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from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Back to the real world: league predictions

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Now we've got that pesky international interlude behind us (it'll all end in tears, you know it will) we can get back to the serious business of predicting the scores in the Premier League.

Remember how it works: We, at Reuters Soccer Blog, publish our individual predictions for the weekend Premier League matches here on a Friday. You, laughing snidely at our pathetic efforts, send in yours in the comments section below the post.

As the weekend goes by, we get embarrassed and you get to poke fun. You get a point for predicting the right result, and make that a whopping five points if you get the exact score. Simples.

And if you're thinking of joining in for the first time now ... go ahead. The scoring has been so low that with a couple of correct scores you'll catch up in no time. Really, we don't seem to be very good at this here at RSB.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Is Eduardo’s two-match ban too harsh?

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UEFA's decision to hand Arsenal striker Eduardo da Silva a two-match ban for diving has infuriated the Croatian media, many fans and national team coach Slaven Bilic.

"It is a shameful decision, especially in view of the fact that Eduardo personifies everything that's decent in professional sport," Bilic told Zagreb daily Vecernji List after learning the verdict.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Predicting the unpredictable … take your best shot

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Do you feel you've been sitting on the bench too long this season? Are you itching for a chance to get out there and show what you can do? Confident you can show all those pundits how little they know about the game?

Well, my friends. Now. Is. Your. Chance.

Scores have been so low in our modest little predictions slot that one good week -- one! -- could see you overtake the vast majority of the Reuters Soccer Blog panel.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Premier League predictions: your chance to put us right (Update)

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UPDATE: Have added the panel predictions that were emailed to me on Friday night/Saturday before kick-offs. (Mike Collett loses 10 points for shamelessly trying to predict Saturday's scores on Sunday morning ... and getting them all spot on.)

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So come on, be honest, who was expecting Burnley to beat Manchester United in the Premier League on Wednesday?

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Premier League: Our predictions, your predictions — Update

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UPDATE: Now with added rollcall of shame! Click here for full details of just how badly our panel did...

The new Premier League season is upon us and this year we at the Reuters Soccer Blog have decided to stick our necks out as never before.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Wenger makes his point with customary elegance

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"Highly intelligent" and "Arsene Wenger" sit neatly together in countless newspaper columns outlining the exploits, achievements and travails of the cerebral Arsenal manager.

Consequently there was no elaborate deconstruction required following an interview with a French television channel at the club's training ground this week.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Vlog on the Pitch — Thierry Henry’s sparkling return to form

Thierry Henry did not enjoy the happiest of starts to his new life in Barcelona but it's clicked for the Frenchman this term.

He plays more as a winger than a striker under Pep Guardiola yet he's still managed 15 league goals this season and the Premier League certainly seems a poorer place without him.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Champions League draw — your views

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So, here we go again. For the fifth successive season, Liverpool will face Chelsea in the Champions League.

Quarter-finals:

Villarreal v Arsenal

Manchester United v Porto

Liverpool v Chelsea

Barcelona v Bayern Munich

Semi-finals:

Manchester United or Porto v Villarreal or Arsenal

Barcelona or Bayern Munich v Liverpool or Chelsea

Liverpool will perhaps be marginal favourites in the all-English quarter-final after knocking Chelsea out at the semi-final stage in 2005 and 2007 but their fans will need no reminding that last season, when Chelsea got to play the second leg at home, it was the Londoners who came through.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Vlog on the Pitch talks title racing with Wenger

Join vlogmeister Owen Wyatt as he takes the plunge and asks John Arne Riise whether he's still a better player than Andrea Dossena, the man who replaced him at Anfield.

And talking of the Premier League, Arsene Wenger thinks Liverpool's title hopes are still alive, and that none of the top teams are playing to their full potential. Dare to disagree with Wenger? Let us know in the comments, or record your own video rant and send us a link. If we like it, we'll embed it here.

Sports picture of the day

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Split seconds count in sports photography. Reuters Sports Pictures editor Greg Bos thinks London-based photographer Eddie Keogh captured the moment perfectly when former Arsenal captain William Gallas went head over heels to the ground during an FA Cup match.

CAPTION: Arsenal’s William Gallas (top) challenges Cardiff City’s Jay Bothroyd during their FA Cup fourth round replay soccer match at the Emirates Stadium in London February 16, 2009. REUTERS/ Eddie Keogh (BRITAIN)

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