'Expert' UK footy tips
English Premiership footy flutter (File)
Cape Town - Each round of the 2011/12 English Premiership season, a panel of Sport24 staff tipsters have a crack at predicting the results - do it yourself, if you like and see how you compare afterwards.
Our forecasts also offer assistance (if that is the right word!) to those who take part in the SuperBru megapool
(Pool code: cropriot) created by Sport24.
Compiled by Rob Houwing
(the champion for the last two seasons but a Newcastle supporter for his sins), the others are colleagues Garrin Lambley
(very Everton-partial), David Brooke
(Manchester United), Dominic Valentine
(Liverpool) and a welcome newcomer in the form of “converted” rugby devotee Tank Lanning
(yup, another of those infernal Red Devils fans).
THE PRIME ATTRACTION
MANCHESTER UNITED v ARSENAL
The Gunners already have ground to make up after gathering just one point from six, and this toughie at Old Trafford against the smooth-firing champions isn’t the perfect way, you would think, to begin any claw-back. Still, this is always a hotly-contested affair with a “history” ... think back to the great Keane versus Vieira tussles, the pizza-throwing kerfuffle in the tunnel, the occasional bad blood between the veteran bosses, etc. All five of us favour the home win, with Dominic even seeing it as a very emphatic outcome for the Red Devils. Last season it was 1-0 in Manchester and exactly the other way round at the Emirates, so it’s not as though Arse are without hope for a decent enough outcome here ...
Rob: Manchester United 2 Arsenal 0
Last season: 1-0THE GRUDGE MATCH
LIVERPOOL v BOLTON
OK, this isn’t the “main” derby for Liverpool, but only some 40km separates the city from Bolton and it’s still an all-Lancashire affair. The visitors will also be keen to wipe out some slightly bitter memories of last season’s equivalent fixture: they had been a goal up (Kevin Davies), but then strikes from Fernando Torres and a hotly-disputed late tap-in from Joe Cole stole all three points for ‘Pool. The Anfielders seem to be a club on the up again, however, and after a fine win at Arsenal ought to take this one ... my gut feel says quite comfortably, too.
Rob: Liverpool 3 Bolton 0
Last season: 2-1THE DESPERATE DUEL
BLACKBURN v EVERTON
Sorry, Garrin, but I guess I am kicking your club while they are down! And you may even protest that the Toffees – traditional slow starters -- have only played one game anyway, after being affected on the opening weekend of the Premiership by the London uprisings. Fact remains, though, that this encounter features two sides who have yet to pick up a single point between them. Our tipsters take a cagey approach under the circumstances, with 1-1 a very popular choice. Only Dave goes a decisive route.
Rob: Blackburn 1 Everton 1
Last season: 1-0THE OTHERS
ASTON VILLA v WOLVES
Rob: Aston Villa 1 Wolves 0
Last season: 0-1WIGAN v QPR
Rob: Wigan 2 QPR 1
Last season: Not applicableCHELSEA v NORWICH
Rob: Chelsea 2 Norwich 0
Last season: Not applicable
SWANSEA v SUNDERLAND
Rob: Swansea 0 Sunderland 2
Last season: Not applicableNEWCASTLE v FULHAM
Rob: Newcastle 1 Fulham 1
Last season: 0-0TOTTENHAM v MANCHESTER CITY
Rob: Tottenham 1 Manchester City 1
Last season: 0-0WEST BROM v STOKE
Rob: West Brom 0 Stoke 0
Last season: 0-3
Under our traditional, in-house scoring system for the five Sport24 staff featured here (three points for a wholly correct scoreline, one for right result), Dominic continues to set the pace – he achieved a healthy eight points last week.
But he is joined at the top now by Tank, who is proving an early dark horse at the round-ball game: the big man topped the week’s scoreboard with nine.
Here’s the full leaderboard (last week’s scores in brackets):
14 Dominic (8) and Tank (9)
12 David (6)
11 Garrin (8)
5 Rob (2)
*In the broad, Sport24.co.za pool on SuperBru, which sports 851 players, “Princes S
” leads comfortably after two rounds with 19.55 points under that competition’s system, with “Smidster
” lying second (19.25).
The yellow cap for most productive last round is held by “Gazza
”, although he is some way off the leaders with 14.80 total points.