Soccer Central Articles and
Football/soccer premiership preview
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
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
Mourinhos 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 Chelseas 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 seasons Champions
Sir Alex Fergusons 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 seasons 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.
5pts Chelsea (evens)
3pts Arsenal (11/4)
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