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 midweek fixtures Tues 20th to Thu 22nd December 2011.
|Tues 7:45||Wolverhampton v Norwich|
|The only solace for Mick McCarthy is that the teams below them are no better although Wigan are the only side currently getting points on the board; however, that could change with the Latics facing a very tough Christmas on the fixture front. Wolves' recent run of home form with a draw and 2 victories has been enough to keep them out of the bottom three but the only sparkle for them over the weekend was the performance of Matt Jarvis. The England winger has come back into form and Stoke's Woodgate just couldn't handle him. Tony Pulis was left with no option other than to take him off before he was sent off, something that should've arguably happened when Jarvis won Wolves a penalty. Wolves will need to improve if they're to get anything against a Norwich side sticking to their principles of playing on the front foot. Keeper Ruddy was in fine form at Goodison but the Canaries are still yet to keep a clean sheet this season. As long as they're not flirting with relegation, Lambert is prepared to continue with the attacking style which'll make for a good game at Molineux. As they did at Everton, both Holt and Morison could start making it an uncomfortable evening for Johnson and Berra. Norwich are full of confidence and might just have enough to pip Wolves.|
|Away Win 1-2|
|Tues 8:00||Blackburn v Bolton|
|It's all or nothing at Ewood Park with the bottom 2 sides slugging it out for survival. A win is paramount for both clubs and the losing side will find themselves isolated at the bottom of the pile come Christmas. Both managers are also fighting to keep their jobs and a defeat could spell the sack. There's almost more to lose in this match than there is to be won. Both sides lost at the weekend but the major difference is that Blackburn have a goal threat where as Bolton offer very little in that regard. The Trotters have scored just twice in their last 5 matches and have lost them all. To be fair, Rovers haven't done much better but their games have been tighter and they've scored in all of their last 5 Premier League matches, a total of 10 goals to be precise. Plus they've lost to last minute winners in their last 2 games (away at Sunderland and at home to West Brom). This won't be pretty with so much at stake but Blackburn look like carrying more of a threat.|
|Home Win 2-1|
|Wed 7:45||Aston Villa v Arsenal|
|Villa were torn apart by Liverpool at the weekend and can count themselves fortunate they weren't on the wrong end of a bigger defeat. Only Charles N'Zogbia looked like posing any sort of Villa threat with both Agbonlahor and Bent out injured, though surprisingly Bent was snapped out shopping; supporting his teammates might've been more appropriate. Villa have lost their last 2 home matches (against United and Liverpool) and the pressure will only become more intense with the visit of Arsenal. The Gunners gave a good account of themselves at the Etihad despite losing out to a David Silva tap-in. Wenger's side are already struggling defensively with injuries and Djourou could now face 3 weeks out with a groin strain. That said, the young Miquel came on at left back and did OK and a back line that's improved in recent weeks should be alright at Villa Park. Song is suspended after picking up a 5th yellow card but Frimpong or Coquelin could come in. Arsenal are now 12 points behind league leaders City and Wenger rightly conceded that the title is gone. However, that won't stop them going to Villa Park believing that they can take maximum points.|
|Away Win 0-2|
|Man City v Stoke|
|Stoke have won their last 4 Premier League matches including victories away at Everton and Wolves despite contesting every other week in the Europa League. Tony Pulis has learned to juggle his side successfully but he faces a big challenge ahead of the trip to Man City. Shawcross received a 5th yellow in the win over Wolves so misses out whilst Woodgate looked out of his depth and was hauled off early. Pulis faces a decision as to who partners Huth in the centre of defence and Upson may well be preferred to Woodgate. City maintained their 100% home record this season by beating Arsenal over the weekend but the Gunners ran them close. Only United are within touching distance of City at the top of the table and Mancini's men could stretch their lead further should United fail to successfully negotiate a tricky game at Fulham. City are only missing Kolarov through injury and maybe their biggest test will come when the Toure brothers depart for the African Cup of Nations but such is their strength in depth that they should have no problems plugging the holes. Though Stoke are playing to their strengths and winning, the visit to the Etihad represents a step up in quality and City will no doubt find it easy to pick them off.|
|Home Win 2-0|
|Newcastle v West Brom|
|The Magpies battered Swansea last weekend but failed to land the killing blow with the woodwork conspiring to keep them out. Coloccini returned to the heart of their defence to partner Perch with Williamson on the bench and it seems normal service was resumed, at least defensively. Ryan Tylor is expected to return at right back in place of Santon after recovering from an ankle knock giving their defence a more familiar look. Their midfield suffers this week with Cabaye and Gosling both banned whilst Guthrie is expected to be out with a groin injury until mid-January. However, Pardew was boosted by the return of Tiote against Swansea and it's West Brom manager, Roy Hodgson, who has worries over his midfield with Morrison, Mulumbu and Scharner all rated doubtful for the trip to St James Park. The Baggies put the misery of losing at home to Wigan behind them by winning at Ewood Park thanks to a late Odemwingie goal. That was their first victory since the win over Bolton in mid-November and though their situation has eased, it remains precarious in the bottom half of the table. West Brom haven't been the most consistent of sides making a prediction all the more difficult but Newcastle's returning defensive players swing it for me.|
|Home Win 1-0|
|Wed 8:00||Everton v Swansea|
|Royston Drenthe's impact from the bench was once again instrumental in Everton rescuing a point against Norwich and the Dutch midfielder almost grabbed the winner just before the end. The lowest Premier League crowd of David Moyes's tenure watched the Toffees fail to beat the newly promoted side and they face another similar challenge in Swansea. The Swans play good football but are also capable of grinding out a result as they did at Newcastle. That was Swansea's 3rd draw in their last 4 Premier League matches on the road and I expect another gritty performance against an Everton side struggling for goals. Their lone striker, Saha, hasn't scored since October with the Toffees averaging just over a goal a game. Everton's strong defensive performances against the weaker sides have kept them afloat this season but they're only 4 points above the relegation places. Expect another game of near misses but there'll be no goal glut.|
|Fulham v Man Utd|
|United looked like they were struggling over the last couple of months until the emphatic home win over Wolves. They looked comfortable at Loftus Road last weekend and should've scored more if truth be told. There's even talk that United could be reinstated in the Champions League if the Swiss FA fail to punish Sion meaning Basel would be thrown out of the competition by FIFA. That aside, United have won their last 4 Premier League away matches and Rooney looks back in the mood after scoring 3 in his last 2 games. Hernandez also came on against QPR as United's injuries gradually ease. They travel to Craven Cottage where Fulham haven't been as dominant as they usually are. They've won their last 2 on home soil (against Liverpool and Bolton) with Saturday's win over the Trotters giving them some much needed breathing space. Murphy returned to the starting line-up for that victory though Bobby Zamora sat out with a knee problem. Fulham have the capacity to beat anyone on their day but I fancy United to sneak this.|
|Away Win 0-1|
|QPR v Sunderland|
|Neither of these sides offered much at the weekend against stiffer opposition. Sunderland failed to muster a fightback at White Hart Lane as they did on O'Neill's debut at home to Blackburn. The Mackems have now lost their last 3 away fixtures though their appears to be more resolve under the Northern Irish manager. Their situation is a perilous one just a point above the relegation places but a win would see them move above their opponents and give them some breathing space. Rangers were undone by United as early as the 1st minute in the early Sunday kick-off and a combination of less than clinical finishing and great keeping from Cerny stopped the scoreline from getting worse until Joey Barton gave the ball away early in the second half. The game was effectively over at that point and some have hinted that it'll be a very difficult 2nd half of the season for QPR. Taarabt showed some good touches when he came on for the final 24 minutes and my guess is the luxury player will start against Sunderland. Rangers have taken just a point from their last 4 games and have won just a single home fixture this season. There's little to choose between these two and they may have to settle for a point apiece.|
|Wigan v Liverpool|
|We keep writing Wigan off along with most of the other punters out there but they keep coming back. The Latics salvaged a draw at home to Chelsea last weekend and have taken 8 points from the last 5 matches. Their only defeat in that sequence was a 4 goal hammering at home to Arsenal. Martinez hit the nail on the head when he said his side's not one that will win games with clean sheets; however they don't have an out-and-out striker that'll get them the goals to keep them up. Di Santo and Gomez have looked their biggest threats but they only have 4 Premier League goals each for the season. At least Wigan can see the light at the end of the tunnel with safety just a point away but Christmas is a massive time for them with Liverpool next and then trips to Old Trafford and Stoke coming up. Liverpool comfortably won at Villa Park and their away record has been impressive this season. They've won 7 of their last 8 on the road in all competitions including 2 victories over Chelsea; their only defeat came at Craven Cottage after Spearing was given a straight red. The statistics back Liverpool but Wigan will feel they're moving in the right direction although their progress is likely to be thwarted over the festive period.|
|Away Win 0-2|
|Thu 8:00||Tottenham v Chelsea|
|Spurs recovered from their defeat at Stoke by beating Sunderland at White Hart Lane even if the lilywhites weren't all that convincing despite dominating possession. They leapfrogged their next opponents Chelsea who couldn't hold on to the lead at Wigan and must've left the DW Stadium disappointed. Bale and Defoe both missed the win over Sunderland but could possibly make it for Thursday's showdown. Lennon won't feature though after being forced to leave the pitch with a suspected hamstring tear. Spurs have won all their Premier League matches at White Hart Lane with the exception of their opening home fixture mauling by Man City. They currently hold a 2 point advantage over Chelsea making this a 'must win' game for the Blues especially if Villas-Boas's men believe they can still catch the league leaders. Chelsea looked like making it 4 Premier League wins on the bounce until Gomez struck late in the match at Wigan. The Blues have now dropped points in 4 of their 8 away fixtures including defeats at Old Trafford and Loftus Road. Injuries have forced both Luiz and Ramires to sit out training this week though both are thought to be close to a return. Terry also suffered an ankle scare in training but is thought to be OK. With injuries to key players possibly affecting both sides, it's difficult to pick a winner and a draw looks the best value in what could be a great game.|