Friday, 3 May 2013

Predictions For Premier League Gameweek 36

It 's that time of the week again when I attempt to predict the outcomes of the upcoming Premier League games. I didn't do so well last week with one perfect scoreline, three correct outcomes and six incorrect. It means I stay fifth in my predictions league with only three rounds of games left.

There's a lot to play for this week with one relegation place still to be decided and the final two Champions League slots up for grabs too. There are extra games for six teams this week and fantasy managers need to be aware of which teams are playing twice before picking their teams.

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

Pos     Player                         Week     Total
___     _____                        ____       ____
1.        antonius_ronny_s         80          2530
2.        RSun624                    125         1905
3.        ahujag                        125         1870
4.        birchy1962                  55         1835
5.        JamrockRover             20         1755
6.        b_red_devils                70         1745
7.        Rutland Gooner           50         1665
8.        AblockGooner            45         1645
9.        nawa87                     -20         1600    
10.      Plasticninja                  90         1460

Saturday May 4

Fulham v Reading

3pm BST, Craven Cottage, London

Fulham have only one point and one goal in their last five games but they are in a fairly safe position eight points above Wigan. They have won seven of their 17 home games which is less than usual and they have lost seven of them too. If Dimitar Berbatov fails to recover from his injury they could struggle to score again.

With Berbatov probably injured it's hard to see what Fulham players to recommend.

Reading just weren't good enough for the Premier League and their relegation was confirmed along with QPR last week. They have lost 14 of their 17 away games and only Stoke and West Ham have less goals on their travels. They have bowed out of the league with a whimper with only 2 points in their last 10 games and they were both 0-0 draws at home.

There are no Reading players worth considering for fantasy managers.

I think Fulham have to be good enough to beat Reading.

Prediction: 2-1

Norwich v Aston Villa

3pm BST, Carrow Road, Norwich

Norwich are six points above the drop zone and a win in this game would as good as guarantee their safety for another season. They have only lost three of their 17 home games and would probably settle for a draw against a team only a point behind them. They have only won once in their last eight games, but crucially that was against Reading.

Maybe Robert Snodgrass might be the best of a bad bunch in the Norwich team.

Villa had a great 6-1 win over fellow strugglers Sunderland on Monday night to move them above Newcastle on goal difference. They have beaten four of the other struggling teams in their last seven games and only lost to United and Liverpool. Their fire power should be enough to see them safe this season.

Christian Benteke showed how good he can be with a hat trick on Monday night and is well worth including for fantasy managers.

I can see Villa winning this one to finally pull away from relegation trouble.

Prediction: 1-2

Swansea City v Manchester City

3pm BST, Liberty Stadium, Swansea

Swansea haven't been the same team since they won the Capital One Cup and have only taken two points and scored four goals in their last six games. They have only lost four of their 17 home games though and surely they will want to put on a display against last season's champions.

With two games this week Miguel Michu is worth considering although his goals have dried up in the last few games again.

City have little to play for except their pride and assuring they finish second. There's a possibility of players being rested with the FA Cup final coming up and that may effect their display. Only United and Spurs have won more away games than City and only Arsenal have conceded less goals on the road.

City play twice this week too and if they keep their strongest team then Carlos Tevez and Yaya Toure are good choices along with their defenders.

I think City might just squeeze a victory over a Swansea team which really aren't clicking at the moment.

Prediction: 1-2

Tottenham Hotspur v Southampton

3pm BST, White Hart Lane, London

Spurs play twice this week and two wins would leave them in the driving seat for a top four finish. They have won nine of their 17 home games and know this is a must win game as it's by far the easier of their games this week. They have been far from their best in recent weeks and Gareth Bale could be required to do it all on his own for them yet again if they are to succeed.

Bale is an absolute must with two games this week and Jermaine Defoe is worth considering too.

Southampton must surely be safe with a seven point gap to Wigan and so many other teams below them. They have only managed three wins in 17 away games and their results haven't been great in the last three games. They will struggle to get anything from a Spurs side who quite simply have to win.

Rickie Lambert and Jay Rodriguez are the best choices in the Southampton team but their goals have dried up in recent weeks.

Spurs need to win this game and I think they will get the three points.

Prediction: 3-1

West Bromwich Albion v Wigan Athletic

3pm BST, The Hawthorns, Birmingham

West Brom had a very good 3-0 win away to Southampton last week considering they have little to play for. They have won nine of their 17 home games and have a pretty good defensive record at home too. A win would surely secure a top eight finish and that's no mean feat for West Brom.

West Brom play twice this week which makes Romelu Lukaku look like a good bet and Shane Long could be considered too.

Wigan are five points adrift of the safety of 17th place with a game in hand on the teams above them. They play twice this week before appearing in the FA Cup final and they really need to win both of those games. They are both against teams with little to play for and that could swing things in Wigan's favour.

Arouna Kone and Shaun Maloney could be the ones to watch with two games for Wigan this week.

I think this could be a very close game and West Brom's home form could just see them through.

Prediction: 2-1

West Ham United v Newcastle United

3pm BST, Upton Park, London

West Ham have being getting good results recently but they were beaten 2-1 away to City last week. They're a tougher proposition at home and can be a handful for any team on their own patch. They have only lost four of their 17 home games and have scored 30 goals in the process.

Andy Carroll looks the best fantasy choice in the Newcastle team at the moment with Jussi Jaaskelainen performing well too.

Newcastle were thrashed 6-0 at home by Liverpool last week and are now five points above the drop zone having played a game more than Wigan. They have only won once and lost 10 times in 17 away games and they need something from this game. If Wigan are to stage yet another late escape then Newcastle could be the team to lose out.

It's hard to see what Newcastle players to choose at the moment with none of them performing particularly well.

I think West Ham should be good enough at home to beat Newcastle.

Prediction: 2-1

Queens Park Rangers v Arsenal

5.30pm BST, Loftus Road, London

QPR needed a win at Reading last week to keep their slim hopes of staying up alive but they could only draw 0-0. They have only won twice in 17 home games and only scored 12 goals in the process. All they have left to play for is their pride.

With relegation confirmed I can't see any Rangers players to consider.

Arsenal could only draw 1-1 at home to newly crowned champions United last Sunday and are no longer masters of their own fate as a result. They have the best defensive record in the league away from home but they need to start creating more chances in their last three games. If they win all three of those games they should surely amass enough points to finish in the top four.

Arsenal aren't scoring too much at the moment but Theo Walcott and Santi Cazorla are still their best fantasy bets.

Arsenal have to win this game and I think they will do so.

Prediction: 0-2

Sunday May 5

Liverpool v Everton

1.30pm BST, Anfield, Liverpool

Liverpool showed they can perform without Luis Suarez last week with a 6-0 win at Newcastle. There's a theory that they're a better team without Suarez and that theory will be sorely tested in this fierce local derby. If Liverpool are to catch Everton they have to win this game which could add a little extra spice to it.

With Suarez out others are performing for Liverpool and Daniel Sturridge and Phillippe Coutinho look to be the best of them. It's hard to discount Stephen Gerrard in a game like this too.

Everton still have faint hopes of a top four finish but two of the teams above them would have to fall apart for that to happen. They need to make sure they don't lose this game or Liverpool will be only two points behind them. They're a hard team to beat but they have only managed four wins away from home.

As always Leighton Baines needs to be considered for any fantasy manager although his cost is prohibitive.

I think Liverpool might just be able to win what promises to be a very tight game.

Prediction: 2-1

Manchester United v Chelsea

4pm BST, Old Trafford, Manchester

United get to parade their trophy in front of their fans and they will want to put on a display worthy of champions. They have won 15 of their 17 home games in the league and scored 43 goals in the process. They might not have anything to play for but the prospect of beating Chelsea should be enough to get the best out of them.

Robin van Persie is still by far the best fantasy performer in the United team.

Chelsea have only won eight of their 17 away games in what has been a very busy season for them. After this game they play Spurs in a game they cannot afford to lose before playing away to Villa and then taking part in the Europa League final a few days later. It's a tough schedule and if they end up trophy less and outside the top four it will all have been for nothing.

With two games this week Eden Hazard, Juan Mata and Frank Lampard all have to be considered.

I think United should be good enough to beat a Chelsea team who have to be tiring at this stage.

Prediction: 2-1

Monday May 6

Sunderland v Stoke City

8pm BST, Stadium of Light, Sunderland

Sunderland looked to haves turned the corner with Paolo di Canio taking the reins but they were soundly beaten by Villa on Monday night. They're now level with both Villa and Newcastle on points and looking over their shoulders at Wigan. Sunderland have only lost six of their 17 home games and have been good defensively at home despite a lack of goals themselves.

With Stephanne Sessegnon suspended it could be Adam Johnson who is most likely to perform for Sunderland.

Stoke won their last two games against other teams at the wrong end of the table without conceding a goal. They're as good as safe with an eight point gap to Wigan and their defence looking a lot more solid again. They have only won two of 17 away games though and have only managed 11 goals in those games.

If Stoke can keep their defensive solidity then Asmir Begovic, Ryan Shawcross and Robert Huth are their best fantasy options.

I can see this being a very close game and probably ending level.

Prediction: 1-1

Tuesday May 7

Manchester City v West Bromwich Albion

7.45pm BST, Etihad Stadium, Manchester

City should have enough points after this game to guarantee second place in the league. The only thing to stop them winning could possibly be the players minds being on the upcoming FA Cup final. City have only lost one home game in the league this season and have best defensive record at home too.

As I said above Tevez and Yaya Toure are ones to watch along with Vincent Kompany and Pablo Zabaleta.

West Brom hadn't won in four games before winning at Southampton last week. They were very impressive in that game though and will be more than capable of getting a result from this game if City have their minds elsewhere. They don't have a great away record though with nine defeats in 17 games.

Lukaku is definitely the best fantasy option in the West Brom team although they won't find it easy in this game.

I can't see anything other than a home win in this game.

Prediction: 3-1

Wigan Athletic v Swansea City

7.45pm BST, DW Stadium, Wigan

Wigan cannot afford to have their minds on the FA Cup as Premier League survival is far more important. If they're going to stay up they will have to win this game as the other teams at the wrong end of the table aren't  playing. Wigan have only won four home league games this season but they will have to win their last two to perform another late escape.

Kone and Maloney will have to do something to save Wigan and Callum McManaman might not be a bad option either.

Swansea may not have done much since winning their first trophy in February but they are not an easy team to beat. They will give Wigan a good game and have every chance of getting something out of it.

Besides Michu there's a chance Jonathan de Guzman might do well for Swansea this week.

I think this could be a very close game and it might well end all square.

Prediction: 1-1

Wednesday May 8

Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur

7.45pm BST, Old Trafford, London

Chelsea will know what they need to do before this game after the weekend results. Even if they lose to United they will be ahead of Spurs as long as they don't lose this game. With so much at stake I think Chelsea will make sure they don't lose this game.

The trio of Hazard, Mata and Lampard are the best bets in the Chelsea team as it's hard to know which striker will play.

Spurs will know what result they need from this game before it's played and that could decide their tactics. Only United have won more away games than Spurs and they will think they have a great chance of getting something from this game.

Besides Bale and possibly Defoe there's always a chance Clint Dempsey can get something in Spurs two games this week.

There's an awful lot riding on this game and I think it will end in a draw.

Prediction: 2-2

That's it for this week

See you tomorrow.

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