SORRY, folks, the shark has spoken.
Rodney, the World Cup-result-predicting zebra shark, has tipped Uruguay to top England in tonight’s match.
The unpatriotic predator showed virtually zero interest in the English flag that was lowered into his tank at Southsea’s Blue Reef Aquarium, instead veering repeatedly towards the sun and stripes of Uruguay’s emblem.
And going by his past success, this is a fish that needs listening to.
We asked Rodney to predict the winner of England’s opening World Cup group match against Italy, which saw a 2-1 defeat for Roy Hodgson’s men.
The shark was given three chances to state his mind: he chose Italy first, then hit the England flag once before returning to the Azzurri.
So Rodney predicted not just the winner of the match, but the number of goals and the order in which they were scored.
Let’s hope he’s not so accurate this time around as a loss will mean a near-certain exit for England.
Aquarium visitor services supervisor Jenna MacFarlane said Rodney’s tip was more than animal instinct.
She said: ‘It’s a fair decision and he’s gone for it, what can we say? He’s not so patriotic.
‘At least it’s good that he’s coming to his own decisions and not letting himself be swayed by the staff.’
No doubt questioning Rodney’s tip will be an army of England supporters watching the game from their homes as well as clubs and and pubs across the country. Jamie Lyons, of the Carisbrooke Arms in Gosport, said he expects a busy evening for the 8pm kick-off.
He said: ‘The last game was at an unreasonable hour but we had one of our busiest nights in months.’
Fawcett Inn co-manager Michelle Thorne said she also expected a big turnout.
‘The last game had a great atmosphere, and we hope this one will, too.’