Monday, 31 December 2012

Predictions For Premier League Gameweek 21

It's that time of the week again when I attempt to predict the outcomes of the upcoming Premier League games. I got one perfect scoreline, four correct outcomes and five incorrect in the weekend games. It leaves me a long way behind the leader who had another very good week, but still with a realistic chance of finishing second.

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

Pos     Player                         Week     Total
___     _____                         ____      _____
1.       antonius_ronny_s         175        1470
2.       RSun624                     100        1240
3.       AblockGooner             -5          1135
4.       JamrockRover              35         1070
5.       ahujag                          85           975
6.       Rutland Gooner            80           975
7.       goonerdhanesh             70           970
8.       TheDognash                120          920
9.       birchy1962                   85           900
10.     BenAFCBest                20           870

Tuesday January 1

West Bromwich Albion V Fulham

12.45pm GMT, The Hawthorns, Birmingham

West Brom have won seven of their 10 home games and only conceded seven goals in the process. They had won their previous two games before United best them on Saturday and are still within three points of the top four. No other team has conceded less home goals than West Brom.

It's not easy to pick any Albion players for fantasy managers at the moment as none of them seem to be excelling.

Fulham have only won once in their last 12 league games. They have only won once away from home and their slide down the table continues. They need to find some form soon or they will find themselves in a relegation battle.

Dimitar Berbatov is still the Fulham player must likely to do well for fantasy managers when he feels like it.

I think West Brom should have too much for Fulham and win by a couple of goals.

Prediction: 2-0

Manchester City V Stoke City

3pm GMT, Etihad Stadium, Manchester

City have lost two of their last five league games and are seven points behind United as a result. Their home record isn't what it was last season and they need to improve at home. They managed to find the net four times against Norwich, but at the expense of their usually tight defence.

I still think City defenders are a good option despite letting in three goals against Norwich with David Silva and Yaya Toure worth considering too. It's hard to know which strikers City will play which makes it tough to pick their strikers for fantasy managers.

Stoke only saved their unbeaten home record in the very last minute against Southampton. They have only won once in 10 away games and managed to score only seven goals in those games. They still have a good defensive record on the road though with only Arsenal and Swansea conceding less away goals.

Stoke's defensive strength took a beating at home to Southampton but their defenders are still with considering for fantasy managers as is Kenwyne Jones at the moment.

I think City's attackers will have too much for Stoke's defence and take all three points.

Prediction: 2-0

Swansea City V Aston Villa

3pm GMT, Liberty Stadium, Swansea

Swansea moved back into the top half of the table with a 2-1 win away to Fulham on Saturday. They have only lost twice at home in 10 games and will fancy their chances against a struggling Villa team. Miguel Michu should return from injury and he has been their star player so far this season.

Michu should be back from injury and he's been Swansea's outstanding fantasy performer this season.

Villa are in free fall after losing their last three matches and conceding 15 goals in the process. Once they go behind in a game it seems they forget to defend any more and they are easy for the opposition to pick off. They have lost six of their 10 away games and have the worst defensive record in the league.

There are no Villa players worth considering for fantasy managers at the moment.

It's hard to see anything other than a good win for Swansea in this game.

Prediction: 3-0

Tottenham Hotspur V Reading

3pm GMT, White Hart Lane, London

Spurs have taken 10 points in their last four games to stay in the top four. They have only won five of their 10 home games and have found it easier to score away from home. They will be missing the suspended Gareth Bale for this game, but they will feel they have enough to best the second from bottom side without him.

With Bale suspended Jermaine Defoe is the most likely fantasy choice in the Spurs team with Aaron Lennon not a bad bet either.

Reading managed their second win of the season at home to West Ham on Saturday to give them some hope of avoiding relegation. They have only taken two points in 10 away games and only West Ham have scored less away goals than them. Their away record will have to improve if they are to make up the five point gap to the relative safety of seventeenth place.

Despite only conceding one goal in three games it's difficult for fantasy managers to pick any Reading players.

Spurs should be too strong for a Reading team who have found some form recently.

Prediction: 2-0

West Ham United V Norwich City

3pm GMT, Upton Park, London

West Ham have only won once in their last eight games, but that was against Chelsea. They have only scored one goal in their last three games as the goals have dried up for them. Luckily they took plenty of points earlier in the season, but they need to start doing so again.

West Ham aren't enjoying the best run at the moment and it's not easy to pick any of their players for fantasy managers.

Norwich had gone 10 games unbeaten and been very strong defensively in those games. They have lost their last three games though and conceded seven goals in the process. They have only managed one win and 10 goals in their 10 away games so far.

Norwich's recent defensive strength has diminished, but Robert Snodgrass and Anthony Pilkington are both worth considering for fantasy managers.

I can see this being a very close game and ending with the points shared.

Prediction: 1-1

Wigan Athletic V Manchester United

3pm GMT, DW Stadium, Wigan

Wigan got back to winning ways with a 3-0 win away to the current whipping boys Aston Villa. It moved them out of the relegation zone, but they have only won two of their 10 home games. They beat United at home last season, but they will have to be at their very best to have any hope of doing so again.

Arouna Kone is doing pretty well for Wigan at the moment and is worth considering for any fantasy manager.

United are seven points clear at the top of the table and have scored 50 goals in 20 games. They have won seven of their 10 away games and scored more away goals than any other team. They have taken 22 out of their last 24 points despite conceding 28 goals do far this season.

Robin van Persie is still by far United's outstanding fantasy performer.

Despite Wigan playing well recently I think United will take all three points.

Prediction: 1-3

Southampton V Arsenal

5.30pm GMT, St. Mary's Stadium, Southampton

Southampton have taken 13 points in their last nine games and got a very good draw at Stoke on Saturday. They are not an easy team to beat at home, but only Villa have conceded more goals than them. Wigan's defeat of Villa put them back in the relegation zone but they look to have enough to avoid the drop.

Rickie Lambert is performing very well for Southampton and a very good fantasy choice at the moment.

Arsenal have won their last four league games in a row and scored 15 goals in the process. They have only lost two of their 10 away games and they have the best defensive record away from home in the league. A fifth consecutive win would be the ideal start to the new year for them.

Theo Walcott, Santi Cazorla and maybe even Kieran Gibbs are worth considering for fantasy managers with Olivier Giroud an outside bet if he can get a game.

I think Arsenal will continue their winning ways with a hard fought victory.

Prediction: 1-2

Wednesday January 2

Chelsea V Queens Park Rangers

7.45pm GMT, Stamford Bridge, London

Chelsea are only four points behind second placed City with a game in hand. They have the best defensive record at home along with West Brom and Stoke and could be the team to chase United if they continue their current form. They have won their last four league games in a row and scored 14 goals in the process.

Chelsea defenders remain a good fantasy option with Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Fernando Torres very good options too.

QPR are rock bottom of the table yet again and eight points away from safety. They haven't won any of their 10 away games and only Villa have scored less goals than them. Harry Redknapp's early influence seems to have worn off and they look like a team destined for relegation at the moment.

It's hard to see what QPR players could do anything for fantasy managers at the moment.

Chelsea should have far too much for a QPR team who just don't look good enough at the moment.

Prediction: 3-0

Liverpool V Sunderland

7.45pm GMT, Anfield Stadium, Liverpool

Liverpool got back to winning ways with a very good 3-0 win away to QPR on Sunday. They still lack consistency with four wins and three defeats in their last seven games. They are scoring more consistently but still have some defensive issues to sort out.

Luis Suarez, Steven Gerrard and Luis Enrique are all good fantasy choices at the moment while Glenn Johnson, Martin Skrtel and Daniel Agger have to be considered too.

Sunderland have won three of their last five games to move clear of the relegation zone. They have only won twice away from home in 10 attempts though and have struggled to score at times.

Stephane Sessegnon and Stephen Fletcher are the Sunderland players most likely to perform for fantasy managers with Simon Mignolet performing admirably in goal too.

I think Liverpool will be good enough to take all three points in this game.

Prediction: 2-0

Newcastle United V Everton

8pm GMT, Sports Direct Arena, Newcastle

Newcastle have let in 11 goals in their last two games, but scored six too. Only Villa have conceded more goals than them and they need to improve defensively. Eight defeats in their last 10 games have left them within three points of the dreaded relegation zone.

Demba Ba continues to impress for Newcastle and is worth including in any fantasy team.

Everton lost for only the third time this season at home to Chelsea on Sunday. They have only lost two of their 10 away games but they have drawn five of them. The return of Marouane Fellaini after suspension will be a welcome boost for them as they try to make up ground n the top four spot they crave.

Fellaini may be worth considering again now that his suspension is over. Besides him Stephen Pienaar would seem to be the next best bet.

This is a very tough game to call and I have a feeling it may end on a draw.

Prediction: 2-2

 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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