Predicting the unpredictable … take your best shot
Do you feel you’ve been sitting on the bench too long this season? Are you itching for a chance to get out there and show what you can do? Confident you can show all those pundits how little they know about the game?
Well, my friends. Now. Is. Your. Chance.
Scores have been so low in our modest little predictions slot that one good week — one! — could see you overtake the vast majority of the Reuters Soccer Blog panel.
With one point for a correct result but a whopping five for a correct score — and untold bonus points on offer for predicting the apparently unpredictable — you could find yourself top of the league in no time.
And considering that The Contest is run on the honour system, you could even award yourself points for style.
The bar being so low here among the Reuters Soccer Blog panel has prompted a few new entries from our bloggers this week, including a combined effort from our Asian Sports Desk, fronted by Ossian Shine. Good luck, newbies.
Right, here are our predictions. Please enter yours in the comments below and keep us posted on how you’re doing score-wise.
Chelsea v Burnley: Two great wins for Burnley in their last two outings. Never two without three, they say in Spain, but this is England and it’s got to be Chelsea. Patrick Johnston: 3-1; Mike Collett: 3-1; Asian Sports Desk: 2-0; Kevin Fylan: 3-1; Miles Evans: 2-1; Justin Palmer: 3-0; Simon Evans: 0-0; Neil Maidment: 2-0; Mark Meadows: 2-1; Paul Radford: 2-0
Blackburn Rovers v West Ham United: I thought West Ham were a bit unlucky against Spurs last weekend and a lot of people seem to fancy an away win on this. Patrick Johnston: 1-1; Mike Collett: 0-1; Asian Sports Desk: 1-1; Kevin Fylan: 1-2; Miles Evans: 1-3; Justin Palmer: 1-3; Simon Evans: 1-2; Neil Maidment: 2-2; Mark Meadows: 0-1; Paul Radford: 2-1
Bolton Wanderers v Liverpool: Two defeats for Liverpool already and this is a fixture that has caused them problems when they’ve come in looking short of form. Patrick Johnston: 0-3; Mike Collett: 0-2; Asian Sports Desk: 0-0; Kevin Fylan: 2-1; Miles Evans: 0-1; Justin Palmer: 0-1; Simon Evans: 1-3; Neil Maidment: 1-2; Mark Meadows: 0-2; Paul Radford: 0-1
Stoke City v Sunderland: Stoke had a pretty formidable home record last season and only one member of the panel, newbie Neil, has been brave enough to predict a Sunderland win. Patrick Johnston: 0-0; Mike Collett: 1-1; Asian Sports Desk: 3-1; Kevin Fylan: 2-0; Miles Evans: 1-1; Justin Palmer: 2-2; Simon Evans: 1-1; Neil Maidment: 1-2; Mark Meadows: 1-1; Paul Radford: 1-1
Tottenham Hotspur v Birmingham City: Three out of three for Spurs and this looks a winnable game as well (except from the point of view of the Asian Sports Desk…) Patrick Johnston: 4-0; Mike Collett: 3-1; Asian Sports Desk: 1-3; Kevin Fylan: 3-1; Miles Evans: 3-0; Justin Palmer: 2-0; Simon Evans: 2-0; Neil Maidment: 3-0; Mark Meadows: 3-0; Paul Radford: 3-0
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Hull City: 14th plays 15th, and Justin Palmer has gone for 4-0 to 15th. Bizarre, eh? Patrick Johnston: 2-1; Mike Collett: 2-1; Asian Sports Desk: 2-2; Kevin Fylan: 1-0; Miles Evans: 2-0; Justin Palmer: 0-4; Simon Evans: 2-1; Neil Maidment: 0-0; Mark Meadows: 1-0; Paul Radford: 1-0
Manchester United v Arsenal: This is what I had in mind with the predicting the unpredictable headline. United got their mojo back with a 5-0 win over Wigan but even then they had to wait a long time for the first. Arsenal have had the pundits weeping with joy but they haven’t played anyone of United’s calibre yet. Patrick Johnston: 1-4; Mike Collett: 1-2; Asian Sports Desk: 0-2; Kevin Fylan: 2-1; Miles Evans: 0-0; Justin Palmer: 1-0; Simon Evans: 2-2; Neil Maidment: 0-2; Mark Meadows: 0-0; Paul Radford: 1-2
Portsmouth v Manchester City: City have just signed “the best centre-back in the Premier League” so this is a foregone conclusion, no? Patrick Johnston: 0-2; Mike Collett: 0-2; Asian Sports Desk: 0-3; Kevin Fylan: 1-1; Miles Evans: 0-0; Justin Palmer: 2-3; Simon Evans: 0-1; Neil Maidment: 0-2; Mark Meadows: 0-2; Paul Radford: 0-2
Everton v Wigan Athletic: Everton are rock bottom but they’ve only played a couple of games, remember. Can Wigan recover from that caning by United and pile on the agony at Goodison? Patrick Johnston: 1-2; Mike Collett: 3-1; Asian Sports Desk: 1-1; Kevin Fylan: 2-0; Miles Evans: 2-2; Justin Palmer: 2-1; Simon Evans: 2-1; Neil Maidment: 2-1; Mark Meadows: 3-1; Paul Radford: 3-2
Aston Villa v Fulham: Villa helped themselves to the three points at Anfield but then suffered a rude awakening in the Europa League play-off, making this another very tricky one to call. Good luck, sports fans! Patrick Johnston: 0-1; Mike Collett: 1-1; Asian Sports Desk: 2-2; Kevin Fylan: 1-0; Miles Evans: 2-1; Justin Palmer: 3-1; Simon Evans: 4-0; Neil Maidment: 1-1; Mark Meadows: 1-1; Paul Radford: 2-1
So there we have it, please give us your predictions and thoughts in the comments and keep checking back.
PHOTO: A football is rests on the pitch during the English Premier League soccer match between Burnley and Everton in Burnley August 23, 2009. REUTERS/Nigel Roddis