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 Fri 14th to Sun 16th April 2006.
|Fri 7:45||Man Utd v Sunderland|
|It's second versus bottom and based on current form is one of the mismatches of the season. Defeat for Sunderland will finally mathematically condemn them to the Championship and it's unlikely to be a Good Friday for them. United can do nothing but win at the moment and last weekend's win over Arsenal will have them full of confidence and eager to keep the pressure on Chelsea. United have only conceded 8 goals at Old Trafford and much as we like to see the underdog do well, Sunderland are unlikely to even score. This has a home win stamped all over it.|
|Home Win 3-0|
|Sat 12:45||Bolton v Chelsea|
|Away from home Bolton have had a disappointing run with 4 defeats on the trot and no win in six but at the Reebok, where they have only conceded 9 goals and won 4 of the last 6, they should give Chelsea a run for their money. The visitors may think that they have the title sewn up after a convincing 10 man win over West Ham but the Hammers weren't really in the frame and Chelsea are a different kettle of fish away from home recently where thay have only secured 1 win from the last 5. For Chelsea to succeed it will be key that the likes of Drogba put in the same level of performance as last weekend but without the Stamford Bridge fans behind him who can be sure that he won't revert to type and find it difficult keeping his feet. Bolton will be a difficult proposition for Chelsea and it's possible that Chelsea will drop points here keeping the title wide open.|
|Sat 3:00||Arsenal v West Brom|
|Despite only getting a point at Fratton Park, Arsenal have good home form with 12 wins from 16 games and should gain revenge over West Brom for an earlier season defeat at the Hawthorns. Wenger has been experimenting with his team recently at a stage where they need to take maximum points to secure 4th spot; unless of course he's confident they're going to win the Champions League but he should revert to a more settled eleven after the defeat at Old Trafford and only a draw against Pompey. Excepting Sunderland, West Brom are now the worst off of the Premiership sides battling against relegation but only by a point. With 5 games to go West Brom, Portsmouth and Birmingham have to treat every game like a cup final. The Baggies away form is pitiful with only 1 win on the road so it looks like a guaranteed 3 points at Highbury for the home team.|
|Home Win 2-0|
|Everton v Tottenham|
|Everton will still believe that they have an outside chance of Europe but their winning sequence at Goodison Park was brought to an end by a virtually relegated Sunderland side. When playing Everton the opposition needs to compete physically and Spurs don't usually compete convincingly on this level. They will try and play Everton on the counter and have the players to do this but in recent matches they have shown a nervousness that could cost them points. Spurs need to play with the belief that they can hang on to 4th spot and keep the likes of Blackburn and Arsenal at bay, especially given that they still have to host United and go to Highbury. If Spurs played with more confidence they would have started favourites but Everton are likely to get back to winning ways and give Spurs some food for thought.|
|Home Win 1-0|
|Fulham v Charlton|
|Fulham are still in danger of getting caught by the teams fighting against relegation below them but one more win should see them safe whilst Charlton now have nothing left to play for this season after being dumped out of the FA Cup by Boro. Fulham have won 10 of 16 home games where as Charlton have only taken 3 points from their last 6 Premiership away games. The fact that Fulham have more to play for and that their home form is pretty good should be enough to see them backed as favourites to take all 3 points.|
|Home Win 2-0|
|Newcastle v Wigan|
|Only 2 places and and 3 points now separate these 2 sides but only just before Christmas it was a completely different story. Newcastle have been on a good run since Roeder and Shearer took over from Souness with only 1 defeat from the last 6 home games; Shearer has these last few games of his playing career to motivate himself and in turn the rest of the squad; not an issue as he has always lead by example. Wigan's form has dropped off recently although somewhat surprisingly it is their record at the JJB that has suffered; on the road they have not lost in their last six but St James Park is always an intimidating place to go. Newcastle's win at local rivals Boro will have them confident that they can continue their good form and make qualification for Europe a reality.|
|Home Win 3-1|
|Portsmouth v Middlesbrough|
|If this were a Cup game you'd probably be better off backing Boro but domestically they should be safe and have nothing left to play for. Portsmouth, however, are fighting for their lives and will have pencilled this in as a must win game; after a great draw against Arsenal this is now their fifth successive game without defeat and Harry now has all hands on board fighting for the cause. Probably not as cut and dried as it sounds but Portsmouth should be confident and should get that vital win.|
|Home Win 2-1|
|West Ham v Man City|
|The Hammers got battered at Stamford Bridge probably because their hearts were still in Dubai and their thoughts were on their pending FA Cup semi-final. Pardew is bound to give them a wake-up call before this game and with only 1 home defeat in their last 6 they should feel confident of taking advantage of a City side that have been poor recently; their loss at Spurs was their fifth straight defeat and their worst run in 10 years whilst their away form can be summed up with 11 defeats from 16 games. Pearce has been publicly critical of his players and then quietly positive after the Spurs defeat; how will he react after another defeat at Upton Park.|
|Home Win 2-1|
|Sun 12:00||Aston Villa v Birmingham|
|Villa have the advantage in that they are 2 places and 7 points above local rivals Birmingham but the Blues know that they are up against it and need to take every potential point. Villa have several first team players out but still managed to hold other local rivals, West Brom, to a point at Villa Park last weekend. Their home form is not good with only 6 points from their last 6 games but they will feel that they can counter against a Blues side that will have to force the issue. Birmingham have only taken 2 points from their last 6 away games but their performances have dramatically improved and they are certainly creating enough chances; with 4 games to go after this fixture it is a fine decision Bruce will have to take as to how cavalier they can be. Villa are not out of danger yet but this result could be a telling one; despite the consequences it's likely to be a stalemate.|
|Sun 2:30||Blackburn v Liverpool|
|On paper this looks like being a good game with fifth playing third despite the huge gap of 16 points. Blackburn have only dropped 2 points at home in their last 6 games and have won 11 of 16 games at Ewood Park but Liverpool are always going to be a difficult proposition. Bellamy is on fire at the moment and wants to prove everyone wrong no matter that they're on his wavelength; whingeing is his trademark and he'll continue with it as long as it upsets the opposition. Liverpool have improved away from home recently and have 3 wins and 3 losses from their last 6 but they are firmly cemented in third place and are unlikely to catch United and are most definitely not going to be caught by anyone below them. Benitez may even think of resting players with the Easter schedule and their semi-final clash with Chelsea in mind. Fowler still has a contract extension to play for and compared to the current crop of strikers deserves a sniff. If Blackburn play as they can expect them to nick this.|
|Home Win 1-0|