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'Expert' UK footy tips

2012-03-23 11:41

Cape Town - Each round of the 2011/12 English Premiership season, a panel of Sport24 staff or guest tipsters have a crack at predicting the results - do it yourself, if you like, and see how you compare afterwards.

Compiled by Rob Houwing (the champion for the last two seasons but a Newcastle supporter for his sins), the others are Garrin Lambley (very Everton-partial), and David Brooke (Manchester United).

THE PRIME ATTRACTION

CHELSEA v TOTTENHAM
Saturday, 14:45


They lost it late at Manchester City in a key midweek league game, but there was still enough reason to suggest that Chelsea, under the caretaker management of Roberto di Matteo, are something of a revitalised force. So I am tipping them to knock over Spurs in a big London derby, and so is David. Tottenham, after all, have been experiencing a problematic wee spell, and a home draw with Stoke last time out rather demonstrated that. But it’s a high-stakes encounter, what with the visitors lying fourth and the Blues fifth, so Champions League qualification is very much an issue! Garrin, therefore, takes his tried-and-occasionally-trusted 1-1 route. Chelsea nicked this one last season, with a hotly-disputed Frank Lampard winner.

Rob: Chelsea 2 Tottenham 0
Garrin: 1-1
David: 3-2
Last season: 2-1

THE GRUDGE MATCH

ARSENAL v ASTON VILLA
Saturday, 17:00

The Gunners are suddenly really flying ... amazing to think that not many weeks ago at all lots of people were charging that Arsene Wenger was a spent force at the Emirates. They’ve climbed back to third and certainly looking hungrily at top-tier Euro football again next season. Why the grudge branding for a game that has no special history of animosity or geographical closeness? It’s because Arse botched the equivalent match at home in the last campaign, Darren Bent bagging a brace of goals for the visitors in a home performance branded as “pathetic” by the, er, authoritative Sun newspaper. It’s hard to see similar ineptitude this time, considering Arsenal’s current buoyancy, and we’ve all opted for the comfortable win by them. Dave has it as especially one-way traffic ... 

Rob: Arsenal 2 Aston Villa 0
Garrin: 2-0
David: 3-0
Last season: 1-2   

THE DESPERATE DUEL

LIVERPOOL v WIGAN
Saturday, 17:00


Most of the time you wouldn’t associate Liverpool with this slot, in fairness. But they are under pressure in the Premiership, rooted to seventh place which is not the sort of terrain Anfield stalwarts appreciate! The midweek defeat away to QPR, after having looked good for a win at one stage, will have only increased that agitated state. You can see the lines increasing on King Kenny’s face, can’t you? Of course there’s no disputing the visitors’ woes, of a slightly different kind. Wigan remain second from bottom and in grave danger of the drop, so they may cheekily fancy a repeat (considering ‘Pool’s lack of recent form) of last season’s 1-1 stalemate in front of the grumpy Kop. But we’re not quite falling for that scenario ... the hosts to grab it! Garrin and Dave say so with greater conviction than I do, mind.

Rob: Liverpool 1 Wigan 0
Garrin: 2-0
David: 2-0
Last season: 1-1 

THE OTHERS

BOLTON v BLACKBURN
Saturday, 17:00


Rob: Bolton 1 Blackburn 0
Garrin: 1-1
David: 2-1
Last season: 2-1

NORWICH v WOLVES
Saturday, 17:00

Rob: Norwich 0 Wolves 0
Garrin: 2-1
David: 1-0
Last season: Not applicable   

SUNDERLAND v QPR
Saturday, 17:00

Rob: Sunderland 0 QPR 0
Garrin: 2-1
David: 2-1
Last season: Not applicable 

SWANSEA v EVERTON
Saturday, 17:00


Rob: Swansea 2 Everton 1
Garrin: 1-1
David: 2-2
Last season: Not applicable

STOKE v MANCHESTER CITY
Saturday, 19:30


Rob: Stoke 0 Manchester City 1
Garrin: 0-2
David: 0-2
Last season: 1-1  

WEST BROM v NEWCASTLE
Sunday, 18:00


Rob: West Brom 1 Newcastle 2
Garrin: 1-1
David: 1-1
Last season: 3-1

MANCHESTER UNITED v FULHAM 
Monday, 22:00


Rob: Manchester United 3 Fulham 0
Garrin: 2-0
David: 4-1
Last season: 2-0

LEADERBOARD

So yes ... there were few shining lights among your favourite trio last weekend. And yes again, yours truly admits to special ignominy: a paltry two points. (Mind you, there WAS one postponement, the Villa-Bolton game following the unfortunate Fabrice Muamba matter.) David topped the round with six points, to return to second spot alone and make up one point on leader Garrin. I couldn’t even manage a nick through the slips to bring up my double-century ...  

205 Garrin (5 points in last round)
200 David (6)
196 Rob (2)

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