'Expert' UK footy tips
English Premiership logo (File)
Cape Town - It’s back … and we’ve freshened the format a little.
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 scoreline, and one for right result.
Compiled by Rob Houwing
(the bursting-with-pride 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 a newcomer in Dominic Valentine
We will have occasional guest tipsters. Last week, for example, we invited RICHARD MAGUIRE
, editorial director of KickOff magazine and a life-long Gunners devotee, to do the first-week honours … and I’m afraid three lousy points was his lot. (He may well argue that the opening weekend offers no “form” yardstick.)
THE PRIME ATTRACTION
MANCHESTER CITY v LIVERPOOL
It’s not every day that the supposed “afterthought” match on a Monday night earns premier billing, but this somehow seems the most fascinating of the week’s fixtures. Last season these clubs slugged out successive draws – 0-0 in the corresponding game and 2-2 at Anfield – and both got their 2010/11 campaigns off with stalemate outcomes. So there’ll be a hunger for victory from both outfits, big-spending City now boasting the addition of James Milner to their plans and ‘Pool rueing the absence of Joe Cole through suspension. I’ve gone with gut feel and audaciously tipped the visitors to nick a full haul of points, and have Dave for company. Nobody backs a Blues win, interestingly …
Rob: Manchester City 0 Liverpool 1
Last season: 0-0THE GRUDGE MATCH
FULHAM v MANCHESTER UNITED
OK, so there’s no special, historical animosity between these clubs but there’s a good reason for my choice, I think: the Red Devils’ worst result of last season was a surprisingly emphatic 3-0 drubbing at Craven Cottage, so revenge will be a crucial driver as United visit again. Goals from Danny Murphy, Bobby Zamora and Damien Duff sealed the surprise outcome in 2009/10, with one newspaper branding Alex Ferguson’s charges (eventual runners-up for the title) “a shambles”. The presence of former Old Trafford favourite Mark Hughes as Fulham boss, of course, adds to the spice. But United were polished against Newcastle on Monday and should win – that’s how all of our panel see it.
Rob: Fulham 0 Manchester United 2
Last season: 3-0THE DESPERATE DUELWEST BROM v SUNDERLAND
I’ve opted for this one primarily because of what happened to the Baggies in their first match back in the top flight: a gruesome 0-6 outcome at champions Chelsea. It immediately put them bottom of the first-week table on goal difference! The visit of ho-hum Sunderland is an opportunity for them to try to pick up at least a pride-restoring point, especially as the Black Cats were held to a 2-2 outcome at the Stadium of Light by Birmingham on opening day. Mind you, majority sentiment favours an away win.
Rob: West Brom 1 Sunderland 1
Last season: Not applicableTHE OTHERSARSENAL v BLACKPOOL
Rob: Arsenal 3 Blackpool 0
Last season: Not applicable
BIRMINGHAM v BLACKBURN
Rob: Birmingham 0 Blackburn 0
Last season: 2-1EVERTON v WOLVES
Rob: Everton 1 Wolves 0
Last season: 1-1STOKE v TOTTENHAM
Rob: Stoke 1 Tottenham 2
Last season: 1-2
WEST HAM v BOLTON
Rob: West Ham 1 Bolton 0
Last season: 1-2WIGAN v CHELSEA
Rob: Wigan 0 Chelsea 2
Last season: 3-1
NEWCASTLE v ASTON VILLA
Rob: Newcastle 1 Aston Villa 1
Last season: Not applicable LEADERBOARD
Is the champion worried about his innocuous start? Pah! I very nearly rang iconic rugby pundit Naas Botha to get him to confirm to me that, never mind the Currie Cup, the Footy Tips isn’t won in mid-August. I expect to stabilise this weekend, getting quickly back to more rightful real estate alongside early leaders Garrin and Dom.
8 Garrin and Dominic
7 Raymond and David
3 (Guest tipster) Richard Maguire