Friday, 18 March 2016

Predictions For Premier League Gameweek 31

It's that time of the week again when I attempt to predict the outcomes of the upcoming Premier League games. I did reasonably well last week and managed to maintain my lead at the top of my predictions league as you can see from the table below. With only eight rounds of games to go I'm starting to believe that I might just manage to win it this season.

NameBadgesThis WeekPTS
 1 (1)  Michael Sheehy 4+25930
 2 (3)  Malcs 4+35745
 3 (4) sensisoccerworld 3+45740
 4 (2)  Wayne Hubbard 5-10730
 5 (5)  Rutland Gooner 6+10675


 
Saturday March 19

Everton v Arsenal

12.45pm GMT, Goodison Park, Liverpool 

Everton surrendered a two goal lead to lose at home to West Ham in their last league game, but they did put Chelsea out of the FA Cup last week. Only Villa have won less home games than Everton and no other club has conceded more home goals than them, but only City have scored more home goals. They have only won three of their last 10 games and have only taken five points from their last eight home games. 

Romelu Lukaku and Aaron Lennon are the Everton players making an impression for fantasy managers at the moment.

Arsenal at least managed a point with 10 men away to Spurs in their last league game, but went out of the FA Cup and Champions League in the last week. Only Spurs and Leicester have taken more away points than Arsenal and only Leicester have scored more away goals than them. They have only won two of their last nine league games and a defeat in this game will end any slim hopes they have of catching Leicester.

Mesut Ozil and Danny Welbeck look the like the only Arsenal players who can perform for fantasy managers right now.

Arsenal quite simply have to win this game and I think they will just sneak it.

Prediction: 1-2

Chelsea v West Ham United

3pm GMT, Stamford Bridge, London

Chelsea could only draw their last league game at home to Stoke and they have gone out of the Champions League and FA Cup since then. They have only won five of their 15 home games, but only City and Everton have scored more goals on their own patch. They are unbeaten in their last 13 league games, but they have drawn seven of those games.

Branislav Ivanovic has looked good for fantasy managers recently, but Chelsea's current best performer is Diego Costa and he's suspended for this game and maybe more to follow.

West Ham came from two down to win 3-2 away to Everton in their last game and they're closing in quickly on the top four. They have only lost four of their 15 away games and only four other teams have scored more goals on the road. They have only lost two of their last 16 league games and have won seven of their last 11.

Michail Antonio and Dimitri Payet are doing really well for fantasy managers at the moment and they should have at least one of them in their team.

I think this will be a very close game and will probably end with the points shared.

Prediction: 1-1

Crystal Palace v Leicester City

3pm GMT, Selhurst Park, London

Palace lost their last league game with the last kick of the game at home to Liverpool, but they did win through to the FA Cup semi finals last week. Only Villa have won less home games than Palace while only Watford, Swansea and Villa have scored less goals at home. They haven't won any of their last 12 league games and haven't kept a clean sheet in their last 10.

Palace players aren't exactly setting the world alight for fantasy managers at the moment.

Leicester beat Newcastle with their only effort on target on Monday night to maintain their five point lead at the top of the table. They have won more away games, scored more away goals and taken more away points than any other team in the league. They have only lost one of their last 12 league games and have kept clean sheets in eight of those games.

Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy are the attacking players to have for fantasy managers in the Leicester team at the moment, but their defenders have been the real stars recently.

I think Leicester will move a step closer to the title with a narrow win in this game.

Prediction: 1-2

Watford v Stoke City

3pm GMT, Vicarage Road, Watford

Watford lost their last league game at home to Leicester, but they won their FA Cup quarter final away to Arsenal last week. They have lost more games than they have won at home while only United and Arsenal have conceded less goals at home. They have only won two of their last 12 league games and have failed to score in seven of their last nine.

None of the Watford players have done much for fantasy managers recently, but maybe the upcoming FA Cup semi final will help them rediscover some form.

Stoke lost at home to Southampton last week and they were a little lucky to only lose by one goal. They have won as many games as they have lost on their travels, but no other team in the top half of the table have conceded more goals away from home. Despite their defeat in their last game they have taken 10 points from their last five games, but they have only one clean sheet in their last eight.

Marco Arnautovic has been the Stoke player to have for fantasy managers this season.

I think this will be a close affair with the spoils shared.

Prediction: 1-1

West Bromwich Albion v Norwich City

3pm GMT, The Hawthorns, Birmingham

West Brom won 1-0 at home to United in their last game and they were good value for that win even if United did play much of the game with only 10 men. They have won six of their 15 home games, but they have conceded more goals than they have scored at home. They have taken 10 points from their last four games and kept clean sheets in two of those games too.

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

Norwich got a hard earned point at home to City last week to give them some hope in their attempt to avoid the drop. They have lost 11 of their 15 away games with only Sunderland and Newcastle conceding more away goals. They have only taken two points from their last 10 games and they failed to score in six of those games while conceding 22 goals.

I can't see any Norwich players who might make a difference for fantasy managers at the moment.

I think West Brom should get the better of Norwich and take the three points.

Prediction: 2-1

Swansea City v Aston Villa

5.30pm GMT, Liberty Stadium, Swansea

Swansea were beaten 3-2 away to Bournemouth last week, but they can surely dispel any remaining relegation doubts with a win in this game. They have won as many games as they have lost at home with only Villa and Watford scoring less goals at home. They have only lost three of their last nine games and have only failed to score once in their last 11.

Gylfi Sigurdsson has been in great form for fantasy managers in recent weeks and is certainly worth considering.

Villa lost 2-0 at home to Spurs last week and it could have been an awful lot more. They have only won once in their 15 away games with only Newcastle scoring less goals on their travels. They have lost their last five games in which they have only scored two goals and conceded 17.

There are no Villa players to remotely interest fantasy managers.

I can't see anything other than a Swansea win in this game.

Prediction: 2-0

Sunday March 20

Newcastle United v Sunderland 

1.30pm GMT, St. James' Park, Newcastle 

Newcastle lost 1-0 away to Leicester on Monday night, but they will move above Sunderland and out of the relegation zone if they win this game unless Norwich win at West Brom. They have only won four of their 14 home games, but they have scored more home goals than any team in the bottom eight. They have lost six of their last seven games and failed to score in three of those games.

Georginio Wijnaldum had been doing well for Newcastle in home games at least, but he hasn't done much recently and it's probably best for fantasy managers to avoid Newcastle players.

Sunderland got a good point away to Southampton in their last game, but they almost took all three and still look the most likely of the bottom four to stay up. They have only won two of their 15 away games and have conceded more away goals than any other team. They have only lost three of their last 10 games, but they haven't kept a clean sheet in their last 15.

Despite Sunderland looking like staying up I still don't think there are any of their players to interest fantasy managers.

This is a game which could go either way and I think a draw is the most likely outcome.

Prediction: 2-2

Southampton v Liverpool

1.30pm GMT, St. Mary's Stadium, Southampton 

Southampton got a good win away to Stoke last week to put an end to their recent bad run. They have won seven of their 15 home games and only four other teams have scored more goals at home. They have only lost twice in their last 10 games and have kept clean sheets in six of them although not in their last four games.

Southampton's defenders have done well for fantasy managers recently even if they haven't done so in the last few weeks.

Liverpool left it very late but they won their last league game away to Palace. Only the top two have won more away games than Liverpool and only the top three have scored more away goals than them. They have won their last three league games and have scored 18 goals in their last six.

Riberto Friminio and Phillippe Coutinho look like the Liverpool players most likely to make a difference for fantasy managers.

This is a game which could go either way, but a draw is probably the most likely outcome.

Prediction: 1-1

Manchester City v Manchester United

4pm GMT, Etihad Stadium, Manchester 

City could only draw 0-0 away to Norwich last week and their chances of winning the league are as slim as you can get.They have won more home games and scored more home goals than any other team although they have also lost four of their 15 home games. They have only won once in their last five league games and have still not won back to back league games since October.

Sergio Aguero still has to be a must have for fantasy managers while Yaya Toure has done well recently too as have City's defenders.

United lost their last league game away to West Brom after Juan Mata was sent off, but they're still only four points outside the top four. Only the bottom five teams have lost more away games than United and only six other teams have conceded more goals on the road. They have only won five of their last 16 league games, but they have won four of their last eight.

It's hard to see which United players to recommend to fantasy managers at the moment.

Despite their poor away record I think United will manage to get a point off City.

Prediction: 1-1

Tottenham Hotspur v Bournemouth 

4pm GMT, White Hart Lane, London

Spurs won 2-0 away to Villa last week to keep up the pressure on Leicester at the top of the table. Only Leicester and City have won more home games than Spurs with only City and Everton scoring more home goals. They have taken 22 points from their last nine games and are probably the only team with a realistic chance of catching Leicester.

Harry Kane, Dele Alli and the Spurs defenders all continue to impress for fantasy managers.

Bournemouth won 3-2 at home to Swansea last week and they must be safe now with 13 points to spare over the bottom three. They have taken as many points on the road as they have at home, but only the bottom four have conceded more away goals. They have won their last three league games and five of their last nine.

Josh King, Matt Richie, Charlie Daniels and Steve Cook have all done well recently for fantasy managers.

Despite Bournemouth's good recent away form I think Spurs will have too much for them and win by a couple of goals. 

Prediction: 3-1

That's it for this week.

See you next week.

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