Friday, 29 March 2013

Predictions For Premier League Gameweek 31

It's that time of the week again when I attempt to predict the outcomes of the upcoming Premier League games. I managed to get two perfect scorelines last week along with four correct outcomes and four incorrect. It meant I stayed fourth in my predictions league, but there is still a chance I can catch the team in second place if I continue my current form.

All the teams play this week and next week, but there are big changes in week 33. Six teams play twice that week with both Swansea and West Brom not playing at all. It's a good idea for fantasy managers to plan ahead to make sure they have the maximum representation possible from the six teams playing twice that week. 

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

Pos     Player                          Week   Total
___    _____                           ____      ____
1.       antonius_ronny_s          60          2040
2.       RSun624                      95         1615
3.       ahujag                           55        1540
4.       JamrockRover              100       1520
5.       b_red_devils                 45         1370
6.       birchy1962                   10         1370
7.       Rutland Gooner            70        1365
8.       AblockGooner              45        1345
9.       Meikku                         40        1285
10.     Plasticninja                   40        1275

Saturday March 30

Sunderland v Manchester United

12.45pm GMT, Stadium of Light, Sunderland

Sunderland have taken only three points in their last seven games and they are not safe from relegation yet. They're not easy to beat at home, but they have only won four of their 15 home games. The injury to top scorer Stephen Fletcher could be a real blow to a team struggling to score goals.

Stephane Sessegnon and Simon Mignolet are probably the Sunderland players most likely to perform for fantasy managers.

United have a 15 point lead with nine games to go and only an absolute disaster can stop them from winning the title. With an FA Cup quarter final replay at Chelsea on Monday there is a possibility they will rest some players for this game. United have taken 47 points from their last 17 games and kept clean sheets in their last five.

United defenders are doing very well at the moment and Robin van Persie is still the top scoring fantasy striker.

Despite possibly fielding a weakened team I think United will continue their winning ways.

Prediction: 0-2

Arsenal v Reading


3pm GMT, Emirates Stadium, London

Arsenal have the chance to put some real pressure on both Spurs and Chelsea who have difficult away games. Despite the costly defeat to Spurs a few weeks ago they have win five of their last seven games. Only United have scored more home goals than Arsenal and they will look to score a few against a dodgy Reading defence.

Santi Cazorla is the Arsenal player to watch in my opinion.

Reading have lost their last five games and are only off the foot of the table on goal difference. They have the worst defensive record in the league and the worst away record too. Their players will be looking to make an impression on new manager Nigel Adkins and could make things difficult for Arsenal.

I can't see any Reading players worth including in fantasy teams.

Arsenal should be too strong at home to a Reading team that look destined for relegation.

Prediction: 3-1

Manchester City v Newcastle

3pm GMT, Etihad Stadium, Manchester

City won't be retaining their title without some divine intervention at this stage. They have only won two of their last six games and are 15 points behind United with nine games to go. They have only lost one of their 14 home games and have the best defensive record at home too.

Carlos Tevez, Yaya Toure and David Silva are all worth having for fantasy managers at the moment.

Newcastle have won four of their last seven games to keep them six points above the drop zone. They have only won once in 15 away games though and have a lot of injuries to contend with. With a trip to Benfica on Thursday night it's a very big week for them.

Moussa Sissoko and Yohan Cabaye are the Newcastle players fantasy managers should be looking at, but maybe not for this game.

City should get the three points as Newcastle minds could well be on their upcoming Europa League quarter final.

Prediction: 2-1

Southampton v Chelsea

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

Southampton got a very good win in their last game to move them four points clear of the bottom three. They have been very good at home sometimes this season and can be a match for any team on their own ground. They are the top scoring team among the teams struggling at the wrong end of the table.

Morgan Schneiderlin and Rickie Lambert are the Southampton players who are most likely to keep them safe from relegation and score fantasy points.

Chelsea have to play United in the FA Cup on Monday but they need to get something from this game with a top four finish far from certain. They have been inconsistent this season and have a very busy schedule coming up. There's still a chance they can overtake City for second place though.

Juan Mata, Frank Lampard and Eden Hazard continue to pile up the fantasy points for Chelsea.

Southampton are not an easy team to beat at home and still need some points which could see them get one from this game.

Prediction: 1-1

Swansea City v Tottenham Hotspur

3pm GMT, Liberty Stadium, Swansea

Swansea have lost three of their last four games, but they're not an easy team to beat at home. They have only lost three of their 15 home games and score plenty of goals at home. They could be forgiven for losing a little focus after winning the Capital One Cup last month.

With Miguel Michu misfiring at the moment Jonathan de Guzman could be a good choice for fantasy managers.

Spurs have lost their last two league games and have a real fight on their hands to insure a top four finish. They have a good away record with only United winning more away games and scoring more away goals than them. Three points are an absolute necessity for them with a very tough run of games coming up.

Gareth Bale is still by far the outstanding fantasy choice among the Spurs players.

This could be a very good game and could go either way, but I think it will end all square.

Prediction: 1-1

West Ham United v West Bromwich Albion


3pm GMT, Upton Park, London

West Ham have only taken seven points in their last nine games and they're still not safe from relegation. They are six points clear if the bottom three though and a win in this game would get them very close to their goal of survival. If they're going to get the points they need they're likely to do it at home where they have only lost four of their 14 games.

There aren't any West Ham players worth considering for fantasy managers with the possible exception of Jussi Jaaskelainen.

West Brom have taken 10 points in their last five games to stay in a respectable eighth position. Most of their points have come at home though and they have lost eight of their 15 away games. They will fancy their chances of getting something from a West Ham team that are struggling to score goals.

Romelu Lukaku looks to be the best fantasy choice among the West Brom players.

I can see this being a tight game and ending level.

Prediction: 1-1

Wigan Athletic v Norwich City

3pm GMT, DW Stadium, Wigan

Wigan have won two of their last three games to give themselves some hope of survival. They have played a game less than most of the other teams in trouble and a victory in this game would be a huge boost for them. They have let in more home goals than any other team in the league though and they need to tighten up at home.

Arouna Kone is probably the best fantasy bet among the Wigan players.

Norwich have only won once in their last 13 games and they're slowly sliding back into a very dangerous position. A win against a team below them would be ideal to reverse that trend, but it won't be easy for them. They have only managed one win in their 15 away games so far.

It's not easy to pick Norwich players at the moment and Mark Bunn's suspension doesn't make it any easier.

I think Wigan might just edge a very close game and really blow the relegation battle wide open.

Prediction: 2-1

Everton v Stoke City

5.30pm GMT, Goodison Park, Liverpool

Everton are still in the hunt for a top four place, but only just. They cannot afford any more slip ups and they have to take all three points in this game. They have only lost once at home so far and need to build on winning their last two games.

With Marouane Fellaini suspended Leighton Baines is probably the best fantasy choice in the Everton team although he costs an awful lot.

Stoke have only taken six points from their last 11 games and aren't completely safe from relegation yet. A defeat in this game could see them move to within four points of the bottom three. They have only won once in 15 away games and are the lowest scores away from home with a paltry nine goals.

Stoke's defenders might just be worth considering again now that they have tightened up a little at the back and Jonathan Walters isn't doing too badly either.

I think Everton should be good enough to win even without their best player.

Prediction: 2-0

Sunday March 31

Aston Villa v Liverpool

13.30pm BST, Villa Park, Birmingham

Villa have given themselves a lifeline with nine points in their last five games. Wins against teams below them were crucial, but they're still right in the middle of the relegation battle. Their problems have been at home where only QPR have scored less goals than Villa.

Christian Benteke and Gabriel Agbonlahor are the Villa players in form at the moment.

Liverpool must surely be out of the race for a top four spot with nine points to make up in eight games. They have only won four of their 15 away games and conceded 25 goals in the process. A Europa League spot for next season is all they can hope for at this stage.

Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge and Steven Gerrard are all worth considering for any fantasy manager.

I think Liverpool might have enough firepower to overcome a very dodgy Villa defence.

Prediction: 2-3

Monday April 1 

Fulham v Queens Park Rangers

8pm BST, Craven Cottage, London

Fulham have taken 11 points in their last six games to move into the top half of the table. With 36 points in the bag already only an absolute collapse could see them slide back into the relegation fight. They will want to win this local derby and push QPR one step closer to the drop.

Dimitar Berbatov is on a good run at the moment and worth looking at for fantasy managers.

QPR really needed to get something from their last game away to fellow strugglers Villa but they lost 3-2. They are seven points adrift of safety with eight games remaining and will need to win five or six of those games to have any hope of staying up. They have only won two of their 15 away games so far though and are still the lowest scorers in the league.

If QPR are going to stay up Loric Remy could be the player to score their goals with both Jermaine Jenas and Andros Townsend doing well in recent weeks too.

I can see this local derby being a very close game and a draw is the most likely outcome.

Prediction: 1-1

That's it for this week.

See you next week.

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