Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Predictions For Premier League Gameweek 14

It's that time of the week again when I attempt to predict the outcomes of the upcoming Premier League games. There's a slight problem on the site for my predictions league so I can't reproduce the table this week. I'm still in fourth place I know with the top two the same, but last year's winner has climbed into third place and has to be watched.

Tuesday November 27

Sunderland V Queens Park Rangers

7.45pm GMT, Stadium of Light, Sunderland

Sunderland have only won two of their 12 games and their usually tight defence has become a little porous. They're only two points above the relegation zone and they need a few wins or Martin O'Neill will be under an awful lot of pressure. A home game against the bottom club who have not won this season is surely an ideal opportunity for them.

Stephen Fletcher seems to have found a little bit of form again and may be worth considering for fantasy managers.

QPR have gained only four points in their opening 13 games and it cost Mark Hughes his job. Harry Redknapp will hope to have an immediate impact and he will need to if they are going to stay in the Premier League. QPR are the joint lowest scoters in the league and they have to start scoring goals to survive.

I can't see any QPR players worth considering for fantasy managers, but that might change with their new manager.

I think QPR might rally a little under their new manager and take a point.

Prediction: 1-1

Aston Villa V Reading

8pm GMT, Villa Park, Birmingham

Villa managed to halt the flow of goals against them by drawing 0-0 at home to Arsenal on Saturday. Along with QPR and Norwich they're the joint lowest scorers in the league, but Darren Bent continues to warm the bench. Reading are one of only two teams below Villa in the table and they quite simply have to beat them or Paul Lambert will find the pressure on him growing.

There aren't any Villa players I can recommend to fantasy managers at the moment.

Reading got their first win of the season recently and they have not been thrashed by anybody. Most of their games have been very close, but they need to start winning a few of those close games.

I can't see any Reading players who look likely to perform well at the moment.

I think Reading can do enough to take a point out of this game.

Prediction: 1-1

Wednesday November 28

Chelsea V Fulham

7.45pm GMT, Stamford Bridge, London

Chelsea started like under Rafa Benitez with a 0-0 draw at home to Manchester City. If he can tighten up their defence they still have enough attacking quality to challenge for trophies. He will be hoping to win the Chelsea fans over and a home win over local rivals might not be a bad start.

Juan Mata and Eden Hazard are the best fantasy attacking options on the Chelsea team, but their defenders have to be worth considering too.

Fulham are the second highest scorers in the league, but only QPR and Southampton have conceded more goals than them. They played very well to get a 3-3 draw at Arsenal a couple of weeks ago, but they have lost both of their games since then. They need to tighten up at the back or their good forward play will go in vain.

I still think Dimitar Berbatov is a good fantasy buy and especially when Fulham are at home.

I think Chelsea will be too strong for Fulham and get Benitez his first win as their manager.

Prediction: 3-1

Everton V Arsenal

7.45pm GMT, Goodison Park, Liverpool

Everton have been good this season, but their last two results have not been good. They led against both Reading and Norwich, but they only took one point from the two games. Their defence not been tight enough for a team with top four ambitions and they need to change that.

The return of Marouane Fellaini from suspension is very welcome for Everton and all fantasy managers with him in their team too.

Arsenal just can't seem to put a decent run of form together. They've only taken one point in their last three away games and they struggle against teams that deny them space to play their football. If they are going to maintain their top four statue this is exactly the type of game they need to win.

Santi Caorla, Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott are the best fantasy performers for Arsenal.

I think Everton might just play an open enough game to allow Arsenal the space they need to take all three points.

Prediction: 1-2

Southampton V Norwich City

7.45pm GMT, St. Mary's Stadium, Southampton

Southampton have climbed out of the relegation zone with back to back wins over QPR and Newcastle. They may have the worst defensive record in the league, but they are also an attacking force to be reckoned with. A win over Norwich could be just what they need to make their Premier League status seem a lot more stable.

Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Gaston Ramirez are all in good form for Southampton at the moment.

Norwich have won three and drawn three of their last six games and only conceded two goals in the process. They are the joint lowest scorers in the league, but their recent defensive strength makes up for that. If they continue in the same vein they will find they have no relegation worries for the season.

John Ruddy and Javier Garrido are the Norwich players most likely to perform as long as they maintain their defensive strength.

I think this will be a very interesting game between Southampton's attacking ability and Norwich's defensive strength with a draw the most likely outcome.

Prediction: 1-1

Stoke City V Newcastle United

7.45pm GMT, Britannia Stadium, Stoke

Stoke are very tough to beat at home and they have only conceded 11 league goals this season. Their problem has been scoring them with only 11 goals for them as well. They havea  chance to climb the table by winning their second home game in less than a week.

Stoke defenders are a good buy at the moment with Asmir Begovic and Ryan Shawcross probably the pick of them.

Newcastle are on a terrible run of form and they are missing some key players too. Alan Pardew's long contract must be looking a little unstable at the moment. They won't relish a trip to hard hitting Stoke as they attempt to reverse their fortunes.

Demba is still the best fantasy bet among the Newcastle players but his goals have dried up a little recently.

I can see Stoke getting yet another 1-0 win in this game.

Prediction: 1-0

Swansea City V West Bromwich Albion

7.45pm GMT, Liberty Stadium, Swansea

Swansea had a great season after their promotion last season and they are settling into a mid table position this time around. They had a bad run a few weeks ago, but they have halted that and become a tough side to beat again. Given a chance they can score against any team in the league.

Miguel Michu remains Swansea's most potent attacking threat for fantasy managers.

West Brom have won four league games in a row and are up to a very lofty third place. They have become a very good team under Steve Clark and they will go into this game with a lot of confidence. They are at their best at home but their away form has improved in recent weeks.

Shane Long, Steve Morrison and Peter Odemwingie are the West Brom players most likely to succeed at the moment.

I can see this being a very good game and the spoils being shared.

Prediction: 2-2

Tottenham Hotspur V Liverpool

7.45pm GMT, White Hart Lane, London

Spurs managed to get a win at the weekend to end a bad run of four defeats in five games. This will be a tougher game for them, but they are a potent force in attack. Their problems are in defence and they will have a tough time keeping Luis Suarez quiet.

Liverpool are drawing too many games for their own good, as they have only lost as many games as the league leaders. When Luis Suarez doesn't score they really struggle to register anything. They are a very tough team to beat though, and they have every chance of getting something in this game.

Suarez is Liverpool's best fantasy bet at the moment, but Jose Enrique might not be a bad choice either as a defender playing in an advanced role.

I can see this being a tight game with the teams ending all square.

Prediction: 1-1

Manchester United V West Ham United

8pm GMT, Old Trafford, Manchester

United are back on top of the table after beating the bottom club at home at the weekend. They will relish another home game and the chance to get a win and put more pressure on the teams chasing them. I'm still not fully convinced by thisd United team, but they are scoring goals for fun at the moment with the exception of their 1-0 defeat to Norwich.

Robin van Persie is still the outstanding fantasy player for United, but Wayne Rooney looks to be coming good at the moment too.

West Ham were well beaten by Spurs at the weekend and this is another tough game for them. They have done well since their return to the Premier League, but their more basic approach has been found wanting against the better teams. They will struggle to get anything from this game, but they will create chances against a shaky United defence.

Kevin Nolan is still by far the best fantasy choice among the West Ham players.

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

Prediction: 3-1

Wigan Athletic V Manchester City

8pm GMT, DW Stadium, Wigan

Wigan are four points clear of the relegation zone after beating Reading at the weekend, but only just did so. They play good football but they are still very unpredictable. They will have to be at their very best to get anything from this game.

Arouna Kone is probably the best fantasy choice among the Wigan players, but it's hard to ignore Jordi Gomez's hat trick from last Saturday.

City have sorted out their defensive issues and have only conceded twice in their last seven league games. They are still unbeaten in defence of their Premier League title and they will fight all the way to retain it. This isa  game they really should win if they are going to do so.

Carlos Tevez, Sergio Aguero and Vincent Kompany are very good fantasy bets and David Silva appears to be returning to his best too.

I think City will be too strong for Wigan and take all three points.

Prediction: 0-2

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

See you next week.

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