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'Expert' UK footy tips

2012-03-02 11:16

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.

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

TOTTENHAM v MANCHESTER UNITED
Sunday, 18:10


The big question around this enticing match-up – on paper, anyway – is just how bilious will Spurs still be feeling after their humiliation at the hands of Arsenal? There must be some lingering element of self-doubt after blowing the London derby so astonishingly from 2-0 up! It is on those grounds that I riskily fancy the champions, under pressure to stay in close touch with leaders and neighbours Man City, to raid White Hart Lane for all three points. I have support for that theory from Dave, even given the slight Reds tinge to his thoughts, whilst Garrin predictably goes 1-1 for a clash like this one. Still, he may have at least partly based it on last year’s equivalent stalemate.

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

ALMOST THE PRIME ATTRACTION

LIVERPOOL v ARSENAL
Saturday, 14:45


In a break from proud Footy Tips tradition, I have omitted the “Desperate Duel” category this weekend, having tired just a tad of trying to hype up matches involving lame ducks like Wigan, Wolves and Blackburn. In its place comes Prime Attraction II, because on any other day Liverpool v Arsenal would be a compelling candidate for top billing, wouldn’t it? And despite ‘Pool’s markedly hard-fought Carling Cup trophy success over Cardiff last Sunday, I am backing the Gunners to raid Anfield for all three points, suddenly buoyed by that epic 5-2 win against arch-rivals Spurs. Yes, I believe they will take some residual sparkle to Liverpool, even if Garrin and Dave both offer more cautious assessments ... 

Rob: Liverpool 1 Arsenal 2
Garrin: 1-1
David: 1-1
Last season: 1-1  

THE GRUDGE MATCH

NEWCASTLE v SUNDERLAND
Sunday, 14:00


“I’ll be ringing you within 20 seconds of the final whistle if we win,” trumpeted my Sunderland-hailing father-in-law from England a couple of days ago. “If that happens you won’t find me ... I’ll have already scuttled out with the dog,” I replied. But I am pretty confident my beloved Toon will instead take the ever-fierce north-east derby, despite slightly wobbly league form of late by both teams – the Black Cats come off two losses to slightly arrest the “Martin O’Neill momentum” and Newcastle a rare roasting at Spurs and then disappointing home draw with Wolves. Recent derby history is in our favour: we won at the Stadium of Light much earlier this season, and Sunderland fans won’t want reminding of the 5-1 result for the black-and-whites in the directly corresponding fixture last season, when now-departed Kevin Nolan grabbed a hat-trick.  

Rob: Newcastle 1 Sunderland 0
Garrin: 2-1
David: 2-2
Last season: 5-1 

THE OTHERS

BLACKBURN v ASTON VILLA
Saturday, 17:00


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

MANCHESTER CITY v BOLTON
Saturday, 17:00


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

QPR v EVERTON
Saturday, 17:00


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

STOKE v NORWICH
Saturday, 17:00


Rob: Stoke 2 Norwich 1
Garrin: 2-1
David: 1-1
Last season: Not applicable

WEST BROM v CHELSEA
Saturday, 17:00


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

WIGAN v SWANSEA
Saturday, 17:00


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

FULHAM v WOLVES 
Sunday, 16:05


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

LEADERBOARD

Like the ailing golfer whose spirits are suddenly lifted by a few good holes, I was chuffed with my round-topping nine points last week, including two bang-on scorelines: Chelsea and Manchester City’s respective 3-0 wins against Bolton and Blackburn. It still leaves me a few points adrift of leader Garrin, but now just six off hauling in David in second. I reckon it could still be anybody’s race to grab, with several weeks yet to go ...

184 Garrin (5 points in last round)
182 David (4)
176 Rob (9)

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