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Chelsea & Spurs battle for Capital One Cup

50-50 Challenge
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By ESPN Staff

Premier Showdown - Dec 23, Dec 26/27

Dale Johnson finally managed to put another dent in the Rest of the World's superb run of form last weekend when sneaking home ahead of our challenger, Nikatsekpe Eyinmisan, and Tommy Smyth.

It means our Premiership Editor once more has a cushion at the top of the table, but Dale knows he is no longer able to rest on his laurels in his bid to wrestle the Showdown crown back from the ROTW.

We're now into the festive programme which means everything can change very quickly. Maybe even Tommy will win a round!

The first challenger looking for some festive cheer is Ben Smyth - who is no relation to our Tommy!

Ben tells us: 'I'm one of those Smiths with a "y", like Tommy. I support Liverpool, because they're always exciting to watch. I'm a product manager in Washington DC, USA, and frequently visit espnsoccernet.com to keep up with the footballing world.

'I think Man U. may be in a spot of trouble. They still have to play the other 3 members of the "Big 4" away at the Emirates, Anfield and Stamford Bridge. They will be dropping some points.'

And we have a second round on Boxing Day. This time we will be joined by Alusine Sillah.

Alusine, who migrated to Canada from Africa five years ago and lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba, is a Manchester United supporter.

He tells us: 'I am a student but if Man United are playing I won't attend classes on that day and if Man United lose a match I always feel despair for a day or two! I always follow news and every development about soccer especially in Europe and in particular the Premier League.'

Game on!

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.

Dec 23 Matches
Dale's prediction
Tommy says
Ben's pick
Result
Fulham v West Ham
1 - 1
1 - 1
1 - 1
0 - 0
Arsenal v Blackburn
2 - 1
2 - 0
2 - 1
6 - 2
Aston Villa v Man Utd
0 - 2
1 - 2
0 - 2
0 - 3
Liverpool v Watford
3 - 0
3 - 0
3 - 0
2 - 0
Man City v Bolton
0 - 0
1 - 2
1 - 2
0 - 2
Middlesbrough v Charlton
2 - 0
1 - 0
1 - 0
2 - 0
Newcastle v Tottenham
2 - 1
1 - 1
1 - 1
3 - 1
Portsmouth v Sheff Utd
2 - 0
1 - 1
2 - 0
3 - 1
Reading v Everton
1 - 0
1 - 2
2 - 1
0 - 2
Wigan v Chelsea
0 - 1
0 - 2
0 - 1
2 - 3
POINTS TOTAL >>>
10
8
8

It's a high-scoring start to the Christmas round, and it's Dale who has the first dose of festive cheer!

Score after 19 rounds:
Dale: 32.5
Rest of the World: 22
Tommy: 2.5

Dec 26/27 Matches
Dale's prediction
Tommy says
Alusine's pick
Result
Chelsea v Reading
2 - 0
3 - 1
2 - 0
2 - 2
Tottenham v Aston Villa
2 - 2
2 - 1
2 - 1
2 - 1
West Ham v Portsmouth
1 - 1
1 - 1
1 - 1
1 - 2
Blackburn v Liverpool
1 - 1
1 - 2
2 - 1
1 - 0
Bolton v Newcastle
2 - 0
2 - 0
0 - 0
2 - 1
Everton v Middlesbrough
2 - 0
3 - 1
2 - 0
0 - 0
Man Utd v Wigan
2 - 0
3 - 0
3 - 0
3 - 1
Sheff Utd v Man City
0 - 1
1 - 0
2 - 2
0 - 1
Watford v Arsenal
0 - 1
0 - 2
3 - 0
1 - 2
Charlton v Fulham
0 - 1
1 - 1
0 - 0
2 - 2
POINTS TOTAL >>>
6
7
6

Tommy has the chance to celebrate for the first time this season - and boy will he be enjoying it! A rare piece of cheer - maybe his luck will change in 2007?

Score after 20 rounds:
Dale: 32.5
Rest of the World: 22
Tommy: 5.5

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:
Name: 
Your e-mail: 
City: 
Country: 
To:  
Entry: