Premiership football betting tips are given one of the following three ratings:
Banker, large stake, predicted outcome is more than likely.
Likely outcome, medium stake, worth a gamble.
Worth a flutter, small stake, be prudent and stick to matches where you can spot the value.
Below were the predicted outcomes for the weekend fixtures Sat 9th and Sun 10th April 2005.
|Sat 3:00||Blackburn v Southampton|
|Blackburn have proved under Mark Hughes that they are difficult to beat but if you took away the performances of Brad Friedel they'd probably still be fighting against relegation; that is not to say that they are out of it yet, in fact they are only 2 places above Southampton who are out of it on goal difference. Southampton have also improved under Rednapp and recently got their first away win with a good victory at Boro; their only disappointing result of late was a home defeat to Chelsea but they didn't go down without a fight. A huge amount is at stake for both clubs as defeat for Blackburn will bring them closer to the drop whilst defeat for Southampton could put them back in the relegation places if other results go against them. Savage, Bothroyd and Dickov may be missing through injury for Blackburn but this vital result could end level.|
|Bolton v Fulham|
|Bolton were unlucky to lose at Liverpool after dominating at Anfield for long periods. They defend with resolve and are a constant threat from set pieces and will try to exploit Fulham's weakness in central defence. Bolton have only lost once at home in their last 6 whilst Fulham have lost their last 3 away although they will be buoyed by their crucial home win against Portsmouth. Away from home, Coleman may well revert to playing just 1 up front but he should be bolder and stick with the 4-4-2 as they are still not safe and need the points. El Hadj Diouf remains suspended for Bolton but their style should prove too strong for Fulham and I expect them to win.|
|Home Win 1-0|
|Chelsea v Birmingham|
|Chelsea are now 13 points clear of Arsenal and are within spitting distance of the title. They remain undefeated at home this season and have won 12 from 15 games; the possibility of Birmingham getting anything from this fixture is extremely remote. Robben, Bridge and Ferreira are likely to still be on the injured list but Chelsea have such strength in depth that others can slot in where required without weakening their all round play; their only weakness possibly lies in complacency or European distraction. Birmingham's away record is not good having lost 8 from 15 and losing their last 5 on the bounce so Stamford Bridge is probably the last place they would want to go. Even though Pennant was blooded at home after his 'tag' release from prison he is likely to suffer constant barracking from the Chelsea fans but it is not only his performance that will be key to Birmingham coming away with anything. It may take Chelsea a while to break them down but they are likely to emerge confident winners.|
|Home Win 3-0|
|Man City v Liverpool|
|City have played well under Pearce and were unlucky to concede 2 points in the dying minutes against Charlton in what otherwise would have been a deserved away victory. They have been inconsistent this season but Pearce only has these remaining games to secure his position as manager and it is points that count. Wright-Phillips is still injured but they have been playing well without him although they have lost their last 2 home games. Liverpool's away form this season has been dismal and they have lost their last 2 away games; additionally their injury problems have been well documented whilst Baros is suspended leaving very few attacking options. Their home form has kept them challenging for Europe but City will have some say in the outcome of this game.|
|Home Win 1-0|
|Middlesbrough v Arsenal|
|After the distraction of Europe and serious injury problems Boro finally managed to win away at the weekend but entertaining Arsenal is a different ball game to 3 points at Palace. Boro still have injuries to key players and more experienced players are having to play week in week out with no rest which is having a detrimental effect at this late stage of a long season. Arsenal scored 4 against Norwich, with Henry back to his best, but it could have been a lot more and they can only get stronger when Campbell and Bergkamp return, possibly this week. Although Boro's defence will not be as charitable as Norwich's, Arsenal should stretch them enough to emerge on top.|
|Away Win 1-2|
|Portsmouth v Charlton|
|Portsmouth lost their vital game against Fulham at the weekend and are right back amongst possible candidates for the drop. Their home form, although inconsistent, has kept them out of the relegation places and they face a Charlton side entering their usual end of season disappointing phase where their form tails off and they once again miss out on Europe. Charlton have drawn their last three away games but Portsmouth need to win this one to maintain the gap between themselves and the drop zone. This game will be tight but the Fratton Park faithful can carry their side to victory.|
|Home Win 1-0|
|Sat 5:15||Norwich v Man Utd|
|Norwich now have their first team available for selection but this still didn't help them against Arsenal where their defence floundered once again; they never seem to let in just the odd goal but go down by 3 or 4. They may well be hoping that United's problems in actually getting the ball in the back of the net could benefit them but against such a charitable defence the likes of Van Nistelrooy and Rooney are likely to get back amongst the goals. United know how to dominate games and against lesser sides the pressure tends to translate into winning margins. They'll be without the midfield services of Giggs and Fletcher due to injuries but Norwich must feel they are already doomed to the Nationwide so will be playing for pride alone where as United are neck and neck with Arsenal for that all important second place. United to start scoring again.|
|Away Win 0-2|
|Sun 12:00||Aston Villa v West Brom|
|Another West Midlands derby game in which the outcome is predictably unpredictable. Villa earned only their third away win of the season with a well deserved victory at Newcastle whilst West Brom saw off a flatteringly placed Everton at the Hawthorns. West Brom would have preferred to have been at home for this one where they have won their last two but their away victory at Charlton will give them some confidence. Villa have not fared that well in derby games this season but they have only lost 4 matches at home. West Brom have more to play for in that they can escape the relegation zone if they can better Southampton's result against Blackburn. A tight affair and West Brom should be backed not to lose.|
|Sun 3:00||Everton v Crystal Palace|
|Everton are now just one point above their fiercest rivals, Liverpool, in the chase for 4th place and the last Champions League spot, and if current form is anything to go by they'll keep sliding towards the wrong end of the table. The more desperate Everton have become the more they have resorted to the long ball game and I have to disagree with David Moyes that Everton getting into the Champions League will be good for football; true that it shows it's not all about money but football should be entertaining. They entertain a Palace side that have been yoyoing in and out of the relegation places, who are desperate for points and sense a vulnerable Everton after West Brom's single goal victory against them. Palace's recent 0-1 defeat to Boro however came as a bit of a surprise and this game's going to be very tight but Everton should be able to get back to winning ways.|
|Home Win 1-0|
|Sun 4:05||Tottenham v Newcastle|
|Spurs' home form hasn't been brilliant this season but it has kept them in 9th place and the possibility of Europe alive. They've won 7 from 15 but are up against a Newcastle side who have had miserable away form and after the shenannigans at the weekend at St. James Park they have once again plunged themselves into crisis. Defensively they have been poor; Bramble is injured, O'Brien was substituted for a poor performance with his replacement Taylor being sent off, so Taylor, Bowyer and Dyer will not be available and additionally Kluivert is injured. Newcastle have only won 2 away games and have nothing to play for in the Premiership with their only chance of Europe in the FA Cup. Spurs are still missing Pamarot but will sense Newcastle are vulnerable and 3 points are there for the taking.|
|Home Win 2-0|