Players: 41 out of 49. Points scored: 261. Highest score: 12 (Christine Butters). Average score: 6.36. Prediction of the Week: Liverpool 1-1 Blackburn (Basil Bradley, James Bradley, Brian Dunlop, Steve McHugh, Rob Molloy, Wendy Nathan).
Results: Arsenal 3-0 Watford (3); Aston Villa 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur (8); Liverpool 1-1 Blackburn (6); Manchester City 0-0 Sheffield United (3); Middlesbrough 2-1 Everton (2); Portsmouth 2-0 West Ham (9); Reading 0-1 Chelsea (6); Wigan 1-3 Manchester United (2); Newcastle 1-2 Bolton (7); Fulham 2-1 Charlton (8).
Christine Butters (Manchester City) is this week’s Predictorship hot shot and claims the season’s top score so far (12). Christine, who rockets from 19th to fourth position in the latest table, is aided by a remarkable five correct scores (the games at Aston Villa, Middlesbrough, Wigan, Newcastle and Fulham), a feat not witnessed since Janet Jones and Stewart Newport recorded five and six correct scores respectively in Stewart’s record-breaking, 15-point week during the 2005-2006 season.
Hope Arnold (Manchester United) has her lead cut to four points by Nick Watson (Ipswich Town). Hope, who earlier in the week confirmed she was “feeling the pressure”, took a major gamble on Reading beating Premiership champions Chelsea 2-1 but was saved by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s injury-time strike for Manchester United and Fulham’s 2-1 win against Charlton.
Pete Yoder (Wolverhampton Wanderers) has the most correct scores to his name (13) and moves into third place, ahead of Christine in fourth and David Roberts (Watford) in fifth, who, in his own words, was either “brave or stupid” to predict a 1-1 draw between Arsenal and Watford. Rob Dimery (Cheltenham Town) sneaks into the top 30 with four correct scores and 11 points, which would have been good enough to take top score honours in all but two weeks this season.
Decent scores for Brian Dunlop (Purple Haze), Alex Iskandar Liew (Tricky Trees) and Michael Whitty (Bunch of Losers), condemn Stuart Claxton (Reading) to a third week at the foot of the table.
If you’re still wondering about the footballer who shares his surname with the team he plays for and scored during the recent set of international fixtures: Steven Ireland.
“To be really happy, we must throw our hearts over the bar and hope that our bodies will follow” – Graham Taylor, England manager (yes, another one), 1990-1993