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 20th to Sun 21st January 2007.
|Sat 12:45||Liverpool v Chelsea|
|Third plays second in the first big match of the weekend and as far as it goes, it looks like Liverpool hold most of the aces. Liverpool are yet to lose at home in the Premiership and with the win at Vicarage Road, confidence should be back after the heavy defeats to Arsenal in the cup competitions. Much depends on the side that Benitez picks; he's cocked it up a few times this season but a win will put Liverpool in with a realistic chance of challenging for second place. By the same token Chelsea know that they require victory if they are to catch United, especially as United are away at Arsenal. However, things are not all fine and dandy at Stamford Bridge; John Terry is still out injured, they've lost twice away in the Premiership and the relationship between Mourinho and Abramovich looks to be at breaking point with the potential signing of Fernando Torres another contentious issue. If Benitez picks the right team, this could be Liverpool's day.|
|Home Win 1-0|
|Sat 3:00||Aston Villa v Watford|
|This could see the end of Villa's terrible run against a Watford side that have secured just 1 win all season, and that coming at Vicarage Road. It's looking increasingly like Watford will be unable to resist the revenue generated from the sale of their best player, Ashley Young, but with their relegation a virtual certainty, they are probably thinking more about the future and gaining promotion back to the Premiership next season. The Hornets give 100% commitment but lack the quality; hard work and battling spirit are only part of the package required for a long Premiership campaign. Villa's last victory came at Everton on the 11th November with injuries and a thin squad conspiring against O'Neill's good start. The Villa manager is a shrewd man and will not panic buy but he's likely to dip into the transfer market fairly soon. The big bonus for him will be the availability of Gareth Barry after suspension and it wouldn't be too much of a surprise if he got on the scoresheet, after already scoring 8 times this season. A rare ray of sunshine at Villa Park this weekend in what could prove a vital victory.|
|Home Win 1-0|
|Fulham v Tottenham|
|Fulham may have lost their captain to West Ham but they put in a gritty performance against the Hammers and left Upton Park with a point. In addition to Montella who managed to score on his home debut in the FA Cup replay against Leicester, Coleman is rumoured to be after the experienced Alexei Smertin and he wants to make Routledge a permanent signing. Fulham's recent results have picked up and just 1 defeat in their last 6 home Premiership fixtures shows that Craven Cottage is a difficult place to go. Spurs' away form is woeful with just 1 win and only 7 goals on the road; Jol has conceded that the Champions League is beyond them this season but unless they start to pick up points away from home then they might as well say goodbye to Europe all together (unless they qualify via 1 of the 3 cup competitions that they're still in). They need to pick up after the home defeat to Newcastle, a game which they dominated for long periods and should have won easily, but ultimately paid the price; without King they look vulnerable every time the opposition attack and they will hope that he is fit for Saturday after suffering a bruised foot. With Spurs' poor away form this looks like a surefire win for Fulham.|
|Home Win 1-0|
|Middlesbrough v Bolton|
|Boro should have a little more sunshine in their step after they notched their first away win of the season, and coupled with victory in their FA Cup replay, maybe things are starting to turn Southgate's way. The experienced partnership of Yakubu and Viduka has made a difference in terms of goals whilst Woodgate has instilled some stability at the back. They may still be closer to the drop zone than the manager would like but 6 wins from 11 home games, with some notable scalps amongst them, will have Boro confident that they can take 3 points at home to Bolton. The Trotters tend to dip in and out of form and are flying high in 5th but on their travels have lost 3 of their last 5, and failed to beat Man City at the Reebok last weekend in what was a deathly dull affair. Bolton do miss Kevin Nolan when he's unavailable and no doubt Sam will be looking to add to his squad; losing out to Blackburn at the last minute regarding the signing of David Dunn will not have pleased him. Boro can win this one but it won't be pretty.|
|Home Win 2-1|
|Newcastle v West Ham|
|West Ham's away record is the worst in the Premiership bar Charlton's and only 2 points on their travels has contributed to their relegation fears. Curbishley has made a difference since coming in but injury to Tevez and Zamora's sending off leaves him short of attacking options, with Ashton unlikely to return before the end of the month. Of bigger concern may be his side leaking 3 goals at home to Fulham and not the sort of defensive record you want to take to St James Park; he will be hoping that Davenport can make a difference. Newcastle showed immense spirit at White Hart Lane with the way they snatched victory, but a warning to those who reckon goalkeepers don't win you matches; Given kept his side in the game for the first 20 minutes when really they should have been 3 or 4 goals down. Roeder still has plenty of injuries but he doesn't bleat on about it and has blooded some young players to great effect; Martins looks on fire and who can wait to see Oba and Owen striking in tandem. It seems remarkable that the same side could lose 5-1 at home to Birmingham in the FA Cup replay but we'll ignore that for the purposes of this preview. The Magpies have not lost any of their last 5 Premiership home games and should chalk up another 3 points against the Hammers.|
|Home Win 2-1|
|Portsmouth v Charlton|
|Pompey have lost just the once at Fratton Park and last weekend they even managed a point at Bramall Lane. The equalising goal from Gary O'Neill means that he can now make that long overdue barber's appointment; he scored 7 last season, maybe this could just open the floodgates. Redknapp's side are flying high in 6th place and with a 5 point gap between themselves and Everton, should be odds on for a place in Europe. They host a Charlton side looking down the barrel after their home defeat to Boro. Pardew's next 4 games are Pompey away, Bolton away, Chelsea at home and United away; coupled with Darren Bent's injury it looks like nil points for the foreseeable future. Pards may even have problems attracting players given their lowly position and 6 points from safety. Only 1 point on the road for Charlton puts the ball firmly in Portsmouth's court and there should be no slipping up.|
|Home Win 2-0|
|Reading v Sheffield Utd|
|These 2 played each other in mid-September and Reading emerged victorious by 2 goals to 1; don't expect much to change for this encounter. Seven places and 7 points separate the automically promoted sides in the Premiership and whilst both have done well, Reading are having a far more comfortable season; however, losing goalscorer Doyle to injury leaves Coppell with fewer attacking options. The Royals have lost just 4 of their 11 home games and are proving a tough nut to crack for most Premiership sides. United may know them better than most after last season's Championship rivalry but the question is, can Warnock make that knowledge count? The Blades have won 3 games on the road but threw away 2 points at home to Portsmouth last weekend after a defensive mix up lead to Pompey's equaliser. They will need to be at their best at the back, especially after Reading made the most of West Ham's comedy defence by whacking them to the tune of 6 goals. Reading should make it another 3 points but Sheffield United are capable of springing a surprise.|
|Home Win 2-0|
|Sat 5:15||Man City v Blackburn|
|Only 2 points and 2 places separate these 2 sides buried in the middle of the Premiership table. City have only lost twice at Eastlands but these 2 defeats have come in their 3 most recent home games. The bonus for Pearce will have been Barton pledging his future to the club; as one of their best players it is vital for Pearce that he stays, especially as SWP has been priced out of the market. Their opponents, Blackburn, have improved recently away from Ewood Park with 2 wins from their last 3 away games but they did lose at home to 10 man Arsenal, although only by 2 goals this time rather than the embarrassing 6-2 defeat that came at the Emirates. Neill's move to Liverpool has still not been completed and may not happen now as Reid is out for the remainder of the season. City have faltered a little recently where as Rovers have upped their game but this could all end in stalemate.|
|Sun 1:30||Wigan v Everton|
|Wigan are on a terrible run of results having lost their last 5 successive home games and they tread ever closer to the drop zone. Only the fact that the teams below them have not yet put together any decent form leaves them safe but it would only take a Hammers win to absorb the 3 point cushion and it would just be goal difference keeping them the right side of the line. Jewell is missing 2 big players in Scharner and Camara; at Chelsea, Heskey didn't get enough support up front by himself and I imagine at the JJB either Johansson or Cotterill will partner him. Moyes takes his side to the JJB this weekend after a hard fought victory over Reading; much was made of Rocky's appearance but something had to be better than Everton's performance. The bonus for the Toffees was the return of Cahill from injury and though he'snot back to his best yet, he still finds good goalscoring positions and works well with Johnson. Everton have only 2 victories on the road but Wigan are poor at the moment and the away side are on the sniff for a European place; not a pretty game to watch but I suspect Everton will steal it.|
|Away Win 0-1|
|Sun 4:00||Arsenal v Man Utd|
|Fourth meets top in arguably the biggest game of the weekend. With Liverpool having played Chelsea the day before, both sides will know what they need to do. If possible, United will want to increase the points gap over Chelsea whilst Arsenal will want to leapfrog Liverpool into third place. The Gunners are yet to lose at the Emirates but will be without the services of Gilberto after his dismissal at Ewood Park; also, despite Henry's recent performance after returning from injury many are not convinced that he is a big time player, and maybe this could be the occasion for him to prove the doubters wrong. United travel to Arsenal as league leaders and have lost just the once on the road; a disappointing defeat to a solitary goal at Upton Park. Either of these 2 sides are capable of winning this one and as we have seen so far this season, they can both turn on the style, score goals and concede very few. There's plenty at stake but very little to choose between them.|