Rejoice! For the new football season is upon us. Much quicker than usual (to the rest of the population’s displeasure), the Premier League has started again on the same week that is usually reserved for the curtain raising of the football league. The first competitive match played in this new season was down on the south coast, taking place on Friday the 7th August between Brighton and Hove Albion and Nottingham Forest. It finished 1-0 to Brighton. If you know anything about my little group of bloggers, you will know the significance of this. If you don’t, then maybe I should start by explaining it!
As you saw last week, the group consists of myself, Charlie Marriott, Josh Still and Martyn Gray. Charlie supports West Bromwich Albion while, as you should know, I support Everton. Martyn and Josh have chosen (or were chosen) to spend their lives supporting Nottingham Forest, a task certainly not the envy of many, particularly those who have seen Forest play in the last few years! Josh’s birthday is the 7th August and has a job in London, living with his fiancée in Eastbourne. It wouldn’t take a genius to work out that we were going to spend his birthday at the AMEX (wonderful stadium by the way, very much worth a visit) watching the curtain being raised on a new season.
A couple of seasons ago, and over at We Only Sing When We’re Winning, the four of us took part in a Premier League prediction league. Week by week we would predict scores, getting 3 points for a correct score and 1 for a correct result, and at the end of it I produced tables and graphs detailing how we’d done over the course of the season. Towards the end it got tedious, wasted time and effort to produce while also clogging the blog and denying new, fresh and meaningful material the chance to appear but despite this we all rather enjoyed our time spent predicting results. We didn’t do it last year for the reasons outlined above and we won’t do it again this year however this year we are still going to do predictions, of sorts.
In the car, on the way back from Josh’s, the four of us thought up how each of the top two leagues in England would look like come May (PL and Championship because of Forest, WBA and Everton’s presence in them). On top of that, we guessed at how many points would be required to be Champions and to stay up as well as predicting the FA Cup and Carling Cup winners. Finally, we came up with an outlandish prediction, which is unlikely to happen, but would gain us extra points if it does.
I won’t bore you with the points system, as it isn’t important and will only really come into effect towards the end of the season (at which point I may write an article summing it all up or I might not). The reason for this post is simply to show you our tables and predictions so you can have a laugh at how absurdly wrong we were at the end of the season. In terms of the predictions for points required, it’s fairly simple but I’ll explain where the figures have come from. For points required to survive, the figure is the number of points that we predict the side who occupies the place directly above the relegation zone will finish with (so 17th for the PL, 21st for the Championship). This could lead to survival being decided on goal difference, however we can negate that – it’s not important as the points number is the same for all the sides on it. That goal difference theory is the same at both ends of the tables yet we’ve used a slightly different calculation for points required to be Champions. For this, we will predict the amount of points that the side in second will finish with and then add one to that. The two methods seem opposed to each other, but there is a little logic behind the latter one as we are predicting outright Champions, not titles decided on goal difference whereas survival is survival – be it on goal difference or points. Furthermore, finishing in 17th or 21st means you are safe, finishing 2nd means you aren’t champions.
So, without further ado – here are our predictions:
FA Cup winners:
- Charlie: Arsenal
- Gareth: West Ham
- Josh: Manchester City
- Martyn: Crystal Palace
Capital One Cup winners:
- Charlie: Manchester United
- Gareth: Chelsea
- Josh: Liverpool
- Martyn: Stoke
Champions in orange, UCL qualification in green, UEL qualification in blue (using winners of cups above and if winners have already qualified then assuming finalists have too – ignoring Fair Play league), relegated in red.
|1||Chelsea||Chelsea||Man U||Man U|
|2||Man City||Man U||Chelsea||Chelsea|
|4||Man U||Man City||Man City||Man City|
|17||Leicester||Aston Villa||Norwich||Aston Villa|
|Points required to stay up||34||39||35||37|
|Points required to be champs||80||86||82||91|
|Top Scorer||Sergio Aguero||Romelu Lukaku||Wayne Rooney||Harry Kane|
|Crazy Predo||WBA unbeaten against Charlie’s predicted top 4||No English player will score 15 goals||Steve McClaren filmed with Geordie accent||Fastest red card to be in first minute|
Champions in orange, promoted in green, play-offs in blue and relegated in red
|5||QPR||Boro||Reading ¹||Nottm Forest|
|6||Ipswich||Nottm Forest||Brighton ¹||QPR|
|14||Brum||Preston NE||Nottm Forest||Reading|
|16||Preston NE||Reading||Charlton||Sheff Wed|
|19||Bristol City||Bristol City||Bristol City||Fulham|
|22||Leeds||Bolton||Preston NE||Preston NE|
|23||MK Dons||Leeds||Bolton||MK Dons|
¹ Josh moved Brighton and Reading from 19th and 20th to 6th and 5th respectively on 3/10/15
|Points required to stay up||48||43||47||43|
|Points required to be champs||99||91||82||88|
|Top Scorer||Kike||Bobby Zamora||Benik Afobe||Chris Martin|
|Crazy Predo||QPR, Burnley or Hull to go down||Rotherhm to get promoted||Tyler Walker to score 20 goals||Lewis Dunk to score 10 goals|
So there we have it, our predictions – of which most will almost certainly be wrong! However, that doesn’t matter – it’s always fun to try and second guess how a season will play out. Feel free to give your own predictions in the comments below, we welcome other people’s opinion!