Paul the psychic octopus may have officially retired from the tipping business but our undercover agents sneaked into the Oberhausen Sea Life aquarium to get his Premier League predictions.
The World Cup phenomenon captured global attention with his perfect picks after landing an incredible eight straight successful selections at South Africa 2010.
The time has almost come for Paul to rest on his laurels and put his tentacles to more conventional uses, but first we had to find out where his money will be going on the English title race.
Following on from the winning World Cup formula, we set aside 12 top seeds and separated the other eight contenders into pairs for a preliminary round to leave us with 16 top-flight teams.
Here’s how Paul weeded out the worst of the outsiders who look set to fight out a relegation battle:
WEST HAM v BLACKPOOL
Paul’s verdict: I’ve got a couple of distant cousins who hang out in the Blackpool Sea Life aquarium on the promenade opposite Central Pier and they say the vibes are not good for the Seasiders. Ian Holloway may shine like the town’s famous illuminations but there aren’t too many bright lights on the pitch to ‘tower’ above opposing sides. Blackpool to finish ‘rock’ bottom!
STOKE v WEST BROM
Paul’s verdict: The Baggies go up and down like a yo-yo and it’s hard not to see that trend continuing as Roberto Di Matteo’s outfit play some nice football but defensively have less backbone than an eel. Scott Carson always looked a decent keeper in his Liverpool days but will be under more pressure than a BP oil cap.
WOLVES v WIGAN
Paul’s verdict: You won’t find much sea life at Wigan Pier but the Latics could be in deep water after slipping steadily backwards over the last couple of seasons. Steve Bruce steadied the ship during his time in charge but they took some hammerings under Roberto Martinez late on last term and the young Spaniard may feel the strain if starting badly this time.
SUNDERLAND v BOLTON
Paul’s verdict: Owen Coyle lifted some of the gloom hanging over the Reebok Stadium during Gary Megson’s miserable tenure but I can’t see them finishing higher than the progressive Black Cats. Wanderers went down 1-0 at home and 4-0 away when these sides met last season and with Sunderland having strengthened this summer, they look far superior.
CHELSEA v WEST HAM
MANCHESTER UNITED v WOLVES
ARSENAL v STOKE
TOTTENHAM v BLACKBURN
MANCHESTER CITY v BIRMINGHAM
LIVERPOOL v FULHAM
ASTON VILLA v SUNDERLAND
EVERTON v NEWCASTLE
Join our Facebook page to get more Paul the Octopus' Betting predictions