'Expert' UK soccer tips
Cape Town – Each round of the 2011/12 English Premiership season, a panel of Sport24 staff tipsters have a crack at predicting the results – do it yourself, if you like, and see how you compare afterwards.
Our forecasts also offer assistance (if that is the right word!) to those who take part in the SuperBru megapool (Pool code: cropriot) created by Sport24.
Compiled by Rob Houwing
(the champion for the last two seasons but a Newcastle supporter for his sins), the others are colleagues Garrin Lamble
y (very Everton-partial), David Brooke
(Manchester United), Dominic Valentine
(Liverpool) and a novel newcomer in “converted” rugby devotee Tank Lanning
(another of those infernal Red Devils fans).THE PRIME ATTRACTION
QPR v MANCHESTER CITY
Goalscoring is certainly not a problem for in-form City at present, so even if they happen to unexpectedly leak a little at the back against QPR, it’s hard to see them not profiting enough at the other end of the park to win comfortably and keep their stranglehold at the top of the table. Rangers have had some fairly tough ‘uns of late, including successive London derbies – though they did beat Chelsea 1-0 in their last home game – and may just be a bit leaden-footed for this one considering that squad depth isn’t a key feature of their armoury. Our panel picks it as either 2-0 or 2-1 to the visitors. And are we even being a little too conservative?
Rob: QPR 0 Manchester City 2
Last season: Not applicableTHE GRUDGE MATCHARSENAL v WEST BROM
This game slots into this spot because of last year’s shock outcome at the Emirates: the Baggies won 3-2 for their first away Premiership win in 19 attempts, after even having the audacity to lead 3-0 at one stage until a Samir Nasri double went some way to sparing Arse’s blushes. But this match comes at a time when the Gunners have a solid head of steam going, including that pulsating 5-3 win at Chelsea last weekend. So I fancy them to take out West Brom (coming off a home loss to Liverpool) with quite a lot to spare, even if my forecast is more ambitious than anyone else’s ...
Rob: Arsenal 4 West Brom 0
Last season: 2-3
THE DESPERATE DUELWOLVES v WIGAN
Last season there was a lot of betting around the possibility that three teams all beginning with ‘W’ would experience the dreaded drop. In the end only West Ham proved such a casualty, with ‘B’ ultimately a more popular victim – Birmingham and Blackpool. But here we are again in 2011/12, with Wigan rock bottom on five points and just win to show from 10 games, while Sunday’s hosts, Wolves, are only one place above the relegation zone. Three of us back the narrow home win, but I’ve taken the cagey, grim 0-0 option which pretty keeps both of these Ws wobbly in a log position context ...
Rob: Wolves 0 Wigan 0
Last season: 1-2
NEWCASTLE v EVERTON
Rob: Newcastle 1 Everton 0
Last season: 1-2ASTON VILLA v NORWICH
Rob: Aston Villa 1 Norwich 1
Last season: Not applicableBLACKBURN v CHELSEA
Rob: Blackburn 0 Chelsea 2
Last season: 1-2LIVERPOOL v SWANSEA
Rob: Liverpool 3 Swansea 1
Last season: Not applicableMANCHESTER UNITED v SUNDERLAND
Rob: Manchester United 2 Sunderland 0
Last season: 2-0BOLTON v STOKE
Rob: Bolton 1 Stoke 0
Last season: 2-1
FULHAM v TOTTENHAM
Rob: Fulham 1 Tottenham 1
Last season: 1-2LEADERBOARD
Under our traditional, in-house scoring system for the five Sport24 staff featured here, I am happy to report that the big mover – if not quite shaker yet – for the last round was moi! A lofty 12 points meant I made up some great ground to at least claw back in touch with the rest of the pack. Tenacious leader Tank had a fair enough round, though ...
78 Tank (8 points in last round)
73 Dominic (5)
68 David (4)
66 Garrin (5)
60 Rob (12)