Bookmakers, supporters, players and managers. At this time of year everyone has an opinion on how the season will turn out, and most are confident that the outcome will be positive- particularly the bookmakers and Glenn Tamplin, which is probably just as well as they undoubtedly have the most to lose!
The supporters who took part in our season previews, which you have probably been reading for the past month, didn’t buck that trend- although in the main they seemed to elect to place their own club around 5th just in case they were accused of bias! We asked each of our participants to rank all of the clubs in their particular league from one to twenty four, and used those predictions to compile an overall league table, which is what you see here. It isn’t scientific, no complicated computer programme was used to calculate the results (just one bloke with a calculator and a headache), and we’d recommend that you don’t use it as a guide to how to beat Mr Ladbroke nor Mr Patrick Power, as we will take no responsibility if you waste your hard earned wonga. That said, we hope you’ll find the results rather interesting, as each prediction was made by someone who has actually watched the sides involved and is putting their years of football knowledge to the test.
So, here for your enjoyment and to undoubtedly start a number of arguments down the pub, are the results for our Premier Division.
Bostik Premier prediction table, 2017-18
You already think you know who have been predicted to win the Premier Division Championship in the coming season, don’t you?
Well you were undoubtedly right.
Whilst a third of you predicted that Dulwich Hamlet would escape the agony of yet more play-off’s and win the title, the other two thirds of you- apart from one person who voted for Margate- were quite convinced that big-spending Billericay Town would waltz to the trophy. So are the bookmakers, with odds of 2/5 telling us all that the only way is Essex.
You have predicted that Hamlet, Tonbridge Angels, Margate and Enfield Town will make up the quartet contesting the end of season knock-out lottery, whilst Leiston once again miss out by the slimmest of margins despite having held on to Matt ‘Steak Bake’ Blake. From the promoted sides, you expect Tooting and Mitcham United to be the most successful, but to still finish only 15th.
At the wrong end of the table, you predict that Burgess Hill Town will descend to the next tier, perhaps unsurprisingly after last season’s added time escape on the last day, and that Merstham will only just escape. They'll be setting out to prove you wrong!
Enjoy the season! We’ll check back in May to see whether you were right- and by the way, we’ll announce your favourite Bostik away ground on Saturday.
Here are Saturday’s fixtures:
Billericay Town v Kingstonian
Burgess Hill Town v Needham Market
Dulwich Hamlet v Staines Town
Enfield Town v Folkestone Invicta
Harrow Borough v Harlow Town
Leatherhead v Lowestoft Town
Leiston v Dorking Wanderers
Merstham v Wingate & Finchley
Metropolitan Police v Worthing
Thurrock v Margate
Tonbridge Angels v Hendon
Tooting & Mitcham United v Brightlingsea Regent