Predict the Premier League - Experts: West Ham and Bolton are on the up
West Ham United beat Wigan 2-0 at the weekend to end any fears of slipping through the Premier League trapdoor and it was a double celebration for Hammers fan Mitch Waddon. Not only did our man toast the Irons win on the pitch and make a cameo appearance on Soccer AM, he has also been our top pundit over the past fortnight.
Mr Waddon picked up 22 points from the past two matchdays, closely followed by Bolton Wanderers' supporter Dave Blackburn on 21 - whose team may be back in the top flight next season after storming into the Championship play-off places.
It wasn't such a good period though for Birmingham's Steve Coulter (9), West Ham's Nigel Telfer or Blackburn Rovers' Terry Kennedy (both 10), who all feature in the bottom three.
Well let's not beat around the bush, let's find out who scored what and where this past fortnight.
Arsenal 3 Norwich City 1
The Gunners needed three late goals to overcome the Canaries at the Emirates and keep their Champions League hopes alive. It was tough on Chris Hughton's men but it enabled all our Experts to pick up some points - Sunderland's Sarshar Hosseinnia was the only pundit to get the final score spot on.
Aston Villa 1 Fulham 1
Villa earned a share of the spoils against Fulham but was it a point gained or two lost? The final score allowed Hugh Larkin and Leicester City fan Chris Pettitt to pick up three points each.
Everton 2 QPR 0
The R's left Goodison Park last season with all three points but there was no chance of the Premier League strugglers making it a double this year. Gibson and Anichebe ensured the points stayed on Merseyside. That result gave 12 out of our 14 Experts a point, with West Ham Mitch Waddon, Bolton's Dave Blackburn, Middlesbrough's Sue Gardener and Squarefootball chief Antony Melvin all collecting three points.
Reading 0 Liverpool 0
Easily the biggest coupon buster of the weekend, Reading keeper McCarthy produced heroics to keep Suarez and Gerrard at bay. Only Birmingham's Steve Coulter and Mr Larkin expected this to end as a draw, but neither thought it would end goalless.
Southampton 1 West Ham 1
The Saints had beaten Chelsea, Liverpool and Man City in recent weeks and were widely expected to do the same to Big Sam's Hammers, but the boys from the East End left St Mary's with a point thanks to Andy Carroll. Only three Experts predicted this would end a draw, so full marks to Portsmouth's Peter Rendle and Wolves' Chris Cox who got the final score bang on the money.
Newcastle United 0 Sunderland 3
Newcastle United were left stunned by Paolo Di Canio's Black Cats in his first Tyne-Wear derby. Sessegnon, Johnson and Vaughan wrote their names in Sunderland with three unanswered goals at the home of their fiercest rivals. Only Mr Illingworth and Mr Hosseinnia had the foresight to predict an away win, but neither came close to getting the final score correct.
Stoke City 0 Manchester United 2
The dark clouds were gathering over the Britannia before the champions elect turned up. A 2-0 home defeat later and Tony Pulis was facing a nightmare run-in. Only two Experts failed to predict an away win with Mr Illingworth, Mr Coulter, Mr Larkin, Mr Pettitt, Mr Hosseinnia, Mr Taylor and Mr Cox all predicting the game would end 0-2.
Arsenal 0 Everton 0
The result did nothing to help either side's top four hopes, but Mr Blackburn benefited by picking up all three points for his prediction of a goalless draw. Mr Larkin, Mr Rendle and Mr Taylor also collected a point here.
Man City 1 Wigan 0
Carlos Tevez came to the champions rescue as they squeezed past their FA Cup Final opponents at the Etihad. Only Birmingham City's Mr Coulter expected Wigan to beat Mancini's men, but Middlesbrough's Sue Gardener got the final score bang on the button.
West Ham 2 Manchester United 2
Big Sam was left fuming by Robin van Persie's equaliser but it helped Hammer Mitch Waddon to maximum points following his prediction. Hugh Larkin was the only other Expert to predict a draw.
Fulham 0 Chelsea 3
The Blues had just been knocked out of the FA Cup by Man City and there were fears that Fulham could use their their home form to their advantage, but a stunner from David Luis helped put paid to that suggestion. Only five pundits went for an away win for the Champions of Europe.
Fulham 0 Arsenal 1
Fulham played most of the game with 10 men but Arsenal looked sluggish at the Cottage. Per Mertesacker scored the only goal of the game to keep the Gunners in the picture for a top four place. A total of 11 Experts went with the visitors but only Middlesbrough's Sue Gardener got the scoreline spot on.
Norwich City 2 Reading 1
The Canaries were furious over the manner of their defeat at Arsenal but bounced back to see off relegation-threatened Reading. A home win was a popular result for 10 Experts, six of whom - Mr Illingworth, Mr Pettitt, Mr Blackburn, Mr Taylor, Mr Telfer and Mr Melvin - got the final score correct.
QPR 0 Stoke City 2
If the R's were to have any hope of beating the drop they had to beat troubled Stoke City. Unfortunately for Harry Redknapp's men, the Potters ran out 2-0 winners. Full marks go to Middlesbrough's Sue Gardener who not only predicted an away win but got the score spot on.
Sunderland 1 Everton 0
The Black Cats hadn't beaten Everton in 13 years but after thrashing Newcastle six days earlier confidence was running high. Paolo Di Canio's men shaded this game thanks to Stephane Sessegnon's only goal of the game giving Mr Illingworth, Mrs Gardener and Mr Telfer a point, but Black Cat Sarshar Hosseinnia was the big winner by getting the score bang on.
Swansea City 0 Southampton 0
A game that promised so much delivered very little in a goalless affair at the Liberty. Five pundits predicted a stalemate with Bolton's Mr Blackburn fully rewarded for his 0-0 forecast.
West Brom 1 Newcastle United 1
Billy Jones became the first Englishman to score for the Baggies this season when he equalised against the Mags. The result didn't do much for the visitors with Stoke, Sunderland and Norwich all winning, but it did earn Mr Larkin a point and gave Mr Pettitt and Mr Cox maximum points.
West Ham 2 Wigan 0
The Hammers ensured they will be playing top flight football next season with a timely win against relegation-threatened Wigan. Eight Experts went for a home win, but Mr Waddon and Mr Rendle were the only two to get the score spot on.
Spurs 3 Man City 1
When City took the lead I think most viewers were expecting another cricket score from the champions. However, Spurs left it late to hit Mancini's men with three goals of their own. Only Mr Larkin, Mr Telfer and Mr Cox thought the hosts would come out on top.
Liverpool 2 Chelsea 2
Luis Suarez got his teeth into Chelsea and scored a late equaliser to cost the Blues two crucial points. Six Experts benefited from Suarez's late strike, including Mr Waddon and Mr Melvin who both predicted the game would end 2-2.
Manchester United 3 Aston Villa 0
Following City's defeat at Spurs Manchester United had the chance of winning the title in front of their own fans and there was no way Fergie's men were going to pass up this opportunity. Robin van Persie netted a hat-trick to secure title number 20 and 13 Experts shared in their celebrations, none-more-so than Mr Blackburn and Mr Rendle who picked up three points each.
Here is who scored what this past week.
Follow me on Twitter at @sqf_illingworth