Predictions for English Premier League Gameweek 8
It's that time if the week again when I attempt to predict the outcomes of the upcoming Premier League games. The latest break for internationals is finally over, and it's back to real football for the next few months.
I didn't do too well last week, with just one perfect prediction, four correct outcomes and five incorrect. Thanks to getting my banker score perfect, I managed to hold on to second place in my predictions league and even close the gap on the leader by a very small margin.
Here's a look at how the top 210 in my predictions league stands.
Pos Player Week Total
___ _____ ____ ____
1. antonius_ronny_s 95 620
2. JamrockRover 100 495
3. Plasticninja 130 485
4. RSun624 65 435
5. skura 130 385
6. AblockGunner 130 365
7. nawa87 65 365
8. Meikku 115 360
9. iancampbell11 85 345
10. AFC_Ollie95 65 330
Tottenham Hotspur V Chelsea
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
Saturday October 20, 12.45 p.m. BST, White Hart Lane, London
Spurs have won their last four Premier League games in a row after a poor start to their campaign. They included an away win against Manchester United in those wins, and their confidence has to be high. A win in this game would put them very close to Chelsea at the top of the table.
Gareth Bale seems to be the standout candidate for fantasy managers among the Spurs players.
Chelsea sit proudly on top of the table with 19 points out of a possible 21 so far. They have conceded less goals than any other team in the league, and they have the best goal difference too. I can't say I have been overly impressed by them so far, but the league table doesn't lie.
Branislav Ivanovic, Eden Hazard, Juan Mata and Fernando Torres are all very good choices at the moment.
I think Chelsea will continue their unbeaten start to the season, but they won't get the win they want.
Prediction: Spurs 1-1 Chelsea
Fulham V Aston Villa
Ian Walton/Getty Images
Saturday October 20, 3 p.m. BST, Craven Cottage, London
Fulham have won two of their three home games so far, with only the champions winning at Craven Cottage. Only City and Chelsea have more home goals than Fulham, and the capture of Dimitar Berbatov looks like a really good one for them. If they can get him fit for this game, he could be the difference between the teams.
Berbatov looks like a very good fantasy buy as long as he steers clear of injury.
Villa have only one point and two goals in four away games so far and find themselves at the wrong end of the table yet again. Paul Lambert looked to be making progress until they lost 4-1 to Southampton a few weeks ago. Their confidence can't be high at the moment, and their inability to score isn't helping.
There are no outstanding Villa candidates for fantasy managers, but I still think Ciaran Clarke can make an impact as a defender who gets goals, assists and bonus points too.
I think Fulham's home form should be enough to see them to the finish line in this game.
Prediction Fulham 3-1 Villa
Liverpool V Reading
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Saturday October 20, 3 p.m. BST, Anfield, Liverpool
Liverpool have had a dreadful start to the season with only one win in their first seven games. They haven't won at home yet, and they have only scored nine goals in those games. A home game against a team who haven't won yet could be the ideal chance to get their first home win.
Luis Suarez is probably the best fantasy bet among the Liverpool players at the moment, with Steven Gerrard looking like he might get a few points too.
Reading have drawn three and lost three of their six games since their promotion. They have leaked too many goals so far, and until they tighten up at the back, life in the top flight will be a real struggle.
Pavel Pogrebnyak has a few goals so far for Reading, and he's available for a good price.
I think Liverpool will have too much for Reading and get their first home win of the season.
Prediction: Liverpool 3-1 Reading
Manchester United V Stoke City
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images
Saturday October 20, 3 p.m. BST, Old Trafford, Manchester
United have lost twice already this season, but they are still second in the table. They are the top scorers in the league so far this season and will be looking to put right the defeat in their last home game. Their defence has been their downfall so far this season, and they need to tighten up at the back.
Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney are the United players most likely to perform for fantasy managers.
Stoke have struggled to score goals yet again this season, with only Sunderland and Norwich scoring less than them so far. They have been tight at the back though, with only Chelsea conceding less goals than them in the opening seven games.
Ryan Shawcross and Asmir Begovic are probably the best fantasy choices among the Stoke players, but maybe not in this game.
I can't see anything other than a win for United in this game.
Prediction: United 3-0 Stoke
Swansea City V Wigan Athletic
Matthew Lewis/Getty Images
Saturday October 20, 3 p.m. BST, Liberty Stadium, Swansea
Swansea have taken only two points from their last five games, as they look to be struggling under their new management. They had a good start to the season by winning their first two games, and they need to get some of that form back.
Miguel Michu and Wayne Routeledge appear to be the pick of the Swansea players for fantasy managers this season.
Wigan have only scored twice in their three away games so far, and they are struggling at the wrong end of the table yet again. They should be good enough to stay in the Premier League, but it could be another season of flirting with relegation for them.
Ali Al-Habsi and Arouna Kone are the Wigan players looking the most likely to do well this season.
I can see a few goals in this game and the game ending in a draw.
Prediction: Swansea 2-2 Wigan
West Bromwich Albion V Manchester City
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images
Saturday October 20, 3 p.m. BST, The Hawthorns, Birmingham
Albion have won all four of their home games in the Premier League so far this season. It has left them in the unusual lofty position of sixth place. A home game against the unbeaten reigning champions will be their toughest task so far, though.
Shane Long and Steve Morrison are looking pretty good at the moment, and Gareth McAuley has had a great start to the season too.
City are third in the table as they try to retain their title, but they have struggled on the road so far. They tend to score a lot of goals at home, but the same can't be said when they play away. This will be a tough game for them, and a win could signal that they are close to their best again.
Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero are the best fantasy bets in the City team at the moment, in my opinion.
I think this is going to be a very close game, and it will end up in a draw.
Prediction: WBA 1-1 City
West Ham United V Southampton
Julian Finney/Getty Images
Saturday October 20, 3 p.m. BST, Upton Park, London
West Ham have started well since their return to the Premier League, but their direct style came up short at home to Arsenal in their last game. They can be a real handful, and they will look to impose their style on Southampton. If Andy Carroll can play to his strengths, he could give Southampton some real problems.
Kevin Nolan has had a very good return to the Premier League, and he has the knack of being in the right place at the right time.
Saints are the only team to have lost all of their away games so far, and they have conceded 12 goals in those three games. They have scored a few goals themselves, but until they sort out their defence, they will continue to struggle.
Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana are in good form at the moment, and available at a good price for fantasy managers too.
I think West Ham will take advantage of Southampton's defence and take all three points.
Prediction: West Ham 3-1 Saints
Norwich City V Arsenal
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images
5.30 p.m,. BST, Carrow Road, Norwich
Norwich have had a bad start to the season, and they're second-last in the league. They are the joint lowest scorers in the league, and only Southampton have conceded more goals than them. If they don't start winning games soon, it could be a very difficult season for them.
I can't see any Norwich players worth considering for fantasy managers at the moment.
Arsenal have had a pretty good start to the season, and they are unbeaten away from home so far. Their defence has been pretty tight too, with only Chelsea conceding less goals than them. They need to take all three points from this game to keep pace with the teams above them.
Santi Cazorla, Lukas Podolski and Gervinho are all scoring very well for fantasy managers, and Kirean Gibbs isn't a bad bet either.
I can see Arsenal scoring a few goals in this game and making life even harder for Norwich.
Prediction: Norwich 1-3 Arsenal
Sunderland V Newcastle United
Chris Brunskill/Getty Images
Sunday October 21, 1.30 p.m. BST, Stadium of Light, Sunderland
Sunderland have only lost one of their first six games, but they have only win one as well. They have only scored five goals in those games, and Steven Fletcher has bagged the lot of them. If they can't find some more goals from other players, they will finish no better than the lower reaches of mid-table obscurity.
Fletcher is the obvious candidate for fantasy managers, with Simon Mignolet also a strong possibility.
Newcastle were well beaten at home by United in their last game, and they need to bounce back. They will find it hard to finish as high as they did last season with the distraction of Europa League football this time. They will be up for their local derby, though, and their firepower could prove decisive.
Demba Ba and Hatem Ben Arfa are the outstanding fantasy choices among the Newcastle players.
I can see this being a very tight and tense game, with the spoils shared in the end.
Prediction: Sunderland 1-1 Newcastle
Queens Park Rangers V Everton
Julian Finney/Getty Images
Sunday October 21, 4 p.m. BST, Loftus Road, London
Rangers have only one point and one goal in their three home games so far. That point came against league leaders Chelsea, and it was fully deserved on the day. QPR probably have the players to finish in mid-table, but they're rooted to the foot of the table, and it could cost Mark Hughes his job very soon.
If Rangers are going to get out of trouble, then Adel Taarabt and Esteban Granero could be the players to make it happen.
Everton are fourth in the table, and no other team has scored more away goals than them so far. They have had an excellent start to the season, but they will probably have to cope without the injured Marouane Fellaini in this game. They look very good going forward, but their defence does look a little vulnerable.
Leighton Baines, Steven Pienaar, Nikica Jelavic and Fellaini are all great buys for fantasy managers at the moment.
I can see QPR's troubles continuing, with Everton winning by the odd goal.
Prediction: QPR 1-2 Everton
That's it for this week, but feel free to tell me where I may have gone right or wrong as the case might be.
See you next week.