'Expert' UK footy picks
Cape Town - Each round of the 2010/11 English Premiership season, a panel of Sport24 tipsters have a crack at predicting the results – do it yourself, if you like, and see how your scoreboard compares with ours in the report-back a week later.
Three precious points are given for an entirely correct score-line, and one for right result.
Compiled by Rob Houwing
(the champion last season but a Newcastle supporter for his sins), the others are colleagues Garrin Lambley
(very Everton-partial), David Brooke
(Manchester United), Raymond Kilfoil
(Tottenham) and Dominic Valentine
We occasionally invite guest tipsters; watch this space.THE PRIME ATTRACTIONCHELSEA v EVERTON
It really has been a sub-standard few weeks for the champions, hasn’t it? Losses to Sunderland and Birmingham and a draw with Newcastle ... not the sort of stuff to suggest a handsome surge to title retention. But every team has had a wobble in this funny old season, and there’s plenty of it left! Predictably there’s heavy sentiment in favour of Chelsea coming right and winning this one at Stamford Bridge against the labouring Toffees. Mind you, we need to proceed with some caution because Everton actually got the better of the Londoners last season: it was a 3-3 thriller in the corresponding fixture and they won 2-1 on Merseyside. Yet a home 1-4 stuffing by West Brom is hardly an ideal way for David Moyes’ boys to enter this one ...
Rob: Chelsea 2 Everton 0
Last season: 3-3THE GRUDGE MATCHMANCHESTER CITY v BOLTON
I could just as easily have targeted the London derby between Arsenal and Fulham for this mantle, but the men from the “Cottage” aren’t exactly setting the world alight and the Gunners should secure a fairly routine victory. Instead this fiery, all-Lancashire affair got the pulse racing a tad more – partly because Bolton have been such surprise packages thus far. They lie a lofty sixth and will not be too intimidated by the short hop to play fourth-placed City. Still, if the home side want to remind the world that they are genuine contenders, this is precisely the sort of fixture they must come out on top in. Our tipsters lean healthily toward that very scenario, especially after last season’s 2-0 result (Messrs Tevez and Adebayor on the scoresheet).
Rob: Manchester City 3 Bolton 1
Last season: 2-0THE DESPERATE DUELBLACKBURN v WOLVES
The minor upturn in fortunes for West Ham of late (including a hearty Carling Cup thumping of Manchester United!) is bad news for another couple of “Ws” on the ladder ... the bottom-placed Hammers have made up some ground on Wolves and Wigan. So I’ve chosen Wolves’ trip to Blackburn as the desperate affair, certainly as far as they are concerned. Mind you, Saturday’s hosts badly need to appease their faithful, too – the 1-7 reverse at Old Trafford last weekend will be all too fresh in Rovers fans’ minds. And at least Wolves make the trip warmed in the winter freeze by the knowledge that they come off a solid win over Sunderland.
Rob: Blackburn 0 Wolves 0
Last season: 3-1THE OTHERSARSENAL v FULHAM
Rob: Arsenal 2 Fulham 0
Last season: 4-0
BIRMINGHAM v TOTTENHAM
Rob: Birmingham 0 Tottenham 1
Last season: 1-1WIGAN v STOKE
Rob: Wigan 0 Stoke 2
Last season: 1-1BLACKPOOL v MANCHESTER UNITED
Rob: Blackpool 0 Manchester United 3
Last season: Not applicableWEST BROM v NEWCASTLE
Rob: West Brom 1 Newcastle 0
Last season: Not applicableSUNDERLAND v WEST HAM
Rob: Sunderland 1 West Ham 1
Last season: 2-2LIVERPOOL ASTON VILLA
Rob: Liverpool 1 Aston Villa 0
Last season: 1-3LEADERBOARD
Is it my swing or is it my putting? I’ve been registering mediocre, “par” sort of scores for a few weeks so it had to happen ... my position at the top of the pile finally being snatched. Dom claims outright leadership, helped by getting “Spurs 2 Liverpool 1” right on the button from the final fixture of last weekend’s programme. There’s little in it between first and third, so expect some volatility on the table this week. Garrin and Dave are kind of waking from their slumber, but still reaching for the snooze button at the same time ...
111 Dominic (8 points last week)
109 Rob (6)
105 Raymond (3)
95 Garrin (5)
89 David (5)