Friday, 21 August 2015

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 didn't do too well last week with one perfect scoreline, three correct outcomes and six incorrect. It means I'm down to fourth in my predictions league as you can see from the table below and I'm already a long way behind the leaders.

Hopefully I can improve over the coming weeks and put up a challenge at least. It's free to play for anyone who wants to join in and the details can be found at the end of this post.

POSPlayer NameBadgesThis WeekPTS
 1 (2)  Rutland Gooner 1+120145
 2 (5)  Wayne Hubbard 1+140130
 3 (4)  Malcs +5050
 4 (3)  Michael Sheehy +2545
 5 (1)  goonerdhanesh -400

Saturday August 22

Manchester United v Newcastle United

12.45pm BST, Old Trafford, Manchester 

United have won their first two games by the same 1-0 scoreline and bored us all in the process. I have been completely unimpressed by them in those two games, but it's hard to argue with two wins and two clean sheets. A home game against Newcastle should give them the opportunity to extend that run to three wins.

At the moment United's defensive players look the best bet for fantasy players with Chris Smalling costing more than the others.

Newcastle looked promising in taking a point at home to Southampton in their first game, but were well beaten by Swansea last week. It's still not easy to know which way their season will go, but the signs aren't too promising at the moment. A trip to United won't be easy for them and they will do well to get anything out of this game.

Papiss Cisse is probably the Newcastle player most likely to succeed for fantasy managers, but maybe not in this game.

I can't see anything other than a win for United in this game and they might even score more than one goal too.

Prediction: 2-0

Crystal Palace v Aston Villa

3pm BST, Selhurst Park, London 

Palace had a good win away to Norwich in their opening game and gave Arsenal a hard game on Sunday, but they lost 2-1. They have been impressive in attack, but they do look vulnerable at the back and there could be a lot of goals in their games. They have better results away from home than at home under Alan Pardew, but they will still fancy themselves to win this game.

Yohan Cabaye and Wilfried Zaha look like the best fantasy bets in the Palace team at the moment, but they could easily be joined by Jason Puncheon and others.

Villa lost at home to United last week and they barely managed a shot in anger in the game. They did win away to Bournemouth in their first game, but again they didn't offer much in attack in that game and it's hard to see where their goals will come from this season. There are a lot of new players to bed in, but the departure of Christian Benteke could cost them their Premier League place.

I don't see which Villa players might impress for fantasy managers at the moment, but that might change as their new players settle in.

I think Palace should have enough in attack to win this game by a couple of goals.

Prediction: 3-1

Leicester City v Tottenham Hotspur 

3pm BST, King Power Stadium, Leicester

Leicester are just off the top of the league with two wins from two games and six goals scored in the process. They have conceded three goals in those games though and they could be another team with plenty of goals in their games this season. They will think they have every chance of continuing their great start to the season in this game.

Riyad Mahrez and Marc Albrighton are supplying plenty of points for fantasy managers at the moment while Shinji Okazaki and Jamie Vardy are worth considering too.

Spurs have only one point from their first two games and need to get their first win under their belts. They did well on their travels last season and were a little lucky to lose their first away game to an own goal against United. They will see this as a good chance to get that first win, but they will have their work cut out against a Leicester team on the up.

I think this will be a very close game which could go either way and it might just end in a draw.

Prediction: 2-2

Norwich City v Stoke City

3pm BST, Carrow Road, Norwich

Norwich bounced back from their opening day defeat at home to Palace by winning away to Sunderland last week. They have played well and created chances in those two games and more of the same will give them every chance of staying up. It won't be easy for them against Stoke, but they have shown they are willing to give it a go and have every chance of getting something from this game.

Nathan Redmond and Wes Hoolohan have started well for Norwich and are worth considering at a very good price for fantasy managers.

Stoke got a good point away to Spurs last week after unluckily losing their first game at home to Liverpool. The arrival of Xherdan Shaqiri was a big boost for Stoke and he could be set to make his debut in this game. A trip to a newly promoted team offers Stoke a chance for their first win of the season and they will be anxious to take that chance.

Shaqiri looks like he might not be the worst choice for fantasy managers when he settles in.

This has the makings of another very close game and I think it will end in another draw.

Prediction: 2-2

Sunderland v Swansea City

3pm BST, Stadium of Light, Sunderland 

Sunderland were beaten away to Leicester in their first game and then at home by newly promoted Norwich last week. They barely escaped relegation last season and they could find it even harder to stay up this time. At least they're scoring goals, but seven goals conceded in two games is too much and Swansea could give them a tough time.

I can't see any Sunderland players setting the fantasy world alight, but Jeremain Lens and Jermain Defoe might do well as long as Sunderland keep scoring.

Swansea got a good point away to Chelsea and followed that with a home win against Newcastle. They look like they could do just as well as, if not better than, last season. A trip to already struggling Sunderland gives them an opportunity to extend their unbeaten start to the season and keep right up with the pace setters.

Andre Ayew looks a very good fantasy purchase at the moment along with Bafetimbi Gomis and the Swansea defenders should be considered too.

I think Swansea will be more than good enough to win this game.

Prediction: 1-3

West Ham United v Bournemouth  

3pm BST, Upton Park, London

West Ham got a very good win away to Arsenal in their first game, but they lost at home to Leicester last week. With a move to the Olympic stadium next season they need to have a secure season and their home form could be crucial for that. A home game against a newly promoted team who have lost both of their games so far gives them the ideal chance to get their first three points on their own patch.

Dimitri Payet looks like he could be a good purchase for fantasy managers this season.

Bournemouth have lost their first two games by the same 1-0 scoreline and are already looking like life in the top flight will be a hard struggle for them. They scored goals for fun last season, but have failed to find the net so far and have rarely looked like doing so. They need to get something from this game or they could find themselves getting cut adrift at a very early stage.

At the moment I can't see any Bournemouth players to interest fantasy managers until they at least start scoring goals.

I don't think West Ham will have it all their own way in this game, but I do think they will win.

Prediction: 2-1

Sunday August 23

West Bromwich Albion v Chelsea

1.30pm BST, The Hawthorns, Birmingham 

West Brom were well beaten at home to City in their opening game and had to fight hard to get a 0-0 draw at Watford last week. They have failed to score so far and they won't find that easy to put right in this game. A defeat would leave them in a tricky position, but they will give their all to try to get something from this game.

Boaz Myhill is available at a good price for fantasy managers and usually does quite well too.

Chelsea haven't started the defence of their title too well with only one point from their first two games. After luckily drawing at home to Swansea they were well beaten away to City and they have already shipped five goals in two games. They can't afford to let the pace setters get too far ahead and this is a game they really have to win.

Chelsea defenders are usually very reliable for fantasy managers and they will surely prove to be in the long term while players such as Diego Costa, Eden Hazard and Cesc Fabregas will come good too.

I think West Brom will put it up to Chelsea, but the points will just about go to the away team.

Prediction: 1-2

Everton v Manchester City

4pm BST, Goodison Park, Liverpool

Everton could only draw at home to Watford in their opening game, but they bounced back with a very good 3-0 win away to Southampton last week. With no European football to contend with they will hope to fare a lot better than last season when they finished in the bottom half of the table. A home game against a City team who are off to a great start will be a real test of exactly how good Everton are.

Ross Barkley continues to impress for fantasy managers at the moment while both Romelu Lukaku and Arouna Kone have done well too.

City won 3-0 away to West Brom in their first game andt then beat the reigning champions by the same score last week. They look up for the task right from the start this season and will want to open up as large a gap as possible over Chelsea in particular. They won't have it all their own way in this game, but they have to be favourites to win it.

David Silva looks like a must have player for fantasy managers while Seegio Aguero, Yaya Toure and Vincent Kompany aren't far off that mark either.

I think Everton will give City a run for their money, but City look very good at the moment and will take all three points.

Prediction: 1-3

Watford v Southampton 

4pm BST, Vicarage Road, Watford

Watford have drawn their first two games and are giving themselves every chance of reaching their goal of staying up. I mentioned last week that there could be a lot of goals in their games and of course they went and drew 0-0 with West Brom. They will feel they have a good chance of getting their first win against a Southampton team who were well beaten at home by Everton last week.

Troy Deeney is available at a good price and he's not the worst choice as a back up striker for fantasy managers.

Southampton got a good point away to Newcastle in their first game, but they were well beaten at home by Everton last week. They could only draw at home in the Europa League on Thursday night and need to win away in Denmark next Thursday to progress to the group stages. They did very well last season after losing key players, but so far that formula isn't working out this season. 

Graziano Pelle and Sadio Mane are possibly the best fantasy choices in the Southampton team while Jay Rodriguez is worth considering too not that he's back from injury.

It's not easy to know which way this game will go and a draw is probably the most likely outcome.

Prediction: 1-1

Monday August 24

Arsenal v Liverpool

8pm BST, Emirates Stadium, London 

Arsenal bounced back from their opening day disappointment by winning away to Palace last week. If they're going to put in a challenge for the title they need to find consistency and to win games like this against the top teams. It won't be easy for them at home to Liverpool, but they will be favourites to take the three points.

Alexis Sanchez is probably the best fantasy bet in the Arsenal team with Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud to be considered too.

Liverpool have been far from impressive in their opening two games, but they have six points out of six after two 1-0 wins. Their goal this season is a top four finish and ugly wins are part and parcel of achieving that goal. This will be a much tougher task for them though and they will do well to get anything out of it.

Christian Benteke looks like the Liverpool player most likely to score fantasy points, but their defenders have to be considered too if they can keep up their current form.

I think this will be another very close game and Arsenal will probably just about manage to sneak a win.

Prediction: 2-1

As usual this season my fantasy league is up and running again and it's open to all comers with a €50 prize (out of my pocket) to the winner. You can join up by using the league code 48497-14043 after you have set your team up here and good luck to all who play. There were over 1,000 teams in my league last season and there's already more than that signed up for this season.

I'm also running my Predictions League again this season and it's very enjoyable even if there's no cash prize for the winner. The code for my league is FD757-ARR after you have signed up here and of course both games are completely free to play. 

That's it for this week.

See you next week.

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