Friday, 3 February 2012

Predictions For Premier League Gameweek 24

It's that time of the week again when I attempt to predict the outcomes of the upcoming Premier League games. I managed to get two perfect scorelines, two correct outcomes, and six incorrect outcomes in the midweek games. It may not sound too impressive, but it was enough to move me up to seventh in my predictions league.

One or two more good weeks and I'll be challenging for a top three finish which is my only realistic goal at this stage. Here's a look at how my predictions league stands.

Pos  PlayerWeek Total
 1 ahujag 20 1210
 2 b_red_devils 20 1180
 3 GGooner 20 890
 4 gooner2194 35 875
 5 DK1247 30 855
 6 nitin004 30 850
 7 JamrockRover 45 815
 8 sanziano 0 785
 9 lubu722 30 750
 10 ReApEr666 0 715

Arsenal v Blackburn

Arsenal v Blackburn Rovers

Saturday February 4, 1p.m., BST 

Arsenal have only taken one point in their last four Premier League games, and they now find themselves in seventh place. Only Manchester City and Swansea have conceded less home goals than them though, and they are gradually getting their injured players back. At this stage every game seems to be a must win game for Arsenal, but this can be nothing else.

Robin van Persie continues to be by far the best Arsenal player for any fantasy manager.

Blackburn had a great chance to move out of the relegation zone against Newcastle on Wednesday night, but they missed a host of great chances. Only Wigan have conceded more goals than them, but Blackburn have scored in every one of their 11 away games so far. The continued absence of Yakubu through suspension looks to be costing them dearly at the moment.

With Yakubu out it's hard to see any Blackburn players excelling for fantasy managers.

I think Arsenal should win this game, but Blackburn will put up a fight.

Prediction: 4-1 __________________________________________________

Norwich v Bolton

Norwich City v Bolton Wanderers

Saturday February 4, 3p.m., BST 

Norwich put up one of their very few poor performances on Wednesday night when they lost 3-0 to Sunderland. They have been very good so far this season, and they will probably be safe with 10 points in their last 15 games.

Steve Morison looks to be the best bet among the Norwich players for fantasy managers.

Bolton have taken four points from Arsenal and Liverpool in their last two Premier League games, and they're out of the drop zone now. Their away form has been hit or miss so far with four wins and seven defeats. A win in this game would give them some real breathing space in the fight against relegation.

I can't see any Bolton players that look worth taking a fantasy gamble on at the moment.

I think Bolton might just have enough about them to take all three points.

Prediction: 1-2
QPR v Wolves

Queens Park Rangers v Wolverhampton Wanderers

Saturday February 4, 3p.m., BST 

QPR had a great start against Villa on Wednesday night, and their new signings settled in quickly. Their defence is still very suspect though, and Villa really should have beaten them. With Bobby Zamora to add to their team they might just score enough goals to stay up though.

QPR players haven't exactly set the fantasy world alight, but Zamora and Djibril Cisse might not do too badly for them.

Wolves haven't won any of their last nine Premier League games, and things are looking bleak for them at the moment. They have fallen into the relegation zone, but they are still only two points from safety. Their only away win came on the opening day of the season, and they need to change that statistic very soon.

Both Wayne Hennessey and Steven Fletcher have performed quite well for fantasy managers despite Wolves precarious position.

I think QPR will get their second win in three games and make things even tougher for Wolves.

Prediction: 2-1
Stoke v Sunderland

Stoke City v Sunderland

Saturday February 4, 3p.m., BST 

Stoke have dropped back to ninth place with only one win in their last seven Premier League games. Their home form hasn't been quite so impressive this season with only four wins in 11 league games.

Jonathan Walters has been Stoke's best fantasy player this season, but he has gone off the boil in recent weeks.

Sunderland have taken 19 points in their last nine league games, and risen to eighth in the table. Martin O'Neill has got them playing really well, and they look capable of getting a result against any team. Only the top two clubs and Liverpool have conceded less league goals than Sunderland so far this season.

There are plenty of Sunderland players to choose from for fantasy managers at the moment. Simon Mignolet, Stephane Sessegnon, James McLean and Fraizer Campbell all look well worth taking a punt on in my opinion.

I think Sunderland might just keep up their good form with another win in this game.

Prediction: 1-2 __________________________________________________
West Brom v Swansea

West Bromwich Albion v Swansea City

Saturday February 4, 3p.m., BST 

West Brom have lost seven of their 11 home games so far this season, but their away form has kept them in a safe position in the league. Only Wigan have scored less goals than Albion so far this season, and they need to find the net more often to ensure their safety.

West Brom's lowly position and lack of goals has meant none of their players have performed too well for fantasy managers this season.

Swansea have been really good since their promotion to the Premier League, but their success has been built on their home form. They have only one win and eight goals in 11 away games, and they could be in trouble if their home form falters.

Michel Vorm and Scott Sinclair have been Swansea's best players so far this season, and they're well worth including in any fantasy team.

I have a feeling West Brom will get a long overdue home win.

Prediction: 2-1
Wigan v Everton

Wigan Athletic v Everton

Saturday February 4, 3p.m., BST 

Wigan are on the bottom of the pile, and they're five points from safety with 15 games to go. They have scored less goals than any other team, and conceded more with only one home win to their name. They have taken only three points in their last eight games, and lost their last four games in a row too.

Ali Al-Habsi is still the only Wigan player worth considering for any fantasy manager.

Everton had a great win against Manchester City on Tuesday night, and they need to build on that result now. Only Wigan have scored less goals than them, but they have strengthened their attacking options in the transfer window. A win in this game could move them up to as high as eighth in the table.

Tim Howard and Leighton Baines seem to be the best fantasy bets at Everton, but Nikica Jelavic could be the man to get the goals they need.

I think Everton can win two games in a row for only the second time this season.

Prediction: 1-2
Man City v Fulham

Manchester City v Fulham 

Saturday February 4, 5.30p.m., BST 

City's away form has being letting them down recently, but they still have a one hundred percent record at home in the league. They have also conceded less goals at home than any other club, and it's hard to see them dropping points against Fulham. They need to get the three points to put pressure on their title rivals who all play after them.

City's players aren't doing quite so well at the moment, but Joe Hart, Vincent Kompany, David Silva and Sergio Aguero are all worth having in any fantasy team.

Fulham have moved up to a mid-table position, as their home results have improved. They have still only won once away from home, and they are the lowest scorers on the road too. It will be a huge task for them to get anything out of this game.

Clint Dempsey is in great form at the moment, and worth having in any fantasy team.

I can't see anything other than a City win in this game.

Prediction: 3-0 
Newcastle v Aston Villa

Newcastle United v Aston Villa 

Sunday February 5, 1.30p.m., BST 
Newcastle are back up to fifth in the table and only three points off a Champions League spot. They have coped very well without the services of Demba Ba, and a win in this game would see them level on points with Chelsea ahead of their game with Manchester United.

Tim Krul and Ryan Taylor are racking up the points for Newcastle and are good fantasy buys at the moment.

Villa did well to come back from 2-0 down to get a draw at home to QPR on Wednesday night. They have drawn 10 of their 23 league games so far, and they're not an easy team to beat. They played well against QPR, and they really should have won.

It's not easy to pick any Villa players performing well for fantasy managers, but Robbie Keane might be a good short term bet.

I think Villa will cause Newcastle a few problems and take a point from them.

Prediction: 2-2 __________________________________________________
Chelsea v Man Utd

Chelsea v Manchester United 

Sunday February 5, 4p.m., BST 

Chelsea have lost three home games in the league already this season, and that's very unlike them. They are in the final Champions League place, but their chances of winning the league are all but gone. They will still want to get one over on United though.

Chelsea's top performing fantasy players are all unavailable, and Juan Mata might be the best bet of their players at the moment.

United beat Stoke on Tuesday night, and drew level with City n points at the top of the table. They have some tough games coming up, but as usual they look like they're all set to make a push for the title. A win in this game would be a huge boost for their chances of doing so.

Antonio Valencia is a great fantasy bet at the moment, and Wayne Rooney and Nani are too if they are fit.

I think Chelsea will manage to scrape a draw out of this game, but only just.

Prediction: 1-1
Liverpool v Tottenham

Liverpool v Tottenham Hotspur 

Monday February 6, 8p.m., BST
Liverpool have only won two of their last seven league games, but they're still in the hunt for a Champions League place. Only City have a better defensive record than Liverpool, but they have been let down by a lack of goals and too many draws at home. They will have Luis Suarez available again after he served his eight match ban, and he could be the man to help them score the goals that they need.

The whole Liverpool defence are in good fantasy form at the moment, and Steven Gerrard might be a good choice in a big game like this too.

Spurs are only five points off the top of the table despite losing to City a couple of weeks ago. I keep waiting for them to slip, but it just isn't happening so far. A win in this game could put them very close to United if United drop any points away to Chelsea.

Gareth Bale is a must have player for fantasy managers at the moment, and the Spurs defenders are doing pretty well too.

I think Liverpool might raise their game enough to take all three points.

Prediction: 2-1
That's it for this week but as usual feel free to tell me where I might have gone right or wrong as the case may be.

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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