News24

'Expert' UK footy tips

2012-01-13 11:36

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

WIGAN v MANCHESTER CITY
Monday, 22:00


Especially at this bleak time of the year there, Wigan isn’t exactly up there among exotic locations in the world. Nor is their football team held in any special awe, and their league position – 19th – is typically parlous. But they are always up for a scrap against a bigger hound, and may just sniff some uncertainty in the ranks of Monday’s foes, leaders Man City. Still, smart dosh suggests the visitors (who don’t have to travel far on the coach) ought to take some steps back toward better consistency again. I fancy City will only sneak it by one goal, mind you. Last season it was 2-0 to them at the DW Stadium, courtesy of a goal and set-up for another by one Carlos Tevez in more harmonious times for that particular player.

Rob: Wigan 0 Manchester City 1
Garrin: 0-2
David: 1-2
Last season: 0-2

THE GRUDGE MATCH

CHELSEA v SUNDERLAND
Saturday, 17:00


I’ve gone for this one in the category because of the near-incredible outcome in the corresponding fixture last season: Chelsea were leaders of the Premiership at the time (admittedly in November 2010) yet humbled 0-3 at the Bridge by a Black Cats side whose performance was described by the BBC as “sparkling”. So the Blues will be determined not to be nearly so lacklustre this time. I back them to turn the result right around, even if Sunderland are stabilising rather nicely under Martin O’Neill. David feels the long-distance visitors are good for a point, though, maybe taking note of their last away performance: a strong 4-1 whipping of Wigan. 

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

THE DESPERATE DUEL

BLACKBURN v FULHAM
Saturday, 17:00


This is a second successive home game for bottom-placed Blackburn, and they blew the first by losing 2-1 to Stoke. So a revitalising victory before their anxious faithful will be strongly on their minds as they entertain a Fulham side who are no great shakes this season, either. The incentive for bagging all three points is that, despite their seemingly parlous position, Rovers are only that number of points adrift – ahead of the weekend, anyway – of the last-placed team outside of the drop zone, QPR in 17th. So it is not as though going down is a cut and dried affair. Mind you, the Londoners beat Arsenal in a derby last time out, so will have win plans of their own. But I see it goalless and Garrin also fancies all square.

Rob: Blackburn 0 Fulham 0
Garrin: 1-1
David: 2-0
Last season: 1-1

THE OTHERS

ASTON VILLA v EVERTON
Saturday, 17:00


Rob: Aston Villa 1 Everton 0
Garrin: 1-1
David: 1-1
Last season: 1-0

LIVERPOOL v STOKE
Saturday, 17:00


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

MANCHESTER UNITED v BOLTON
Saturday, 17:00


Rob: Manchester United 3 Bolton 0
Garrin: 2-0
David: 2-0
Last season: 1-0

TOTTENHAM v WOLVES
Saturday, 17:00


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

WEST BROM v NORWICH
Saturday, 17:00


Rob: West Brom 1 Norwich 1
Garrin: 2-1
David: 1-0
Last season: Not applicable

NEWCASTLE v QPR
Sunday, 15:30


Rob: Newcastle 2 QPR 0
Garrin: 2-1
David: 1-1
Last season: Not applicable

SWANSEA v ARSENAL
Sunday, 18:00


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

LEADERBOARD


Under the Sport24 staff scoring system (three points for a fully correct scoreline, one for right result), the end of the busy festive season sees leader David and second-placed Garrin neck and neck at the top – just one point separates them and clearly we are in for a nail-biting run-in. The less said about yours truly the better right now, but I am going to defiantly suggest “there is still time” ... I am renowned for my late charges, after all.

149 David
148 Garrin
128 Rob

*An update of fortunes in the SuperBru megapool will be published next week.

Sport24