Premier Showdown - Dec 26 & 28

December 28, 2005

Ho ho ho, Merry Christmas! It's that time of year again. No, not Santa forcing his considerable girth down someone chimney in search of a slice of pie - it's the annual festive flourish of Premiership action.

There's joy in the Rest of the World camp at the moment after they ended Dale Johnson's run of four consecutive victories. The less said about Tommy Smyth's woeful performance the better, we think.

Anyway, onto our first two rounds. Our first guest, for Boxing Day, is a man many of you will know all too well. Yes, back onto the scene is the one, the only... Percy! We are all aware that old age is a difficult time, and during the Christmas period it's good to give to those who are advanced in years... but there'll be no charity in this game!

Percy, aka Mike With, took charge of this game in one of its former guises, whereas now he spends his time searching the internet for something a little more useful than the tracklisting to his Cockney Christmas CD.

Mike tells us: 'I may be the only Soccernet reader who thinks of Tommy Smyth as 'that nice young man' so it's a pleasure to come out of retirement for this special festive pick.

'I'm eeking out my Soccernet pension at my modest 14-room ranch-style pied-a-terre on the English Riviera - not far from Harry Redknapp's gaf, as it happens. I can't quite understand why 'Arry wants to carry on working. But then I never worked terribly hard when I was at Soccernet either...'

But we have a second challenger this week, a reader to cast their eyes over the games on December 28. That person is Tom Lema from the United States.

Tom, from Homewood, is 15 and is 'a huge soccer fan and a Manchester United supporter'. Obviously he doesn't get to watch many soccer matches of Manchester United or others team.

He can't wait to watch the World Cup and is betting on Portugal, Brazil, France, England or the Czech Republic. One word: hedging. Also, he's looking forward to playing for his school soccer team.

Each week one of our readers, or an ESPNSoccernet Press Pass viewer, will get the chance to challenge our two experts. They, along with the challenger, will cast their eyes over weekend's top flight fixtures in England and predict how they think each game will turn out.

Soccernet's Premiership Editor, Dale Johnson, and Press Pass pundit Tommy Smyth take up the challenge from our team.

Points are then awarded as follows:

  • Three points for a correct result and scoreline
  • One point for a correct result

    After the weekend's scores are in and the result has been worked out, the winning pundit will receive three points for their season's total. Should the challenger win, the total will be added to the 'Rest of the World's' tally. In the case of a draw, the points will be shared between those level on points.

    Matches - DEC 26
    Dale's prediction
    Tommy says
    Mike's pick
    Result
    Charlton v Arsenal
    0 - 2
    1 - 3
    0 - 2
    0 - 1
    Chelsea v Fulham
    2 - 0
    3 - 0
    2 - 1
    3 - 2
    Tottenham v Birmingham
    2 - 0
    2 - 1
    3 - 0
    2 - 0
    Liverpool v Newcastle
    1 - 1
    2 - 2
    4 - 3
    2 - 0
    Man Utd v West Brom
    3 - 1
    3 - 1
    2 - 2
    3 - 0
    Middlesbrough v Blackburn
    2 - 1
    2 - 1
    0 - 0
    0 - 2
    Portsmouth v West Ham
    2 - 1
    2 - 2
    0 - 1
    1 - 1
    Sunderland v Bolton
    0 - 2
    1 - 3
    1 - 0
    0 - 0
    Wigan v Man City
    2 - 1
    1 - 2
    2 - 1
    4 - 3
    Aston Villa v Everton
    0 - 0
    2 - 1
    1 - 0
    4 - 0
    POINTS TOTAL >>>
    7
    7
    6

    Tommy and Dale share, remarkably, the first draw of the season even though we were all but at the half-way point. As far as Tommy is concerned, it's a case of thank heaven for small mercies!

    Overall score after 18 rounds:
    Dale: 25.5
    Rest of the World: 18
    Tommy: 10.5

    Matches - DEC 28
    Dale's prediction
    Tommy says
    Tom's pick
    Result
    Arsenal v Portsmouth
    3 - 0
    2 - 0
    3 - 0
    4 - 0
    Birmingham v Man Utd
    0 - 2
    1 - 2
    1 - 4
    2 - 2
    Fulham v Aston Villa
    2 - 1
    1 - 2
    2 - 3
    3 - 3
    Man City v Chelsea
    1 - 1
    1 - 2
    4 - 1
    0 - 1
    Newcastle v Charlton
    2 - 0
    3 - 1
    2 - 2
    P - P
    West Brom v Tottenham
    2 - 1
    1 - 2
    1 - 3
    2 - 0
    West Ham v Wigan
    2 - 2
    2 - 2
    2 - 2
    0 - 2
    Blackburn v Sunderland
    1 - 0
    2 - 0
    2 - 1
    P - P
    Bolton v Middlesbrough
    2 - 1
    2 - 0
    2 - 2
    P - P
    Everton v Liverpool
    1 - 3
    1 - 2
    1 - 3
    1 - 3
    POINTS TOTAL >>>
    5
    3
    4

    More festive cheer for Dale as he battled through the freezing conditions to record another victory. Get out the wine!

    Overall score after 19 rounds:
    Dale: 28.5
    Rest of the World: 18
    Tommy: 10.5

    You can tune in to ESPNSoccernet Press Pass every Friday to see the picks revealed, and the previous week's results analysed. They will also be displayed here at Soccernet.

    So do you think you can beat the best of the best? Now is your chance to find out!

    Send us your picks for next weekend's fixtures, along with your name and a few details about yourself. We'll select one person each week to take on our experts for the right to be crowned the weekly winner!

    Then log on to Soccernet on Sunday evening to find out who's taken the points.

    Submit your entry for Premier Showdown:

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