Rob's Football Flutter
Rob's Football Flutter (File)
Each round of the English Premiership season, those in the know at Sport24 – and those happy to thumb-suck – take a stab at predicting the results.
Compiled by Chief Writer Rob Houwing, with predictions from Managing Editor Garrin Lambley, Multimedia Editor Raymond Kilfoil, Commercial Manager David Brooke and former Bafana striker and current Sport24 columnist George Dearnaley, we’ll have you confused in no time … take our advice at your peril!ASTON VILLA v WEST HAM
To say that Villa’s recent form has been “up and down” would be incorrect: it’s been mostly down. Last weekend they played out a 3-3 home thriller with Everton to hardly suggest they’re a well-oiled machine again. I think the steady Hammers, despite coming off a narrow loss to Spurs, can nick a point, as they did last season. It’s a view not widely shared …
Rob: Aston Villa 1 West Ham 1
Last season: 1-1MIDDLESBROUGH v FULHAM
I need the away win badly to aid my selfish Newcastle interests at the rear end of the table, but Boro thumped Hull last time out and are capable, in truth, of getting something from this game. Mind you, Fulham come off a fine 3-1 win at Manchester City so this is between “form” sides. Feisty nil-nil copout it is, then …
Rob: Middlesbrough 0 Fulham 0
Last season: 1-0PORTSMOUTH v BOLTON
Tricky little one, this. Bolton went down courageously 4-3 at Chelsea last weekend after being four goals down at one stage! Pompey, meanwhile, were held at Fratton Park by a desperate West Brom, so no special confidence to be gained for them there. My unusual passion for goalless draws this week applies to this one.
Rob: Portsmouth 0 Bolton 0
Last season: 3-1STOKE v BLACKBURN
Might as well make it a hat-trick of nil-nil forecasts by yours truly! Blackburn need to redeem themselves for a 4-0 hiding at Anfield, even if I can’t see them winning at the half-decent Potters. Stoke had slightly the better (ouch, hated saying that) of their 1-1 outcome against crisis-torn Newcastle and oughtn’t lose.
Rob: Stoke 0 Blackburn 0
Last season: Not applicable
SUNDERLAND v HULL
OK, this tipster’s finally back among the “goals” … even if not very brazenly with the suggestion that the Black Cats will win by the only strike against presently wretched Hull. I’ve said for weeks that City’s early-season strides were a mirage and that they would be dragged into the mire at the business end of the season!
Rob: Sunderland 1 Hull 0
Last season: Not applicable
MANCHESTER CITY v WEST BROM
We must be very close to that stage of the season when you hear: “So-and-so are officially relegated.” It’s the basement Baggies staring down the barrel of that demoralising pronouncement. Even the odd point here and there isn’t going to help much now – they need wins. It won’t happen at Man City; look at the avalanche of two-nils from the Flutter panel!
Rob: Manchester City 2 West Brom 0
Last season: Not applicableTOTTENHAM v NEWCASTLE
I want to get excited about this fixture. Last campaign, Toon earned a glorious 4-1 triumph at White Hart Lane in the midst of a mini-run of consistent success in King Kev’s (ultimately ill-fated) second coming as boss. I should try to get a DVD of that wonderful day. My best hope, really, is a point to aid our horrible relegation scrap. Spurs fan Ray, needless to say, has us going back to the north-east pointless …
Rob: Tottenham 1 Newcastle 1
Last season: 1-4LIVERPOOL v ARSENAL
Perhaps it’s a blessing that the knackered ‘Pool -- now out of Europe as well -- also don’t have a say in the FA Cup semis this weekend. But it’s not long before they run smack-bang into another near-seismic clash – Tuesday’s one against the Gunners! If their Euro exit at Stamford Bridge showed one thing, it’s that they still have their spirit. So they’ll edge the Arse and stay in the Premiership race.
Rob: Liverpool 2 Arsenal 1
Last season: 1-1CHELSEA v EVERTON
The Blues have been another particularly busy side, and they might have preferred easier midweek visitors than the Toffees. Mind you, Everton will have come off a huge FA Cup semi against Manchester United. Two tired sets of legs? For me that translates … yes, to another nil-niller. I wonder if this iffy tactic’s going to ruin my Flutter season? All the other lads have Chelsea winning – even “Goodison” Lambley.
Rob: Chelsea 0 Everton 0
Last season: 1-1
MANCHESTER UNITED v PORTSMOUTH
Again, I’m taking a slightly risky break from the pack in seeing the Red Devils only just downing very ordinary Pompey. Most of my rivals have United winning with a flourish. My suggestion is merely a touch of complacency by the home side after their epic scraps of recent weeks!
Rob: Manchester United 1 Portsmouth 0
Last season: 2-0
*LEADERBOARD AFTER ROUND 32 (three points for a fully correct scoreline, one point for correct result)
224 Garrin (8 points for last round)
217 Rob (10)
210 Ray (8)
202 George (5)
179 David (5)Verdict:
Rome wasn’t built in a day and certainly my assault on Garrin’s No 1 spot is a bit like taking a donkey ride to Kakamas … one step at a time. Make that two: that’s how many points I made up on him in the latest round. I’d say I’m in with a shout, though Garrin still insists not. What about the rest? Ray, George and Dave stay doggedly (if that’s the right word) in third, fourth and fifth. When’s somebody going to grab a sensational, 16-point round or something? Don’t hold your breath, I guess.