Barclays Premier League

'Expert' UK footy tips

2012-03-30 10:56
English Premiership flutter (File)
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

MANCHESTER CITY v SUNDERLAND
Saturday, 16:00


With leaders and arch-rivals Man United only playing on Monday, City have a glorious chance to go back level on points with them, even if it is only for 48 hours or thereabouts. But that’s perhaps easier said than done, considering their patchy Premiership form recently. Bear in mind that visitors Sunderland may be smarting after bowing out of the FA Cup quarters following a midweek home replay loss to Everton. These teams have a quirky history over the past year or so: City pulverised the Black Cats 5-0 in the equivalent fixture at Eastlands last season, but the game in the north-east earlier in the current campaign went Sunderland’s way 1-0, courtesy of Ji Dong-won’s controversial goal in stoppage time. City are bound to still harbour a “mental note” about that ... and all of us have them avenging that reverse (me especially comfortably) to keep the pressure on the Red Devils.

Rob: Manchester City 3 Sunderland 0
Garrin: 2-0
David: 2-1
Last season: 5-0

THE GRUDGE MATCH

BLACKBURN v MANCHESTER UNITED
Monday, 21:00


This had to be the game for this slot, didn’t it? United will still be livid after losing at Old Trafford, of all places, to the strugglers over the Festive Season. It was 3-2 to disbelieving Blackburn then, at a time when Fergie was bickering with hit-man Wayne Rooney (he didn’t make the squad that day) and now steadier David de Gea still dropping major ‘keeping clangers. The landscape looks a little different now, with United right back on course to defend their title and suspecting some run-in shivers from neighbours Man City. The hosts are out of the bottom three at present, but still in a tenuous position relegation-wise. It’s hard to see Blackburn, who come off defeat at Bolton, getting anything from the Monday-nighter, with Garrin and Dave particularly adamant the Red Devils will win with some degree of ease.  

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

THE DESPERATE DUEL


QPR v ARSENAL
Saturday, 16:00


The desperation factor is predominantly Rangers’, it is true. They occupy the “top” slot in the bottom three and would dearly love to get at least a point out of this London derby to aid their survival quest. As for the Gunners, this game is important in terms of retaining their recent resurgence and securing that third place at the more desired end of the table and automatic Champions League qualification. Despite QPR boasting home advantage on Saturday, a full house of forecasters says Arsenal will prevail – Dave predicts a bit of a rout. After all, Rangers come off a 3-1 loss at Sunderland whilst Arsene Wenger’s side brushed aside Villa 3-0 to rather sum up contrasting fortunes ...  

Rob: QPR 1 Arsenal 2
Garrin: 0-2
David: 0-4
Last season: Not applicable

THE OTHERS

ASTON VILLA v CHELSEA
Saturday, 16:00


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

EVERTON v WEST BROM
Saturday, 16:00


Rob: Everton 2 West Brom 0
Garrin: 2-1
David: 1-0
Last season: 1-4   

FULHAM v NORWICH
Saturday, 16:00


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

WIGAN v STOKE
Saturday, 16:00


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

WOLVES v BOLTON
Saturday, 16:00


Rob: Wolves 0 Bolton 2
Garrin: 1-1
David: 1-2
Last season: 2-3  

NEWCASTLE v LIVERPOOL
Sunday, 14:30


Rob: Newcastle 1 Liverpool 0
Garrin: 1-1
David: 2-0
Last season: 3-1

TOTTENHAM v SWANSEA 
Sunday, 17:00


Rob: Tottenham 2 Swansea 0
Garrin: 2-0
David: 3-2
Last season: Not applicable

LEADERBOARD

It stays notably tight at the top, where effectively just one fully correct score-line (we give three points for those) separates leader Garrin from David at this advanced stage of the season. Dave made up two points on the man in “pole” in the last round. Sadly for me, it was another shaky weekend last time out, although I staunchly maintain I’m still in the race ...

212 Garrin (7 points in last round)
209 David (9)
200 Rob (4)

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