It's that time of the week again when I attempt to predict the outcomes of the upcoming Premier League games. I did quite well last week with two perfect scores, two correct outcomes and two incorrect. It meant I moved up to fourth place in my predictions league and another week like that could see me challenging for second place.
Here's a look at how my predictions league stands.
Pos. Player. Week. Total.
___ ______ ____ ____
1. antonius_ronny_s 135 1980
2. RSun624 30 1520
3. ahujag 55 1485
4. JamrockRover 145 1420
5. birchy1962 35 1370
6. b_red_devils 55 1325
7. Plasticninja 85 1315
8. AblockGooner 00 1300
9. Rutland Gooner 125 1285
10. Meikku 50 1245
Saturday March 16
Everton v Manchester City
12.45pm GMT, Goodison Park, Liverpool
Everton had lost two games in a row before beating Reading in their last game. They have fallen off the pace for a Champions League spot and will need to finish the season very strongly to have any chance of making it. They are a tough team to beat at home with only one defeat in 14 league games.
Marouane Fellaini still looks like the best fantasy bet in the Everton team with Leighton Baines not doing too badly either.
City have won their last two games to stay 12 points behind United with only 10 games left. They have kept six clean sheets in their last eight league games and have the best defensive record away from home. Their troubles lie in how well United have done and in City drawing too many games away from home.
I think David Silva and Carlos Tevez could be the best fantasy choices in the City team at the moment with most of their defensive players worth considering too.
I can see this being a very tight game with a draw as the most likely outcome.
Aston Villa v Queens Park Rangers
3pm GMT, Villa Park, Birmingham
Villa won away to Reading last week to move out of the bottom three and this game is just as big for them. They are the joint lowest scorers at home along with QPR, but they have being scoring more goals in recent games. A win in this game could be the result they need to move clear of the relegation zone for the rest of the season.
Christian Benteke is the outstanding Villa player at the moment.
QPR have won their last two games to breathe some life into their fight for survival. If they can beat Villa they should move off the foot of the table for almost the first time this season. They are the lowest scorers in the league, but they have shown signs of changing that statistic in recent games.
If QPR are going to save themselves Loric Remy could be the player to get the goals to do it. Andros Townsend had a very good game last week, but one game does not necessarily make a player a must buy.
I can see this being a very close and nervous game, but I think Villa might just edge it.
Southampton v Liverpool
3pm GMT, St. Mary's Stadium, Southampton
Southampton have picked a bad time to stop winning games and they need to get something from this game. They have only lost five of their 14 home games and avoiding defeat against a Liverpool team on a run would not be a bad result. They have taken only one point in their last three games though and it has brought them right back into the relegation battle.
Rickie Lambert may not have scored in his last two games but he's still the Southampton player most likely to do well.
Liverpool had a somewhat fortunate 3-2 win over Spurs on Sunday to win their third league game in a row for the first time in almost two years. They will feel they still have a chance of a top four finish, but realistically they would have to win their remaining nine games to have a real chance. They have only won four of their 14 away games so far which suggests this game will be far from easy for them.
Luis Suarez and Stephen Gerrard continue to impress for Liverpool with Jose Enrique worth considering too.
I think Liverpool will continue their winning ways and heap some more pressure on Southampton.
Stoke City v West Bromwich Albion
3pm GMT, Britannia Stadium, Stoke
Stoke are nine points clear of the relegation zone, but on a very bad run at the moment. They have taken only four points in their last nine games and scored only six goals on the process. They have only lost two of their 14 home games though and will be hoping to get a win to ease their nerves at the end of the season.
I can't think of any Stoke players to recommend for fantasy managers presently.
West Brom have won three of their last four games to keep them in with s chance of qualifying for next season's Europa League. They have struggled away from home though with eight defeats in their 14 games. A win in this game could see them move up as high as sixth place.
Romelu Lukaku is in a rich vein of form at the moment and worth considering.
I think this game could well end with the spoils shared.
Swansea City v Arsenal
3pm GMT, Liberty Stadium, Swansea
Swansea could be forgiven for strolling through the rest of the season after winning the Capital One Cup, but I doubt if they will. They have only lost two of their 14 home games and have scored quite a few goals at home too. They were unlucky to lose at West Brom last week after having a perfectly good equaliser wrongly ruled out for offside.
Michel Vorm is in pretty good form for Swansea at the moment but Miguel Michu has only managed two goals in his last 10 league games.
Arsenal have fallen five points off the Champions League pace with 10 games to go. Their defeat to Spurs in their last league game was very costly and they have a tough task to try to finish in the top four. No team has conceded less goals away from home than Arsenal in the league, but their problem has been a lack of goals on the road.
Santi Cazorla and Theo Walcott are currently the two Arsenal players most likely to succeed for fantasy managers.
This could be a good game and I think Arsenal might just be able to edge it.
Manchester United v Reading
5.30pm GMT, Old Trafford, Manchester
United have taken 44 points in their last 16 games to go 12 points clear at the top of the league. They are the top scorers at home and away and they have kept four clean sheets in a row. It seems only a matter of weeks before they wrap up yet another league title.
Robin van Persie is still the top scoring fantasy player, but it's hard to justify his very high price. With the improvement in United's defence both Patrice Evra and Rafael da Silva are well worth considering.
Reading have lost their last four games in a row and are only off the bottom of the table because they have scored more goals than QPR. They have lost 11 of their 14 away games and sacked their manager this week. Other teams who have preciously sacked their manager at this stage in the season have rarely benefitted from it.
There are no Reading players I can see worth recommending to fantasy managers.
I can't see anything other than a resounding win for United in this game.
Sunday March 17
Sunderland v Norwich City
1.30pm GMT, Stadium of Light, Sunderland
Sunderland have taken only two points in their last six games and are slipping back towards the bottom three. They need to halt that run with a win and they will feel they can get that against Norwich. They have only managed to win four of their 14 home games so far though.
Simon Mignolet, Stephanne Sessegnon, Stephen Fletcher and Adam Johnson are all worth considering for fantasy managers.
Norwich have only won once in their last 12 league games, but they have a nine point cushion to the relegation zone. They have only won one of their 14 away games so far and only West Ham and Stoke have scored less goals away from home. If they can avoid defeat in this game they should be one step closer to survival.
Mark Bunn, Sebastien Bassong and Robert Snodgrass are all performing well at the moment.
Sunderland need a win but I think Norwich will do enough to take a point from this game.
Tottenham Hotspur v Fulham
3pm GMT, White Harte Lane, London
Spurs looked set to move five points clear of Chelsea last week until they handed two goals to Liverpool. They are still in a prime position to qualify for next season's Champions League, but they can't afford to throw too many more points away. They have only lost two of their 14 home games and only City and Chelsea have conceded less goals at home.
It's hard to look beyond Gareth Bale's current form with seven goals, two assists and 13 bonus points in his last six games.
Fulham have lost only three of their last 10 games to move into the top half of the table. They don't travel too well though and have only won two of their 14 away games so far. They will feel they have a chance against a Spurs team that had to play in Milan on Thursday night.
Dimitar Berbatov seems to have hit some form again with three goals in five games and is worth considering.
Spurs won't have it all their own way after a tough game on Thursday night, but I think they will just about manage to win.
Chelsea v West Ham United
4pm GMT, Stamford Bridge, London
Chelsea are only two points behind third placed Spurs with a game in hand. They have only lost two of their 14 home games and only United and Arsenal have scored more home goals than them. They are struggling to find any consistency in the league though and have to be concerned about Arsenal beating them to a top four finish.
Eden Hazard, Juan Mata and Frank Lampard are the three Chelsea players most likely to score fantasy points at the moment.
West Ham have won two of their last four games to keep them nine points clear of the relegation zone. They have lost nine of their 14 away games though and only scored nine goals in those 14 games. They will have their work cut out to get anything from this game.
It's hard to see what West Ham players to pick, but Jussi Jaaskelainen might not be a bad choice.
It's hard to see anything other than a Chelsea victory in this game.
Wigan Athletic v Newcastle United
4pm GMT, DW Stadium, Wigan
Wigan have only won twice in their last 15 league games and they're back in the relegation zone yet again. While they were winning their way through to the FA Cup semi finals they were overtaken by Aston Villa, but they have got a game in hand. Wigan have the worst home record in the league and have conceded more home goals than any other team.
Arouna Kone is still probably the only Wigan player fantasy managers should consider.
Newcastle got a very important last minute win at home to Stoke last week to move them nine points clear of the bottom three. They have won four of their last six league games, but only one away game out of 14 so far. With their league status seeming fairly secure they will hope to make even more progress in the Europa League.
Yohan Cabaye and Moussa Sissoko look very good fantasy buys at the moment.
Wigan really need to win this game, but I think Newcastle could manage to get a draw.
That's it for this week.
See you next week.