Scottish Football kicks into top gear this weekend as the start of the new SPL season gets underway. 2009/2010 SPL champions Rangers 1/5 entertain Kilmarnock 12/1, while a new-look Celtic 2/5 squad take on Inverness Caledonian Thistle 13/2. Lets take a look at some of the other matches taking place and hopefully select some profitable betting tips.
It may seem like just a few days since the World Cup finished, but with European qualifying already under way, the Scottish season gets under way this weekend.
Whilst the big guns may not be in action, it is the first round of the ALBA Challenge Cup. The pick of the matches sees current Cup holders Dundee host Alloa, Elgin play beaten FA Cup finalists Ross County and Dumbarton play Morton.
With nine of the players who started Chelsea’s 8-0 win over Wigan Athletic heading for the World Cup this summer, this Saturday’s FA Cup Final could be the second part of an unprecedented medal haul come the 11th July.
Chelsea have never won a Double, although they will surely have no better opportunity than facing a Portsmouth side already resigned to Championship football next season. Carlo Ancelotti’s side have been in superb goalscoring form over recent weeks, and an early Chelsea goal could open the floodgates on Saturday. It’s 100/1 that Chelsea win 7-0 and 375/1 for them to repeat their 8-0 triumph over Wigan.
Anyone who saw Manchester United’s form last Autumn will tell you that they remain astonished that the Premier League champions have managed to get to the final day of the season retaining a chance of bringing home a record fourth consecutive title. Sir Alex Ferguson’s side have gamely hung on to Chelsea’s coat tails this season whilst being (as far as we can tell) one of the worst sides Ferguson has put out since the inception of the Premier League.
Football Betting – Weekly Tips and Preview
The decisive match in the Premier League title race takes place at Anfield on Sunday as Liverpool host leaders Chelsea. It’s been a season to forget for Liverpool, but they still haven’t secured qualification for Europe yet and so still need points to be sure of at least a Europa League spot.
The absence of leading scorer Fernando Torres is a blow, and despite the Reds home form being pretty decent, Chelsea should still be good enough to take all three points at 10/11.
With a minute of the Manchester derby to go last Saturday, the battle for the Premier League title was as good as over. And then, up popped Paul Scholes to secure an invaluable three points for Manchester United, and after Spurs beat Chelsea the gap is once again back to a single point.
United’s trickiest remaining fixture is on Saturday lunchtime as they face a confident Spurs side coming off the back of wins over Arsenal and Chelsea. Harry Redknapp’s team are in pole position to secure the final Champions League qualifying spot, and they are 6/1 to add United to their list of notable recent scalps this weekend.
It hasn’t been the best couple of weeks for Manchester United. A defeat to title rivals Chelsea was followed by their Champions League elimination at the hands of Bayern Munich before their title hopes took a huge dent with a 0-0 draw at Blackburn Rovers.
Things could easily get worse for the Champions this week as they travel the short distance across town to face Manchester City. City have scored eleven goals in their last two league games as they edge ever closer to securing the Champions League spot and with confidence high, they are great value at 17/10 to win the derby.
It’s FA Cup semi final weekend on both sides of the border as Wembley and Hampden Park play host to four great matches. In England, Aston Villa are 5/1 to gain revenge over Chelsea for their recent mauling, whilst Portsmouth are 8/1 to beat Tottenham Hotspur.
The Scottish Cup is Celtic’s only realistic chance of silverware this season and Neil Lennon’s side play Ross County on Saturday.
In one of the closest title races for years, the decisive fixture could well be this Saturday’s clash between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford. A fortnight ago you’d have backed United to win this vital match, but after Chelsea’s twelve goals in two league matches, their recovery in form couldn’t have come at a better time. It should be a thriller.
Manchester City continue their limp towards fourth place with a winnable away match against struggling Burnley whilst Everton might well put the final nail in Gianfranco Zola’s coffin with a win over West Ham at Goodison Park.
Football Betting – Weekly Tips and Preview
It could well be the weekend that the destination of the Premier League title becomes clearer as the top two meet in a potentially decisive encounter at Old Trafford. A fortnight ago Chelsea looked to be running out of steam and this tie suddenly looked like Manchester United’s passport to a record fourth consecutive title. However, after smashing five past hapless Portsmouth and a further seven past Aston Villa last weekend Chelsea seem to have hit a bit of form just in time. With home advantage however, I’d narrowly side with United at 5/4.
Manchester United appear to have, yet again, timed their run to the Premier League finishing post to perfection. Aiming for a record fourth consecutive title, Sir Alex Ferguson’s side took over at the top of the league this weekend after their hard fought 2-1 win over Liverpool at Old Trafford.
With Chelsea’s visit looming, United will want to cement their position at the top of the table and the Red Devils travel the short distance to Bolton Wanderers on Saturday. United should have enough to see off Owen Coyle’s side at 4/9.
Manchester United manoeuvred themselves into pole position in the Premier League after their 2-1 win over Liverpool last Sunday and can cement their position at the top with a win over Bolton Wanderers in Saturday’s teatime kick-off.
Liverpool’s defeat looks like making their chase for a Champions League spot all the more forlorn, and it is vital that they beat Sunderland at Anfield on Sunday afternoon. In Sunday’s other live match, there’s a Lancashire mill town derby as Burnley host Blackburn Rovers.