Thursday, 24 October 2013

Predictions For Premier League Gameweek Nine

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 too badly last week but I didn't do too well either with five correct outcomes and five incorrect. It meant I slipped to tenth in my predictions league and leaders continue to get further and further away from me. Here's a look at how the top 10 in my Predictions League stands.

Pos.     Player.                         Week.    Total. 

1.         Paul Kignston              115        715

2.         Wayne Hubbard          130        630

3.         KildareGooner               80        630

4.         Sulabh                          95        615

5.         Abu K                          125       600

6.         Karl-Yngve Lund           80        480

7.         goonerdhanesh             80       435

8.         Guarav Ahuja               105      370

9.         MickTheGooner           130      365

10.       Michael Sheehy             45      330

Saturday October 26

Crystal Palace v Arsenal

12.45pm BST, Selhurst Park, London

Palace have lost their last five games in a row and parted ways with Ian Holloway this week. Only Sunderland have conceded more goals than Palace and their only points came in a home win over Sunderland. At the moment they just don't look good enough for this league and they could face a tough afternoon against Arsenal.

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

Arsenal are top of the league and have taken 19 points in their last seven games. They have taken 10 points from four away games and scored more away goals than any other team. They suffered a Champions League setback during the week and will want to bounce back straight away against a team struggling at the wrong end of the table.

With Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey, Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla in their team there is a great choice in the Arsenal team for fantasy managers.

I think Arsenal will be too strong for Palace and should win by a few goals.

Prediction: 0-3

Aston Villa v Everton

3pm BST, Villa Park, Birmingham 

Villa have had an up and down season so far and have lost three of their four home games. They can be a good counter attacking team at their best and can cause problems to any team. They will be very happy to have Christian Benteke back from injury and are far more likely to get a result with him in the team.

With Benteke back from injury he's the obvious choice in the Villa team for fantasy managers.

Everton drew their first three games but have won four out of five since then with only City beating them. They have only won once in four away games though and need to take more points on the road if they are to put in a challenge for a top four place. They will see a trip to Villa as a very good chance to get three points on the road and they are more than capable of doing so.

Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley are the real bargain buys in the Everton team and Leighton Baines is a good but too but a bit expensive.

I think this will be a very close game and spoils will probably be shared.

Prediction: 2-2

Liverpool v West Bromwich Albion

3pm BST, Anfield, Liverpool

Liverpool have had a very good start to the season and they have no European or Capital One Cup games to distract them. After keeping clean sheets in their first three games they have now conceded for five games in a row and could do with tightening up at the back. They have been good at home so far with three wins out of four and just the one setback against Southampton.

Both Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez are in fine form for Liverpool with Steven Gerrard chipping in at the moment too.

West Brom have certainly turned things around since their poor start and will put it up to any team. They are unbeaten away from home so far with only Spurs and West Ham conceding less goals on their travels. Their recent good results against United and Arsenal will give them real hope of getting something out of this game.

Morgan Amalfitano looks like he could be a real fantasy bargain and Gareth McAuley and Liam Ridgewell are worth considering too.

I think West Brom have a real chance of getting something from this game but might just lose by the odd goal.

Prediction: 2-1

Manchester United v Stoke City

3pm BST, Old Trafford, Manchester 

United have not been at the races in the league so far and have only taken five points from their four home games. They haven't managed to win back to back games yet and have only scored seven goals in their last seven games. They're already eight points off the pace and need to find some form very quickly.

Wayne Rooney might be the best fantasy choice in the United team with Robin Van Persie possibly reverting to type as he suffers a series of niggling injuries.

Stoke have only scored four goals in eight games and it has left them struggling at the wrong end of the table. As usual their defensive record is quite good, but it won't do them much good if they continue to fail to score. It could be a long hard season for Stoke if they can't find a way to sort out their problems in front of goal. 

Asmir Begovic and Ryan Shawcross are possibilities for fantasy managers but maybe not this week and Stoke's attacking players should be avoided at all costs.

I can't see anything other than a United win in this game despite their problems in the league so far.

Prediction: 2-0

Norwich City v Cardiff City 

3pm BST, Carrow Road, Norwich

Norwich have lost five of their eight games so far and have slipped into the relegation zone. Only Sunderland and Stoke have scored less goals than them and they have struggled to get results at home where they usually are quite good. A home game against a newly promoted team is surely an ideal opportunity for them to get a much needed win.

If I had to pick a Norwich player then Jonathan Howson would be the man and he's available at a good price too.

Cardiff have done quite well since their promotion but still find themselves only one point above the drop zone. They will have to fight hard for the whole season to try to stay up, but they do look up for the fight. They have a chance of getting something from this game though and will give their all to try to do so,

Peter Whittingham is probably the best fantasy choice in the Cardiff team and possibly worth a punt.

This isn't an easy game to call but I have a feeling it might just end in a draw.

Prediction: 1-1

Southampton v Fulham

5.30 pm BST, St. Mary's Stadium, Southampton 

Southampton have fought well above their weight so far this season and been very impressive. They have only conceded three goals in eight games and are a very difficult team to beat. They haven't exactly set the world alight when it comes to scoring though but it doesn't seem to matter at the moment. 

Artur Boruc, Dejan Lovren and Jose Fonte are all picking up plenty of fantasy points while Adam Lallana has done well in the last few weeks too.

Fulham got a very good 4-1 win at Palace on Monday night to make it two wins in a row. They don't usually travel too well but they have won two of their four away games so far. Those two wins in a row were very important for Fulham because they looked like they were really struggling before that.

I can't really see any outstanding Fulham players for fantasy managers at the moment.

I think Southampton will be too strong for Fulham and continue with their fantastic start to the season.

Prediction: 1-0

Sunday October 27

Sunderland v Newcastle United

1.30pm GMT, Stadium of Light, Sunderland 

Sunderland come into this local derby with relegation as a very real possibility after taking only one point in their first eight games. The appointment of Gus Poyet doesn't seem to have changed much yet after they lost 4-0 at Swansea last week. They have the worst defensive record in the league and have lost all of their home games so far.

With Sunderland doing so badly there are none of their players worth considering at the moment.

Newcastle have had an up and down season so far and it's not easy to predict what they're going to do next. Only Sunderland have conceded more away goals than them and they need to tighten up in defence. They have to be favourites to win this game and claim the local bragging rights.

Loric Remy has been the outstanding fantasy performer in the Newcastle team since he overcame his early season injury problems.

If Sunderland are going to turn their season around they need to start now and they might just have a chance in this fiercely contested derby.

Prediction: 2-1

Chelsea v Manchester City

4pm GMT, Stamford Bridge, London

Chelsea have moved up to second in the table and a win over City would be a real statement of intent from them. I doubt if they will come out and play open attacking football though and they will probably try to keep it tight and sneak a goal. With the attacking players they have they are capable of going for it, but that's hardly the Jose Mourinho way. They have won all of their home games so far and only City have scored more goals at home.

Both Oscar and Eden Hszard are looking good at the moment and Chelsea defenders can't be discounted either.

City got their first away win of the season last week and are in a good position in the league. They have had their defensive problems this season though and could be vulnerable on the counter attack from Chelsea. If they can get the upper hand in this game it would be a huge boost for their title ambitions.

Sergio Aguero is in great form at the moment and he is being ably assisted by both David Silva and Yaya Toure.

This is the real big game of the week and a good indicator of both team's chances in the league this season. I have a feeling it will end with neither team losing face in a draw.

Prediction: 1-1

Swansea City v West Ham United

4pm GMT, Liberty Stadium, Swansea

Swansea had a very good 4-0 win over Sunderland in their last game and it helped to ease them slightly away from the wrong end of the table. They're still a very good team to watch but it won't be easy for them to break down a defensive West Ham team. The win over Sunderland was their first home win of the season and only Sunderland have conceded more home goals than them.

Swansea have plenty of players with potential for fantasy managers but none of them are scoring particularly well at the moment.

West Ham have only lost one of their four away games so far and only conceded one goal in the process. Their home form has let them down though and they're only one point above the relegation zone. 

Both Jussi Jaaskelainen and Winston Reid are doing quite well for fantasy managers.

I think this could be a very close game and maybe brain will overcome brawn with a Swansea win.

Prediction: 2-1

Tottenham Hotspur v Hull City

4pm GMT, White Hart Lane, London

Spurs have had a good start to their season despite the slip at home to West Ham a few weeks ago. Their defence has been very solid, but they have failed to win any game in which they have conceded so far. Fatigue could be a factor for them after their Europa League exertions on Thursday night but they need to be winning games like this to keep pace at the top.

Hugo Lloris, Jan Vertonghen, Kyle Walker, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Andros Townsend all look pretty good fantasy buys at the moment.

Hull have made themselves a hard team to beat and nobody has really turned them over yet. They don't offer a huge threat going forward but they have a good chance of avoiding the drop this season. Their home form has been impressive but they have lost three of their four away games so far.

Robbie Brady and Allan McGregor are still the Hull players most likely to perform for fantasy managers but McGregor is out through injury for the next month at least. 

I think Hull will make things tough for Spurs but Spurs should have enough to win by a couple of goals.

Prediction: 2-0

That's it for this week. 

See you next week.

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