Move over Paul the Octopus – it’s Hatton Adventure World’s guinea pigs making the predictions for this year’s World Cup.
And if they’re right, it’s Italy who will win England’s World Cup opener next week after 23 of the adorable critters, 22 players and a referee in black, went head to head.
“They certainly all looked the part,” said Richard Craddock, manager of the Adventure World, who will be hosting guinea pig matches ahead of every England game.
Playing on a specially- adapted football pitch, the 90-second match saw number ten, Wayne Rooney’s position, take possession for the majority of the game but it was Italy who had the ball when the whistle blew.
Richard believes the prediction will be “spot on.”
“We ran the game for 90 seconds and whoever had the ball at the end was the winner,” he explained.
“Rooney had it for most of the game but it was Italy who stole it for the win.
“I think they had the result spot on; England will be in possession but Italy will take the win. But we’d like England to prove our guinea pigs wrong.”
The rodents, chosen for their ball skills from among 300 in Hatton’s guinea pig village, were cheered on by young fans in England and Italian shirts with their faces painted in national colours. Hatton is now hoping its guinea pigs will rival the popularity of famous animal oracle Paul the Octopus who predicted the winners in all seven of Germany’s matches in the 2010 World Cup – all from his tank at a Sea Life Centre in Oberhausen.
The real match will be played on June 15 in the Amazonian city of Manaus in Brazil.
For more information on Adventure World, visit www.hattonworld.com