The Official 'Better Than All The Rest' FA Cup Prediction Game As Christmas approaches it is the time of year for all those struggling with league mediocrity to suddenly wake up and discover that it was the Cup they were interested in all along! With only two weeks to go until the 3rd round ties of The FA Cup it is time to announce the long- awaited, much anticipated, soon to be dreaded, FA Cup Prediction Game. please log in to view this image All 31 players who have taken part, so far (by the end of December), in The Premier League Prediction Game Thread Of Destiny And Doom!!! will automatically be entered into the FA Cup Game. However, ANYBODY CAN JOIN and there is no need to take part in the league to play the Cup competition (although you are welcome to do so) - as we all know that non-league teams are an important part of the FA Cup! There is also no limit to the number of players who can join, up until the knockout stages. This competition will not be seeded and so anybody can be drawn against anybody else at all stages of the competition. The Website Just like the Premier League Prediction Game Of Destiny And Doom!!!, The Official 'Better Than All The Rest' FA Cup Prediction Game will also have its own dedicated website section with up to date group standings and draw details. The link for the FA Cup game website is: http://www.footballblogdirectory.co.uk/FA Cup Prediction Game.php The website will be (hopefully) updated after each day of FA Cup action. The Format The competition will start with predictions for the 3rd round of the Cup (ties taking place from the 2nd to the 5th of January). There are currently more teams left in the FA Cup than there are likely players participating in the prediction game. Therefore, the first round will be a group stage tournament that will take place over the 3rd and 4th rounds of the competition - including replays. Players will be divided into 8 groups (unseeded) and will compete against other players in their group. There is no limit to the number of people who can enter as this will just add to the numbers in each group. At the moment it is likely that most people will be in groups of four - though hopefully that will grow if we can persuade more people to join. The top two from each group (sixteen in total) will progress to the unseeded 2nd round draw which will be the beginning of the knockout stages (predicting 5th round results). The eight winners of those predictions will then enter the 3rd round draw (predicting the quarter finals), and then the four winners will predict the semi finals, and the remaining two will predict the final. Scoring For the group stages: The point scoring system is exactly the same as it is for the league games. There is no difference. You are predicting the result at the end of 90 minutes. In the case of replays this is still the case. Extra time and penalties are disregarded. Correctly guessing the score: 3 points Correctly guessing the result: 1 point Predictions will be for all Cup games played from the start of the game. If any 2nd round replays happen to take place on the 3rd round weekend then these games will count. If any 4th round replays are still to play after the cut off point for the end of the group stage (the end of Wednesday before the 5th round ties) then that replay will form part of the 5th round predictions. This will apply to each round of the game. In the event of a tie then the player who is closest to predicting (with their original predictions) the total number of goals scored across every game will qualify. In the event of it still being a tie then the person ahead at the previous points update will qualify. If this is still level then lots will be drawn. For the knockout stages: The point scoring system will remain the same, with results counting at the end of 90 minutes. However, in the event of a tie the first tie-break will be to extend all replays to include extra time (using the original predictions) to see if this produces a clear winner. In the event of this happening then players who predicted a draw at the end of 90 minutes could lose points for the tie-break if a team wins in extra time. Penalties will not count towards the prediction game. If the game is still tied after this then the tie breaks revert to the same order as the group stages. For the Final Again the prediction is for 90 minutes. If there is a clear prediction winner after 90 minutes (even if the real final is tied after 90 minutes) then the prediction competition is over and we have a champion. The scoring and tie breakers will be exactly the same, with the exception that there will be no drawing of lots. Finalists will be asked to predict the time of the first goal (including the possibility of predicting no first goal) - to be used only in the event of both predicting the same score/result. Finalists can predict the same score if they want but cannot predict the same time for the first goal. The second prediction must be different in that respect only. Players The following list of 44 players are signed up so far. Albert's Chip Shop Bam Bam Shak Shak The Room Beardsley's Shimmy Boro Gully cbrad Darlo Geordie diddles East Stand Heckler Evil Red Devil Fez Heed Hoddle is a God HRH Eats Custard In Biscan We Trust Jakarta kiwiqpr Lawro * Lawro's Guest * Leez Liverbird Magic Moussa Musty Frog Mr Tiote Nolberto Neville Hope Obi Wan Old_Faithfull Paul Power's Left Foot Philhul Pulp Q Silky Sammy Sissokay Somebody Pinched My Sombrero Spurs Disciple Tash Tasty Magpie The DR Says The Judean People's Front Tommy Toon Trev Vincemac Windy Mag Wise Men Say * Lawro and Lawro's Guest are very unlikely to be predicting all of the games and so will be at a huge disadvantage. If you would like to join up then post below so that you can join the list of players who will be drawn into groups prior to the 3rd round. Please only join up if you intend to participate so that we avoid the possibility of a group with lots of people on zero while other active players get eliminated. The game is open to players from other boards. The more the merrier. Updates I'll try and put together something similar to the league tables for the cup so that it is easy to update and keep track of scores and draws etc. Good Luck Everyone The Official Prediction Games for the first round of the game: First game kicks off at 7:45pm Jan 2nd - predictions in before then please FA Cup 2nd Round Friday 2nd Jan MK Dons v Chesterfield FA Cup 3rd Round Friday 2nd Jan Cardiff City vs Colchester United Saturday 3rd Jan Barnsley vs Middlesbrough Blyth Spartans vs Birmingham City Bolton Wanderers vs Wigan Athletic Brentford vs Brighton & Hove Albion Cambridge United vs Luton Town Charlton Athletic vs Blackburn Rovers Derby County vs Southport Doncaster Rovers vs Bristol City Fulham vs Wolverhampton Wanderers Huddersfield Town vs Reading Leicester City vs Newcastle United Millwall vs Bradford City Preston North End vs Norwich City Rochdale vs Nottingham Forest Rotherham United vs AFC Bournemouth Tranmere vs Swansea City West Bromwich Albion vs Gateshead Sunday 4th Jan Dover Athletic vs Crystal Palace Queens Park Rangers vs Sheffield United Sunderland vs Leeds United Aston Villa vs Blackpool Manchester City vs Sheffield Wednesday Southampton vs Ipswich Town Stoke City vs Wrexham Yeovil Town vs Manchester United Chelsea vs Watford Arsenal vs Hull City Monday 5th Jan Burnley vs Tottenham Hotspur AFC Wimbledon vs Liverpool Tuesday 6th Jan Everton vs West Ham United Scunthorpe United vs MK Dons / Chesterfield Please try and put predictions in the listed order - not essential, but makes it a lot easier to tally up points and avoid mistakes Thanks The draw for the groups will take place on Friday 2nd January (before the first game kicks off), so please get recruiting and lets have as many people playing as possible by then! Details of the draw will be posted on http://www.footballblogdirectory.co.uk/FA Cup Prediction Game.php.