Friday, 31 December 2010

Predictions For Premier League Gameweek 21.

It's that time of the week again when I attempt to predict the outcome of this weekend's Premier League games. I had a fairly bad time with my midweek prediction, as I only managed to get one correct scoreline, two correct outcomes, and I got seven incorrect outcomes. It means that I lost even more ground on the leader in my prediction league, but I actually made up ground on the two other teams ahead of me. Here's a look at how my prediction league looks at the moment.

NC 1
_Bradley08 960 +60 0
NC 2
essexgooner1965 730 -40 0
NC 3
preetgreet 685 -40 0
NC 4
aranmichael 615 -5 0  
NC 5
billygooner_29 560 -45 0
NC 6
COSGOONER 550 -40 0
NC 7
Nickmc1980 535 0 0
Up 8
senarmy 460 +10 0
Down 9
Sinesladael 445 -20 0
Up 10
oakhamgooner 430 +10 0
West Brom v Man Utd
West Brom v Man Utd 
West Brom have started to slide down the table recently, and they need to arrest that run of poor form. Their home results have been quite good, with only three defeats in nine games, but they are leaking a lot of goals.

"Manure" are going to romp away with the Premier League title if the experts are to be believed. It's said that they are always stronger after Christmas, and that they have too much for the other contenders. This "Manure" team hasn't changed from the one that was considered to be the worst one they have had in years, and they have only managed one win in eight away games. They keep conceding late goals to cost them points, and I am not convinced by them at all.

I can see "Manure" finally getting another away win under their belts in this game, but West Brom are still capable of a shock if things go their way.


Liverpool v Bolton
Liverpool v Bolton
Liverpool are a pale shadow of the team that almost won the league two seasons ago. Both Xavi Alonso and Javier Mascherano have been sold, but neither of them were properly replaced. I watched their defeat at home to Wolves on Wednesday night, and they were by far the worst team on the field. Only their home form is preventing them from being right in the middle of the relegation battle, and that isn't great. If things continue as they are then there will be changes very soon.

Bolton are sixth in the table, and they played very well when they lost away to Chelsea on Wednesday. If they can play like that again I think that they will cause Liverpool a lot of problems. Their away form hasn't been great so far though, with only two wins in 10 games. However they have scored a lot more goals than Liverpool, and I expect them to score tonight.

I can't see where Liverpool are going to get the inspiration to transform their season, and I think Bolton will deepen the crisis by taking a point at Anfield.

Prediction: 1-1

Man City v Blackpool
Man City v Blackpool
Man City are still struggling to play well, and finish teams off at home. Their away form is now the best in the league, and they will be hoping that the 4-0 demolition of Aston Villa on Tuesday will be the result to turn their home form around. With the array of talent that they have, they are still talking about adding more players in the transfer window that opens tomorrow, and they have to be considered genuine title contenders at this stage.

Blackpool have been quite magnificent since being promoted, and their away form is only bettered by Man City and Arsenal. They continue to defy the odds week after week by beating teams that have so much more resources than them. They put an end to Sunderland's unbeaten home record on Tuesday, and they will be looking to attack City in this game, and cause another shock.

Despite Blackpool's impressive displays so far I can't see them putting a stop to both Carlos Tevez and Mario Balotelli, and I think that City will emerge as winners.


Stoke City v Everton
Stoke v Everton
Stoke RFC continued their yo-yo form by losing at home to Fulham, who hadn't won any of their previous 26 away league games. They put teams under a lot of pressure, and it's not pretty to watch, but it's usually effective at home. They will be looking to stay ahead of Everton with at least a draw, but four home defeats from 10 games is more than they would have expected to have lost by now.

Everton's position in the league is a false one in my opinion, as I think they should be in a much higher one. Their problem is their lack of goals, and the lack of a striker capable of scoring those goals for them. Thankfully they have the top scoring fantasy football midfielder in Tim Cahill, but they are about to lose him to international duty in the Asia Cup with Australia. What happens while he is gone is anybody's guess, but until then his goals will be essential for Everton. They should have beaten West Ham on Tuesday, and they have only lost two away games so far this season, but they need to start winning more of them.

Stoke RFC will look to bombard what might be a makeshift Everton defence, but I expect Everton to get their seventh away draw of the season.

Prediction: 1-1

Sunderland v Blackburn
Sunderland v Blackburn
Sunderland lost their unbeaten home record against Blackpool on Tuesday, but they had enough chances to win it easily. They will be looking to bounce back in this game, and Blackburn have a pretty poor away record in the league. I expect the Sunderland players to score at least one or two of the chances they create this time.

Blackburn halted their slide by winning away to West Brom with Nikola Kalinic being both the hero and the villain for them. He scored two goals, but he then got a straight red card for violent conduct, and he will have to serve a three match ban. They have already got a very long injury list, and they certainly could have done without that red card. Kalinic looked to have taken his chance to claim a starting role, but he has surely blown that now. Blackburn don't travel too well, and they will struggle in this game in my opinion.

Sunderland should get their home form back on track with a victory in this game, and keep up their push for a Europa League spot next season.

Prediction: 2-0

Tottenham v Fulham
Tottenham v Fulham
The Spuds are on a good run at the moment, and they're only a point behind fourth placed Chelsea going into this game. They managed to win their last two games despite having a man sent off in both of them, and they have to be huge favourites to win this game. They have only lost once at home, and if they can convert some of their draws into wins they could possibly qualify for the Champions League again, which would be a victory for the little guys in football.

Fulham hadn't won an away match in 26 attempts before beating Stoke RFC on Tuesday, and they will be hoping to keep that away form going in this game. That result leaves them still in the relegation zone, but things are very tight at the foot of the table. They have drawn 10 of their 19 league games so far, which shows that they are never easy to beat.

As an Arsenal fan I don't want to see The Spuds doing well, but with my predictions going so far astray recently I think I will predict a Spuds win in the hope that I am wrong. Seriously though, I do think that they will take all three points.

Prediction: 2-1

West Ham v Wolves
West Ham v Wolves
West Ham are still rooted to the foot of the table, but their recent better results mean that they are only two points away from the relative safety of 17th place. Things at the foot of the table are very tight indeed, and this relegation six pointer is a must win game for both teams. I still think West Ham's defence is poor, and they will need to score at least two goals to get a result in any game.

Wolves had a very well deserved win away to Liverpool on Wednesday night, and they will look to build on that result in this game. Before that game they had only managed one point away from home all season, and they are still very much short of goals on their travels. I think that they have enough to avoid relegation, but then again so does every other team at the wrong end of the table.

The winner of the this game will get a huge boost in their fight against relegation, but I don't think that there will be a winner.


Birmingham v Arsenal
Birmingham v Arsenal 
Birmingham have a very good home record in the Premier League, as they have lost only once in over a year. They never give up fighting, and they managed a last minute equaliser against "Manure" on Tuesday night. Like so many other teams this season they are drawing too many games, and they need to put a few wins together to move away from the relegation fight that they find themselves in. Their style of football is far from pretty, and they don't score too many goals which doesn't make them an attractive prospect to watch. However, this game is live on TV, as the TV companies love to see Arsenal struggle.

Arsenal undid some of their good work against Chelsea by only drawing away to Wigan on Wednesday night. They started poorly, and defended badly, but they were also on the wrong end of some poor refereeing and bad luck. They have an excellent away record in the league so far this season, and they should have their strongest team available playing in this game, after Arsene Wenger made eight changes for that trip to Wigan. They are suspect from set pieces, and Birmingham will look to exploit that weakness, but with Cesc Fabregas and Robin Van Persie playing I would bet on them to beat any team.

Birmingham will look to do to Arsenal what they did to "Manure" on Tuesday, and take at least a point, but I predict Arsenal's good football to triumph over Birmingham's more agricultural approach.

Prediction: 1-2

Chelsea v Aston Villa
Chelsea v Aston Villa 
Chelsea got back on track just a little on Wednesday night by beating Bolton 1-0 at home. Despite all of their recent problems they are still fourth in the table, and their home form is only bettered by "Manure". Seven wins from nine home games is very good, and they have only conceded four goals in those games too. They will see this game as an ideal opportunity to get their form back to where it was earlier in the season.

Aston Villa are in a relegation fight because of their very poor away form. They have four points from nine games away from home, but they have only scored five goals and conceded 22 in those games. They will be having nightmares about the thrashing they got in this fixture last season, and an in-form Chelsea would be capable of doing that again. Luckily for Villa that isn't the case, but it may be after this game.

I can't see anything other than an easy victory for Chelsea, and Villa need to change things soon or they will be in severe trouble.

Prediction: 3-0
Wigan v Newcastle
Wigan v Newcastle 
Wigan played well against Arsenal on Wednesday night, and probably just about deserved their point which kept them out of the relegation zone. It also means that they are only two points behind Newcastle, and a win would move them above them in the table. Wigan try to play good football, and they are unbeaten at home since September which will give them hope of a positive result in this game. Their biggest problem is still scoring goals, and the three game ban that Charles N'Zogbia has to serve after head-butting Jack Wilshere certainly won't help their cause.

Newcastle were doing well under Chris Hughton in my opinion. but he was sacked and Alan Pardew came in on a five year contract. That's the same Alan Pardew who led most of his previous clubs to relegation, and if Newcastle can't arrest their current slide they will go the same way too. Andy Carroll has being bagging plenty of goals for them, but if he dries up I think they will be in real trouble. 

I can't see either team managing a win in this game, and they will probably both be happy with a draw anyway.

That's it for today, but as usual feel free to tell me where I have gone wrong or even if I have got any of them right. With my recent form it would probably be a good idea to bet on the opposite outcome of just about all of my predictions. Don't forget to tune in tomorrow morning for my preview of Arsenal's trip to Birmingham.

See You Tomorrow.

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