool (3); West Ham United 3-3 Fulham (0); Everton 1-1 Reading (9); Tottenham Hotspur 2-3 Newcastle United (0).
By his own admission, Nick Watson was “p***ed up on booze” when he submitted his week 19 scores amidst a colleague’s leaving bash, but his eight-point haul proves once and for all that getting a bit tipsy does wonders for your powers of foresight. Try it – it might help you too.
Nick has a new challenge on his hands this week: Predictorship Cup holder John Collins, who rises from fifth to a season’s best second with 10 points, despite moving house in India at the weekend. John’s tally is made up of four correct scores (the games at Blackburn, Sheffield United, Watford and Everton) and he becomes the first predictor to reach 30 correct scores. Brace yourselves for some more fascinating facts …
Brian Dunlop is only the eighth name to be added to the 11 points and above club this season, doing just enough to get his name of the list thanks to three correct scores (the games at Blackburn, Manchester United and Everton) and an extremely rare away win prediction for the Owen-less Newcastle at Tottenham. Brian takes a mighty leap from 38th to 24th.
Neil Hayes and Gabe Bevilacqua are also worth a mention for picking up nine points apiece (complete with three correct scores) and Rob Molloy skilfully squeezes his three double whammys into just eight points. These are exciting times for Gabe, who believes the Philadelphia Eagles are on the road to the divisional play-off round. “Only eight teams remain, and I think the Birds have a shot,” he explained enthusiastically. “Fly Eagles fly” – and he’s not talking about Crystal Palace.
And so to those additional facts. Hope Arnold (fourth) is the first predictor to make it to 100 correct results; Mark Davies (46th) is the 49th and final player to reach 10 correct scores; the top 27 predictors at the start of play all submitted their scores in week 19, but nine of the bottom 11 didn’t. I sense motivational issues; Stuart Claxton’s absent streak stretches to 15 consecutive weeks and he continues to do the impossible: make Norman No Mates look good. Someone have a word.
As you’ll see below, the five outstanding Predictorship Cup Preliminary Round ties were won by Newcastle United (who progress at the expense of the Tricky Trees by virtue of a higher perch in the week 19 table), Living the Dream, Hornets Forever, Purple Haze and Sheffield Wednesday.
Those five clubs will join the 11 other Preliminary Round winners and the top 16 sides as at December 31 in Round 1 (January 27-28). The draw will be made shortly. Can you feel the buzz of anticipation?
Preliminary Round Replays
* NEWCASTLE UNITED (Basil Bradley) 5-5 TRICKY TREES (Alex Iskandar Liew)
(Basil Bradley wins on penalties – higher in the current Predictorship table)
* LINFIELD (James Bradley) 3-5 LIVING THE DREAM (Paul Bentley)
* ABERDEEN (Scott Christie) 3-5 HORNETS FOREVER (Mark Davies)
* DONCASTER ROVERS (Sanjiv Sachdev) 5-11 PURPLE HAZE (Brian Dunlop)
* STADE RENNAIS (Ronan L’Heveder) 5-6 SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY (Janet Jones)
Quote of the week …
“In football, if you stand still you go backwards” – (cheer up) Peter Reid, ‘Everton Giant’ (2006), PFA Players’ Player of the Year (1985) and the victim of a reckless challenge in the 1985 FA Cup final that resulted in Manchester United’s Kevin Moran becoming the first player to be sent off in the final. Eat your heart out Motty.