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The Reuters global sports blog

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Deja vu all over again? Soccer romantics will hope so

SOCCER-ENGLAND/FULHAM-HUGHES‘Plus ca change’ was the defining refrain of the Premier League’s opening weekend, but football fans tired of the established order will hope déjà vu is lurking round the corner for Manchester United and Chelsea.

Neither the champions nor the runners-up broke sweat as they strolled to opening victories that pointed ominously to another two-horse race for the Premier League title.

But romantics, who no doubt jollied in Blackpool’s opening day success, will be praying for the footballing equivalent of lightning striking twice to prevent the ‘big two’, as it seems to have become, from putting an early marker down in the title race.

United face Fulham at Craven Cottage on Sunday, the scene of a 3-0 defeat for Alex Ferguson’s side last season, while Chelsea travel to the JJB Stadium on Saturday to play Wigan where they also came a cropper in a 3-1 reverse in 2009.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Is there a way to stop end-of-season farces?

RTR2DE1O[4]CHIVUSMALL

AS Roma are absolutely livid after Inter Milan regained the lead in Serie A with a 2-0 win at Lazio, where the home fans cheered the goals as much as the away supporters.

Lazio fans hate Roma so much that many of them wanted their own side to lose on Sunday as it meant their bitter city rivals were knocked off top spot. This was despite the fact Lazio are not clear of relegation yet.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Will Liverpool do United a favour? See what our predictions panel thinks

Liverpool will not be keen on helping Manchester United in their title bid but a victory over Chelsea on Sunday could push the Reds closer to that fourth Champions League spot.

A real dilemma for Liverpool fans, already battered and bruised by a poor season and Thursday's Europa League semi-final elimination at the hands of Atletico Madrid.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Predicting the unpredictable: the Premier League title run-in

Chelsea and Manchester United seem to want to make the Premier League title run-in as exciting as possible by dropping points in recent weeks. There's just a point between them with three games left and you can't get much tighter than that.

Sadly the same can't be said for our predictions league where leader Paul Radford pretty much has the title wrapped up, but let's see what this weekend brings.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Predicting another great leap forward from Arsenal

SOCCER-CHAMPIONSNow all that Winter Sports malarkey is out of the way, we can cast all thoughts of the Couver out of our minds and get back to the serious business: the title race run-in, and the predictions league tussle that goes along with it.

Chelsea are the weekend's main absentees, as they toil on in the FA Cup against a stoked City, so could we see another great leap forward from Arsenal?

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Predictions league foresees more doom for Arsenal

Arsenal's 3-1 defeat at home to Manchester United last weekend has led many of our panel to predict similar gloom for Arsene Wenger's men at Chelsea this Sunday.

It's been a tough run of fixtures for the Gunners but for most of our "experts" here at Reuters Soccer blog, it's been painful throughout the season. Do you think you would be better than our panel at predicting the Premier League scores each weekend? Believe me, it's not hard to beat us.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Score predictions come out of the freezer

BRITAIN/Last week's snow-show in all but three of the games means there's been very little movement on the scores front, at least here at Reuters Soccer Blog Towers.

Premier League grounds may be as sludgy as Dutch pea soup  but at least they're fit for purpose once more and as long as the thaw continues we should get a full programme again this weekend. About time too. Here are the weekend's games:

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

UPDATE: A New Year, a new chance to show your prediction skills

SOCCER-ENGLAND/CUPThe good news is, if you missed the midweek fixtures you've hardly been scathed, with one of the two games called off and the other a 3-2 thriller that no one predicted.

So let's start 2010 as we mean to go on with your predictions for the Premier League matches this weekend. Read on after the break for the rules if you're a newbie, and if not ... well, you know what to do.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

January sale shopping looks tricky for Premier League big four

I have my shopping list for the January sales but my need for a new desk-lamp is not as important as the requirements of the Premier League’s big four.

I’d say I could get my lamp quite cheap if I employ the Arsene Wenger technique of shopping around, making sure I get good value for money.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

UPDATE: A festive round of predictions

SOCCER-SPAIN/MONDAY UPDATE: The games really are coming thick and fast. We have only just worked out the weekend scores and now they all play again just two days later.

Who'd be a Premier League footballer at Christmas? Well, I wouldn't mind money for a Ferrari.

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