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Football/soccer premiership preview 2005/06

Premiership preview 2005/06

The 2005/06 Premiership season gets underway on August 13th, and if the bookmakers are to be believed, the title will once again be contested by three teams.

Two of those – Chelsea and Arsenal – meet on 7th August in the traditional curtain-raiser to the new season, the Community Shield. As if any further spice was needed – the on-going Ashley Cole tapping-up saga looks set to ensure that meetings between these two London rivals are tense and feisty affairs.

A look at each of the three sides can point us in the direction of the best bets available prior to the start of the new campaign.

Where better to start than with champions Chelsea. Their first title in 50 years was delivered with games to spare last season, and although bitterly disappointed by their European exit at the hands of eventual winners Liverpool (more about them later), the season must be viewed as a huge success for Jose Mourinho’s side. One loss, 15 goals conceded and a winning margin of 12 points separating them from second-placed Arsenal says it all.

Add to that the growing defensive rock comprised primarily of captain John Terry and keeper Peter Cech, the dazzling attacking play of Robben and Duff, plus of course the spending power of Roman Abromavitch, and on the face of it Chelsea look like being incredibly hard to displace as champions.

Their price of evens is not an unfair price given their dominance last season as well as their ability to go out and buy established and expensive top-class players, however things will surely be tougher for them this time around.

Arsenal, who got off to such a great start last term, only to falter following a crushing defeat at Old Trafford that ended their 49 game unbeaten run, will be out to stop the Chelsea machine in its tracks. Arsenal have traditionally struggled following a title-winning season, only to come back stronger and more determined the season after. With

the arrival of top-class players promised – something they were unable to deliver at this time last year due to their new stadium project and the financial restrictions that resulted – Arsenal can mount a serious challenge to Chelsea’s title, and at odds of 11/4, make plenty of appeal.

Manchester United, not long ago the single dominant force in England, have not had things all their own way in recent times, culminating in a 3rd place finish last season and the need therefore to qualify for this season’s Champions League.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s side may have failed to impress last term – culminating in an empty trophy cabinet – but they have quality all over the park to make a serious impression in the title race this time around. The likes on Ryan Giggs, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Roy Keane and Rio Ferdinand can keep them on course, while in Wayne Rooney, they have a genuine star player who can make the difference in the big games especially. And with Sir Alex at the helm, backers of United can rest assured that his players will be fully motivated for the challenge that lies ahead.

United can be backed at 10/3 for Premiership glory and this price could look very generous come Christmas 2006 when the race will really begin to hot up.

Finally, no Premiership guide is complete without mention at least of the 2005 Champions League winners. They may have failed to secure a top-four finish in last season’s campaign, but following their heroic European triumph, confidence will be sky high, and with Steven Gerrard seemingly committed to the cause, the 25/1 about a Liverpool triumph looks the each-way value, especially as they are as short as 14/1 in places.

Recommended bets:

5pts Chelsea (evens)

3pts Arsenal (11/4)


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