I SEE red and white stripes. I see a sinister-looking man, frightening of aspect and large of girth but possessed of a grace unseen in mortal men, with the possible exception of Van Basten before his ankle imploded.
Southampton to beat Bristol Rovers
I SEE a capital city full of joy. Men are running around the streets singing. Except for two of them – one has a big nose and more houses than Barratt and the other chap has an expression of permanent surprise/dismay. They tried running for 10 yards but had to stop through exhaustion. The black fella threw up into his hands.
Cardiff to beat Wolves
WHAT is this? A prophecy? "The men of steel are resolute. Their will is unbreakable. Hewn from the very metal of the earth are they. They shall not bend, nor shall they break. But after 85 minutes of woefully inept football Aliadiere will bundle one over the line with his arse."
Middlesbrough to beat Sheffield United
VIRGIL once wrote: "Beware Greeks bearing gifts. But beware fat Americans bearing 400 million quid of somebody else's money even more." I see a turbulent sea, dotted with dodgy facial hair and banners talking about victories long since past. They shall not walk alone but they will probably get knocked out in the next round when they actually have to play a team that knows what the goal looks like.
Liverpool to beat Barnsley
I SEE two great titans locked in mortal combat. I see two mighty armies pitched in glorious battle. I see a Leicester man with big ears using the phrase "Tie of the round" several hundred times. I see a flame-haired man being described as "exploding from midfield – he's the best around for that" shortly before tripping over the ball. I see a vast arena eerily silent, at least until that greasy Portuguese bastard flukes one in just before half time.
Manchester United to beat Arsenal.
THROUGH the dim mists of time I see the men of the north running around a muddy pitch sporting great big handlebar moustaches and smoking a pipe to celebrate their victory. The mists clear as we move toward the present day. I see a fallen giant currently about as appealing to watch as obese granny-porn.
Preston to beat Portsmouth
THE men of Middle Earth come face to face. But the outcome will be as important to the final reckoning as a gazelle's opinion on Third World Debt is to the lion who is eating him. I predict an ordeal more dour than a hungover Gordon Brown waiting for a bus in the pouring rain. Eventually, one side will go through, because the universe can stand only so much suffering. I see a standup comedian being picked out in the stands.
West Brom to beat Coventry
THE crystal ball show many allegories. Brian Blessed sitting on a meringue. A child with brittle bones being hit in the face with an armored personnel carrier. A snowman trying to juggle eighteen blowtorches. A mouse with broken legs, dipped in taramasalata, being kicked through a cat sanctuary. What does it all mean?
Chelsea to beat Huddersfield