It's that time of the week again when I attempt to predict the outcomes of the upcoming Premier League games. It's getting close to the end of the season and a lot of teams have an awful lot to play for. Sometimes it's better to have teams from those clubs in your fantasy team.
I didn't fare too well last week with two perfect scorelines, two correct outcomes and seven incorrect. However I still managed to move up to third in my predictions league. Here's a look at how my predictions league stands.
Pos. Player. Week. Total
___ ______ ____ ____
1. antoius_ronny_s 85 2300
2. ahujag 65 1745
3. JamrockRover 75 1715
4. RSun624 30 1710
5. birchy1962 120 1675
6. AblockGooner 30 1575
7. Rutland Gooner 75 1565
8. b_red_devils 55 1565
9. nawa87 105 1535
10. Meikku 25 1410
Saturday April 20
Fulham v Arsenal
3pm BST, Craven Cottage, London
Fulham are more or less safe for another season and maybe that's why they lost 3-0 at home to Chelsea on Wednesday night. There have been only three draws in their 16 home games and their home form has traditionally been very good in the Premier League. They will give Arsenal a very serious challenge and will want to improve on their display against Chelsea.
Dimitar Berbatov had been in very good form until a couple of weeks ago and is still the best fantasy bet in the Fulham team.
Arsenal have only lost once in their last 11 league games and they have the best defence in the league away from home. They slipped back to fourth place after the midweek games and need to win to put pressure on Chelsea and Spurs. Fourth place is their target and it's still well within their reach.
If Arsenal are going to shine then Santi Cazorla and Theo Walcott are the players most likely to perform.
I think Arsenal might just to be able to get the win they so badly need.
Norwich City v Reading
3pm BST, Carrow Road, Norwich
Norwich came very close to getting a result at Arsenal last week, but three late goals undid all of their good work. They have only won once in 16 league games and are only four points above the drop zone with five games left. A home game against the bottom team is the ideal opportunity for them to give themselves some breathing space.
Robert Snodgrass is the only Norwich player even worth considering although their defenders might fare well against goal shy Reading.
Reading are all but relegated as they are now 10 points from safety with five games left. They managed to halt a club record run of eight consecutive defeats with a 0-0 draw at home to Liverpool last week. They have only taken five points in 16 away games and that away form is the main reason for their demise.
I can't see any Reading players to recommend at the moment.
I think Norwich should be good enough to beat a Reading team that just aren't good enough for the Premier League.
Queens Park Rangers v Stoke City
3pm BST, Loftus Road, London
QPR are in a similar situation to Reading and only a miracle can save them now. I'm sure they will keep trying until the bitter end and could give themselves a glimmer of hope by winning against one of the teams 10 points ahead of them. No other team has won less home games or scored less home goals than QPR.
Loric Remy might still add a few goals as he puts himself in the shop window for the summer transfer market.
Stoke have plummeted towards the bottom three in recent weeks and need to do something to halt the slide before it's too late. They have only won once in 16 away games and only managed nine goals in the process. They need to find a win from somewhere or their Premier League status will be under severe threat.
On current form Stoke players are better off avoided by fantasy managers.
I think QPR will keep their slender hopes alive with a win in this game.
Sunderland v Everton
3pm BST, Stadium of Light, Sunderland
Sunderland got a huge win at Newcastle last Sunday to boost their chances of staying up. They're three points above the relegation zone with five games left and looking like a better team under Paolo di Canio. They have only won four of their 16 home games but have a reasonably good defensive record at home.
Simon Mignolet remains the best fantasy choice in the Sunderland team with Sebastien Sessegnon looking quite good at the moment too.
Everton got a very good point at Arsenal on Tuesday night, but they really needed three to keep their hopes of a top four finish alive. They have only won four of their 16 away games, but they have only lost four also. They're on a good run at the moment and will make things very difficult for Sunderland in this game.
Leighton Baines, Marouane Fellaini and Kevin Mirallas are all in very good form for Everton.
I think Everton will continue their good run and keep the pressure on the teams ahead of them with a win.
Prediction: 0-2 strong>
Swansea City v Southampton
3pm BST, Liberty Stadium, Swansea
Swansea haven't done too well since winning the Capital One Cup. They're still in the top half of the table and have only lost four of their 16 home games. They have European football to look forward to next season and it's hardly surprising that their minds might possibly be elsewhere.
Miguel Michu has come back into form recently and could be the Swansea player to include for fantasy managers.
Southampton are seven points clear of the bottom three and looking good to stay in the Premier League. They have only won three of their 16 away games but their ability to score goals has moved them clear of danger. They will want to get something from this game to bring them one step closer to their goal.
Rickie Lambert and Jay Rodriguez are the Southampton players to have at the moment.
I can see this being an entertaining game and I think it will finish all square.
West Bromwich Albion v Newcastle United
3pm BST, The Hawthorns, Birmingham
West Brom have little to play for and their recent results have reflected that. They're in a secure mid table position, but they do have a good home record to protect. They will want to get back to winning ways against a team who struggle on the road.
Romelu Lukaku had been West Brom's best fantasy choice, but he has gone off the boil in recent weeks.
Newcastle are only five points above the relegation zone with five games left. The energy sapping distraction of Thursday night football is over for them and they need to get a couple of league wins. They have only won once in 16 away games and no other team has conceded more away goals.
Yohan Cabaye had looked in good form recently and if they are to finish strongly he could be the player to profit.
I think West Brom's home form could be too much for Newcastle and they will win.
West Ham United v Wigan Athletic
3pm BST, Upton Park, London
West Ham are unbeaten in their last four games and have taken six points to move eight points clear of the bottom three. They got a good point at home to United on Wednesday night and are a very tough proposition at home. A win in this game should be enough to ensure survival for another season.
Andy Carroll is the West Ham player looking most likely to succeed at the moment.
Wigan have only taken one point in their last two games and find themselves three points from safety with a game in hand. They're used to scrapping for survival at this time of the season and will have to do so again. They have taken almost as many points away as at home and know that a win in this game would give their chances of staying up a huge boost.
If Wigan are going to survive then Shaun Maloney and Arouna Kone are the players who might do well for them.
I can see this being a tense game between teams of contrasting styles and probably ending in a draw.
Sunday April 21
Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City
1.30 pm BST, White Hart Lane, London
Spurs haven't played a league game in a couple of weeks and have slipped back to fifth place. Their hopes could well depend on the fitness of Gareth Bale and they need a win to keep pace with Chelsea and Arsenal. They have only won eight of their 15 home games though and have scored more goals away from home.
If Bale is fit he's a must have for fantasy managers.
City just about beat Wigan on Wednesday night to keep their faint title hopes alive. City have only lost three away games out of the 16 they have played and only Arsenal have conceded less goals away from home. A win for City would briefly close the gap at the top to 10 points with five games to play.
Carlos Tevez looks to be the best fantasy choice in the City team at the moment.
I think City might just be good enough to get a win in a very close game.
Liverpool v Chelsea
4pm BST, Anfield, Liverpool
Liverpool have drawn their last two games 0-0 and they really should have won both games. They had being scoring freely at home before failing to find the net against West Ham and they have a good defensive record at home. If they are to have any hope of finishing above Everton this is a game they have to win.
Stephen Gerrard is probably the best fantasy choice in the Liverpool team and their defenders have done well recently too.
Chelsea got a good win at Fulham on Wednesday night to move back into third place. They are out of the FA Cup now, but they still have a Europa League semi final to look forward to. They have managed to win half of their 16 away games, but the toll of all the games they have played could be costly.
Juan Mata and Eden Hazard are probably the best of the Chelsea players as long as they play with a semi final four days later.
I think Liverpool might be able to edge a very tight game.
Monday April 22
Manchester United v Aston Villa
8pm BST, Old Trafford, Manchester
United had a minor set back when they drew at West Ham on Wednesday night. Despite losing to City in their last home game they have still won 14 of their 16 home games and only Arsenal have scored more home goals. If City lose on Sunday United can win the title by winning this game.
Robin van Persie continues to be the outstanding fantasy performer in the United team.
Villa have done very well in recent weeks and are now three points above the bottom three. They have taken as many points on the road as they have at home, but no team has conceded more goals than them away from home. They will struggle to get anything from this game and any points gained would be a huge bonus.
Christian Benteke has been in great form for Villa since the turn of the year.
I can't see anything other than a win for United in this game.
That's it for this week.
See you next week.