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 18th to Mon 20th August 2012.
|Sat 3:00||Arsenal v Sunderland|
|There should be renewed optimism at the Emirates after last season's disappointments despite Robin van Persie's eventual departure to Old Trafford. With that in mind, Wenger has acted quickly bringing in Cazorla, Podolski and Giroud, all of who play up front in some capacity. Last season the Gunners were exposed defensively with injuries to key players and it's a surprise there have been no additions amongst the back line although Steve Bould has replaced Pat Rice amongst the coaching staff. Pre-season Arsenal lost just a single match (to Man City in the Winoly Cup) but injuries to Rosicky, Sagna and Wilshere mean they're unlikely to feature in the opening fixture at home to Sunderland. The Mackems didn't have the greatest of finishes to last season after a sensational start under O'Neill, and pre-season appears to have continued in the same vein with the Black Cats losing 4 of their 6 pre-season matches without scoring. Goals have been a problem for them with Bendtner's loan terminated and an ankle problem possibly keeping Sessegnon out of the trip to the Emirates. In their absence any goal threat will come from McClean, Wickham and Campbell but Sunderland need to bolster their forward line fast. This should be a win for Arsenal but it depends on how well their new players fit in.|
|Home Win 2-0|
|Fulham v Norwich|
|With Clint Dempsey and Moussa Dembele rumoured to be on the move before the end of the transfer window, replacing those goals is something that Martin Jol will hope new signing Mladen Petric will do with ease. The Croation striker has hit the back of the net 5 times during pre-season with the Cottagers losing just 1 of their 7 pre-season fixtures. Danny Murphy's move to Blackburn has left a gaping hole in midfield but creative players like Rodallega, Frei, Kaciniklic and Mesca have all come in and we'll have to see who's going to make Fulham tick. They host a Norwich side who've moved to a less attacking style under new manager Chris Hughton. Michael Turner has come in to bolster the defence whilst Snodgrass looks to be the preferred option behind Holt in a 4-4-1-1 formation. The Canaries have only lost 2 of their 7 pre-season games but they've not scored in the last three and may be paying the price for a more defensive approach. Norwich showed last season that you can't write them off but Craven Cottage isn't the easiest of places to go.|
|Home Win 1-0|
|QPR v Swansea|
|QPR survived last season by the skin of their teeth and Hughes has moved quickly to address the problem, especially with their last 3 games coming against Arsenal, Newcastle and Liverpool. Quality players like Park Ji-Sung, Hoilett, Rob Green and Fabio Da Silva have all come in along with squad players Andy Johnson and Ryan Nelsen. Not many will forget Barton's performance against Man City on the final day of last season (he'll miss the first 12 games) but Rangers actually came mightily close to pulling off the shock of the season with injury time coming to City's rescue. QPR have been impressive in pre-season remaining unbeaten in 6 matches and scoring in all of them. The emphasis looks like it will be on attack especially at Loftus Road. They entertain a Swansea side getting used to life under Michael Laudrup after Brendan Rodgers departed for Liverpool. Their footballing philosophy is much the same so there shouldn't be too many changes to begin with. Joe Allen followed his manager out of the club paving the way for Villareal loan signing Jonathan De Guzman. Michu and Chico Flores have come in for the Spurs bound Sigurdsson and Caulker. Their pre-season has been notable for the number of goals with Danny Graham scoring 6 in the last 3 matches. The Swans might've lost just once throughout pre-season but it seems the attacking appetite has been whetted at the expense of defensive solidity with 7 conceded in those last 3 games. Attack looks to be the best form of defence here and the home side might just have the edge.|
|Home Win 3-2|
|Reading v Stoke|
|Stoke face a difficult trip to newly promoted Reading before facing Arsenal, Man City, Chelsea, Liverpool and United in 5 of their next 6 fixtures. A result here is paramount if Tony Pulis is to get his season off to a good start but little has changed over the summer. There hasn't been much transfer activity and pre-season has shown them sticking to their tried and tested formula so home form will have to be strong if they're to stay up. The Potters have scored just the once in each of their 7 pre-season matches but the last 4 have all ended in draws. Huth could miss the start of the season after suffering suspected meningitis but Upson will likely replace him alongside Shawcross. The Royals will be buoyant after winning the Championship last season and gaining automatic promotion. That first season back in the top flight is always a boost for the newly promoted clubs and they often over-achieve to begin with. Brian McDermott has brought in a number of new players, the most notable ones being Pogrebnyak from Fulham, old boy Nicky Shorey and Chris Gunter. Big things will be expected from the Russian striker and he's likely to start alongside Adam Le Fondre with Jason Roberts suspended. Pre-season hasn't been telling with 4 draws, 2 wins and a loss from their 7 games and coupled with Stoke's form, a draw might be the best we can hope for.|
|West Brom v Liverpool|
|No doubt Liverpool will be aiming higher this season than last season's 8th placed finish and judging by some of the money that's been laid on them to win the title, there's plenty of confidence out there that they can fulfill those ambitions. Brendan Rodgers has wasted no time in implementing his 4-3-3 system with new signing Borini the spearhead supported by Suarez and Downing. Gerrard's been given the most advanced midfield role whilst the return of forgotten man Lucas is a massive bonus. Where Carroll fits in remains to be seen. Europa League qualifying has dominated their pre-season but they've emerged with credit and have conceded just the once in their last 4 matches. They travel to the Hawthorns where West Brom are also getting used to life under a new manager, namely Steve Clarke. Clarke has tried several systems in pre-season and the results have been encouraging but the personnel haven't changed much with Lukaku, Rosenberg and Yacob coming in whilst Shorey has returned to Reading. Lukaku and Rosenberg arrived too late to feature in pre-season and consequently are unlikely to be given game time this weekend. The Baggies weren't great at home last season and a rejuvenated Liverpool is a tough start for them.|
|Away Win 0-1|
|West Ham v Aston Villa|
|After making the move from Villa Park to West Ham, James Collins's first game comes against his old club. The centre-half will add some steel to the Hammers' defence but the pressure is on both clubs to stay up; Villa after staying up by their skin of their teeth last season and the Hammers only gaining promotion by virtue of the play-offs. Villa's highest profile signing has been Ron Vlaar from Feyenoord who arrived with teammate El Ahmadi whilst Brett Holman gives them another attacking option. Agbonlahor, Dunne, Albrighton and Petrov are all ruled out although Bent returned to the starting line-up and bagged a brace in the draw with Werder Bremen. West Ham have played a massive 10 pre-season matches and though the results haven't always been favourable, their fitness levels should be good. As well as Collins, Allardyce has bought in solid players like Diame and Jaaskelainen whilst hoping that striker Modibo Maiga can score the crucial goals. Kevin Nolan is a doubt for this one after sustaining a toe injury during pre-season. Very tricky to pick between these two and both might be happy just to get up and running with a point.|
|Sat 5:30||Newcastle v Tottenham|
|These sides finished 5th and 4th respectively last season but it was 6th placed Chelsea that grabbed the remaining Champions League place after beating Bayern Munich on their own patch. Not much has happened at St James Park during the summer with Pardew hanging on to all of his key players. Expect further players to come in but getting Steven Taylor and Sylvain Marveaux back to full fitness is a bonus. There are doubts over a number of their players being fit for the big kick-off but don't count on them missing out. Their opponents, Spurs, have a couple of players who definitely won't be featuring; Parker is still recovering from achilles surgery, Rose is suspended and Modric will probably be a Real Madrid player by the time the whistle blows. However, expect Sigurdsson to step into the midfield whilst Defoe could be supported by Van der Vaart given that Adebayor still hasn't signed. Defoe's winner against Italy could prove key to him being given a decent run under new manager Villas-Boas. Vertonghen has also come in at the back in place of the retired King and will partner either Kaboul or the fit-again Michael Dawson. Losing Modric is a huge blow but Spurs have plenty of other match-winners. These two sides look evenly matched and a draw might suit both parties on the opening day.|
|Sun 1:30||Wigan v Chelsea|
|It's been all change at Stamford Bridge with Roberto di Matteo finally installed as the permanent manager after last season's Champions League success. Out has gone Drogba, Kalou, Bosingwa and Lukaku whist in has come the attacking flair of Hazard, Oscar and Marin. Surely to accommodate all of Chelsea's midfield talent, di Matteo will be forced into trusting Fernando Torres with a lone striker role. Pre-season results (4 straight defeats) suggest that the starting line-up needs some tweaking although Olympic duty has robbed the manager of Mata's and Oscar's services. They travel to the DW Stadium where Wigan finished last season in sparkling form, nothing less would've guaranteed their survival in the top flight. Roberto Martinez is still at the club despite being on the shopping lists of several other Premier League chairmen. Rodallega and Diame have both been let go whilst Ryo Miyaichi has come in on loan from Arsenal. Victor Moses has been the subject of several unsuccessful bids from Chelsea and only time will tell if he does go. Martinez is likely to stick with the three at the back that proved so successful in last season's run-in but Wigan will have to be at their best against an unfamiliar Chelsea side. Can see this swinging either way but am tempted with the value that is a Wigan win.|
|Home Win 2-1|
|Sun 4:00||Man City v Southampton|
|Southampton face a baptism of fire at Eastlands as they take on last season's Champions in their first game back in the top flight. Nigel Adkins has strengthened with the likes of Jay Rodriguez and Steven Davis coming in but his switch to a lone striker system with Rickie Lambert spearheading it emphasises a cautious approach against Premier League competition. Anything they'll get from this game will be a bonus with their most difficult away trip done and dusted. City's key signing during the transfer window has been Everton midfielder Jack Rodwell whilst Tevez's return to the fold has been akin to signing a new world-class player. No players of any note have left and it'd be no surprise to see Mancini flash the cheque book before the end of August. Their ambitions this season will obviously extend to capturing the Champions League but retaining their Premier League crown will be a priority. Pre-season has been good with City winning their last 6 matches including that Community Shield victory over Chelsea. Sadly I can't give Southampton much hope and this looks as nailed-on as they come.|
|Home Win 3-0|
|Mon 8:00||Everton v Man Utd|
|Once again Sir Alex Ferguson gets his man! Robin van Persie is on his way to Old Trafford as United get one over on neighbours City. City may have wrested the title from United's grasp last season but van Persie's partnership with Rooney could prove crucial to them regaining the Premier League crown. For the first time in 6 years, Ferguson's side finished last season with no silverware and a world-class signing was always imminent. They've also added Shinji Kagawa from Borussia Dortmund whilst the return of Nemanja Vidic to full fitness is like getting a new player after he missed most of last season. Smalling and Fletcher are out through injury and illness respectively as United head to Merseyside. Everton have lost the services of Rodwell, Cahill and Yobo although Pienaar and Naismith have come in. Naismith was Jelavic's strike partner at Rangers and this could prove a shrewd move from David Moyes. Pre-season results have been mixed and Moyes will want a good start but the Toffees often struggle early on in the campaign, not really helped by facing United on the opening weekend. Not sure whether van Persie will play any part but expect United to sneak it.|
|Away Win 0-1|