Round 3: Mark benefits from England defeat

England v Belgium

England lost their final group game against Belgium in a battle between second-choice players but that result ensured Mark Jelfs won a difficult round three from Anonimo via the Separata rules.

Mark had just seven points with four games to go but he nailed three correct scorelines and a correct margin of victory to amass 18 points which also helped shove him up to seventh place in the overall table.

However, Paul McCormack remains in pole position to win the England shirt signed by Rooney, Beckham, Gerrard, Owen et al after extending his overall lead to two points, two clear of Gilad Felcher and Meach Meachington.

Signed England shirt

Matt Westwood led the way after Tuesday’s four matches with 11 points, one clear of Scott Lang, thanks to a well-placed banker on Argentina’s 2-1 victory over Nigeria which proved to be the most popular prediction for that game

He also bagged three points from Croatia’s 2-1 win against Iceland which was a hit with many of you, including Anshu Varma who played her banker on it to grab a share of fifth place over the three days. A 2-0 win for Croatia had the highest number of predictions for that match.

Anonimo was one of only 14 players to call Peru’s 2-0 victory over Australia, one of three correct scorelines for the player who moved up to fifth place in the overall standings and is just three points off the lead.

Only eight players nailed the goalless draw between Denmark and France who were booed off by both sets of fans after the game.

The leaderboard remained pretty static after an incredible Wednesday afternoon in which defending champions Germany were knocked out of the World Cup by South Korea, and Mexico were crushed 3-0 by Sweden.

Predictably, nobody went for either of those scorelines and just five players – Alfonz, Jeanette McGuiness, Grant Porteous, Kusum Baboo and Luke Roninson – went for a South Korea win. The most popular prediction of the weekend was a 2-0 win for Germany. Sound familiar?

That shock result and Sweden’s heavy win meant Matt continued to sit at the summit although that all changed on Wednesday evening when Joe Hallom stormed to the top of the table with 15 points after playing his banker on Brazil’s 2-0 victory over Serbia which had 30% of your support this week.

Anonimo moved into a share of second place by picking up six points from the Selecao’s win, while fifth-placed Ajit Pillai also had had his banker on Brazil.

Anshu Varma was one of only eight players to call the 2-2 draw between Switzerland and Costa Rica, and she was also on Colombia’s 1-0 victory over Senegal which helped her finish in joint fifth place. Jonathan Smith was the only player from the round to correctly stick his banker on that scoreline which helped him bag ninth place.

Colombia’s win not only put them into the last 16, where they will meet England, but it also fired Anonimo to the top of the leaderboard with 16 points, one clear of Mark Jelfs and Joe.

However, Adnan Januzaj’s screamer ensured Mark was the round’s top scorer even though Anonimo went for a 2-1 win to Belgium. Great work Mark, have a cider to celebrate!

Hafiz Sorathia claimed third place by correctly forecasting Belgium’s 1-0 victory over the Three Lions and Jim Mkhiteeryan finished strongly with nine points from the last four games to seal eighth spot.

The most popular prediction was a 1-1 draw at 24.5% followed closely by a 2-1 win for England 23%. That went well!

Here’s a rundown of how the week went:

Round 3 prediktions

Australia 0-2 Peru (2.7%)
Denmark 0-0 France (Eight correct predictions)
Iceland 1-2 Croatia (25%)
Nigeria 1-2 Argentina (29%)
Mexico 0-3 Sweden (No correct predictions)
South Korea 2-0 Germany (No correct predictions)
Serbia 0-2 Brazil (30%)
Switzerland 2-2 Costa Rica (Five correct predictions)
Senegal 0-1 Colombia (11%)
England 0-1 Belgium (2.5%)

Seven correct results

Mark Jelfs, Ameliano Insua, Jim Mkhiteeryan, Devin Bonner and probably others!

Three correct scorelines

Mark Jelfs, Anonimo, Hafiz Sorathia, Ameliano Insua, Ajit Pillai, Anshu Varma, Joe Hallam, Michelle Bradley, Dave Ormesher and probably others!

Ten or less spot-on prediktions

5 – Switzerland 2-0 Costa Rica – Anshu Varma, Cliffie Steer, Gordon Howes, Kev Hughes and Sadie Hamblin

8 – Denmark 0-0 France – Chris Baron, Eilian Jones, Gordon Howes, Jeff Boekstein, JJ The Chump, Keith Broadhurst, Mark Gennoe and Peter Halswell

Top five prediktions of round 3

South Korea 0-2 Germany (46%)
Denmark 1-2 France (39%)
Iceland 0-2 Croatia (33%)
Mexico 2-1 Sweden (32%)
Serbia 0-2 Brazil (30%)

Round of 16 preview

The round of 16 starts on Saturday with France’s clash with Argentina and ends on Tuesday with England’s match against Colombia. The rules are slightly different for knockout games which takes into account the scoreline after extra time NOT at the end of 90 minutes. If you predict a 1-1 draw it means you expect that to be the scoreline after 120 minutes. Penalties are irrelevant for Predikta purposes – only the score after extra time matters!

France v Argentina (Sat): France finished top of Group C with seven points and concluded their campaign with a goalless draw against Denmark in which both teams seemed as though they had settled for the point they needed. France have yet to really get going although defensively they look strong.

Argentina’s passage was much more exciting as Marcos Rojo’s late volley against Nigeria ensured they reached the knockout stage at their opponents’ expense. Jorge Sampaoli’s men looked to be in disarray after a 3-0 defeat by Croatia but a Messi-inspired half-time team-talk pulled them through.

Uruguay v Portugal (Sat): Uruguay reached the last 16 as one of three teams to finish with maximum points from the group phase but they are the only side yet to concede a goal. The South Americans were mediocre against Egypt and Saudi Arabia, but the decision to switch around their midfield paid dividends as they crushed World Cup hosts Russia 3-0, with both Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani on the scoresheet.

Portugal’s clash with Iran ended in controversy as a VAR-influenced penalty was awarded in stoppage time which ensured the game ended in a 1-1 draw although the Europeans champion were nearly eliminated moments later when a shot hit the side netting. Uruguay look favourites to go through.

Spain v Russia (Sun): Spain are second favourites to win the World Cup despite winning just one of their three group games. Came back twice to earn a 2-2 draw with Morocco in their final game although they had VAR to thank to ensure they topped the group after Iago Aspas’ flick had originally been ruled offside.

Russia’s pessimism at the start of the tournament gave way to optimism as they battered Saudi Arabia and Egypt, but a 3-0 defeat by Uruguay, during which Igor Smolnikov was sent off on his World Cup debut, has left a slight cloud over the hosts. This could be the end of the road for Russia although they drew 3-3 with a strong Spanish side in November.

Croatia v Denmark (Sun): Croatia were around 33/1 to win the World Cup at the start of the tournament but maximum points from the group phase means they are now a third of that price at 11/1. Croatia made nine changes for their clash with Iceland and despite being under the cosh ran out 2-1 winners.

Denmark were lucky to beat Peru, were outplayed in the second half of their 1-1 draw with Australia and then played out a goalless draw with France in which both teams were happy with a point. The Danes are unlikely to reach the quarter-finals despite having Christian Eriksen, but stranger things have happened, eh Germany?

Brazil v Mexico (Mon): The five-time champions finally started to look like potential winners with a 2-0 victory over Serbia which followed unconvincing performances against Switzerland and Costa Rica. Neymar still lacks match sharpness after a lengthy injury lay-off and has scored just once in Russia, but Philippe Coutinho has stepped up with two goals.

Mexico looked to be last-16 certs after winning their first two games, but a 3-0 defeat by Sweden meant they needed South Korea to spring a shock win against Germany and we all know how that turned out. Should be an attacking game, one which Brazil should edge.

Belgium v Japan (Mon): Roberto Martinez made nine changes for Belgium’s 1-0 victory over England which ensured they went into the knockout stage as group winners. All the big hitters should be back to face Japan although question marks still surround the fitness of Romelu Lukaku.

Japan only qualified for the last 16 by having a better disciplinary record than Senegal after they lost control of their destiny with a 1-0 defeat by eliminated Poland. Both teams played the ball around at the back for the final quarter, a risky strategy as a Senegal equaliser would have seen them crash out.

Sweden v Switzerland (Tue): This could turn out to be the dullest of the last-16 ties with neither side having a reputation for attacking football. Sweden looked on the brink after their last-second defeat by Germany but a 3-0 win against Mexico meant they finished top of the group.

The Swiss finished unbeaten as runners-up with five points, concluding Group E with a 2-2 draw against Costa Rica who twice came from behind to earn their first point of the World Cup. Tuesday’s game in St Petersburg should be a close encounter in a low-scoring affair.

Colombia v England (Tue): Yerry Mina’s second-half header sent Colombia into the last 16 as group winners at the expense of Senegal who paid the price for an inferior disciplinary record than Japan. Colombia are a swift attacking side but could be without James Rodriguez who went off with an injury during the 1-0 win against Senegal.

Gareth Southgate made eight changes for the game against Belgium but England’s 1-0 defeat means they have an easier route despite finishing runners-up in Group G. Harry Kane was left on the bench for the whole game so should be refreshed for the Colombia game.

That’s our round three review and last 16 preview done and dusted so it’s time to board the blue banner and make those predictions. Make sure you get them done before Saturday’s 3pm kick-off. Best of luck to you all!