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Friday, 12 September 2008

Blackburn Rovers vs Arsenal: Premier League Prediction Panel 2008/9 - previews and predictions

Time moves on and yet is easy to recall a vital England away qualifier where the new Blackburn manager, Paul Ince, emerged as a hero with his head bandaged a la Terry Butcher at the end.  Now it is Theo Walcott who will try to get grounded after his heroics, no doubt, left him floating on air through the second half of the week.  No doubt Arsene Wenger will rest him to avoid the media hype, but there is little doubt that Walcott can be very, very good - if he can become more consistent he will offer a threat akin to Cristiano Ronaldo down the right flank.

Blackburn Rovers have a somewhat unjust reputation for a bruising style, which was founded in the early days of Mark Hughes's management when a successful relegation battle justified the means employed.  These days they can be categorised as hard but fair; this should be a good game of football.  Arsenal have struggled recently in Lancashire - with Bolton a particular blackspot - but will start this game as clear favourites.  But the games after international breaks can be tougher on the bigger teams whose squads are spread farther and wider, so this is in no way a guaranteed away win.

Blackburn Rovers(10) vs Arsenal(4); Kick Off 3pm, 13 September 2009

Prediction Panel
Our panel contains both Squarefootball writers and readers, the writers are marked: (sqf).

Tony Bellew: 1-1
Dave Blackburn: 1-2
Sue Gardener: 0-1
Chris Goodwin: 0-2
Paul Grech (sqf): 0-2
Hugh Larkin (sqf): TBC
Colin Illingworth (sqf): 1-3
Peter Lee: 1-3
Don McMahon: 0-1
Antony Melvin (sqf): 0-0
Stephen Orford (sqf): 1-2
Tony Ratton: 1-2
Peter Rendle: 1-2
Dan Taylor: 2-2
Andy Wakeman: 1-2
Isaac Williams: 2-1
Mark Williams: 2-0

Panel Verdict:
With two predictions outstanding a narrow away win is the large majority verdict, probably 1-2.

Home: 2; Draw: 3; Away: 11; TBC: 1; mode score: 1-2

Spread Betting
Arsenal were starting to look pretty impressive in the Premier League before the international break yet are priced to score less than two goals in this game; I wouldn't expect Arsenal not to score if they maintain their form making a buy on Arsenal team goals look like a punt with very little downside.

Example: 25pts buy Arsenal team goals at 1.8
No goals: You lose 45pts
1 goal: You lose 20pts
2 goals: You win 5pts
3 goals: You win 30pts
4 goals: You win 55pts
5 goals: You win 80pts
6 goals: You win 105pts
and so on

* Do we have it right, or do you know better?  Please don't bother with derisory comments on the predictions after the match - unless you also pulled us up before it!

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