Almost 12 months ago, 24 BBC TV and radio pundits made their predictions for the Premier League season, picking their champions and their top four.
Sounds easy? Far from it. None of them got it exactly right.
Although eight pundits correctly picked Liverpool as champions, only Ruud Gullit got all four teams – and they were all in the wrong order.
Matthew Upson deserves applause for getting three out of the four in their correct positions and another 10 pundits included three correct picks overall.
You can see everyone’s pre-season top-four predictions in full, below.
So, why was it so hard to choose Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea to finish in that order?
Tottenham’s turbulent campaign after four consecutive top-four finishes caught 22 people out, as did the rapid demise of Arsenal’s revival under former boss Unai Emery after a promising first year in charge and some exciting summer signings – 13 of the 24 thought they would make it.
Similarly, only six pundits expected Frank Lampard to make it into the Champions League places in his first season as Chelsea manager, especially as the club were under a transfer embargo and had just sold Eden Hazard when he was appointed last summer.
United’s return to form in 2020 under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer also surprised pretty much everyone.
At the start of the season, only seven pundits thought they would make the top four, including Karen Carney, who was the only person to correctly predict them to make the top three.
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Not many people reading this can truthfully say they knew much better, though.
Thousands of you made your predictions for the way the table would finish on the BBC website last August, and two-thirds of the voters picked City as champions, followed by Liverpool, Spurs and United in second, third and fourth.
Better luck next time, everyone.
|BBC pundits’ predictions for the 2019-20 Premier League|
|Ian Wright||Liverpool||Man City||Tottenham||Arsenal|
|Alex Scott||Liverpool||Man City||Tottenham||Arsenal|
|Sue Smith||Liverpool||Man City||Tottenham||Arsenal|
|Martin Keown||Liverpool||Man City||Tottenham||Arsenal|
|Stephen Warnock||Liverpool||Man City||Tottenham||Arsenal|
|Danny Murphy||Liverpool||Man City||Tottenham||Man Utd|
|Alan Shearer||Liverpool||Man City||Tottenham||Man Utd|
|Matthew Upson||Liverpool||Man City||Tottenham||Chelsea|
|Ruud Gullit||Man City||Chelsea||Liverpool||Man Utd|
|Karen Carney||Man City||Liverpool||Man Utd||Arsenal|
|Mark Schwarzer||Man City||Liverpool||Chelsea||Tottenham|
|Jermaine Jenas||Man City||Liverpool||Tottenham||Arsenal|
|Paul Ince||Man City||Liverpool||Tottenham||Arsenal|
|Chris Sutton||Man City||Liverpool||Tottenham||Arsenal|
|Leon Osman||Man City||Liverpool||Tottenham||Arsenal|
|Pat Nevin||Man City||Liverpool||Tottenham||Arsenal|
|Michael Brown||Man City||Liverpool||Tottenham||Arsenal|
|Mark Lawrenson||Man City||Liverpool||Tottenham||Arsenal|
|Micah Richards||Man City||Liverpool||Tottenham||Man Utd|
|Lindsay Johnson||Man City||Liverpool||Tottenham||Man Utd|
|Kevin Kilbane||Man City||Liverpool||Tottenham||Man Utd|
|Rachel Brown-Finnis||Man City||Liverpool||Tottenham||Chelsea|
|Chris Waddle||Man City||Liverpool||Tottenham||Chelsea|
|Joleon Lescott||Man City||Liverpool||Tottenham||Chelsea|
The pundits’ predictions were made on the basis of how each squad shaped up on Thursday, 8 August, after the deadline for incoming transfers but with the potential for players to leave up until the transfer window shut in the rest of Europe at the end of August.
Six teams featured in the forecasted top fours, and only Manchester City and Liverpool featured in all 24.
In terms of who would win it, Manchester City were favourites, with 16 votes. Liverpool got the other eight.
|Overall predicted positions, using all BBC pundit predictions|
|(using system of 4 pts for a 1st place, 3 pts for 2nd, 2 pts for 3rd and 1 pt for 4th)|
|1. Man City||2. Liverpool||3. Tottenham||4. Arsenal||5. Chelsea||6. Man Utd|
|88 pts||79 pts||43 pts||13 pts||9 pts||8 pts|
|Overall predicted position from BBC website user predictions|
|Positions determined by number of times those teams were selected to finish in that place|
|1. Man City||2. Liverpool||3. Tottenham||4. Man Utd||5. Arsenal||6. Chelsea|
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