'Expert' UK footy tips
English Premiership flutter (File)
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
Three points are awarded for an entirely correct scoreline, and one for right result.
THE PRIME ATTRACTION
CHELSEA v MANCHESTER UNITED
Although these are pretty early days, neutrals will quietly be hoping that the visiting Red Devils can at least prevent defeat against a rampant, hugely consistent Chelsea. The Blues command a four-point lead at the top, you see, so another triumph in this seismic clash will represent a serious dent to Fergie and company. It is a fine time for Chelsea to be tackling this particular obligation, given that they have banged in four goals in each of their last two Premiership matches (home to Norwich and away to Spurs). Mind you, the visitors aren’t exactly goal-shy either: they come off a 4-2 win against Stoke and before that a 3-0 thumping of Newcastle on the road. So the scene is perfectly set. While Garrin and I take the cagey 1-1 route, Dom and Herman both believe the Blues will snatch the spoils.
Rob: Chelsea 1 Manchester United 1
Last season: 3-3
THE GRUDGE MATCH
EVERTON v LIVERPOOL
It seems a shame that the ever-passionate Merseyside derby actually finds itself relegated to second place on the Sunday billing, although the kick-off is at least suitably much earlier than the Chelsea-Man Utd one, for people who intend feasting on both matches. The Toffees have made a significantly better start to the season, already boasting a six-point lead over their great Reds rivals, and that will balloon to nine if they win the Goodison clash. I fancy that they are good enough to do that, although Evertonian Garrin is among the strong chorus of our punters favouring a hard-fought shared outcome. Of course Liverpool’s comfort is the knowledge that they won the corresponding fixture 2-0 last season, courtesy of second-half strikes from Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez. Mind you, the game was influenced by the questionable, early red-card for Everton’s Jack Rodwell ...
Rob: Everton 1 Liverpool 0
Last season: 0-2THE DESPERATE DUEL
ARSENAL v QPR
Judging by the increasingly mutinous sentiment I am seeing on Twitter from Gunners fans, affection for Arsene Wenger is receding at the same rate as the team’s title chances! They are reeling from a 1-0 reverse at Norwich last weekend, and then a just-as-galling home loss to Schalke in the Champions League. Lying ninth on the Premiership table is just not considered good enough ... but if that’s the case then spare a thought also for Arsenal’s cross-town visitors for this one. Rangers remain winless and prop up the table with a flimsy three points, although there was some satisfaction in their fighting 1-1 draw with the decent Everton last Sunday. All of us nevertheless envisage the Wenger assassination squad having to hold their fire or at least check their bullets: Gunners will take it by two clear goals.
Rob: Arsenal 2 QPR 0
Last season: 1-0
ASTON VILLA v NORWICH
Rob: Aston Villa 0 Norwich 0
Last season: 3-2 READING v FULHAM
Rob: Reading 1 Fulham 2
Last season: Not applicable STOKE v SUNDERLAND
Rob: Stoke 0 Sunderland 0
Last season: 0-1 WIGAN v WEST HAM
Rob: Wigan 0 West Ham 1
Last season: Not applicable MANCHESTER CITY v SWANSEA
Rob: Manchester City 3 Swansea 0
Last season: 4-0NEWCASTLE v WEST BROM
Rob: Newcastle 2 West Brom 0
Last season: 2-3SOUTHAMPTON v TOTTENHAM
Rob: Southampton 0 Tottenham 2
Last season: Not applicable*LEADERBOARD
68 Dominic (11 points in last round)
66 Garrin (11)
58 Herman (10)
54 Rob (9)