Thursday, 11 September 2014

Predictions For Premier League Gameweek Four

It's that time of the week again when I attempt to predict the outcomes of the upcoming Premier League games. I didn't fare so well in the last round of predictions with only three correct outcomes and seven incorrect, but there were a lot of odd results. It means I stay in third place in my predictions league which you can see in the league table below.

PositionPlayer NamePTSTWBB
Up 1 (2)sensisoccerworld125-200
Down 2 (1)goonerdhanesh110-500
NC 3 (3)Michael Sheehy85-300
Up 4 (7)Daytona80+100

Saturday September 13

Arsenal v Manchester City

12.45pm BST, Emirates Stadium, London

Arsenal weren't exactly at their best before the international break and they're four points off the pacesetters already. This will be their first big test of the season and they are unbeaten at home in the league since the opening day of last season. A lot could depend on the fitness of Mesut Ozil and this game will come too soon for the returning Theo Walcott, but Danny Welbeck is a welcome addition to a team that needed a striker.

Aaron Ramsey and Alexis Sanchez are the go to players for fantasy managers in the Arsenal team and Welbeck can probably be added to that list as long as he plays.

City were poor in their defeat at home to Stoke in their last game and need to take something from this game. They have the squad to cope with any injury problems and almost all of their players are available. They haven't been at their best so far though and the contribution of Yaya Toure has come nowhere near his magnificent efforts of last season.

With Toure misfiring it looks like Seegio Aguero and David Silva could be the best fantasy options in the City team.

A draw is the most likely outcome of this game despite both teams really needing to win, but I think Arsenal might just edge it.

Prediction: 2-1

Chelsea v Swansea City

3pm BST, Stamford Bridge, London

Chelsea have won their first three league games and scored 11 goals in the process. They might have conceded three at Everton in their last game, but they scored six and are looking like title favourites already. They have only lost one home league game under Jose Mourinho ever and they have the squad strength to last the pace this season.

Diego Costa, Cesc Fabregas and Branislav Ivanovic are the outstanding Chelsea players for fantasy managers so far while all of their defenders have to be considered too along with Eden Hazard.

Swansea have matched Chelsea by winning their first three games and have only conceded one goal in the process. They have already won away to United, but this will be a much tougher task for them. They have been impressive in those three wins, but they will do well to get anything out of this game.

Gylfi Siggurdsen and Nathan Dyer have been in flying form for Swansea so far with all of their defenders doing well too, but that might change for this game at least.

In the battle of the current top two I think Swansea will give Chelsea a run for their money, but Chelsea will take the three points.

Prediction: 2-1

Crystal Palace v Burnley

3pm BST, Selhurst Park, London

Palace got their first point in their last game away to Newcastle and will see this game as an ideal opportunity to build on that. They had a good home record last season and were good defensively too and they need to rediscover that form under Neil Warnock. They haven't had too many problems scoring this season though and that might just help to keep them up.

Jason Puncheon and Dwight Gayle look the best fantasy bets in the Palace team at the moment and Wilfried Zaha might not do too badly either.

Burnley took a good point at home to United in their last game, but they are finding goals hard to come by. No matter how well they perform defensively they will struggle if they can't find a killer instinct. They're favourites to go straight back to the Championship and they will do very well to stay up.

It's not easy to see any Burnley players excelling for fantasy managers at the moment although Scott Arfield has the potential to do reasonably well.

I think this could be a very close game, but Palace will probably just edge it.

Prediction: 1-0

Southampton v Newcastle United

3pm BST, St. Mary's Stadium, Southampton

Southampton got their first win under Ronald Koeman in their last game and they looked pretty good too. There has been a lot of change at the club this summer, but the signs are they will still be a force to be reckoned with. They had a very good home record last season and will be favourites to win this game.

Nathaniel Clyne has being doing quite well for Southampton recently and maybe Graziano Pelle will make his mark now that he has his first goal.

Newcastle got their first goals of the season at home to Palace in their last game, but they could only manage a 3-3 draw. Their form since the turn of the year has been awful and they will struggle if they don't improve. They had looked stable at the back until Palace put three past them and they will find it hard to break down this Southampton defence.

I can't see any Newcastle players setting the fantasy world alight at the moment.

I think Southampton should be good enough to take the three points in this game.

Prediction: 2-0

Stoke City v Leicester City

3pm BST, Brittania Stadium, Stoke

Stoke had a great win away to champions City in their last game after a disappointing start to their season. They're usually very tough to beat at home despite losing on the opening day and will fancy their chances against a newly promoted team. If they're going to improve on their best ever Premier League finish of last season this is the type of game they need to win.

As usual it's Stoke defenders who are looking good for fantasy managers with Ryan Shawcross and Erik Pieters looking good at the moment.

Leicester have done very well to take two points from three very tough opening games. They have shown they won't be easy to beat and can make chances and score goals too. If they can perform as well against the Premier League's lesser teams they have a very good chance of staying up.

Leonardo Ulloa has been the Leicester player performing the best for fantasy managers so far.

I think Leicester will run Stoke very close but Stoke will win by one goal.

Prediction: 1-0

Sunderland v Tottenham Hotspur

3pm BST, Stadium of Light, Sunderland 

Sunderland dodged a bullet last season by avoiding relegation and will want to make sure they don't spend the season fighting against it again. They haven't won any of their first three games but they have managed to draw two of them. They're not an easy team to beat, but they need to get that first win under their belts as soon as possible.

Seb Larsson has been the best fantasy performer so far for Sunderland but it's not easy to see which players will do well for them this season.

Spurs had looked very good in winning their first two games, but they were taken apart at home by Liverpool in their last game. They had a very good record against the teams outside the top seven last season and will want to continue that form this season. It won't be easy for them though with Europa League football to play on Thursday night's yet again.

Eric Dier has been the outstanding fantasy performer for Spurs so far, but surely Christian Eriksen will do well as the season progresses.

It's hard to pick a winner in this game and Inthink it might end in a draw.

Prediction: 1-1

West Bromwich Albion v Everton

3pm BST, The Hawthorns, Birmingham 

West Brom took two points from their first two games and looked to be playing well until they came up against Swansea in their last game. They are one of the favourites to go down this season and it looks like it will be a long hard struggle for them. If they going to stay up they will need to get as many points as possible at home, but it won't be easy for them in this game.

Sadia Berahino did very well in West Brom's first game, but none of their players have done much for fantasy managers since and don't look like doing much either.

Everton find themselves with only two points after some tough fixtures to start their season and now they have to deal with Europa League football too. They took most of their points at home last season and haven't strengthened too much after splashing their cash to make the loan deal for Romelu Lukaku permanent. If they're going to have any influence at the right end of the table this is the type of game they need to win.

Seamus Coleman and Leighton Baines will always do well for Everton while Steven Naismith is in great form at the moment.

I think this game will be very close but Everton's firepower will probably swing it their way.

Prediction: 1-2

Liverpool v Aston Villa

5.30pm BST, Anfield, Liverpool

Liverpool bounced back from their defeat against City with a 3-0 stroll away to Spurs. They will have to do without Daniel Sturridge for the next few weeks though which leaves the unpredictable Mario Balotelli with most of the goalscoring duties. They are a very good attacking team and are hard to beat at home which will make them firm favourites in this game.

With Sturridge injured it looks like Raheem Sterling and Steven Gerrard could be the Liverpool players to have with Balotelli worth considering too.

Villa have started the season very well and taken seven points from their first three games while conceding only one goal. They have a very tough run of games coming up though and they might well be glad they have those seven points in a few weeks. If they are to get anything from this game they will have to defend well and break quickly and that's the game which suits them best.

Andreas Weimann has been impressive in Villa's first three games and their defenders have been too, but they have a tough run coming up and those defenders would be better off avoided for fantasy managers.

I think Liverpool should have more than enough to beat Villa even with Sturridge missing.

Prediction: 3-1

Sunday September 14

Manchester United v Queens Park Rangers

4pm BST, Old Trafford, Manchester

United have spent a fortune in the transfer market and Luis van Gaal will have to show he has a team that can win things. They have only two points and two goals in their first three games despite the striking talent they had available before deadline day. Their home form wasn't good enough last season and they lost their first home game against Swansea, but surely this game will have a different outcome.

With so many strikers to choose from it's not easy to know which United players to opt for, but Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie, Radamel Falcao and Angel Di Maria are all sure to do well this season.

QPR got their first win and their first goal in their last game and they will look to build on that. A trip to free spending United with all of their new players on display might not be an ideal opportunity for them to do so though. They will do well to come away from this game with their pride intact.

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

Surely United will have enough class to blow QPR away even if they haven't "adapted" to Van Gall's system yet.

Prediction: 3-0

Monday September 15

Hull City v West Ham United

8pm BST, KC Stadium, Hull

Hull don't have the distraction of Europa League football to worry about any more and they can concentrate on staying safely in mid table. They were good defensively at home last season and will look to continue that record this season. If they can do that they look to have enough to achieve a similar position to last season.

Allan McGregor and James Chester could be the defensive players to have in the Hull team and I still think Robbie Brady will come good for them too.

West Ham have lost both of their home games, but they did win their only away game at Palace. With Andy Carroll yet again injured they could struggle to play the game Sam Allardyce wants them to play. If things don't go their way over the next few months he might just find himself looking for a new job. 

Mauro Zarate has had a good start to his West Ham career and might not be a bad choice for fantasy managers.

This has the makings of a very close game and I think it will end with honours even.

Prediction: 1-1

That's it for this week.

See you next week.

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