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Topics - DuraKaN

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1
Out of posterity (and because I haven't seen myself at the top of a table for a while), I thought I would update my old lifetime predictors' table to the end of last season.

For those who haven't been around since the beginning, I've also done a Points Per Prediction version, which is topped by the mythical Stantos, who obviously decided after eight games that there were better uses for his extraordinary powers of prescience.

Should be interesting to see how this has changed at the end of the season. I look forward to seeing you peasants squabble for second place, because there is only one Trophy4Toon Prediction League King. 8)

2
Well, it's been a traumatic season for us all, but some more than others. I don't know which I am more distraught about... losing my Prediction League crown, or the fact that we will be playing in the same division as Scunthorpe next season. Still, I feel obliged to draw out a painful analysis of the Prediction League season, and once more hand out some awards. So, without further ado...


The Trophy4Toon Prediction League Champion: Trophy4toon

Bitter congratulations to Trophy4toon, who has recovered spectacularly from last season. If there was a 'most improved predictor' award, there would be no doubt about the winner. But there isn't. Here are this year's final standings:




The Hall of Champions

The Hall of Champions is a bit empty at the moment, but that does not detract from its prestige. If you're wondering why it's occupied solely by trophy4toon admin staff, it's because you're not bribing me enough.




The "If Only I'd Remembered To Put My Predictions In Every Week" Award: Big Phil

Just when he thought he would leave England without a trophy, Big Phil scoops the award for most points per prediction! As you can see, Jordy92 and Gallowgate (with his single prediction) are technically ahead of him, but I have arbitrarily decided that you need to predict at least 25% of the games to be eligible. Here's the table:




The Predictor of the Month Awards:

Congratulations to the following for their superb, if fleeting, runs of form:

August - Oba fan
September - ChrisL, Slam Dunc
October - old bloke, trophy4toon
November - Big Phil, hooperman
December - Toonaldofan
January - mrmalaki, Oba fan
February - Big Phil
March - Big Phil, ChrisL
April - hooperman
May - trophy4toon


The Lifetime Predictor's Award: DuraKaN

I was scrabbling around desperately trying to think of a way to reward myself, when I came across this idea - essentially, just a list of how everyone has performed over their whole predicting career. As you can see, it is quite close at the top between myself and old bloke, while Slam Dunc is a surprise in 3rd place. Trophy4toon is only 6th, thanks to his dismal season last year.




If anyone else would like to dish out their own awards, feel free. You will notice there is no Moron of the Year award this time, because I simply couldn't think of any obvious candidates, so I will leave that to the rest of you to allocate, should you wish.

Well, that's it from me. See you all next year at hooperman's house for the QPR game...

3
A couple of weeks ago, I said that the game against Middlesbrough was the most important game of my life. At that point in time, I was correct, but it has now been surpassed by this one. We simply can't lose. Failure to score a point will see us relegated, and even if we do win, we're relying on other results going our way. Admittedly, Hull are playing Manchester United, but what sort of team are they likely to put out? Will their players want to play football, or will their minds be on the Champions League final and remaining injury-free? Only time will tell...

But enough about Hull - we have to do our bit first. Aston Villa are a side whose season seems to have ended some weeks ago, but they're still a good side, and they might want to give their fans something to cheer in their final home game of the season. Let's just hope they stop playing after eighty minutes, as they often do.

I'm afraid I'm going to predict a grim 1-0 defeat.

4
Saturday is the day of our penultimate game of the season and our final home game, as Fulham travel to St James's Park. Will Newcastle become complacent after the big win over Middlesbrough, or will they take to the field buoyed by a fresh wave of confidence?

I don't really care anymore, but I'll predict 1-1 just for the hell of it, setting up a nervy last game of the season away to Aston Villa.

5
Next Monday, we face Middlesbrough at home in a game of earth-shattering proportions, and there is indeed the possibility that defeat here might just destroy one of these clubs. Certainly, if either side is to avoid relegation this season, this is a game they will have to win.

I have no clue. We can't score and we can't defend, but neither can Middlesbrough. Maybe another anti-climactic 0-0.

6
Next week we play what will probably be a pointless game against title-chasing Liverpool.

4-0 to the home team.

Since there has been a surprising number of 4-0 scorelines, I'm changing my prediction to 5-0.

7
Portsmouth are the visitors next Monday night, as once again we take to the field with the added pressure of playing last, which means we will inevitably be even further from salvation.

Portsmouth look like they're staying up, and that could work to our advantage if they take their foot off the gas, but Newcastle know that they have to win, and that will make the task all the more difficult.

I think this match hinges on our resolve. If it's good and we come out fighting, we can win this match, but if it continues to crumble, as it has been recently (besides the last 30 minutes against Stoke), we are doomed. My short supply of optimism has run out, and I'm going to predict a 1-1 draw.

8
We face another away game next Sunday, though Tottenham may prove to be a less formidable destination than Stoke. With our opponents having moved up to 8th in the table, it's clear that we have more at stake, though whether that's an advantage or a disadvantage is debatable.

I've got no idea at the moment, so I'm just going to put down a 2-1 win for us, and maybe change it later when my head is more grounded in reality.

9
With Chelsea out of the way, Shearer's test really begins as we enter a crucial period in the history of our football club. More importantly, there are just 7 games left to win the Prediction League title!

Relegation rivals Stoke City are one of the clubs we simply cannot afford to lose to if we are to stay in this division, but they've been a tough team to beat all season, more than making up for their lack of quality with sheer grit and determination. Of course, we're all aware of this already, having seen Newcastle blow a 2-0 lead at St. James's Park last December. And, unfortunately, their home form is quite good...

I'm going to predict a 2-1 win to Newcastle. I'm trying to justify it, but I can't.

10
We host our second top 4 team in as many matches when Chelsea make the long trip from London in 2 weeks' time. Chelsea's brief revival under Guus Hiddink was halted at Tottenham on Saturday, and our 0-0 draw earlier in the season may inspire some confidence in our team, but it's difficult to think of a team at any level that don't have a chance against our defence at the moment.

Personally, I'm not convinced of Chelsea's potency, and with 2 weeks to drill the defence and get some injured players back, I think we might just be able to restrict this match to a 1-0 defeat.

11
A resurgent Arsenal arrive at St. James's Park this weekend, but they would be foolish to expect an easy win. Of course, that doesn't mean it won't happen, but we're perfectly capable of putting in good performances against the top sides. In fact, our good performances seem to come exclusively in these games, and we usually lose anyway...

I'm going to predict 3-0 to Arsenal.

12
We travel to Hull for our next game, and it's not looking great. Hull finally managed to end their winless streak against Fulham, and we've played them three times already this season with no success (lost 2-1 at home, drew 0-0 away in the FA Cup, lost 1-0 at home in the replay). On the positive side, an encouraging performance against Manchester United should give the team some confidence, and there's nothing to say that Hull will definitely turn things around from now on... We might also have some players back by the time this fixture rolls around, and those who have recently returned will have a chance to sharpen up.

I'm not really sure what to predict, but I might just go for a sneaky 1-0 win... Besides, if we don't take 3 points from this match, you have to look at the fixture list and wonder how exactly we're going to survive...

13
We host Manchester United in this midweek fixture... This will be their 4th game in 12 days, but that won't stop me from predicting a 3-0 away win.

Apparently we're going to try and play an attacking game, which is a good thing in my opinion, but I am still changing my prediction to 4-0.

14
We travel to Bolton next Sunday. I'd like to wait until after the Everton game to make my prediction, but I won't have the opportunity, so I'll sit on the fence and go for a draw...

Bolton 1 - 1 Newcastle

15
Because of the break for internationals, and the fact that February is a short month, the monthly champion will be announced after this game, so make your predictions count!

Everton have once again performed well this season, and have been bolstered recently by the return of Tim Cahill and the acquisition of Jo to alleviate their striker problem. But will he be enough to cut through Newcastle's defence? All recent evidence points to 'yes'...

Call me mad, but I'm going 2-1 Newcastle. I will give this a sense check closer to the match.

And here's the sense check. 2-0 to Everton.

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