You think that Stoke City have had a bad season? It’s not a patch on the one they’ve had in their predictions from Sky pundit David Prutton.
Prutton has been predicting each result every weekend in the Championship. And Sky have looked back to tally his predictions today to compare it to reality.
West Brom are top and Leeds are second. Not bad so far.
But Stoke are down level on points with Wigan at the very bottom of the table – with just 25 points, even below the 39 they have gathered.
Barnsley complete the bottom three, although they have picked up six more points in the real world than predicted.
Prutton’s guesswork has former clubs Sheffield Wednesday and Nottingham Forest in the play-off spaces – fair enough with the latter but the former are eight points better off in his own head.
Hull are the most out of whack. According to his predictions, they would be seventh rather than looking over their shoulders 11 places further down.
Prutton has 14 clubs, including Stoke, to within three positions of their real one.
And he obviously puts a lot of pride into his calculations.
“The Championship is notoriously unpredictable, but it really does infuriate people when you don’t predict it right every week,” he said on the Sky Sports EFL Podcast.
“I enter into these predictions every single week on a completely unbiased footing with no grudges or ill-will against any team, regardless of what people tell me the feedback is! I always make sure I approach them in good faith, with a kind heart and an open mind.”
Prutton admits he was surprised by the length of blips suffered by West Brom and Leeds while he “probably didn’t see Sheffield Wednesday’s slump coming and being as drastic as it has”.
It is Stoke’s opponents this weekend, however, that stand out as the biggest anomaly.
He said: “It is Hull City that have caught me most by surprise in this table.
“I think how they’ve been playing since the turn of the year, with the players who have left and the horrendous injury list, and that has to come into it. But when it comes to my predictions I have obviously been operating in a parallel universe where none of that has happened.”
He added: “I should probably apologise to Wigan. If Paul [Cook] pays any attention to it whatsoever then maybe it has helped fuel a lot of their fire, with the small twig that I would be in that sense.”