Soccer Game Previews
Premiership Preview by Nigel Ridgeway

Written by: Nigel Ridgway (2005-11-26)

Chelsea look the bankers of the weekend, as they travel to struggling Portsmouth. Even Perry Mason couldn't make a case for Pompey, who have failed to win at home so far this season. Chelsea's mini dip in form was exorcised last week when they beat Newcastle 3-0 (Joe Cole's a tasty 7/1 to score first again), but they had to wait until the second half to break down the Magpies defence. This shouldn't have come as a surprise though. In Chelsea's 11 wins so far this season, they have failed to lead at half time on six occasions.

In contrast, Pompey tend to be stronger in the first half. Despite their poor results, they have only been behind at the break five times in thirteen games, and that includes the Sunderland match where they came backto win 4-1. I can see Portsmouth hanging on until half-time, maybe by parking the team bus in front of goal, but once their defence is breached, it could open the floodgates. Better teams than Pompey have been blown away by the Blue Machine this year, and there's an attractive 21/20 about Chelsea giving up a goal start at BET 365

Draw Half-time / Chelsea Full-time @ 10/3 at BET 365
Chelsea to win 3-0 @ 8/1 at BET 365

Last week was only the third occasion that the "big three" all won on thesame weekend this season, but it could be more of the same this timearound. We've already outlined Chelsea's credentials, and Arsenal (4/11) look hard to resist at home to Blackburn. The Gunners have a 100% record at Highbury this season and have conceded only twice.

Blackburn (8/1) did manage the upset of the season so far, turning over Manchester United at Old Trafford in September, but it may be asking too much of them to repeat that feat. Manchester United (8/11) make up the "big three" trio, and should have too much for inconsistent West Ham. The Hammers (4/1) have never beaten United in the Premiership at Upton Park, and this game may have just come at the wrong time for Alan Pardew's men, as United look to be running into form.

They'll be disappointed with the result against Villarreal in midweek, but the Spanish came with a game plan and weren't looking for anything other than the draw. On the balance of play, United were unlucky not to get anything out of the game. It wasn't that long ago we were all wondering how long Fergie could hang on to his job for, but wins against Chelsea and Charlton have sent a clear message to the rest of the Premiership that United are back.

Birmingham can give Steve Bruce a much-needed boost by overcoming Sunderland at the Stadium of Light. Both of these teams have lost five in arow, but Birmingham will be the more optimistic going into this match. The Blues possess players of genuine Premiership class, but the same can't be said for Sunderland. Relegation rivals Portsmouth and Aston Villa both visited Wearside recently, and both left with maximum points, and the 7/4 about Birmingham looks too good to miss.

The Black Cats (6/4 to win on Saturday) are without a home win all season, and there's been nothing in recent weeks to suggest a change in fortune is just around the corner. A 25 acca on our four fancied teams pays out 229.65, which includes a Bet 365 bonus of 5% (up to 60% available every weekend).

Premiership Accumulator
Chelsea, Arsenal, Man Utd & Birmingham pays $229.65 for a $25 stake at BET 365

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