The talk of Sky Sports
Last Updated: December 14, 2012 12:55pm
For the best in up-to-the-minute sports analysis, look no further than skysports.com, 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...
"Had Joe Schmidt been given the individual firepower at Vern Cotter's disposal and Cotter had the Leinster players to work with, would the margin have been 15-12? In defeat Joe Schmidt showed what a fine coach he is. Or rather his players did and they did him proud. I fancy Leinster - with O' Driscoll looking helplessly on from the Sky studios, will keep their hopes of a fourth title alive on Saturday. Maybe this will be the game that makes you drop your pint glass with twenty minutes to go."
Stuart Barnes says that a pre-Christmas crowd can cheer Leinster to victory over Clermont on Saturday.
Taken from 'Lansdowne Lift'
"Rory had a sticky patch in the middle of the year and missed three straight cuts but he won five tournaments in all, including back-to-back FedEx Cup events, the DP World Tour Championship - after birdieing the last five holes - and the USPGA Championship by eight strokes. He roared on all cylinders, towards the end of the season especially. His greatest achievement was winning his second Major, as while good players can win one, only great players get two or more of them. I think McIlroy has learned to turn up and win when he is not quite on his A-game - something all the great players learn to do - and I don't see him looking back now."
Rob Lee trawls through the archives to explain why Rory McIlroy is his player of 2012.
Taken from 'Golf's greatest hits'
"It would be easy to say Pacquiao has lost a step after he suffered a sixth-round knockout at the weekend, but the truth is he has run into his bogeyman - as my colleague, Glenn McCrory, said before the bout on skysports.com - and each time they have fought, Marquez has learnt more. Marquez knows Pacquaio better than any other fighter and over the course of their four meetings he has understood his strengths and weaknesses. He knew how to deal with him, so he headed into Saturday's fight with immense confidence."
Juan Manuel Marquez's knowledge of Manny Pacquiao's style finally paid off, says Johnny Nelson.
Taken from 'Learnt on the job'
"This win at the Barbican Centre in York really is a great triumph for him. I didn't think he was ready to win such a big tournament again just yet - but perhaps his unfancied status took some of the pressure off him. It was plain to see what it meant to him when he punched the air after defeating Robertson and I'm really pleased for him - although he's not yet back to the level he was at last year. Now he's back to number one the expectation is back on him and how he deals with it this time round will be decisive."
Neal Foulds was pleased to see Mark Selby put a tough year behind him with his UK Championship win.
Taken from 'All smiles for Jester'
"When Lionel Messi first arrived at Barcelona on trial at the age of 13 he already looked like a star in the making. Even back then he was playing in the way that he does now - week in, week out - and he certainly hasn't disappointed! Pep Guardiola realised in the last couple of months of his tenure that Messi was saturated and needed a little bit of 'fresh air' and Tito Valanova has supplied it by giving Messi the freedom to do whatever he wants. Now whenever he intervenes in play, every action has meaning and threatens danger; as his record goal-scoring run proves, he has become the ultimate forward."
Guillem Balague blogs on Lionel Messi's record-breaking genius.
Taken from 'Messi just masterful'
"Man City showed on Sunday that they have the character and determination to take United to the wire again. Their second-half comeback was superb. You could see from Pablo Zabaleta and his teammates' reaction to the equaliser, the way they sprinted back to the halfway line, showed that they meant business and were intent on pushing on for the win. United were ruthless. Gary Neville explained their game plan on the Monday Night Football - to replicate the damage Ajax, Dortmund and Real Madrid had done to City out wide - and in the first half they carried it out with the precision you need at the top level."
Man City have the better players but United are the superior unit in the title race, says Ed Chamberlin.
Taken from 'A tale of one city'
"Manchester United have conceded the first goal in 10 of their 16 games this term and would drop from top of the table into the relegation zone in this "golden goal format". Under your rules, Tottenham Hotspur would replace Manchester United at the top of the table, having scored first in all but four of their games this season - including Sunday's dramatic defeat to Everton. They'd be joined in the Champions League spots by Chelsea, West Brom and Stoke - with defending champions Manchester City down in 10th below Southampton and Sunderland!"
If games were decided on golden goals, Man Utd would be in the drop zone... Martin has that and more!
Taken from 'The golden rule'
"All the advantages are with Khan going into this fight. He's a former world champion in the 10 stone division and he's beaten a lot of good fighters. Molina, meanwhile, hasn't been proven at the top level, he's coming up from lightweight and isn't a dangerous opponent as far as punching power goes. Yes, Molina's undefeated, respected and a decent fighter with a good style but, all in all, you have to say Khan's people couldn't have come up with a better opponent for him to launch his return to the top."
Amir Khan's career is on the line against Carlos Molina, says Jim Watt - but he expects the Brit to win.
Taken from 'At the crossroads'
"I've never believed that the day would come when I thought Wenger might walk away from the club but looking at his body language the other night I honestly think that could happen. He still has a year-and-a-half left on his contract but it's abundantly clear that he isn't enjoying his football at the moment and as things stand I think there is a real danger that he might not see out those 18 months. So Arsenal fans - particularly those who are protesting against Wenger now - be careful of what you wish for. Those fans should be asking themselves 'how many managers are there out there who could replace him and do a better job?'"
Jeff Stelling fears there is a real danger that Arsene Wenger might not see out his contract at Arsenal.
Taken from 'Could Wenger walk?'
"Last year the Magpies finished fifth in the Premier League, were unfortunate not to sneak into the Champions League spots and an opening day win over Tottenham in this campaign suggested they'd be challenging for the top four once again. However, their line-up has been continually disrupted by injuries and suspensions since that win over Spurs and they've regularly been unable to field Demba Ba, Yohan Cabaye, Cheick Tiote, Fabricio Coloccini and Tim Krul - the spine of their 2011/12 season - at the same time."
Manchester City will bounce back from derby defeat to deny Newcastle a much-needed win, says Jamie Redknapp.
Taken from 'Back on track'