I'm hoping I got my Portsmouth prediction wrong, but others right

Now we're well into the second half of 2018-19, I felt I ought to review my start-of-season predictions for Pompey and the wider football world.

Friday, 25th January 2019, 3:13 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 7:10 pm
Brett Pitman celebrates his Pompey goal at Oxford - could he still end up as the Blues' top scorer? Picture: Joe Pepler

I share these every year and come up with the occasional success, but mostly they're a load of wild stabs in the dark. In 2005, for example, I actually picked out Collins Mbesuma as one of three Pompey players to watch.

This year I was optimistic about Pompey's chances, but maybe not optimistic enough. I went for the Blues to finish third, with Sunderland and Barnsley taking the automatic promotion spots.

While there's a long way to go and such a top three is still possible, I'm hopeful – and confident – I underestimated Pompey.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

I still think it'll be close between us and Sunderland for the title, but I do feel the Blues of the south and the Red and Whites of the north-east will occupy the top two places come May.

Maybe Barnsley will finish third and get up via the play-offs. Luton, Charlton and Peterborough are the obvious contenders to join the party.

I said Brett Pitman would be our top scorer. As I write, with Oli Hawkins still out and no new striker having been brought in this month, that's not impossible. But he'll have to go some to overtake each of Ronan Curtis, Jamal Lowe, Gareth Evans and Hawkins.

In a way I hope he does because it'll mean a prolific second half of the campaign from him, and his finish at Oxford wasn't a bad way for him to start proving me right.

Away from League One, I pencilled in Man City as Premier League winners, with Man Utd second, Chelsea third and Liverpool fourth.

I'm sticking with City as champs. As much as I'd prefer Liverpool to do it, for old time's sake, I don't think they will. I think they'll stutter. I had Villa and Exeter to win the Championship and League Two.

Well if either could break into the top seven it would be a start…

Read Bone Idle Gossip in the Sports Mail every Sunday