'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
(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
MANCHESTER CITY v CHELSEA
A few months ago, you’d have branded this a massively influential game in title terms. But both teams have fallen alarmingly off the pace and you don’t hear any complaints from Fergie and company at Old Trafford. So they may well be “playing for second”, come the end of the season. With their respective hopes of grabbing the silverware just about out of the window, perhaps these expensively-assembled combatants will really go for it on Sunday; a draw hardly suits their purposes. City won 2-1 in last season’s Etihad Stadium meeting, courtesy of an 85th-minute winner from Samir Nasri, and three of us anticipate a carbon-copy scoreline.
Rob: Manchester City 2 Chelsea 1
Last season: 2-1THE GRUDGE MATCH
WEST BROM v SUNDERLAND
Peter Odemwingie got on the score-sheet after only three minutes of last season’s corresponding fixture, and it rather set the tone for a depressing day for the visiting red-and-whites as they leaked four in total. Sunderland certainly have a score to settle, you feel, because earlier this season they were even thumped 4-2 at home by these foes. But given that recent history, I’m going for another comfortable enough WBA win and two of my rival tipsters see it that way too. Don’t forget the Baggies come off a decent Premiership win at Anfield ...
Rob: West Brom 2 Sunderland 0
Last season: 4-0THE DESPERATE DUEL
ARSENAL v ASTON VILLA
I could have gone for the more obvious Reading (18th on the table) versus Wigan (19th) ... but this particular fixture hardly lacks desperate aspects, does it? After all, the noose – certainly as far as the increasingly disgruntled Gunners fans are concerned – is tightening around the neck of defiant boss Arsene Wenger, and they really must win here to rekindle hopes of a top-four finish. Villa have their own reasons for urgency, as they are one rung free of the relegation zone, although there have been signs of renewed resolve in the last couple of weeks with a draw and a win for them. Yet all of us see the Emirates faithful having overdue reason to smile.
Rob: Arsenal 3 Aston Villa 0
Last season: 3-0THE OTHERS
FULHAM v STOKE
Rob: Fulham 2 Stoke 0
Last season: 2-1NORWICH v EVERTON
Rob: Norwich 1 Everton 2
Last season: 2-2 QPR v MANCHESTER UNITED
Rob: QPR 0 Manchester United 1
Last season: 0-2READING v WIGAN
Rob: Reading 2 Wigan 0
Last season: Not applicableNEWCASTLE v SOUTHAMPTON
Rob: Newcastle 1 Southampton 1
Last season: Not applicableWEST HAM v TOTTENHAM
Rob: West Ham 1 Tottenham 2
Last season: Not applicable*LEADERBOARD
200 - Dominic (7 points in last round)
195 - Garrin (11)
193 - Herman (8)
184 - Rob (9)