Thursday, 5 May 2016

Predictions For Premier League Gameweek 37

It's that time of the week again when I attempt to predict the outcomes of the upcoming Premier League games. I did quite well last week with three correct scorelines, three correct outcomes and four incorrect. That performance helped me to increase my lead at the top of my Predictions League, as you can see from the table below, and it looks like it's mine to lose at this stage.

BadgesThis WeekPTS
 1 (1)  Michael Sheehy 4+1051370
 2 (2)  Wayne Hubbard 5+801115
 3 (3) sensisoccerworld 3-251000
 4 (4)  Rutland Gooner 6+100975
 5 (6)  samoz 8+205920


 
Saturday May 7

Norwich City v Manchester United

12.45pm BST, Carrow Road, Norwich

Norwich fought hard away to Arsenal last week, but the 1-0 defeat has left them in a perilous position with three games to play. They have only won five of their 17 home games, but they need to get something from their two home games this week to keep their chances of staying up alive. It's looking bleak for Norwich with three defeats in a row and no goals scored in those three games.

I can't see any Norwich players to interest fantasy managers even if they do play twice this week.

United drew at home to Leicester last week and those dropped points have made their hopes of a top four finish slimmer. They have only won six of their 17 away games and no other team in the top half of the table has won less games on the road. They have taken 13 points from their last six games though and have kept a clean sheet in four of those games. 

United's defensive players have done well for fantasy managers, but not so much away from home and they have two away games this week.

I think this will be a close affair, but United will just edge it.

Prediction: 1-2

Aston Villa v Newcastle United

3pm BST, Villa Park, Birmingham 

Villa led away to Watford last week, but lost 3-2 after a red card turned the game in Watford's favour. They have only won two of their 18 home games and no other team has scored less goals at home. They have lost their last 11 games and failed to score in six of those games too.

I can't see any Villa players who might make a difference for fantasy managers.

Newcastle just about managed to win 1-0 at home to Palace last week thanks to a penalty save from Karl Darlow. They have lost 14 of their 18 away games and no other team has conceded more goals away from home. They have taken eight points from their last four games though and kept clean sheets in two of those games.

If Newcastle are going to beat the drop Andros Townsend looks like the player who might just make the difference for them. 

With Villa already relegated I think Newcastle should have enough intensity to win this game.

Prediction: 1-3

Bournemouth v West Bromwich Albion

3pm BST, Dean Court, Bournemouth 

Bournemouth lost 2-1 away to Everton last week and their season has petered out once they reached a safe position. They have only won five of their 18 home games with only Villa conceding more goals at home. They have lost five of their last six games and conceded 16 goals in the process.

Joshua King hasn't done too badly for fantasy managers in recent weeks.

West Brom looked good at home to West Ham last week until they went behind and they ended up losing 3-0. They have only won four of their 18 away games and only Newcastle have scored less goals on their travels. They have only taken two points from their last seven games and they failed to score in five of those games.

West Brom players haven't exactly set the world alight for fantasy managers this season.

Neither of these teams are in form at the moment which leads me to believe a draw is the most likely outcome.

Prediction: 1-1

Crystal Palace v Stoke City

3pm BST, Selhurst Park, London

Palace lost 1-0 away to Newcastle last week and it's difficult to believe their upcoming FA Cup final isn't playing on their minds. They have lost 10 of their 18 home games with only Villa losing more home games and scoring less goals on their own patch. They have only won once in their last 19 games and have failed to score in three of their last four.

Palace are yet another team who's players haven't done too much for fantasy managers this season with the exception of Scott Dann when he pops up to score.

Stoke looked like taking all three points at home to Sunderland last week until a late penalty denied them and they drew 1-1. They have taken 23 points from their 18 away games which is only two less than they have taken at home. They have only taken two points from their last five games and they conceded 15 goals in those games.

Marco Arnautovic is the Stoke player most likely to succeed for fantasy managers, but he's doubtful for this game.

With little to play for in this game I can see the spoils being shared.

Prediction: 1-1

Sunderland v Chelsea

3pm BST, Stadium of Light, Sunderland 

Sunderland looked to have lost away to Stoke last week, but they snatched a point with a late penalty. They have only won four of their 17 home games, but only five other teams have conceded less goals at home while only Villa have scored less at home. They have only lost once in their last eight games, but they have drawn six of those games and failed to score in three of their last five.

If Sunderland are to have a chance of staying up Jermain Defoe is their player most likely to do well for fantasy managers and they play twice this week.

Chelsea came from 2-0 down to draw at home to Spurs on Monday night and handed the title to Leicester with that draw. They have won more games and taken more points on the road than they have at home. They have only lost twice in their last 19 games, but those defeats were both in their last four games. 

Eden Hazard has scored three in his last two games and he plays twice this week which could make him a good outside bet for fantasy managers.

This is a game Sunderland desperately need to get something from, but I don't think they will get more than one point.

Prediction: 2-2

West Ham United v Swansea City

3pm BST, Upton Park, London

West Ham won 3-0 away to West Brom last week to keep their outside chance of a top four finish alive. They have only lost two of their 17 home games and they were their first two home games of the season. They are unbeaten in their last 10 games and have scored 18 goals in their last seven games.

With two games this week Andy Carroll, Dimitri Payet and Mark Noble all look pretty good for fantasy managers.

Swansea beat a weakened Liverpool team 3-1 last week. They have only won three of their 18 away games with only two other teams winning less away games. Five wins in their last nine games have seen Swansea safe, but they have failed to score in two of their last three games.

Gylfi Sigurdsson has been the Swansea player to have for fantasy managers since the turn of the year.

I think West Ham will continue their good run with a narrow win.

Prediction: 2-1

Leicester City v Everton

5.30pm BST, King Power Stadium, Leicester 

Leicester drew 1-1 away to United last week and claimed the title on Monday night when Spurs drew at Chelsea. They have only lost once in 18 home games with only City winning more games on their home patch. They have taken 24 points from their last 10 games and kept clean sheets in seven of those games.

Leicester defenders have done very well for fantasy managers in recent weeks, but who would bet against Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez doing well in their last two games.

Everton won 2-1 at home to Bournemouth last week to put an end to a very bad run of results. They have only lost three of their 17 away games, but they have drawn more away games than any other team. They won for the first time in eight games last week and they failed to score in four of those eight games.

Everton play twice this week, but the way they're playing it's not easy to see any of their players doing well for fantasy managers.

I think Leicester will celebrate receiving the Premier League trophy by winning this game.

Prediction: 2-1

Sunday May 8

Tottenham Hotspur v Southampton 

1.30pm BST, White Hart Lane, London

Spurs led 2-0 at Chelsea on Monday night as they tried to keep their title hopes alive, but they could only draw 2-2 and Leicester were crowned champions. They have only lost two of their 18 home games with only City and Southampton scoring more goals at home. They are unbeaten in eight games and have kept clean sheets in four of them, but they needed to win them all and drew four of them.

Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen, Toby Alderweireld and all of the Spurs defenders are well worth having for fantasy managers.

Southampton had a very good 4-2 victory at home to City last week to keep their Europa League hopes very much alive. They have only won six of their 18 away games, but only the top two have conceded less goals on the road. They have taken 16 points from their last seven games and scored 12 goals in their last four, but they haven't kept a clean sheet in their last 10 games.

Sadio Mane, Dusan Tadic and Shane Long have all done very well for fantasy managers recently.

This is a tough game to call and I have a feeling it might just end in a draw.

Prediction: 1-1

Liverpool v Watford

4pm BST, Anfield, Liverpool

Liverpool were beaten 3-1 away to Swansea last week, but they won their Europa League semi final on Thursday night. They have only lost three of their 17 home games, but only Chelsea have drawn more games at home. They have taken 10 points from their last five games, but they have only kept one clean sheet in their last eight.

Liverpool play twice this week, but it's not easy for fantasy managers to know which players will play for them from game to game with a European final coming up.

Watford came from behind to win 3-2 at home to Villa last week. They have won six of their 17 away games and no other team in the bottom half of the table has won more away games. They have lost 10 of their last 18 games, but they have only lost one of their last four.

Watford play twice this week, but it's still not easy to see which of their players might do well for fantasy managers.

Even with a below strength team I think Liverpool will win this game by a couple of goals.

Prediction: 3-1

Manchester City v Arsenal 

4pm BST, Etihad Stadium, Manchester 

City lost 4-2 away to Southampton last week and exited the Champions League in Madrid on Wednesday night. They have won more home games and scored more home goals than any other team, but they have lost five of their 18 home games. They have taken 13 points from their last six games and scored 16 goals in those games, but they have a real fight on their hands to finish in the top four.

Sergio Aguero is still the best fantasy bet in the City team while Kelechi Iheanacho has scored four goals in their last two games.

Arsenal just about managed to beat Norwich 1-0 last week and a top four finish is more or less guaranteed for them now. They have won eight of their 18 away games with only the two teams above them winning more games on the road and only Spurs scoring more goals on their travels. They are unbeaten in eight games and have kept clean sheets in five of their last seven.

Arsenal's defenders have done well for fantasy managers in recent weeks and are certainly worth considering.

The winners of this game will more than likely finish third and avoid the Champions League qualifying round and I think Arsenal might just nick it.

Prediction: 1-2

Tuesday May 10

West Ham United v Manchester United

7.45pm BST, Upton Park, London

West Ham play at home for the second time this week and a win could see them move above United into fifth place. They still have an outside chance of a top four finish if Arsenal can do them a favour against City. This will be their last game at Upton Park before moving to the Olympic stadium for next season and it promises to be an emotional night.

As I said earlier Carroll, Payet and Noble all look like good bets for fantasy managers this week while Aaron Cresswell might not be a bad bet either.

United have an FA Cup final to look forward to and they still haven't given up all hope of catching City to finish fourth. If they're going to do that they will have to win this game and that's not going to be an easy task. 

If United are going to push for fourth place maybe Anthony Martial might do well for fantasy managers in their last three games.

If either of these teams are to finish in the top four they will have to win this game and their other two remaining games and I think West Ham are the more likely to do so. 

Prediction: 2-1

Wednesday May 11

Norwich City v Watford

7.45pm BST, Carrow Road, Norwich 

Norwich play their second home game of the week and this one offers them the best chance of gaining some points. If they don't win this game the chances are they will be relegated and even a win will need them looking for points in their last game.

As I said above I can't see any Norwich players to interest fantasy managers.

Watford have their second away game of the week and the chance to possibly move above Everton in the table. A top half finish is still not beyond them and they will have a big say in the relegation battle with games against Norwich and Sunderland still to play.

Maybe Troy Deeney's brace against Villa will see him finish the season strongly or Huerelho Gomes will continue his penalty saving exploits, but the chances are Watford players won't do too much for fantasy managers.

Norwich desperately need something from this game while Watford have little to play for which leads me to believe Norwich will just about get the better of proceedings.

Prediction: 1-0

Sunderland v Everton

7.45pm BST, Stadium of Light, Sunderland 

Sunderland have their second home game of the week and the chance to move out of the bottom three at a crucial time. They will probably find Everton an easier opponent than Chelsea, but they will still have their work cut out if they're going to win either game.

With three clean sheets in their last five games and a relatively good defensive record at home Vito Mannone looks like he might do well for fantasy managers while the Sunderland defenders could be worth considering too.

Everton don't have much left to play for and two away games in a week is hardly ideal in that position. They have been tough to beat away from home though with only the top two losing less games on the road.

If Everton can improve then Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley are the players most likely to do well for fantasy managers in their two games.

Despite Sunderland's need for all three points I have a feeling this game will end in a draw.

Prediction: 1-1

Liverpool v Chelsea

8pm BST, Anfield, Liverpool

Liverpool have their second home game of the week and this should be the tougher of the two despite Chelsea's awful season. They can't make the Champions League through their league position, but they will be in it if they win the Europa League final. The chances are a lot of players will be rested with three league games in quick succession before that final. 

If Daniel Sturridge, Phillippe Coutinho and Roberto  Friminio play both games this week they could do very well for fantasy managers.

Chelsea can't qualify for Europe themselves, but they could put a real dent in Liverpool's chances. They enjoyed finishing Spurs' title hopes on Monday night and it's not beyond them to deny Liverpool a European spot for next season by winning or drawing this game. 

As I said above Eden Hazard might be a good bet for fantasy managers while Diego Costa and Willian are possibly worth a punt too.

It's impossible to know what team Liverpool will play with their priorities elsewhere which makes this game hard to predict, but I think it will end in a draw.

Prediction: 1-1

That's it for this week. 

See you next week.

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