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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.

Hull City v Chelsea
Arsenal v Everton
Burnley v Stoke City
Fulham v Portsmouth
Sunderland v Bolton Wanderers
Wigan Athletic v Aston Villa
Birmingham City v Manchester United
West Ham United v Wolverhampton Wanderers
Liverpool v Tottenham Hotspur
Manchester City v Blackburn Rovers

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Original post: Happy New Year to you all, and welcome back to our score predictions, as English football continues  with the breathless pace of Jason Bourne reciting Gilbert & Sullivan* while performing vodka-soaked surgery on his own left lung and driving off a roof (you can guess what the Christmas Day movie was in our house...) 

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: Predicting the scores — round 12

TUESDAY UPDATE: Whatever you think about the penalty which gave Liverpool a 2-2 draw with Birmingham, it certainly made a difference to our prediction league.

Miles Evans got a full five points for correctly predicting that score while he was even more pleased that John Terry ignored some newspaper headlines and secured a 1-0 win for Chelsea over Manchester United.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Can you out-predict Reuters Soccer Blog?

It's that time of the week again, folks. The best brains at Reuters Soccer Blog are off, so it's just the usual crew of no-hopers here to embarrass ourselves trying to predict the outcome of the weekend Premier League action, and with no help from that lottery bobbins bloke.

To recap: with one point available for getting a correct result -- and make that a whopping five for the correct score -- there are at least 50 points up for grabs each week. Given that most teams have played five matches the total number of points a perfect tipster would have got by now would be well over 200.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Live blogging the Champions League

The Champions League is back and our reporters are currently wringing out their wet things (Mitch Phillips at Chelsea)/basking in the evening sunshine by the River Manzanares (Iain Rogers at Atletico) and undergoing all climactic variations in between.

Tonight's first tranche of eight matches includes a repeat of the very first Champions League final, with AC Milan visiting Marseille, plus the European debut of Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka for Real Madrid, with the Spaniards visiting Zurich.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Chelsea banned from signing players – your views

Premier League club Chelsea have been banned from registering any new players for the next two transfer windows, FIFA said on Thursday.

"Chelsea are banned from registering any new players, either nationally or internationally, for the two next entire and consecutive registration periods following the notification of the present decision," a FIFA statement said.

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.

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:

Champions League draw – your views

Jose Mourinho will clash with old foe Alex Ferguson in the Champions League last 16 with holders Manchester United playing Inter Milan.

It is England v Italy twice more with Juventus coach Claudio Ranieri facing former club Chelsea while Arsenal and Roma, two teams who love to play the beautiful game, also meet.

Thursday’s front pages: anti-social behaviour

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guardian.JPGThe latest initiative to tackle anti-social behaviour and an apparent loophole in airport security feature prominently on Thursday’s front pages, along with the Chelsea gun siege and the Austrian house of horrors.

The Guardian says Home Secretary Jacqui Smith  wants police to harass anti-social youths and make life as unpleasant for them as they do for their victims. Young thugs should be hounded and filmed.  Story here

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