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'Expert' UK soccer tips

2014-11-21 12:18

Cape Town - Each round of the 2014/15 English Premiership season, a panel of Sport24 staff and occasional guest tipsters have a crack at predicting the results – do the exercise yourself, if you like, and see how you compare afterwards.

Compiled by Rob Houwing (Newcastle-partial), the others are Garrin Lambley (Everton), Herman Mostert (Chelsea), Earl Haupt (Liverpool) and a pesky new trio of Manchester United devotees in Tashreeq Vardien, Wade Pretorius and Maano Nekhavhambe.

Three points are awarded for an entirely correct scoreline, and one for right result.

THE PRIME ATTRACTION

ARSENAL v MANCHESTER UNITED
Saturday, 19:30

This could probably have qualified for all of prime attraction, grudge match and desperate duel, when you think about it. But it gets the first-named billing, because whatever you might say about their iffy current fortunes, Gunners v Red Devils remains an appealing fixture with a fiery history. Mind you, last year’s equivalent game produced a 0-0 outcome, so perhaps that was a bit of an exception! Arsenal are under special pressure to get a good result here, after squandering  a lead at Swansea to lose 2-1 and that’s become a worrisome mini-pattern for them of late. I have a feeling they’ll be well up to atoning for that trend and may steal all three points at the Emirates. But our panel offers all results.    

Rob: Arsenal 2 Manchester United 1
Garrin: 1-1
Herman: 2-1
Earl: 3-1
Wade: 1-2
Tashreeq: 1-1
Maano: 0-1
Last season: 0-0                         

THE GRUDGE MATCH

CHELSEA v WEST BROM
Saturday, 17:00

No naturally hostile meeting on paper, I grant you... but if you wanted to gee up comfortable current leaders Chelsea, you might do well to remind them that they ended last season only four points off the title pace. And guess what? They lost that many points in their twin encounters with the Baggies, where they were held 2-2 at Stamford Bridge and also 1-1 in the away clash. But the Blues are looking so much more clinical this season, and nobody among our pundits sees this one being even close. Chelsea come off a fine 2-1 win at Liverpool, whereas West Brom lost 2-0 at home to resurgent Newcastle, so no prizes for guessing who goes in stronger in confidence terms.

Rob: Chelsea 2 West Brom 0
Garrin: 3-0
Herman: 2-0
Earl: 3-0
Wade: 3-0
Tashreeq: 2-0
Maano: 2-0
Last season: 2-2                          

THE DESPERATE DUEL

MANCHESTER CITY v SWANSEA
Saturday, 17:00

More often than not, this particular space is reserved for one of the basement battlers like Burnley or QPR. So in a departure from traditional, I have unusually lumped champions Manchester City in the slot. It is for the obvious reason that they are looking strangely flat and inconsistent this season and cannot afford many more slip-ups if they are to start bothering log-leaders Chelsea. The Citizens already have as many as eight points to make up from here. Being held 2-2 at lowly QPR last time out rather sums up their woes. Fifth-placed Swansea won’t be easy meat in their visit to the Etihad Stadium but all of us fancy City to get the job done here, nevertheless...  

Rob: Manchester City 2 Swansea 0
Garrin: 2-1
Herman: 3-1
Earl: 2-1
Wade: 2-1
Tashreeq: 2-0
Maano: 2-1
Last season: 3-0                     

THE OTHERS

EVERTON v WEST HAM
Saturday, 17:00

Rob: Everton 1West Ham 0
Garrin: 2-1
Herman: 2-1
Earl: 1-1
Wade: 2-1
Tashreeq: 2-1
Maano: 1-1
Last season: 1-0                    

LEICESTER v SUNDERLAND
Saturday, 17:00

Rob: Leicester 0 Sunderland 1
Garrin: 1-1
Herman: 1-1
Earl: 1-1
Wade: 1-1
Tashreeq: 1-2
Maano: 1-0
Last season: Not applicable            

NEWCASTLE v QPR
Saturday, 17:00

Rob: Newcastle 2 QPR 1
Garrin: 2-1
Herman: 2-1
Earl: 2-2
Wade: 2-1
Tashreeq: 1-0
Maano: 2-1
Last season: Not applicable

STOKE v BURNLEY
Saturday, 17:00

Rob: Stoke 1 Burnley 0
Garrin: 2-1
Herman: 1-0
Earl: 2-1
Wade: 1-0
Tashreeq: 1-0
Maano: 0-0
Last season: Not applicable           

CRYSTAL PALACE v LIVERPOOL
Sunday, 15:30

Rob: Crystal Palace 1 Liverpool 1
Garrin: 1-1
Herman: 1-1
Earl: 1-2
Wade: 1-1
Tashreeq: 2-2
Maano: 1-2
Last season: 3-3                    

HULL v TOTTENHAM
Sunday, 18:00

Rob: Hull 1 Tottenham 1
Garrin: 1-1
Herman: 1-1
Earl: 1-1
Wade: 1-2
Tashreeq: 2-3
Maano: 1-0
Last season: 1-1

ASTON VILLA v SOUTHAMPTON
Monday, 22:00

Rob: Aston Villa 1 Southampton 2
Garrin: 0-1
Herman: 1-1
Earl: 0-2
Wade: 0-1
Tashreeq: 1-2
Maano: 0-2
Last season 0-0              

*LEADERBOARD

86 Garrin (8 points in last round)
77 Wade (7), Herman (9) & Rob (3)
70 Tashreeq (6)
66 Earl (9)
56 Maano (3)

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