Friday, 20 January 2012

Predictions For Premier League Gameweek 22

It's that time of the week again when I attempt to predict the outcomes of the upcoming Premier League games. I've being going through a very rough patch with my predictions recently and I find myself outside the top 10 of my own predictions league.

At the moment I'm 45 points behind 10th place, and 545 points behind the overall leader. The best I can hope for is probably something similar to Arsenal, as I would be happy with a fourth place finish. There have been a lot of strange results so far this season, and it looks like I'm suffering from them.

Here's a look at my predictions league table.

 Pos  Player Week Total
 1  b_red_devils   90   1230
 2  ahujag   80   1130
 3   GGooner   50   910
 4   DK1247   45   860
 5   sanziano   50   850
 6   gooner2194   30   845
 7   Rutland Gooner   55   815
 8   nitin004   5   805
 9   lubu722   45   755
 10   ReApEr666   25   730

Norwich City Vs. Chelsea

Saturday January 21, 12.45p.m., BST

Norwich have failed to keep a clean sheet so far this season, but they have also scored in all but three of their Premier League games. They have done really well to maintain a mid-table position in the league, and they look good enough to stay there for another season at least.

It's very hard to predict what Norwich players will play from week to week, but Steve Morison is probably the best fantasy bet among them.

Chelsea came through a tough run of no wins in four league games by winning their last two games. They were a little lucky to win those games, but the return of Michael Essien from injury should be a real boost for them. They have a good defensive record away from home, and only Manchester City can better it.

John Terry's ability to score goals from defence always makes him a good option for fantasy manager, and Frank Lampard, Juan Mata and Daniel Sturridge are pretty good buys too.

I think this will be a very close game, but Chelsea will just edge it.

Prediction 1-2

Everton Vs. Blackburn Rovers

Saturday January 21, 3p.m., BST

Everton are still in mid-table, but their inability to score is really hurting them. They have lost five of their 10 home games so far, but they will surely fancy their chances against Blackburn.

Tim Howard and Leighton Baines are probably the best fantasy buys among the Everton players, but Baines costs an awful lot.

Blackburn have failed to keep a clean sheet so far this season, but they have also scored in every away league game so far. They did very well to beat Fulham last week with only 10 players for most of the game, but they will miss Yakubu's goals while he is suspended. They are out of the relegation zone for the first time, but only on goal difference.

Blackburn's best fantasy performer is Yakubu, but he is suspended for their next three games.

I think this could be a very tight game, and will end up all square.

Prediction 1-1

Fulham Vs. Newcastle United

Saturday January 21, 3p.m., BST

Fulham usually depend on their home record to do well in the Premier League, and they have won three of their last four home games. A win in this game could see them move in a comfortable mid-table position which would be a welcome boost for them.

Clint Dempsey is still by far the best fantasy bet among the Fulham players.

Newcastle were a little fortunate to beat QPR in a very drab affair last week. They are missing their star player Demba Ba and a few others too, and they could struggle while they are absent. They have done really well to climb above Liverpool into sixth place, but it won't be easy for them to stay there.

With Ba away on international duty Leon Best could possibly get a chance to shine, but otherwise Tim Krul and Ryan Taylor are pretty good fantasy bets.

I think Fulham might just have a little too much for a Newcastle team missing some of it's better players.

Prediction 2-1

Queens Park Rangers Vs. Wigan Athletic

Saturday January 21, 3p.m., BST

QPR  have appointed Mark Hughes as their new manager, but he has a tough task unless he adds to his squad in the current transfer window. They have only won at home once this season in the league, and only West Brom have scored less home goals than them. If they are to get out of the relegation zone they will need to win games like this against the bottom club.

At the moment I wouldn't recommend any QPR players for fantasy managers, but that might change if they bring in a few new faces.

Wigan are back on the bottom of the table again, and they haven't won any of their last six games. They continue to try to play good football, but they are the lowest scorers in the league. A win in this game would be a great boost for their chances of avoiding relegation, but a draw wouldn't be a bad result for them either.

Ali Al-Habsi is still the best fantasy bet among the Wigan players.

I can see this game ending up with the spoils shared.

Prediction 1-1

Stoke City Vs. West Bromwich Albion

Saturday January 21, 3p.m., BST

Stoke  are eighth in the table and looking to put pressure on the teams directly above them. They are never an easy team to beat, and they have only lost twice at home so far this season.

Jonathan Walters and Matthew Etherington are still the best fantasy bets among the Stoke players.

West Brom have a better record away from home than at home so far this season. They hve won four times on the road so far, but they have a lot of injury worries for this game. They have only scored once in their last four games, as they have struggled with those injuries.

A fit again Shane Long is not a bad fantasy buy, but in truth West Brom's players have done very little for fantasy managers this season.

I think the combination of Stoke's style and West  Brom's injuries will see Stoke win.

Prediction 2-0

Sunderland Vs. Swansea

Saturday January 21, 3p.m., BST

Sunderland have looked very good since Martin O'Neill became their manager, and they were a little unlucky to lose away to Chelsea last week. They had taken 10 points from their previous four games, and they will be looking to get back to winning ways.

Stephane Sessegnon looks to be the form Sunderland player at the moment, but Seb Larsson and Simon Mignolet are looking pretty good too.

Swansea had a great win at home to Arsenal last week, but their away form is far from great. Only Fulham have scored less goals away from home than them, but they will still set out to play good football. Their Premier League survival will probably depend upon their home form though.

Michel Vorm and Scott Sinclair are probably the best fantasy bets among the Swansea players, but most of their defenders are doing well and available at a good price too. 

I think Sunderland should have a little too much for Swansea in this game.

Prediction 2-0

Wolverhampton Wanderers Vs. Aston Villa
Saturday January 21, 3p.m., BST

Wolves haven't won any of their last seven league games, but they did well to get a point at Spurs the last time out. They're very close to the relegation zone, and their season could go either way at this stage. Their fans will be very anxious for a victory in this local derby.

Wayne Hennessey is doing well in goal for Wolves, and Steven Fletcher is scoring quite regularly at the moment.

Villa are a hard team to fathom at the moment, and their only win in their last six games was away to fourth placed Chelsea. They have only lost twice away from home, but they have only won twice as well. They are the current draw specialists in the Premier League with nine draws in 21 games.

There are no outstanding Villa players at the moment, but Stephen Ireland could be a great player for them if he can play regularly and sort his head out.

This is one game I don't think I would like to see, and I think it will end all square.

Prediction 1-1

Bolton Wanderers Vs. Liverpool
Saturday January 21, 5.30p.m., BST

Bolton have only won once in 10 home games so far, and they have the worst defensive record at home too. If they don't change those statistics very soon they will have very little chance of staying in the Premier League. They have lost Gary Cahill to Chelsea, and that might actually have a stabilising effect on the team.

At a push I would say Chris Eagles and Ivan Klasnic are the Bolton players most likely to perform for any fantasy manager, but they probably best avoided.

Liverpool  are hit and miss away from home with five wins and four defeats so far, and they have only won once in their last five league games overall. There have only been 20 goals in their 10 away games, and they tend to be involved in low-scoring affairs. They have dropped back to seventh in the league, and they need to improve very quickly to stay in the race for Champions League places.

Jose Reina, Jose Enrique, Martin Skrtel and Glen Johnson are all performing well in defence for Liverpool, with Charlie Adam and Steven Gerrard the current best bets at the other end.

Bolton's home form is so poor that Liverpool have to be favourites to win, and I think they will edge a victory.

Prediction 0-1

Manchester City Vs. Tottenham Hotspur
Sunday January 22, 1.30p.m., BST
City have a perfect home record with 10 wins in 10 games so far, and they've only conceded four goals in the process. They're on top of the league, and looking like they have a real chance of winning it. They have their problems with injury and suspension though, and they haven't looked quite so effective in recent weeks.

Joe Hart, David Silva and Sergio Aguero are probably the best fantasy bets for fantasy managers at the moment.

Spurs have done really well to win six of their 10 away games so far, and that has only been bettered by United. They are playing good football too, but they are entering a really crucial period of their season. If they are still challenging at the top after their next six games they have to be considered genuine contenders.

So many Sours players are doing well for fantasy managers at the moment, but that might not be the way over the next few weeks. Brad Friedel, Kyle Walker and Benoit Assou-Ekotto are performing well in defence, with Gareth Bale, Rafael van der Vaart and Emmanuel Adebayor all do very well at the other end.

This has the makings of a very good game, but I think City might just get a win with their great home form.

Prediction 2-1

Arsenal Vs. Manchester United.
Sunday January 22, 4p.m., BST

Arsenal have an injury list that is really hurting them at the moment, and it looks like none of those players will return against United. They have a very good home record this season, and only Manchester City have conceded less goals at home. They need to get a result in this game, and they will want to banish the memories of the last time the clubs met.

Robin van Persie is still the must-have Arsenal player for any fantasy manager.

United have the best away record in the league, and the meanest defence on the road too. Their only away defeatso far came in their last away game, and they will be looking to put that right. United will see this game as an ideal opportunity to get a victory away to an understrength Arsenal.

There's quite a few United players to choose for any fantasy manager with Patrice Evra, Nani, Antonio Valencia and Wayne Rooney all looking good.

United have to be clear favourites to win, but I hope Arsenal have enough to get a victory in a very tight game.

Prediction 2-1

That's it for today.

It's not too late to join the over 1,000 other teams in my fantasy league. 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.

Don't forget you can follow me on Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook too.

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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