Thursday, 27 February 2014

Predictions For Premier League Gameweek 28

It's that time of the week again when I attempt to predict the outcomes of the upcoming Premier League games. With the Capital One Cup final this weekend there will be no league games for Manchester City, Sunderland, Manchester United and West Brom. It means fantasy managers have to be careful with their squads to try to get a full team playing for them. It also has to be remembered that 10 teams have no games next week and that can play havoc with any fantasy team. 

I didn't do too well last week with five correct outcomes and five incorrect which meant I stayed seventh in my predictions league. Time is running out for me to catch the league leaders and a I really need a few good weeks in a row if I am to have any chance. Here's a look at how the top 10 in my predictions league stands.

PositionPlayer NamePTSTWBB
Up 1 (2)  Wayne Hubbard1645+455
NC 1 (1)  MickTheGooner1645+2020
Up 3 (4)  Karl-Yngve Lund1605+1205
Down 4 (3)  Abu K1515+150
Down 5 (4)  KildareGunner1500+155
NC 6 (6)  Paul Kingston1475+750
NC 7 (7)  Michael Sheehy1390+250
NC 8 (8)  goonerdhanesh1260+900
NC 9 (9)  Sulabh1200+700
NC 10 (10)  Gaurav Ahuja88500
Saturday March 1

Everton v West Ham United

3pm GMT, Goodison Park, Liverpool

Everton have lost three of their last four games and those losses were against Liverpool, Spurs and Chelsea. All of those games were away from home and they failed to score in each of them, but they have only lost one of their 12 home games. They have dropped to 11 points off fourth place with a game in hand and their chances of finishing in the Champions League places are fading fast. 

If Romelu Lukaku is back from injury he's a good fantasy choice with Seamus Coleman and Kevin Mirallas not too shabby either.

West Ham have won their last four league games in a row and only conceded one goal in the process. They have moved in to the top half of the table and they're seven points clear of the relegation zone. They have only won three of their 13 away games, but have a good defensive record on the road with only Chelsea conceding less away goals.

Kevin Nolan is in a fine run of form at the moment and the whole West Ham defence are worth considering too along with the returning Andy Carroll.

This won't be an easy game for Everton but they have to win it to keep their faint hopes of a top four finish alive.

Prediction: 2-1

Fulham v Chelsea

3pm GMT, Craven Cottage, London

Fulham are still rock bottom of the table and have only taken 11 points in their last 19 games. They're on their third manager of the season and have put in some promising performances recently, but have not won in their last seven games. They're still only four points from safety with 11 games to play so all is not lost, but they have lost nine of thirteen home games and have the worst defencsive record at home too,

It's still not easy to see which Fulham players are worth considering for fantasy managers. 

Chelsea are one point clear at the top of the league and have only lost three of their 13 away games. They have the best defensive record away from home and are unbeaten in their last 12 league games. They have a chance to open up a gap on City who don't play for the next two weeks and both Arsenal and Liverpool who don't play next week.

With John Terry back he's the best fantasy choice in the Chelsea team along with Eden Hazard and Branislav Ivanovic.

I think Chelsea's defensive strength should be enough to see them win by a couple of goals. 

Prediction: 0-2

Hull City v Newcastle United

3pm GMT, KC Stadium, Hull

Hull have taken seven points in their last four games to move four points clear of the relegation zone. Their home form had been the main reason for them staying out of the wrong end of the table, but they have only won once in their last six home games. They have improved away from home though and only the top three have a better defensive record at home.

Allan McGregor, Nikica Jelavic and Shane Long all look like reasonable cut price fantasy choices at the moment.

Newcastle have lost six of their last nine league games and failed to score in seven of those games. The return of Loric Remy from suspension got them three precious points last week and ended an awful run of home results. They have done quite well on their travels with only Arsenal, Spurs and United winning more away games.

With Remy back in the team there is at least one Newcastle player worth considering for fantasy managers.

I think Hull should be good enough at home to take the three points.

Prediction: 1-0

Stoke City v Arsenal

3pm GMT, Britannia Stadium, Stoke

Stoke have only won once in their last 10 games and find themselves only three points above the relegation zone. They have only lost two of their 13 home games though and have won at home to both Chelsea and United as well as drawing with City. They will give their all to try to put one over on another one of the big clubs and will feel they have a chance of doing so.

Charlie Adam has looked good in recent weeks and is worth a punt for fantasy managers.

Arsenal are only one point off the top of the league and put a couple of bad results behind them by beating Sunderland 4-1 last week. They have won eight of their 13 away games with only Liverpool scoring more away goals than Arsenal. They have some really tough games in March and need to start off on a good footing by winning this game.

All of Arsenal's defence are good fantasy choices, but it's hard to know which players in front of them will shine from week to week.

This should be a very close game and I think Arsenal should just shade it.

Prediction: 1-2

Southampton v Liverpool

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

Southampton lost 3-1 away to West Ham last week and it was their first defeat in seven games. They have only lost three of their 13 home games and are never an easy team to beat home or away. They should be able to give Liverpool a really good game and have every chance of getting a result.

Adam Lallana, Jay Rodriguez and Artur Boruc are probably the Southampton players most likely to succeed for fantasy managers.

Liverpool have taken 20 points in their last eight games and scored 26 goals in the process. They are the top scorers away from home but they have only won five of their 13 away games and only three other teams have conceded more goals away from home. They're only four points off the top of the table with both City and Chelsea to travel to Anfield and can still win the league if they can win both of those games.

Daniel Sturrudge has to be a must for fantasy managers with Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard in fine form too.

This will be far from easy for free scoring Liverpool and I think Southampton might just take a point off them. 

Prediction: 2-2

Sunday March 2

Aston Villa v Norwich City

4.30pm GMT, Villa Park, Birmingham 

Villa have only taken one point and scored one goal in their last four games and they're only four points above the bottom three. They have lost eight of their 13 home games and no other team has scored less goals at home. They have failed to score in seven of their 13 home games and have to find some consistency or they could find themselves in real trouble.

Villa are so unpredictable it's impossible to know which of their players will shine.

Norwich have taken eight points in their last six games and have kept clean sheets in four of them. They're four points clear of the relegation zone, but they have lost nine of their 13 away games. Only Fulham have conceded more goals away from home than Norwich and they will probably be relying on their home form to keep them clear of the relegation zone.

The Norwich defence all have to be considered with their defensive strength of late being very impressive at home in particular.

I can see this game ending in a low scoring or no score draw. 

Prediction: 0-0

Swansea City v Crystal Palace

4.30pm GMT, Liberty Stadium, Swansea

Swansea have only won four of their 13 home games, but they have had no trouble scoring at home with only the top four scoring more home goals. In their last two home games they beat the two teams at the bottom of the table and they will want to beat another one of the teams below them. It won't be easy for them to raise their game after Napoli knocked them out of the Europa League on Thursday night, but they're only four points above the bottom three and need the points.

Wilfried Bony has been the Swansea player making the best impression for fantasy managers and is well worth having.

Palace have lost 10 of their 12 away games and have only scored five goals in those games. Tony Pulis has turned them into a good team at home and that should be enough to keep them up, but they have lost five of their six away games under him. They may have a chance in this game if they can exploit a possibly tired Swansea team.

Tom Ince could do well for the rest of the season with Palace and is worth considering for fantasy managers.

Swansea have looked good in recent games and are due a win or two and I think they will get one in this game.

Prediction: 3-1

Tottenham Hotspur v Cardiff City

4.30pm GMT, White Hart Lane, London

Spurs were very disappointing in their 1-0 defeat at Norwich last week, but they bounced back during the week to progress to the last 16 of the Europa League. They're six points off a top four place with some very tough games coming up and need to take the three points from this game beforehand. Spurs have only won six of their 13 home games and have only managed 15 goals in those games and they will have to do better at home over the rest of the season if they are to have a chance of a top four finish.

Emmanuel Adebayor still looks like the best fantasy bet in the Spurs team despite drawing a blank last week.

Cardiff have only taken five points from their last 11 games and have only won once in their 13 away games. The appointment of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seems to have worsened their plight and relegation looks a very real possibility for them now. They're still only three points from safety but only Palace have scored less goals and only Fulham hace conceded more.

I still think Wilfred Zaha could do well for the rest of the season, but it's hard to see any Cardiff players making an impression.

If Spurs are to have any chance of a top four finish this is a game they have to and should win.

Prediction: 3-0

That's it for this week

See you next week

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