Bone Idle Gossip: Third is not absurd for Pompey - and Pitman will top goal charts

Hello. I'm back. Bet you thought I wasn't bothering this season, didn't you? Bad luck '“ it always takes me until September to summon up the strength to start doing this column.

Monday, 10th September 2018, 10:31 pm
Updated Monday, 10th September 2018, 10:48 pm
Fratton Park, where the resident team will finish third in League One, some say

I traditionally start a new season of Bone Idle Gossips (and this is my 18th year of doing the column, so sympathy goes to all readers) with my predictions for the season ahead.

I also traditionally end the season by reflecting on how bad my predictions were – I did, after all, once mark out Collins Mbesuma in a Pompey pre-season magazine as one to watch at Fratton that year. Turned out he wasn't.

Before this season started I tweeted my finishing order for the Premier League and these are they: 1 Man C 2 Man U 3 Chelsea 4 Liverpool 5 Arsenal 6 Spurs 7 Brighton 8 Wolves 9 Everton 10 Burnley 11 Fulham 12 Bournemouth 13 Newcastle 14 West Ham 15 Watford 16 Huddersfield 17 Leicester 18 C Palace 19 Soton 20 Cardiff.

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I had about 30 replies and all but two had Liverpool finishing in the top two. And quite a few had them finishing first.

In a way I’d love the Reds to win the league, but I still think they’ll be too brittle at the back. At present my tip for Man Utd to finish second looks very optimstic, but i’m sticking with it.

For several years I’ve tipped Southampton, Palace and Stoke to go down and finally I got one right last season. So this time I have to change the habit of a lifetime... and am going for Soton, Palace and Cardiff to go down.

I’ll take Villa to win the Championship, Exeter to claim League Two

As for League One, I’m tipping Pompey to finish third (well we have to win a play-off some time) with Sunderland and Barnsley pipping us to automatic promotion. And Brett Pitman will be our top scorer.

Can you do better? Probably.

Email [email protected] / tweet @stevebone1 with predictions and any other column contributions.