Soccer Game Previews
Premiership Preview by Nigel Ridgway

Written by: Nigel Ridgway (7-12-2005)

England received a big boost on Tuesday when they became one of the top eight seeds going into Friday’s World Cup draw. That wasn’t enough to change their outright price from 7/1, but a good draw on Friday could see that price come under pressure and, anyone considering backing the Three Lions to win in Germany, should seriously consider going in now. The worst case scenario for England could be the possibility of facing Holland, USA and Ivory Coast, and that would be a big improvement on the 2002 finals when they faced Argentina, Nigeria and Sweden in the Far East. The big losers from FIFA’s announcement were Holland, who are rated third in the world rankings but were not among the eight big boys. Instead they will go in with all the European non-seeds and, as a result, they’re 9/1 from 8/1 to claim their first World crown here at bet365.

Bet365 latest World Cup prices … Brazil 3/1, Argentina, England, Germany 7/1, Holland 9/1, Italy, France 10/1, others on BET 365 website.

Saturday December 10th, 5.15 ko, live on Sky Prem Plus
On the domestic front, Arsenal will be looking to get their Premiership campaign back on track at St James’ Park, after going down to Bolton last weekend (tipped here at 10/3). However, with their away form being so bad, it’s hard to be confident about their chances this weekend, so a more lucrative bet could be to go for goals.

Goals have been scored by both van Persie and Henry in four of Arsenal’s November games, and the Newcastle defence won’t provide them with much of a challenge. At the other end of the field, the returning Michael Owen has a good track record against Arsenal, and will fancy his chances of scoring against a side who’ve kept just the one clean sheet on the road this season. Once the game goes live, don’t forget to check out our 14 exciting live ‘In-Play’ markets.

bet365 latest match prices … Newcastle 3/1, Draw 9/4, Arsenal 10/11

Match Pick: Over 2.5 Goals @ 8/11 at BET 365

Bolton did us proud last weekend, and we’re not going to desert them now they’re playing at home to Aston Villa this Saturday. Bolton’s style of play might not be that pretty to watch, but it certainly gets results, and their rise to sixth in the table is no fluke. They managed to keep another clean sheet last weekend against Arsenal, and that can’t be down to their opponents’ lack of scoring prowess alone. And, with the Villa defence leaking goals away from home, the Trotters look a solid bet at 5/6 at ‘Fort Reebok’ at BET 365

They’re the cornerstone of our Premiership acca this weekend, along with Blackburn, who’ll be smarting after their surprise 2-0 defeat by Everton last weekend. That could spell trouble for the Hammers, who’ve not been great away from home this season. The treble is brought up by Spurs, who should give Portsmouth a good pasting at the Lane on Monday night, and pays out a respectable $132.41 for a $25 bet. The temptation is to include both Chelsea (1/5) and United (3/10), who look nailed on against Wigan and Everton respectively, especially as we’re assured of getting extra value with our Premiership Accumulator Bonus (up to 60% extra each week). The 5-fold pays out $227.22 for a $20 stake, which includes a bet365 bonus of 10% at BET 365

However, I’d be wary of including Liverpool at our odds-on quote of 4/7. Their opponents, Middlesbrough, have a habit of raising their game against the better Premiership sides, as they showed when beating Arsenal and United, and they’re a speculative tip at 5/1 to win in 90 minutes (live betting available). But they can be more confidently backed at 2.10 getting a three-quarter ball start (half money back if they lose by only 1 clear goal) which, once again, shows the value of our Asian Handicap betting (bet to 102%).

Other Weekend Best Bets:

Bolton to beat Aston Villa @ 8/11
Blackburn to beat West Ham @ Evens
Tottenham to beat Portsmouth @ 4/9
Middlesbrough to beat Liverpool @ 2.10 (+3/4, Asian Handicap)
Treble - Bolton, Blackburn, Tottenham
5-fold - Bolton, Blackburn, Tottenham, Chelsea and Man United (subject to bet365 10% bonus) all at BET 365

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