Friday, 29 August 2014

Predictions For Premier League Gameweek Three

It's that time of the week again when I attempt to predict the outcomes of the upcoming Premier League games. I got two perfect outcomes last week with three correct outcomes and five incorrect. It means I stay in third place in my predictions league and I'm not too far behind the leader. 

It's still not too late to join the league and you can do so here with the code FD20D-AVD after you have made your predictions. You can also join over 1,250 others in my fantasy league here with the code 13125-4843 after you have set up your team and there's €50 to the winner. Here's a look at the top five in my predictions league

Up 1 (2)goonerdhanesh160+950
Down 2 (1)sensisoccerworld145+400
NC 3 (3)Michael Sheehy115+700
Up 5 (7)sodobo

Saturday August 30

Burnley v Manchester United

12.45pm BST, Turf Moor, Burnley

Burnley have played quite well in their first two games back in the Premier League, but they lost both of them. If they are going to have any chance of staying up they need to take points at home and they will think they can take some in this game. They don't look like scoring many goals though and that lack of firepower could be their undoing.

It's difficult to see any Burnley players who might make a difference for fantasy managers.

United have only taken one point from their first two games and were embarrassed by the MK Dons in midweek in the Capital One Cup. If they're going to get among the title contenders they need to improve their defence. Despite their problems United have to be firm favourites to win this game.

Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie, Juan Mata and new boy Angel Di Maria can all score plenty of fantasy points this season.

I think United will get their season going with a narrow win in a hard fought game.

Prediction: 1-2

Aston Villa v Hull City

3pm BST, Villa Park, Birmingham 

Villa haven't conceded a goal in their first two games although they have only managed to score once. They're missing the injured Christian Benteke and will struggle unless they can find someone to score the goals they need. As long as their defence remains solid they will feel they have a chance against most teams though.

Ron Vlaar and Brad Guzan are looking like the Villa players to have at the moment.

Hull did well to get a point at home to Stoke last week after playing most of the game with only 10 men. They have looked solid in defence so far and have only conceded the late goal Stoke managed last Sunday. Like Villa they have struggled to score goals and need to find someone who can get them the goals they need.

Allan McGregor and James Chester (when he returns from suspension) look like the best fantasy choices in the Villa team at the moment.

I can see this being a very close game and probably ending in a low scoring or scoreless draw.

Prediction: 1-1

Manchester City v Stoke City

3pm BST, Etihad Stadium, Manchester 

City have had the perfect start to the season with two wins out of two and one of those was against Liverpool last Monday. They are a superb team at home in particular and look like putting up a much stronger defence of their title this time. They scored over 100 league goals last season, but that could be a little tougher this time around.

There are so many City players to choose from with David Silva, Sergio Aguero, Stevan Jovetic and Yaya Toure probably the best of them.

Stoke managed to get a late point against 10 man Hull last week and that was their first point and goal of the season. They finished last season very well to attain their highest Premier League place ever, but they haven't started this season well. It's a huge task for Stoke to go to the team with the best home record last season and who scored 63 goals in those 19 games.

In the long term Ryan Shawcross might not be a bad fantasy purchase, but maybe not for this game.

I can't see anything other than a comfortable City victory in this game.

Prediction: 3-0

Newcastle United v Crystal Palace

3pm BST, St. Jame's Park, Newcastle 

Newcastle have only taken one point in their first two games and they haven't managed to score in either of them. They haven't played too badly in those games though and they should improve when all of their new players fit in. Despite the new signings I can't see any players in their team who can match the performances of Yohan Cabaye and Loric Remy last season and that could lead to more problems.

Fabricio Coloccini and Tim Krul could do well for Newcastle over the next few weeks in what looks like a good run of fixtures for them.

Palace have lost their first two games after stumbling from one crisis to another, but at least they have appointed a new manager. Neil Warnock will look to install the defensive stability which Tony Pulis worked so hard on last season, but Palace need to strengthen their team too. They need to put a few points on the board very soon and will feel they can get something from this game.

For me Dwight Gayle looks capable of doing well if he gets a chance while the Palace defenders will be good buys if Warnock can sort them out.

I think this will be a low scoring affair and could easily end in a draw.

Prediction: 1-1

Queens Park Rangers v Sunderland 

3pm BST, Loftus Road, London

QPR have lost their first two games and looked very poor in the process. They have failed to score in both games too and it looks like being a long hard season for them. If they're going to stay up they need to start playing an awful lot better very soon.

Remy may be a good striker, but like the rest of the QPR team he doesn't look like a good fantasy buy at the moment.

Sunderland have drawn their first two games and probably should have beaten United last Sunday. They haven't been as strong defensively as they would have liked, but they look like they will score a few goals this season. They have every chance of getting something from this game.

Seb Larsson has started the season very well and Jack Rodwell could be a good fantasy purchase too if he can stay fit.

I think Sunderland will have enough to take the three points in this game.

Prediction: 1-2

Swansea City v West Bromwich Albion

3pm BST, Liberty Stadium, Swansea

Swansea have won their first two games and only conceded one goal in the process. They played very well in their opening day win at United, but they weren't quite so good at home to Burnley last week. They have finished in mid table in their three seasons in the Premier League and look like they will do so again this season.

Gylfi Sigurdsson has started really well for Swansea and looks like a very good fantasy choice. 

West Brom are unbeaten in their first two games after draws at home to Sunderland and away to Southampton. They were the draw kings last season and they are already looking like retaining that title. If they are going to finish this season in a safer position they will need to turn a few of those draws into wins.

Despite Saido Berahino scoring twice on the opening day I don't think there are any West Brom players to write home about for fantasy managers.

I think Swansea will continue their winning ways with a narrow victory in this game.

Prediction: 1-0

West Ham United v Southampton 

3pm BST, Uptin Park, London

West Ham did well to win away to Palace last week after losing their opening game at home to Spurs. With Andy Carroll injured they are still a little hit and miss, but they are looking better than they did last season. If they can make things a little tighter at the back they might just finish in mid table.

Mauro Zarate looks like he could be the West Ham player to possibly shine this season.

Southampton looked good in their opening week defeat at Liverpool, but they weren't quite so good at home to West Brom last week. If Ronald Koeman is going to make a success of the Southampton job he needs to gel his new players together and that could take some time.

For me Jay Rodriguez is the best fantasy choice in the Southampton team and they might struggle a little until he returns from injury.

I think this will be another close call and might just end in a draw too.

Prediction: 1-1

Everton v Chelsea

5.30pm BST, Goodison Park, Liverpool

Everton looked home and dry against Arsenal last week, but only took a point after conceding two late goals. They let a lead slip twice away to West Brom the previous week and they need to learn how to see out a game. They will have a much tougher task against Chelsea, but they are capable of beating any team at home.

Romelu Lukaku is a good fantasy option as are Seamus Coleman and Leighton Baines.

Chelsea have won their opening two games in impressive fashion although they were both against newly promoted teams. This will be a much tougher proposition for them, but they have the squad to take on any team. They're favourites to win the league with a lot of experts and their performance in the game might be a pointer to how they will fare this season.

Cesc Fabregas, Diego Costa and Branislav Ivanovic are all in flying form at the moment while Eden Hazard, John Terry and Cesar Azpilicueta are all worth considering too.

I can see this being a very close game and I think it might end with the honours shared.

Prediction: 2-2

Sunday August 31

Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool

1.30pm BST, White Hart Lane, London

Spurs have had a good start to the season and sit on top of the table with six points and no goals conceded in two games. They were a little lucky to beat West Ham on the opening day, but they thrashed QPR last week. If they're going to trouble the top four this season this is the type of game they need to take something from.

Eric Dier and Eric Lamela have looked very good so far and Christian Eriksen looks like a good long term bet.

Liverpool haven't been overly impressive in their first two games and their defence doesn't seem to have improved on last season. They brought Mario Balotelli in this week and much could depend on their ability to get the best out of such a troublesome player. It's not hoping to be easy to replace the goals of Luis Suarez, but Balotelli could potentially help to do so.

Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling are probably the best fantasy choices in the Liveroool team with Steven Gerrard and Jordan Henderson worth having a look at too.

I think this will be another very close game and I think Liveroool might just get back on track with a narrow victory.

Prediction: 2-3

Leicester City v Arsenal

4pm BST, King Power Stadium, Leicester

Leicester did very well in the first half away to Chelsea last week, but they were outclassed after the break. They've had a tough start to the season and will be happy to get to play some of the lesser teams after this game. They were very good at home last season and showed in their opening game against Everton that they won't give up at home. 

It's tough to see which Leicester players might do the business for fantasy managers.

Arsenal haven't played too well so far this season, but they're unbeaten and have progressed to the group stages of the Champions League. The did very well to come back and earn a point away to Everton last week and they had a very good away record last season. Their injuries are piling up though and they could find it hard to replace the goals of Olivier Giroud.

Aaron Ramsey is in great form for Arsenal while Alexis Sanchez could be a good buy too now that Giroud is out for the next four months.

With Champions League qualification now wrapped up again I think Arsenal will go into the international break with a win.

Prediction: 1-3

That's it for today.

See you next week.

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