Thursday, 24 August 2017

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 with my predictions again last week with only four correct outcomes and six incorrect which kept me very close to the bottom of my predictions league. You can see the top five in that league below, but I have a long way to go to get anywhere near them.

 1 (7) Wild Things
 2 (7) theboysi
 3 (9) Dr_AFHMK
 4 (13) immycader 
Imran Cader

 4 (9) David Luiz


Saturday August 26

Bournemouth v Manchester City

12.30pm BST, Dean Court, Bournemouth 

Bournemouth have lost their first two games without scoring a goal and that has to be worrying for them as it was their goalscoring abilities that kept them in the Premier League last season. Only six teams scored more home goals than them last season, but only four teams conceded more goals at home. They gave most teams a real run for their money at home last season, but so far this season it isn't happening for them.

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

City could only draw at home to Everton last week and it was their home form which cost them a shot at the title last season. Only Chelsea won more away games last season and no other team scored more goals on the road. Pep Guardiola has a lot of quality players to choose from, but he needs to find the right balance if City are to live up to their pre season favourites tag.

City's players haven't exactiy set the fantasy world alight this season, but their defenders could fare well in this game while it's hard to ignore players like David Silva, Kevin de Bruyne and Sergio Aguero.

I think Bournemouth's woes will continue in this game with City running out winners by a couple of goals at least.

Prediction: 0-2

Crystal Palace v Swansea City

3pm BST, Selhurst Park, London

Palace have lost their first two games without scoring a goal too, but they will hope to change their fortunes at home to a team who struggled last season and haven't started this season too well either. Only the bottom two teams had a worse home record than Palace last season with only four teams scoring less goals at home. There are expectations for them to do better this season, but their opening two games won't have given their fans too much hope of that.

With Wilfried Zaha injured it's not easy to see what Palace players might interest fantasy managers, but Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Patrick van Aanholt might be worth a shot.

Swansea lost 4-0 at home to United last week and they're another team who have failed to score in their opening two games. They lost 13 of their away games last season and only five teams conceded more goals away from home. If they're going to improve on last season's brush with relegation this is exactly the type of game they need to take something from.

If Fernando Llorente is back from injury he might be the Swansea player to watch for fantasy managers if they can find someone to provide the assists for him since Gylfi Sigurdsson left.

I think this will be a very close game and both teams might get their first goal of the season in a score draw.

Prediction: 1-1

Huddersfield Town v Southampton 

3pm BST, The John Smith's Stadium, Huddersfield 

Huddersfield won for the second game in a row at home to Newcastle last week and they kept their second clean sheet too. They were quite strong defensively at home last season and their start to this season suggests they will be hard to break down again. Their incredible start sees them second in the table and they will feel they have a chance of continuing that form in this game.

Huddersfield's defenders and goalkeeper are all looking like good fantasy bargain buys at the moment with Aaron Mooy and Steve Mounie both looking pretty impressive too.

Southampton got their first home goals in a while last week when they just about beat 10 man West Ham 3-2 thanks to a late penalty. They took almost as many points away from home as they did at home last season and they scored more goals away from home. This is their first away game of the season and they haven't exactly been overly impressive in their two home games even if they did take four points from them.

Southampton's defenders still look pretty good for fantasy managers despite the two goals they let in last week while Nathan Redmond and possibly Manolo Gabbiadini could be worth considering too.

I think this will be another very close game, but Southampton might just take the three points with the only goal of the game.

Prediction: 0-1

Newcastle United v West Ham United

3pm BST, St. James' Park, Newcastle 

Newcastle are another team without a goal or a point to their names so far, but they will hope that might change as they play at home to a team below them on goal difference. Their home form is going to be crucial if they are going to stay up and they could do with getting that form going in this game. They still haven't added much to the team that was promoted last season and that's a weaker team than the one which was relegated the previous season.

I can't see any Newcastle players who might make a difference for fantasy managers at the moment and until that changes they are going to struggle.

West Ham almost snatched a point at Southampton last week despite being 2-0 down and down to 10 men, but they lost 3-2 to leave them at the foot of the table. They took nearly as many points at home as they did away from home last season and they scored a lot more goals on their travels. This is their third away game in a row as their stadium has been unavailable to them and it's their first of two games against newly promoted sides.

Javier Hernandez showed why so many fantasy managers have picked him with a brace last week while Michail Antonio is also worth considering now that he's back from injury.

I think this is a game that could go either way, but West Ham might just take the three points thanks to their centre forward.

Prediction: 1-2

Watford v Brighton & Hove Albion

3pm BST, Vicarage Road, Watford

Watford followed up their opening week point against Liverpool with a good win away to Bournemouth last week to leave them fourth in the table. Only four teams conceded more goals at home last season and they let in three in their first home game, but that was against Liverpool. They will fancy their chances at home to a newly promoted team and will hope to finish the weekend still in the top four.

Richarlison de Andrade is available at a good price and has looked good for fantasy managers in his first two games too.

Brighton lost 2-0 at Leicester last week and they're another team without a point or a goal in their first two games. They have had a tough start to life in the top flight and would have hoped for this to be a relatively easier game, but Watford's early form suggests it won't be. They need to get some points on the board very soon or it could be a long hard season for them.

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

Watford's start to the season suggests that they should win this game with a couple of goals to spare.

Prediction: 2-0

Manchester United v Leicester City

5.30pm BST, Old Trafford, Manchester 

United won 4-0 away to Swansea last week and they seem to have shaken off their goal shy tag from last season with eight goals in two games. Their 10 home draws last season cost them any chance of challenging for the title, but only Spurs conceded less goals at home than United. They're the early season pace setters and they have the chance to build up a lead at the top of the table in their first eight games before they meet any of the other contenders.

United's defenders and keeper all look like very good fantasy choices with Phil Jones and Daley Blind possibly the best value among them while Paul Pogba, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Romelu Lukaku all look like must haves.

Leicester won 2-0 at home to Brighton last week, but they have some really tough fixtures to start the season with a trip to Arsenal behind them and home games against Chelsea and Liverpool coming up soon after this trip to United. They only won two games away from home last season with only Hull and Watford conceding more goals on their travels. They nearly got a result at Arsenal in their opening game and they are looking a lot more capable this season than last, but this will be a very tough task for them.

Riyad Mahrez has started the season well for fantasy managers, but he could be on his way soon while both Harry Maguire and Jamie Vardy have been quite impressive too.

I think Leicester will try to put it up to United like they did with Arsenal in their first game, but United look pretty strong at the moment and should win by at least a couple of goals.

Prediction: 3-1

Sunday August 27

Chelsea v Everton

1.30pm BST, Stamford Bridge, London

Chelsea got over their opening game upset with a 2-1 away to Spurs last week to show they won't give up their title without a fight. They won 17 of their home games last season and scored more home goals than any other team. Playing in the Champions League will make their task of retaining their title difficult, but all the other contenders have European football too.

I'm still not too sure about Chelsea's defence this season, but as long as Marcos Alonso and David Luiz continue to contribute at the other end of the pitch they are good fantasy options while Willian and Alvaro Morata have done well so far too.

Everton got a very good point at City last week, but they have a very tough run of games at the moment with Spurs and United to come after this game. They only won four of their away games last season and an improvement on that could see them challenge for a top six spot. I'm still not sure they can do that without Romelu Lukaku, but Wayne Rooney is doing his best to replace him.

Rooney has started very well for fantasy managers with Dominic Calvert-Lewin doing well at a very good price too.

I think Everton won't roll over easily as they proved against City, but Chelsea should run out winners of a close affair.

Prediction: 2-1

West Bromwich Albion v Stoke City

1.30pm BST, The Hawthorns, Birmingham 

West Brom won 1-0 at Burnley last week for the second win in their first two games and they kept clean sheets in both games too. Their home form was pretty good last season, but they can definitely keep more clean sheets at home. Their opening fixtures have been kind to them and they could keep their impressive start going with a few reasonable fixtures still to come.

West Brom's defenders and goalkeeper are all looking very impressive for fantasy managers at the moment with Ahmed El-Sayed Hegazi the most impressive of them.

Stoke got a very good 1-0 win at home to Arsenal last week and they have some tough games coming up over the next few weeks too with United, Chelsea and City on the horizon. They lost 10 of their away games last season and scored less than a goal a game away from home. If they're going to give themselves a bit of a cushion before things get tougher for them they could do with something from this game.

If Jack Butland can perform like he did last week fantasy managers will have to show an interest in him while Jesé got his Stoke career off to a very good start last week too.

I don't think we'll see too many goals in this game, but I wouldn't be surprised to see West Brom get their third 1-0 win of the season.

Prediction: 1-0

Liverpool v Arsenal

4pm BST, Anfield, Liverpool

Liverpool just about managed a 1-0 win at home to Palace last week, but this game promises to be a bigger test for them. Liverpool failed to win seven of their home games last season and they need to take more points at home this season, but they were the third highest scorers at home. They conceded too many goals last season and they need to sort that out if they're going to improve this season.

With Phillippe Coutinho still "injured" it looks like Sadio Mane is the Liverpool player to have for fantasy managers closely followed by Roberto Frimino and Mohamed Salah.

Arsenal lost 1-0 away to Stoke last week and they will find Liverpool a much tougher prospect. They won less than half of their away games last season and they conceded more away goals than the rest of the top six. Their defeat to Stoke was far too familiar for Arsenal fans and things could quite nasty if they lose for the second time in their first three games.

As long as he's played out of position it's hard to select Sead Kolasinac for fantasy managers, but Alexander Lacazette and Aaron Ramsey are still possibilities while Alexis Sanchez could be back for this game if he's still an Arsenal player.

I think this is going to be another very close game which could go either way, but I'm opting for Arsenal only because my heart tells me to do so.

Prediction: 1-2

Tottenham Hotspur v Burnley

4pm BST, Wembley Stadium, London

Spurs lost their first home game in over a year against Chelsea last week, but they will relish the chance to bounce back against a team who travelled so poorly last season. They took more points at home than any other team last season and only Chelsea scored more goals at home. They have a very poor record at Wembley in recent seasons and that will have to improve if they are going to challenge again.

Spurs defenders and keeper still look like good fantasy choices despite last week's result while Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli and Harry Kane are all very good bets too even if Kane has never scored a goal in August.

Burnley lost at home to West Brom last week to dent the confidence they got from their opening weekend win away to the champions Chelsea. They only won one game away from home last season with only Hull and Middlesbrough scoring less goals on the road. If they can reproduce that performance at Chelsa they have a chance in this game, but it's a big ask for them.

I'm not so sure Burnley players are the best options for fantasy managers except for their defenders when they are at home if they can match last season's heroics.

I think Spurs will bounce back from last week's disappointment to win this game by at least a couple of goals.

Prediction: 2-0

That's it for this week.

See you next week.

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