Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Predictions For Premier League Gameweek 20.

It's not the usual time of the week for me to make my Premier League predictions, but with the fixtures coming thick and fast I have no choice but to plough ahead. With gameweek 19 just over we are already faced with gameweek 20, and gameweek 21 is just around the corner. It means you'll be seeing my predictions a lot more than usual, and it gives me a slight chance to make up some ground on the league leader in my predictions league.

I've had a pretty poor gameweek 19, but then again so did everybody else, and it wasn't helped by the cancellation of two games. It means that Blackpool now have played three games less than the other teams in the league, with "Manure", Liverpool and Birmingham all having played two games less. There are a few teams who have played one game less as well, and all of that has to be kept in mind when a fantasy team is being managed. I'll go into that when the teams start to make up the fixtures that they have missed, but if you're about to use your January wildcard it's worth keeping in mind. Here's a look at how my predictions league table stands, with my team still in fourth place.

NC 1
_Bradley08 900 -10 0
NC 2
essexgooner1965 770 +55 10
NC 3
preetgreet 725 +20 0
NC 4
aranmichael 620 +5 0  
NC 5
billygooner_29 605 0 0
NC 6
COSGOONER 590 +5 5
NC 7
Nickmc1980 535 0 0
Up 8
Sinesladael 465 +125 0
Down 9
senarmy 450 -20 0
NC 10
Imjola 430 +10 0
Man City v Aston Villa.
City got a good win away to Newcastle on Sunday as their excellent away form continued, but they have still got problems at home. If they can put some good home form together they will have to be considered genuine contenders. 
Villa have four points in eight away games, and they have only scored five goals in the process. After losing at home to The Spuds on Sunday they are back in 15th place, and things don't look too good for them.

This has the makings of a very low scoring game, which probably means that it will produce loads of goals, but either way I think City will win.

Prediction 1-0
 Stoke City v Fulham 
Stoke RFC had a very good away win against Blackburn on Sunday, and they now find themselves in eighth position in the league. Their home form has been very good since they were promoted two and a half seasons ago, and they will be hoping to push for a place in next season's Europa League.

Fulham just don't win away from home, and their home defeat to bottom team West Ham on Sunday pushed them into the relegation zone. If Mark Hughes doesn't turn things around very quickly he could well be the first managerial casualty of 2012.

I think that Stoke RFC have to be too good at home for Fulham, and they will win.

Prediction 2-0
 Sunderland v Blackpool
Sunderland's home form has been very impressive, and they will be hoping to bounce back after their 2-0 defeat away to the league leaders on Sunday. They're still seventh in the table, and a win in this game will put pressure on the teams above them. I think they play very well at home, and they are unbeaten there so far with only five goals conceded in nine games.

Blackpool are still eleventh in the table despite the fact that they have had three games postponed now. Their away form is very good, but they will be missing key player Charlie Adam, as he still hasn't had a chance to serve his suspension because of all the cancellations.

I think Blackpool will make a game of it, but Sunderland will have too much for them, as long as they take the game seriously enough.

Prediction 3-1
Tottenham v Newcastle
The Spuds did very well to win 2-1 away to Villa on Monday, as they had to play 60 minutes with only 10 men after Jermaine Defoe was sent off. Their star player was the fit again Rafael Van Der Vaart, and he is proving to be an exceptional buy for them. They're in fifth place in the league, and have only lost once at home so far, but they need to start winning more of their home games if they are to make more progress.

Newcastle got off to a great start under their new manager when they beat Liverpool, but Man City brought them back to earth by beating them at home on Sunday. Their away form has been fairly good so far, and there are a tough team to beat with Andy Carroll leading the line so well.

I think Newcastle will cause The Spuds plenty of problems, and they might just manage to sneak a draw.

Prediction 1-1
West Brom v Blackburn
West Brom have played good football since their promotion, and they have a fairly good home record with four wins in eight games. If they manage to avoid relegation this season it will be seen as successful for them, and they're on course to do just that at the moment. They will view this as a game that is very winnable, and they will set out to do just that.

Blackburn have sacked their manager, and they're slipping dangerously down the table at the moment. They have only won two of the nine away games so far, and their home form is starting to desert them at the moment. It's partly down to their current injury crisis, but it's something that they need to stop very soon.

I think West Brom should have just enough to see off a Blackburn team who have conceded 21 goals away from home so far.

Prediction 2-1
 West Ham v Everton
West Ham saved their manager's job on Sunday, when they came from behind to record their first away win of the season against Fulham. They are now off the bottom of the table, and they will be looking to build on that result. They have some good players, but a leaky defence has been their downfall so far.

Everton are capable of beating any team in the league on their day, but they are still over reliant on Tim Cahill. When he's off on international duty very soon they are going to find Premier League life very difficult, and they will be hoping for a going away present from him in this game. They have only lost twice away from home, but they are drawing too many games.

I think Everton will get the maximum points from this game, and Tim Cahill is the man most likely to do it for them.

Prediction 1-2
Birmingham v Man Utd
Birmingham have only lost one league game at home so far this season, and that excellent record at home stretches far back into last season as well. However, they are only two points above the relegation zone in 17th place, and they need to start winning some of the games they are drawing, like so many other teams in the Premier League.

"Manure" are on top of the league with at least a game in hand on the teams below them, but their away form is not that of a team that is top of the league. They have won only one of seven away games so far, but if they can start winning those away games they will be even stronger favourites to win the title. 

I can see Birmingham making life difficult for "Manure" in this game, and taking a point from them to open the door just a little for Arsenal and Man City.

Prediction 1-1
Chelsea v Bolton
Chelsea are on a terrible run of form at the moment, and the defeat to Arsenal last night made that even worse. However, they have won six of their eight home games so far, and they will be hoping to win this game, as they attempt to get their season back on track. They have managed only 16 points from their last 13 Premier League games, and they are no longer favourites to win the title.

Bolton find themselves in sixth place in the league, and a win in this game will see them move ahead of Chelsea. They have only won two of their nine away games so far, but they will be hopeful of getting a result with Chelsea seemingly in disarray at the moment. 

I think that Chelsea will manage to get their campaign back on track, but only just in a very tight game.

Prediction 2-1
Wigan v Arsenal
Wigan had a great win away to Wolves on Sunday, which moved them out of the relegation zone. They try to play good football, but their failure to score enough goals is their biggest problem at the moment. They did really well to beat Arsenal in the corresponding fixture last season, after going 2-0 down, and it was the result that guaranteed their Premier League survival.

Arsenal eventually managed to beat one of their bogey sides last night in a much deserved 3-1 victory over Chelsea. It leaves them in second place in the table, and only Man City have a better away record than them. With Cesc Fabregas and Robin Van Persie back in the team, they are nearly back at full strength, and a force to be reckoned with.

I think that Arsenal can continue their pursuit of "Manure" with a win in this game.

Prediction 1-3
Liverpool v Wolves
Liverpool have managed to win five of their eight home games so far, and a victory in this game is an absolute must for them. They are in a very unfamiliar mid-table position, and a failure to even challenge for a Champions League place would be an absolute disaster for them.

Wolves had the chance to move out of the bottom three on Sunday, but they lost at home to Wigan. That leaves them sitting on the foot of the table with only one point from eight away games so far. They may have played good football at times this season, but they are in danger of slipping back to the Championship if they can't string a few wins together.

I will be shocked if Liverpool don't win this game, and win it fairly easily too.

Prediction 3-0
That's my predictions for this set of midweek games, and as usual feel free to tell me where I have gone wrong, or even if I have got it right.

That's it for today.

See You Tomorrow.

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