It's that time of the week again when I attempt to predict the outcomes of the upcoming Premier League games. With FA Cup quarter finals to be played there are only six league games and some fantasy managers might find themselves struggling to field a full team.
I managed to get six correct outcomes last week and four incorrect with no perfect results. It means I stay sixth in my predictions league for the moment at least. Here's a look at how my predictions league stands.
Pos. Player Week Total
___ _____ ____ _____
1. antonius_ronny_s 115 1845
2. RSun624 190 1490
3. ahujag 30 1430
4. birchy1962 85 1335
5. AblockGooner 45 1300
6. JamrockRover 50 1275
7. b_red_devils 80 1270
8. Plasticninja 65 1230
9. Meikku 95 1195
10. Rutland Gooner 85 1160
Saturday March 9
Norwich City v Southampton
3pm GMT, Carrow Road, Norwich
Norwich have only won once in their last 11 league games, but a win in this game would be almost enough to ensure their Premier League survival for another season. They have only lost three of their 14 home games and even avoiding defeat would be a good result against a team five points behind them. There are not an awful lot of goals scored at Carrow Road and this could be another tight affair.
Robert Snodgrass and Sebastien Bassong are the Norwich players most likely to succeed for fantasy managers.
Southampton beat the champions City a few weeks ago, but since then they have lost to two other teams at the wrong end of the table. They have only two wins in 14 away games and have conceded more away goals than any other team. A win would be a huge boost for them, but they cannot afford to lose this game.
Rickie Lambert is still the outstanding fantasy candidate in the Southampton team.
I can see this being a very tight game and probably ending in a draw.
Queens Park Rangers v Sunderland
3pm GMT, Loftus Road, London
QPR managed their third win of the season away to Southampton last week and they need another one in this game. They have only one win and eight goals in 14 home games so far. A win would give them a realistic chance of surviving this season, but it will be an even tougher task if they can't win.
I still don't see any Rangers players to set the fantasy world alight.
Sunderland have taken only two points in their last five games and a defeat could see them slip dangerously close to the relegation zone. They have lost half of their 14 away games so far and they will be happy to avoid defeat in this game.
Stephanne Sessegnon looks the Sunderland player most likely to succeed at the moment, but Simon Mignolet and Stephen Fletcher can't be written off either.
I can see this being a very close game too and a draw is the most likely outcome.
Reading v Aston Villa
3pm GMT, Madjeski Stadium, Reading
Reading have lost their last three games to slide back into the relegation zone. They're not easy to beat at home though and score quite freely at home too. A home game against another team in the bottom three is an ideal opportunity for them to get their survival plans back on track.
There's a case for including Ian Hatre in fantasy teams because of his set piece delivery, but it can be costly to have a Reading defender in any team.
Villa got nothing from two decent displays against Arsenal and City in their last two games. They have only won two of their 14 away games and only Southampton have conceded more away goals. They have the best players of all the teams fighting against relegation and they need to show that in this game.
If Villa are going to save themselves Christian Benteke is the man most likely to do it with help from Charles N'Zogbia and Gabriel Agbonlahor if they're fit.
I have a feeling Villa might just manage to win this game.
West Bromwich Albion v Swansea City
3pm GMT, The Hawthorns, Birmingham
West Brom may have lost to Chelsea last week, but they won their previous two games to keep their Europa League hopes alive. Only the top two have won more home games than Albion and they have a very good defensive record at home too. They will welcome Romelu Lukaku back after he was ineligible to play against Chelsea last week.
Lukaku is the West Brom player most likely to make an impression for fantasy managers.
Swansea have a trophy in their cabinet and are sitting in eighth place in the league. Only Arsenal and City have conceded less goals away from home and they're never an easy team to beat. They have nothing to lose in their remaining games and could possibly finish the season very strongly.
Miguel Michu is still Swansea's star performer but he has gone off the boil since the turn of the year. Both Sam Davies and Jonathan de Guzman are worth considering though.
I can see this being a very good game and a close one too which might just end in a draw.
Sunday March 10
Newcastle United v Stoke City
3pm GMT, St. James Park, Newcastle
Newcastle have won three of their last five games to keep them out of the bottom three. They have won seven of their 14 home games and that home form should mean they avoid relegation at least. They have struggled after Europa League games and could find it tough after traveling back from a game in Moscow on Thursday.
Despite failing to score many points last week I still think Yohan Cabaye and Mousso Sissoko are good fantasy buys at the moment.
Stoke are lucky they started the season so well because they have taken only five points in their last nine games. They have only won one of their 14 away games and scored only eight goals in those games. They may be nine points clear of the drop zone, but they still need a couple of wins to guarantee they stay clear of relegation trouble.
I still can't see any Stoke players likely to make an impression for fantasy managers at the moment.
I think Newcastle should be good enough to get the three points despite their possible fatigue.
Liverpool v Tottenham Hotspur
4pm GMT, Anfield, Liverpool
Liverpool have won their last two games and scored nine goals in the process. They are still 10 points off a top four place though and have to win this game to keep their very slight hopes alive. Only City have conceded less home goals than Liverpool, but they have lost four of their 14 home games so far.
Luis Suarez is the top scorer in the league and a must for fantasy managers with Glenn Johnson and Luis Enrique worth considering too. If he's fit Daniel Sturridge has to be considered with Steven Gerrard and Phillippe Coutinho looking good too.
Spurs had a very good win against Inter Milan on Thursday night, but they are playing an awful lot of games at the moment. Only United have won more away games and scored more away goals than Spurs. They are on their longest ever unbeaten run in the Premier League and looking good to finish third at the moment.
Gareth Bale is the outstanding fantasy performer for Spurs and a must for fantasy managers.
I think Liverpool might just have enough to end Spurs good run and keep their season ever so slightly alive.
That's it for this week.
See you next week.