Thursday, 8 September 2011

Predictions For Premier League Gameweek 4.

It's that time of the week again when I attempt to predict the outcomes of the upcoming Premier League games. I did pretty well in the last round of matches with one correct scoreline, six correct outcomes and three incorrect outcomes. Unfortunately my blind belief in Arsenal turned out to be more than a little unfounded, as they were thrashed by Manchester United.

In my last set of predictions I suggested it might be a good idea to buy attacking players from both Manchester clubs, and they scored 13 goals between them. I think Manchester City could give Wigan a very tough time this week, and their players are a must at the moment. My own fantasy team did very well, and I'm now in third place out of over 800 in my own league.

Here's a look at the current standings in my predictions league.

 Pos NameWeek  Total
 1 ahujag 145 265
 2 NickHemmings 100 200
 3 Bradley08 125 170
 4 Smashit_Tuckit 90 170
 5 gooner2194 105 150
 6 JamrockRover 75 145

Arsenal v Swansea City

Saturday September 10, 3pm BST

Arsenal's start to their Premier League campaign has been nothing short of disastrous, and their 8-2 defeat to United was a tough pill for their fans to swallow. Since then they have brought in five new players, and quite a few of those players should play against Swansea. The news that both Jack Wilshere and Thomas Vermaelen will be missing for up to two months will not make things any easier for them though.

From a fantasy football perspective Mikael Arteta could be a very good buy, as he should get the opportunity to display his skills at Arsenal.

Swansea have looked quite good in their first three games, but they haven't managed to score a goal yet. They have managed two scoreless draws at home, but their open style of play leaves them vulnerable at times. They need to start scoring as soon as possible, but they could have a hard time against an Arsenal team who simply have to win.

It's pretty tough to recommend any Swansea players, but their goalkeeper Michel Vorm has performed very well so far.

I think Arsenal's new players will be anxious to make an impression, and they should help them to take all three points.

Prediction 3-0

Everton v Aston Villa

Saturday September 10, 3pm BST 

Everton sold their best player to Arsenal in the last minutes of the transfer window, and they won't find life easy without him. They had a very lucky win away to Blackburn in their last game, and their inability to score goals is a real problem for them. If they are going to have a reasonable season they need to find someone to score for them.

At the moment I can't think of any Everton players to recommend, but surely Leighton Baines will surely rack up loads of assists again.

Aston Villa have had a good start to the season, and they have managed to keep clean sheets in two of their three games so far. Their defence was very poor last season, but if they can remain relatively tight at the back they could have a good season. Darren Bent is a doubt for them, and they need him in the team to score their goals.

If Villa's defence can stay as tight as it has been so far both Shay Given and Richard Dunne are reasonable buys, but it's still a big if.

I think Villa will continue their unbeaten start to the season by taking a point from Everton.

Prediction 1-1 


Manchester City v Wigan Athletic

Saturday September 10, 3pm BST 

City performed really well in their last game to win 5-1 away to Spurs, and they have been very impressive in winning their first three games. They have so many attacking options that it's tough for any team to cope with them. At the moment they look good enough to be considered genuine title contenders, but there is a long way to go.

It's tough to pick the right City players in any fantasy team, but I think David Silva and Eden Dzeko are must haves at the moment. I recommended buying Dzeko for the last round of games, but sadly I didn't buy him myself.

Wigan are unbeaten in their first three games, but those games were all against newly promoted teams. They will find City a very different proposition, and they could possibly spend the day chasing shadows. They have had a few bad defeats in recent seasons, and this could be another one of those games if they're not careful.
It's always tough to pick Wigan players in any fantasy team, and I wouldn't recommend having any of them this week.

I can't see Wigan getting anything out of this game, and they could possibly be in for a real rough ride.

Prediction 4-0

Stoke City v Liverpool

Saturday September 10, 3pm BST 

Stoke are unbeaten so far in the league this season, and they are never an easy proposition at home. They have added to their squad and they will be looking to improve on their performance of last season. They are sure to put as much aerial pressure as possible on the Liverpool defence who could struggle with the sheer size of the Stoke players at set pieces.

The best fantasy buys at Stoke are Asmir Begovic and Robert Huth in my opinion, but it will be interesting to see if Peter Crouch can fit in with their style.

Liverpool have started the season very well and sit nicely in third place behind the two Manchester clubs. Their away form was very poor last season, but they have a much bigger squad this time and a lot more options too. They still have Steven Gerrard to return from injury, and it looks like they might actually be possible contenders this time around.

Charlie Adam is doing for Liverpool what he did for Blackpool last season, and along with Luis Suarez he looks to be a good fantasy bet. 

I think Stoke will give Liverpool a very tough physical game, and they should manage to get a draw.

Prediction 1-1

Sunderland v Chelsea 

Saturday September 10, 3pm BST 

Sunderland are having problems scoring goals so far this season, but the addition of Nicklas Bendtner might be the cure they need. They have certainly created enough chances to have scored more than the one goal they have so far, and they will need to score to get anything out of this game. They brought in a lot of players over the summer, but I'm not sure that it's made them a better team.

Bendtner could be a bargain buy in the fantasy stakes if he can get on the end of enough crosses from Seb Larsson.

Chelsea are fourth in the table with seven points out of a possible nine so far, but I have not been impressed with them at all. They look very unsure in defence, and Fernando Torres still looks nothing like a £50 million player. They will need to integrate their new players into their team and play a lot better to get anything out of this season.

At the moment Jose Bosingwa is the stand out player in the Chelsea team, and Frank Lampard is getting plenty of points too despite looking well past his best.

Sunderland are having problems of their own so far, but I think they can do enough to get a draw.

Prediction 1-1

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Tottenham Hotspur

Saturday September 10, 3pm BST 

Wolves only just avoided relegation last season, but they already look like they will fare a lot better this time around. The purchase of Roger Johnson in the summer may just have been what their defence needed, but it's still early days. A mid-table finish would be a great season for Wolves, and a win in this game would be a huge result for them.

Matt Jarvis looks to be the best fantasy bet in the Wolves team, but Stephen Ward has performed very well so far and costs very little.

Spurs have been well beaten in their first two games by the two Manchester clubs, and they need to start putting some points on the board. They sold more players than they bought in the transfer window, and the injury to Rafael van der Vaart is a big blow to them. The have taken Emmanuel Adebayor on loan from City, but if they are struggling he is the wrong man to depend on.

With Van der Vaart injured it's hard to know what Spurs player to buy, but if Luka Modric can get his head right he could be a good buy along with Gareth Bale possibly too.

Wolves have had a great start to the season, and I think they will continue it by just about beating Spurs.

Prediction 2-1 


Bolton Wanderers v Manchester United

Saturday September 10, 5.30pm BST 

Bolton had a good win on the opening day of the season, but they have been beaten by both Man City and Liverpool since then. They have Arsenal and Chelsea coming up in the next few weeks too, and it's a very tough run for them. They had a pretty good home record last season, and they fought right to the end in their 3-2 home defeat against City a few weeks ago.

At the moment it's probably not a good idea to buy Bolton players, but so far Ivan Klasnic and Martin Petrov have performed very well.

United absolutely destroyed Arsenal in their last game, and their home form looks like it could be as good as last season. They won their only away game 2-1 on the opening day despite only having one shot on target. I'm still not sure how they will perform on their travels, but I am sure they will be right up there fighting to retain their title.

It's hard to look beyond Wayne Rooney and Ashley Young who have both been in great form so far this season, and have been the base my fantasy team has been built on.

Bolton are in the middle of a very tough run of games and I think they will only just fail to get anything from this game.

Prediction 1-2

Norwich City v West Bromwich Albion

Sunday September 11, 1.30pm BST

Norwich were very unlucky to lose to Chelsea in their last game, and if they can play that well for the rest of the season they have a real chance of staying up. They haven't added an awful lot of players since their promotion, but they have managed to play the same football which won them that promotion. If they get a run of any injuries through the season their squad depth could cause them problems though.

Both Wes Hoolohan and Grant Holt look to be reasonable fantasy buys at a cheap price, but maybe to use as substitutes.

West Brom were impressive in their opening two games when they lost to Manchester United and Chelsea, but the home defeat to Stoke the last time out was a big blow. It leaves them in the bottom three early on, and they need to start putting points on the board as soon as possible. Shane Long is a doubt for this game, and his early season goalscoring has been a real bonus for them.

If Long is fit he's worth putting in any fantasy team, as he costs very little and Chris Brunt isn't a bad option either. 

Norwich have looked impressive so far, but so have West Brom at times and I think they will share the spoils in this game.

Prediction 1-1

Fulham v Blackburn Rovers

Sunday September 11, 4pm BST

Fulham have done pretty well in the Premier League over the last few seasons, but it has all been built on their home form. They have already lost twice away from home, and they need to continue their good home form. Their biggest problem seems to be goalscoring, and without Clint Dempsey they would really struggle.

Dempsey is the only Fulham player to score so far, and over the season he's sure to rack up plenty of points.

Blackburn have lost their first three games, and it looks like this season could be a real struggle for them. They added Scott Dann in the transfer window to strengthen their defence and they need to start getting results immediately. They really shot themselves in the foot in their last game when they missed two penalties before losing to a last minute penalty against Everton.

At the moment it's very difficult to recommend any Blackburn players, but if they can play a bit better I still think Junior Hoilett is a good bet.

Fulham have a good home record over the last few seasons and I think they will continue that by beating Blackburn.

Prediction 2-0
Queens Park Rangers v Newcastle United

Monday September 12, 8pm BST

QPR added an awful lot of new players before the transfer window closed, and a lot of them should be playing in this game. They look to have added enough quality to give them a real chance of staying up this season, as long as they can gel as a unit. I'm sure Joey Barton will enjoy putting the boot in for yet another team until things sour at QPR through somebody else's fault of course.

At the moment it's not too easy to know which QPR players to buy, but Barton Shaun Wright-Phillips and Adel Taarabt are all possibilities.

Newcastle have had a great start to the season with seven points out of a possible nine so far. Their position has been built on a strong defence so far, but Leon Best showed in their last game that he could be the striker they need. They will see this game as an opportunity to remain among the pacesetters at the top of the table.

Newcastle defenders look a good bet at the moment with Steven Taylor, Ryan Taylor and Tim Krul all looking good buys along with Best if he plays.

QPR will be parading quite a few new players, but I think Newcastle will manage to take a point off them despite the best efforts of their ex player Barton.

Prediction 1-1


As always feel free to tell me where I have gone right or wrong as the case may be.

That's it for today.

It's not too late to join over 800 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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I'm also a member of a very good and very active Arsenal group on Facebook which you can join here. See You Tomorrow.

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