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Octopus Iker looks at two boxes decorated with crests by the Manchester United and Barcelona football teams on May 26 , 2011 at the SeaLife Aquarium in Benalmadena, Malaga, before predicting the winner of the final match of the UEFA Champions league in London on May 28. Iker, a Pacific octopus of 16 kgs predicted Manchester United will win the match. Getty Images/ JORGE GUERRERO (JORGE GUERRERO/Getty Images)
Octopus Iker looks at two boxes decorated with crests by the Manchester United and Barcelona football teams on May 26 , 2011 at the SeaLife Aquarium in Benalmadena, Malaga, before predicting the winner of the final match of the UEFA Champions league in London on May 28. Iker, a Pacific octopus of 16 kgs predicted Manchester United will win the match. Getty Images/ JORGE GUERRERO (JORGE GUERRERO/Getty Images)

Who will win? Add to ...

The book makers are backing Barcelona - surprise, surprise - while most of the so-called experts are doing the same, but what do they know anyway?

As we saw at Euro 2008 and last summer's World Cup, to get an accurate forecast you have to go underground, or underwater at any rate, by consulting a soothsaying cephalopod.

But with Paul the octopus having moved on to the big tank in the sky, the opportunity is there for a new eight-legged augur to steal the spotlight, and Iker the octopus has certainly made a splash in the lead-up to Saturday's Champions League final.

Picking Manchester United to win - by grabbing a sardine out of United-crested tube - Iker has thrown his lot in with the underdog, but it comes as no great surprise. Named after Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas, who plays for Barca's archrival Real Madrid, Iker has certainly shown his true colours, backing Madrid in its last two games against Barcelona with a 50-per-cent success rate.

Somewhere, Paul, a perfect 8-for-8 last summer, is turning in his grave.

 

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