'Expert' UK footy tips
English Premiership flutter (File)
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) and Dominic Valentine
We occasionally invite guest tipsters; watch this space.
THE PRIME ATTRACTION
LIVERPOOL v MANCHESTER UNITED
There’s been such strong rivalry and sometimes animosity between these Lancastrian sides down the years that no encounter between them is ever inconsequential – even if Liverpool are well out of the title picture this season. There is pressure on leaders United now, after their Tuesday defeat at Chelsea which left Fergie in such poor humour. Can they return a smile to the ageing gaffer’s ruddy face? The ‘Pool won’t roll over and make it easy for them – especially if big signing Andy Carroll finally has a role in the match. They will also take heart from last season’s deserved 2-0 win the corresponding fixture, via goals from the now departed Fernando Torres and David Ngog. Know what? I’m alone in my sentiment but I just fancy the hosts to nick it again ...
Rob: Liverpool 1 Manchester United 0
Last season: 2-0THE GRUDGE MATCH
BIRMINGHAM v WEST BROM
A Midlands derby where no quarter is traditionally asked or given. The Brummies will try to turn this into some sort of celebratory occasion at St Andrews, following their shock triumph over Arsenal in the League Cup final. But of course the visiting Baggies will aim to ensure it turns into a mighty hangover! There is a great deal at stake for both sides because they are in far from stable positions on the table, with relegation still very much a danger in each case. So my tip is a pretty grim draw, with the onion bag unmoved. Garrin agrees with me in result terms, but Dave and Dom fancy Birmingham to bag three points and shift to greater safety ...
Rob: Birmingham 0 West Brom 0
Last season: Not applicableTHE DESPERATE DUEL
MANCHESTER CITY v WIGAN
The desperation factor, of course, affects Wigan to a far greater degree because they are rock-bottom on the log and the fixtures are beginning to run out fast. Being thumped 4-0 at home by Manchester United last weekend hardly boosted morale, and now they face the other Mancunian club in another tough ask for them. City, of course, were held at home by ex-boss Mark Hughes’s Fulham last weekend, so they are under some pressure of their own to bag the win and cement a Champions League spot for next season. At last there is no dissent among the tipster panel: we’ve all got City prevailing, with last season’s comfortable result only adding to the sentiment in their favour.
Rob: Manchester City 2 Wigan 0
Last season: 3-0
ARSENAL v SUNDERLAND
Rob: Arsenal 2 Sunderland 1
Last season: 2-0BOLTON v ASTON VILLA
Rob: Bolton 1 Aston Villa 1
Last season: 0-1FULHAM v BLACKBURN
Rob: Fulham 1 Blackburn 0
Last season: 3-0NEWCASTLE v EVERTON
Rob: Newcastle 2 Everton 0
Last season: Not applicableWEST HAM v STOKE
Rob: West Ham 2 Stoke 0
Last season: 0-1WOLVES v TOTTENHAM
Rob: Wolves 1 Tottenham 2
Last season: 1-0
BLACKPOOL v CHELSEA
Rob: Blackpool 0 Chelsea 3
Last season: Not applicableLEADERBOARD
The latest tally-up takes in two rounds of activity, because it includes a now-completed programme of postponed matches during the big freeze several weeks back. (It was agreed we’d all stick to our initial tips.) Still not affected, however, is the pecking order on the table, because Dom stays fairly resolutely on top with an eight-point advantage. (That could yet be reined in, say I with conviction.) Although he stays anchored at the foot of the ladder, Garrin has slightly closed the gap on Dave with improved form ...