Every year, for the past few seasons, we’ve done a Premier League prediction table where I and you, the readers, make our picks on how the final Premier League table will look at the end of the season. The picks are made in August, so it’s often a tough call to make especially since new transfer signings haven’t had much time to bed in at all. Plus, managerial changes don’t often happen until late in the year.
Nevertheless, here’s how we did. My predicted end of the season table was as follows:
- Manchester United (C)
- Manchester City
- Tottenham Hotspur
- Newcastle United
- Aston Villa
- Stoke City
- West Bromwich Albion
- Norwich City
- Wolverhampton Wanderers
- Bolton Wanderers
- Wigan Athletic (R)
- Queens Park Rangers (R)
- Blackburn Rovers (R)
And here were your picks.
I came close to predicting the champions correctly — if Aguero hadn’t scored, I would have had my first and second pick correctly. Chelsea finishing in sixth instead of third place was a shock, but who could have predicted that Andre Villas-Boas would have done so badly at Stamford Bridge? Liverpool’s eighth place finish was a shock. I really thought that Dalglish could have steered them to fourth based on the talent at their disposal. Arsenal took advantage of Chelsea and Liverpool’s poor league form by finishing in third, despite me picking them to finish in fifth position.
I thought Sunderland was going to be the surprise team this season based on the amount of money that Ellis Short spent in the transfer window, but who could have predicted that Steve Bruce could have done so badly at the Stadium of Light? I should have swapped Sunderland and Newcastle around for a better prediction.
At the bottom of the table, most of us could see the writing on the wall that Blackburn Rovers was doomed under Steve Kean, so I predicted they would finish in last place. Under Neil Warnock, I didn’t rate QPR, and based on the way they were playing, they would have gone down if it wasn’t for Mark Hughes. I also predicted Wigan would get relegated, but I was wrong on that one.
I believed in Swansea and Norwich, so I put them at 14th and 15th position — yet they did even better than my predictions by finishing 11th and 12th. I’m particularly proud of my Swansea prediction because almost everyone — pundits and fans — predicted that Swansea would get relegated.
Here’s the final Premier League table to compare.
As for the picks from you, the readers, many of you predicted that Newcastle would get relegated, Liverpool would finish in first, second or third place, and Swansea would finish bottom. Manchester United, like me, was the most predicted champion.
Of the readers who made their prediction between August and September, the person who came the closest was a reader named Bob.
Interestingly, very few people picked Manchester City to win the title before the end of August, and we all (myself included) were all over the place regarding the bottom three. No one who posted a comment in August or September predicted the correct three relegated sides.
If you have some time to go back through the 156+ comments, they make for some very interesting reading.
I hope you enjoyed the Premier League table prediction game. We’ll open a new one up for the 2012-13 season in early August.