Before the start of last season, the Sgorio website set a challenge for the team to predict who would be champions in three leagues and what would be the fate of the Welsh clubs in the English pyramid.
Dylan Ebenezer, John Hartson, Malcolm Allen and Dai Davies were handed the task of choosing the league champions in Wales, England and Spain, as well as predicting in which positions the Welsh clubs would finish in the English leagues.
Malcolm was the only expert to correctly guess the Welsh Premier League Champions as he picked The New Saints.
Dylan, John and Dai went for Neath as their champions, but the Eagles finished third in the table after changing their management team during the season.
Having failed to gain the necessary domestic licence, Neath were relegated from the Welsh Premier at the end of the season and the sad news over the summer is that the club has now folded, something no-one could have predicted when they turned professional a year ago.
Our four experts chose four different teams as the English Premier League Champions and Dai Davies chose wisely with Manchester City.
John Hartson was within seconds of being correct with his choice of Manchester United, but Sergio Aguero’s late goal on the last day of the season meant that the blue half of Manchester celebrated winning the title and that Dai could celebrate his success in Sgorio’s predictions!
Dylan Ebenezer wasn’t too far away with his choice of Arsenal, who finished third, but Chelsea, Malcolm Allen’s pick, were well off the pace in 6th, despite ending the season as European Champions.
As for La Liga, Dai was correct again as he and Dylan chose Real Madrid as the champions, while John and Malcolm picked the wrong El Clasico giants, Barcelona.
None of our four experts foresaw just how successful Swansea’s first season in the Premier League would be, but all four were correct in predicting that the Swans would stay up.
Dylan’s prediction of a 15th place finish for Swansea was nearest the mark, four places lower than the 11th position secured by Brendan Rodgers’ side at the end of the season.
While predicting Cardiff’s season, Dylan was again closest to their correct position, placing the Bluebirds in 4th position, in the Championship’s play-offs.
Cardiff finished 6th in reality – a little higher than Malcolm and John’s predictions that Cardiff wouldn’t reach the play-offs and four places lower than Dai’s prediction that Malky Mackay would secure automatic promotion for the club from second in the league.
None of the four had much luck in predicting the Welsh clubs’ seasons in the Blue Square, with all four pundits too negative about Wrexham’s chances and too hopefully for Newport’s season.
Once again, Dylan’s prediction was almost correct as he placed Wrexham in the play-offs but not quite the right position while John was the nearest to predicting Newport’s difficult season in and around the relegation zone.
Overall, Dai fared well in predicting the league Champions with two out of three choices correct and Dylan was the best at predicting the Welsh clubs’ positions – the challenge for John and Malcolm is to improve for the coming season!
Predictions, August 2011
|Welsh Premier League||The New Saints||Neath||Neath||Neath||The New Saints|
|English Premier League||Chelsea||Man Utd||Arsenal||Man City||Man City|
|La Liga||Barcelona||Barcelona||Real Madrid||Real Madrid||Real Madrid|
|Welsh Clubs’ Finish||Result|
On this day in 1992, Wales were beaten 5-1 in the opening game of their 1994 World Cup qualifying campaign.