It's that time of the week again when I attempt to predict the outcomes of the upcoming Premier League games.I didn't get any correct results last week but I did manage four correct outcomes and six incorrect. It leaves me fourth in my Predictions League, but a long way off the top.
With the January transfer window open there may be a few players coming and going in the Premier League. There is also the opportunity for fantasy managers to use their second wildcard of the season before the month ends.
Here's a look at how my predictions league stands.
Pos Player Week Total
___ _____ ____ ____
1. antonius_ronny_s -15 1455
2. RSun624 30 1270
3. AblockGooner 10 1145
4. JamrockRover -5 1065
5. birchy1962 125 1025
6. goonerdhanesh 50 1020
7. ahujag 35 1010
8. Rutland Gooner -25 950
9. TheDognash 20 940
10. Plasticninja 45 910
Saturday January 12
Queens Park Rangers V Tottenham Hotspur
12.45pm GMT, Loftus Road, London
QPR had a great win away to Chelsea in their last league outing and they get to play another one of the top four in this game. They have only taken seven points from 10 home games and no other team has scored less goals at home. If they are going to stay up that win over Chelsea will have to have been a turning point.
There's still no QPR players who look worth considering for fantasy managers.
Spurs are up to third and they're only six points behind second placed City who have a tough game at Arsenal. They have won six of their 10 away games and only United have scored more away goals. They have taken 22 points in their last nine games and are on a very good run.
Gareth Bale is Spurs best fantasy player, but both Aaron Lennon and Jermaine Defoe are doing well too.
I think Spurs will have too much attacking flair for QPR and take all three points.
Aston Villa V Southampton
3pm GMT, Villa Park, Birmingham
Villa managed to halt their disastrous run with a point at Swansea in their last league game. They have only won two of their 10 home games and managed only eight goals in the process. They are one point above the drop zone with the worst defensive record and the worst goal difference in the league.
Christian Benteke might possibly be worth a gamble but Villa players are probably best avoided.
Southampton had a good draw at home to Arsenal in their last league outing and they're just out of the drop zone on goal difference. They have only lost twice in their last 10 games but their away form hasn't been great. They have two away games this week and have only managed five points in nine away games so far.
Rickie Lambert and Jason Puncheon might be good fantasy bets this week with two games for Southampton.
I think Southampton have enough attacking flair to take all three points.
Everton V Swansea City
3pm GMT, Goodison Park, Liverpool
Everton are still fighting all the way for a top four finish. Four wins in their last six games have kept them right in the hunt. Their biggest problem seems to be their inability to keep a clean sheet which they haven't done in their last 16 league games.
Marouane Fellaini is the best fantasy choice among the Everton players but Stephen Pienaar has to be considered too.
Swansea continue to impress and got a very 2-0 win away to Chelsea in the Capital One Cup semi first leg. They have an awful lot of games this month and their squad will be pushed to the limit. They have only lost two of their last 12 league games and have the best defensive record away from home too.
Miguel Michu is the outstanding fantasy candidate in the Swansea team.
I think Everton should be strong enough to win seeming as Swansea have so many games at the moment.
Fulham V Wigan Athletic
3pm GMT, Craven Cottage, London
Fulham have only won twice in their last 13 games and they have slipped into the bottom half of the table. They usually have a good home record but they have lost four home games already. They are not having any problems scoring, but they conceded far too many goals.
Dimitar Berbatov seems to have found some form again recently and is worth considering for fantasy managers.
Wigan find themselves back in the bottom three with only four points in their last eight games. Only Villa and Reading have conceded more goals than Wigan, but they have managed to win three of their 10 away games. However, they have lost the other seven away games.
Arouna Kone is probably the Wigan player most likely to succeed for fantasy managers but he's off on international duty.
Fulham's home form hasn't been great recently but they should still be good enough to win.
Norwich City V Newcastle United
3pm GMT, Carrow Road, Norwich
Norwich have reverted to type after their great run ended a few weeks ago. They have lost their last four league games but that great run has given them a seven point cushion over the relegation places. Their defensive improvement seems to have faded too with 13 goals conceded in their last six games.
Robert Snodgrass and Anthony Pilkington continue to impress for Norwich.
Newcastle have lost nine of their last 11 league games and they continue to slide down the table. They are dangerously close to the bottom three and only Villa and Reading have conceded more goals. Demba Ba has been sold and some of their best players are out injured too.
With Ba gone to Chelsea it's hard to see which Newcastle player to pick for fantasy managers.
This could be a very close game and I can see it ending up all square.
Reading V West Bromwich Albion
3pm GMT, Madjeski Stadium, Reading
Reading beat West Ham in their last home game to give themselves some hope of avoiding the drop. They have only taken four points in 10 games though and they're five points away from safety. They will have to improve an awful lot to stay in the Premier League.
There are currently no Reading players I can see about to set the fantasy world alight.
West Brom have lost five of their last eight league games, but they still haven't lost pace with the top four completely. If they are to continue to keep pace they will need to improve on their 11 points from 11 away games.
West Brom are sharing the fantasy points among all if their players and it's not easy to single any of them out.
This could be a very close game and I can see it ending in a draw.
Stoke City V Chelsea
3pm GMT, Britannia Stadium, Stoke
Stoke are still unbeaten at home but they have shipped a few more goals than usual recently. They have the best defensive record at home in the league and only City and Chelsea have conceded less goals overall. They have drawn more than half of their league games and four of the last six.
Despite recent lapses Stoke defenders still look a good option with Asmir Begovic, Ryan Shawcross, Robert Huth and Geoff Cameron all worth considering.
Chelsea seemed to be building up a head of steam until they lost at home to bottom in QPR in their last league game. Since then they have had very differing cup results at Southampton and at home to Swansea. They have the best defensive record in the league and the addition of Demba Ba could be just what they need to mount a serious title challenge.
With two games this week Chelsea players will be in demand but it's not always easy to predict which ones will play, but I did try it in my preview of their midweek game below.
This will be another real test for Chelsea and I can't see them getting more than a draw out of it.
Sunderland V West Ham United
3pm GMT, Stadium of Light, Sunderland
Sunderland are still only four points clear of the relegation zone. They have lost five of their last eight games and only Villa and QPR have scored less goals than them. When it comes to scoring at home both of those teams are the only ones to have scored less than Sunderland too.
Sebastien Sessegnon and Stephen Fletcher would seem to be fairly good fantasy choices in the Sunderland team with Simon Mignolet doing well in goal too.
West Ham have only won two of their last nine games and they have struggled to score goals. They have only scored five goals in nine away games and only won twice on the road.
Goals have been hard to come by for West Ham recently but some of their defensive players such as Jussi Jaaskelainen and Winston Reid have performed well.
Sunderland should be strong enough at home to take all three points in this game.
Sunday January 13
Manchester United V Liverpool
1.30pm GMT, Old Trafford, Manchester
United are in flying form and they're seven points clear at the top of the league. They have won nine of their 10 home games and have scored more home goals than any other team. They have taken 25 points from the last 27 and look increasingly likely to run away with the league despite their leaky defence.
Robin van Persie continues to be the outstanding fantasy performer for United but Javier Hernandez has stepped up to the plate with Wayne Rooney out injured. Both Patrice Evra and Rafael da Silva continue to score well too despite United's poor defensive record.
Liverpool have played well recently but they continue to lose to teams they should beat. They have won five of their last seven games as they continue to climb the table. This will be a very tough test for them but they will feel they have every chance of getting a result.
Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard are both in very good form for Liverpool at the moment and most of their defenders are worth considering too.
This could be a very close game and I have a feeling Liverpool will get something out of it.
Arsenal V Manchester City
4pm GMT, Emirates Stadium, London
Arsenal have taken 13 points from their last five league games to stay in touch with the top four. Only United have scored more home goals than Arsenal and Arsenal have played less home games than any other team. This is the start of a tough week for them with Swansea and Chelsea to follow on the heels of City.
Santi Cazorla is Arsenal's standout fantasy player with Theo Walcott performing well too.
City are seven points behind United and every league game is a must win game for them if they are going to retain their title. Only Arsenal and Swansea have conceded less away goals than City and they have only lost once on their travels. Their cause hasn't been helped by too many draws away from home.
Yaya Toure will be missed for City and fantasy managers for the next month. With Sergio Aguero injured both Carlos Tevez and Eden Dzeko could do well and David Silva seems to be regaining some form too.
City don't travel too well and I think they could come a cropper again in this game.
Wednesday January 16
Chelsea V Southampton
7.45pm GMT, Stamford Bridge, London
Chelsea get to play their game in hand on the teams above them and they need to win it to close the gap. Only Stoke have a better defensive record at home than Chelsea, but their two home defeats have hampered their chances.
With two games in a week the right Chelsea player could really improve any fantasy team. Juan Mata, Eden Hazard, Branislav Ivanovic, Gary Cahill, David Luiz and Ashley Cole are all good choices and so too might Demba Ba be if he plays.
Southampton play their game in hand too and any return from it would be a great result for them. In nine away games they have taken only five points and conceded 24 goals. There were also well beaten at home by Chelsea in the FA Cup last Saturday.
Rickie Lambert and Jason Puncheon are probably the best best among the Southampton players.
I can't see anything other than a Chelsea win in this game although I did say that when they played at home to QPR too.
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.