English Premiership

'Expert' UK footy tips

2013-03-28 09:45
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

SUNDERLAND v MANCHESTER UNITED
Saturday, 14:45


The Black Cats have struggled to build a proper head of steam all season, hence them still flirting with relegation possibilities, and it seems unlikely that they will suddenly find some dramatic mojo for the visit of the runaway leaders. United won the equivalent fixture last season, and have already comfortably turned Sunderland over at Old Trafford in the latest one (3-1), so recent stats also point to an away-team win here: all of our panel lean that way. Still, Martin O’Neill’s charges will be roared on by a passionate north-east crowd ... and perhaps the Red Devils may be slightly distracted by Monday’s FA Cup quarter-final replay at Stamford Bridge? 

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

THE GRUDGE MATCH

EVERTON v STOKE
Saturday, 19:30


The Toffees, whose last home match saw them stirringly eclipse champions Man City 2-0, are desperately chasing some sort of Euro activity next season – they need fifth to ensure at least Europa League provisional qualification and currently lie just one rung below that notch. Visitors the Potters are “top of the bottom half” and clearly eyeing a top-10 finish, so neither side will lack motivation. The grudge status is given this contest because Stoke came to Goodison Park last season and slightly upset their hosts 1-0, courtesy of Robert Huth’s first-half strike (their first win at the venue since 1981). Everton would hate a repeat, and all of us envisage a Toffees triumph ... 

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

THE DESPERATE DUEL

ARSENAL v READING
Saturday, 17:00


Although their league positions are very different (the Gunners fifth and Saturday’s visitors second from bottom) this clash does contain “desperation” elements for both teams. Arsenal really need a solid run towards the end of the season if they are to claim lucrative Champions League status – they are presently four points behind arch-rivals Tottenham in terms of getting into that top-four territory. Again, we are unanimous in picking a Gunners win, though I have a hunch Arsene Wenger’s troops will produce one of their occasional charm offensives and romp home in some style – Herman has it a lot closer against strong “drop” candidates Reading. Remember that Arsenal have already won the away fixture 5-2 this season. 

Rob: Arsenal 4 Reading 0
Garrin: 2-0
Dominic: 3-0
Herman: 2-1
Last season: Not applicable

THE OTHERS

MANCHESTER CITY v NEWCASTLE
Saturday, 17:00


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

SOUTHAMPTON v CHELSEA
Saturday, 17:00


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

SWANSEA v TOTTENHAM
Saturday, 17:00


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

WEST HAM v WEST BROM
Saturday, 17:00


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

WIGAN v NORWICH
Saturday, 17:00


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

ASTON VILLA v LIVERPOOL
Sunday, 14:30


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

FULHAM v QPR
Monday, 21:00


Rob: Fulham 2 QPR 0
Garrin: 2-1
Dominic: 1-0
Herman: 1-0
Last season: 6-0

*LEADERBOARD

228 - Dominic (3 points in last round)
218 - Garrin (6)
217 - Herman (6)
204 - Rob (7)

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