Sunday, 21 May 2017

It's Do And Die Time: Arsenal v Everton Preview

The Premier League comes to a conclusion today with Arsenal playing at home to Everton and looking for a win in the hope of qualifying for next season's Champions League. As it stands they are three points behind City and one point behind Liverpool with City travelling to Watford and Liverpool at home to Boro. To catch City it will take a defeat for them and a win for Arsenal as well as a five goal turnaround on goal difference, but a defeat or draw for Liverpool would be enough if Arsenal win their game.

There's even a scenario where a 2-0 defeat for Liverpool and a 1-1 draw for Arsenal would bring a play off for fourth place and that crucial final place. Considering the opposition for both Liverpool and City the chances are they will both do what they need to do, but hope springs eternal and last season taught us that you cannot give up that hope. Of course the chances of either Liverpool or City doing a "Spurs" are slim, but all Arsenal can do is win their game and keep their fingers crossed.

To make things a little more interesting and probably a little more difficult too they have an FA Cup final to play just six days later. Arsene Wenger might be tempted to rest one or two players ahead of that Cup Final, but I would be very surprised if he didn't play his strongest team in the hope that things might go our way elsewhere. As always in tight situations like this, goals change games and Arsenal could put some pressure on Liverpool in particular if they can be the first team to score. If they can get themselves into a comfortable lead before Liverpool can score it could become very nervy at Anfield and who knows what might happen.

To be honest though I don't hold out much hope of Boro doing anything other than being well beaten despite how poorly Liverpool have played at home recently. Boro have shipped a lot of goals in recent weeks after looking pretty solid defensively for most of the season and their lack of goals has been the main reason they were relegated. Maybe Arsenal's only hope in that game is the fact no other team has drawn more away games in the Premier League this season than Boro.

In the other game I hold out virtually no hope of Watford getting anything from a City team who have been very good away from home this season. They have won as many games on the road as they have at home and have scored more goals away from home than they have at home. Even if they did somehow contrive to lose the game I can't see a five goal turnaround happening.

It's been far from a good season for Arsenal and all the old failings have been shown up yet again. The annual collapse from a good position in the league was followed by the usual round of 16 exit from the Champions League and it was the must humiliating of all exits this season too. At least the FA Cup has brought some respite, but Arsenal will go into that game as second favourites to a Chelsea team looking to do the double.

The chances are we will be playing Europa League football on Thursday night's next season and that Chelsea will complete that double too. This Arsenal team have let us down so often when the chips are down that it's hard to believe anything else will happen, but as football supporters we always have to be hopeful. I could be sitting here this time next week writing about how we have pulled off an improbable but glorious double of Champions League qualification and the FA Cup. I don't think I will be, but I most certainly hope I am.

That's it for today.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Predictions For Premier League Gameweek 38

It's that time of the the week again when I attempt to predict the outcomes of the upcoming Premier League games. I did quite well last week with two perfect outcomes, nine correct outcomes and four incorrect. Unfortunately others in my predictions league did even better than me and I'm still in third place with no hope of winning the league as you can see from the table below.

BadgesThis WeekPTS
 1 (1)  Karl-Yngve Lund 4+1852430
 2 (2)  Rutland Gooner 5+1702210
 3 (3)  Michael Sheehy 8+1352085
 4 (4)  Wayne Hubbard 2+1552055


 
Sunday May 21

All games 3pm BST

Arsenal v Everon

Emirates Stadium, London

Arsenal did what they had to do in the last week to stay in the hunt for a top four place with wins at Stoke and at home to Sunderland. Only Chelsea and Spurs have won more home games than Arsenal with only Spurs and United conceding less goals at home and they have taken 16 points from their last six home games with clean sheets in five of those games. They have won six of their last seven games, but they have conceded more goals than the rest of the top six teams.

Alexis Sanchez has been on fire in recent games for fantasy managers and the Arsenal defenders have all done well recently too.

Everton won 1-0 at home to Watford last week, but they're going to finish seventh no matter what the outcome of this game might be. They have only won four of their 18 away games and they haven't won in their last seven games on the road. Their win last week was their first win in four games and they failed to score in the previous three games too.

Romelu Lukaku is the best fantasy option in the Everton team, but he has done all of his best work at home.

Arsenal need to win to and hope other results go their way and I think they will do so, but it will be in vain.

Prediction: 2-0

Burnley v West Ham United

Turf Moor, Burnley 

Burnley lost away to Bournemouth last week, buy they have secured their Premier League place for another season. Only six teams have won more home games, but they have only won once in their last five on their own patch. They have only won twice in their last 14 games and only the three relegated teams have scored less goals.

Burnley's defenders have done very well at home and they could be worth considering for fantasy managers in this game.

West Ham lost 4-0 at home to Liverpool last week to realistically end their hopes of finishing in the top half of the table. They have only won four of their 18 away games, but only the top six have scored more away goals and they haven't won in their last six away games. They have only won twice in their last 13 games and have only scored one goal in their last four games with only four teams conceding more goals.

I can't see any West Ham players who might make a difference for fantasy managers in this game.

With their home record Burnley should be favourites to win this game and I think they will get the better of a close affair.

Prediction: 2-1

Chelsea v Sunderland 

Stanford Bridge, London

Chelsea wrapped up the league title last week at West Brom and then beat Watford with a more or less second string team. They have won 16 of their 18 home games and have scored more goals at home than any other team. They have won 29 games so far this season and have scored more goals than any other team with only Spurs and United conceding less.

With a cup final to play next week and nothing resting on this game it's not easy for fantasy managers to know which Chelsea players will play.

Sunderland lost at home to Swansea last week and away to Arsenal in midweek and the season can't end quickly enough for them. They have lost 14 of their 18 away games with only Hull and Boro scoring less away goals and they have lost five of their last six away games without scoring in each of those five defeats. They have lost more games than any other team and only Boro have scored less goals while they have only taken five points from their last 13 games and failed to score in 11 of them.

I can't see any Sunderland players to recommend to fantasy managers.

Whatever team Chelsea put out they should be more than good enough to win this game with a few goals to spare.

Prediction: 3-0

Hull City v Tottenham Hotspur 

KCOM Stadium, Hull

Hull lost at Palace last week and that defeat confirmed their relegation to the Championship. They have only lost six of their 18 home games and have only lost one in the last nine at home, but that was their last home game and that was the result which really put an end to their hopes of staying up. Only Sunderland have lost more games and no other team has conceded more goals with only the bottom two scoring less.

I can't see any Hull players to recommend to fantasy managers this week.

Spurs beat United last week to guarantee second place and then put six past Leicester away from home on Thursday night. They have only won eight of their 18 away games, but no other team has conceded less goals on the road and they have won four of their last five away from home. They have won 11 of their last 12 games and they kept clean sheets in half of those games with only Chelsea scoring more goals and no other team conceding less.

Even with nothing riding on this game I think Spurs players could do well for fantasy managers with Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli and their defenders and goalkeeper all certainly worth having.

I think Spurs will be too strong for Hull and will finish their season on a high with a comprehensive win.

Prediction: 0-3

Leicester City v Bournemouth

King Power Stadium, Leicester 

Leicester lost at City last week and they were thrashed at home to City on Thursday night. They have won 10 of their 18 home games with only six teams scoring more goals at home and they had won five in a row at home before losing to Spurs. If they lose this game they will have lost half of their games this season which is not a great return for last season's champions.

Jamie Vardy has been in very good form for fantasy managers ever since they parted ways with Claudio Ranieri and he might not be a bad fantasy purchase this week.

Bournemouth won 2-1 at home to Burnley last week and they will finish in the top half of the table if they win this game. They have only won three of their 18 away games while only three other teams have conceded more away goals, but they have only lost one of their last five games on the road. Only six teams have scored more goals than Bournemouth and only two teams have conceded more while they have taken 10 points from their last four games.

Josh King has been the gift that kept on giving for fantasy managers in the last few months and it's hard to ignore him.

I think Leicester will finish their season at home in a flurry in this game and book a place in the top half of the table.

Prediction: 3-1

Liverpool v Middlesbrough 

Anfield, Liverpool

Liverpool won away to West Ham last week to keep their fate in their own hands on the final day of the season. They have only lost two of their 18 home games, but they haven't won in their last three at home and only the top two have scored more at home. They have taken 24 points from their last 11 games with clean sheets in four of their last five and only the top two scoring more goals.

With a lot riding on this game Phillippe Coutinho could be the Liverpool player to have for fantasy managers as they look for the win they need.

Boro lost at home to Southampton last week, but they will at least manage to finish second last despite their relegation thanks to Sunderland doing even worse than them. They have only won once in 18 away games and no other team has drawn more away games, but they have lost their last three on the road and conceded 11 goals in the process. They have only won once in their last 20 games and have won less games and scored less goals than any other team.

I can't see any Boro players who might make a difference for fantasy managers.

Liverpool will finish in the top four if they win this game and I think they should be good enough to get the result they need.

Prediction: 2-0

Manchester United v Crystal Palace

Old Trafford, Manchester 

United lost at Spurs last week and they managed a 0-0 draw at Southampton in midweek, but their thoughts are firmly on their Europa Cup Final next Wednesday night. They have drawn 10 of their 18 home games with only Spurs conceding less goals at home and it's their home form which has cost them a top four place as they have taken more points away from home. They haven't won in five games and have only scored two goals in those games, but only Spurs have conceded less goals.

With that Europa League final three days after this game it's impossible to know which United players will play and it's best for fantasy managers to avoid them.

Palace won 4-0 at home to Hull last week to guarantee their safety and condemn Hull to the Championship. They have only lost half of their 18 away games and only six other teams have scored more goals away from home. They had lost three in a row without scoring before beating Hull last week and they're the highest scorers in the bottom half of the league.

With United likely to field a second string team both Wilfried Zaha and Christian Benteke could possibly do well for fantasy managers in this game.

Even with a second string team I think United should at least be able to get a point from this game.

Prediction: 1-1

Southampton v Stoke City

St. Mary's Stadium, Southampton 

Southampton won at Boro last week and drew at home to United in midweek and three points in this game will be enough for them to finish eighth. They have only won six of their 18 home games and haven't scored in their last four at home with only Sunderland scoring less goals at home. They're the lowest scorers in the top half of the table and they have only won once in their last seven games and they failed to score in five of those games.

Southampton's defenders and goalkeeper have done well recently for fantasy managers and they are certainly worth considering in this game.

Stoke lost 4-1 at home to Arsenal last week and results haven't gone their way in recent weeks. They have only taken two points from their last seven away games and they failed to score in six of those games. They have only won once in their last 10 games and only four other teams have scored less goals. 

I can't see any Stoke players who might be of any interest to fantasy managers this week.

I think Southampton will get the win they need to finish eighth despite their lack of goals at home recently.

Prediction: 2-0

Swansea City v West Bromwich Albion

Liberty Stadium, Swansea

Swansea won away to Sunderland last week and those three points meant they avoided the drop. They have taken 16 points from their last seven home games, but only Sunderland have conceded more goals at home. Only Sunderland have lost more games than Swansea and only Hull have conceded more goals, but 10 points and three clean sheets in their last four games was just about enough to keep them up.

With relegation avoided for another season both Gylfi Sigurdsson and Fernando Llorente might do well for fantasy managers in this game.

West Brom lost at home to Chelsea last week and away to City in midweek and those defeats meant they dropped out of the top eight for the first time in months. They have only won three of their 18 away games and they haven't won in eight games on the road with only four other teams scoring less away goals. They have only taken two points in their last eight games and they failed to score in six of those games.

I can't see any West Brom players who might make an impression for fantasy managers this week.

This could be a close game, but I think home advantage should be enough for Swansea to take the three points.

Prediction: 2-1

Watford v Manchester City

Vicarage Road, Watford 

Watford lost at Everton and Chelsea in the last week and they were probably a little lucky the relegation battle didn't catch up with them. They have won three of their last four home games and kept clean sheets in each of those three wins too. They have lost their last five games and failed to score in four of them and they will part ways with Walter Mazzarri once the season ends.

I can't see any Watford players who might make a difference for fantasy managers on the final day of the season.

City won at home to Leicester and West Brom in the last week to more or less book their place in the Champions League next season. Only Chelsea have won more away games than City and no other team has scored more goals away from home with only one defeat in their last seven away games. They are unbeaten in seven games with five wins and 18 goals in those games with only Chelsea and Spurs scoring more goals so far this season.

Gabriel de Jesus, Kevin de Bruyne, David Silva and Leroy Sane have all done well for fantasy managers and they might not do too badly in this game either.

I think City will get the result they need to guarantee third place and avoid the final qualifying round for next season's Champions League.

Prediction: 1-3

That's it for this season.

See you next season.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Arsenal's Trip To Stoke Previewed

Arsenal have slowly but surely improved in recent weeks with the exception of the 2-0 defeat at Spurs. They won at home to United on Sunday and again at Southampton on Wednesday night to keep their hopes of a top four finish just alive. They still have some ground to make up on both Liverpool and City, but they certainly have have some momentum in their favour.

Before last Sunday Arsenal had never won a league game against a Jose Mourinho, but they overcame that hoodoo with a 2-0 win. They haven't had the best record at Southampton either since Southampton returned to the Premier League, but they overcame that hurdle in midweek too. Their next hurdle is a trip to a Stoke team where they have struggled almost every time they have played there in the Premier League.

In eight trips to Stoke in that time Arsenal have only won once and that was on a day Arsenal will never forget. The injury suffered by Aaron Ramsey on that day over seven years ago is a sight I will never forget, but to the credit of the Arsenal players they managed to play on and get two very late goals to win 3-1. If Ramsey plays today he will suffer the usual abuse from the Stoke fans who weren't happy with him taking umbridge with the "challenge" which could have ended his career.

We'll hear the usual disgusting songs from their fans as they show their lack of class and they only way to shut them up is to give them the beating they deserve. It's not as if what happened to Ramsey was a mere accident as it was a direct result of the tactics many teams and Stoke in particular employ against Arsenal. Look at the injury Matthieu Debuchey suffered at the hands of Marco Arnautovic a couple of seasons ago and how it ruined his career or Charlie Adams assault on Alexis Sanchez last season.

Both Arnautovic and Adams escaped unpunished and it appears it takes what happened to Ramsey for referrees to act. It's very difficult to believe those in charge have the welfare of the players in mind when they constantly allow incidents like those to go unpunished. I have no doubt we will see the the same approach as always from Stoke today and the chances are the first yellow card will be issued to an Arsenal player (Granit Xhaka).

Stoke have been on a pretty awful run recently, but a strong finish to the season could still see them finish as high as eighth. They have only won once in nine games and that was a home game against the team with the worst away record in the league. That was their only home win in four games and they have lost to both Chelsea and Liverpool at home in those games. If Arsenal are going to keep their top four hopes alive they have to do what both of those teams did and get the better of Stoke on their own ground.

Of course Arsenal haven't exactly set the world alight away from home recently either with five defeats in their last seven away games, but they have won two of their last three on the road. They haven't had too many problems scoring goals away from home with only City getting more on their travels, but they have conceded too many. Maybe the change in formation will change that as the team seem to be gradually improving as they adjust to it.

It will be Arsenal's third game in seven days and fatigue could be a factor for the players. Even with that in mind I don't expect Arsene Wenger to make too many changes to a winning team. Both Laurent Koscielny and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are doubts for the game and I think Koscielny is the more likely of the two to make it.

Chamberlain pulled up with a hamstring injury on Wednesday night and with his past record it would be too risky to play him. It could be a risk to play Ramsey too considering how far he has run in the last two games and his injury record since that fateful day in February 2010. I would be surprised if he didn't play though and I expect to see a very similar team.

Arsenal will have to complete as hard as Stoke if they want to get the better of them and that's something they've struggled to do far too often this season for my liking. They have the players to hurt Stoke and win the game, but they have to silence the crowd and put Stoke on the back foot. This is almost like Stoke's cup final to their fans and they seen to like nothing more than turning Arsenal over.

If we can take the three points we will put real pressure on Liverpool before they go to a West Ham team tomorrow who have finally found some form at home. That pressure is definitely getting to them with Jurgen Klopp questioning Southampton's tactics against us on Wednesday compared to the tactics they employed in getting a 0-0 draw at Anfield on Sunday. If we can beat Stoke then Liverpool will have to beat West Ham and the way they are playing that will be no easy task.

That's it for today.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Predictions For Premier League Gameweek 37

It's that time of the week again when I attempt to predict the outcomes of the upcoming Premier League games. I did pretty well last week with one perfect result, six correct outcomes and four incorrect. I moved back up to third in my predictions league with a slight chance of catching the second placed team, but the league title is beyond me as you can see from the table below.

BadgesThis WeekPTS
 1 (1)  Karl-Yngve Lund 4-102245
 2 (2)  Rutland Gooner 5+502040
 3 (4)  Michael Sheehy 8+951950
 4 (3)  Wayne Hubbard 201900


 
Friday May 12

Everton v Watford

7.45pm BST, Goodison Park, Liverpool

Everton lost at Swansea last week and it looks like they will have to settle for seventh place, but that will at least bring Europa League football. They have won 12 of their 18 home games with only three other teams scoring more goals at home and they had won eight in a row at home before losing their last home game against Chelsea. They have only taken one point in their last three games and they failed to score in each of those games too.

With only two games to play and one of them away to Arsenal it could be best for fantasy managers to avoid Everton players even if Romelu Lukaku has a very good goalscoring record at home.

Watford lost 3-0 at Leicester last week, but other results meant it's virtually impossible for them to be relegated. They have only won three of their 17 away games and have lost their last five away games without scoring a goal. They have lost their last three games without scoring a goal and it would appear the season can't end quickly enough for them.

With trips to Everton and Chelsea this week and a home game against City in their last game I can't see Watford players doing too much for fantasy managers for the rest of the season.

I think Everton should sign off to their home fans with a fairly comfortable win.

Prediction: 3-0

West Bromwich Albion v Chelsea

8pm BST, The Hawthorns, Birmingham 

West Brom actually scored a couple of goals last week in a 2-2 draw at Burnley and they have two tough games this week. They have won half of their 18 home games, but they have lost their last three at home without scoring a goal. They have only won once in their last nine games and they failed to score in seven of those games.

Despite playing twice this week I can't see any West Brom players to recommend to fantasy managers.

Chelsea won 3-0 at home to Boro on Monday night and they will be champions if they win this game with a couple of games to spare. They have won more away games than any other team with only City and Arsenal scoring more away goals and they have won four of their last five games on the road. They have won more games and scored more goals than any other team and they have won five of their last six games with 10 goals in the last three.

Chelsea players have been impressive for fantasy managers, but some of their stars could be rested ahead of the FA Cup final if they win the title in this game and fantasy managers need to be wary of them.

I think Chelsea should be more than good enough to get the three points they need to wrap up the title.

Prediction: 0-2

Saturday May 13

Manchester City v Leicester City

12.30pm BST, Etihad Stadium, Manchester 

City won 5-0 at home to Palace last week to move up to third place and their top four hopes rest firmly in their own hands. They have only lost one of their 17 home games, but only United have drawn more games at home and all of those draws have hampered their chances this season. They have taken 11 points from their last nine games and kept clean sheets in three of them with only the top two teams winning more games.

Gabriel de Jesus could be the City player to have with two games this week while Kevin de Bruyne, David Silva and their defenders are looking pretty good too.

Leicester won 3-0 at home to Watford last week and not only did they secure their Premier League place for next season, but they also gave themselves a great chance of finishing eighth. They have lost 12 of their 18 away games with only Hull and Bournemouth conceding more goals away from home. They have taken 22 points from their last 10 games to climb into the top half of the table after finally finding some of the form which saw them win the league last season.

Jamie Vardy is still the Leicester player to have for fantasy managers with two games this week even if they aren't the easiest games.

I think Leicester will make a real game of it, but City might just get a narrow victory.

Prediction: 2-1

Bournemouth v Burnley

3pm BST, Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth

Bournemouth drew 2-2 at home to Stoke last week to keep themselves in with a slight chance of finishing as high as eighth. They have won eight of their 18 home games with only five other teams scoring more goals at home and they have taken 10 points from their last five home games scoring 12 goals in the process. Only six teams have scored more goals and they have taken seven points and scored seven goals in their last three games.

Josh King has been in incredible form for fantasy managers this calendar year and he could do well in this game.

Burnley drew 2-2 at home to Stoke last week and it would take a minor miracle for them to be relegated this season. They have only won once in 18 away games, but that was their last away game with only Hull and Boro scoring less goals on the road. Four points from their last two games have made them just about safe, but only the bottom three clubs have scored less goals.

I can't see any of the Burnley players to recommend to fantasy managers from here on in.

I think this could be a close game and the chances are Bournemouth will emerge with the three points.

Prediction: 2-1

Middlesbrough v Southampton

3pm BST, Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough 

Boro lost 3-0 at Chelsea on Monday night and that defeat conformed their relegation to the Championship. They have only won four of their 18 home games and no other team has scored less goals at home. They have the best defensive record in the bottom half of the table, but they are the lowest scorers and they have only won once in their last 19 games.

I can't see any Boro players who might interest fantasy managers.

Southampton managed to get a 0-0 draw at Liverpool on Sunday, but they lost 2-0 at home to Arsenal on Wednesday night. They have lost half of their 18 away games and have taken 10 points from their last six games on the road. They have failed to score in their last three games and haven't won in their last five and they're the lowest scorers in the top half of the league.

With two games this week Southampton players are certainly worth considering for fantasy managers with their defenders and goalkeeper possibly being the best bets.

I think Southampton should be good enough to get the better of already relegated Boro.

Prediction: 0-2

Sunderland v Swansea City

3pm BST, Stadium of Light, Sunderland 

Sunderland won 2-0 away to Hull last week, but it was too late for them as they were already relegated and they can only hope for a strong finish to at least get off the foot of the table. They have taken less points at home than any other team while no other team has scored less goals at home and they haven't won in nine games on their own ground. Their win last week was their first one in 11 games and they failed to score in nine of those games too.

Even with two games this week I can't see any Sunderland players who might interest fantasy managers.

Swansea won 1-0 at home to Everton last week to move out of the bottom three and give themselves a great chance of avoiding the drop. They have only won three of their 18 away games with only one point from the last seven games on the road and only Hull and Bournemouth have conceded more away goals. They have taken seven points from their last three games though and kept clean sheets in two of them even if no other team has conceded more goals.

If Swansea are going to stay up then Gylfi Sigurdsson and Fernando Llorente could do well for fantasy managers.

Swansea need the three points badly to try to avoid the drop and I think that might just give them the edge in this game.

Prediction: 1-2

Stoke City v Arsenal

5.30pm BST, bet365 Arena, Stoke

Stoke drew 2-2 away to Bournemouth last week and that point meant they will keep their place in the Premier League for another season. They have only won once in their last four home games and only five other teams have scored less goals at home. They have only won once in their last nine games and they failed to score in five of those games too.

Like a few other teams I can't see any Stoke players to recommend to fantasy managers, but it's not easy to know how end of season games will go.

Arsenal won 2-0 at home to United last week and then at Southampton on Wednesday night to keep their slim top four hopes just about alive. They have lost five of their last seven away games, but they have won two of the last three on the road and only City have scored more away goals. They have won four of their last five games and kept clean sheets in three of those games too.

With two matches this week Arsenal players could do well for fantasy managers  and Alexis Sanchez is still the pick of the bunch. 

Stoke will relish the chance to get one over on Arsenal, but I think Arsenal's need for points might just give them the edge.

Prediction: 1-2

Sunday May 14

Crystal Palace v Hull City

12pm BST, Selhurst Park, London

Palace were well beaten at City last week and they're still not safe from relegation, but they will be if they avoid defeat in this game. They have lost more home games than any other team and they haven't won in their last three games on their own patch with only four other teams scoring less goals at home. They have lost their last three games without scoring and only three other teams have conceded more goals.

Palace could do well in this game and if they do then Wilfried Zaha is the man most likely to perform for fantasy managers.

Hull looked all set to stay out of the bottom three last week until they lost 2-0 at home already relegated Sunderland. They have only won once in 18 away games and that was their first away game of the season with no other team conceding more or scoring less goals on the road. They have only won once in their last five games and no other team has conceded more goals.

I can't see any Hull players to recommend to fantasy managers.

Palace just need a point to guarantee their survival and I think they should do so against a Hull team who have offered very little away from home.

Prediction: 1-1

West Ham United v Liverpool

2.15pm BST, London Stadium, London

West Ham had a great 1-0 win at home to Spurs last week to make sure they can't go down and like quite a few others they now have hopes of finishing as high as eighth. They have won seven and lost seven of their 18 home games, but they have taken seven points from their last three home games without conceding a goal. They are unbeaten in five games with clean sheets in four of those games, but only four other teams have conceded more goals.

With West Ham safe it's not easy to know how their players might do for fantasy managers, but Manuel Lanzini always looks dangerous.

Liverpool could only draw 0-0 at home to Southampton last week and they're stumbling towards the finish line and their goal of a top four finish. They have won half of their 18 away games and their last three in a row on the road with only City and Arsenal scoring more away goals. They have only won once in their last three games and have only scored three goals in their last four, but only Chelsea have scored more goals.

Phillippe Coutinho is the Liverpool player most likely to perform for fantasy managers, but all of their players are struggling at the moment.

West Ham put it up to Spurs last week and got a result and they might just get a point off Liverpool this week.

Prediction: 1-1

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United

4.30pm BST, White Hart Lane, London

Spurs lost 1-0 at West Ham last week and that defeat more or less put an end to their title hopes with Chelsea having a chance to lift the trophy before Spurs even get to play this game. They are the only team unbeaten at home with 16 wins from their 18 games and they have won their last 13 games on their own patch with only Chelsea scoring more goals at home and no other team conceding less. They had won nine games in a row before losing to West Ham with clean sheets in six of those games with no other team conceding less goals and only Chelsea scoring more.

With two games this week Spurs players could do well for fantasy managers with Dele Alli, Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen and all of their defenders and keeper worth having.

United lost 2-0 at Arsenal last week and all of their Champions League eggs are now firmly in their Europa League basket. They have only lost three of their 17 away games and no other team has conceded less goals away from home. Their defeat at Arsenal last week was their first league defeat in 26 games, but they started that run in sixth place and finished it there too thanks to too many drawn games.

With a Europa league final probably coming up three days after their final league game I can only imagine an awful lot of rotating in the United team which makes their players hard to choose for fantasy managers.

I think Spurs will get the better of what will more than likely be a tired United side and win by a couple of goals to at least confirm they finish as runners up.

Prediction: 2-0

Monday May 15

Chelsea v Watford

8pm BST, Stamford Bridge, London

Chelsea should wrap the league up at West Brom on Friday night and will want to celebrate in style in front of their own fans in this game. They have won 15 of their 17 home games and have scored more goals at home than other team. They have won more games and scored more goals than any other team too with only Spurs and United conceding less goals.

As I said above I think Chelsea could rest some players with the FA Cup final in mind, but Cesc Fabregas might not be a bad choice for fantasy managers along with their defenders and goalkeeper.

Watford have a tough week with trips to Everton and Watford and their last game against City next week isn't any easier. Their away record doesn't make good reading with only Hull and Boro scoring less goals on the road. There would have to be a 12 goal swing against them in goal difference as well as the three teams below them all overtaking them for Watford to go down and it just isn't going to happen.

I can't see any Watford players who might make a difference for fantasy managers despite playing twice this week.

I think Chelsea will celebrate winning the title with a fairly comfortable victory in this game.

Prediction: 3-0

Tuesday May 16

Arsenal v Sunderland

7.45pm BST, Emirates Stadium, London

Arsenal will still be in the hunt for a top four place if they have won at Stoke on Saturday, but any other result will almost certainly leave them with little to play for in this game. They have won 12 of their 17 home games with 13 points from their last five at home and clean sheets in four of those games. They must surely be strong favourites to beat already relegated Sunderland and continue their strong finish to the season.

Alexis Sanchez is still the Arsenal player to have for fantasy managers and their defenders have done well in recent weeks too.

Sunderland at least managed a rare win at Hull last week, but they could be in for a rough ride with Arsenal and Chelsea to play in their last two games. They won away to Hull last week, but they had lost their previous four on the road without scoring a goal and they have lost 13 of their 17 away games. A lot of changes will be on the cards as they're playing in the Championship next season and they will want to bounce straight back.

As I said previously it's probably best for fantasy managers to avoid Sunderland players despite playing twice this week.

I think Arsenal should be too good for Sunderland and should win by a few goals whether they have anything riding on the game or not.

Prediction: 3-0

Manchester City v West Bromwich Albion

8pm BST, Etihad Stadium, Manchester 

City could tie up their top four place with a win in this game and the chances are they will probably finish third when all is said and done. This is their second home game of the week and two wins from those games will almost certainly guarantee a top four finish. Their hopes of finishing third are in their own hands and they have the easiest run in of the teams not yet to have tied down a top four place.

As I said previously de Jesus, de Bruyne and Silva could do well for fantasy managers this week and the City defenders might not do too badly either.

West Brom have a tough week with Chelsea and City to play and they haven't picked up too many points in recent weeks. They have only won three of their 17 away games and they haven't won in their last seven games on the road. They're still in eighth place, but they will need to get some points from their last three games if they're going to hold on to that position.

I can't see any West Brom players who might make fantasy managers sit up and take notice this week despite playing twice.

I think City should run out comprehensive winners in this game as they look to confirm their spot in next season's Champions League.

Prediction: 3-0

Wednesday May 17

Southampton v Manchester United

7.45pm BST, St. Mary's Stadium, Southampton 

Southampton have had some tough games recently and this could be another one no matter what team United put out. They have only won six of their 17 home games with only the bottom two clubs scoring less goals at home and they haven't scored in their last three games on their own ground. They're one of the teams in with a chance of finishing eighth, but they will have to score a few goals in their last three games to do so.

Southampton's defenders and goalkeeper have done well recently and fantasy managers will have high hopes of another two clean sheets this week.

United look all set to finish sixth, but they have one trophy to their name this season and could end up with two. This is their second away game of the week and they have the Europa League final only a week later with another league game before it. They will want to finish as high as they can in the league, but the chances are they will rest plenty of players for their cup final.

Due to the rotation in the United squad it's difficult to recommend any of their players to fantasy managers.

I think Southampton might just get the edge on a stretched United team and gain a little revenge for the EFL Cup Final defeat.

Prediction: 1-0

Thursday May 18

Leicester City v Tottenham Hotspur

7.45pm BST, King Power Stadium, Leicester

Leicester have finished the season strongly, but this is a hard week for them with games against City and Spurs. They have won 10 of their 17 home games and have won their last five at home with 13 goals scored in those games. They're another one of the teams looking to finish eighth in the hope of a place in next season's Europa League.

If Leicester can do well in this tough week then Vardy and Riyad Mahrez might be the ones to benefit fantasy managers.

Spurs have a tough week too with United and Leicester to play and they might find it hard to raise their game after missing out on the title to Chelsea. They have only won seven of their 17 away games and no other team has conceded less goals on the road, but it's their away form which has ruined their title hopes. They're more or less nailed on to finish second for their best season in a long, long time, but they will still finish it without a trophy.

As I said above there are a lot of Spurs players to consider for fantasy managers unless of course they decide to rotate too with their fate already decided.

I think this will be a very close game and the chances are it will end in a draw.

Prediction: 1-1

That's it for this week.

See you next week.