Salut! Predictions: Sunderland, Hammers, Newcastle, Norwich, Liverpool, United. How will they fare?

Jake assesses the quality of our panel

Stephen Goldsmith writes: I was really tempted to pick some obscure and irrelevant fixture in addition to the lads at West Ham and Newcastle at home to a Michael Turner inspired Norwich this weekend.

But as Sky Sports salivate in anticipation of a handshake and a possible lack of respect displayed from a segment of mindless fans, I felt it was only fair to offer the Liverpool v Man Utd game to our enthusiastic panellists. I think if we’re all honest, it’s a game that is of monumental proportions in this day and age and it’s always one to look forward to.

Without further ado, the predictions are:

West Ham v Sunderland

Sixer: Big Sam is out-thought by the tactical genius known as Martin O’Neill – although Jedward have a better grasp of tactics than the gum chewing former Sunderland centre half. 1-2.
Colin:As I have written at ESPN, it won’t be 8-0 to them as in 1968 but beyond that I am unsure so will allow loyalty to dictate. 1-2.
Bill: This should be the three-point game we need. The Cats are gelling and, we must hope, building full match-fitness. The Hammers have a perfect home record so far but I think this flatters them. 0-2.

The Rest: Jeremy:2-1. Goldy: 0-1. Robert 1-3. Jake 1-1. Malcolm 1-2. John Mac 1-1.

Newcastle v Norwich City

Jeremy: 1-2. Former boss gets a warm reception at the Temple of Darkness on his return. Canaries battle hard against their hosts and emerge victorious in 3 goal thriller, taking all 3 points back to East Anglia.
Jake: Can’t see Norwich getting anything from The Sports Direct Arena, and on top of Ba stealing three points from me at Everton last week with that late goal, I’ll probably get nowt here either. My guess, for what it’s worth is 2-0.
Malcolm: I’ll let the head rule this time. I’m afraid that Magpies are bigger and stronger than Canaries who won’t be singing when the final whistle blows. 3-0.

The Rest: Sixer 3-0. Colin 3-1. Bill 3-1. Robert 2-1. Goldy 2-0. John Mac 2-1.

Liverpool v Man Utd

Robert: Liverpool are coming off what they will see as a disappointing draw with Sunderland. United are coming off a resounding win against Wigan. Naturally I’m going to pick Liverpool to get their first win of the season. I think they’ll finally put an entire performance together and get a sneaky 2-1 win.
Goldy: These games are always bouncing and I can’t wait for it. Man Utd to lead for the most part but Liverpool to claim a point much to the delight of an emotional Anfield. 1-1.
John Mac:A home win after a defensive error and a dead ball into the box. 2-1.

The Rest:Sixer 1-3. Colin 1-2. Bill 2-4. Jeremy 0-3. Jake 0-3 Malcolm 1-2.

Fantasy football: ‘Man City ahead of United in Hendo chase’


Behind the belligerence and the bombast, Sir Alex Ferguson reputedly has a sense of humour. Just as well; he’s going to need it …

Sir Alex Ferguson withdrew “with heavy heart” last night from the race for Jordan Henderson’s signature after Sunderland flatly rejected a Wayne Rooney+cash bid for the exciting young midfielder.

Read moreFantasy football: ‘Man City ahead of United in Hendo chase’

Who are you? We’re Arsenal (1)

Once upon a time, Fatima al Shamsi*, pictured (left) with her sister Alyazyah outside the Emirates Stadium, accepted an internship at an English-language newspaper in Abu Dhabi, capital of her native UAE, and found herself under the professional guidance of a Sunderland supporter. It would be a gross misrepresentation of events to suggest she returned to college in New York knowing more about SAFC than journalism. The experience left her with some affection for Sunderland, but nowhere near enough to supplant her passion for the Gunners. A day earlier than planned, thanks to some technical hitch, here’s what she has to say…


Salut! Sunderland: Barca, Brazil, Inter Milan and Arsenal. Sounds like the ultimate wish list of the Queen of Gloryseekers. How come you collect great football teams?

AC Milan not Inter! I started watching football when I moved to Brazil at the age of three. although I barely remember any of it. I just remember playing it at school and watching incomprehensibly with my dad and simply loving it. This is why the Brazilian national team has always held a special place in my heart. It been great to see them play beautifully again (especially during the confederation cup over the summer) after recent years of frustrating subpar football which was an absolute horror to watch. With that said I also enjoy watching the Spanish national team and at times Argentina, but when it comes down to it, its definitely club vs. country and I’d take an Arsenal game any day.

I am definitely not a glory seeker! When I was younger me and my dad bonded a lot during the weekends by watching matches together. his main indulgence during the weekends were football games so we had time to watch the Spanish, Italian and English leagues. I had a lot more time to follow those different leagues so I had a favourite team in each one. Although you may call me a glory seeker for these teams, I picked them as a child based on favourite players and rivalries within my household between me my parents and my siblings so they just happened to be good teams and not a conscious ‘glory seeking’ decision. These days I don’t really keep up with the Italian league much but I do follow Barça games as much as I keep track of Arsenal (although if it has to come down to it, like it did champions league finals 2006, it’s always Arsenal first).

Read moreWho are you? We’re Arsenal (1)