Premier league 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 12th to Sun 13th January 2008.
||Arsenal v Birmingham|
|Arsenal maintained top spot after their win over the Hammers and they've dropped just 2 points at the Emirates all season. Recently the opposition have forced the Gunners to mix up their play with the long ball proving their saviour; this flexibility explains why they're still top of the pile. How they cope without the services of Toure, Eboue and Song over the next month will go some way to determining if they can hold off United during the second half of the season. Birmingham travel to the Emirates after Huddersfield dumped them out of the FA Cup and McLeish is now realising that the Cup is not necessarily magical for everyone. Their form on the road in the Premier league has not been good either with 3 successive defeats (the last by a single goal at Old Trafford). Birmingham are just 2 points and 2 places above the drop zone and need to pick up points soon but Arsenal are unlikely to be in charitable mood.|
|Home Win 2-0|
|Aston Villa v Reading|
|For the second time this season Villa were defeated at home by 2 goals from United; last weekend the Red Devils knocked them out of the FA Cup in the third round. Whilst Villa's away form has been exceptionally good, not the same could be said of their home form in the Premier league until the draw against City and the win over Spurs. O'Neill has concerns regarding the size of his squad and will try to strengthen during the transfer window although he knows it won't be easy. They host a Reading side struggling on the road; scoring goals has not necessarily been the problem (8 in 2 games at Portsmouth and Spurs) but conceding them certainly has; an average of 3 goals conceded per game on the road doesn't inspire confidence. Additionally they'll be without the services of Bikey and Sonko who are due to play in in the African Cup of Nations. Villa had better keep an eye on danger man, Kitson, but should take the 3 points.|
|Home Win 2-1|
|Derby v Wigan|
|Paul Jewell is yet to experience victory as the manager of Derby and long will that run continue if his players don't put an end to schoolboy errors; the like of which they showed in the 2-2 draw at home to Sheffield Wednesday. I say this every week but Derby are still bottom with just 7 points. Their sole victory this season came at home to Newcastle but their last 6 Premier league home games have all ended in defeat and you'd probably back them to lose at home against Wigan. No doubt Jewell will want to do well against his old club but Bruce has done reasonably well since leaving Birmingham; the Latics are now out of the bottom three although the situation is still perilous. Wigan are still in the FA Cup after a resounding victory at Sunderland and the 1-1 draw at Anfield shows they are heading in the right direction. Again this is a must win game for both sides but the only likely winners are the visitors.|
|Away Win 1-3|
|Everton v Man City|
|Everton were yet another side to exit the FA Cup and this was probably the most surprising given their great run of form recently; Moyes made some changes but didn't really field a weakened side and Yakubu's last minute shot against the post was not enough to save them at home to Oldham. The Toffees are now in the top six and deservedly so; 4 of their last 5 Premier league home games have all ended in victory with just a defeat to Arsenal. Moyes will be missing Yakubu, Yobo and Pienaar against a City side that registered only their second away win of the season at Newcastle. City reclaimed 4th spot from Liverpool with that Magpies victory after the Reds failed to beat Wigan. Eriksson's first season in the Premier league has undoubtedly been a success but whether or not they can reach the Champions League is too soon to tell. Everton will be weakened by their African absences and City could maybe snatch a point.|
|Middlesbrough v Liverpool|
|There's been much speculation regarding Benitez's future at Liverpool; Premier league results have certainly not gone to plan and their current 5th position is by no means good enough. The Premier league was allegedly Liverpool's priority this season but now it seems the focus has shifted to the Champions League. Benitez is hungry for more funds but is unlikely to get them and the exit door is possibly ajar. Victory at the Riverside is vital if Liverpool are to get back amongst the top four; Boro's mixed results continue with defeats at home in recent weeks by Everton and West Ham and an away battering at Birmingham, although they did scrape victory at Fratton Park. Southgate's men are just 3 points away from relegation (with poor goal difference) and the manager must be grateful for Steve Gibson's patience; there are plenty of other managers who would be. This is a vital game for both clubs but Liverpool should have the edge.|
|Away Win 0-1|
|West Ham v Fulham|
|Fulham are entrenched in relegation territory and it remains to be seen whether or not Hodgson can stop them from dropping into the Championship; the Cottagers have been threatened by the drop for several seasons and unless the manager is given money to spend in the transfer window, the outlook will not be an optimistic one. Fulham are yet to win on the road this season (although they've drawn 4 from 10) but won't find it easy at Upton Park against a West Ham side that came from behind to beat United just before the new year. The Hammers have lost just once at home in their last 7 games and should have too much for a struggling Fulham outfit.|
|Home Win 2-0|
|Sat 5:15||Man Utd v Newcastle|
|Rooney came off the bench to put Villa out of the Cup but their last couple of Premier league results haven't been so straight forward with defeat at Upton Park and a narrow victory at home to Birmingham. That West Ham defeat meant Arsenal took back the lead in the title race but with key players missing for Arsenal in January, United are bound to take any opportunities should the Gunners drop points. United have conceded only 3 goals and dropped just 3 points in their 11 home games this season and you wouldn't give Newcastle much of a chance especially given their recent form. Sam Allardyce's job is allegedly again under threat after a succession of disappointing results; defeats at home to City and away at Wigan were difficult for the fans to accept. The Magpies have salvaged just 8 points from their 10 away games this season, and I can't see United slipping up in what should be a comfortable home victory.|
|Home Win 3-0|
|Sun 1:30||Sunderland v Portsmouth|
|Sunderland were emphatically knocked out of the FA Cup by relegation rivals, Wigan, but both sides rested players and it probably bears no reflection as to the outcome of this result. The Mackems are still entrenched in relegation territory but there are several sides above them living in fear of being caught. Sunderland have lost just 1 of their last 6 Premier league home games but they face a Portsmouth side that are full of confidence on the road this season. Pompey dumped Ipswich out of the Cup at Portman Road, inflicting Ipswich's first home defeat of the season. Portsmouth may have slipped to 8th on the back of disappointing home form but on the road they've won 7 of their last 8 Premier league outings, only registering a big fat zero at Anfield. Harry will be missing Muntari, Bouba Diop, Kanu and Utaka but they should start favourites at the Stadium of Light.|
|Away Win 0-2|
|Sun 4:00||Bolton v Blackburn|
|These sides meet each other after both being knocked out of the FA Cup in the 3rd round on their respective home grounds by lower league clubs. Rovers are relatively comfortable in mid-table but Bolton are only 3 points above the drop zone and need points on the board. Bolton have not lost any of their last 6 home Premier league games with their last 4 all resulting in victory where as Blackburn have experienced much inconsistency recently. There have been victories recently for Blackburn against Sunderland and away at Derby but Bolton are not struggling as much as those sides and have picked up at home under Gary Megson. Despite Mokoena for Blackburn and El Hadji Diouf for Bolton away in Africa, this game should be tight but Bolton will be desperate and should nick a win.|
|Home Win 1-0|
|Mon 8:00||Chelsea v Tottenham|
|Chelsea may only be 6 points adrift of league leaders Arsenal but most believe the title to be a two horse race between Arsenal and United. The Blues have ridden their luck in recent weeks but the feeling is that it may just be about to run out; Essien, Drogba, Kalou and Mikel are off to the African Cup of Nations whilst Lampard and Terry are still recovering from injury. No wonder Chelsea have their eyes on £32m Berbatov and this game is the ideal shop window for the Spurs striker if he does indeed favour a move to either Old Trafford or Stamford Bridge. Spurs have lost their 2 last away games (at Villa Park and the Emirates) although both were tight games and the away side were always in with a shout. Given that Chelsea are short of match-winners, they could be a little toothless and Spurs should be worthy of a draw.|