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Friday, 12 April 2013

Predict the Premier League - Experts: Birmingham City and Leicester City are on the up

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Birmingham City are on course to finish in the top half of the table under Lee Clark and the Blues fans are optimistically looking forward to the 2013/14 season.

Off the pitch it's been a good time for the Bluenoses too, especially Squarefootball's Steve Coulter, who has been our top Expert over the past fortnight. Mr Coulter pulled in 22 points, just one more than Leicester City fan and Squarefootball's TV critic Chris Pettitt.

The Foxes may have fallen just outside of the play-off picture but Nigel Pearson will be desperate to get City back into the big time.

It wasn't such a good period for Portsmouth's Dan Taylor, who only managed two points, Sunderland's Sarshar Hosseinnia, six, or the pairing of Hugh Larkin and Portsmouth's Peter Rendle, seven each.

So without further ado, let's have a look at who scored what over the past fortnight.

Sunderland 0 Manchester United 1

This was to be Martin O'Neill's last game as Sunderland boss and the Black Cats were gunned down 1-0 by the run-away leaders. Eleven Experts predicted an away win, but no-one thought it would be so close.

Arsenal 4 Reading 1

The Royals have never beaten Arsenal in league football and that run continued at the Emirates with Santi Cazorla netting twice. Only 10 out of 14 Experts went for a home win, but no-one picked up maximum points for getting the final score spot on.

Manchester City 4 Newcastle United 0

Everyone bar Portsmouth's Dan Taylor, who failed to get his scores in on time, picked up a point from this clash at the Etihad. Tevez, Silva, Yaya Toure and a Perch own goal consigned the Geordies to another defeat on City soil. However, no-one expected the champions to be so convincing.

Southampton 2 Chelsea 1

The first coupon buster of the weekend came at St Mary's as Pochettino's men beat the champions of Europe. Rodriguez and Lambert were too hot to handle for Rafa's Blues. Only two Experts got the outcome right - Aberdeen's Colin Illingworth and Sunderland's Sarshar Hosseinnia, with the former getting maximum points for correctly predicting the Saints would win 2-1.

Swansea City 1 Spurs 2

Tottenham hadn't won on Swansea soil since 1946 but they had to rectify that stat if they were to keep hold of their top four spot. Goals from Bale and Vertonghen ensured history was made, giving five Experts a point. Leicester's Chris Pettitt and Wolves fan Chris Cox were the big winners though as they both thought it would end 1-2 to the visitors.

West Ham 3 West Brom 1

The Hammers went to town over Steve Clarke's Baggies, with Andy Carroll grabbing a timely brace. Only five Experts predicted the Hammers would emerge victorious, although no-one expected it to be so convincing.

Wigan Athletic 1 Norwich City 0

The Latics left it late to beat the Canaries, but Roberto Martinez doesn't care what time the goals come at just as long as his boys keep winning. A total of 10 Experts predicted the hosts to win this game, with Birmingham's Steve Coulter, Squarefootball's Hugh Larkin, West Ham's Mitch Waddon and Sunderland's Sarshar Hosseinnia getting the final score spot on.

Everton 1 Stoke 0

Kevin Mirallas was the Toffees' hero as he scored the only goal of the game against the struggling Potters. Eleven of 13 participating Experts collected a point for predicting a 1-0 home win, but it was full marks to Mr Pettitt and Middlesbrough's Sue Gardener.

Aston Villa 1 Liverpool 2

Liverpool got revenge for their 3-1 defeat at Anfield by the Villans by coming from behind to beat them 1-2 at Villa Park. Steven Gerrard's penalty was the deciding factor in this entertaining encounter and gave five Experts a point. Aberdeen's Colin Illingworth was the only one who predicted the score correctly.

Fulham 3 QPR 2

Harry Redknapp had to win this game to give them any chance of beating the drop, but were three down within 40 minutes. They fought back with goals through Taarabt and Remy, but it was too little too late. Six Experts went for a home win, but no-one came close to getting the high-scoring scoreline correct.

Reading 0 Southampton 2

After beating Liverpool and Chelsea the Saints marched into the Madejski Stadium full of confidence and swept their former manager, Nigel Adkins, aside. Only Aberdeen's Mr Illingworth, West Ham's Mr Telfer and Wolves fan Chris Cox went for an away win, with Mr Cox getting the final score bang on the money.

Norwich City 2 Swansea City 2

The Canaries must win their home games in order to retain their top flight status but had to settle for a point in an entertaing clash with the Capital One Cup winners at Carrow Road. This result was predicted by only four Experts.

Stoke City 1 Aston Villa 3

The Villans hadn't won at Stoke in years but Matthew Lowton's sensational strike late on took the wind out of Stoke's sails and piled the pressure on Tony Pulis. Only Mr Illingworth and Mr Waddon thought the Villans had any chance on their travels, with Mr Illingworth getting the score spot on.

West Brom 1 Arsenal 2

The Gunners went two up through Thomas Rosicky before Per Mertesacker recieved his marching orders for a late lunge in the box. Wenger's men held on to secure all three points, allowing 12 Experts to pocked a point - five of them collecting maximum points.

Liverpool 0 West Ham 0

The Hammers haven't won at Anfield since 1963 and everyone expected the Reds to run riot, but it just didn't happen as the Hammers held on to a priceless point. Only two pundits benefited from this result, Boro's Sue Gardener and West Ham's Nigel Telfer - with the Hammer getting the score bang on the money. 

Spurs 2 Everton 2

How would Spurs cope without Gareth Bale? Well a point against a resilient Everton side is not the end of the world. Six Experts expected this to end in a draw, with Mr Coulter, Mr Waddon, Mr Pettitt and Mr Melvin picking up full marks for predicting it to finish 2-2.

Chelsea 2 Sunderland 1

Paolo Di Canio had a dream start as Sunderland boss when his Black Cats took a shock lead at Stamford Bridge. However, the Blues showed their class and won 2-1, ensuring 13 Experts picked up a point. No-one thought it would be so close.

Newcastle United 1 Fulham 0

The Geordies left it late against the Cottagers but Papiss Cisse's late effort moved them close to safety ahead of this weekend's Tyne-Wear derby. Half of our 14 Experts went for a home win, with Mr Waddon and Blackburn's Mr Kennedy getting the score spot on.

QPR 1 Wigan Athletic 1

The R's thought they had given themselves a huge chance of beating the drop when Loic Remy put the 10 men ahead with only five minutes remaining, but Shaun Maloney's late free-kick gave the visitors a share of the spoils. Only Birmingham's Steve Coulter predicted a draw, and got the score spot on.

Man United 1 Man City 2

The champions beat the league leaders at Old Trafford for the second year in a row with two quality strikes from Milner and Aguero. Only Mr Illingworth and Mr Pettitt fancied the champions to win, with both of them getting the score bang on the money.

Here is a rundown of who scored what this past fortnight.

To see how these scores have affected the overall table, click here

Follow me on Twitter at @sqf_illingworth


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