Predictorship Week 20 – I Can’t Believe it’s Hot Butters!

Players: 43 out of 49. Points scored: 204. Highest score: 9 (Gabe Bevilacqua, Christine Butters, Rob Molloy). Average score: 4.74. Prediction of the Week: Reading 3-1 Sheffield United (Rob Molloy).

Results: Aston Villa 2-0 Watford (13); Fulham 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur (9); Liverpool 2-0 Chelsea (0); Manchester City 0-3 Blackburn Rovers (0); Middlesbrough 5-1 Bolton Wanderers (0); Newcastle 2-2 West Ham United (0); Portsmouth 0-1 Charlton Athletic (0); Reading 3-1 Sheffield United (1); Wigan Athletic 0-2 Everton (2); Arsenal 2-1 Manchester United (9).

Spread the word and cue the terrible puns: it’s time to toast our new leader, Christine Butters.

The Manchester City supporter cuts through a bevvy of jostling predictors like a knife through you-know-what and becomes the sixth table-topper in what is churning out to be an exhilarating season.

Furthermore, Christine smears a huge dollop of icing on her celebratory cake as one of this week’s highest scorers, joining Gabe Bevilacqua and Rob Molloy on nine points courtesy of bang-on scores from Aston Villa, Fulham and Arsenal.

Two notable achievements in one week: she should milk it for all it’s worth.

For anyone unable to get their hands on the latest table, the top five predictors are now: Christine (130 points), John Collins (128), Nick Watson (128), Dave Taylor (126) and Hope Arnold (126).

With the fixture list throwing together Liverpool (third) and Chelsea (second) on Saturday and Arsenal (fourth) and Manchester United (first) on Sunday, it seemed like a perfect excuse to carry out a bit more painstaking research on the predictions of this week’s 43 players.

Chelsea (won 18, drawn 12, lost 13) and Arsenal (won 16, drawn 18, lost 9) were the favoured teams and would each have racked up 66 points based on the Premiership’s points system. Liverpool (won 13, drawn 12, lost 18) and Manchester United (won 9, drawn 18, lost 16) were lagging behind on 51 and 45 points respectively.

Like four minutes of injury time at Old Trafford, the results are baffling. Or could it all be explained by Arsenal’s recent 6-3 romp at Anfield in the Carling Cup, leading us to believe that Liverpool are not much Kop at Anfield and the Premiership leaders cannot be rated at the Emirates? It would certainly help me sleep better at night.

To round off this piece of inept research, I’ll also reveal the goals each team scored in your 43 predictions: Arsenal 61, Chelsea 57, Manchester United 54, Liverpool 48. Fascinating.

And now to more pressing matters. Nick Watson’s personally-christened Drawomatic Randomizer 32 has been flexing its muscles and has spewed forth the all-important numbers for Round 1 of the Predictorship Cup, which takes place this weekend. The drawmaster used set of balls number 1, chosen by Rick O’Shea of Quorn (currently basking in the glory of reaching the fourth round of the FA Vase Trophy). There was no independent adjudicator.

The waffling article below this one will explain everything you need to know about Round 1. Good luck!

Quote of the week …

“We’ve got a monster around our neck after beating England, but we must feed it” – Australian coach Frank Farina after the Socceroos beat England 3-1 in a friendly in 2003. The England scorer that day? Francis Jeffers.

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