Thursday, 23 February 2017

Predictions For Premier League Gameweek 26

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 time out with two perfect outcomes, four correct outcomes and four incorrect. However others did better than me which means I have dropped to third in my predictions league and I'm over 100 points behind the leader as you can see from the table below.

This is the first Gameweek where some teams won't play due to the EFL Cup Final between United and Southampton and it could prove awkward for some fantasy managers. That game on Sunday means there will be no games for Arsenal and City either and it could prove difficult to field a strong team. Those with 2 transfers to use could be tempted to use them this week, but from here on in there will be a few teams who don't play on occasions as well as some double game weeks at times too.

BadgesThis WeekPTS
 1 (1)  Karl-Yngve Lund 4+1351555
 2 (2)  Rutland Gooner 5+901435
 3 (2)  Michael Sheehy 5+801425
 4 (4)  Wayne Hubbard 1+1151355
 5 (5)  @ iWelloo 20860



Saturday February 25

Chelsea v Swansea v Swansea City

3pm GMT, Stamford Bridge, London

Chelsea could only draw away to Burnley in their last game, but they're still eight points clear at the top of the table. They have won 11 of their 12 home games and have scored more goals at home than any other team with only Spurs conceding less goals on their own patch. They have won 16 of their last 19 games with no other team conceding less goals so far, but they haven't kept a clean sheet in their last three games which isn't great by their recent standards.

The Chelsea defenders are the still the best choices for fantasy managers even if the clean sheets have slowed down a little while Eden Hazard and Diego Costa are both very good picks too.

Swansea won a very big game for them last time out when they beat fellow strugglers Leicester 2-0 to move four points clear of the relegation zone. They have lost eight of their 12 away games, but they have won two of their last three on the road and only three other teams have conceded more goals away from home. They have won four of their last six games to move away from the bottom three, but no other team has conceded more goals.

Gylfi Sigurdsson remains the outstanding fantasy choice in the Swansea team as he continues his almost one man crusade to keep them in the Premier League.

Despite Swansea's recent upturn in form I can't see anything other than a home win for Chelsea in this game.

Prediction: 3-1

Crystal Palace v Middlesbrough 

3pm GMT, Selhurst Park, London

Palace lost 1-0 at Stoke in their last game and they're now only off the foot of the table on goal difference. They have lost nine of their 12 home games with only Boro scoring less goals at home. They have only taken five points in their last 11 games and they failed to score in six of those games.

I still can't see any Palace players to recommend to fantasy managers and that needs to change for their sake or they could be heading for the Championship.

Boro got a credible 0-0 draw at home to Everton in their last game, but all of their draws have left them only two points above the drop zone. They have only won once in 12 games away from home with only Burnley and Hull scoring less goals away from home. They haven't won in their last eight games and they failed to score in five of those games.

Boro defenders can do quite well for fantasy managers and are still available at a fairly good price too.

With both of these teams struggling to score goals I have a feeling this game could be a scoreless draw.

Prediction: 0-0

Everton v Sunderland

3pm GMT, Goodison Park, Liverpool

Everton could only draw 0-0 at Boro in their last game which saw them drop to seven points adrift of the top six. They have only lost once in their 12 home games with only four other teams scoring more goals at home and only three others conceding less. They have taken 18 points in their last eight games and they kept five clean sheets in five of those games too.

When he's on form Romelu Lukaku is a must have for fantasy managers and the Everton defenders have been very good recently too.

Sunderland were thrashed 4-0 at home by Southampton in their last game to stay bottom of the pile and two points away from the relative safety of 17th place. They have lost nine of their 12 away games and had lost their previous five away games before winning at Palace a few weeks ago. They have only won once in their last eight games with only Boro and Hull scoring less goals so far.

Jermain Defoe is still by far the best fantasy choice in the Sunderland team, but his efforts might not be enough to help them avoid the drop.

I think Everton should be too strong at home and should win with a few goals to spare.

Prediction: 3-0

Hull City v Burnley

3pm GMT, KCOM Stadium, Hull

Hull fought hard away to Arsenal in their last game and were more than a little unlucky to lose 2-0 and stay in the relegation zone. They have taken seven points and scored seven goals in their last three home games since Marco Silva took the reins. They have lost 15 of their 25 games with only Boro scoring less goals and only Swansea conceding more.

Hull's defenders look like they could possibly do well for fantasy managers with Eldin Jakupovic in goal available at a very good price.

Burnley got a very good point at home to Chelsea last time out, but they followed that result with a home defeat against non league Lincoln City in the FA Cup. They have lost 10 of their 11 away games and have scored less goals away from home than any other team. Their home form sees them 10 points above the drop zone, but they only have five home games left and only the bottom five teams have scored less goals.

As I've said before Burnley's defenders are very good fantasy choices, but only when they play at home.

This is a game Hull really need to win and I think they will just about manage to do so.

Prediction: 2-1

West Bromwich Albion v Bournemouth 

3pm GMT, The Hawthorns, Birmingham 

West Brom drew 2-2 away to West Ham last time out to move within four points of seventh placed Everton. They have only lost three of their 12 home games and have won six of their last seven on their own ground. They have taken eight points and kept two clean sheets in their last four games and will hope to keep that record going against struggling Bournemouth.

Both Chris Brunt and Gareth McAuley have done well for fantasy managers while Matt Phillips seems to have fallen off recently after a very good run.

Bournemouth lost at home to City in their last game and they seem to be slipping quickly towards the wrong end of the table. They have lost eight of their 12 away games and no other team has conceded more goals away from home. They have only taken two points in their last six games and they conceded 18 goals in those six games.

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

I think West Brom should be too strong and should win this game by a couple of goals.

Prediction: 3-1

Watford v West Ham United 

5.30pm GMT, Vicarage Road, Watford

Watford lost 2-0 away to United last time out, but their recent results see them in a fairly comfortable mid table position. They have only won five of their 12 home games, but they have only lost one of their last five at home. The defeat at United was their first defeat in five games, but they have only kept one clean sheet in their last 15 games.

I don't think there are any Watford players to even peak the interest of fantasy managers.

West Ham drew 2-2 at home to West Brom in their last game to just about stay in the top half of the table. They have lost half of their 12 away games, but only three other teams have scored more goals away from home. They have taken 10 points in their last five games, but only five other teams have conceded more goals than West Ham.

Michail Antonio is still the best fantasy choice in the West Ham team and Andy Carroll isn't a bad bet either if he's fit.

I think this will be a very close game and the chances are it will end in a draw.

Prediction: 1-1

Sunday February 26

Tottenham Hotspur v Stoke City

1.30pm GMT, White Hart Lane, London

Spurs lost 2-0 at Liverpool in their last league game which saw them drop back to third place 10 points behind the leaders. They have won 10 of 12 home games and are the only team still unbeaten at home with the best defensive record at home too. Their defeat at Liverpool was their first in 10'games and no other team has conceded less goals than Spurs.

The Spurs defenders are all still very good fantasy choices along with Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen and Harry Kane.

Stoke won 1-0 at home to Palace in their last game and they look to be cementing their place in the top half of the table. They have only won three of their 12 away games and have lost four of the last five on the road in which they conceded 13 goals. They have only lost one of their last six games, but they have the worst defensive record in the top half of the table.

I can't see any of the Stoke players who might make a difference for fantasy managers right now although Peter Crouch is available at a good price and has impressed recently.

Spurs should have more than enough at home to win this game by at least a couple of goals.

Prediction: 3-1

Monday February 27

Leicester City v Liverpool

8pm GMT, King Power Stadium, Leicester

Leicester lost 2-0 away to Swansea in their last game and the prospect of the reigning champions getting relegated is now very real. They have only lost four of their 12 home games, but they have lost the last two and conceded six goals in those games. They have lost their last five games and have failed to score in seven of their last eight games.

I don't think there are any Leicester players who can make a difference for fantasy managers, but they need a few of them to make a difference for themselves.

Liverpool put an end to a very poor run with a 2-0 win at home to Spurs in their last game and they're only a point outside the top four despite that run. They have only lost three of their 12 away games, but haven't won in their last three on the road. The win against Spurs was their first win in six games, but no other team has scored more goals than Liverpool so far.

Sadio Mane's return seems like it might have changed Liverpool's fortunes and he looks like the best fantasy choice in their team.

I think Liverpool will continue their recovery with a narrow win in this game.

Prediction: 1-2

That's it for this week.

See you next week.

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