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Friday, 12 September 2008

Manchester City vs Chelsea: Premier League Prediction Panel 2008/9 - previews and predictions

The battle of the richest clubs in the world; is the subplot to what is otherwise a fascinating clash between two teams in the top three.  Mark Hughes may be on borrowed time given that he will probably have to win the title within three years (look how difficult it has proved for Rafa Benitez) but in the meantime he will be given access to some excellent players.  A Brazilian blend may arrive after Robinho joins Elano and Jo at Eastlands, Elano adjusted well to the Mancunian autumn last year and could again be crucial in allowing Robinho time to settle.  The almost missed signing of the excellent holding midfielder or centre-half, Vincent Kompany may well be more important in the short run in stopping Deco.  If City get a win here then their credentials will suddenly look very impressive indeed.

If Chelsea are disappointed not to have bought Robinho then they are not hiding it well as player after player has been wheeled out to say something along the lines of 'money doesn't buy success' - a sentiment that rings somewhat hollow.  But nevertheless, Chelsea have strengthened impressively over the summer and with Manchester United's committments likely to cost them points, Chelsea look best placed to benefit.  Luiz Scolari is unlikely to try to outscore a Brazilian frontline and may well come with a defensive gameplan that relies on Deco's guile to break the deadlock. 

Manchester City (3) vs Chelsea (1); Kick Off 5:30pm, 13 September 2009

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

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

Panel Verdict
A real split panel here, with every result having backers - but a 1-2 or 1-3 away Chelsea win is most popular.

Home: 2; Draw: 6; Away: 8; TBC: 1; mode score: 1-2 or 1-1

Spread Betting
This games has a distinct Brazilian flavour to it and a goal for Robinho would almost seem destined; a buy at 12 looks a bargain.  Deco (he was Brazilian born) is in fine form and could well be the match winner from a dead ball situation and is, remarkably, better value than Robinho.

Example: 4pt buy Robinho goal minutes at 12
No goals: you lose 48pts
Robinho scores after 45 minutes: You win 132pts
Robinho scores after 30 and 60 minutes: You win 312pts
Robinho scores after 30, 60 and 90 minutes: You win 672pts
and so on

Example: 5pt buy Deco goal minutes at 10
No goals: you lose 50pts
Deco scores after 45 minutes: You win 175pts
Deco scores after 30 and 60 minutes: You win 400pts
Deco scores after 30, 60 and 90 minutes: You win 850pts
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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