Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Predictions For Premier League Gameweek 23

It's that time of the week again when I attempt to predict the outcomes of the upcoming Premier League games. This week the games will be played on Tuesday and Wednesday, and the next series of games will be at the weekend. It means I'll have a very busy time with my predictions, but such is the lot of a football addict.

I managed one perfect result last week along with three correct outcomes and six incorrect outcomes. Thanks to getting my banker as the perfect outcome I managed to move up three  places to eighth in my predictions league. With 16 rounds of games left I think the league is beyond me, but I can target a top three finish hopefully.

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

 Pos  Player  Week  Total
 1  ahujag  60  1190
 2  b_red_devils  -70  1160
 3  GGooner  -45  870
 4  gooner2194  -5  840
 5  DK1247  -35  825
 6  nitin004  15  820
 7  sanziano  -65  785
 8  JamrockRover  85  770
 9  Rutland Gooner
 -70  745
 10  lubu722  -35  720

Swansea City Vs. Chelsea
Tuesday January 31, 7.45p.m., BST

Swansea have a very good home record so far with only one defeat in 11 games. No other team has conceded less home goals than Swansea either, and they deserve to stay in the Premier League in my opinion. They won't find it to get a win against Chelsea, but they did beat Arsenal in their last home game.

Michel Vorm and Scott Sinclair are scoring very well, and can still be bought at a good price for fantasy managers.

Chelsea became the first team this season not to score against Norwich in the Premier League in their last away game. Their away form hasn't been bad though, and only Manchester United have conceded less goals on their travels. They have a few injury worries for this game, and they will have to do without both John Terry and Frank Lampard.

With Lampard and Terry injured the best fantasy bet among the Chelsea players is probably Juan Mata, but he has dried up a little recently.

I think Swansea's home form will see them hold Chelsea to a draw.

Prediction 1-1

Tottenham Hotspur Vs. Wigan Athletic
Tuesday January 31, 7.45p.m., BST

Spurs were a little unlucky to lose away to Manchester City in their last game and they need to bounce back against Wigan. Only City have won more home games than Spurs this season, and they still have fond memories of a 9-0 win over Wigan a couple of seasons ago. They have some tough games coming up, and this is a must win game for them.

There are plenty of Spurs players doing very well at the moment with Brad Friedel, Kyle Walker, Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Gareth Bale, Rafael van der Vaart and Emmanuel Adebayor all amassing loads of points for fantasy managers.

Wigan are back on the bottom of the table, and they're now four points away from safety. They have only won three league games so far this season, and they're the lowest scorers in the league too. It's not looking good for them, and relegation looks a real possibility now.

Ali Al-Habsi is still by far the best fantasy buy from Wigan, as long as he continues to save so many penalties.

I think Spurs should win this game comfortably.

Prediction 3-0

Wolverhampton Wanderers Vs. Liverpool
Tuesday January 31, 7.45p.m., BST

Wolves have dropped to second last in the table, and there's some real pressure on them now. They have only taken 11 points in their last 19 league games, and they need to start winning games very soon.

Wayne Hennessey and Steven Fletcher are still probably the best fantasy choices among the Wolves players.

Liverpool have only taken point and scored one goal in their last three league games. During that time they managed to progress in both domestic cup competitions against the two Manchester clubs. They need to find some of their cup form in the league if they are to have any chance of finishing in the top four.

Liverpool's defensive players are their best fantasy performers so far with Jose Reina, Jose Enrique, Martin Skrtel, Daniel Agger and Glen Johnson all doing very well. At the other end Craig Bellamy might be a good bet while Luis Suarez is suspended, and Steven Gerrard could start to perform now that he has recovered from injury.

I think Liverpool might just be able to bring some of the cup form into this game and take the three points.

Prediction 1-2

Everton Vs. Manchester City
Tuesday January 31, 8p.m., BST

Everton have only won three of their 11 home games so far this season, and only Wigan have scored less league goals than them. They have only taken two points in their last four games, and that form has seen them drop to 14th in the table.

At a push I would say Leighton Baines is a good fantasy buy from the Everton team, but he costs an awful lot.

City managed their first away victory in five games against Wigan in their last away game. They have struggled on their travels recently, and they won't find it easy to beat an Everton team that need the points. The return of Vincent Kompany after his four game suspension will be a big boost for them though.

There are a lot of City players to choose from for any fantasy manager with Joe Hart, Kompany, Micah Richards, David Silva and Sergio Aguero all scoring really well. 

I think City's away troubles could prove enough to help Everton take a point from them.

Prediction 1-1

Manchester United Vs. Stoke City
Tuesday January 31, 8p.m., BST

United  have conceded an awful lot of goals at home by their standards, and they have lost a couple of times as well. They have managed to win eight times in 11 home games so far though, and they will be looking to win this game to keep up the pressure on City. They have a few injury problems for this game, and they could struggle if some of their star players aren't passed fit.

United's best options for fantasy managers are Nani and Wayne Rooney, but they're both doubtful for this game which could possibly make Danny Welbeck a good bet. Antonio Valencia has been doing very well in recent weeks too.

Stoke have managed to win four of their 11 away games so far despite scoring only eight away goals. Their chances could rest in the strength or lack of it in the United team if their injured players can't play. 
Jonathan Walters is still Stoke's outstanding performer for any fantasy manager.

I think United will have enough to beat Stoke even if they have an under strength team.

Prediction 2-0

Aston Villa Vs. Queens Park Rangers
Wednesday February 1, 7.45p.m., BST

Villa  have won only three of their 11 home games so far this season, and they're struggling to score at home too. They won't be happy with their second half collapse against Arsenal in the FA Cup on Sunday, and they will want to bounce straight back against QPR.

Villa don't seem to have a player capable of scoring well for any fantasy manager at the moment with the possible exception of Robbie Keane for the next few weeks.

QPR managed to beat Wigan in their last game, and it halted a run of only two points in nine games. They're only two points above the relegation zone, and they have last seven of their 11 away games so far. The arrival of Mark Hughes might be what they need to help them avoid relegation, but I'm not so sure.

Heidar Helguson is probably the best fantasy bet among the QPR players, but none of them have done too well for fantasy managers this season.

I think Villa will bounce back from their weekend disappointment and take all three points.

Prediction 2-1

Blackburn Rovers Vs. Newcastle United
Wednesday February 1, 8p.m., BST

Blackburn have only lost one of their last five league games, and they're only one point away from safety in the league. Their home form has been very black and white so far with three wins and eight defeats in 11 games so far. They are scoring freely, but their problems are at the other end where only Bolton have a worse defence than them in the league. 

With Yakubu injured it might not be a bad idea for fantasy managers to give David Goodwillie a chance.

Newcastle are still sixth in the table, but they're starting to leak a lot of goals. The absence of Demba Ba on international duty is a big loss to them, and the sooner he is back the better for them. They have a fairly good away record so far, but they will need to tighten their defence to get something from this game.

With Demba Ba on international duty and Newcastle's defence leaking badly it might be a good idea to avoid Newcastle players at the moment.

I think Blackburn might just come out on top in a high scoring game.

Prediction 3-2

Bolton Wanderers Vs. Arsenal
Wednesday February 1, 8p.m., BST

Bolton have lost eight of their 11 home games in the league so far this season, but they beat Liverpool in their last home game. That result helped them to climb out of the relegation zone, and they will be looking to build on it. They have got the worst home defensive record in the premier league, and that is something they have to remedy to stay in the league.

I can't see any Bolton players that are consistent enough to include in a fantasy team.

Arsenal  have lost their last three league games, and they need to turn things around immediately. Only Manchester City have scored more away goals than them, but they also have the worst defensive record away from home in the league. Their second half comeback against Villa in the FA Cup on Sunday might be just the tonic they need to get their season going again.

Robin van Persie is a must for any fantasy manager, but their defenders should be avoided for away games.

I think Arsenal will be too strong for Bolton and will get all three points.

Prediction 1-3

Fulham Vs. West Bromwich Albion
Wednesday February 1, 8p.m., BST

Fulham seem to have sorted out their home form at last, and it should help them to climb further up the table. They can be very good at home, and Clint Dempsey is a threat to any team when he's on form.

Clint Dempsey is yet again proving to be far and away Fulham's best fantasy player with Danny Murphy doing pretty well too. If Bobby Zamora can keep his place in the team he could be a good bet too.

Albion have won five of their 11 away games so far, and it's their home form that is letting them down. They're finding it hard to score, and only Wigan have scored less goals than them so far. They have a lot of injury problems at the moment, and they will do well to get anything out of this game.

West Brom don't have any players standing out for fantasy managers, as they continue to spread the workload among their squad.

I think Fulham will continue their good home form with a win in this game.

Prediction 3-1

Sunderland Vs. Norwich City
Wednesday February 1, 8p.m., BST

Sunderland have improved greatly since Martin O'Neill became their manager last month, and they're in the top half of the table now. They have taken 13 points in their last six league games, and they're playing some good football too.

At the moment Stephane Sessegnon is in great form and scoring loads of fantasy points, and both James McLean and Simon Mignolet are worth considering too.

Norwich kept their first clean sheet of the season in their last game at home to Chelsea. They play some very good football at times, and they are a threat to any team. Their inability to keep clean sheets could cost them in this game though.

Steve Morison would seem to be the best fantasy bet among the Norwich players, as he is one of the few players to play almost every game for them.

I think Norwich might just manage to get a draw off Sunderland.

Prediction 2-2

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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