It's that time of the week again when I attempt to predict the outcomes of the upcoming Premier League games. I didn't do so well last week with only one perfect scoreline, three correct outcomes, and seven incorrect. I'm hoping for a better week this time, as I don't want to fall too far behind in my predictions league at such an early stage.
Saturday August 25
Swansea City Vs. West Ham United
12.45pm BST, Liberty Stadium, Swansea
Swansea had a great start to life with their new boss by winning 5-0 away to QPR last week. It would seem the change of manager has not affected their style of play.
Swansea players to impress last week were Nathan Dyer, and Miguel Michu and the later could be one to watch for fantasy managers.
West Ham got the three points at home to Villa last week through hard work and persistence. They are a far cry from the stylish West Ham teams of the past, but their more basic approach might be enough to ensure their survive this season.
Kevin Nolan is assured of his fair share of goals over the season for West Ham, and he started well last week.
This game will be a real contrast of styles, and I think the real football will win out.
Aston Villa Vs. Everton
3pm BST, Villa Park, Birmingham
Villa played well at times against West Ham last week, but they lacked any real penetration. They need to find some soon, or this season could be a real struggle for them.
It's hard to pick Villa players for any fantasy manager at the moment, but when Paul Lambert has worked his magic a few might emerge as contenders.
Everton had a fully deserved 1-0 victory over United on Monday night. If they can continue their good start who knows where they could eventually finish.
Everton keep things fairly tight at the back so their defenders are not bad fantasy bets along with Steven Pienaar and Nikita Jelavic.
I think Everton might continue their good start by taking all three points in a tight game.
Manchester United Vs. Fulham
3pm BST, Old Trafford, Manchester
United got off to a poor start when Everton took all three points off them on Monday night. Their makeshift defence found it hard to cope, but they are a different animal at home. I expect them to come out all guns blazing, and give Fulham a tough time from the first minute.
Which United players will get the chance to shine is the biggest question, and it's not easy to decide for fantasy managers. Surely Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie will get plenty of goalscoring chances and are worth considering.
Fulham had a great win in their opening game, and they will be looking to build on that result. United away is a tougher prospect than Norwich at home, and they traditionally struggle on their travels in the Premier League.
A few Fulham players really looked the part last week, but more about Mladen Petric will be known after this game.
I can't see Fulham getting anything from this game despite United's defensive woes.
Norwich City Vs. Queens Park Rangers
3pm BST, Carrow Road, Norwich
Norwich took a real hiding away to Fulham in their first game under Chris Hughton last week. He will have to work very hard to match the levels Paul Lambert got the team to reach. It already looks like it could be a long hard season for Norwich.
At the moment there are no Norwich players to recommend, and their defenders should be avoided at all costs.
QPR suffered a similar fate to Norwich last week, but they can at least attempt to buy their way out of trouble. They will have to play a lot better than they did last week if they are to avoid a season long relegation battle, and keep Mark Hughes in a job.
Despite all the arrivals at QPR it's hard to see which players will perform well for them, but surely Djibril Cisse will score a few goals over the season.
It's important for both of these teams to take something out of this game, and it might just end in a draw.
Southampton Vs. Wigan Athletic
3pm BST, St. Mary's Stadium, Southampton
Southampton put in a very good performance away to champions City last week, but ultimately took no points from the game. They had an impressive home record last season, and a performance like the one on Sunday should give them a real chance of making a winning home start.
Ricky Lambert showed he can score goals in any league last week, and he should play from the start in this game.
Wigan went 2-0 down early on at home to Chelsea last week, and it was game over. They will see this as an easier game, but they are still unpredictable despite their great finish to last season.
With Victor Moses departing for Chelsea it's hard to see which players will excel for Wigan this season.
I have a feeling Southampton's fans might have some reason to celebrate their return to Premier League action.
Sunderland Vs. Reading
3pm BST, Stadium of Light, Sunderland
Sunderland got a good 0-0 draw away to Arsenal last week, but they need to find a cutting edge in front of goal. The imminent arrival of Steven Fletcher from Wolves should be a boost for them, and they will be looking to take all three points at home to a newly promoted club.
James McClean looks like he could be the Sunderland striker to shine again, and Fletcher could add a few goals for them too. Some of their defenders might be worth considering too if they can defend like they did against Arsenal on a regular basis.
Reading managed to snatch a point at home to Stoke on Saturday, and they were more than a little unlucky to lose at European champions Chelsea on Wednesday night. A few more performances like the one against Chelsea might just give them a chance of staying in the Premier League at the end of the season.
Pavel Pogrebnyak scored against Chelsea, and he might be capable of getting a few more goals for Reading this season.
I think Sunderland might just about take all three points in a tight game.
Tottenham Hotspur Vs. West Bromwich Albion
3pm BST, White Hart Lane, London
Spurs were a little unlucky to lose at Newcastle last week, and there are a lot of changes going on at the club at the moment. Players seem to be coming and going on a daily basis, and it can't be easy for the team to settle at the moment.
Emmanuel Adebayor could shine for Spurs now that his signature has been confirmed with both Gareth Bale and Gylfi Sigurdsson possibly performing well over the season too.
Albion got off to a great start last week with a 3-0 home win against Liverpool. This game will be a lot harder for them, but they were very good on their travels at times last season. They will think they have a real chance of beating a team in transition at the moment.
Peter Odemwingie scored last week, and he will probably get his fair share of goals this season. Their defence can be good on occasions too, and Jonas Olsson is probably the best bet among their defenders.
I don't think Spurs will find this game an easy one, and West Brom might just take a point off them.
Chelsea Vs. Newcastle United
5.30pm BST, Stamford Bridge, London
Chelsea have won their opening two games without being overly impressive. They have signed some very good players, but it will take some time for all the new players to gel together. Once they don't lose this game they will remain on top of the league for the moment at least.
Week one was a great one for managers with Chelsea players in their fantasy teams, as they got to play two games. Branislav Ivanovic and Frank Lampard scored two goals each, and Eden Hazard managed five assists. Besides those three players both Gary Cahill and Juan Mata look capable of doing very well too.
Newcastle started with a good win at home to Spurs, but this will be a tougher game for them. They had to play away from home in the Europa League on Thursday night which was hardly ideal preparation for a trip to Chelsea less than 48 hours later. They won this game last season, and they would be very happy to take any points from it this time around.
Hatem Ben Arfa looked very good last week and he could be a real gem for fantasy managers if he can keep it up. Besides Ben Arfa both Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse have to be considered for their goalscoring ability.
I think Chelsea will win again, but Newcastle will make it far from easy for them.
Sunday August 26
Stoke City Vs. Arsenal
1.30pm BST, Brittiana Stadium, Stoke
Stoke looked to have taken all three points from their opening fixture away to Reading last week until a last minute equaliser took a point off them. They are never an easy team to play against, but they are even harder to play on their own ground. They were the lowest scorers in the Premier League last season, and they need more goals if they are to finish higher than last season.
With Stoke's lack of goals their best fantasy players are probably defenders Robert Huth and Ryan Shawcross.
Arsenal couldn't find a way past a stubborn Sunderland defence last week, and they need to find some more fluency very quickly. They have signed some very good players, but the loss of both Robin van Persie and Alex Song is bound to have an effect in the short term at least. They may not have finished all of their transfer dealings, and they certainly could do with an extra couple of players.
Santi Carzola looks like he could have a very good season for Arsenal, and Thomas Vermaelen is also a very good prospect for fantasy managers.
Despite their problems breaking Sunderland down last week I think Arsenal will take all three points in this battle of very different styles.
Liverpool Vs. Manchester City
4pm BST, Anfield, Liverpool
Liverpool had a very poor start to their season when they lost 3-0 at West Brom last week. They need to bounce back as soon as possible, and opportunities don't come much better than a home against the reigning Premier League champions. Liverpool's home record was far from impressive last season, and they will have to change that if they want to challenge for a top four place.
None of the Liverpool players impressed very much last week, but surely Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez will come good over the season.
City looked a little shaky in their opening game last week, but they managed to come from behind to beat Southampton. They struggled a little away from home last season at times, and they will want to improve their away form. It's never easy to win at Anfield, but City will see this as a real opportunity to take all three points.
Samir Nasri had a great week for City lat week, and Carlos Tevez may have to take on the goalscoring duties with Sergio Aguero injured.
I can see this game ending with the spoils shared.
Prediction: Liverpool 2-2 City
Finally for today don't forget to join my Fantasy Premier league for the
new season with prizes for the top three teams. To join up just go to
the site and use the code 17031-6252 to join my league when your team is
set up. If you were in my league last season you should automatically
be given a choice to rejoin it once your team is set up. There are over 800 teams in my league at the moment, and I'm hoping to match last
season's total of over 1,000 teams.
I'm also running my predictions league again, and it's open to anyone
who wants to join too. It's an easy game to play with points awarded for
predicting the outcomes of every Premier League game. To sign up just
go to the site and use
the code FD047-YLG to join my league once you have registered.
That's it for this week, but feel free to point out where I may have gone right or wrong as the case might be.
See you next week.