Friday, 14 January 2011

Predictions For Premier League Gameweek 23.

It's that time of the week again when I attempt to make my predictions for this weekend's Premier League fixtures. The last set of fixtures was a week and a half ago, due to the FA Cup games last weekend, and with more FA Cup weekends to come over the next few weeks. Regular readers will know that I'm running a predictions league on the Fantasy Premier League site, and despite the fact that I'm in fourth place in my league I'm still not doing particularly well with my predictions. Here's a look at how the predictions league table stands.

NC 1
_Bradley08 1005 0 10
NC 2
essexgooner1965 775 -30 0
NC 3
preetgreet 700 -30 0
Up 4
COSGOONER 620 -15 5
Down 5
aranmichael 600 -40 0
NC 6
Nickmc1980 565 -60 0
NC 7
billygooner_29 530 -60 0
NC 8
Sinesladael 485 -20 0
Up 9
senarmy 460 0 0
Down 10
oakhamgooner 420 -60 0


Chelsea v Blackburn
Chelsea v Blackburn
Chelsea got back to winning ways last weekend, but it was in the FA Cup, and not the Premier League. They are on their worst run of league form in over 10 years, but still only "Manure" have a better home record. If they are going to get their season back on track they need to win this game
Blackburn had a very good win at home to Liverpool in their last league game, but Liverpool don't travel too well this season. They have conceded 25 goals away from home so far this season, and no other team can beat that statistic. It won't be easy for them in this game with their current injury problems, but they may never get a better chance to win away to Chelsea.

I think Chelsea will get their league form back on track for the moment at least with a win.

Prediction: 2-0

Man City v Wolves
Man City v Wolves
Man City added Edin Dzeko to their ever growing squad this week, and he's a striker that has a lot of talent. Whether Roberto Mancini will actually play him alongside Carlos Tevez or not is another matter altogether. City have won six of their 11 home games in the league, and they have the tightest defence too. If they are to be a real threat to "Manure" they just have to win this game.

Wolves had a fantastic win over Chelsea in their last league game, and not so long before that they won away to Liverpool. That was their only away win so far this season, and no other team has scored less goals away from home so far. They give it all they have in every game, but they will find it very hard to emerge from this game with any points.

I think City will have too much offensively and defensively for Wolves and will win.

Prediction: 2-0

Stoke City v Bolton
Stoke v Bolton
Stoke RFC are sitting in 11th place in the league but a three goal win in this game would put them ahead of seventh placed Bolton. Their home form hasn't been as good as recent seasons, with four defeats in 11 games, but they are not drawing many games, and that is keeping their points haul up.

Bolton are doing very well this season, and European qualification has to be a genuine possibility for them, whether they will admit it or not. Their away form has been poor though, as they have only two wins in 11 games. Their style has improved under Owen Coyle, but they are struggling to find a fully fit squad at the moment.

I think that Stoke RFC will just about edge a very tight game as Bolton's away form, and lack of available players will count against them. 

Prediction: 2-1

West Brom v Blackpool
West Brom v Blackpool
West Brom had a good start to the season, but things aren't going very well for them at the moment, and they find themselves only one point above the relegation zone. They need to halt that slide as soon as possible, and they will see this as an ideal opportunity to do just that. They play some attractive football, and it would be a shame if they were to be relegated.

Blackpool have had an exceptional season so far, and they beat Liverpool on Wednesday night to complete a double over them this season. That leaves them ninth in the league with 17 points from 12 away games, which can only be bettered by Arsenal and Man City. In Charlie Adam they have a player that a lot of other teams are interested in, and they will do well to have him still in their ranks when the transfer window closes. Like West Brom they play attractive football, and I hope that they stay up too. Their game is more about their collective abilities, and teamwork and that's why I think they will stay up, even if Adam is sold.

I think this should be an open attacking game, with both teams attacking each other, and it will end in a score draw.

Prediction: 2-2

Wigan v Fulham
Wigan v Fulham
Wigan are the lowest scorers in the league, but they are not an easy team to beat at home or away. With Charles N'Zogbia back from suspension they will be looking to beat Fulham, and climb above them and out of the relegation zone too.

Fulham have only managed one away win in a season and a half, and if they are to avoid relegation they will have to improve on that. They have some good players, but they are missing Bobby Zamora through injury, and that is hurting them badly. When he returns I think they will have enough to avoid relegation, but they might struggle to get any points in this game.

It's never easy to know what Wigan will do, but I think they will manage a narrow victory in this game.

Prediction: 2-1

West Ham v Arsenal
West Ham v Arsenal 
West Ham were going through a good run in the league until they lost their last match 5-0 away to Newcastle to go back to the foot of the table. They have only four defeats in 11 home games so far this season, but their weak defence might struggle against the second highest scorers in the league.

Arsenal's league form has been good, but their cup results last week against Leeds and Fulham were very poor. They have the best away record in the league, and they have scored more away goals than any other team so far. However their only goal in their last three games was the last minute penalty against Leeds, and they need to win this game to keep up the pressure on "Manure". If Cesc Fabregas and Robin Van Persie are both playing I think West Ham will struggle to contain them.

I think Arsenal will get back to winning ways, as their strongest team should have too much for West Ham.

Prediction: 1-3

Birmingham v Aston Villa
Birmingham v Aston Villa 
Birmingham have managed to climb out of the relegation zone, but their lack of goals is still a major worry for them. They look like they will bring a few players in during the transfer window, and that might be what is needed to keep them in the Premier League.Their home form hasn't been quite so impressive this season, but two defeats in 10 is not bad at all.

Aston Villa are in the relegation zone, and they have an awful away record in the league, despite the fact that they managed a 3-3 draw at Chelsea a couple of weeks ago. Their defence was the rock that they built their good form on, in recent seasons, but it looks to be very shaky this season. Only West Brom have conceded more goals than them, and that's not the sort of form they would want to bring into a bitterly contested local derby.

It's always hard to predict the outcome of derby matches, but I think Birmingham will edge this one, as their defence is better than Villa's.

Prediction: 2-1

Sunderland v Newcastle
Sunderland v Newcastle
Sunderland were thrashed in the reverse fixture, and their fans will want revenge in another fierce local derby. Their home record so far this season is excellent with only one defeat in 11 games. No team has conceded less goals at home than Sunderland, and they are in a very healthy sixth place in the league

Newcastle have a fairly good away record, but when they lose away from home it tends to be quite heavily. If they can even manage a draw in this game their fans will be over the moon, after the 5-1 win in the home game against Sunderland. Andy Carroll might be back from injury, but in his absence Leon Best managed a hat-trick in their last league game. With their season going pretty well it was a big shock to see them lose to Stevenage in the FA Cup last week, and I'm sure the manager will be looking for a reaction from his players in this game.

I think Sunderland's home form will give them the edge, and they will run out winners in a tight game.

Prediction: 2-1
Liverpool v Everton
Liverpool v Everton 
Liverpool take on Everton in yet another local derby, with Kenny Dalglish taking charge of them at home for the first time in his second spell as manager. So far he has lost both of the games he has been in charge, and if he fails to win this game the pressure will start to build on him and the players too.Steven Gerrard will miss the game through suspension, and it won't be easy against an Everton team that will be up for the game. Worringly for Liverpool they were outplayed in their defeat to Blackpool on Wednesday night.

Everton have only lost three of their 11 away league games so far, but their problem has been that they have drawn too many. With Tim Cahill away on Asia Cup duty with Australia they will be hoping that Louis Saha can get on the score sheet again. They are ahead of Liverpool in the league, and their fans would love to increase that lead with a win in a game which they have struggled in for a few seasons.

I think it will be a hard fought game with the teams finishing level, and Liverpool drifting closer to the relegation zone.

Prediction: 1-1
Tottenham v Man Utd
Tottenham v Man Utd 
The Spuds find themselves in the Champions League places yet again, and a win in this game will ensure that they stay there. However, they usually roll over and die when "Manure" come to town, and they can't afford to do that in this game. Their home record is good so far this season, with only one defeat in 11, and a win in this game would not only open up the title race, but it would also see them get to within five points of "Manure".

"Manure" are sitting on top of the table with games in hand on the teams below them, and they are the favourites to win the title. It would seem that all is well with them, but they have only won two of their nine away league games, and they were both single goal victories that they were lucky to get. If they do not sort out their away form the title could become a lot harder for them to win, as they have to visit both Arsenal and Chelsea later in the season.

I think that The Spuds will go for this game, and that it will be an entertaining score draw.

Prediction: 2-2

That's it for this week's predictions, but as always feel free to tell me where I have gone wrong or right as the case may be. Don't forget if you're making changes to your Fantasy team that the January wildcard should be available now, and six teams have extra games next week too.

See You Tomorrow.

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