Friday, 20 September 2013

Predictions For Premier League Gameweek Five

It's that time of the week again when I attempt to predict the outcomes of the upcoming Premier League games. I had a good week last week with three perfect scorelines, three correct outcomes and four incorrect. It means I'm up to eleventh in my predictions league and only five points off the top 10. There's still some hope for me this season and hopefully I can have another good week this week. Here's a look at how the top 10 stands.

Pos.     Player.                        Week.    Total

1.         Abuk                           135        290

2.         Paul Kingston              105       270

3.         Sulabh                          90       255

4.         Wayne Hubbard           70       250

5.         Karl-Yngve Lund          55        225

6.         goonerdhanesh            90        220

7.         JustinL01                    -10        215

8.         KildareGunner               55       195

9.         TheDognash                 50       190

10.       Hitmans                        60       160

Saturday September 21

Norwich City v Aston Villa

12.45pm BST, Carrow Road, Norwich

Norwich have started off this season in a similar style to last season with two away defeats and unbeaten at home. They are finding goals hard to come by again and their home rom is going to be crucial for them. If they start dropping points at home it could be a long hard struggle for them and they need to get something from this game. 

Nathan Redmond could be the Norwich player to have this season and Steven Whittaker has done pretty well so far too.

Villa have now lost their last three games in a row and sit just outside the relegation zone. Their style may be more suited to playing away from home though and they will look to hit Norwich on the break. Their best performances so far have come in those away games and that should give them some hope in this game.

Christian Benteke continues to be the Villa player most likely to perform for fantasy managers.

Despite their three losses in a row Istill think Villa will be too strong for Norwich.

Prediction: 1-2

Liverpool v Southampton 

3pm BST, Anfield, Liverpool

Liverpool dropped their first points and conceded their first goals of the season when they drew 2-2 at Swansea on Monday night. They're still top of the table but I can't say I've been over impressed with them and they will do well to keep pace as the season goes on. They're never easy to beat at home though and will certainly be strong favourites in this game.

Daniel Sturridge is still the best fantasy choice in the Liverpool team with most of their defenders looking a good bet too.

Southampton are mid table at the moment but they're finding goals very hard to come by. They are looking quite strong in defence though and certainly have the players to pose a bigger threat in attack. They will have their work cut out to get a result at Liverpool but they are capable of causing Liverpool a few headaches.

Rickie Lambert is still the Southampton player most likely to do well although their defenders are the ones shining at the moment with Jose Fonte in particular shining.

It's hard to see this game going any other way than a win for Liverpool.

Prediction: 2-0

Newcastle United v Hull City

3pm BST, St. James' Park, Newcastle 

Newcastle have really turned things around since losing their first game 4-0 to  City. They look a lot stronger at the back than they were last season and have rediscovered some of their attacking flair of the previous season. A home game against a newly promoted team is the ideal opportunity for them to continue their good run.

Hatem Ben Arfa had rediscovered his form and is a very good choice for fantasy managers. 

Hull have lost both of their away games so far without scoring a goal and conceded four goals in the process. They had a tough start to their away games though with trips to Chelsea and City and will hope to do better against some of the lesser teams. They have look very organised in defence but will have to be at their very best to have any hope in this game. 

Allan McGregor has done well in goal for Hull and Robbie Brady is the outfield player most likely to score a few fantasy points.

I think Newcastle should be too good for Hull and should win by a couple of goals.

Prediction: 2-0

West Bromwich Albion v Sunderland

3pm BST, The Hawthorns, Burmingham 

West Brom got their first goal of the season to grab a point in the last minute at Fulham last week. It moved them off the bottom of the table and they will want to build on that at home to another struggling team. They need to find someone to score goals for them though or this season will be a long hard struggle.

I can't see any West Brom players who are setting the fantasy world alight or likely to at the moment.

Sunderland were a little unlucky at times at home to Arsenal last week, but they could have conceded an awful lot more goals too. They are struggling to score at the moment and that defeat saw them slip to the foot of the table. They did show enough in that game to suggest they will come good, but they need to start getting results very soon.

Stephen Fletcher is the Sunderland player most likely to perform now that he has returned from injury.

I think West Brom might just edge a very close game.

Prediction: 1-0

West Ham United v Everton

3pm BST, Upton Park, London

West Ham are a very hard team to beat or to even score against at the moment and they don't score too many goals themselves. Their home form was crucial for them last season and it looks like it will be again this time. They will give Everton a rough and tough challenge and have a good chance of getting a win.

West Ham defenders are probably the best players to go for in their team at the moment with Janes Collins at a good price.

Everton got their first win of the season at home to Chelsea last week after drawing their first three games. The loss of Marouane Fellaini on deadline day might not be such a big blow thanks to the arrivals of Gareth Barry and James McCarthy and the form of Ross Barkley. They need to be more ruthless against teams they are expected to beat and Romelu Lukaku might be the man to give them that edge.

Lukaku, Barkley and Seamus Coleman are all looking like good fantasy choices at the moment.

I have a feeling it will be back to the norm for draw specialists Everton.

Prediction: 1-1

Chelsea v Fulham

5.30pm BST, Stamford Bridge, London

Chelsea have had their worst start since Roman Abramovich bought the club, but they're only three points behind the leaders. They have won both of their home games so far, but failed to score on their travels. There might be a settling in period for the new players and manager, but they will still be expected to win this game.

It's hard to know which Chelsea players to opt for with none really excelling at the moment but surely Frank Lampard, Eden Hazard and maybe even Samuel E'Too are worth a punt.

Fulham don't usually travel too well although they could walk the distance to Chelsea's ground. They will be looking to take advantage of a team which lost at home in Europe on Wednesday night and might take some time to gel under their new manager. Anything other than a hefty defeat has to be seen as a bonus for Fulham.

I'm not so sure there are any Fulham players worth considering for fantasy managers right now.

I can't see anything other than a good Chelsea win in this game as they look to bounce back from Wednesday night.

Prediction: 3-0

Sunday September 22

Arsenal v Stoke City

1.30pm BST, Emirates Stadium, London

Arsenal have won their last three league games to go second in the table and played some very good football in the process. They are very sharp going forward but need to tighten things up a but in defence. They're the joint top scorers so far along with City and will be looking to put a few goals past Stoke. 

Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott, Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil all look very tempting for fantasy managers at the moment. 

Stoke seem to have rediscovered their defensive strength under Mark Hughes and probably should have won at home to City last week. They are trying to vary their game a little but I have no doubt they will revert to type against Arsenal. Their direct style has reaped rewards at home to Arsenal in the past, but never away from home.

With Stoke's defence doing so well Marc Wilson is very good value and both Asmir Begovic and Ryan Shawcross should be considered too along with their other defenders.

Arsenal are on a roll at the moment and I expect them to continue their winning ways against Stoke.

Prediction: 2-0

Crystal Palace v Swansea City

1.30pm BST, Selhurst Park, London

Palace are in the bottom three with only one win so far and that was against the bottom club who were down to 10 men too. They defended well at United last week only for the referee to undo all of their good work with a penalty and red card. Their problems are at the other end though where they look like they will struggle to score goals and will have a long hard fight at the wrong end of the table.

I still can't see any Palace players to recommend to fantasy managers.

Swansea had a very good win in the Europa League on Thursday night but they have a tough schedule with a limited squad. They didn't concede many goals on their travels last season and have started off in the same vein this season. They have the players to take all three points if they can impose themselves on the game.

Pablo Hernandez is probably the Swansea player most likely to succeed with Jonjo Shelvy as an outside bet and Miguel Michu might do well now that he has his first goal of the season.

I think Swansea will have too much quality for Palace and will win by the odd goal.

Prediction: 1-2

Cardiff City v Tottenham Hotspur

4pm BST, Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff

Cardiff have proved difficult to beat and will fancy their chances at home to most teams. They have already beaten City at home and will hope Spurs are notat their best after playing on Thursday night. Their chances of staying up will be determined by how they do against the other relegation contenders but points against so called better teams could make a difference at the end of the season.

It's not easy to pick out any particular Cardiff players who might shine.

Spurs are going well with three wins in four league games and only one goal conceded. They're only a point behind the leaders and their new players still have to integrate into the team. If they can continue their current form they have a real chance of a top four finish.

Roberto Soldado looks a good buy and Christian Eriken could be a real bargain at his current price. With their defence doing so well their defenders and keeper have to be considered too with Jan Vertonghen as probably the best buy.

I think Cardiff will give Spurs a tough time and could well take a point off them.

Prediction: 1-1

Manchester City v Manchester United

4pm BST, Etihad Stadium, Manchester

City have won both of their home games so far but have struggled away from home. They had a good start to their Champions League campaign on Tuesday night and will be looking to earn the bragging rights in Manchester. They haven't quite got their rhythm going under Manuel Pellagrini and will have to be at their best to win this game.

Yaya Toure, Pablo Zabaleta and David Silva (if fit) are the City players most likely to succeed with Vincent Kompany a possibility too now that he's back from injury.

United haven't been at their best so far either but they will be up for this game. They failed to add a playmaker in the transfer window and that should mean there is more onus on their wide players. If they can get good service to their strikers they will always score plenty of goals. 

Both Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney look like good buys at the moment with Ashley Young and Antinio Valencia as possibilities too.

I think this will be a very close game and I have a feeling it will end with the spoils shared.

Prediction: 2-2

That's it for this week.

See you next week.

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