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The talk of Sky Sports

Last Updated: 11/01/13 3:22pm

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For the best in up-to-the-minute sports analysis, look no further than, your online home for expert opinion.

Whatever your sport, our team of pundits, columnists and bloggers are here every week to bring you the sharpest views and the shrewdest comments on the latest developments.

Some of the most respected names in the business, including Jamie Redknapp, Stuart Barnes, Stevo and Paul Merson deliver their views with their expert columns, while we also have blogs from the likes of David Lloyd and Jeff Stelling.

Here's a snapshot of what the experts have been saying over the last seven days...

"There will be arguments from both sides about which one is better but there's no doubt that at 25-years-old Suarez is having a more influential role for Liverpool than Van Persie had at Arsenal at the same age. (Suarez is 26 at the end of this month and has 30 goals in 64 Premier League games to his name - Van Persie had 39 in 115 games when he reached that age.) But, whoever you prefer, it's clear Suarez is crucial to Liverpool's ambitions of returning to the top four - despite the arrival of Daniel Sturridge from Chelsea."
Luis Suarez-inspired Liverpool can make the top four - but must keep their key man happy, says Jamie Redknapp.
Taken from 'The Suarez spark'

"Saracens' away match with Racing Metro stands out as the most riveting game of the weekend. Saracens are on a roll in Europe and England but Racing Metro are only two points behind them in Europe and have the added momentum of an away win in Toulon to boost their belief in Brittany. Any side who can win in Toulon cannot be taken anything but seriously. After a desperately slow start to the season Metro are wide awake. In the previous round of Top 14 games they notched forty points plus against Agen. This looks a real test of the Saracens who have impressed of late."
Stuart Barnes picks out the 'don't miss' ties as the Heineken Cup returns with a vengeance.
Taken from 'Striking statistics'

"One-day cricket is being seen as an ideal start for the younger players and a chance for them to find their feet before getting into the Test team. Which players in this England squad would that apply to? Jos Buttler would be one, Joe Root would be another and Stuart Meaker, if he plays, will have a chance to show his pace.They seem to want to get them into the swing of things in international cricket, get them into the dressing room and see how they get on. This is a step up from the Lions and takes them into the Big Boys League, playing against top-class players. In a way, one-day cricket is becoming like the Capital One Cup in English football. It's an opportunity for managers to bring young players in and see how they go."
Bumble explains why one-day internationals are a bit like the Capital One Cup these days...
Taken from 'In with the new'

"Warm-up defeats to India A and Delhi in the last few days and lingering concerns about the tourists' inexperienced bowling attack suggest five hard matches line in store over the next three weeks. But as they proved in the Test series before Christmas, this is an England side that relishes the chance to turn history around and, after that display, I wouldn't put anything past Alastair Cook and his players. Although I'm sure that England's preparations for the 2015 World Cup won't begin in earnest until this summer's Champions Trophy, there's never a bad time to tear a strip of the current World Champions."
England's attack may be inexperienced, says Nasser Hussain, but India are there for the taking.
Taken from 'A raw-inspiring series'

"Villa have won only three of their last 23 home Premier League games and if they fail to pick up any points against fellow strugglers Southampton this weekend, I just don't see how they are going to turn the corner; it's almost unthinkable that they'd become a Championship club, but they wouldn't be the first 'big' club to suffer that fate. Expectations have never been lower amongst home fans at Villa Park and I think Southampton - who won the corresponding fixture at St Mary's 4-1 - will probably go there and win. If that happens, owner Randy Lerner would surely have no option but to get the cheque book out again (and quickly) and allow Paul Lambert to buy some seasoned pros."
Jeff Stelling says Aston Villa might as well give up their Premier League status if they lose to Southampton.
Taken from 'Praying for keeps'

"We asked Opta to list all South American players to have scored 10 or more Premier League goals. Carlos Tevez has the most goals with 80, ahead of Gus Poyet on 54 and Nolberto Solano on 49, but none of those players have the best goals-per-game ratio. That honour in fact belongs to Sergio Aguero. The Manchester City striker has hit 31 goals in just 52 games, a ratio of 0.60 goals per game. Luis Suarez is second on the list. He's scored 30 Premier League goals, one short of Aguero's current tally, but he's played 12 more games. His ratio of 0.47 goals per game - almost one in two - is still highly impressive."
Who is the most prolific South American attacker to play in the Premier League era, in terms of goals-to-games ratio? Martin Tyler has the answer...
Taken from 'Striking statistics'

"Dean is very honest and straight to the point and was always a pivotal part of every dressing room he has been in during his long and successful playing career, so he will have no problem communicating his ideas and will tell the players feeling sorry for themselves that they owe the club performances. The Welshman will make it abundantly clear to his squad that they must get with the Saunders programme quickly or they will be replaced, as after a quick pan around the dressing room, he will be aware that this squad is massively underachieving. Dean's appointment makes sense."
Peter Beagrie blogs on Dean Saunders and which players QPR should pluck from the Championship.
Taken from 'Golden appointment'

"Harrington, the 2007 and '08 British Open titlist, showed signs of improvement last term, ending a two-year wait for a title by claiming the Grand Slam of Golf in October, and he will be looking to push on in 2013. Padraig is a renowned tinkerer and while you could argue that is the way to seek perfection, sometimes in golf you don't realise when you've got it sussed, and I think constant swing changes contributed to Harrington going backwards rapidly and tumbling down the rankings. The Dubliner can come again, though, because he has a huge heart and never knows when he is beaten."
Padraig Harrington's never-say-die attitude can help him return to the apex of world golf, says Rob Lee.
Taken from 'Irish grit'

"Higgins is well drawn in the top half. First up for him is Ali Carter which isn't easy but you'd expect him to prevail and then he'll face either Shaun Murphy or Ricky Walden. He's been using a new cue this season and I'd say he's playing as well as ever. The Masters isn't one of his favourite tournaments - he's only won it twice, in 1999 and 2006 when he had epic final with Ronnie O'Sullivan. He's also lost finals in 1995 and 2005, but two wins from over 15 years playing at the Masters isn't a great return for a player of his class. So, he'll be determined to do well, and Higgins is my pick for the tournament."
Neal Foulds tips John Higgins for a third Masters title, 14 years after his first and seven since his last.
Taken from 'Lucky number seven'

"Although Murray struggled early on in Brisbane and didn't produce his best tennis, it was a confidence-building win that will serve him well for the Australian Open. His level will only get better and I believe he will be 100 per cent ready for that tournament. I've heard several people say that Rafael Nadal's injury-enforced absence in Melbourne is a big plus for Murray and while it's true that there is one less elite player between him and the title, the fact that Murray is now seeded third in the tournament is a big disadvantage. Providing the top seeds Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer get through, one of them will play either David Ferrer or another player lower down in the rankings in the semi-finals."
Barry Cowan explains how the Australian Open seedings could count against US Open champion Andy Murray.
Taken from 'A grand opening'

"Everything Mourinho does is to win games, so whatever analysis you have of his decision you have got to start with that. Mourinho is seeing a Real Madrid team that is 16 points adrift of Barcelona and is in a situation he has not seen since he was at Porto. He believes that dropping Casillas is a way to shake things up and to unsettle a side where he has lost the changing room - and it is quite clear that he has lost a huge percentage of them. Those players, led by Casillas, feel that he has not given them enough weapons to win games, while Mourinho feels that they are not following his path."
Guillem Balague says the battle between Jose Mourinho and the Real dressing room can only end one way...
Taken from 'Coming to a head'

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