Thursday, 29 January 2015

Predictions For Premier League Gameweek 23

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 too well last week with no perfect outcomes, five correct outcomes and five incorrect. It means I keep my place at the top of my predictions league, but there are plenty of people closing in behind me as you can see from the table below.

NC 1 (1)Michael Sheehy1095+200
NC 2 (2)goonerdhanesh1055+100
NC 3 (3)sodobo990+405
NC 4 (4)Wayne Hubbard985+1105
NC 5 (5)Rutland Gooner980+1705

Saturday Janurary 31

Hull City v Newcastle United

12.45pm GMT, KC Stadium, Hull

Hull are still in the relegation zone and their biggest problem is their lack of goals. They won their last home game against Everton, but that was their first win in six home games and they failed to score in four of those games. No other team has taken less points at home than Hull and only Villa have scored less goals at home.

I can't see any Hull players to interest fantasy managers at the moment.

Newcastle have appointed John Carver as caretaker manager until the end of the season and look like they won't trouble the events at either end of the table. They have lost five of their last seven games though and have lost their last three away from home. They have only won two of their 11 away games with only QPR and Burnley conceding more goals on the road.

Papiss Cisse had looked good for Newcastle before going to the ACN and he could be a good choice for fantasy managers once he's up to playing.

This game isn't easy to predict, but I have a feeling a draw is the most likely outcome.

Prediction: 1-1

Crystal Palace v Everton

3pm GMT, Selhurst Park, London 

Palace have looked like a different team since Alan Pardew took the reins and have quickly moved four points clear of the relegation zone. They are unbeaten in four league games and have won their last two as well as progressing to the fifth round of the FA Cup. They have only won three of their 11 home games, but that statistic could change quickly under Pardew if the early signs are anything to go by.

I think Jason Puncheon has looked very good so far under Pardew and might not be a bad fantasy choice.

Everton are still far too close to the relegation zone for their own good and are only ahead of Palace on goal difference. They have only won twice in their 11 away games and only three other teams have conceded more goals away from home. They have only won once in their last 10 league games and have failed to score in five of them. 

As long as Everton continue to struggle it's hard for fantasy managers to pick their players, but surely Leighton Baines and Romelu Lukaku will come good soon.

I think this will be another very close encounter and might just end with the spoils shared too.

Prediction: 2-2

Liverpool v West Ham United

3pm GMT, Anfield, Liverpool

Liverpool went out of the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night after the game went to extra time. They played well though and have looked a lot better in recent weeks and are unbeaten in their last six league games. Despite only winning four of their 11 home games they're only five points off the top four and still have Champions League ambitions.

Raheem Sterling is the player most likely to perform for fantasy managers in the Liverpool team, but that could change with Daniel Sturridge due back from injury.

West Ham are still just behind the top four and they don't look like they're going away. They have only won three of their 10 away games, but only three teams have scored more away goals than West Ham. They have some tough games coming up and their chances of a Europa League spot will be a lot clearer after their next four games.

Stewart Diwning continues to impress for West Ham while Andy Carroll and Diafra Sakho are good fantasy choices too.

A resurgent Liverpool will have their work cut out against a good West Ham team with fatigue a possible factor for them, but I think they will just win.

Prediction: 2-1

Manchester United v Leicester City

3pm GMT, Old Trafford, Manchester 

United won their last league game away to QPR and it was their first win in four league games. They have won eight of their 11 home games and only Chelsea have won more at home. They're still in the top four, but only just with quite a few teams breathing down their necks.

It's not easy to predict which United players will do well from week to week, but surely one of Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Angel Di Maria is worth a shot for fantasy managers.

Leicester have improved a lot in recent weeks, but they're still rooted to the foot of the table. They lost their last game at home to Stoke after taking seven points from their previous three games and they have some very hard fixtures in their next six games. They have only won two of their 11 away games and have lost eight and they will do very well to get anything out of this game.

Despite their recent improvement it's still not was to pick Leicester players for fantasy managers.

I think Leicester will make a game of this, but United's attacking proess should be too much for them.

Prediction: 3-1

Stoke City v Queens Park Rangers

3pm GMT, Britannia Stadium, Stoke

Stoke are just about in the top half of the table and they will be looking to improve on that before the season ends. They have taken 10 points from their last five games, but their home form is still nowhere near what it has been in recent seasons. Over the next few weeks they have some very winnable fixtures and the chance to make the progress they desire.

Despite their recent good form there are no Stoke players performing well enough to recommend to fantasy managers.

QPR have slipped back into the relegation zone and they could find it hard to get out of it again. They have lost every single one of their 10 away games and have the worst defensive record away from home. They haven't won in their last five league games and only Villa have scored less goals than QPR away from home.

Charlie Austin has been QPR's best fantasy option by far this season but the goals have dried up in recent weeks and Leroy Fer hasn't looked too bad either.

It's hard to see anything other than a home win and more woe for QPR in this game.

Prediction: 2-1

Sunderland v Burnley

3pm GMT, Stadium of Light. Sunderland

Sunderland are the draw specialists of the league and they will continue to flirt with the relegation zone as long as they remain so. They have lost four of their last five games though and are only a point above the bottom three now. They have won less home games than any other team and only Villa have scored less goals at home.

It's still difficult to see any Sunderland players making a real impression for fantasy managers although Costel Pantillimon continues to do well in goal.

Burnley are level on points with Sunderland and only one goal behind them on goal difference. They have only won once in their 10 away games and only QPR have conceded more goals away from home. Burnley have being finding the net a lot more in recent games with nine goals in their last four games.

Danny Ings is the Burnley player most likely to do well for fantasy managers.

This is a game neither club will want to lose which makes me think it will end in a draw.

Prediction: 1-1

West Bromwich Albion v Tottenham Hotspur 

3pm GMT, The Hawthorns, Birmingham 

West Brom have improved since Tony Pulis took charge and look a lot more likely to stay up now. They have taken five points in their last three games and have only conceded one goal in those games. They have only won three of their 11 home games though and no other team have conceded more goals at home.

Since Pulis took over both Saido Berahino and Victor Anichibe have looked better and could be worth considering for fantasy managers while West Brom's defenders should be monitored too.

Spurs just about scraped through to the Capital One Cup final on Wednesday night and have a Wenbley final to look forward to in four weeks. They have taken 16 points from their last seven games and have won half of their away games. They have become the masters of the 2-1 victory with seven of their last 13 games finishing that way in their favour.

Harry Kane, Christisn Eriksen and Nacer Chadli have all impressed for fantasy managers with Eriksen looking the best of the bunch at the moment.

This will be far from an easy task for Spurs and I think Albion will take at least a point off them.

Prediction: 2-2

Chelsea v Manchester City

5.30pm GMT, Stamford Bridge, London 

Chelsea had to go to extra time before seeing off Liverpool and reaching the Caoital One Cup final on Tuesday night. They have a perfect record at home in the league with 10 wins out of 10 games and they're the joint top scorers at home too. They could be without both Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas for this game and they will be sorely missed if that is the case.

With Costa more than likely suspended for the next three games and Fabregas injured the best fantasy options in the Chelsea team would seem to be Eden Hazard, Oscar and their defenders.

City were beaten at home by Middlesbrough in the cup last week and by Arsenal in the league the previous week. They are now five points behind Chelsea again after playing so well previously to close the gap. They have taken more points away from home than any other team and only Chelsea have scored more goals away from home.

If City are going to keep pace with Chelsea they need Sergio Aguero and David Silva at their best and they haven't been in recent weeks, but they still have to be considered very good fantasy choices.

I think this will be a very close game with the first goal crucial and it might just end in a draw.

Prediction: 1-1

Sunday February 1

Arsenal v Aston Villa

1.30pm GMT, Emirates Stadium, London

Arsenal had a great win away to City in their last league game and they now have the chance to build on that over the next few weeks. They have won four of their last five league games and their last four in a row at home. They're only a point outside the top four and will be pushing the team's above them with some very good players just back from injury.

Alexis Sanchez is still the go to player for fantasy managers in the Arsenal team while Santi Cazorla has been very good in recent weeks.

Villa are still just about staying clear of the relegation battle, but their lack of goals has to be a real worry. They have only taken two points in their last five games and have failed to score in all of those games. They have done very well to get 11 points from their 11 away games considering they have only scored four goals in those games.

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

This is a game Arsenal have to win and I think they will do just that.

Prediction: 2-0

Southampton v Swansea City

4pm GMT, St. Mary's Stadium, Southampton  

Southampton are still third in the table, but they look like their injuries are starting to affect their game. No other team has scored more goals at home and only Chelsea have a better defensive record on their own ground. They have taken 16 points from their last six games and beaten both Arsenal and United in those six games.

Most of Southampton's defenders are pretty good fantasy choices along with Graziano Pelle and maybe Eljero Elia too.

Swansea were put out of the cup by Blackburn last week and thumped by Chelsea in the league the previous week. They have only taken two points from their last four games and conceded 11 goals in those games, but they're still safely in mid table. They have only won two of their 10 away games and have conceded more goals away from home than any other team in the top half of the table.

With Gylfi Sigurdsson suspended for three games and Wilfried Bony sold to City I can't see any Swansea players to write home about.

Despite their injury problems I think Southampton will be good enough at home to win this game.

Prediction: 2-0

That's it for this week.

See you next week.

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