Friday, 7 December 2012

Predictions For Premier League Gameweek 16

It's that time of the week again when I attempt to predict the outcomes of the upcoming Premier League games. There's an extra game this week for both Sunderland and Reading as they get to play their game which was postponed at the start of the season. Some very brave fantasy managers might even risk putting players from these teams into their selection although they are both struggling at the wrong end of the table.

Last week I didn't do so well with only one perfect score line, three correct outcomes and six incorrect. I moved up to third in my predictions league as a result though, as others struggled too.

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

Pos     Player                         Week     Total
___     _____                        _____     ____
1,        antonius_ronny_s       -5            985
2.        AblockGunner            50          880
3.        JamrockRover            45          785
4.        ahujag                         30          785
5.        Meikku                       10          755
6.        RSun624                     5            715
7.        TheDogNash               155        705
8.        Plasticninja                   10          680
9.        ReApEr666                  45         675
10.      goonerdhanesh             10          655

Saturday December 8
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Arsenal V West Bromwich Albion

3pm GMT, Emirates Stadium, London

Arsenal have dropped to 10th in the league after taking two points from their last three games. Their only good performance in those games was in the away draw with Everton and they are struggling to find any form. Almost all of their starting team were rested in the midweek defeat away to Olympiacos and that might have been enough for them to recharge their batteries.

If Arsenal can rediscover any form then Santi Cazorla, Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud are all worth considering for fantasy managers.

West Brom had been in good form recently, but they have lost their last two games. Their great start to the season has been built on their home form and they have struggled a little away from home. They will surely work hard to stop Arsenal playing as it has worked so well for other teams.

Shane Long is probably the best fantasy bet among the West Brom players.

I think Arsenal's midweek rest will have given them the chance to get back on track with a narrow win.

Prediction: 2-1
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Aston Villa V Stoke City

3pm GMT, Villa Park, Birmingham

Villa got a very good point away to QPR last week, but they're still in real relegation peril. They are struggling to score goals and they need to get a few wins on the board. They have only lost two of their home games so far though.

Villa defenders are a real risk but there might be some value in Ciaran Clarke at the moment.

Stoke have taken 13 points from their last 15 and have built their progress on a very solid defence. They may not score too many goals, but they are a very tough team to beat. They are at their best at home, but will fancy their chances away to a struggling team.

Asmir Begovic and Ryan Shawcross and Stoke's best fantasy bets, but all of their defenders have to be considered as good buys at the moment.

I can see a very tight game ending with the spoils shared.

Prediction: 1-1
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Southampton V Reading

3pm GMT, St. Mary's Stadium, Southampton

Southampton are still in the relegation zone but they will feel they have a real chance if getting out of it with a victory over one of the two teams below them. They are scoring freely at home and are playing quite well too. Their problems have been in defence where they have let in more goals than any other team.

Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert are probably the two Southampton players most likely to succeed for fantasy managers.

Reading have lost five of their seven away games so far and drawn the other two. Only QPR are below them in the table and even a win won't get them out of the bottom three. They have scored a fair few goals but their defence has let them down too often.

With two games this week Jodi McAnuff might not be a bad choice for fantasy managers.

I think Southampton are a little stronger and will take all three points.

Prediction: 3-1
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Sunderland V Chelsea

3pm GMT, Stadium of Light, Sunderland

Sunderland have only won one home game so far and only QPR and Villa have scored less goals than them. They have gone very stale this season and the pressure on Martin O'Neill is building.

With two games to play this week both Simon Mignolet and Stephen Fletcher are possibilities for fantasy managers.

Chelsea haven't won in seven league games and are out of the Champions League too. The Rafa Benitez era has started badly and it could be over sooner than he hopes for if they don't start winning league games. They're still third in the table though, but the teams are queuing up behind them.

Juan Mata and Eden Hazard are still the best attacking bets for Chelsea with any of their defenders a possibility under Benitez.

I think Chelsea will be good enough to get their first win in eight and pile the pressure on Sunderland.

Prediction: 0-2
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Swansea City V Norwich City

3pm GMT, Liberty Stadium, Swansea

Swansea have been in very good form recently and fully deserved their win away to Arsenal last week. They have only lost once at home in eight games and are capable of beating any team.

Miquel Michu has been Swansea's outstanding fantasy performer and Wayne Routeledge has ably supported him.

Norwich have bring playing very well recently too and are in the relative safety of mid table. They have drawn five and lost three of their away games and struggled to score goals in the process. Their defence has been very tight recently, but only Villa and QPR have scored less goals.

Sebastian Bassong and Javier Garrido are good fantasy buys as long as Norwich stay tight at the back and John Ruddy would be too if he wasn't injured.

I think Swansea will be too strong for Norwich and get another win.

Prediction: 2-1
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Wigan Athletic V Queens Park Rangers

3pm GMT, DW Stadium, Wigan

Wigan have lost four of their eight home games and are only two points above the drop zone. Only Southampton have conceded more goals than them and no team have conceded more home goals. They have a chance to put some space between themselves and the teams below them by beating the bottom club in this game.

Arouna Kone is probably the best fantasy bet among the Wigan players.

QPR have not won any of their opening 15 Peemier League games and they will set a record if they don't win this game. They have lost six of their eight away games and they are the lowest scorers in the league. Their fans must feel their first win is never going to come.

I can't see any QPR players worth recommending to fantasy managers at the moment.

I think QPR might just manage a point but they really need all three.

Prediction: 1-1
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Sunday December 9
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Manchester City V Manchester United

1.30pm GMT, Etihad Stadium, Manchester

City are still unbeaten in defence of their title and they haven't lost a home league game in about two years. They have the tightest defence in the league and only United have scored more goals than them. Despite their Champions League exit they must still be favourites to win this game.

Vincent Kompany and Joe Hart are good choices at the moment with City's defence doing so well, but it's not easy to predict which attacking players to choose from City.

United are the top scorers in the league, but they have conceded an awful lot of goals too. They have come from behind to win many of their games, but it won't be that easy against City. If they are going to get anything from this game they will have to defend much better than they have being doing so far.

Robin van Persie remains United's outstanding fantasy performer, but as I said last week Wayne Rooney could be on to watch.

I think City's defensive strength will overcome United's defensive weakness in a tight game.

Prediction: 2-1
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Everton V Tottenham Hotspur

3pm GMT, Goodison Park, Liverpool

Everton are still unbeaten at home but they are drawing too many games. Only City have lost less games than Everton but eight draws in 15 games is hurting them. They could do with keeping a few clean sheets too.

Marouane Fellaini is Everton's outstanding fantasy performer and a must for any fantasy manager.

Spurs have won their last three league games and are back in the top four again. Only United have scored more away goals than them, but only five teams have conceded more goals than them. Third place is up for grabs but Sours will have to improve their defence if they are to finish there.

Gareth Bale is injured this week and Jermaine Defoe is the next best fantasy bet among the Spurs players.

I think this could be a good game and will probably end up in a draw.

Prediction: 2-2
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West Ham United V Liverpool

4pm GMT, Upton Park, London

West Ham had a great win at home to Chelsea last week and they will be looking to turn Liverpool over too. They have only lost once at home in eight games and their defence has been very solid at home.

Kevin Nolan has been West Ham's best fantasy performer so far but he hasn't got any real points in the last four games. Jussi Jaaskelainen has done very well too and is worth considering.

Liverpool will be without the suspended Luis Suarez and there aren't any alternatives in their squad at the moment. They have only one win in their eight away games and only Everton have drawn more games than them. It will be very interesting to see how they fare without Suarez.

With Suarez out it's hard to see what Liverpool players to choose, but Luis Enrique might be worth a shot as a defender playing further forward.

Despite missing Suarez I still think Liverpool can get a draw out of this game.

Prediction: 1-1
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Monday December 9
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Fulham V Newcastle United

8pm GMT, Craven Cottage, London

Fulham have lost three of their seven home games already this season and that's unusual for them. They have only taken one point in their last four league games and haven't scored in their last three. They have plenty of firepower and need to start scoring freely again as they were until a few weeks ago.

Dimitar Berbatov is still probably the best fantasy bet among the Fulham players.

Newcastle managed to halt a run of four consecutive defeats by beating Wigan on Monday night. They were helped by an early red card for Wigan and the three points were badly needed. If Demba Ba isn't passed fit for this game they could struggle with so many other players out injured too.

Ba is by far Newcastle's best fantasy performer and an excellent choice for fantasy managers if he's fit.

I think Fulham will get back on track with a win in a very close game.

Prediction: 2-1
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Tuesday December 10
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Sunderland V Reading

7.45pm GMT, Stadium of Light, Sunderland

Sunderland are dangerously close to the drop zone and they need to take all three points from this game. With two games in a week they have the opportunity to move clear of the drop zone, but if they don't questions will have to be asked.

If Stephen Fletcher can stay fit for both games this week he could be a good choice for fantasy managers.

Reading have two away games this week and they're both against other teams at the wrong end of the table. If they can get points from these games they could give themselves a chance of staying up this season. Their away record so far has been far from impressive though.

As I said earlier Jodi McAnuff might be a good choice for fantasy managers this week.

I think Sunderland might just best a team with 11 players in it for the first team since last March.

Prediction: 2-1
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That's it for this week but as always 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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