Predictorship Week 21 – Renewed Hope

Players: 40 out of 49. Points scored: 213. Highest score: 9 (Hope Arnold, Haresh Mirani). Average score: 5.32. Predictions of the Week: Paul Bentley (Bristol City 2-2 Middlesbrough), Jodie Kemp (Birmingham 2-3 Reading).

Results: Arsenal 1-1 Bolton Wanderers (1); West Ham United 0-1 Watford (2); Bristol City 2-2 Middlesbrough (1); Chelsea 3-0 Nottingham Forest (11); Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 Southend United (6); Birmingham City 2-3 Reading (1); Manchester United 2-1 Portsmouth (14); Blackpool 1-1 Norwich City (5); Luton Town 0-4 Blackburn Rovers (0); Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-3 West Bromwich Albion (0).

Hope Arnold (135 points) and Haresh Mirani (132) share this week’s top score (9) and shuffle a couple of places up the table to third and fourth respectively, but Christine Butters (136) and John Collins (135) continue to lead the way, despite some disastrous Predictorship Cup news for the latter (see below).

Hope manages a highly creditable four correct scores (the ties at West Ham, Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester United) and Michael Whitty (27th) reaches a new high with three perfect scores, including Blackpool 1 Norwich 1. Gabe Bevilacqua (13th) and Ted Warland (22nd) also secure new peaks in a mid-table more congested than your average human nose over the winter period.

Some spectacular predicting results in not one but two ‘Predictions of the Week’: Jodie Kemp’s Birmingham 2 Reading 3 and Paul Bentley’s equally outrageous Bristol City 2 Middlesbrough 2, although Maziar Sattari was the only person to plump for Arsenal 1 Bolton 1 and could easily have walked off with the coveted prize.

Six brave souls declared that Tottenham would dispose of Southend 3-1 (and they did!), and another bold selection was a 1-0 win for Watford at West Ham, so we come back to where we started and say well done to Hope and Haresh.

And so to the Predictorship Cup …

There were shocks aplenty in Round 1 of the Cup. Bengal Mumbai F.C. (Haresh Mirani, current league position: 4th) sensationally put out last season’s champions Millwall (John Collins, 2nd) in a 9-7 thriller, so there WILL be a new name on the trophy in May, Ipswich Town (Nick Watson, 5th) succumbed 6-4 to DC Adunited (Patrick Bevilacqua, 15th) and Jersey United (Mike Dufficy, 9th) were sent packing by Newcastle United (Basil Bradley, 31st).

Two other heavyweights, Manchester’s City (Christine Butters, 1st) and United (Hope Arnold, 3rd), stole a march on their high-flying opponents to progress 6-5 and 9-4 respectively while the lowest ranked team in Round 1, Hornets Forever (Mark Davies, 43rd), live to fight another day. Bunch of Losers (Michael Whitty), Living the Dream (Paul Bentley), Sheffield Wednesday (Janet Jones), Watford (David Roberts) and West Bergholt Wanderers (Jodie Kemp) are the other teams safely through to Round 2 and there are five replays to look forward to this weekend.

Here are the full classified results, read by James Alexander Gordon …

The Predictorship Cup – Round 1

1. WATFORD (David Roberts) (17) 5-3 BENFICA (Steven Dunlop) (21)
2. CLAPTON F.C. (Cathryn Harker) (15) 4-4 WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS (Pete Yoder) (12)
3. BLACKBURN ROVERS (Sally Moon) (18) 5-5 PETERBOROUGH UNITED (Steve McHugh) (7)
4. LIVING THE DREAM (Paul Bentley) (41) 5-3 WYCOMBE WANDERERS (Stewart Newport) (20)
5. TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR (Simon Gold) (32) 4-4 SOUTHAMPTON (Tom Palmer) (26)
6. PURPLE HAZE (Brian Dunlop) (23) 5-8 HORNETS FOREVER (Mark Davies) (46)
7. CRYSTAL PALACE (Dave McAleer) (33) 5-5 PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (Gabe Bevilacqua) (16)
8. LIVERPOOL (Joe Zalewski) (35) 3-7 WEST BERGHOLT WANDERERS (Jodie Kemp) (27)
9. CHELSEA (Dave Taylor) (4) 5-6 MANCHESTER CITY (Christine Butters) (1)
10. LIVERPOOL RESERVES (Saleel Sathe) (10) 4-9 MANCHESTER UNITED (Hope Arnold) (5)
11. MILLWALL (John Collins) (2) 7-9 BENGAL MUMBAI F.C. (Haresh Mirani) (6)
12. SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY (Janet Jones) (24) 5-3 DARTMOOR ROVERS (Jill Taylor) (14)
13. ANKARAGÜCÜ (Matthew White) (11) 4-4 WEST BROMWICH ALBION (Mark Young) (8)
14. BUNCH OF LOSERS (Michael Whitty) (30) 8-3 WINCHESTER CITY (Nicola Savage) (22)
15. IPSWICH TOWN (Nick Watson) (3) 4-6 DC ADUNITED (Patrick Bevilacqua) (19)
16. NEWCASTLE UNITED (Basil Bradley) (36) 8-5 JERSEY UNITED (Mike Dufficy) (9)

Round 1 Replays (ties to be played on February 3-4)

2. WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS (Pete Yoder) (12) v CLAPTON F.C. (Cathryn Harker) (15)
3. PETERBOROUGH UNITED (Steve McHugh) (7) v BLACKBURN ROVERS (Sally Moon) (18)
5. SOUTHAMPTON (Tom Palmer) (26) v TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR (Simon Gold) (32)
7. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (Gabe Bevilacqua) (16) v CRYSTAL PALACE (Dave McAleer) (33)
13. WEST BROMWICH ALBION (Mark Young) (8) v ANKARAGÜCÜ (Matthew White) (11)

* Figures in brackets show league position on January 27.

Quote of the Week …

“Every defeat is a victory in itself” – Francisco “Pacho” Maturana, a Colombian international who, as national team coach, took the South Americans to the World Cup finals in 1990 and 1994. In the 1994 qualifying campaign, he famously led Colombia to a 5-0 win over Argentina in Buenos Aires, but the team flopped in the finals, losing 3-1 to Romania and 2-1 against hosts America. Colombian defender Andrés Escobar scored an own goal in the game against the US and was later shot dead for allegedly bringing about “terrible gambling losses to several drug lords”.

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