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'Expert' UK footy tips

2012-09-14 13:15

Cape Town - Each round of the 2012/13 English Premiership season, a panel of Sport24 staff and occasional 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 (eternally Newcastle-partial), the others are Garrin Lambley (Everton, and last season’s winner), Dominic Valentine (Liverpool) and Herman Mostert (Chelsea).

Three points are awarded for an entirely correct scoreline, and one for right result.

THE PRIME ATTRACTION

STOKE v MANCHESTER CITY
Saturday, 16:00


He’s been notably injury-prone for several years now and at 32 is also past his prime. But once-prolific England striker Michael Owen remains a big name in “paper” terms and his expected maiden appearance in red and white for Stoke adds some spice to this clash. Champions City are two points behind Chelsea – the only team with a 100 percent record after three rounds – and will fancy their chances of a full house at the Britannia Stadium. Last season’s equivalent encounter saw Stoke earn a decent 1-1 outcome; they’d taken the lead via a Peter Crouch screamer and it took a fairly late strike from Yaya Toure to steal a point for the Mancunians. But our entire panel predicts no joy for the home team this time – especially with maverick Mario Balotelli fit again for City.

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

THE GRUDGE MATCH

QPR v CHELSEA
Saturday, 16:00


How could it be anything but this fixture in the slot? There’s still plenty of fall-out from the much-publicized racial slur rumpus, in which Chelsea’s John Terry was cleared of such conduct against Rangers’ Anton Ferdinand. They go head-to-head at Loftus Road, with great debate beforehand as to what will occur at team handshake time; Ashley Cole is also implicated in the kerfuffle after giving testimony in Terry’s defence. Throw in the London derby factor, plus the fact that Rangers got an upset 1-0 win here last season (Helguson penalty, plus two Chelsea red cards on the day!) and you have the all the ingredients for another fiery stew. All bar Herman (1-1) believe the log-leaders will snatch all three points this time to avenge last season’s occurrence, but it could be tight and tetchy despite the home team’s lowly current status. 

Rob: QPR 0 Chelsea 1
Garrin: 0-2
Dominic: 1-2
Herman: 1-1
Last season: 1-0   

THE DESPERATE DUEL

ARSENAL v SOUTHAMPTON
Saturday, 16:00


The pall of relative angst around the Emirates, after the off-loading of once cult figure Robin van Persie and ongoing perception of lack of ambition in the spending department, lifted a little as they earned a commendable 2-0 victory over Liverpool at Anfield last time out. So the desperation factor affects Saturday’s visitors from the south coast far more – they are yet to secure a single point from three outings and prop up the table. In mitigation, two of those opponents have been the two Manchester clubs and they put up gritty fights each time! Sooner or later, though, the promoted side know they also need to start accumulating points – spirit alone doesn’t always guarantee your long-term Premiership status. But I fancy the Gunners will bag a few goals here, and nobody argues against three points for the Arse ... 

Rob: Arsenal 3 Southampton 0
Garrin: 2-0
Dominic: 2-0
Herman: 2-1
Last season: Not applicable    

THE OTHERS

NORWICH v WEST HAM
Saturday, 13:45


Rob: Norwich 2 West Ham 1
Garrin: 1-1
Dominic: 1-1
Herman: 1-1
Last season: Not applicable 

ASTON VILLA v SWANSEA
Saturday, 16:00


Rob: Aston Villa 2 Swansea 1
Garrin: 1-1
Dominic: 1-1
Herman: 1-1
Last season: 0-2     

FULHAM v WEST BROM
Saturday, 16:00


Rob: Fulham 1 West Brom 0
Garrin: 2-1
Dominic: 1-1
Herman: 2-1
Last season: 1-1   

MANCHESTER UNITED v WIGAN
Saturday, 16:00


Rob: Manchester United 3 Wigan 0
Garrin: 2-0
Dominic: 2-0
Herman: 3-1
Last season: 5-0 

SUNDERLAND v LIVERPOOL
Saturday, 18:30


Rob: Sunderland 2 Liverpool 1
Garrin: 1-1
Dominic: 1-1
Herman: 1-1
Last season: 1-0    

READING v TOTTENHAM
Sunday, 17:00


Rob: Reading 1 Tottenham 1
Garrin: 1-2
Dominic: 1-2
Herman: 0-1
Last season: Not applicable

EVERTON v NEWCASTLE
Monday, 21:00


Rob: Everton 2 Newcastle 1
Garrin: 2-1
Dominic: 1-0
Herman: 1-0
Last season: 3-1

*LEADERBOARD

21 - Dominic (4 points in last round)
20 - Garrin (4)
17 - Rob (4)
16 - Herman (5)

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