Friday, 1 February 2013

Predictions For Premier League Gameweek 25

It's that time of the week again when I attempt to predict the outcomes of the upcoming Premier League games. I got no perfect scorelines, four correct outcomes and six incorrect in the midweek games. It meant I slipped to fifth in my predictions league and the title is now surely beyond me with more than a third of the season to go.

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

Pos.     Player.                         Week.     Total.
___     ______                         ____      _____
1.        antonius_ronny_s          80           1555
2.        AblockGooner             35            1280
3.        ahujag                          130          1255
4.        RSun624                      15            1245
5.        JamrockRover              15            1150
6.        birchy1962                   105          1105
7.        Rutland Gooner            80            1080
8.        Plasticninja                   105          1030
9.        Meikku                        105          1000
10.      goonerdhanesh             -10           955

Saturday February 2

QPR v Norwich City

12.45pm GMT, Loftus Road, London

QPR got a very good point at home to City on Tuesday but they need to win a few games. They have only managed two wins in 24 games and that has to change if they are to have a chance of staying up. They will see a home game against Norwich as a real chance of getting their third win.

I'm still not sure there are any QPR players worth considering for fantasy managers although new boy Loric Remy may prove me wrong.

Norwich got a good point at home to Spurs on Wednesday night to stop their recent poor run of results. They have only taken two points from their last seven games though and a defeat to the bottom club would not be welcome. They have only managed one win in 12 away games so far.

At a push Robert Snodgrass might be the one Norwich player worth considering.

I have a feeling QPR might just sneak a narrow victory.

Prediction: 1-0

Arsenal v Stoke City

3pm GMT, Emirates Stadium, London

Arsenal showed both sides of their character in drawing 2-2 at home to Liverpool on Wednesday night. No team has more home goals than Arsenal but their defence seems to get worse with each game. This is a game they have to win to try to push for fourth place.

Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud are in great form at the moment and Santi Cazorla can't be ignored either.

Stoke have conceded 15 goals in their last five league games after looking so solid in defence in the first half of the season. They have only won once in 12 away games and only Norwich have less away goals than Stoke. One win in nine games is a poor return for  team looking to finish in the top half of the table.

With Stoke conceding so many goals at the moment it's probably best to avoid their players.

I think Arsenal's attacking style will be too much for Stoke to handle. 

Prediction: 3-1

Everton v Aston Villa

3pm GMT, Goodison Park, Liverpool

Everton got a good win against West Brom on Wednesday night and the other teams chasing fourth place could only draw. A win against struggling Villa could possibly see them move into fourth place if Spurs don't win at West Brom. They have only been beaten once at home and it would be a surprise if they don't win this game.

Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines are the two Everton players most likely to perform.

Villa were beaten at home by Newcastle on Wednesday night and they slipped back into the bottom three as a result. They have only taken two points in their last seven games and conceded 22 goals in the process. Villa have now conceded more goals than any other team and only QPR have scored less goals than them.

Christian Benteke is probably the only Villa player worth considering for fantasy managers.

I can't see anything other than an Everton win in this game.

Prediction: 2-0

Newcastle United v Chelsea

3pm GMT,St. James Park, Newcastle

Newcastle beat Villa away from home on Wednesday night to give themselves some breathing space at the wrong end of the table. Despite their five home wins only Wigan have lost more home games than Newcastle. They have also lost 10 of their last 15 league games.

Yohan Cabaye might be the best fantasy option among the Newcastle players right now. 

Chelsea should have closed in on second placed City on Wednesday night, but they let a two goal lead slip late on and only drew at Reading. United are the only team to have taken more points and scored more goals away from home than Chelsea. They're too far off United to challenge for the title, but the chances are the teams below them won't overtake them for third place either.

Juan Mata is the Chelsea player most likely to succeed at the moment with Cesar Azpilicueta worth considering too. It's also hard to ignore the current form of Frank Lampard.

I think Chelsea will have too much attacking strength for Newcastle and get the three points.

Prediction: 1-2

Reading v Sunderland

3pm GMT, Madjeski Stadium, Reading

Reading don't give up against any team and they proved that by getting two late goals to draw at home to Chelsea on Wednesday night. That point moved them out of the bottom three on goal difference and they will want to stay there. They have scored more home goals than two of the top five, but only Wigan have conceded more home goals than Reading.

Adam Le Fondre can't stop scoring at the moment despite rarely starting a game and it's hard to know whether to pick him or not.

Sunderland have improved their results an awful lot over the past couple of months. They're no longer hovering just above the relegation zone and they should be safe for the rest of the season. Five wins in their last nine games is a very good return.

Stephen Fletcher and Adam Johnson are the Sunderland players most likely to perform for fantasy managers.

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

Prediction: 2-2

West Ham United v Swansea City

3pm GMT, Upton Park, London

West Ham have slipped gradually down the table since their very good start to the season. They have taken only five points in their last nine games, but they still have a pretty good home record. Their seven point gap to the bottom three should be enough to save them, but they could do with a couple of quick wins to insure their safety.

I don't think there are any West Ham players to recommend at the moment.

Swansea have become a very difficult team to beat with an excellent defensive record away from home too. They are unbeaten in seven league games but they have only won two of those games. They have only conceded two goals in their last six away games and nine overall in 12 away games.

Miguel Michu is still Swansea's top performer, but Sam Davies and Jonathan de Guzman are good value buys at the moment too.

I think Swansea might just be good enough to get their second league win of the season against West Ham.

Prediction: 0-1

Wigan Athletic v Southampton

3pm GMT, DW Arena, Wigan

Wigan fought back well to gain a point at Stoke on Tuesday which moved them temporarily out of the relegation zone. They have only won two of their 12 home games and they have the worst defensive record at home too. Six points from their last 11 games is a poor return and they will need to improve on it to avoid relegation.

It's hard to see which Wigan players could make a difference for fantasy managers although Franco Di Santo has done well in the absence of Arouna Kone.

Southampton played very well away to United on Wednesday night, but ended up losing 2-1. If they continue to play that way they won't have to worry about being involved in the relegation struggle. They have lost seven of their 12 away games though and no other team has conceded more away goals than them.

Rickie Lambert and Jason Puncheon are still the best fantasy choices in the Southampton team.

I can see this being a good game with the teams ending level.

Prediction: 1-1

Fulham v Manchester United

5.30lm GMT, Craven Cottage, London

Fulham will be very happy with their home win over West Ham on Wednesday night, but this will be a much harder challenge. They were spanked away by United in the FA Cup last weekend and they will have to defend a lot better to avoid the same fate. Seven points in their last four games have seen them keep clear of the relegation zone.

Dimitar Berbatov continues to impress when he feels like it for Fulham.

United stretched their lead at the top of the table to seven points with a far from convincing victory at home to Southampton on Wednesday night. They have won eight of their 12 away games and scored 27 goals in the process. The league is theirs for the taking if they keep winning games at their current rate.

Robin van Persie is still United's best fantasy performer by far, but it's hard to ignore the form of Patrice Evra at the moment too.

I think Fulham might just give United a run for their money, but they will lose a close game.

Prediction: 2-3

Sunday February 3

West Bromwich Albion v Tottenham Hotspur

1.30pm GMT, The Hawthorns, Birmingham

West Brom have a very good home record, but this game will really put it to the rest.They have won seven of their 12 home games and only City and Liverpool have a better defensive record at home. They have faltered recently though with only one point in their last five games.

I still can't see any West Brom players who are doing enough to warrant selection at the moment.

Spurs have a very good away record this season and they won't be happy with their draw at Norwich on Wednesday night. Only United have scored more away goals than Spurs, but they have failed to win at QPR and Norwich in their last two away games. A win at West Brom would be a big result for them in the battle for fourth place.

Gareth Bale continues to impress for Spurs with Aaron Lennon and Jermaine Defoe doing their bit too.

I think West Brom might just be able to get the better of Spurs in a very close game.

Prediction: 2-1

Manchester City v Liverpool

4pm GMT, Etihad Stadium, Manchester

City managed to claw back two of the seven point gap to the leaders United last weekend, but they lost them again on Tuesday night at QPR. They're still a very tough proposition at home though and not many teams get anything from a trip to the Etihad. Only United have won more home games than City and they have the best defensive record at home too. They have now kept clean sheets in their last four league games.

David Silva looks to be the City player most likely at the moment along with any of their defenders that are playing.

Liverpool looked like getting right back into the race for the top four when they led 2-0 at Arsenal on Wednesday night. They let Arsenal back in though and they still haven't beaten any of the teams in the top half of the table yet this season. They have only won three of their 12 away games and conceded 20 goals in the process.

Stephen Gerrard and Luis Suarez are still the stand out fantasy performers among the Liverpool players.

I think City will be too strong for Liverpool and win by a couple of goals.

Prediction: 2-0

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

See you next week.

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