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by Ben, last updated 2008-04-24 10:57:59

 Asian Handicap Premiership Preview


After 35 games the destination of the Premiership title could come down to 90 minutes at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. Man Utd lead Chelsea by just three points, so a win for the Blues would draw the teams level, taking the championship race down to the wire, with only a further two games remaining. On the flip-side, a win for the Red Devils would surely give Alex Ferguson a tenth Premiership title. Get close to the action with a bet at PinnacleSports.com, offering 60% better Premiership betting odds.


Showdown at Stamford Bridge Could Decide Premiership Title

There may be ten Premiership fixtures taking place this weekend, with relegation issues and European places still to be resolved, but the focus will be firmly on Stamford Bridge at lunchtime on Saturday. Alex Ferguson takes the Premiership leaders, Manchester United, to face a showdown against second place Chelsea, that will have a massive say in who takes home the league trophy. Punters should ensure they get the best available odds for what promises to be a very close encounter. PinnacleSports.com cannot separate the sides on their Asian Handicap pricing Chelsea very marginal favourites 2.230 (0/scratch)* – a market priced to less than 102%.

Though the game is critical to the Premiership race, it cannot be billed as winner takes all, because even if United lose, allowing Chelsea to draw level on points, their superior goal difference (18 goals better) keeps them ahead of Chelsea. This represents an insurmountable deficit for Chelsea, who therefore need to win all three remaining fixtures – starting on Saturday – and then still hope that Fergie drops a point at home to West Ham, or away to Wigan on the final day of the season.

To clear the first hurdle Chelsea will need to be at the very top of their game, then hope lady luck is shining down on them. Avram Grant may well feel that fortune is on his side, as on Tuesday night Chelsea were outplayed at Anfield in their Champions League semi-final, but they clung on, and in the added time were gifted a precious away goal courtesy of Liverpool’s John Arne Riise. Buoyed by that result Chelsea will come into this game feeling that anything is possible. Chelsea haven’t lost a league game at Stamford Bridge since February 2004, but while their tremendous form at home suggests they will be hard to beat, it doesn’t follow that they can actually unlock United’s defence.

Under Avram Grant Chelsea have lacked imagination, and could be easily frustrated by a compact United who showed at the Nou Camp on Wednesday night that they can frustrate the best in Europe, closing out a 0-0 draw against Barcelona. Neither side have any fresh injury worries and the form of recent encounters is in Chelsea’s favour, as Man Utd haven’t scored in their last four Premiership visits to Stamford Bridge. However, the last two encounters should be discounted as on both occasion the Premiership title had already been decided. United won 2-0 at Old Trafford last September, but they were helped by John Mikel Obi’s sending off, and faced a severely weakened Chelsea line-up.


*All odds subject to change




 I’ve just about had an oeuf

 By Gerry McDonnell

At one time or another, we all make a mistake of gargantuan proportions. When the wife asked for a potential destination for a short trip, I foolishly answered 'France'. I completely forgot that the place was almost exclusively full of the French.

As soon as we arrived I appreciated the gravity of my error, as the locals made absolutely no effort to speak any English. It appeared that they hadn't been informed of our arrival.

The language barrier actually led me to be being deported. I popped into a café, but I didn't fancy eating any strange French food such as 'frites' or 'saucisses', so I helped myself to a biscuit from behind the counter.

The owner went ballistic and called the police, and I was on the next plane back to England. I still feel embarrassed about being kicked out of Europe thanks to a simple ginger nut. Liverpool fans share my pain, they should console themselves with the 7/4 for a win over Birmingham.

The police were on the ball over there though, unlike their English counterparts. When a French person is reported missing, their filth launch an immediate search; but the Manchester police haven't even begun their hunt to find poor Wayne. United are winless (and goalless) on their last six visits to Stamford Bridge, I'll struggle to find a better bet than Chelsea at 6/4.

The North East of England is the one place on Earth that's actually worse than France. The locals are equally as undecipherable, and they take up twice the room. 15/8 is absolutely massive for a Newcastle win over West Ham.

The North East does have its redeeming features; it remains a Redknapp-free area. Harry's decision to stay in Portsmouth was warmly received by the Geordie Nation, as it decreased the probability of them ever bumping into Jamie. I'm particularly thankful for the 23/10 for a draw between Portsmouth and Blackburn.

Newcastle have taken a lead in the North East mini-league, which is a little bit like leading a race at the Special Olympics. Sunderland will beat Boro at 13/10 in the battle for the silver medal, but they're all winners really.

There's a real scrap going on at the bottom of the table, and Fulham are almost certainly relegated. The chairman will most likely blame Prince Philip, MI5 and possibly MFI. I've put together 9/10 for a Manchester City win over the doomed Cottagers.

Bolton have all the momentum in the relegation battle, but they won't receive any favours away at Tottenham. I expect the 10/11 for a Tottenham win to last about as long as a Geordie in a beauty contest.

Graeme Murty should hang his head in shame after his dying swan act led to a three match ban for Alexander Hleb. Simulation is the unacceptable face of modern day football, alongside Steve Bruce. Wigan v Reading won't be pleasing to the eye, a draw looks the correct call at 12/5.

If I was Robbie Savage, and I'm not (I'm quite good at football); I'd ask for Cesc Fabregas' shirt after Derby's 'match' against Arsenal. Such an item of memorabilia could potentially raise a tidy sum for when he upgrades his caravan. The 4/5 for Arsenal to beat Derby by two goals or more is remaining remarkably steady.

I genuinely feel that Aston Villa will be right behind Arsenal at the top of the table next season - certainly in early August. The Villans are on fire in their quest to make it into Europe; they'll eat up and spit out the Toffeemen at 23/10.

To say I was happy about last week's winning accer is an understatement; I felt like a Chelsea player after they practically booked their flight to Moscow. When Liverpool, Manchester City, Tottenham and Arsenal oblige for this week's 10/1 accer, I'll be happier than Ashley Cole after an invite into the cockpit.



Weekend Betting:


Chelsea v Man Utd Saturday 26th April 12:45 Live on Sky

Chelsea 6/4
Draw 9/4
Man Utd 2/1

Get on: Chelsea


Birmingham v Liverpool Saturday 26th April 15:00

Birmingham 15/8
Draw 9/4
Liverpool 7/4

Get on: Liverpool


Man City v Fulham Saturday 26th April 15:00

Man City 9/10
Draw 5/2
Fulham 7/2

Get on: Man City


Sunderland v Middlesbrough Saturday 26th April 15:00

Sunderland 13/10
Draw 9/4
Middlesbrough 12/5

Get on: Sunderland


Tottenham v Bolton Saturday 26th April 15:00

Tottenham 10/11
Draw 5/2
Bolton 10/3

Get on: Tottenham


West Ham v Newcastle Saturday 26th April 15:00

West Ham 6/4
Draw 23/10
Newcastle 15/8

Get on: Newcastle


Wigan v Reading Saturday 26th April 15:00

Wigan 11/10
Draw 12/5
Reading 11/4

Get on: Draw


Portsmouth v Blackburn Sunday 27th April 13:30 Live on Sky

Portsmouth 5/4
Draw 23/10
Blackburn 13/5

Get on: Draw


Everton v Aston Villa Sunday 27th April 16:00 Live on Sky

Everton 13/10
Draw 23/10
Aston Villa 23/10

Get on: Aston Villa

Derby v Arsenal Monday 28th April 20:00 Live on Setanta

Derby 12/1
Draw 9/2
Arsenal 3/10

Get on: Arsenal





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