'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 ATTRACTIONMANCHESTER CITY v ARSENALSaturday, 14:45
Big names galore, the potential for a free-flowing spectacle ... this shapes up as very decent viewing for the first game of the latest round. The visiting Gunners have the cushion of a five-point lead at the top and won’t be too concerned about their midweek Champions League loss at Napoli as they’re through anyway. The stakes are a bit higher for City, the Premiership champions of two seasons ago, as they’re six points off the top and could handily slash that by 50 percent with a win! The gut feel on our panel is that Arsenal will be taken out here, although we could see a fluid encounter with all outcomes possible, I reckon.
Rob: Manchester City 2 Arsenal 1
Last season: 1-1 THE GRUDGE MATCHCHELSEA v CRYSTAL PALACESaturday, 17:00
Not too many obvious bitter rivalries on offer this weekend, so when in doubt ... try to find a derby! And there’s a London one on the programme, as Palace don’t go far to tackle Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. We all know who the favourites will be, and an extra incentive for the Blues is that must try to atone for the shock 3-2 loss at Stoke last week. But Palace won’t be in worst spirits, as a mini-revival of late – including two home wins on the trot – has lifted them off the bottom and now simply alongside various other strugglers in the nether regions of the table. Suddenly they don’t look like such “automatic” relegation candidates. That said, there are predictably enough no takers among our panel for anything but a sound Chelsea victory ...
Rob: Chelsea 3 Crystal Palace 0
Last season: Not applicable THE DESPERATE DUELASTON VILLA v MANCHESTER UNITEDSunday, 15:30
Of course I could have opted for one (or two) of the usual basement suspects here – Sunderland, for instance, are now five points below anyone else in 20th and visit 17th-placed West Ham this weekend. But instead the billing unusually goes to defending champions Manchester United, significantly labouring in ninth and 13 points shy of leaders Arsenal. “Out of contention” seems a statement not terribly far away, doesn’t it? So desperation ought to take hold as they try to stabilise from successive 1-0 losses at home to Everton and Newcastle with a much-needed good result at Villa. United did recover from two down in last season’s corresponding clash to win 3-2, with two strikes from Javier Hernandez. They’d dearly bag any repeat!
Rob: Aston Villa 0 Manchester United 2
Last season: 2-3 THE OTHERSCARDIFF v WEST BROMSaturday, 17:00
Rob: Cardiff 1 West Brom 1
Last season: Not applicable EVERTON v FULHAMSaturday, 17:00
Rob: Everton 1 Fulham 0
Last season: 1-0 NEWCASTLE v SOUTHAMPTONSaturday, 17:00
Rob: Newcastle 1 Southampton 0
Last season: 4-2 WEST HAM v SUNDERLANDSaturday, 17:00
Rob: West Ham 1 Sunderland 1
Last season: 1-1 HULL v STOKE Saturday, 19:30
Rob: Hull 1 Stoke 0
Last season: Not applicable NORWICH v SWANSEASunday, 15:30
Rob: Norwich 1 Swansea 1
Last season: 2-2 TOTTENHAM v LIVERPOOLSunday, 18:00
Rob: Tottenham 1 Liverpool 1
Last season: 2-1 *LEADERBOARD
119 - Garrin (4 points in last round) and Herman (1)
117 - Dominic (4)
109 - Rob (3)
95 - Earl (1)*Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing