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 midweek fixtures Tues 30th to Wed 31st January 2007.
|Tues 7:45||Portsmouth v Middlesbrough|
|Pompey's home form is usually pretty reliable but the defeat against Charlton proved that sometimes you might as well throw the form book out of the window. Portsmouth are still in 6th position and have only lost twice at home this season; defensively they look sound with Campbell proving the lynchpin but the goals have started to dry up. After giving Charlton their first away win of the season, they now face a Boro side that also claimed their first away victory recently when they beat Charlton at the Valley. Boro are steadily climbing away from the drop zone and are now happily ensconced in mid-table, but without the front two of Yakubu and Viduka, and Downing's return to form, it could well be a different story. Boro are improving but they leak a few too many goals (evidenced by their FA Cup display at Bristol City) and Pompey should prove too strong for them.|
|Home Win 1-0|
|Sheffield Utd v Fulham|
|These two sides lie in 16th and 15th places respectively but a whopping 5 points separates them. How the Blades would like to close the gap and climb further towards Premiership safety! United have only lost twice in their last 6 home fixtures where as Fulham have only taken 3 points in their last 6 away games; 3 draws in the last 3 as it happens. If Sheffield United can get an early goal they should be favourites to hold on for a win but Fulham have shown increased resilience on the road this year and had they reproduced their home form of last year they would be far more comfortable as the season gets well into its latter half. Coleman has pulled off a good signing in Montella but the trip to Bramall Lane may be a tad more physical than he's experienced so far in the Premiership. A close call but the Blades have surprised many and with a bit of luck another 2 points could be theirs.|
|Home Win 1-0|
|West Ham v Liverpool|
|Losing FA Cup finalists last season, West Ham, were knocked out by a pluckier Watford side at the weekend and now face the rest of the season struggling to get out of the drop zone. A new chairman, new manager and new players all point to a club in transition and the lack of familiar faces will make it harder for the club to retain Premiership status. Magnusson believes he can just throw money at the problem but £60k a week for Lucas Neill seems a bit steep. Ironically, Neill faces a late fitness test after injuring his ankle and with only 1 recognised centre half fully fit (Davenport), the Hammers defence will be stretched in their efforts to contain a Liverpool side that have revived their away form. Defeat by Arsenal in the cups means that Liverpool have had a 10 day rest and with 4 wins from their last 5 fixtures on the road, they should be expected to compound West Ham's problems. It should be a game that the Reds will relish.|
|Away Win 0-2|
|Tues 8:00||Reading v Wigan|
|Reading are the side performing the wonders that Wigan managed last season, and while Reading look down on their opponents from 8th place Wigan are struggling to avoid being sucked into the relegation places. Only 2 points is the difference currently keeping the Latics' heads above water, and with their away form heading in the same direction as their home form it looks like Jewell's side is in freefall. Wigan have taken 11 points on the road but they are up against a confident Reading side that have only lost 4 times at home, and those defeats only came to sides above them. Outside the top four, Reading are equal top scorers on their home turf with 21 goals and with Dave Kitson finally fit after his injury on the opening day, Coppell's lads are bound to be knocking on Wigan's door.|
|Home Win 3-1|
|Wed 7:45||Chelsea v Blackburn|
|After Chelsea surprisingly lost at Liverpool, Mourinho has had 2 cup games against lower league opposition to get the confidence back. They may still be 6 points behind United but Shevchenko will relish an opportunity against Premiership opposition after getting on the scoresheet 3 times in those 2 cup victories. Terry could be back to partner Carvalho for Blackburn's visit and we should start to see more of a familiar look to the Chelsea lineup. Blackburn could also welcome back a centre half; Ryan Nelsen could return after missing virtually the whole season through injury, but Hughes will be without both Ooijer and Savage after they both suffered broken legs in the last week. Rovers' away form has been fairly good recently with 3 victories in 4 before they lost out at Vicarage Road; however, they did recover at the weekend to avoid embarrassment at Luton. Mourinho will be keen not to falter again so soon after Anfield and they should keep up the pressure on United.|
|Home Win 2-0|
|Wed 8:00||Bolton v Charlton|
|Charlton are second from bottom but have closed the gap on the sides above them after their shock victory at Fratton Park. Pardew achieved the club's first away win since November 2005 but the chances of them following this up with a successive away victory remain a remote possibility. Just 4 points on the road this season doesn't give Charlton much hope when they travel to the Reebok. At home Bolton have only dropped 5 points in their last 6 games and they even went to the Emirates and forced Arsenal to a replay in the FA Cup. Nolan is a key player for the Trotters and Allardyce will be pleased to see him back on the scoresheet with his second goal in successive games. Traditionally, the Reebok is a difficult place to go and Charlton should struggle against a physical Bolton side, but then Fratton Park was another tricky away venue last weekend. However, lightening doesn't usually strike twice.|
|Home Win 2-0|
|Man Utd v Watford|
|United may have endured defeat at the Emirates after going a goal up but the gap still remains 6 points after Chelsea slipped up at Anfield. Rooney has refound his goal touch after firing his side through to the next round of the FA Cup against Premiership side Portsmouth. United have dropped just 5 points at Old Trafford this season and it seems incomprehensible that Aidy Boothroyd's men can go there and get anything of consequence in their relegation battle. Despite this, it's been a good week for Watford with a win over Blackburn at Vicarage Road in the Premiership, and then another victory away at West Ham to progress through to the next round of the FA Cup; and all without £9.65m Ashley Young. The Hornets are currently adrift of safety by 7 points, and though it looks like they are at last stepping up to the mark, Old Trafford is likely to yield very little for them.|
|Home Win 3-0|
|Newcastle v Aston Villa|
|Only 2 places and 1 point separate these two as they go into a match that will probably find them inseparable at the final whistle. After some impressive results at home to United and then a victory at White Hart Lane, the Magpies have failed to convince with a horrific defeat at home to Birmingham in the FA Cup and then they could only manage a draw against the Hammers; a point gifted to them by a dodgy offside decision. Their injuries are well publicised but the inconsistencies displayed by the same set of players needs to be resolved. Villa travel to St James Park as the draw specialists and have new boy, Ashley Young, raring to go after his transfer from Watford; does nearly £10m seem a bit much for an albeit good player with only 3 Premiership goals? At least O'Neill has offloaded Baros in order to help raise the funds. On the road, Villa have just a solitary victory and their last 3 have all ended in defeat, but this time around they should do enough to earn a point.|