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'Expert' UK soccer tips

2012-02-04 12:32

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

CHELSEA v MANCHESTER UNITED
Sunday, 18:00


It’s been another less than compelling season thus far by Chelsea, despite their presently lying a respectable enough fourth, and I wouldn’t be too surprised if their managerial merry-go-round is back in business before too long. But sentiment toward Andre Villas-Boas could turn a lot more favourable if the Blues suddenly produce an inspired performance to knock over champions and strong rivals United. Chelsea did win this game last season, but subsequently were well beaten 3-1 at Old Trafford earlier this campaign: the match will be remembered for the Red Devils being 3-0 up before the break, and later for luckless Fernando Torres’s awful how-did-he-miss blooper at the Stretford End! Garrin and I favour 1-1 this time, but United-partial Dave leans toward the away win. 

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

THE GRUDGE MATCH

NEWCASTLE v ASTON VILLA
Sunday, 15:30


Wow, these are unusually heady days again for normally long-suffering Toon addicts like myself. We’ve climbed back to as high as fifth, and relegation just isn’t an issue even with several months still to go! Pushing all partiality aside, I anticipate another three points at home to Villa, and my more dispassionate colleagues concur. Why the grudge label? Well, that element must prevail for the visitors, as they were slaughtered 6-0 in the equivalent fixture early last season, when a certain Andy Carroll (now immeasurably less prolific at Liverpool) bagged a hat-trick. It won’t be anything like that again, I’m sure. Mind you, with Demba Ba and Papiss Demba Cisse – the latter possibly to debut – back from Afcon duties, there’s no harm in dreaming ...

Rob: Newcastle 2 Aston Villa 0
Garrin: 2-1
David: 1-0
Last season: 6-0

THE DESPERATE DUEL

QPR v WOLVES
Saturday, 1700

Visitors Wolves won’t be feeling too chipper as they contemplate this trip to London during the big nationwide freeze – they come off a heavy 0-3 home defeat to Liverpool. Rangers were rather more resilient as they picked up a useful point from their own Wednesday night visit to Villa Park. Both teams have reason to want to do well here: Wolves lie an ominous second from bottom and badly need some “upward” thrust, whilst QPR aren’t breathing too comfortably themselves in 16th – a home reverse here could take them dangerously close to the drop zone. All of us envisage a home win, even if by different score-lines in each instance.

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

THE OTHERS


ARSENAL v BLACKBURN
Saturday, 15:00


Rob: Arsenal 4 Blackburn 0 
Garrin: 2-0
David: 3-0
Last season: 0-0

NORWICH v BOLTON
Saturday, 17:00


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

STOKE v SUNDERLAND
Saturday, 17:00


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

WEST BROM v SWANSEA
Saturday, 17:00


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

WIGAN v EVERTON

Saturday, 17:00


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

MANCHESTER CITY v FULHAM
Saturday, 19:30


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

LIVERPOOL v TOTTENHAM
Monday, 22:00


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

LEADERBOARD


Under the Sport24 staff scoring system (three points for a fully correct scoreline, one for right result), the midweek round of matches produced another pretty tight finish, with a scoring split between the trio of 8-7-6. Dave, though, topped the pile with his eight and nudges slightly further ahead overall against Garrin - even if three points remains very little in the greater scheme of things.  

167 David (8 points in last round)
164 Garrin (6)
151 Rob (7)

Sport24

Comments
  • russel.lunt - 2012-02-04 16:59

    I would have thought the Grudge Match would be Liverpool-Spurs after the 4-0 thrashing at WHL where 'pool ended the game with 9 men.

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