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‘Expert’ UK footy tips

2012-01-20 11:33

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

MANCHESTER CITY v TOTTENHAM
Sunday, 15:30


Spurs seem to have been enjoying lurking just beneath the radar, their title chances quietly being talked up by some even as they stay at least five points at present off the lead. There’s no denying they have an impressive first team on paper. But the time will come when they have to learn to live nearer the spotlight and it might be argued that that time is now! Certainly defeat would be damaging to their ambitions. But are they capable of winning? Hmm, I suspect that City, backed by the Eastlands roar, may instead restore some slightly surrendered mojo of late – only David fancies Tottenham to return to London with a point. The Blues won last season’s corresponding game 1-0, the game-tilting own goal coming from the unlikely source of Peter Crouch ... it was enough to book City into the Champions League.  

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

THE GRUDGE MATCH

ARSENAL v MANCHESTER UNITED
Sunday, 18:00


When isn’t this a grudge encounter? There’s been long-term fractiousness between well-entrenched rival bosses Messrs Wenger and Ferguson and, not too many years ago, such feisty on-field battles as Patrick Vieira versus Roy Keane, as pundits always speculated enthusiastically on whose fuse would blow first. That level of heat has slightly receded with the Gunners’ modern dip in fortunes, but there is reason to believe the ante will be upped again at the Emirates on Sunday, given Arsenal’s miserable memories of the 8-2 away defeat much earlier in the campaign. The hosts are pretty sure to surge forward in search of revenge ... leaving them vulnerable to the counter, of course. So I’m tipping the Red Devils for a cheeky full house of three points, even if the panel offers you all outcomes ...

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

THE DESPERATE DUEL

QPR v WIGAN
Saturday, 17:00


It’s not too hard to pinpoint the fixture for this slot, when it features the host team in 18th spot on the table and the visitors 20th and last! Rangers have slipped in recent weeks after a resilient enough start to their first season back up, and Mark Hughes’s first game in charge was marred by a 1-0 defeat at Newcastle. So he’ll want to make a more productive impression before the home faithful. The visitors stretched leaders Man City quite admirably last Monday, before being beaten 1-0, so morale at least oughtn’t be too much of a problem. I tip them to snatch a precious point although both my co-panelists disagree.

Rob: QPR 1 Wigan 1
Garrin: 2-1
David: 2-0

THE OTHERS

NORWICH v CHELSEA
Saturday, 14:45


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

EVERTON v BLACKBURN
Saturday, 17:00


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

FULHAM v NEWCASTLE
Saturday, 17:00


Rob: Fulham 0 Newcastle 1
Garrin: 1-1
David: 1-1
Last season: 1-0

STOKE v WEST BROM
Saturday, 17:00

Rob: Stoke 1 West Brom 1
Garrin: 2-1
David: 2-1
Last season: 1-1

SUNDERLAND v SWANSEA
Saturday, 17:00


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

WOLVES v ASTON VILLA
Saturday, 17:00

Rob: Wolves 1 Aston Villa 1
Garrin: 1-1
David: 1-2
Last season: 1-2

BOLTON v LIVERPOOL
Saturday, 19:30


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

LEADERBOARD


Under the Sport24 staff scoring system (three points for a fully correct scoreline, one for right result), last week’s outcome was incredibly tight, with the embattled yours truly sneaking in at the finish (Monday night’s correct forecast of Man City beating Wigan 1-0 away) to grab the spoils. Mind you, I’d have preferred a wider margin of “triumph”, considering the amount of ground yet to be made up on neck-and-neck Dave and Garrin overall ...

156 David (7 points in last round)
155 Garrin (7)
136 Rob (8)

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