HERE’S HOW IT works. Every week, we choose six of the weekend’s biggest sporting events. Then we ask six of TheScore.ie’s finest minds to have their say. Come Monday, everybody looks and feels a little bit sillier than usual.
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s the Pick 6.
Meet this week’s pickers *drumroll*:
- Steve O’Rourke: Late to the party but he smacks a mean piñata
- Hugh O’Connell: Knows too much about Argentinean giveaways
- Paul Fennessy: Giving January transfer advice to anyone who’ll listen.
- Fintan O’Toole: Still can’t get over the James Beattie to Everton transfer
- Sean Farrell: Dulcet tones and Chicago Bears allegiances
- Gavan Reilly: Waiting for Gaelic season to kick in
Munster v Cardiff
Tommy O’Donnell scores against the Blues in Cardiff. (©INPHO/Huw Evans)
SOR: Ronan O’Gara to celebrate his record-setting 234th appearance for Munster with a win for the home side.
HOC: I’m going for Munster.
PF: Munster are well ahead of Cardiff in the Rabo, and have home advantage, so it should be a straightforward victory for them.
FOT: Munster to get the better of Cardiff here.
SF: The Blues have been an embarrassment on more than one occasion this season. Munster will win, but the return of Jamie Roberts and (on the bench) Leigh Halfpenny will make it close.
GR: Munster at home and Cardiff away surely means a win for the men in red.
Seattle Seahawks v Washington Redskins
SOR: I’ve been changing my mind about this one all week but I decided to go with the Seahawks in my preview, despite them not winning a road playoff game in eight attempts, so I’ll stick with that.
PF: It should be an interesting game, as both teams are in good form, but the Seahawks should prevail margin .
FOT: RGIII to inspire the Redskins to victory.
SF: ‘Skins, no doubt.
GR: One of those games where home advantage could do it. Washington for me.
Swansea v Arsenal
SOR: Arsenal have been so Jekyll and Hyde this season it’s difficult to know what you’re going to get but, with the league out of the question, a cup win could be enough to give Arsene Wenger another season of making excuses.
HOC: I’m going Swans here.
PF: Swansea have had some good performances against supposedly bigger teams at home this season, and beat the Gunners at the Emirates recently. Also, Arsenal tend to value Champions League qualification over domestic cup competitions, so a draw seems the most likely outcome, even though Arsene Wenger’s men ostensibly have the better players.
FOT: Swansea may take this competition more seriously than Arsenal which could be pivotal.
SF: Ooh, tricky one Reckon Arsenal will be all the better having been shocked at home by the Swans and Monday’s knee-jerk will be about whether newly arrived (foreign) managers like Michael Laudrup understand the magic of the FA Cup.
GR: Ooooh. That’s a very very very tough call. Arsenal are stuttery, Swansea are capable… I think a draw.
LA Lakers v LA Clippers
Kobe Bryant is double teamed by Clippers forwards Matt Barnes and Lamar Odom. (AP Photo/Gus Ruelas)
SOR: The Clippers didn’t lose a game in December but haven’t started 2013 all that well. However, as Kobe himself said, the Lakers won’t win anything because they’re ‘old as sh*t’.
PF: The Clippers have enjoyed a 17-match unbeaten run this season, but have lost two in a row since, so I fancy the Lakers, even though they’ve looked less than convincing at times.
FOT: Lakers to triumph.
SF: Lakers maybe, but literally anything could happen.
GR: It’s one of those derby-type things where anything coudl happen, but realistically the Clippers have gotten off to a flyer and I don’t see them stopping.
Brisbane International Men’s Singles
SOR: He has a habit of starting the year well and I fully expect Andy Murray to do so again here.
HOC: I fancy Murray… to win the tournament.
PF: Andy Murray always seems to be improving these days, and his rivals here are all very beatable, so I can see him winning it.
FOT: Murray to enjoy a successful warm-up to the Australian Open.
SF: The heat in Brizzy will be tough for Big Andy, but a decent opponent would be tougher.
GR: I very much anticipate that Andy Murray will end up being British, rather than Scottish, if you get me…
West Ham v Man United
Paolo Di Canio and Fabien Barthez nowhere near the Manchester United goal in 2001. (©INPHO/Allsport)
SOR: For some reason, these two always seem to be playing West Ham when I’m either putting up or taking down my Christmas decorations but, pointless anecdote aside, United of the Manchester variety should have more than enough, even without Rooney.
HOC: No problem for United… Manchester.
PF: West Ham did earn a surprise victory over Chelsea recently enough, but that still doesn’t make me brave enough to forecast anything other than a Manchester United win.
FOT: Even if Joe Cole has returned to Upton Park, it shouldn’t be enough to stop Man United from progressing.
SF: Upton Park Boleyn Ground – whatever you call it, it’s not a happy hunting ground for Alex Ferguson.
The bubbles will be flying and Danny Welbeck will leading the visitors attack with RVP taking a rest. But still, Big Sam is not usually able to upset his old mate too much. So the wily old Scot will be smiling when they share a bottle post-match wine in Allardyce’s office. Man Utd win.
GR: I have an awful fear that things could go very, very badly. Usually when that happens, I’m totally wrong. United to win, but uncomfortably.