'Expert' UK footy tips
Cape Town - Each round of the 2013/14 English Premiership season, a panel of Sport24 staff and occasional guest tipsters have a crack at predicting the results - do the exercise yourself, if you like, and see how you compare afterwards.
Compiled by Rob Houwing
(Newcastle-partial), the others are Garrin Lambley
(Everton), Dominic Valentine
(Liverpool, and the defending champion), Herman Mostert
(Chelsea) and newcomer Earl Haupt
(another ‘Pool fan).
Three points are awarded for an entirely correct scoreline, and one for right result.
THE PRIME ATTRACTION
MANCHESTER UNITED v CHELSEA
Juan Mata’s 87th-minute, deflected strike gave the Blues a 1-0 win at Old Trafford in the corresponding fixture last season, but it was an unusually tepid May game between these arch-foes ... a good part of the reason being that United were already assured of the title, so the result must be seen in that context. This time they lock horns very early in the campaign, so expect an altogether more urgent and intense vibe around proceedings on Monday night. Both juggernauts are off to a decent start in 2013/14, so not too surprisingly the majority of our panel have at least temporarily caught a dose of the “Garrin virus” for big clashes: a sober 1-1 forecast. Only rookie panellist Earl daringly sticks his neck out (ah, the impetuousness of youth) ... and fancies another Chelsea win in the great north-west.
Rob: Manchester United 1 Chelsea 1
Last season: 0-1THE GRUDGE MATCH
FULHAM v ARSENAL
The hosts will certainly have retribution firmly on their minds in this London derby, a factor which adds automatic spice anyway: in the equivalent meeting last season the Gunners seized the spoils 1-0, but aided in no small measure by Steve Sidwell’s reckless-lunge folly which saw him red-carded after only 12 minutes. Despite the 10-man drawback, Fulham were considered to have been superior on that sunny spring day and unlucky to go down. Still, my fancy is that under-fire Arsene Wenger will do enough to light a cracker below various posteriors, considering Arsenal’s upset 1-3 first-day defeat at the Emirates Stadium to Aston Villa, and at least temporarily appease the impatient Gunners faithful with all three points here. I am joined in that theory by Herman and Earl.
Rob: Fulham 1 Arsenal 2
Last season: 0-1THE DESPERATE DUEL
CARDIFF v MANCHESTER CITY
Of course the desperation element has nothing to do with freshly title-aspirant City, who come off a swaggering 4-0 thumping of (shhh!) Newcastle in their first-round fixture. But the Welsh newcomers to the Premiership crashed 2-0 at West Ham on top-flight debut, and there must be a very strong likelihood that their opening home game will also see them surrender all three points and find themselves all too quickly among the stragglers. A full house of crystal-ballers has City winning pretty comfortably, with only Dominic generous enough to suggest Cardiff might have the consolation of getting onto the score-sheet. Little for Joe Hart to do again, venture the rest of us ...
Rob: Cardiff 0 Manchester City 2
Last season: Not applicableTHE OTHERS
EVERTON v WEST BROM
Rob: Everton 1 West Brom 0
Last season: 2-1
HULL v NORWICH
Rob: Hull 1 Norwich 1
Last season: Not applicableNEWCASTLE v WEST HAM
Rob: Newcastle 0 West Ham 0
Last season: 0-1SOUTHAMPTON v SUNDERLAND
Rob: Southampton 2 Sunderland 1
Last season: 0-1STOKE v CRYSTAL PALACE
Rob: Stoke 1 Crystal Palace 1
Last season: Not applicableASTON VILLA v LIVERPOOL
Rob: Aston Villa 1 Liverpool 1
Last season: 1-2TOTTENHAM v SWANSEA
Rob: Tottenham 2 Swansea 0
Last season: 1-0*LEADERBOARD
15 - Herman
12 - Garrin, Dominic
8 - Rob, Earl*Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing