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Weekend Football

by Ben, last updated 2005-08-18 23:45:33

After the midweek betting disasters I hopefully will have better luck this weekend.

Iíve gone for
Man U to win to nil.
Liverpool to win to nil
Arsenal/ Chelsea over 2.25.
West Ham +0.75

Analysis below plus bonus picks from Shane.


 Newcastle vs West Ham, Saturday 20th August

 Newcastle (1.7) Draw (3.6) West Ham (6.1)

Newcastle were dealt a bit of a blow last week when they had Jenas sent off. That more or less sealed their fate. They did well to keep Arsenal out for as long as they did. Most teams with 11 players struggle to contain Arsenal at Highbury. For this match, Ameobi and Chopra are both out, leaving just Shearer as the sole fit striker. He's just turned 35 and isn't as lively as he used to be. With Emre and Dyer injured, I can see why Souness is complaining about these meaningless friendlies.

West Ham are top of the league. Who'd have thought that? They did well to come back from behind to beat Blackburn last week. Sheringham is still an excellent player at 38 or 39 and managed to turn the game around. Crespo's goal grabbed the headlines but if you look at Reo-CokerĎs goal that was on par if not better. Early days yet but a real promising start to the season.

I'm going to go for West Ham on the Asian Handicap. Its +0.75 priced at 2.00 at Premierbet. Newcastle need a new striker and until then I can't see them scoring very many. Also from BBC news "They've been slow starters of late in the Premiership, taking four matches before victory last season, and six matches in the previous campaign." I can see West Ham getting a draw here if not a win. Newcastle won't be scoring more than one so the worse case would be 1-0 and then I'd lose half.


 Chelsea vs Arsenal, 21st August 2005

 Chelsea (2) Draw (3.3) Arsenal (4.2)

Chelsea play Arsenal in the match I am looking forward to most this weekend. Two weeks ago I said that Chelsea were going to win this one. I had them for the Charity Shield but I've changed my mind about backing them this weekend.

Chelsea were well lucky to win against Wigan. I didn't catch the first half but from what I heard, Wigan more than matched them. Wigan could have easily snatched all three points if Johansson would have scored that 92nd minute chance he got. The replay had just finished when Crespo, out of nowhere managed to knock one in. I've watched that goal several times since on soccercastle. It was absolutely fantastic (and save my betting weekend). Even Mouriniho said afterwards they didn't deserve to win that one.

Arsenal were unimpressive against Newcastle. I think Newcastle could have got a draw out of that match if it were not for Jenas being sent off for what was really a yellow card offence. Neither team really looked likely to score. It took Arsenal nearly 50 minutes to get a goal against 10 men and that was a penalty.

I think this match could go either way. Arsenal do have a good record against Chelsea in the Premier League. Chelsea haven't beaten Arsenal in the last 19 league meetings. Last seasons fixtures both ended in draws. The Asian Handicap of +0.5 at about 1.8 is too high in my opinion. I don't think I've ever seen Arsenal given a half goal start. Bluesquare's draw no bet for Arsenal at 3.00 is also a good bet. They're tempting but I'll skip those. Iím reluctant to ever bet against Roman Abramovichís superstar Chelsea team.

I am going to go for over 2.25 goals on the goal line. You can get 1.95 at Bet365 for this. Their last 20 matches have produced 61 goals, so about 3 a game. I think both teams will come out all guns blazing so hopefully this bet will be won by half time. Last weeks lacklustre performances will be distant memories.


 Liverpool vs Sunderland, Saturday 20 August

 Liverpool (1.33) Draw (5.2) Sunderland (13.4)

Sunderland look like they are going to struggle this year. After the terrible performance last weekend they are odds on favourites to go down. They really should have beat a 10 man Charlton but ended up losing 3-1. For this game their on loan striker Liverpool striker Anthony Le Tallec is banned from playing. If they are going to score they'll have to rely on ex-Sheffield United striker, Andy Gray for their goals. He scored their goal against Charlton but it was much against the run of play.

Liverpool have an unchanged side from that which drew 0-0 at Middlesbrough . Liverpool had the better of the play and maybe should have won that one. Middlesbrough we reduced to 10 in the 76th minute. Liverpool pressed but just couldn't score against a Middlesbrough team with their backs to the wall. Hopefully Cisse will start rather than Morientes. I suppose the biggest factor is whether Gerrard plays well or not. If he's up for it Sunderland are going to get a good shoe in.

I am not too happy about the odds on offer here. 1.33 is what I'd expect for one of the big three at home. Liverpool have yet to prove themselves in the league. Asian Handicap is too high (-1.5). Gamebookers are offering 2.02 for Liverpool to win to nil. That's good enough for me. The only worry is that Liverpool have let some soft goals in the Champions League against weaker sides.


 Manchester Utd vs Aston Villa Saturday 20th August

 Manchester Utd (1.29) Draw (5.5) Aston Villa (15)

Manchester United take on Aston Villa in another one of those Sky rip off events. By that I mean the early Saturday kick offs where they charge £6 pay per view.

Manchester United beat Everton last week 2-0. The teams were evenly matched first half until Van Nistelrooy slotted one in. It was game over after Yobo's stupid pass that gifted Rooney a goal. After that Man Utd went in to cruise mode and should have scored a couple more. Van der Saar played well and maybe the keeper that United have longed for since the departure of Peter Schmeichel five years ago. There are no fresh injury worries for United.

Villa drew 2-2 in a strange game. 4 goals in 9 minutes and that was it. Nothing for the other 81. Bolton had the better chances and should have won. They had a legitimate goal disallowed for off side. Another linesman and that would have been all three points for Bolton. Kevin Philips is out of the squad with a stomach upset so Villa could struggle to score against a very solid looking United defence.

I am going for Manchester to win to nil at gamebookers. The price is 1.85. They should beat the -1.5 Asian Handicap too but I'm not going to bother with they big handicaps until further into the season.


 Shane's Tips

 By Shane James

No analysis just my predictions on the weekend Premiership.

Man u - villa 1- 0
Charlton - wigan 2--1
Liverpool - sunderland 3-0
Newcastle - west ham 1-1
Tottenham - borough 0-0
West brom - Portsmouth 1-2
Birmingham - man city 0-0
Bolton - everton 2-3
Chels - ars 0-0




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