Thursday, 18 December 2014

Predictions For Premier League Gameweek 17

It's that time of the week again when I attempt to predict the outcomes of the upcoming Premier League games. I did pretty well last week with three perfect scorelines, four correct outcomes and three incorrect to retain my lead at the top of my predictions league. Here's a look at how the table in that league stands at the moment.

NC 1 (1)Michael Sheehy905+1155
NC 2 (2)goonerdhanesh845+1150
NC 3 (3)Wayne Hubbard745+255
NC 4 (4)sodobo710+1400
NC 5 (5)Rutland Gooner640+1000

Saturday December 20

Manchester City v Crystal Palace

12.45pm GMT, Etihad Stadium, Manchester

City have the chance to join Chelsea at the top of the table for a couple of days at least if they can win this game. They scraped a win at Leicester last week and will find goals hard to come by with Sergio Aguero injured until the new year. After a poor start at home they have won their last four home games in a row and will be big favourites to make it five.

With Aguero out David Silva, Yaya Toure and maybe even Samir Nasri are the players to possibly watch for fantasy managers.

Palace have only won once in their last 10 games and are only one point above the relegation zone. They have only won once in their eight away games and will have their work cut out to get anything out of this game. They have only lost three of their away games though and have scored more goals away from home than at home.

Mile Jedinak is the Palace player most likely to succeed for fantasy managers.

Despite Aguero's absence I still think City have more than enough to win by a couple of goals.

Prediction: 2-0

Aston Villa v Manchester United

3pm GMT, Villa Park, Birmingham 

Villa have only won two of their seven home games and they're the lowest scorers in the league at home too. Last week's defeat to West Brom was their first defeat in six games, but they have failed to score in half of their 16 league games. They're suited to playing on the break and might just get the chance to do so in this game.

I can't see any Villa players setting the world of fantasy football alight right now although Brad Guzan hasn't done too badly.

United have won their last six league games despite a dodgy defence as they have been clinical in front of goal. There is talk of them having a chance in the title race, but I very much doubt that and a top four finish is the height of their capabilities. United have won their last two away games after failing to win any of their first five and have conceded more than they have scored on the road.

Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata are all well worth having for fantasy managers right now.

I think United will continue their winning streak against a Villa team who struggle at home.

Prediction: 1-3

 Hull City v Swansea City

3pm GMT, KC Stadium, Hull

Hull have only won once at home this season and no other team has taken less points at home so far. They have slipped into the relegation zone after failing to win any of their last nine games and they didn't score in six of those games. Only Burnley and Sunderland have scored less goals than Hull and they will continue to struggle if they can't find the net more often. 

I can't see any Hull players making a real impression for fantasy managers at the moment.

Swansea have made a bit of a habit of losing games after taking the lead. They have only won once in their last five games and haven't won away from home since beating United on the opening day. They will still fancy their chances against Hull though and who could blame them right now.

Wilfried Bony is the Swansea player most likely to perform for fantasy managers at the moment with Gylfi Sigurdsson worth considering too.

This looks like it will be a close affair and a draw is the most likely outcome.

Prediction: 1-1

Queens Park Rangers v West Bromwich Albion

3pm GMT, Loftus Road, London

QPR slipped back into the bottom three after losing away to Everton on Monday night and they have lost all of their away league games this season. They have fared better at home though with four wins in their eight home games. Only five other teams have won more home games and that home form will be vital if they are to have a chance of staying up.

Charlie Austin is back from suspension and is a good fantasy choice when QPR are at home in particular.

West Brom got a much needed win at home to Villa last week after Villa got an early red card. They have taken four points in their last two games to move three points clear of the relegation zone, but they have only scored two goals in their last six games. No other team has scored less goals away from home, but West Brom have also got the joint best defensive record on the road.

I can't see any West Brom players to recommend to fantasy managers right now.

I think QPR's home form should be good enough to see them take the three points. 

Prediction: 3-1

Southampton v Everton

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

Southampton have fallen sharply and have lost their last four league games as well as losing to Sheffield United in the Capital One Cup. They have struggled in front of goal too with only six goals in their last eight games since they put eight past Sunderland. They have won five of their eight home games though with only Chelsea and United scoring more goals at home.

Until they turn things around Southampton players don't look like good fantasy purchases.

Everton beat QPR on Monday night and it was a much needed victory with a top four place as their target this season. They have only won twice away from home so far though and their victory on Monday was only their second win in seven league games. They're seven points off the top four and need to put a good run together to stay in touch.

Kevin Mirallas has looked good in recent weeks for fantasy managers (although he could be injured) while Leighton Bsines and Romelu Lukaku are always worth considering too.

Despite Southampton's poor recent run I think they might get a draw in this game.

Prediction: 1-1

Tottenham Hotspur v Burnley

3pm GMT, White Hart Lane, London

Spurs have won four of their last seven games by the same 2-1 scoreline and they came from behind in each of those games. No other team has lost more games at home than Spurs though and they have only scored nine goals in their eight home games. Despite their poor home form they're only four points off the top four and through to the semi finals of the Capital One Cup too. 

Christian Eriksen looks like a very good fantasy choice at the moment and Harry Kane isn't too bad either.

Burnley have only won once in seven away games with only QPR and West Brom scoring less goals on their travels. They have taken 11 points in their last six games to move out of the bottom three and give themselves some hope of staying up. They will think they have a chance against a Spurs team who have struggled at home, but it will be tough for them to get anything from this game.

Danny Ings is good reasonably priced option for fantasy managers while Tom Heaton continues to pile up the points in goal for Burnley. 

Spurs home form may not be good but they should still have enough to win this game.

Prediction: 2-0

West Ham United v Leicester City

3pm GMT, Upton Park, London

West Ham could only take a point away to Sunderland last week in a game they could easily have won. They have taken 10 points from their last four games and have only lost one of their last 10 games. Only Chelsea and United have won more home games than West Ham and they are deserving of their fourth place in the table.

Stewart Downing is still the best fantasy choice in the West Ham team wilth Andy Carroll and Diafra Sakho to be considered too.

Leicester are five points from safety at the foot of the table and need to find a way to reverse their current dreadful run of results. They have only taken two points in their last 11 games and have failed to score in seven of those games. They have lost seven of their eight away games with only QPR and West Brom scoring less goals on the road.

I can't see any Leicester players making an impression for fantasy managers right now.

I think West Ham should be more than good enough to win this game.

Prediction: 2-0

Sunday December 21

Newcastle United v Sunderland 

1.30pm GMT, St. James Park, Newcastle 

Newcastle were well beaten by Arsenal last week and Spurs in the Capital One Cup in midweek, but they have been impressive for quite a while now. They have only lost once at home in their seven matches and have won their last four home games. Those four games were all won by one goal only and they kept clean sheets in all of them except for the 2-1 win over Chelsea.

Papiss Cisse can be a good fantasy option when he's on his game and has done well in recent weeks.

Sunderland are the draw specialists of the Premier League and will stay close to the wrong end of the table as long as they draw so often. They have only lost as many games as fourth placed West Ham, but they have drawn 10 of their 16 games. They have only lost once in their last seven league games and have only lost two of their seven away games so far.

Costel Pantilimon has done well since taking over in goal for Sunderland and is worth including for fantasy managers.

It's never easy to predict derby games, but I think Newcastle might just edge this one.

Prediction: 2-1

Liverpool v Arsenal

4pm GMT, Anfield, Liverpool

Liverpool have only won two of their last eight league games and have failed to score in four of those games. They have only won three of their eight home games and only Villa have scored less goals at home. The midweek Capital One Cup victory might be the boost they need to turn their season around, but they will have to improve in defence if they are to have any chance of pushing for a top four place.

It's not easy to pick Liverpool players for fantasy managers at the moment, but they will surely come good at some stage with Raheem Sterling and Steven Gerrard the most likely suspects.

Arsenal are very much an up and down team this season, but their win over Newcastle leaves them only two points outside the top four. They have a huge list of injuries at the moment and could find the festive period difficult if they can't get some of those injured players back. They have won three of their last four league games, but have only managed to win three of their eight away games.

Alexis Sanchez continues to make himself a must have player for fantasy managers while Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla have hit good form in recent games.

Liverpool need to get a result in this game, but I think Arsenal might just sneak it.

Prediction: 1-2

Monday December 22

Stoke City v Chelsea

8pm GMT, Britannia Stadium, Stoke

Stoke have won three and lost three of their seven home games and have only managed nine goals in those games. They have won at home to both City and Arsenal though as they have saved their best performances for games against the top teams. They will be hard pushed to get anything from this game, but they have done so before and can do it again. 

Stoke seem to share their achievements out among the team and as a result none of their players have been too impressive for fantasy managers.

Chelsea got back to winning ways at home to Hull last week after the disappointment at Newcastle the previous week. Only City have won more away games and scored more away goals than Chelsea, but they have only won once in their last four away games. They could find themselves off the top of the table before this game if City can put Palace to the sword on Saturday and their reaction if that is the case will be interesting.

Eden Hazard is the Chelsea player to have at the moment although he does his best work at home while Diego Costa, Cesc Fabregas and all of their defenders are decent purchases too.

Despite their good performances against the better teams in the league I still think Stoke will lose this game.

Prediction: 1-3

That's it for this week.

See you next week.

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