Week 35: Diane dazzles on derby weekend

Chris Smalling and Paul Pogba

Manchester United duo Paul Pogba and Chris Smalling combined to prevent City from winning the Premier League title in a sensational comeback victory at the Etihad on Saturday and for Diane Matthews it was an equally brilliant performance.

Had Chelsea managed to find a late winner against West Ham, Diane would have equalled the best score of the season but despite picking up nothing from that game she still managed to beat nearest rival Jeff Pinsent by three points thanks to a few inspired predictions.

Oh Diane!

Diane was the only player to call Arsenal’s 3-2 victory over Southampton and one of three to predict United’s 3-2 win at City. She was also one of only nine players to nail Newcastle’s 2-1 win at Leicester, so even though her winning total of 18 points may not sound much it was actually one of the best performances of the season on a difficult weekend containing five draws. Well played Diane, that was some effort.

With the campaign coming to a climax, we also have a new overall leader in the shape of Phil Duncan who leapfrogged Ben Richmond to top the table in his first season of playing Predikta.

Merseyside blank flummoxes Predikta crowd

The weekend got off to an inauspicious start with nobody predicting an uninspiring goalless draw between Everton and Liverpool in the Saturday lunchtime kick-off.

Only 17% of players went for a draw at Goodison Park and the most popular prediction for that game was a 2-1 win for the Reds at 39%, but just two of you played bankers on a share of the spoils which meant Anthony Bash and Neil Dilkes led the way with four points heading into the six 3pm games.

Those half a dozen matches produced spectacular predictions from some of you including Nana Yaw Dadzie who jumped to the top of the leaderboard with 13 points thanks to four spot-on predictions from the games at Bournemouth, Brighton, Watford and West Brom.

The most popular predictions for the clash between the Cherries and Palace were evenly split between a 1-1 draw and a 2-1 home win, with just 33 players, including Jeff Pinsent and Jack Wright, on the correct 2-2 scoreline. Nice work from Jill Rouse who was the only player to nail a banker from the game at Dean Court.

George Balderson, fifth this week, was one of nine players to call Newcastle’s 2-1 win at Leicester which gave him a share of second place with Lottie Dowle on 12 points. Hats off to Clayton Hampson, though, who moved into the top 10 as the only player to stick his banker on that scoreline.

Jeff, Andri Theodorsson, Ian Chapple, Carl Cripps and Rebecca Sweeney were all on Tottenham’s 2-1 win at Stoke, with the last three mentioned players all sharing fifth spot after Saturday’s 3pm kick-offs. Eliot Coxon wasn’t inside the top 10 at this stage but he was the only player to pick up six points from the game at the bet365 Stadium which saw most of you going for a 2-0 Spurs win.

More than 50 players were on both the 1-1 draw between Brighton and Huddersfield, and Burnley’s 2-1 win at Watford. The most popular prediction for the game at the Amex Stadium was a 1-0 win for the Seagulls at 35%, whilst 39% of you thought the Vicarage Road clash would end up a 1-1 draw. Ian McGovern and Michael Canning were the only two players to put their banker on a 2-1 win for the Clarets.

The 1-1 draw between West Brom and Swansea was easily the most popular prediction for that game at 29%, so well done to the many of you on that scoreline.

The best game of the weekend and possibly the season saw United hit back from two down at half-time to win 3-2 at the Etihad which put Diane at the top of the table with 15 points, two clear of Nana.

Only 7% of you thought United would win this game for which a 2-1 City victory was the most popular prediction at 36%.

Diane then moved four points clear of Lottie on Sunday as the only player to predict Arsenal’s 3-2 victory over Southampton which had more than half of Predikta players going for a 2-0 home win.

That four-point lead became five when Chelsea held a 1-0 half-time lead against West Ham in the final game of the weekend and because Diane reserved her banker on a Blues win she would have ended up with a season-best 24 points had Antonio Conte’s men gone on to secure a 2-1 victory.

Unfortunately, that goal never came so the nerves were jangling as we awaited the updated table which revealed that Diane had waltzed to victory regardless of the fact she had predicted a 1-1 draw and scored no points.

Jeff climbed from 10th to second as one of only 18 players to forecast a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge, his third nailed-on prediction, whilst Andri Theodorsson also bagged a top-10 spot with a correct scoreline from the final game of week 35.

Top spot for Phil

Phil Duncan took advantage of a poor week from Ben Richmond to take over as Predikta’s king of kings in the overall table with 382 points. Phil scored nine points this week, six more than Ben, to take a two-point lead. Dan Varnaseri stayed in third but a decent 10 points from week 35 mean he now trails Ben by just four points.

Georgios Samaras and Dave Ormesher sneaked into a largely unchanged top 10 at the expense of Nigel Doggett and Stephen Doyle with 10 and eight points respectively. Jeff Pinsent and Ian Chapple moved into the top 30 on the back of excellent displays this week.

He’s all Wright, Jack

Jack Wright tops both the April leaderboards in the overall league and the Football Manager Community League so he is in pole position to win two football shirts at the end of the month. Jack leads Hugh Roberts in the main competition via the Separata rules but is six points clear of Andri Theodorsson in the FMCL.

Week 35 prediktions

Everton 0-0 Liverpool (No correct predictions)
Bournemouth 2-2 Crystal Palace (7%)
Brighton 1-1 Huddersfield (12%)
Leicester 1-2 Newcastle (Nine correct predictions)
Stoke 1-2 Tottenham (14%)
Watford 1-2 Burnley (13%)
West Brom 1-1 Swansea (29%)
Manchester City 2-3 Manchester United (Three correct predictions)
Arsenal 3-2 Southampton (One correct prediction)
Chelsea 1-1 West Ham (4%)

Seven correct results

Diane Matthews 

Four correct scorelines

Nana Yaw Dadzie and Diane Matthews

Ten or less spot-on prediktions

1 – Arsenal 3-2 Southampton – Diane Matthews

3 – Manchester City 2-3 Manchester United – Diane Matthews, Jonty Roberts, Robert Loan 

9 – Leicester 1-2 Newcastle – Diane Matthews, Bailey’s is Best, Chiranjiv Datta, Clayton Hampson, George Balderson, Irina Turcan, Michael Canning, Peter Henshaw and Sarah Restall

Top six prediktions of week 35

Arsenal 2-0 Southampton (51%)
Chelsea 2-0 West Ham (44%)
Stoke 0-2 Tottenham (40%)
Watford 1-1 Burnley (39%)
Everton 1-2 Liverpool (39%)
Manchester City 2-1 Manchester United (36%)

Top five scores this season

24 points – Steve Hayes, Asif Akram
22 points – Emil Carboni, Mark Wright, Nigel Doggett, James Shepherd and Dan Varnaseri

Manchester City travel to Wembley in week 36 for a classic encounter with Tottenham for what promises to be an attacking game. With rivals United at home to West Brom on Sunday it is unlikely that City will win the Premier League next weekend. You can make your predictions now by clicking on the blue banner below and don’t forget to take advantage of our preview later in the week. Best of luck to everyone!