English Premiership

'Expert' UK footy picks

2010-11-26 11:46
EPL
Cape Town - Each round of the 2010/11 English Premiership season, a panel of Sport24 tipsters have a crack at predicting the results – do it yourself, if you like, and see how your scoreboard compares with ours in the report-back a week later.

Three precious points are given for an entirely correct scoreline, and one for right result.

Compiled by Rob Houwing (the champion last season but a Newcastle supporter for his sins), the others are colleagues Garrin Lambley (very Everton-partial), David Brooke (Manchester United), Raymond Kilfoil (Tottenham) and a newcomer in Dominic Valentine (Liverpool).

We occasionally invite guest tipsters; watch this space.

THE PRIME ATTRACTION

ASTON VILLA v ARSENAL
Saturday, 14:45


It was a bit tempting to push the Spurs-Liverpool game into this spot, I confess, what with Tottenham looking so good in Europe and their Sunday visitors back in the top 10 domestically and improving to a strong degree. But in the end Robert Pires climbing out of his Zimmer frame for iffy Villa to take on his old club just tilted the balance! As evidenced by last season’s stalemate, the Gunners won’t have it easy, and I’ve backed a share of the spoils once more. Villa’s last home outcome, remember, was 2-2 against Manchester United, although there is also some support for the away win. How else can Arse begin to appease their fans for the nightmare home reverse to arch-rivals Spurs?

Rob: Aston Villa 1 Arsenal 1
Garrin: 1-2
Raymond: 1-3
David: 1-2
Dominic: 1-1
Last season: 0-0

THE GRUDGE MATCH

NEWCASTLE v CHELSEA
Sunday, 15:30


Gee, tipping this one with any great confidence is difficult. What will we get from the Toon, a side boasting some massive wins at St James’s Park (think Villa, Sunderland) but also capable of home howlers and most recently 1-5 losers at Bolton? Similarly, will Chelsea finally recapture their lustre after an unexpected slump in the Premiership? Overwhelming sentiment (alas for this Magpies fan) indicates a Blues triumph. Why the “grudge” status? Simply because the visitors will angrily recall these very opponents beating them 4-3 on their own paddock in the League Cup a few weeks ago ... weakened respective line-ups then or not.

Rob: Newcastle 1 Chelsea 2
Garrin: 0-2
Raymond: 1-2
David: 1-2
Dominic: 1-2
Last season: Not applicable

THE DESPERATE DUEL

WEST HAM v WIGAN
Saturday, 17:00


Avram Grant is hanging by a thread to his Hammers job, and perhaps nothing less than victory over visiting Wigan, who have fallen into the relegation zone themselves, will be enough to spare him an exit letter. But can the bottom-placed Londoners do it? I have a gut feeling (nothing more scientific than that, mind) they will, especially if you use last year’s 3-2 result as a yardstick. Mind you, some say Wigan aren’t the kind of team who deserve the drop, and they did scrap hard before losing at Old Trafford last Saturday.

Rob: West Ham 2 Wigan 0
Garrin: 1-1
Raymond: 0-2
David: 0-0
Dominic: 2-1
Last season: 3-2

THE OTHERS

BOLTON v BLACKPOOL
Saturday, 17:00


Rob: Bolton 1 Blackpool 0
Garrin: 2-0
Raymond: 2-1
David: 2-0
Dominic: 1-0
Last season: Not applicable

EVERTON v WEST BROM
Saturday, 17:00


Rob: Everton 2 West Brom 1
Garrin: 2-0
Raymond: 1-0
David: 1-0
Dominic: 2-0
Last season: Not applicable

FULHAM v BIRMINGHAM
Saturday, 17:00


Rob: Fulham 1 Birmingham 1
Garrin: 1-1
Raymond: 1-0
David: 1-0
Dominic: 2-1
Last season: 2-1

MANCHESTER UNITED v BLACKBURN
Saturday, 17:00


Rob: Manchester United 3 Blackburn 0
Garrin: 2-0
Raymond: 3-0
David: 3-1
Dominic: 2-0
Last season: 2-0

STOKE v MANCHESTER CITY
Saturday, 17:00


Rob: Stoke 0 Manchester City 0
Garrin: 1-2
Raymond: 1-3
David: 1-1
Dominic: 1-1
Last season: 1-1

WOLVES v SUNDERLAND
Saturday, 17:00


Rob: Wolves 0 Sunderland 0
Garrin: 1-2
Raymond: 0-1
David: 1-1
Dominic: 1-1
Last season: 2-1

TOTTENHAM v LIVERPOOL
Sunday, 18:00


Rob: Tottenham 2 Liverpool 2
Garrin: 1-1
Raymond: 3-1
David: 2-2
Dominic: 2-1
Last season: 2-1

LEADERBOARD

Clearly miffed by my kind suggestion that they somehow change strategic tack to get out of the dwang, Dave and Garrin down in the nether regions of the table responded with rather more forceful showings last weekend – they were the only double-figures pair. The former topped the round, primarily thanks to his astute 2-2 suggestion for the Monday-nighter between Sunderland and Everton. Very, very tight at the top now as Dominic draws level with me and Ray is a mere point behind. I admit it: my current form ain’t exactly vintage but I’m blaming travel fatigue.

103 Dominic (8 points last week) and Rob (6)
102 Raymond (7)
90 Garrin (10)
84 David (11)
 

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