The Predictorship: Week 38 – A Dozen is Quite an a-Steve-ment

Earlier in the season it was ‘Rob’ week in The Predictorship. Now we celebrate ‘Steve’ week as Messrs Dunlop and McHugh each fire in a round dozen.

By his own admission, Steven Dunlop had a miserable week before his Predictorship pick-me-up. He watched with jaw-dropping dismay as his beloved Benfica lost by the odd goal or two in eight in the Portuguese Cup at the grubby hands of arch-rivals Sporting Lisbon, although the spectacle was sportingly described by Steven as the “best match I’ve seen in Portugal”.

But what a difference a weekend makes. After “hovering outside the top 10” for much of the campaign, Steven lunges into the aforementioned 10 for the very first time this season with 12 points, consisting of a mighty FOUR correct scores for the two-goal action at each of the homes of Arsenal, Fulham, Wigan and Newcastle. Steven replaces Dartmoor Rover Jill Taylor in the top 10, surprisingly the only positional change in the top portion of the league this week.

Substitute Newcastle for Blackburn and you stumble across the lofty exploits of Steve McHugh, whose profitable 12-point week culminates in a three place leap up the table to 25th and promotion to League 1 for his boys, Peterborough United, and their cop-bothering gaffer Darren Ferguson, son of gum-chewing-with-mouth-open Manchester United boss Sir Alex.

The Steves were given a run for their proverbial money in this high-scoring week (average 7.73) by 11s for Rob Molloy, Michael Whitty and Nick Watson. News has reached Predictorship HQ that Nick and fellow forecaster Rob “Dimmo” Dimery have been engaging in some extra-curricular activities of late, culminating in the first ever live performance by the GWR house band, The Infamous Grouse. “We redefined the boundaries of pub rock,” claimed Nick. Only he and “Dimmo” know the truth …

Mike Dufficy, who now rests his back on a 15-point cushion atop the league table, Predictorship Cup finalist Sally Moon and “end of season nothing to play for candidate” Mark Young, who’s about to celebrate West Brom’s highly-anticipated return to the top flight of English football, all amass 10 points. Well done all round.

Premier League Results (Week 38): Arsenal 2-0 Reading (15); Blackburn 1-1 Manchester United (6); Fulham 0-2 Liverpool (9); Middlesbrough 0-1 Bolton (0); West Ham 2-1 Derby (2); Wigan 1-1 Tottenham (12); Aston Villa 5-1 Birmingham (0); Manchester City 3-1 Portsmouth (0); Newcastle 2-0 Sunderland (6); Scottish Premier League Result (Week 38): Celtic 1-0 Aberdeen (4).

* Figures in brackets show the number of correct predictions for each game.

Highest Score (Week 38): 12 – Steven Dunlop and Steve McHugh.
Average Score (Week 38): 7.73.
Prediction of the Week (Week 38): Dave McAleer, Steve McHugh, Rob Molloy, Sally Moon, Michael Whitty and Mark Young (Blackburn 1-1 Manchester United).

Top of the Table (Week 38):

1. Jersey United (Mike Dufficy) – 278 pts
2. Chelsea (Dave Taylor) – 263 pts
3. Nottingham Forest (Matthew White) – 262 pts
4. Liverpool Reserves (Saleel Sathe) – 259 pts
5. Clapton F.C. (Cathryn Harker) – 257 pts
6. Manchester City (Christine Butters) – 254 pts
7. Blackburn Rovers (Sally Moon) – 253 pts
8. West Ham United (Wendy Nathan) – 251 pts
9. Charlton Athletic (Nigel Birrell) – 250 pts
10. Benfica (Steven Dunlop) – 249 pts

Question of the Week …

Following the success, or otherwise, of last week’s ‘Question of the Week’ feature, here’s another poser to let your brain cells loose on. According to ‘Match of the Day’, which veteran striker has NEVER lost a Premier League match in which he’s scored? Answer at the bottom of the page.

Rant of the Week …

No, not Chelsea’s constant chirping at having to play two Premier League games in three days (poor darlings – Liverpool had to play a Premier League fixture on Saturday (not Thursday), three days (not five) before their Champions League semi-final against, er, oh that’s right, Chelsea), this week’s ‘Rant of the Week’ belongs to former Arsenal forward Ian Wright, who was gunning for the BBC – his now former employer – when he quit ‘Match of the Day’ last week for a career on TalkSport and as host of the soon-to-be-revamped ‘Gladiators’:

“I don’t know how long young people are going to want to sit down and watch that same old ‘jacket, shirt and tie’ format,” argued Wright. “I feel like I’m just there as a comedy jester to break the ice with Alan Shearer and Alan Hansen, who just do run-of-the-mill things. I can’t do that anymore. People want something different.”

‘Question of the Week’ answer: Darius Vassell.

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