English Premiership

'Expert' UK footy tips

2011-04-08 14:15
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 (Liverpool).

We occasionally invite guest tipsters; this week SuperSport cricket commentator and former Zimbabwe paceman POMMIE MBANGWA has a crack.

Pom is partial to Manchester United after opting to be “a bit different” at school in Bulawayo in the late 1980s.

“The other red team, Liverpool, with their Bruce Grobbelaar and their John Barnes, were the dominant choice among my schoolmates then: so I went with United instead, partly also because I loved the number seven and Bryan Robson wore it for them ... and how fortunes have changed between the two sides!”

Find out how Mbangwa and the regulars fared next week ...

THE PRIME ATTRACTION

MANCHESTER UNITED v FULHAM
Saturday, 16:00


Ever-respectable, mid-table Fulham might just feel they’re visiting Old Trafford at a good time, with their hosts smack in the middle of a Champions League quarter-final two-legger with Chelsea. So there is the possibility of the leaders being distracted, although morale will not be a problem after they pipped the Blues 1-0 away in the first encounter. Fulham come off a comfortable disposal of Blackpool, which will stiffen their belief as the underdogs here. Last season these protagonists had a funny old time: United won 3-0 at Old Trafford whilst it was exactly the other way around at Craven Cottage. Garrin and I feel Fergie’s slightly footsore boys will make heavy weather of a narrow victory ... others see it being more straightforward.

Rob: Manchester United 1 Fulham 0
Garrin: 2-1
David: 2-0
Dominic: 3-0
Guest Pommie Mbangwa: 3-1
Last season: 3-0

THE GRUDGE MATCH

ASTON VILLA v NEWCASTLE
Sunday, 17:00


OK, I admit my Toon bias (moi?) has come a little into play here ... ordinarily you might not quickly associate this fixture with grudge status. But I have a bitter memory, you see: this was the game on the last day of the season two years ago when Villa triumphed 1-0, courtesy of a Damien Duff own goal, to consign Newcastle to relegation. (Cue those TV images of tearful, forlorn black-and-whites fans with faces buried in hands, etc.) Rather more happily from my point of view, Villa have good reason to want to settle a subsequent score: Toon thrashed them 6-0 much earlier in the 2010/11 season at St James’s Park, with a hat-trick from the since-departed Andy Carroll. You get all possibilities from our panel for this one ... I’ve gone the middle route.

Rob: Aston Villa 1 Newcastle 1
Garrin: 1-1
David: 0-1
Dominic: 1-0
Guest Pommie Mbangwa: 2-1
Last season: Not applicable

THE DESPERATE DUEL


CHELSEA v WIGAN
Saturday, 16:00


It’s getting more and more ominous for Wigan, still glued to the bottom although their fighting 0-0 home result with Spurs last week was a fair enough showing. Now they face an unenviable visit to Stamford Bridge, with defeat likely although they really cannot afford it with the season’s “sands” running out. The Blues will have massive Champions League matters still on their minds, but a full house of us nevertheless say they will claim this one without too much sweat. Oh yes, a wee reminder of last season’s corresponding game: 8-0! It included a Didier Drogba hat-trick. But perhaps he’ll be rested for the big Old Trafford game in midweek?

Rob: Chelsea 2 Wigan 0
Garrin: 2-0
David: 3-0
Dominic: 3-0
Guest Pommie Mbangwa: 4-1
Last season: 8-0

THE OTHERS

WOLVES v EVERTON
Saturday, 13:45


Rob: Wolves 1 Everton 1 
Garrin: 1-2
David: 1-1
Dominic: 0-0
Guest Pommie Mbangwa: 0-1
Last season: 0-0

BLACKBURN v BIRMINGHAM
Saturday, 16:00


Rob: Blackburn 1 Birmingham 1
Garrin: 1-1
David: 0-2
Dominic: 2-1
Guest Pommie Mbangwa: 0-0
Last season: 2-1

BOLTON v WEST HAM
Saturday, 16:00


Rob: Bolton 2 West Ham 1
Garrin: 2-2
David: 2-1
Dominic: 2-1
Guest Pommie Mbangwa: 2-2
Last season: 3-1

SUNDERLAND v WEST BROM
Saturday, 16:00


Rob: Sunderland 2 West Brom 1
Garrin: 1-1
David: 0-1
Dominic: 2-1
Guest Pommie Mbangwa: 2-1
Last season: Not applicable

TOTTENHAM v STOKE
Saturday, 16:00


Rob: Tottenham 2 Stoke 0
Garrin: 1-1
David: 2-1
Dominic: 1-0
Guest Pommie Mbangwa: 2-0
Last season: 0-1

BLACKPOOL v ARSENAL
Sunday, 14:30


Rob: Blackpool 0 Arsenal 0
Garrin: 0-2
David: 1-1
Dominic: 0-2
Guest Pommie Mbangwa: 2-1
Last season: Not applicable

LIVERPOOL v MANCHESTER CITY 
Sunday, 17:00


Rob: Liverpool 2 Manchester City 1
Garrin: 1-1
David: 0-1
Dominic: 1-1
Guest Pommie Mbangwa: 2-2
Last season: 2-2

LEADERBOARD

Yeah baby ... it’s getting a bit tense at the top, and that was always my plan. Last week I made up another two important points on Dom (makes a nice change for it not to be just one!) and now we seem to have a real game on as the season heads toward the final straight. Dave stays fairly steady, whilst Garrin’s, er, marvellous consistency continues ...

220 Dominic (4 points in last round)
216 Rob (6)
197 David (6)
176 Garrin (2)

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