Thursday, 20 December 2012

Predictions For Premier League Gameweek 18

It's that time of the week again when I attempt to predict the outcomes of the upcoming Premier League games. Last week went reasonably well for me with one perfect scoreline, four correct outcomes and four incorrect. Unfortunately others did a little better and I dropped to fourth in my predictions league.

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

Pos     Player                         Week     Total
1.       antonius_ronny_s         95          1170
2.       AblockGooner           105         1095
3.       RSun624                   170          995
4.      JamrockRover             50           940
5.      Rutland Gooner          105          825
6.      ahujag                         45           825
7.      Pasticninja                   85          785
8.     goonerdhanesh             85          760
9.     birchy1962                  100        730
10.   BenAFCBeast             70          720

Saturday December 15

Wigan Athletic V Arsenal

12.45pm GMT, DW Stadium, Wigan

Wigan are back where they seem to spend most of their time which is in the relegation zone. No team has lost more Premier League games than Wigan this season and they have only taken one point in their last four games. Only Reading have conceded more goals than Wigan and more than half of those goals have been at home.

It's probably a good idea for fantasy managers to avoid Wigan players for the moment.

Arsenal have won their last two league games but lost to Bradford in the Capital One Cup between those games. They have only lost twice in nine away games and only City have conceded less away goals than them. A win in this game would see them rise to third ahead of the third and fourth placed teams playing.

Santi Cazorla is the in form Arsenal player at the moment with both Theo Walcott and Lukas Podolski worth considering too.

I think Arsenal will continue their winning ways in the league by taking all three points.

Prediction: 1-3

Manchester City V Reading

3pm GMT, Etihad Stadium, Manchester

City bounced back from the defeat to United with a good win away to Newcastle last week. Their two year unbeaten record at home went to United, but it could be the impetus they need to kick start the defence of their title. Only United have scored more home goals than City and Reading could be in for a long afternoon.

Carlos Tevez is City's best fantasy performer, but Yaya Toure and Joe Hart should be considered too.

Reading haven't won away from home yet and they have only won once at home. They're at the bottom of the table with the worst defence in the league and must be dreading a trip to the reigning champions. This will surely be their eighth defeat in their 10 away games.

I don't think there are Reading players worth recommending to fantasy managers at the moment.

I can see this being a very long afternoon for Reading and City should win well.

Prediction: 4-0

Newcastle United V Queens Park Rangers

3pm GMT, Sports Direct Arena, Newcastle

Newcastle have slipped to two points above the relegation zone after six defeats in their last seven games. Despite having Demba Ba in their team they are struggling to score goals. They have managed four home wins in nine games and they badly need another one.

Ba is by far the best fantasy bet among the Newcastle players with Hatem Ben Arfa and Yohan Cabaye injured.

QPR managed their first win of the season at the seventeenth attempt last week. They have only three points from nine away games with only West Ham and Wigan scoring less goals on the road. In fact no team has scored less goals than QPR this season.

Adel Taarabt could be the QPR player to benefit from the appointment of Harry Redknapp and might be s good fantasy buy.

I think Newcastle will get back to winning ways with a narrow victory.

Prediction: 2-1

Southampton V Sunderland

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

Southampton have taken 11 points from their last six games with only one defeat in those games. They have only lost three times at home in nine games and have had no problem scoring goals. They seem to have improved defensively too and that could be just enough to keep them in the Premier League.

Jason Puncheon and Rickie Lambert would seem to be the Southampton players most likely to succeed for fantasy managers at the moment.

Sunderland managed to beat Reading just over a week ago but it was their only win in their last six games. They have only one win in nine away games and their defence has started leaking too many goals recently. It looks like the rest of the season could be hard going for Sunderland.

Stephane Sessegnon seems to be finding some form at the moment and Stephen Fletcher is a good but too if he's fit.

I think Southampton will have enough to take all three points.

Prediction: 2-1

Tottenham Hotspur V Stoke City

3pm GMT, White Hart Lane, London

Spurs have won four of their last five league games and are fourth in the table. They have won five of their nine home games and are pushing hard to catch third placed Chelsea. Their defence had been their downfall at times though with only six teams conceding more goals than them.

Gareth Bale is the best fantasy choice among the Spurs players if fit with Jermaine Defoe not doing so badly either.

Stoke have only won once in nine away games and only managed seven goals in those games. They have got the best defensive record in the league though and they're never an easy team to beat.

Stoke's defensive record means there's a few of their players to choose from for fantasy managers with Asmir Begovic , Ryan Shawcross, Robert Huth and Geiff Cameron all worth considering.

I think this will be a very close game and Stoke might just manage to take a point from it.

Prediction: 1-1

West Bromwich Albion V Norwich City

3pm GMT, The Hawthorns, Birmingham

West Brom are still seventh in the table despite taking only one point in their last four games. They have won six of their nine home games and only conceded six goals in the process. They need to get back to winning ways, but Norwich won't be an easy task for them.

Steve Morrison and Shane Long are probably the best fantasy choices in the West Brom team, as long as they can start winning games again.

Norwich have taken 22 points in their last 10 games and are unbeaten in those games. They have only won once in nine away games though and conceded a lot of goals on the road too. If they continue their present form they will be safe from the relegation battle very soon and that is their target for the season surely.

Robert Snodgrass, Anthony Pilkington, Javier Garrido and Sebastien Bassong are all doing very well for Norwich at the moment.

I think West Brom will get back to winning ways, as Norwich's run had to come to an end at some time.

Prediction: 2-1

West Ham United V Everton

3pm GMT, Upton Park, London

West Ham have only won one of their last six games, but that win was against Chelsea. They have won four of their nine home games and scored 16 goals in the process though. They're not an easy team to beat and they will give Everton a very tough test.

Kevin Nolan had been West Ham's best fantasy player but his goals have dried up recently and Jussi Jaaskelainen is still performing well in goal for them.

Everton have only lost twice so far but nine draws in 17 games us too many. They have only won twice away from home and they need to turn a few of their draws into wins. They will have to manage without the suspended Marouane Fellaini for the next three games and he has been their best player this season.

With Fellaini out Everton will have to look elsewhere for inspiration and none of their other players are excelling at the moment.

I have a feeling this game will end up with the spoils shared.

Prediction: 1-1

Liverpool V Fulham

5.30pm GMT, Anfield, Liverpool

Liverpool came crashing to a halt last week when they lost 3-1 at home to Villa. They have only won three of their nine home games and scored only 10 goals in the process too. Their home form has to improve if they're going to have any chance of pushing for a European place next for season.

Luis Suarez is still Liverpool's outstanding fantasy performer, but both Glen Johnson and Steven Gerrard are worth considering as is Jose Enrique if he's fit to play.

Fulham have only won once in nine away games and only Southampton have conceded more away goals than them. They have only won one of their last nine league matches too and they need to reverse that trend or they will find themselves struggling at the wrong end of the table. They have managed to score on the road though with only four teams managing more away goals.

Dimitar Berbatov and Damien Duff have performed well for Fulham, but the fantasy points have dried up recently for Berbatov in particular.

I think Liverpool will get back to winning ways with a narrow victory.

Prediction: 2-1

Sunday December 23

Swansea City V Manchester United

1.30pm GMT, Liberty Stadium, Swansea

Swansea have lost their last two games to halt their progress and they will have their work cut out to prevent a third successive defeat. They have only lost two of their nine home games though and they are the fourth highest scorers at home too. On their day they can be a match for any team in the league and they will give their all to try to beat the league leaders,

Miguel Michu is the must have fantasy player in the Swansea team, with Wayne Routeledge performing well too.

United have won their last five league games and they have won seven of their nine away games too. They haven't drawn a game yet this season and they're six points clear at the top of the table. They have scored more away goals than any other team too and they are very good going forward at the moment despite their defensive problems.

Wayne Rooney is on fire at the moment for fantasy managers and Robin van Persie is the highest scoring fantasy player so far this season.

I think United might just edge a very close game.

Prediction: 2-3

Chelsea V Aston Villa

4pm GMT, Stamford Bridge, London

Chelsea bounced back well from their World Club Championship final defeat to win 5-1 away to Leeds in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday night. They won their last league game but it was their first league win in eight. They have only lost once at home this season and they certainly have the talent to close the gap on the teams above them.

Juan Mata, Eden Hazard, Peter Cech and even Fernando Torres are all good fantasy options at the moment.

Villa are unbeaten in five games and they have only conceded two goals in the process. They have climbed out of the relegation zone, but they have still lost five of their nine away games. Their problems are in front of goal and they are the joint lowest scorers in the league this season.

Christian Benteke looks like he could be a good fantasy buy if Villa can score a few more goals with both Matthew Lowton and Ciaran Clarke doing well in defence at the moment and available at a very good price.

I think Chelsea will be too strong for Villa and win by a few goals.

Prediction: 3-0

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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