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 30th December 2006.
|Sat 12:45||Charlton v Aston Villa|
|Pardew rallied his troops for his first game in charge as Charlton manager and was robbed of a victory in injury time by a poor refereeing decision; that said, Fulham were the better team in the second half and Charlton were reduced to playing on the counter. Despite being second from bottom, Charlton have lost just the once in their last 6 home fixtures and with someone who knows what they're doing now in charge, they could get something from the Villa game. Although Villa are in a poor run of recent form, they have drawn 7 of 10 games on the road and are just waiting to bring in some new faces to strengthen the squad. Assuming Pardew's honeymoon period is not yet over and Villa are generally hard to beat, a draw could be the preferred option.|
|Sat 3:00||Blackburn v Middlesbrough|
|Only 1 point and 1 place separate these 2 sides in the wrong half of the table. Both are treading dangerously close to the relegation places and a victory will be vital. At home, Rovers have only won 2 in their last 6 and did well to see off Liverpool in their last game despite being under the cosh for much of the second half. Keeping Liverpool out after their recent away successes will have given Hughes's side a lift and they should go into the Boro game with some confidence. Hopefully, Friedel will be back after a dead leg to keep out a Boro side yet to win on the road this season. Away from the Riverside, Boro have only secured 2 points in their last 6 games, and with the Christmas fixture congestion could find another away game a big ask. Boro may have got a point at Goodison but are unlikely to find Ewood Park as happy a hunting ground. Rovers to edge it.|
|Home Win 1-0|
|Bolton v Portsmouth|
|These two are separated by just 1 point and 1 place as they battle it out for the remaining Champions League spot; this statement is a tad presumptious halfway through the season as the likes of Liverpool and Spurs are bound to have a say as May draws ever closer. In their last 2 games, Pompey have scored 4 goals directly from corners courtesy of Primus, Campbell and Pamarot; if there's anything Bolton are good at, it is defending from set pieces, and they should be well aware of the aerial threat posed by Portsmouth. Bolton have won 3 of their last 4 at home and did well to come back against Newcastle after going a goal down. On the road Pompey have won just 3 from 10 but they've taken 5 points from their last 3 fixtures. Barring any headed set pieces or Matt Taylor spectaculars, this should go Bolton's way.|
|Home Win 1-0|
|Chelsea v Fulham|
|Chelsea will expect to have the upper hand in this less temperate of London derbies, but the big blow for them has been the injury to John Terry and how they have missed him, not only for his defensive qualities but also his leadership skills. Another 2 points dropped at home to Reading emphasises the point and Mourinho's worry is that the date of Terry's return to action is unknown. Chelsea have still not lost at the Bridge this season and that stat is not liable to change against a Fulham side with only 1 point from their last 4 away games; that point coming Wednesday night with a last gasp equaliser against a Charlton side playing under their third manager of the season. Fulham concede an average of at least 2 goals a game on the road and with Drogba in fine form, Chelsea should win by a couple.|
|Home Win 2-0|
|Everton v Newcastle|
|Everton have only lost twice at home this season but they have an inconsistency about them and miss the surging runs of Cahill from midfield. Without him, they have very few who contribute with goals, the most notable scorer being Johnson, so it won't be surprising to see a host of names linked with Moyes's side during the transfer window. They play host to a Newcastle side that have actually lost their last 2 away fixtures but in general, Roeder seems to be getting more out of them. They are getting some of their injured players back and the partnership of Martins and Dyer looks to be a dangerous one; if only the defence can cut out the silly mistakes that so often cost them points. The Magpies put in a good performance at Bolton in midweek despite not getting anything after going ahead, and maybe they are capable of getting something at Goodison after their northeast rivals did just that with a goalless draw. A point apiece and very little to choose between them.|
|Man Utd v Reading|
|United managed to extend their lead over Chelsea to 4 points after the Blues slipped up against Reading and United took full advantage at home to Wigan. Once again, Ronaldo came on to save the day and is having a season to remember; Ferguson admitting that he'd pay money to see him play is a compliment he pays to very few. The Red Devils have dropped just 5 points at Old Trafford and will start favourites to win the game despite Reading's brave draw at Stamford Bridge on Boxing Day. The Royals have only lost once in their last 4 on the road and this could be a great game to watch as both sides love to give it their all; the clincher is home advantage and the United attack, as Reading could struggle to keep them out, as most sides do. I don't expect United to falter against less than the very best.|
|Home Win 2-0|
|Tottenham v Liverpool|
|If Spurs can snatch victory against a Liverpool side less than impressive away from the safety of Anfield, they will go level on points with the Reds, although behind on goal difference. Usually Spurs have faltered against the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and United but victory at home to Chelsea has given Spurs back some self-belief and a win against Liverpool will have sides wary of visiting the fortress that is fast becoming White Hart Lane. Twelve successive victories at home in all competitions (7 in the Premiership) sets them up as firm favourites against a Liverpool side with just 2 Premiership away wins. They did score 7 goals in those 2 wins against Charlton and Wigan but the narrow defeat at Ewood Park on Boxing Day signifies that the Liverpool transformation on the road could have been short term. Spurs to win by a narrow margin and Defoe to get the winner.|
|Home Win 1-0|
|Watford v Wigan|
|Watford may be rock bottom but not many sides travel to Vicarage Road and come away with anything more than a point. The Hornets have only lost 3 of their 9 home games and Arsenal only managed to claim victory against them midweek as they entered the last 7 minutes of the game. Watford are one of the hardest working sides in the Premiership but lack that quality in the final third; Boothroyd will want to sign new players in the transfer window but will have difficulty attracting decent players given their league position. Their opponents, Wigan, have lost half of their away games but their 3 away victories have come in their last 6. Wigan did start the season inconsistently but are gradually pulling themselves together but could still be dragged back into the drop zone if results go against them. The injury to Camara will have been a big blow and moments of inspiration could be at a premium; it has an air of stalemate about it.|
|West Ham v Man City|
|It seems Curbishley's honeymoon period is already over after defeat at home to Portsmouth to 2 identical set pieces; not only that but the signs were there for all to see when Portsmouth played Sheffield Utd just before Christmas. The Hammers remain in the drop zone but a win could carry them out of it if the Blades lose at home to Arsenal. West Ham have won 4 of their last 6 home games and play a City side that have just 7 points from their 10 away fixtures; 6 of those points coming in their last 3. City will be disappointed that Joey Barton failed with his appeal against his recent red card and his absence will be key to handing the points to West Ham; Barton has been a shining light in a City side that have been abysmal on the road. Both managers will be anxious for good performances and the winning one is more likely to come from the home side.|
|Home Win 1-0|
|Sat 5:15||Sheffield Utd v Arsenal|
|Sheffield Utd are just above the relegation places and have just 2 wins at Bramall Lane; surprisingly, they have more wins on the road this season. With the traditional Christmas fixture congestion, Warnock has virtually admitted that he may play a weakened side against Arsenal with Monday's visit to the Riverside in mind. The Blades have lost 3 of their last 6 home games and with advantage possibly handed to Wenger, it is up to the Gunners to try an close the gap with Chelsea. Arsenal have reclaimed 3rd spot and won their last 2 on their travels; since the captaincy has been handed to Gilberto, he has blossomed and lead by example with the right attitude and goals aplenty. Adebayor will be out for this trip after suffering a thigh strain so Baptista is bound to start, but most startling has been their form without the talismanic Henry. Arsenal have the players to outpass United and if they get on the ball, there should be only one winner.|
|Away Win 0-2|