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'Expert' UK footy tips

2011-12-02 11:43

Cape Town - Each round of the 2011/12 English Premiership season, a panel of Sport24 staff or guest 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 Garrin Lambley (very Everton-partial), and David Brooke (Manchester United).

THE PRIME ATTRACTION

NEWCASTLE v CHELSEA
Saturday, 14:45


Hey, I’m the first to admit that the penalty equaliser was massively dodgy and Man Utd might have had four in the frantic last 10 minutes against Toon last weekend! But the fact remains that the black-and-whites earned a fighting Old Trafford draw, demonstrating once again that under surprise managerial package Alan Pardew they may not boast a vintage squad but do work bloody determinedly for each other. I back a similar ethic to apply in Saturday’s early kick-off - their third toughie on the trot, against visitors Chelsea - and another share of the spoils to be earned as fourth meets fifth on the table. Blues did win comfortably against Wolves last weekend, but then bombed out of the Carling Cup to Liverpool, so they remain inconsistent. Certainly no Christmas present from me to Garrin this year ...  

Rob: Newcastle 1 Chelsea 1
Garrin: 1-2
David: 1-1
Last season: 1-1

THE GRUDGE MATCH

ASTON VILLA v MANCHESTER UNITED
Saturday, 19:30


I found it hard to pinpoint a particular fixture for this regular slot: there are no special derbies or traditionally red-mist matches this weekend. Eventually I decided that Ashley Young’s return to his old stomping ground of Villa Park, now in the colours of the Red Devils, ought to get some get heat up. As ever, it seems, Villa are respectable mid-table and hardly the easiest foes to knock over in Birmingham. But there’s pressure on United to regain the respect of their fans after a sticky little patch - including ignominious elbowing out of the Carling Cup by Crystal Palace - and I fancy them to stave off a Fergie hair-drier. All of us have it tight: the visitors by a one-goal margin only. It was all square last season, not an ideal repeat result for United this time if it means they lose further ground on rampant neighbours City.

Rob: Aston Villa 1 Manchester United 2
Garrin: 0-1
David: 0-1
Last season: 2-2

THE DESPERATE DUEL

WOLVES v SUNDERLAND
Sunday, 18:00


I so nearly opted for the Sunderland win, in this high-stakes clash in the table’s nether regions, as I’ve long held a theory that manager-less teams (following Steve Bruce’s unceremonious midweek exit) often find a surprise little head of steam. But Wolves, ironically managed by another former Black Cats gaffer in the form of Mick McCarthy, need points too ... and at least won’t lose, by my book. Needless to say my visiting father in law (a lifelong red-and-whites man) defiantly fancies a 2-0 outcome in his team’s favour. Sorry, I don’t concur. Wolves, after all, won the corresponding five-goal thriller last season ... 

Rob: Wolves 1 Sunderland 1
Garrin: 2-1
David: 0-1
Last season: 3-2

THE OTHERS

BLACKBURN v SWANSEA
Saturday, 17:00

Rob: Blackburn 0 Swansea 0
Garrin: 1-1
David: 2-0
Last season: Not applicable

MANCHESTER CITY v NORWICH
Saturday, 17:00

Rob: Manchester City 3 Norwich 0
Garrin: 2-0
David: 4-0
Last season: Not applicable

QPR v WEST BROM
Saturday, 17:00

Rob: QPR 1 West Brom 1
Garrin: 1-1
David: 1-0
Last season: Not applicable

TOTTENHAM v BOLTON
Saturday, 17:00


Rob: Tottenham 2 Bolton 0
Garrin: 2-0
David: 2-2
Last season: 2-1

WIGAN v ARSENAL
Saturday, 17:00


Rob: Wigan 0 Arsenal 2
Garrin: 0-2
David: 0-1
Last season: 2-2

EVERTON v STOKE
Sunday, 17:00


Rob: Everton 2 Stoke 0
Garrin: 2-1
David: 1-0
Last season: 1-0

FULHAM v LIVERPOOL
Monday, 22:00


Rob: Fulham 0 Liverpool 1
Garrin: 1-2
David: 0-2
Last season: 2-5

LEADERBOARD

Dominic, who was showing promising early-season form, has regrettably joined Tank in moving on to new pastures, so the remainder of the season is the preserve of old Footy Tips hands yours truly, Garrin and Dave. There was desperately little to separate us in terms of the Sport24 staff scoring system last weekend, and we’re trading within a pretty tight range of 12 points. As they say in the classics, it’s wide open. At least that’s my optimistic belief, anyway ...

95 David (7)
88 Garrin (7)
83 Rob (8)

*In the broad, open-to-all-comers Sport24.co.za pool on SuperBru, which presently sports 1,302 players, “Geoff” still retains the lead having moved to 123.50 points, whilst “Serb” also remains his nearest challenger - now on 119.00. The yellow cap for best performance in the last round belongs to “Fearless leader”, who is 23rd overall.

Sport24