On the 28th of August I began recording Sky Sports Pundit and ex-Premier League Footballer Paul Merson’s predictions for English Premier League fixtures.
Merse is not however the only soccer pundit on T.V that predicts. At the weekend a friend introduced me to the 'Fletch and Sav' Matchday Live on BT sport. The hosts, Darren Fletcher and Robbie Savage, make regular predictions on English Premier League fixtures. They are joined by Michael Owen and Steve McManaman. I'm led to believe that these pundits do not predict every round of fixtures, unlike Merse.
Three of the four BT soccer pundits are ex-Premier League footballers too and taken together Merse, Owen, Macca and Sav have accumulated 186 senior international caps. They are pretty experienced to say the least and despite my affections for Tottenham Hotspur, I have many childhood memories of all four being top Premier League footballers, Michael Owen being the most obvious candidate.
I managed to get access to 76 predictions for this season for Fletch, Sav, Macca and Owen. These were all for the same matches. I then compared the predictions of the BT pundits to that of Sky Sport's Paul Merson for those matches.
In terms of predicting the outcome for the 76 matches Merse comes out on top. He outperforms all four BT predictors who get more match outcomes wrong then right. He is followed by Owen, McManaman and Savage (joint third) and finally Fletcher. Steve McManaman is best at picking the notoriously difficult 'correct scoreline'.
As a colleague mentioned to me earlier, I think its time the Economists take on the pundits - roll on Premier League 15/16'!