Stephen Goldsmith writes: Enough of all this Man Utd v Arsenal and Liverpool v Man Utd nonsense, Wigan and West Brom will provide us with the third fixture to mull over this week. I actually think it’s an intriguing fixture. Seriously. West Brom have made an interesting appointment in Steve Clarke and I am genuinely interested as to how his managerial career is going to pan out. He’s worked for some big names – all with vast managerial methods it seems. Wigan are decent at home, however, and it could be a good yardstick for both teams.
Sunderland travel to the wonderful Goodison Park this weekend. I have seen us draw there at best and will never forget the Boxing Day massacre of 1999 – where a soon-to-be Sunderland bound Don Hutchison netted twice in a 5-0 rout. That game is a decent summation of our achievements in this particular fixture.
I have faith in this side, I really do. We are a top central midfielder away from being a very decent side and if Gardner, Colback or Larsson pull their finger out and take responsibility we have a chance against anyone.
Everton v Sunderland
Bill:I have little to base this on but blind faith in the probability theory – the one that says that sooner or later we’ll probably start playing better. We know the squad can do it, we’ve seen them do it and O’Neill desperately needs to get them doing it again. I don’t see us taking all three points at Goodison so, for once; a draw would be a decent result. Even better if Sess starts looking once more like the player we were all so afraid the Cats were going to lose. 2-2.
Colin: Since I am always wrong, bottom of the league and cannot even score sitters (e.g. Man U v Arsenal as a home win) I will be honest with us for a change instead of loyal and hope to be utterly wrong on both scoreline and winning team. Everton 2 SAFC 1
Jeremy:A home win comes as standard in Everton v Sunderland fixtures. No reason whatsoever to think that this one will be different even without Tim Cahill. 2-0 to the Toffees and more pressure on O’Neill.
The rest:Malcolm 3-0. Sixer 1-2. Robert 1-2. Goldy 2-2 Jake 2-0 John Mac 1-1.
Newcastle v West Ham
Sixer: How sweet would it be if Nolan levelled in the 82nd minute and Carroll headed the winner in the 93rd? It could happen! 1-2.
Robert:Newcastle still don’t look like a great side. On paper they’ve got quality all over the place but it doesn’t seem to have come together yet. And this week they’ll be without Coloccini in the middle so I expect West Ham to trouble them all day. I’ll go for a 1-1 draw.
John Mac:NUFC lack ball winners/holders who hold midfield together and dour Sam-organised defence keeps them at bay for much of the game. 1-1.
The rest: Malcolm 2-0. Bill 2-1. Colin 1-2. Goldy 1-1 Jake 3-1 Jeremy 1-1.
Wigan v West Brom
Malcolm:The Martinez way is, I feel, beginning to click – at least enough to overcome the Baggies. The Midlanders may be a force to be reckoned with at The Hawthorns, but they’ll come unstuck up in the land of Uncle Joe’s mintballs. Latics 3 WBA 1.
Goldy:Since that little bit in my intro bigging this game up, I guess it’s only fair I comment on it. Wigan, rarely expected to finish above the bottom six, are very decent at home – while West Brom has had the kind of start we all hoped for here. They don’t always travel well though and I’m going for 2-1.
Jake:Can’t waffle – really don’t care 1-1
The rest:Bill 2-1. Sixer 1-2. Colin 1-3. Robert 1-1 Jeremy 2-1 John Mac 1-1.