Friday, 8 February 2013

Predictions For Premier League Gameweek 26

It's that time of the week again when I attempt to predict the outcomes of the upcoming Premier League games. Fantasy football managers need to be aware that both Liverpool and Swansea play twice in this Gameweek and their players stand to possibly score plenty of points. The best options for captain for this week are probably Steven Gerrard, Luis Suarez, Dsniel Sturridge and Miguel Michu with Jonathan de Guzman and Sam Davies as possibilities too.

Last week didn't go so well for me in my predictions league with no perfect scorelines, three correct outcomes and seven incorrect. It leaves me still in fifth place in my predictor league with only a third of the season left. Here's a look at how my predictions league stands.

Pos.     Player                         Week     Total
___      _____                         ____      ____
1.         antonius_ronny_s         -5          1550
2.         ahujag                         -15         1240
3.         RSun624                     -15         1230
4.         AblockGooner            -100       1180
5.         JamrockRover             -15         1135
6.         birchy1962                   20         1125
7.         Plasticninja                    55         1085
8.         Rutland Gooner            -25        1055
9.         Meikku                         30         1030
10.       b_red_devils                 50           930

Saturday February 2

Tottenham Hotspur v Newcastle United

12.45pm GMT, White Hart Lane, London

Spurs won for the first time in four league games last week to move within a point of third placed Chelsea. Both Everton and Arsenal are chasing hard behind them, but a home win against struggling Newcastle could give them some breathing space. Spurs have won only six of their 12 home games and have actually taken more points away than at home.

Gareth Bale continues to do it all on his own for Spurs and has to be considered by any fantasy manager although he has scored a lot more away from home this season.

Newcastle have won their last two games to move six points clear of the relegation zone. It appears the players they brought in during the transfer window have given the team the boost they needed. Their only away win so far was their last away game at Villa.

Moussa Sissoko could be the player to help Newcastle to safety and score a few fantasy points along with Yohan Cabaye looking good too.

I think Spurs will be able to get the better of a very suspect Newcastle defence.

Prediction: 2-1

Chelsea v Wigan Athletic

3pm GMT, Stamford Bridge, London

Chelsea have only taken eight points in their last six games and are so far behind United that the title is gone for them. Spurs are closing in behind them and they need to make sure they don't fall out of the top four like they did last season. They have only won six of their 12 home games, but only Liverpool have conceded less goals at home.

There are so many Chelsea players to choose from with Juan Mata and Frank Lampard the ones performing best at the moment. Their defenders need to be considered too as they have conceded very few goals in the last few months and always chip in with goals and assists.

Wigan have only won once in their last 12 league games and they are two points adrift of safety. They have taken more points away from home than at home this season, but they have struggled away to Chelsea in the past. They will have to be at their very best to have any hope of getting something from this game.

It's not easy to see which Wigan players might make a difference for fantasy managers, but Arouna Kone could do well now that he has returned from the ACN.

Chelsea have had big victories in this fixture in the past and they should win this game handsomely too.

Prediction: 3-0

Norwich City v Fulham

3pm GMT, Carrow Road, Norwich

Norwich have taken only three points in their last eight games, but they're still seven points above the drop zone. They're not an easy team to beat at home and they have only lost three of their 12 home games this season. They will fancy their chances against a Fulham team who have a reputation for not traveling well.

Mark Bunn did very well in goal for Norwich last week and he's a cheap alternative for managers looking to save some money.

Fulham are only ahead of Norwich on goal difference, but a couple of recent wins have made them relatively safe. They have only won two of their 12 away games and have conceded 25 goals in the process. They have the players to get a result from this game but that's not always enough.

If he's fit Dimitar Berbatov is the best fantasy bet among the Fulham players.

I think Norwich might just sneak a narrow victory over a Fulham team that don't travel well.

Prediction: 2-1

Stoke City v Reading

3pm GMT, Britannia Stadium, Stoke

Stoke have only taken two points in their last six games and their much heralded defence has become very porous. They have struggled to score goals all season and only the bottom two have scored less goals than them. They have only lost one of their 12 home games so far though.

It's not easy to choose any Stoke players for fantasy managers at the moment.

Reading have taken 10 points in their last four games and moved out of the relegation zone. They have taken less points on the road than any other team and only Stoke and West Ham have scored less goals away from home. Their never say die attitude has won them a lot of points and they will need it again in this game.

Adam Le Fonde was the top Premier League scorer in January without starting a game and it's not easy to know whether to pick him or not. The very bravest of fantasy managers may consider picking Ian Harte who has performed well in recent weeks.

I can see Reading giving Stoke a few problems and maybe even taking a point.

Prediction: 1-1

Sunderland v Arsenal

3pm GMT, Stadium of Light, Sunderland

Sunderland have won five of their last 10 league games to move within a point of the top 10. They have won four, drawn four and lost four games at home and have a pretty good defensive record at home too. They will have to be at their very best to get anything from an Arsenal team that need the points.

Simon Mignolet is still the best value Sunderland player with Stephen Fletcher and Adam Johnson worth considering too.

Arsenal have taken seven points in their last three games to move within five points of third place. They have only won four of their 12 away games, but only City have conceded less goals away from home. As long as they can find their form they have a very good chance of taking all three points.

Theo Walcott, Santi Cazorla and Olivier Giroud are the Arsenal players most likely to perform at the moment.

I think Arsenal can do enough to take all three points, but it won't be easy for them.

Prediction: 1-2

Swansea City v Queens Park Rangers

3pm GMT, Liberty Stadium, Swansea

Swansea have only been beaten twice at home, but they have drawn six of their 12 home games. In recent weeks they have become draw specialists with five draws in their last eight league games. They tend to be a lot more offensive at home and let in more goals at home too.

With two games this week Miguel Michu, Jonathan de Guzman and Sam Davies would be the Swansea players of choice for me. Michu hasn't done too much recently but this would be the wrong week to drop him.

QPR are unbeaten in their last five games, but they have drawn four of them. They have kept four clean sheets in those five games, but their problems are at the other end where they are the lowest scorers in the league. They're six points away from safety with 13 games left and they need to start winning games very quickly.

QPR defenders might be worth looking at with their recent run of clean sheets and Christopher Samba, Fabio da Silva and Julio Cesar might be the best of them.

I think Swansea will get the better of Rangers, but not by much.

Prediction: 1-0

Southampton v Manchester City

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

Southampton have only lost three of their last 15 league games and they're now three points clear of the relegation zone. They have proved to be a hard team to beat at home and have a reasonable defensive record at home too for a team at the wrong end of the table. They were unlucky to lose at City on the opening day, but they won't find it easy to get anything at home to them.

Rickie Lambert is still Southampton's best fantasy choice and at a good price too.

City have drawn their last two games and fallen nine points behind United at the top of the table. They've only lost two league games so far, but five away draws have cost them dearly. They have the best defensive record away from home along with Swansea. but they have struggled to score away from home for a team challenging for the title.

It's not easy to know which City players to pick, but all of their defenders have to be considered. In attack it's between David Silva, Yaya Toure, Sergio Aguero, Carlos Tevez and Eden Dzeko and they're all worth considering.

I think Southampton will have a real chance of getting something from this game, but City might just sneak home.

Prediction: 1-2

Sunday February 3

Aston Villa v West Ham United

1.30pm GMT, Villa Park, Birmingham

Villa can't seem to get a break as they continue to blow two goal leads. The return of Gabby Agbonlahor and Charles N'Zogbia has seen their attack improve, but they still have real defensive issues. They have the worst defence in the league and only QPR have scored less home goals than Villa.

Christian Benteke is in fine form at the moment and worth considering now that he is getting some good service.

West Ham won at home to Swansea last week to move well clear of the relegation zone. They have scored less away goals than any other team and only Reading have lost more games on the road.

Kevin Nolan may just have rediscovered his goalscoring touch, but I would still be wary of choosing West Ham players.

I think Villa might just manage to edge a game they really have to get something from.

Prediction: 2-1

Manchester United v Everton

4pm GMT, Old Trafford, Manchester

United are now nine points clear at the top of the table with 13 games left to play. They lost the title last season after being eight points clear with six games left and a 4-4 draw at home to Everton was a huge blow then. United have won11 of their 12 home games and only Arsenal have scored more goals at home than them.

Robin van Persie remains the top fantasy performer at United with Patrice Evra is doing very well too and Wayne Rooney in good form recently.

Everton have only lost two of their 12 away games, but no other team has drawn more away games than them. Their only defeat in their last 13 league games was against Chelsea, but they have drawn eight of those games. They're still in the fight for a top four place and any points from this game would be a real bonus for them.

Marouane Fellaini is still the best fantasy bet at Everton and at a good price too and Leighton Baines is in good form at the moment too.

This could be a very good and very close game and I have a feeling it will end in a draw.

Prediction: 2-2

Monday February 11

Liverpool v West Bromwich Albion

8pm GMT, Anfield, Liverpool

Liverpool have the opportunity to put pressure on the teams above them with two home games in a week. They have been impressive in recent weeks and have the chance to get their first win over any other team in the top half of the table. They need to win both games if they really are going to challenge for a Champions League place.

Steven Gerrard, Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge are the Liverpool players most likely to perform with their defenders worth considering too.

West Brom have taken only one point in their last six games and they have lost seven of their 12 away games. They have conceded a lot of goals away from home and they could have a tough time in this game.

I still think West Brom share their duties out very well and no particular player stands out.

Liverpool have to win and I think they will do it too against a West Brom team that are struggling at the moment.

Prediction: 2-0

Sunday February 17

Liverpool v Swansea City

3pm GMT, Anfield, Liverpool

Liverpool have a real chance to make some progress and could be as high as fifth when their two games are over if they win them both. They have the best defensive record at home in the league despite losing three of their 12 games.

As previously mentioned Gerrard, Suarez and Sturridge are all good value this week along with most of Liverpool's defence.

Swansea have the joint best defensive record away from home along with City, nut they don;t score too many goals away from home either. They have become a very tough team to beat away from home and will give Liverpool a real challenge.

It's the same players as above for Swansea as they play for the second time in this Gameweek.

This is another game Liverpool have to win, but it won't be easy and could end in a draw.

Prediction: 1-1

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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