Friday, 26 August 2011

Predictions For Premier League Gameweek 3.

It's that time of the week again when I attempt to predict the scores in this weekend's Premier League fixtures. I didn't do too badly last week when I managed to get one perfect score, six correct outcomes and only three incorrect outcomes. It meant I managed 80 points in my predictions league, and moved up to fifth place overall.

From a fantasy football perspective things are starting to take a little bit of shape with the usual suspects making their way to the top of the Premier League. Newcastle United have had a very good start to the season defensively, and their defenders could possibly be worth a gamble, as well as attacking players from both Manchester clubs. Wolverhampton Wanderers have started very well too, and they deserve credit for winning their first two games.

Here's a look at how my predictions league table stands.

Pos Name Week Total
1 ahujag 75 120
2 Sofire 95 115
3 NickHemmings 80 100
4 Smashit_Tuckit 30 80
5 JamrockRover 80 70
Aston Villa vs Wolverhampton Wanderers:
Saturday August 27, 12.05pm BST
Aston Villa have started a lot better than I thought they would after selling both Ashley Young and Stewart Downing. They have only conceded one goal in their opening two games, and they have looked quite impressive so far. If they can continue their current form their fans might even learn to like their new manager.
Darren Bent is still the most obvious Villa player to buy for any fantasy team, but Shay Given is making a case for himself as well.

Wolves have had a perfect start to the new season with two wins out of two games so far in the Premier League. If they can continue this form they could actually spend a season in mid-table rather than fighting relegation for a change. Their away form was far from impressive last season, but they look capable of changing that this time around.

Stephen ward and Roger Johnson are their best buys as defenders with Matt Jarvis doing the business in midfield. I still think Stephen Hunt will score plenty of points in midfield too, and both Kevin Doyle and Steven Fletcher look capable of scoring plenty of points too.

I think this should be a keenly contested local derby with both teams ending up all square.

Prediction 1-1
Wigan Athletic vs Queens Park Rangers:
Saturday August 27, 12.30pm BST
Wigan have started off with a couple of draws against teams promoted from the Championship last season. They get to play yet another newly promoted team this week, and it's a game they have to be looking to win. The struggled last season because they drew too many games and failed to score enough goals, and those problems are obvious again this season.

It's tough to know what Wigan players can be picked in any fantasy team, but Ali Al-Habsi is not a bad bet in goal at a reasonable price.

QPR managed a great win away to Everton last week after their opening day disaster at home to Bolton Wanderers. They are still trying to bring in some new players before the transfer window closes, and they will need them to survive. I thought they were more than a little lucky against Everton last week, and they could have been well beaten.

I'll be steering clear of QPR players for a while, but if I had to choose one Tommy Smith will score a few points as a striker and he costs very little.

It's risky to ever predict a win for Wigan, but I think they will get one in this game.

Prediction 1-0
Blackburn Rovers vs Everton:
Saturday August 27, 3pm BST
Blackburn have had a poor start to the new season with two defeats in their opening two Premier League games. If they don't start getting some points very soon their manager will find himself under pressure before September is over. They have been without Christopher Samba for their first two games, and if he returns he might just steady their defence a little.

At the moment Blackburn players aren't looking like clever fantasy buys, but Junior Hoilett might not be a bad buy in the long run.

Everton should have beaten QPR last week, but they failed to put away the many chances they created. They struggled in front of goal last season, and it looks like they will do so again this time around. It also appears they can only delve into the transfer market if they sell one of their prized assets.

Everton have only played one game so far, but over the season Leighton Baines, Tim Cahill and Mikel Arteta are all bound to be good fantasy buys in my opinion.

I think both of these teams will manage their first point of the season in this game.

Prediction 1-1
Chelsea vs Norwich City:
Saturday August 27, 3pm BST
Chelsea have not been exactly impressive in their two league games so far, but they have four points to their name. They had to come from behind at home to West Brom last week to scrape a 2-1 win, and they look like they need some new blood in the squad. Juan Mata has arrived from Valencia, and I think a few more will arrive before the transfer window closes.

It's difficult to know what Chelsea players to buy because their best ones cost so much, but their attacking players could get a few points in this game.

Norwich have started with a couple of 1-1 draws and they have played quite well in both games. This game will be a big step up for them though, and if they don't get their defending right they could be in for a tough afternoon. They have shown how hard they are prepared to work, and they will have to show it again in this game.

Norwich keeper John Ruddy has had a good start to the season and he's a good buy at a very reasonable price, but maybe after this game.

I think Chelsea will have too much for Norwich, and should run out comfortable winners.

Prediction 3-0
Swansea City vs Sunderland:
Swansea have looked good in their opening two games, but they have failed to score so far. They play attractive football, but they will need to find an end product or it could be a long hard season for them. They have been compared to Blackpool last season, but the difference is Blackpool carried a real goal threat and Swansea don't at the moment.

Swansea's goalkeeper Michel Vorm looks like a real find for them, and he's not a bad buy at a very good price.

Sunderland started with an excellent draw away to Liverpool, but they undid the good work by losing at home to Newcastle last week. That result will have hurt their fans and they will be demanding a reaction against a team Sunderland will feel they can beat. I'm not overly impressed with the players they bought this summer, and I don't know if they will struggle or not yet.

If I had to pick a Sunderland player I think it would be Seb Larsson, as he poses such a threat from dead ball situations.

I think Swansea will get their first Premier League goal, but it will only be enough for a draw.

Prediction 1-1
Liverpool vs Bolton Wanderers:
Saturday August 27, 5.30pm BST
Liverpool have looked quite good in their opening two games, and they really should have six points at this stage. They slipped up at home to Sunderland, but they showed a real killer instinct when Arsenal went down to 10 men last week. A win in this game would send them into the international break in a very healthy situation.

Liverpool look fairly solid defensively and any of their defenders might not be a bad buy for fantasy teams. In midfield Charlie Adam looks like he might be their best midfielder at the moment with Luis Suarez the main threat up front.

Bolton had a great win away to QPR in their first game, and they ran Man City very close last week. They have a never-say-die attitude which gives them a chance against any team, but this will be a tough game for them. Their defence will have to be tighter than it was against City last week if they are to get anything out of this game.

From a fantasy football perspective Bolton concede quite a few goals, but Gary Cahill looks like he might score a few himself this season. Ivan Klasnic has got his chance to start this season and he has managed two goals in two games. He can be bought at a very reasonable price too.

I think Bolton will give Liverpool a run for their money, but the points will go to Liverpool.

Prediction 2-1
Newcastle United vs Fulham:
Sunday August 28, 1pm BST
Newcastle have yet to concede a goal in the Premier League this season. They have only played two games, but they have looked very solid defensively in those games. I haven't been impressed with their ability to attack in those two games, but they will view this as a game they can definitely win.

So far Tim Krul has looked good in the Newcastle goal with Steven and Roger Taylor both looking impressive in defence. I'm no fan of Steven Taylor, but he has got the maximum bonus points in both of their games so far and he costs very little.

Fulham had a tough trip to Eastern Europe in the Europa League on Thursday night, and they don't travel well away from home in the Premier League. They haven't scored in their two opening games, and they need to start scoring very soon. It will be a very tough game for them against a Newcastle team who like to put themselves about.

At the moment it's very difficult to single out any Fulham players to buy, but over the season Clint Dempsey is usually a sound bet.

I think Newcastle will shade a tight match and win with the only goal.

Prediction 1-0
Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester City:
Sunday August 28, 1.30pm BST
Spurs have only played one Premier League game so far, but they were well beaten by Manchester United last Monday night. They have failed to bring in any new players in the transfer window, and Luka Modric didn't play in that game as he wants to leave the club. The centre of their midfield was very lightweight in that game, and it will have to be a lot better to get a result against City.

At the moment Spurs players are probably not a good bet, but over the season Rafael Van der Vaart is a very good buy in my opinion.

City have a 100% record so far this season, and they added Samir Nasri to their ever increasing squad this week. Their options are the envy of most other teams at the moment, and the bottomless pockets of their owners are a huge asset. They looked a little weak in defence in beating Bolton 3-2 last week, but they were very good going forward.

It's tough to pick which City players to buy at the moment, but David Silva is a must for me and Eden Dzeko looks pretty good too. I'm not sure whether Sergio Aguero or Carlos Tevez will get the nod alongside Dzeko which makes it hard to pick either of them.

I think City will continue their great start to the season by getting all the points in this game.

Prediction 1-2
West Bromwich Albion vs Stoke City:
Sunday August 28, 3pm BST
West Brom have had to play Manchester United and Chelsea in their first two games this season, and they were unlucky to lose both games. They have looked very good going forward at times, but they lost both games to late goals. If they can sort out their defensive issues they could have a decent season.

Shane Long has had a great start to his Premier League career with goals against both United and Chelsea. He costs very little and he looks like a must buy for fantasy teams.

Stoke have started off with a couple of draws this season, but they have also made it through to the group stages of the Europa League. European teams are in for a footballing culture shock when they come up against Stoke, but Premier League teams are learning to cope with their style of football. They're not pretty to watch, but their style can be very effective.

Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic looks like a good buy, as do a few of their defenders and possibly Matthew Etherington in midfield too.

I think West Brom might just shade this game, but it will be a tough task for them.

Prediction 2-1
Manchester United vs Arsenal:
Sunday August 28, 4pm BST
United have won their first two games and only Man City head them on goal difference. They looked very impressive in the second half of their 3-0 defeat of Spurs on Monday night, and they will look to play at that pace again. They will know Arsenal have a lot of problems at the moment, and they will see it as an ideal time to play them.

I'm still not overly impressed with United's defence, as they have a few injuries at the moment and I think it will improve as the season progresses. In midfield both Ashley Young and Oliveira Anderson look good so far with Nani sure to show before too long. Wayne Rooney is looking very good yet again, but Danny Wellbeck is probably not worth buying with Javier Hernandez on his way back.

Arsenal have big problems with injuries and suspensions, and they have failed to score in their first two Premier League games. With Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri now sold they need to add some new players quickly. However, they managed a great win away to Udinese on Wednesday night, and they are capable of beating any team when they click.

It's tough to pick any Arsenal players at the moment, but Robin Van Persie is a good bet for the long run.
I'm an Arsenal fan and I always predict a win for them, but this will be a very tough game for them to get anything from. I'm predicting a 2-1 win for Arsenal, but only out of blind faith.

Prediction 1-2
That's it for this week, but as always feel free to tell me where I have gone right or wrong as the case may be.
It's not too late to join over 750 teams in my Fantasy League and there are prizes for the top three teams at the end of the season. Just go to the site and use the code 125540-42785 to join my league when your team is set up.

To join the predictions league just go to the site and set up your predictions. Then use the code F688F-JCO to join my league. I'll update the league table in my predictions every week.

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See you tomorrow.

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