Friday, 9 May 2014

Predictions For Premier League Gameweek 38

It's that time of the week again when I attempt to predict the outcomes of the upcoming Premier League games. It's the final week of the season and there are still a few issues to sort out in the league. The teams with something to play for are the ones fantasy managers should be picking their players from as other teams are prone to playing youngsters and reserves at this stage of the season.

I learned my lesson last week with players I thought might do very well who didn't play because they were rested or "injured". With so much at stake for City and Liverpool their players might be the best choices, but after that it's anyone's guess which players will play and which ones won't. 

My predictions league is more or less over unless someone can overcome the huge gap to Karl-Yngve Lund at the top. There's €25 to the winner and I'll be looking for contact details of the winner when the final table is confirmed. Here's a look at how the top 10 in my predictions league stands.

PositionPlayer NamePTSTWBB
NC 1 (1)  Karl-Yngve Lund2445+450
Up 2 (3)  MickTheGooner2245+6010
Down 3 (2)  Wayne Hubbard2235+3510
Up 4 (6)  Paul Kingston2180+10520
Down 5 (4)  Abu K2145+150
Down 6 (5)  KildareGunner2110-150
NC 7 (7)  Michael Sheehy1945+5510
NC 8 (8)  goonerdhanesh1695+4510
NC 9 (9)  Sulabh1290+400
NC 10 (10)  Gaurav Ahuja88500
There's also a prize of €50 for my fantasy league and I'll be looking to contact the winner through the league forum. That league is still very much open to a few teams and nobody has a firm grip on the prize money yet. Here's a look at how the top 10 in my fantasy league stands.

1GORANprogoran ivanoski892,451
2ČechmateSean Kehoe762,430
3Aint got a KalouSean Yates932,415
4Trini Red DevilsNigel Smith722,411
5Undertakers UtdTahir Ali722,398
6Topossa XISaikat Dhar612,380
7izbrisanidomen petelin602,378
8mind the gapJohnny Giang962,375
9galteegunnersDamian Hynes852,374
10DaredevilsSahil Nirula742,371

Sunday May 11 - All games kick off at 3pm BST

Cardiff City v Chelsea

Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff

Cardiff were relegated after losing to Newcastle last week and will probably be regretting sacking Malky McKay. They have only taken five points in their last eight games and it's no surprise they were relegated with form like that. They have only won five of their 18 home games and only Fulham have conceded more goals at home.

I can't see any Cardiff players setting the world alight for fantasy managers this week. 

Chelsea can finish second at best if they win this game and Liverpool lose their game. They have only won half of their 18 away games but they have the best defensive record away from home. They have come close in the league and the Champions League this season, but will end it with no trophy after winning five in the last four seasons.

It's not easy to know what Chelsa players will play in this game, but their defenders are always a good option for fantasy managers.

I think Chelsea will be too strong for Cardiff and see them off with yet another defeat.

Prediction: 0-2

Fulham v Crystal Palace

Craven Cottage, London

Fulham were relegated last week too after losing to Stoke and ended their 13 year run in the Premier League. They went through three managers during the season but it was to no avail as they ended up getting relegated anyway. They have lost more home games and conceded more home goals than any other team this season.

I can't see any Fulham players who will do well for fantasy managers this week.

Palace had a very good end to their season after looking like relegation certainties until Tony Pulis took over as their manager. They had a huge say in the destiny of the title by beating Chelsea and then coming from three goals behind to draw with Liverpool on Monday night. They have lost 11 of their 18 away games, but have won their last three away games in a row.

Palace's defenders are a good fantasy option as long as they play their strongest team.

I think Palace will end their season on a high with yet another win to continue their excellent run.

Prediction: 0-1

Hull City v Everton

KC Stadium, Hull

Hull will more than likely field a weakened team with the FA Cup final against Arsenal coming up next week. They have only taken one point in their last four games and conceded 11 goals in those games, but they managed to maintain their Premier League status. They have taken 25 of their 37 points at home, but might struggle to get anything from this game if they rest some of their better players.

I can't see any Hull players to write home about for fantasy managers even if Shane Long and Nikica Jelavic can't play in the cup final.

Everton have had a good season and will finish fifth which means they will qualify for next season's Europa League. They have lost three of their last four games to drop out of the fight for fourth place, but will want to finish the season on a high. Their away form wasn't great this season with only seven wins and 21 goals in 18 away games so far.

I have a feeling Everton will play their strongest team and players such as Leighton Baines, Seamus Coleman, Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku could be good fantasy choices.

I think Everton will be good enough to take the three points in this game.

Prediction: 1-3

Liverpool v Newcastle United

Anfield, Liverpool

Liverpool have to beat Newcastle and hope against hope that City lose at home to West Ham if they are going to win the league. They have won 15 of their 18 home games and only City have scored more goals at home. Liverpool only need one more goal for 100 league goals this season, but it's their defensive record which has cost them dearly.

Luis Suarez, Steven Gerrard and Daniel Sturridge are all well worth having for fantasy managers this week.

Newcastle got a rare win last week but their form has been awful since the turn of the year. They have lost their last four away games without scoring a goal and could be in for a very difficult afternoon. With  little to play for Newcastle could find themselves on the end of a real beating from Liveepool.

Loric Remy has been Newcastle's best fantasy performer this season, but I can't see any of their players impressing this week.

I think Liverpool should win this game with a fair few goals to spare.

Prediction: 4-1

Manchester City v West Ham United

Etihad Stadium, Manchester

City will be champions as long as they don't lose this game and they have the best home record in the Premier League. They have won 16 of their 18 home games and they're the top scorers at home with only Arsenal and Chelsea conceding less goals at home. The title must be heading to City and surely they will celebrate it by winning their last game of the season. 

Yaya Toure and Eden Dzeko are the in form players for City with Pablo Zabaleta and David Silva worth considering for fantasy managers too.

West Ham ended a run of four defeats in a row by beating Sours 2-0 last week. They have only won four of their 18 away games though and only three teams have scored less goals away from home. They have been good defensively away from with only three teams conceding less goals on the road and they will have to be at their very best to deny City.

I can't see any West Ham players who might do well for fantasy managers in this game.

I think City will win by a few goals to wrap up their second league title in three seasons.

Prediction: 3-0

Norwich City v Arsenal

Carrow Road, Norwich 

Norwich are as good as relegated unless they can win this game and overturn a 17 goal deficit on goal difference in the process. West Brom would have to lose their game at home to Stoke too and it's just not going to happen. Only three clubs have conceded less goals at home than Norwich and they are the lowest scorers at home too. The sacking of Chris Hughton five games ago looks like a huge mistake as they only took one point in the five games since then.

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

Arsenal have tied up fourth place yet again and they have an FA Cup final coming up next week too. No other team has won more games away from home and Arsenal have a great record against the teams in the bottom half of the table. With the FA Cup final in mind there could be a lot of changes in the Arsenal team to make sure their key players don't pick up any injuries.

It's not easy to know which Arsenal players will play in this game and it might be better for fantasy managers to avoid them as a result.

Even with a fair few changes to their team I think Arsenal will have enough to win this game.

Prediction: 1-2

Southampton v Manchester United

St. Mary's Stadium, Southampton 

Southampton have finished the season well with seven points and three clean sheets in their last three games. They might be tempted to give a few younger players a run in this game, but the chance of beating United could see them field a full strength team. Even if Southampton win they cannot finish any higher than the eighth place they are in right now.

The Southampton defenders and goalkeeper could be good fantasy choices this week along with Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert.

United have taken more points and scored more goals away from home than at home this season. They have a slim chance of finishing sixth if they can win this game and Spurs lose at home to Villa. It's been a very poor season for the reigning champions and I'm sure they can't wait for it to finish.

It's not easy to know which United players will play and not easy to recommend any of them to fantasy managers as a result.

I think this will be a very close game and will probably end in a draw.

Prediction: 1-1

Sunderland v Swansea City

Stadium of Light, Sunderland 

Sunderland completed their miracle escape from relegation by beating West Brom on Wednesday night. No other team has won less games at home than Sunderland, but they they are on a great run at the moment. They have won their last four games in a row and only conceded one goal in the process.

Vito Mannone looks like a very good choice for fantasy managers as he has done since he made the goalkeeper's shirt his own.

Swansea haven't had the best season but at least they managed to avoid relegation and will hope to do a lot better next season. Gary Monk has been given the manager's job on a permanent basis this week after managing to keep them up. They have only won four of their 18 away games and will do well to get anything out of this game.

If he plays Wilfried Bony is the best fantasy choice in the Swansea team.

I think Sunderland will continue their winning ways by taking the three points in this game. 

Prediction: 2-1

Tottenham Hotspur v Aston Villa

White Hart Lane, London

Spurs need only a point to guarantee sixth spot and Europa League football for next season. They have only won 10 of their 18 home games though and have taken as many points away from home as at home. They have won their last three home games though and scored 11 goals in those games.

Christian Erksen looks like the best fantasy choice in the Spurs team for the final game of the season.

Villa have taken only four points in their last eight games but at least they managed to avoid the drop. They will have to do a lot better next season though or surely Paul Lambert's job will be under threat. They have only won four of their 18 away games and have conceded 13 goals in losing their last four away games.

I can't see any Villa players to recommend to fantasy managers for the final week.

I think Spurs should have more than enough to win this game. 

Prediction: 2-0

West Bromwich Albion v Stoke City

The Hawthorns, Birmingham 

West Brom are as good as safe as they are there points ahead of Norwich and have a vastly superior goal difference. They have only won as many games as bottom club Cardiff, but their 15 draws have helped them to keep their Premier League status for another season. They have won less games at home than any other team and will need to change that statistic or they will struggle again next season.

I can't see any West Brom players to make a difference for fantasy managers this week.

Stoke have taken 20 points in their last 10 game and a win in this game could see them overtake Newcastle for eighth place. They have only won two of their 18 away games and only the bottom three have conceded more goals on the road. Stoke are already set to finish in their highest ever position in the Premier League no matter how they do in this game.

Morgan Arnautovic could be the Stoke player to have for fantasy managers if they do well this week.

I think this game will more than likely finish in a draw.

Prediction: 1-1

That's it for this week.

See you next week.

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