English Premiership

'Expert' UK footy tips

2013-01-11 11:07
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 (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

ARSENAL v MANCHESTER CITY
Sunday, 18:00


It rather sums up the inconsistency which so infuriates Arsenal fans these days that in their last Premiership game at the Emirates, the Gunners earned a rugby scoreboard-like 7-3 triumph over Newcastle ... but then quickly followed it up with a much more tepid 1-1 draw at Southampton which freshly stunted their quest to make up ground on the leaders. Champions City, the visitors for this potential free-flowing classic, have at least won their last two games but had to battle really hard for the 4-3 outcome at Norwich and do still look a little short of title retention material right now. Arsenal have a habit of raising their game against these foes, so I have (bravely or daftly?) suggested a home win for them, although nobody else follows suit. They did claim the corresponding game 1-0 toward the end of last season, with the decisive wonder-strike coming from Mikel Arteta. Oh yes, and one Mario Balotelli got sent off ...

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

THE GRUDGE MATCH

MANCHESTER UNITED v LIVERPOOL
Sunday, 15:30


As if there isn’t traditionally enough spice to this fixture between a great team of yesteryear and a modern United side which has stolen so much thunder from Scouse-land, there’s still the lingering fall-out from the frosty vibe between Messrs Suarez (the in-form but ever-controversial ‘Pool hit-man) and Evra. It also comes at a time when there’s a bit of a feeling brewing – though these have proved false dawns before – that the men from Anfield may be on the up. They do, it must be said, come off respective 3-0 wins against QPR and Sunderland, enough to tempt me to suspect they can snatch a point at Old Trafford. (This seems to be my week of daring picks.) The other lads see that as folly, with 2-1 to Alex Ferguson’s side a popular choice. That was also last season’s result.

Rob: Manchester United 1 Liverpool 1
Garrin: 2-1
Dominic: 2-1
Herman: 2-1
Last season: 2-1

THE DESPERATE DUEL

ASTON VILLA v SOUTHAMPTON
Saturday, 17:00


I could have done the fairly standard thing and installed one of the relegation-zone teams in this space. Instead, I decided to give this dubious billing to Villa and Saints, who occupy each of the respective two berths immediately above the drop slots (the side from Birmingham slightly the more favourably placed in 16th). So this game is all about much-desired “upward movement” for both protagonists. Southampton have had three successive, battling draws – a fact that sways me to fancy another – whilst Villa remain fragile in confidence, I’m sure, after a few genuine hammerings over the Festive Season. Mind you, their last outing was a fair enough 2-2 outcome at Swansea, so they will try to bank that as food for hope of all three points here, and Garrin and Dom tip that scenario.

Rob: Aston Villa 1 Southampton 1
Garrin: 2-1
Dominic: 2-1
Herman: 1-1
Last season: Not applicable

THE OTHERS

QPR v TOTTENHAM
Saturday, 14:45


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

EVERTON v SWANSEA
Saturday, 17:00


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

FULHAM v WIGAN
Saturday, 17:00


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

NORWICH v NEWCASTLE
Saturday, 17:00


Rob: Norwich 1 Newcastle 1
Garrin: 1-1
Dominic: 1-2
Herman: 1-1
Last season: 4-2   

READING v WEST BROM
Saturday, 17:00


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

STOKE v CHELSEA
Saturday, 17:00


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

SUNDERLAND v WEST HAM
Saturday, 17:00


Rob: Sunderland 1 West Ham 0
Garrin: 2-1
Dominic: 1-0
Herman: 1-1
Last season: Not applicable

CHELSEA v SOUTHAMPTON
Wednesday, 21:45


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

*LEADERBOARD

166 - Dominic (20 points in last two rounds)
157 - Garrin (9)
156 - Herman (11)
152 - Rob (13)

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Fixtures
20 December 2014
Manchester City v Crystal Palace, Etihad Stadium 14:45
West Ham United v Leicester City, Boleyn Ground 17:00
Queens Park Rangers v West Bromwich Albion, Loftus Road Stadium 17:00
Southampton v Everton, St. Mary's Stadium 17:00
Hull City v Swansea City, The KC Stadium 17:00
Aston Villa v Manchester United, Villa Park 17:00
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21 December 2014
Newcastle United v Sunderland, St. James' Park 15:30
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22 December 2014
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