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from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Predicting the unpredictable … take your best shot

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.

With one point for a correct result but a whopping five for a correct score -- and untold bonus points on offer for predicting the apparently unpredictable -- you could find yourself top of the league in no time.

And considering that The Contest is run on the honour system, you could even award yourself points for style.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

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

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:

Midweek Premier League special. Can you beat the panel?

Never let it be said that we at Reuters Soccer Blog shirk a challenge. Our attempts at score prediction on the opening weekend produced results that were modest at best but never fear, we're straight back in for another shot (that'll doubtless be blasted over the bar).

Once again, please send in your own predictions ... they can scarcely be any worse than ours, and if you do especially well, we'll gladly let you lord it over us here on the blog.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Premier League: Our predictions, your predictions — Update

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:

Manchester United seal Premier League title – your views

Manchester United have captured their 18th English league title after securing the point they needed in a 0-0 draw at home to Arsenal.

It was a subdued display by United but the celebrations began when the final whistle sealed a hat-trick of titles and moved them alongside Liverpool as England's most crowned club.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

The sort of result that wins titles: Middlesbrough 0 United 2

In Spain, you often hear players and coaches talking about "the sort of match that decides title races". More often that not they're talking about the tricky away game against awkward opposition rather than a high profile match against direct rivals.

Manchester United's 2-0 win away to Middlesbrough on Saturday was just that sort of game, and just the sort of performance that will leave their rivals utterly deflated.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Can United and Villarreal improve for Champions League?

Manchester United and Villarreal must find some misplaced form to get the away results they need in Wednesday’s Champions League second legs.

United, who visit Porto, have not looked like European and English champions recently and have a lot to do to reach the last four after last week’s disappointing 2-2 draw with the Portuguese side at Old Trafford.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Champions League draw — your views

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:

Benitez deal comes at perfect time for Liverpool

The news that Rafael Benitez has agreed a new deal that will keep him at Liverpool until at least 2014 could not have been better timed for the club.

Uncertainty has stalked the 18-times English league champions for the past few seasons with rifts between co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett, confusion over the proposed new stadium and above all the future of the manager Benitez.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Nothing’s gonna stop United … just look at the fixture list

My colleague Patrick Johnston has been wondering aloud about the effect a 4-1 defeat by Liverpool is going to have on Manchester United. He's in good company, because Guus Hiddink also believes the door is open a little bit.

The match must have been enjoyable for Liverpool fans but it's not going to have an effect on the title race.

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