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 Boxing Day fixtures Mon 26th December 2005.
|Mon 12:45||Charlton v Arsenal|
|On current form Charlton would be prime candidates for relegation and their home form has been far worse than that on the road. They have only 2 wins from 8 home games conceding on average just under 2 goals a game. Their opponents Arsenal also have an unfamliar look to them in that they are currently 8th in the Premiership and actually have a worse away record than Charlton's home record; they've only 1 away win all season. They were also fortunate to scrape through to the Carling Cup semi-finals after a poor reserves display against Doncaster Rovers, but have no doubt that their big guns will return for this fixture. If Arsenal were playing anyone other than Charlton (or Sunderland) I would question the likelihood of an away win but given Charlton's poor form, Arsenal should be backed.|
|Away Win 1-2|
|Mon 1:00||Chelsea v Fulham|
|Runaway leaders Chelsea still have a 100% record at home and are yet to concede a goal in the second half all season. They've only conceded 4 goals at home and only Liverpool have looked like having a gameplan to stop them. Although Fulham are not in the same class as Chelsea, they are their closest (geographically) rivals so expect a bit of a derby atmosphere. Fulham are the highest placed side yet to win away and they are unlikely to change the pattern of things at Stamford Bridge. They have the likes of Bouba Diop and Boa Morte available again but the odds look stacked against them. Chelsea to continue their impressive home form.|
|Home Win 2-0|
|Tottenham v Birmingham|
|Spurs are flying high in 4th position and have only lost the once at home this season. Confidence seems to be in abundance at the Lane and has been most evident in the way that the players have come from behind on several occasions to take all 3 points. Defoe is unavailable after picking up an injury so the pairing of Mido and Keane is likely to start. In recent seasons Birmingham have enjoyed a degree of success against Spurs but they have had such a poor season so far that anything from this game looks unlikely. The only positive that they can take is that although they are second from bottom, unlike Sunderland they are still in touch with the teams above them. Spurs to keep hold of 4th place with a win.|
|Home Win 2-1|
|Mon 3:00||Liverpool v Newcastle|
|Liverpool may have not returned to Anfield with the World Club Championship in their pockets but they will certainly be confident in the way they performed. The goal they conceded against Sao Paolo was the first in 12 games and underlines how difficult they are to break down; not only that but Peter Crouch now has an appreciation of where the goal is. Their visitors, Newcastle, are a rejuvenated side with Michael Owen in the starting eleven and it will be his first visit back to his old club as an opponent; if anyone can poach a goal against Liverpool he's the man especially after his hat trick at West Ham. Newcastle's downfall could be their defence, more so if Bramble and Boumsong are unavailable. This game is all about Newcastle's attack versus Liverpool's defence, but Liverpool have the added bonus of being able to score themselves and should win.|
|Home Win 2-1|
|Man Utd v West Brom|
|With Rooney in fine form and van Nistelrooy heading the list of scorers challenging for the Golden Boot, United look to have turned things around and have the club moving in the right direction after a disappointing European exit. They are currently second in the table and along with Liverpool are the closest challengers to Chelsea. West Brom have been performing well at home of late but are still to win away in 8 games. Shortly after George Best's passing these two met at Old Trafford in the Carling Cup; a game in which United ran out comfortable winners. Expect more of the same this time around.|
|Home Win 2-0|
|Middlesbrough v Blackburn|
|Sometimes the mixture of the fixture list and cup competitions throw up these anomalies where 2 sides play each other twice in a week. Boro have the advantage in both in that they're at home but in the first instalment they were knocked out of the Carling Cup in the dying seconds by Blackburn; on balance Blackburn probably deserved their victory. The question is can Boro learn from the experience and change the outcome of the Premiership encounter. These 2 sides are fairly evenly matched with only 1 point and 1 place separating them in the current Premiership standings; wouldn't be surprised if this turned into a stalemate, especially considering that they are playing each other again so soon.|
|Portsmouth v West Ham|
|Portsmouth may still be in relegation territory but since the reappointment of Harry Redknapp, all things may well come good. A spirited defeat at Spurs followed by a ground out win at home to West Brom could mark the foundations of a Portsmouth revival; at the very least expect Fratton Park to be a much more difficult place to go. West Ham are positioned well in mid-table with only 3 away defeats and 2 wins in the last 3 but to go to Portsmouth and get anything is a big ask now that Pompey seem to be on the up after the charade on the South Coast. Portsmouth to gradually build some confidence and edge out another win.|
|Home Win 1-0|
|Sunderland v Bolton|
|Sunderland are firmly rooted to the foot of the table with a measly 5 points and the gap between them and closest relegation rivals, Birmingham, is widening steadily. The gap now stands at 7 points and Sunderland are yet to score a home victory in 9 attempts; their fate looks to be sealed before Christmas. Confidence is bound to be low and Bolton will go to the Stadium of Light looking to take full advantage and secure maximum points. Bolton may have exited the Carling Cup at the hands of Wigan but they should field a full strength side for this one. Sunderland to suffer yet another defeat.|
|Away Win 0-2|
|Wigan v Man City|
|Wigan may have slipped to 6th after a tough run of fixtures against the cream of the Premiership but they bounced back in emphatic style with a great win over Charlton inspired by a Henri Kamara hat trick. They should be expected to go on from this and turn team performances into points. City have been inconsistent away from home following an emphatic win away at Charlton with a defeat at West Brom. In Cole's absence last week Sibierski put in a man of the match performance as the front man against Birmingham but his starting place is not guaranteed. Wigan's togetherness as a team give them the edge at home and they should take advantage of City's inconsistences on the road.|
|Home Win 1-0|
|Mon 5:15||Aston Villa v Everton|
|The televised evening game looks to be the lottery of the weekend. Last week O'Leary sent his team out at home for a point against the attacking prowess of United and it was no surprise that they failed to get anything from the game, especially given Mellberg's absence. They have only 2 wins at home from 8 games and play Everton who are just 1 place below them and on the same number of points. Both are perilously close to the relegation fodder and either could be dragged into it if results don't go their way. Everton may have 3 wins from 9 away games but this doesn't disguise the fact that they are a poor side and the fact that they can't put a decent run together reflects this. Every time you think that they are starting to make progress they falter with a heavy defeat; away at West Brom and at home to Bolton. This one could swing either way hence the undecided prediction of a draw.|