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Weekend football betting tips

by Ben, last updated 2007-04-19 00:14:23

 Premiership preview from PinnacleSports.com


Alex Ferguson famously described the tensions of the end-of-season run-in as 'squeaky bum time'! We are certainly entering the SBT phase now, as Chelsea and United have just five Premiership games left including the all important head-to-head in May. Whether the league trophy ends up in London or Lancashire won't matter to serious soccer punters, who are only interested in value. Invariably that is found at www.pinnaclesports.com offering up to 60% better Asian Handicap odds on all of Europe's five major leagues.

Blues Refuse to Give Up on Title
Chelsea continued their dogged pursuit of a hat-trick of Premiership titles, once again reducing the gap between themselves and Manchester United to three points, by easily beating West Ham at Upton Park. The Londoners have a much longer journey to make on Sunday in their quest for glory, visiting Newcastle's St.James' Park. Though Michael Owen and Shola Amoebi have resumed light training, they are a long way from full fitness, and now coach, Glen Roeder, is without another key attacking player, Damien Duff. The Magpies are unbeaten in three games, having picked themselves up after the disappointment of exit from the UEFA Cup, but the sides have met twice this season with both games ending 1-0 in the favour of Mourinho's men. www.pinnaclesports.com set their Asian Handicap at one goal, pricing Newcastle 1.820 (+1) with Chelsea 2.120 (-1).

United Just Five Games from Premiership Glory
Despite fielding a patched up defence, further weakened after 21 minutes by injury to Patrice Evra, Manchester United were still too strong for Sheffield United on Tuesday, temporarily restoring their six point lead at the top of the Premiership. They play Boro on Saturday evening aiming to take another step closer to the title, but with one eye on the first leg of their Champions League tie against AC Milan. The Teessiders have nothing left to play for but will be motivated by revenge for their FA Cup quarter-final defeat at the Theatre of Dreams, and the chance of putting a spanner in United's title charge. Interestingly, Boro are unbeaten in the last three Premiership visits to Old Trafford, though the Red Devils' motivation on Saturday will be infinitely greater than on any of those occasions. www.pinnaclesports.com favour United 2.18 (-1.5 & -2.0) with Boro 1.781 (+1.5 & +2.0).

Walls Falling Down Around Cottagers
Blackburn dispelled any lingering doubts that they were suffering a hangover from their FA Cup semi-final defeat by thrashing Watford 3-1 at Ewood Park on Wednesday night. That result has kept them in with a shout of a UEFA Cup slot, providing plenty of motivation for Saturday's trip to Craven Cottage. Fulham are in disarray following the shock sacking of manager, Chris Coleman. His successor, Lawrie Sanchez, inherits the unenviable task of ensuring the club's safety. The Cottagers are just three points above the drop, without a win in nine games. With Arsenal and Liverpool following this fixture, they must get a result against Rovers or lose control of their Premiership destiny. www.pinnaclesports.com actually favour Fulham 2.05 (0/scratch & -0.5) with Blackburn 1.877 (0/scratch & +0.5).

Spurs Seek Consolation in Derby Success
After promising so much, Spurs' season will end without silverware. The Lilywhites came closest to glory in the Carling Cup where bitter North London rivals, Arsenal, beat them in the last four. Manager, Martin Jol feels that gaining revenge over the Gunners in Saturday's meeting at White Hart Lane would at least end the campaign on a positive note and keep hopes of a UEFA Cup place alive. Wenger will be keen to extend a 17 game unbeaten run against Tottenham, where six of the last seven visits to the Lane have ended in draws. However, despite winning their last two games to almost guarantee Champions League football next season, the club has been rocked by the departure of vice-chairman, David Dein, after a boardroom row. www.pinnaclesports.com still have Arsenal as marginal favourites 2.230 (0/scratch & -0.5) with Spurs 1.752 (0/scratch & +0.5).

Blades & Addicks in Six-Pointer at the Valley
Though Alan Pardew has galvanised Charlton in their struggle against relegation, losing just one of their last seven games, the club are still in the relegation zone. That could all change after Saturday's six-point home game against Sheffield United. The Blades are just two points better off, so a victory for either club will be hugely significant. The Addicks could leap-frog their rivals out of trouble, or the Yorkshire club could put more distance between themselves and the Championship. Neil Warnock turned out a weakened side at Old Trafford in midweek, targeting this much more winnable game, though www.pinnaclesports.com favour Charlton 2.05 (-0.5) pricing Sheffield United 1.877 (+0.5).



 Serie A preview from PinnacleSports.com


It may have taken thirty two games, but Inter Milan's unbeaten run in Serie A has finally been ended. Roma's victory 3-1 at the San Siro on Wednesday afternoon was an important milestone, but it makes no material difference to the title race. Inter still lead by 13 points and almost all bookmakers have stopped taking bets on them lifting the Scudetto. www.pinnaclesports.com however, will continue to offer up to 60% better Asian Handicap odds on the remaining Serie 'A' matches.

Invincible Inter Brought Back Down to Earth
Inter Milan finally lost a league game in midweek, but it shouldn't have come as a huge surprise. The Nerazzurri have looked jaded in recent weeks drawing their two previous games, in the absence of several key players. It is inconceivable that they would actually fail to fall over the line in their six remaining games, but coach, Roberto Mancini, will want to tie things up as soon as possible, starting at Siena on Sunday.

In his first season in charge of the Bianconeri, Mario Beretta's only realistic target has been survival, to which end Siena are almost safe. However, Beretta will be worried about the lack of fire-power, failing to score in five of their last nine games. He will also be bracing himself for a backlash from Inter following their defeat by Roma. www.pinnaclesports.com price the Champions in waiting 2.06 (-0.5 & -1) with Siena 1.87 (+0.5 & +1)

Udinese & Reggina Fight Out Contrasting Agendas
Udinese got a taste of Champions League football last season for the first time in the club's history. It is extremely unlikely that the Zebrette (Little Zebras) will return to that competition next term, but they have realistic ambitions of gaining a UEFA Cup place. On Saturday they travel to Reggina's Oreste Granillo Stadium, searching for the three points that could take them into seventh and make that a reality.

Reggina's motivation is to avoid relegation, but their form this season is almost identical to Udinese. If you discount the Calabrians 11 point deduction from the match-fixing scandal, then they would be just a single point behind the visitors. Reggina recorded their first home win from seven attempts in a crucial midweek relegation scrap against Messina, and coach, Walter Mazzarri will be looking for a similar performance here. His side are unbeaten in their last five meetings of the sides and www.pinnaclesports.com rate Reggina 2.07 (-0.5) with Udinese 1.862 (+0.5).

It must hurt Fiorentina fans to know that without the 15 handicap from Calciopoli, their results would have been enough to see them third in Serie A. On Sunday they visit the side that actually occupy that position, and who will be playing in the Champions League instead. Lazio have benefited from the upheaval in the Italian top flight, but have also been playing attractive football. The Eagles are unbeaten in fifteen games, but have drawn their last two, including an ill-tempered game in Roma against Chievo on Wednesday, when they ended the goalless draw with just nine men.

This home game against La Viola is likely to be another feisty affair, though the away side have the greatest need of the points. Fiorentina are currently in seventh position, bringing with it the reward of UEFA Cup football. They have already beaten Lazio this season, but there are plenty of sides ready to capitalize on any slip ups. www.pinnaclesports.com price Lazio 2.19 (0/scratch & -0.5) with Fiorentina 1.775 (0/scratch & +0.5).


 La Liga preview from PinnacleSports.com


Last weekend's Primera results moved Barcelona a step closer toward a treble of domestic titles, and the continued domination of Spanish football. The pre-season favourites with www.pinnaclesports.com will certainly have been a popular choice in the outright market, but Barca backers cannot count their chickens just yet. There is plenty of life left in La Liga and the place to find the best value is leading online sportsbook www.pinnaclesports.com , offering up to 60% better odds.

Below-par Barca Looking to Sink Yellow Submarine
Barcelona moved four points clear at the top of the Primera Division last weekend in unconvincing fashion, after their hard fought 1-0 home win over Mallorca, while nearest rival Sevilla, lost at the Mestalla. Barca increased their advantage courtesy of an 89th minute own-goal, and will need a better performance when they visit the Madrigal on Sunday. Frank Rijkaard's side might be starting to feel the tension of the end-of-season run-in, but should feel confident of beating Villarreal on recent evidence. The Catalans have won the last three meetings without conceding, including a 4-0 win earlier in the season at the Nou Camp.

The Yellow Submarine have endured a season to forget and are booked for mid-table obscurity. This lack of incentive should play into Barca's hands, though the same was said of Mallorca who the reigning champions struggled to overcome with the benefit of home advantage. Manuel Pellegrini's side have been inconsistent and are currently on a four game winless run, but Barca also have a midweek Copa Del Rey semi-final to consider. www.pinnaclesports.com still price Barcelona favourites 2.20 (-0.5 & -1.0) with Villarreal 1.769 (+0.5 & +1.0).

Valencia & Madrid Battle for Champions League Places
Having dispatched Sevilla last weekend, Valencia have the opportunity to complete an end-of-season clean sweep against their title rivals when they visit the Bernabeu on Saturday night. The Che beat Barcelona in mid-February to signal their title pretensions, but the distraction of Champions League commitments seemed to blunt their charge against less illustrious opposition. The win over Sevilla, coming so soon after defeat to Chelsea, does however suggest that Valencia are not out of the title hunt yet.

By the same token, nor are Real Madrid, who were putting together a positive surge toward the end of the season until last weekend's defeat at Racing Santander. That ended an eight game unbeaten run for Los Blancos who are five points behind Barcelona, but occupying a crucial Champions League berth, along with their opponents in fourth. This game will have a huge bearing on how the top of the table pans out, and www.pinnaclesports.com sees Real as slight favourites on their Asian Handicap, 2.13 (-0.5) with Valencia 1.813 (+0.5).

Zaragoza Chase European Dream while Celta Target Survival
Celta Vigo ended a six game winless run in La Liga on the weekend, recording only their second home win of the season at the Estadio Balaidos, beating Deportivo 1-0. The three points gained moved Celta out of the relegation zone, raising hopes that they can retain their Primera status. Coach, Hristo Stoichkov, now takes the survival battle on the road to La Romareda where Real Zaragoza are having one of their best season's in recent memory. Zaragoza are currently fifth in the table, just one place away from earning entry from the Champions League for the first time in the club's history.

The Blanquillos' success has been founded on strong home form, losing just twice at La Romareda so far this term. The 1-0 win over Barcelona in their last home game illustrates the strength of the Aragonese side, their fourth straight win, three of which were achieved by the identical score line. Diego Milito scored the winner against Barca, one of 19 goals this season, and he will be the greatest threat to Celta Vigo. www.pinnaclesports.com certainly favour Zaragoza pricing them 2.130 (-0.5 & -1.0) with Celta Vigo 1.813 (+0.5 & +1.0).


 Bundesliga preview from PinnacleSports.com


With only five fixtures left in the German Bundesliga Schalke are clinging on to top spot, and leading online sportsbook, www.pinnaclesports.com , have clipped the Royal Blues down to 2.04 to win their first title since 1958. However, Pinnacle still feel it more likely that 04 will fail, pricing any other team for success at 1.840. If you are more interested in match-betting www.pinnaclesports.com offer up to 60% better Asian Handicap odds on all remaining fixtures.

Bayern Munich & Stuttgart Fight for Champions League Rights
Bayern Munich face what could be a critical game in the club's history on Saturday. Having been dumped out of this season's Champions League they face a battle to qualify for next season. Currently in fourth position in the Bundesliga, Munich travel to Stuttgart's Gotlieb Daimler Stadion looking to leap-frog VFB into the third Champions League spot. FCB have competed in ten successive Champions League competitions so failure to qualify for next season would signify the end of an era, and bring significant financial consequences. Pope Benedict XVI is a fan of the club, so could well be praying for a fourth straight league win.

Stuttgart have tasted Champions League football once before in 2004, and will be desperate to get back among Europe's elites. It would be even sweeter to achieve that at the expense of Germany's biggest football institution. Die Schwaben made a terrible start to the campaign losing their opening two home games, but since then have been unbeaten in front of their own fans, a 13 game sequence, which has also taken them to the semi-finals of the German Cup. Stuttgart's excellent form might help the club reverse a poor trend against Bayern Munich, having won just one of the seven previous encounters, and they will be without left back Arthur Boka, suspended for the remainder of the season. That trend may have swayed www.pinnaclesports.com to make Munich slight favourites 2.140 (0/scratch & -0.5) with Stuttgart 1.806 (0/scratch & +0.5).

Royal Blues Look to Keep Challengers at Bay
Schalke have responded well to their defeat at the Allianz Arena on the last day of March, by winning the next two Bundesliga fixtures without conceding and finding the net five times. Kevin Kuranyi and Gerald Asamoah have found the net in both games, while Brazilian midfielder, Lincoln, completed a 3-0 rout away to Mainz last weekend that maintained the Royal Blues' two point lead at the top of the league.

Mirko Slomka's side now have a home game against Energie Cottbus, who have climbed to mid-table on the back of an excellent run. Cottbus have won five of their last seven games, scoring six times in their last two outings. Sergio Radu opened the scoring in both those successes and has now scored 12 league goals. Though Energie only have an outside chance of a UEFA Cup place, in their current form they will be a handful for Schalke. Nevertheless www.pinnaclesports.com make Schalke strong favourites, 1.952 (-1.5) with Energie Cottbus 1.971 (+1.5).

Werder Expecting Battle From Struggling Aachen
Should Schalke slip up, Werder Bremen could move to top of the Bundesliga with a win at home to Alemania Aachen. It's good news for Bremen that Miroslav Klose looks to be coming into form at just the right time. Klose followed a double in the UEFA Cup by scoring his first Bundesliga goal for eight matches, in last weekend's win at Dortmund. On the down side, Tim Borowski's comeback was very short-lived, and he is joined on the injury list by defender, Patrick Owomoyela.

Bremen are favourites with www.pinnaclesports.com for Friday's game 1.870 (-1.5) with Aachen 2.06 (+1.5), but will expect a bruising. The Potato-Beetles received six yellow cards and a red in last week's 1-0 lose at Nurnberg, which might be a show of desperation as it completed a hat-trick of defeats. The side are just three points above the drop with a worse goal difference than the two sides below them.


 PREMIERSHIP PROPHECY

 by Bet365

SPURS TO NICK NORTH LONDON GOAL FEST!

We’re getting down to the business-end of the season, and Spurs are fancied to get the job done against Arsenal in Saturday’s north London derby at generous odds of 17/10 with bet365, who are once again betting every Premiership game to 107%.

All the recent signs suggest that the two teams are closer in quality now than they have been at any time since Arsene Wenger’s arrival, and the time looks right for Spurs to beat their local rivals for the first time this millennium, but have a bigger bet on the ‘overs’ at bet365's 4/7. Spurs have scored in every league game this year, except against Chelsea and Man United, and the three previous encounters between these two this season have all gone ‘over’.

Down at the other end of the table, things are getting very interesting, although Wigan fans won’t thank you for reminding them. Wigan face a nigh impossible task against the mighty reds at Anfield, with a bet on a 3-0 or 4-0 scoreline at 8/1 and 16/1 respectively a value alternative to the short match odds of 4/11. It might also be worth considering an each way first goalscorer bet on John Arne Riise at 16/1, especially as bet365 now pay unlimited places on such bets.

Elsewhere, Charlton are strongly fancied to heap more pressure on Sheffield United at the Valley. The Addicks are improving in the nick of time, while United’s away form is abysmal, which makes bet365's 21/20 for the home win very tempting. There could be more bad news for the Blades if West Ham can beat Everton, and they are worth backing at 7/5 with bet365 as the Toffee’s away form is nothing to get excited about.

Both Man United (1/5) and Chelsea (8/15) are unopposable at present against Middlesbrough and Newcastle respectively and they’re sure to be in plenty of Premiership accumulator bets this weekend, and why not when bet365 will add up to 60% to your winnings if you click. A £25 bet on these two plus Spurs, Liverpool, Charlton and West Ham pays out at just under a grand, including a bet365 bonus of 20%!

Best of luck with your Premiership bets this weekend.



 Gerry's Picks

 by Gerry McDonnell

The Heir on the Dog

I try to avoid the political arena as a rule, but as a concerned parent, i'm furious with this government's education policy. It makes my blood boil to see numeracy, literacy and religious tolerance dominate the curriculum, while tenuous football related analogies remain conspicuous by their absence.

The children could do a lot worse than watch the video of Chelsea's FA cup semi-final win over Blackburn. If the little brats can't be inspired by the reconciliation of Mourinho and Abramovich as a result of the beautiful game, they may as well go and sew trainers for a living as further education would prove a waste of time and money.

I was hugely excited by the news that Roman shared a hug with Jose; it's been quite a while for me. I'm embracing the 4/7 for a Chelsea win over Newcastle.

The majority of the young lads would undoubtedly benefit from this revolutionary educational concept, and I'd even consider showing the tape to the girls if a strong grade in home economics has been achieved. Spurs versus Arsenal is be the embodiment of equality, the draw is an outstanding 23/10 shot.

It makes economic sense to look after the kids of today, as you never know when you'll need a cheap car stereo in the future. The 10/11 for Bolton to beat Reading is another example of value for money.

Charlton v Sheffield United could well be the greatest domestic dust-up since the Scottish war of independence where the English and the Sweaties went toe to toe in an epic battle. I'm no history buff, but as Scotland remained an independent nation at the end of the skirmish; I'm assuming England won quite comfortably. Charlton can follow suit at 23/20.

Mohammed Al Fayed may have taken a huge gamble appointing a caretaker manager at the business end of the season, but Sanchez is oozing confidence. "They said I couldn't beat Spain, couldn't beat Sweden and couldn't beat England; i've proved the impossible is possible." He's quite an articulate Lawrie. A driven Fulham can share the spoils with Blackburn at 23/10.

I can't foresee a Wigan goal at Anfield; the Scousers have been tighter at the back than Lee Hughes all season. Liverpool should take all three points at 4/9.

We all have people we admire. Some dig Mandela, others like the cut of Jesus' jib. Personally, I have a lot of time for Aidy Boothroyd. The Watford manager has remained upbeat throughout a disastrous campaign; Manchester City can land another blow at 17/10.

I have the utmost sympathy for Andy Johnson. On recent evidence, the England striker would need to be repeatedly pommeled with a baseball bat for the referee to even consider awarding a penalty; and that may not be enough at Old Trafford. West Ham can inflict a little pain on the Toffeemen at 6/4.

Aston Villa are finishing the season as they started; if it wasn't for that little six-month sticky patch in the middle they could have been contenders. The Villans are unbeaten against Pompey in their last six meets, the O'Neill revolution will continue at 5/4.

Cristiano Ronaldo has signed a new five year deal worth a reported £25m. That kind of money could go a long way to eradicating world hunger, although it would probably be easier to just ask Mark Viduka to donate his snacks. Manchester United will devour Middlesbrough at 1/5.

Rio Ferdinand limped out of the FA cup semi-final feeling his groin; confirming my suspicions. Luckily, the injury is not as serious as it first appeared; Rio can add a clean sheet to a United win at a more appetising 4/7.

Bolton, Charlton, Manchester City and Aston Villa form a 21/1 weekend accer that is so forthright; Prince William had finally explained why he binned Kate Middleton. "She's friendly, she's good with figures and her vocabulary is impressive, but the bint can't boil an egg," mused the astute part German future monarch.


Weekend Betting:


Tottenham v Arsenal Saturday 21st April 12:45 Live on Premiership Plus

Tottenham 17/10
Draw 23/10
Arsenal 17/10

Get on: Draw

Match Special:
Match to finish either 2-2 or 3-3 11/1

Bolton v Reading Saturday 21st April 15:00

Bolton 10/11
Draw 12/5
Reading 10/3

Get on: Bolton

Match Special:
Anelka to score the first goal 11/2

Charlton v Sheff Utd Saturday 21st April 15:00

Charlton 23/20
Draw 23/10
Sheff Utd 13/5

Get on: Charlton

Match Special:
Darren Bent to score the only goal of the game 28/1

Fulham v Blackburn Saturday 21st April 15:00

Fulham 5/4
Draw 23/10
Blackburn 21/10

Get on: Draw

Match Special:
McCarthy to score in a 1-1 draw 16/1

Liverpool v Wigan Saturday 21st April 15:00

Liverpool 4/9
Draw 7/2
Wigan 7/1

Get on: Liverpool

Match Special:
Liverpool to win and keep a clean sheet Evs

Watford v Man City Saturday 21st April 15:00

Watford 13/8
Draw 23/10
Man City 17/10

Get on: Man City

Match Special:
Barton to score from outside the penalty area 11/1

West Ham v Everton Saturday 21st April 15:00

West Ham 6/4
Draw 12/5
Everton 7/4

Get on: West Ham

Match Special:
Tevez to score direct from a free-kick 8/1

Man Utd v Middlesbrough Saturday 21st April 17:15 Live on Sky

Man Utd 1/5
Draw 5/1
Middlesbrough 14/1

Get on: Man Utd

Match Special:
Man Utd to score a penalty 7/2

Newcastle v Chelsea Sunday 22nd April 13:30 Live on Premiership Plus

Newcastle 6/1
Draw 3/1
Chelsea 4/7

Get on: Chelsea

Match Special:
Drogba and Lampard both to score 11/2

Aston Villa v Portsmouth Sunday 22nd April 16:00 Live on Sky

Aston Villa 5/4
Draw 9/4
Portsmouth 11/5

Get on: Aston Villa

Match Special:
Petrov to score in a 2-0 Villa win 35/1

Bet with bet365 | betdirect - FREE £50 bet





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