"8", "name" => "UK & Ireland Football", "category" => "Premier League", "path" => "/var/www/vhosts/betting.betfair.com/httpdocs/football/", "url" => "https://betting.betfair.com/football/", "title" => "Premier League Betting: Some fixtures are more key than others : Premier League : UK & Ireland Football", "desc" => "Ralph Ellis tells us why despite every Premier League match having three points on offer, some results mean more than others. Following on from that, this is what we can read into some of this weekend's results.......", "keywords" => "", "robots" => "index,follow" ); $category_sid = "sid=2009"; ?>

Premier League Betting: Some fixtures are more key than others

Premier League RSS / / 22 March 2010 /

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Saturday's goalscorers Eidur Gudjohnsen and Niko Kranjcar celebrate a win taht was far more important than just getting three points

Saturday's goalscorers Eidur Gudjohnsen and Niko Kranjcar celebrate a win taht was far more important than just getting three points

"I’ve had my doubts all season long about whether Spurs could last the pace. Traditionally London’s party club, there have always been question marks about the consistency of their players. But slowly there seems to be a determination growing among this group to end the season with something really worth partying about."

Ralph Ellis tells us why despite every Premier League match having three points on offer, some results mean more than others. Following on from that, this is what we can read into some of this weekend's results....

There are certain results that tell you far more than merely who won or lost. They are the fixtures that fans look for when the list comes out in June, either through rich anticipation or dread. There are the local derbies, there are games where bitter rivalries have built up because of incidents on or off the field, and of course the trips to big clubs and stadiums that become a special day out.

Who would have ever thought that list of significant games would grow to include any trip to the Britannia Stadium? Yet in just two short seasons playing Stoke away has become an acid test of a team's potential.

Nobody looks forward to it; officially the Premier League's noisiest supporters in the stands, and definitely the most awkward team to face on the field. You have to be physically brave and disciplined to stand up to the challenge of heading out up to 20 long throws. Then you have to be mentally courageous to keep the ball on the floor and play football when it's your turn to get possession.

This season Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea had all gone there and won. Of the group chasing the fourth Champions League place, Liverpool, Manchester City and Aston Villa had only drawn. So don't for a moment underestimate the significance of Tottenham coming home from the Britannia this weekend with three points in the bag.

I've had my doubts all season long about whether Spurs could last the pace. Traditionally London's party club, there have always been question marks about the consistency of their players. But slowly there seems to be a determination growing among this group to end the season with something really worth partying about.

Signing Eidur Gudjohnsen, whose goal brought a 2-1 win, in the January window was a master stroke by Harry Redknapp, and ensures his squad has extra depth to cope with a run-in that still includes games against Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea.

Spurs are now [2.96] a top four finish, with Manchester City just shorter at [2.42] after Carlos Tevez struck his 16th of the season in a 2-1 win at Fulham. Meanwhile Liverpool have slid to an astonishing [6.4] after losing by the same scoreline at Manchester United yesterday.

If you want to talk significant fixtures, then for the Anfield club the trip to Old Trafford was as big as they come. An insipid second half display means not only could they fail to finish in the top four, but there's no guarantee of the top six either. Aston Villa are a point behind with two games in hand despite only drawing 2-2 with Wolves, and the final humiliation would come if Everton stole past them.

David Moyes' team are priced around [5.2] (on a slightly illiquid market) in the season match bets to clamber above their Mersey rivals and a 2-0 win at home to Bolton underlined their steady climb, now six points behind but with a game in hand.

United have started winning the key games, and should be odds-on for the title, so [2.1] is decent value. Chelsea are wobbling and couldn't hold on to Didier Drogba's early goal as they drew 1-1 at Blackburn. Not so many weeks ago there was a Betfair market to see if Carlo Ancelotti's side would stay top all season. Now they are third and are the outsiders of the three chasing the title at [4.0], with Arsenal [3.65].

Going to the Gunners always used to be one of the big days for West Ham, but losing 2-0 despite facing ten men for 46 minutes shows how times have changed. Home to Wolves tomorrow has become a far bigger fixture for them now and [1.8] looks far too tight a price after Mick McCarthy's men performed so well at Villa Park.

Burnley had better make the most of their Lancashire derbies. A 1-0 defeat to Hugo Rodallega's injury time header means they probably won't be playing Bolton or Blackburn next season.

Meanwhile Hull's new manager Iain Dowie has been involved in a run of relegations - first with Crystal Palace, then Charlton and Newcastle, and things don't look easier at Hull after two goals in the last two minutes brought a 3-2 defeat at bottom club Portsmouth. Yet the [1.64] about Hull going down could still be worth laying. That's because five of their last eight games are at home - and guess what, they've lost less matches on their own patch than Stoke!

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