Friday, 1 March 2013

Predictions For Premier League Gameweek 28

It's that time of the week again when I attempt to predict the outcomes of the upcoming Premier League games. I managed one perfect scoreline last week, with three correct outcomes and five incorrect. It means I stay sixth in my predictions league, but a top three finish is still not beyond me.

Any fantasy manager picking their team this week has to remember that there are only six games next week. Some of the top teams won't be playing next week with the FA Cup quarter finals being played and players need to be selected accordingly.

Here's a look at how my predictions league stands.
Pos.     Player.                         Week     Total
___     ______                         ____     _____
1.        antonius_ronny_s           90        1730
2.        ahujag                           110      1400
3.        RSun624                       35        1300
4.        AblockGonner              40        1255
5.        birchy1962                   25         1250
6.        JamrockRover              40         1225
7.        b_red_devils                130        1190
8.        Plasticninja                   75          1165
9.        Meikku                        15          1100
10.      Rutland Gooner            45         1075

Saturday March 2

Chelsea v West Bromwich Albion

3pm GMT, Stamford Bridge, London

Chelsea may have struggled a little of late, but they will still be expected to best West Brom at home. Only City can boast a better defensive record at home than Chelsea and they have only been beaten twice at home. Third place is still well within their grasp, but rumours of dressing room unrest and a bust up with the manager certainly will not help them.

Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Frank Lampard continue to be the best fantasy bets in the Chelsea team.

Albion will have to do without Romelu Lukaku who cannot play against the club he is loaned from. They have lost seven if their 13 away games and conceded 23 goals in the process. They will have to play like they did in their recent win at Liverpool to get anything from this game.

Without Lukaku unavailable it's hard to see what Albion players to choose for fantasy managers.

I think Chelsea will be too strong at home for an Albion team that have struggled on the road.

Prediction: 3-1

Everton v Reading

3pm GMT, Goodison Park, Liverpool

Everton have only kept four clean sheets this season and find themselves falling off the pace in the battle for a top four finish. They're seven points off fourth place and have drawn too many games for their own good. They have only lost once at home, but six draws at home have cost them dearly.

It's still hard to look past Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines as the best fantasy choices in the Everton team.

Reading are back in the relegation zone after being well beaten at home by Wigan last week. They have taken only five points in 13 away games and 10 away defeats is the worst in the league. A point could possibly see them exit the bottom three, but it will be very hard for them to get anything out of this game.

I'm not convinced any of the Reading players have anything to offer fantasy managers on a consistent basis.

Everton should win this game but their lack of goals won't make it easy for them.

Prediction: 2-1

Manchester United v Norwich City

3pm GMT, Old Trafford, Manchester

United seem unstoppable in the league with a 12 point lead and only 11 games to go. They have won 12 of their 13 home games and only Arsenal have scored more goals at home than them. Talk of another treble is being whispered in some quarters, but surely this team isn't good enough to achieve that.

If he's recovered from the injury he picked up last week Robin van Persie is an absolute must for fantasy managers with Patrice Evra performing very well too.

Norwich came from behind to beat Everton last week and almost certainly secure another year in the Premier League. They have only won once in 13 away games though and have only managed 11 goals in those games. They could be in for a very rough ride in this game.

Robert Snodgrass and Sebastien Bassong are both worth considering for fantasy managers.

I think United should see Norwich off with relative ease.

Prediction: 3-0

Southampton v Queens Park Rangers

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

Southampton are only three points clear of the relegation zone, but a home game against the bottom club is an ideal chance to widen that gap. They have only lost four of their 13 home games so far and have a relatively solid defence at home.

Rickie Lambert continues to impress for Southampton and is the best fantasy buy among their players.

QPR are six points away from safety will only 11 games left and have only won two games all season long. They're by far the lowest scorers in the league and look destined for relegation. Harry Redknapp may have worked "miracles" elsewhere in the past, but very soon his task at QPR will be beyond him.

I can't see any QPR players to recommend to fantasy managers.

I think Southampton will get the win they need to being them a step closer to survival.

Prediction: 2-1

Stoke City v West Ham United

3pm GMT, Britannia Stadium, Stoke

Stoke have only won once in their last eight games and that was at home to struggling Reading. They're still a tough team to beat at home though with only one defeat in 13 games. A home game against a West Ham team that don't travel well is an ideal chance to cement their place in the top half of the table.

Jonathan Walters has been Stoke's best fantasy performer, but missed penalties and own goals have taken their toll on his score.

West Ham have lost eight of their last 12 games and slipped to six points of the drop zone. Only Reading have lost more away games and no other team has scored less away goals than West Ham. They need a couple of wins to make their place in the Premier League secure for another season.

There don't seem to be any West Ham players worth purchasing at the moment despite how well Jussi Jaaskelainen has being playing.

I think Stoke will win a tight and dreadfully boring game between two teams who play awful football at the best of times.

Prediction: 1-0

Sunderland v Fulham

3pm GMT, Stadium of Light, Sunderland

Sunderland have lost their last three games to fall back to only five points above the bottom three. They have a very good defensive record at home, but only Villa and QPR have scored less goals at home. A win is a must for Sunderland to ensure they keep a safe distance between themselves and the relegation dog fight.

Simon Mignolet is the best fantasy performer in the Sunderland team, but Adam Johnson, Sebastien Sessegnon and Stephen Fletcher are all worth considering too.

Fulham have managed three wins and two draws in their last seven games to leave themselves in a relatively safe mid table position. They have only won two of their 13 away games, but their home form had saved them like usual. Like a few other teams they are only looking for another couple of wins to secure their Premier League place for another season.

Dimitar Berbatov is still the only Fulham player worth considering for fantasy managers.

I think Sunderland should have enough at home to beat Fulham by a couple of goals.

Prediction: 2-0

Swansea City v Newcastle United

3pm GMT, Liberty Stadium, Swansea

Swansea didn't play in the league last season, as they were busy winning the Capital One Cup. They have only lost two of their last 10 league games and have only lost two of their 13 home games. They're a good team to watch and deserve the first major trophy in the club's history which they won last week.

Miguel Michu is Swansea's outstanding fantasy performer with Jonathan de Guzman doing well in recent weeks too.

Newcastle have won three of their last four games to move six points clear of the drop zone. They have only won once in 13 away games though and only Villa and Southampton have conceded more away goals than Newcastle. The players they signed in the January transfer seem to have settled in quickly enough to save the team from a relegation battle.

Both Yohan Cabaye and Moussa Sissoko look like very good fantasy buys to me at the moment.

I think Swansea will just about manage to win a very close game as they parade their Capital One Cup trophy.

Prediction: 2-1

Wigan Athletic v Liverpool

5.30pm GMT, DW Arena, Wigan

Wigan had a great win away to fellow strugglers Reading last week to move out of the bottom three. They have struggled at home though with only QPR winning less home games and no other club conceding more goals at home. They can be very good on their day and will have to be at their best to get anything out of this game.

I suggested Arouna Kone might be a good but last week and so he proved to be.

Liverpool can no longer consider themselves contenders for a top four spot as they sit 10 points adrift with 11 games left. They have only won three of their 13 away games and have struggled for consistency all season long. If they are to stay in the race for a Europa League place they really need to win this game.

Steven Gerrard, Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge are all in good form at the moment and look to be good buys.

I think Liverpool will get the win, but it won't be easy for them.

Prediction: 1-2

Sunday March 3

Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal

4pm GMT, White Hart Lane, London

Spurs managed a very late win at West Ham on Monday night to move them into third place and more importantly four points ahead of Arsenal. They have won seven of their 13 home games, but they have won more games away from home. They will be happy to sit back and try to hit Arsenal on the break with Gareth Bale as their key player.

Bale is an absolute must for any fantasy manager at the moment.

Arsenal have taken 13 points in their last five league games, but they will have to contain Bale to get anything from this game. They have only lost three of their 13 away games and have the best defensive record away from home in the league. A win would see them only one point behind Spurs and right the middle of the battle for third and fourth places.

Santi Cazorla and Theo Walcott are the Arsenal players most likely to score for fantasy managers.

This should be a very close and very good game and I think Arsenal will emerge victorious.

Prediction: 2-3

Monday March 4

Aston Villa v Manchester City

8pm GMT, Villa Park, Birmingham

Villa were a little unlucky to lose to a late goal at Arsenal last week and slip back into the relegation zone. They have looked a lot better in recent weeks and stand a very good chance of avoiding the drop. They have struggled to score at home though with only QPR scoring less home goals than their 11.

Christian Benteke and Charles N'Zogbia look to be very good value buys at the moment.

City are 12 points behind United and struggling to win games away from home. They have only won six of their 13 away games while United have won 10 games on the road. To have any hope of catching United they simply have to win away to struggling teams like Villa.

David Silva, Yaya Toure and Carlos Tevez could be the players to at least try to cut that gap for City.

I think City will be too good for Villa and keep their faint title hopes alive with a win.

Prediction: 1-3

That's it for this week but as usual 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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