Friday, 25 February 2011

Predictions For Premier League Gameweek 28.

It's that time of the week again when I attempt to predict the outcome of this week's Premier League games. There are only nine games this week, as both Arsenal and Birmingham play in the Carling Cup final on Sunday afternoon. It means that neither of those teams will play in the league this week, and their games against The Spuds and Chelsea have been postponed until a later date. Chelsea will get to play later in the week when they play their rearranged game against "Manure" on Tuesday night.

My predictions last week were up to my usual standard this season, as the Premier League continued to throw up surprise after surprise. I didn't manage any perfect scorelines, but I did manage five correct outcomes, and nine incorrect. It also meant I made up a tiny bit of ground on the leader of my predictions league, but I'm so far back that it makes no difference at this stage. Here's a look at how my prediction league stands.

NC 1
_Bradley08 1360 -30 0
Up 2
essexgooner1965 1090 +80 0
Down 3
preetgreet 1040 -50 0
NC 4
Nickmc1980 935 +60 0
Down 5
aranmichael 875 0 0  
NC 6
billygooner_29 850 +35 0
NC 7
COSGOONER 720 +5 0
Up 8
Sinesladael 710 +25 0
Down 9
Imjola 615 -75 0
NC 10
oakhamgooner 580 -80 0
Aston Villa v Blackburn
Aston Villa v Blackburn
Aston Villa have improved recently, and look likely to avoid the drop in my opinion. Darren Bent is scoring regularly for them since he joined from Sunderland, and their defence has managed to tighten up just a little. Their home record is pretty good, and they have to be favourites for all three points in this game.

Blackburn are considered a mid table team at the moment, but they are only two points ahead of Villa. The league is so tight that any team from tenth down is in relegation trouble if they lose a couple of games. Blackburn's away form has been pretty poor with nine defeats in 13 games so far, and no team has conceded more goals on their travels than them this season.

I can't see Villa slipping up in this game, and they should get all three points to move above Blackburn.

Prediction: 3-1
Everton v Sunderland
Everton v Sunderland
Everton are the epitome of this whole Premier League season, as it is impossible to predict what they will do next. They have only won four out of 12 home league games, and they are in serious relegation trouble unless they change that statistic. They can beat any of the top teams on their day, but they can also be beaten by any of the teams below them as well.

Sunderland have slipped a little recently, but they are still seventh, and only two points off a possible European place. With only three wins in 13 away games they don't travel too well, but they will hope to get something from an Everton team that is very up and down. Since the sale of Darren Bent both Asamoah Gyan and Kieran Richardson have stepped up and assumed their scoring duties. Those two players could well cause Everton a few problems.

After beating Chelsea in the FA Cup last week I think Everton might have eventually turned the corner, and they should just about win this game.

Prediction: 2-1

Newcastle v Bolton
Newcastle v Bolton
Newcastle still don't seem to be missing Andy Carroll since his big money move to Liverpool. They're ninth in the table, and only "Manure" have scored more home goals than them this season. A win in this game will put them above Bolton, and possibly Sunderland as well. A place in next season's Europa League is within their sights, and three points in this game are a necessity for that goal.

Bolton have managed to halt their slide by winning two of their last three home games, and qualifying for the last eight of the FA Cup too. Daniel Sturridge has done very well for them since joining on loan from Chelsea, and he could be their key player again. They have only won two of their 13 away games so far, and they won't find it easy to get anything out of this game.

I think Bolton will just about manage to get a point from a very tough game for both teams.

Prediction: 1-1 
Wigan v Man Utd
Wigan v Man Utd
Wigan are in the relegation zone with only three wins from 14 home league games so far. No team has scored less goals than them this season, and on paper they wouldn't seem to have a chance. However, they try to play good football, and once they got over their terrible start they haven't been easy to beat for any team.

"Manure" are on top of the league with a game in hand on second placed Arsenal. They get to play twice before Arsenal play again, and it could see them open up a seven point lead if they can win both games. They have only lost one game away from home in the league this season, but they have only won three. All three of those wins were very hard fought, and I don't think their away form is that of potential champions.

I think "Manure" will just about manage a win before they head to Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night.

Prediction: 1-2

Wolves v Blackpool
Wolves v Blackpool
Wolves find themselves at the foot of the table on goal difference, but a win could possibly move them out of the relegation zone. They have performed very well at home this season with wins against "Manure", Man City and Chelsea but they have struggled at times against teams at their own end of the table. With six home wins so far they will expect to get a positive result from this game.

Blackpool continue to defy the doubters, and the latest team to suffer at their hands were the Spuds on Tuesday night. It was a huge win for Blackpool, as it halted their recent slide, and gave them some breathing space. Their away form has been pretty good, but their inability to keep a clean sheet could be their undoing. With Charlie Adam suspended Blackpool might struggle to create as many chances as usual too.

I think Wolves will do themselves a huge favour by getting the two points in a tight game.

Prediction: 2-1
West Ham v Liverpool
West Ham v Liverpool 
West Ham are fighting hard to get out of the relegation zone, but they need to improve their home record if that is going to happen. Three wins and 14 goals in 13 home games is real relegation form, but a couple of wins in a row would soon change that. It seems that they always seem to falter just as they look likely to get out of the relegation zone.

Liverpool's away form has improved since the return of Kenny Dalglish, but it has to get even better if they are to seriously challenge for fourth place. A win in this game would see them only five points behind the fourth placed Spuds, but with only 12 goals away from home they are struggling to get the goals needed.

West Ham have had a week off since their qualification for the last eight of the FA Cup, but Liverpool had a European game on Wednesday night. I still think Liverpool will win, but it won't be easy for them. 

Prediction: 1-2

Man City v Fulham
Man City v Fulham
Man City look to have fallen away in the race for the Premier League title, but they now need to concentrate on the run in to ensure Champions League qualification. They still have a very talented squad, and Champions League qualification should be the bare minimum for them. They will be buoyed by their qualification for the last 16 in the Europa League,  and they are still in the FA Cup too. They may have a few injuries, but they are huge favourites to win this game.

Fulham still have a very poor away record with only two wins in almost two seasons. They have managed to draw quite a few of their away games this season, and no team has conceded less goals away from home than they have. Their problems are trying to score away from home, as only Wolves have scored less goals than them on their travels this season.

I think City should have enough to get the win against goal shy Fulham, and keep themselves firmly in third place.

Prediction: 2-0
Stoke v West Brom
Stoke v West Brom
Stoke RFC were beaten for the tenth time on the road this season when Arsenal just about scraped past them on Wednesday night. Their home form is a lot better than that though, and they will be favourites to add to their seven home wins. Their reliance on set pieces could well be a winner in this game against a West Brom team who have struggled from set pieces recently.

West Brom are only one point above the relegation zone, and they have the worst defence in the league too. Their nine away defeats have put them in real trouble, and they cost Roberto Di Matteo his job. Roy Hodgson should improve their defensive coaching, but I think they will struggle in this game, and they look likely to be relegated too.

Stoke RFC should have too much for West Brom, and should win by a couple of goals despite playing the worse football.

Prediction: 2-0
Chelsea v Man Utd
Chelsea cannot afford to lose this match, or their season will have just about fallen apart. It's only February, and they are already out of the FA Cup and Premier League, and the Champions League is their only hope of a trophy. Their defence of their double has been a shambles, after a great start to the season, and they will be very anxious to get one over on "Manure". The big question for them will be who starts up front, as Fernado Torres has got the nod over Didier Drogba recently. They still have the best defensive record at home in the league, and a win would move them back into the coveted top four.

"Manure" will be looking to take advantage of Arsenal not playing, and open up a gap at the top of the table. They have struggled on their travels this season, and they will do very well to get anything out of this game despite Chelsea's poor recent form. Wayne Rooney seems to be eventually returning to form, but his return of five goals so far is very poor for a player of his class. If he can turn it on in this game he could well make the difference for them.

I'm predicting a 1-1 draw, but only because I don't want to tempt the fates by predicting a Chelsea win. I don't like to cheer Chelsea, but that's exactly what I'll be doing in this game.

Prediction 1-1 
That's it for today, but I'll be back tomorrow to preview Arsenal's Carling Cup final with Birmingham City.

See You Tomorrow.

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