Predictions for English Premier League Gameweek 12
It's that time of the week again when I attempt to predict the outcomes of the upcoming Premier League games. I didn't fare so well last week with two perfect scorelines, two correct outcomes and six incorrect. It leaves me still in fourth place in my predictions league.
Here's a look at how the top 10 in my predictions league stands.
Pos Player Week Total
___ _____ ____ _____
1. antonius_ronny_s 75 980
2. AblockGooner 60 770
3. Plasticninja 35 705
4. JamrockRover 30 690
5. Meikku 120 675
6. ahujag 125 665
7. Rutland Gooner 80 645
8. goonerdhanesh 85 640
9. RSun624 35 585
10. birchy1962 125 505
Arsenal vs. Tottenham Hotspur
Clive Mason/Getty Images
Saturday November 17, 12.45 p.m. GMT, Emirates Stadium, London
Arsenal have had their worst start to the league in 30 years and fourth place has to be their realistic target. They are finding it hard to find any sort of rhythm to their play or balance to their game. This is an absolute must win game for Arsenal against their fierce local rivals.
Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud might just be the players to lead Arsenal out of their current crisis and are worth considering for fantasy managers.
Spurs are only just ahead of Arsenal and their current form is none too clever either. They have taken only three points from their last four games as their Europa League exploits appear to be having an effect. This is a game they really cannot afford to lose.
Gareth Bale still looks by far the best fantasy bet among the Spurs players.
I think Arsenal will just come out on top in an exciting and hard fought game.
Prediction: Arsenal 3-2 Spurs
Liverpool vs. Wigan Athletic
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
Saturday November 17, 3 p.m. GMT, Anfield, Liverpool
Liverpool are unbeaten in their last six league games but they have only managed to win two of them. In fact they have only won two of their 11 league games this season and they need to find a winning formula quickly. If Luis Suarez was to pick up an injury their season could descend into turmoil.
Suarez is the outstanding fantasy performer among the Liverpool players.
Wigan only trail Liverpool by one point and they have won more league games than them so far this season. This could be the season they finally manage to avoid a season long fight against relegation. On their day they have proved they are capable of matching any team in the league.
Ali Al-Habsi and Arouna Kone are probably the Wigan players most likely to perform for fantasy managers.
I think Liverpool will finally get a win, but Wigan won't make it easy for them.
Prediction: Liverpool 1-0 Wigan
Manchester City vs. Aston Villa
Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Saturday November 17, 3 p.m. GMT, Etihad Stadium, Manchester
City came from behind to win at home to Spurs last week and they won't give up their title without a fight. They are a formidable team at home and they will look to give Villa a very rough ride. They're still nowhere near their best but they're only two points off the top of the table.
Yaya Toure still looks the best fantasy bet to me among the City players, but there are so many more to choose from too.
Villa looked like they were going to beat United last week but they ended losing 3-2. This is an even tougher game for them and they will do well to get out of it without a thrashing. They are beginning to improve under Paul Lambert's tuition but they're still dangerously close to the drop zone.
I still can't see any Villa players who look like setting the fantasy football world on fire.
I can't see anything other than a resounding victory for City in this game.
Prediction: City 3-0 Villa
Newcastle United vs. Swansea City
Stu Forster/Getty Images
Saturday November 17, 3 p.m. GMT, St. James Park, Newcastle
Newcastle slipped up at home to West Ham last week as their Europa League exploits seem to be taking a toll. They have the players to be challenging for a top four spot but they squad is stretched to it's limit at the moment. They need a win in this game to get their league campaign back on track.
Demba Ba and Hatem Ben Arfa still look the best fantasy bets in the Newcastle team to me.
Swansea have only one win in their last nine Premier League games but they are playing good football. They showed against both City and Chelsea that they can compete with the best teams in the league. They will give Newcastle a good game and are capable of getting something from it.
Miguel Michu remains the outstanding fantasy performer in the Swansea team.
I think Newcastle will get back to winning ways, but only just.
Prediction: Newcastle 2-1 Swansea
Queens Park Rangers vs. Southampton
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images
Saturday November 17, 3 p.m. GMT, Loftus Road, London
QPR (Queen Park Rangers) are without a win in 11 league games and they have only scored eight goals in the process. Their performances have promised more but the time has come for them to deliver. They quite simply have to beat Southampton or surely Mark Hughes will lose his job.
There are no QPR players who look likely to perform well for fantasy managers at the moment.
Southampton have lost eight of their 11 games and conceded 29 goals in the process. They have lost all of their away games so far, but they will feel they have a chance against the only team below them in the league.
Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana are both doing pretty well for fantasy managers as Southampton are at least managing to score goals.
I think QPR can finally get their first win of the season and save Hughes from the chop for the moment at least.
Prediction: QPR 2-1 Southampton
Reading vs. Everton
Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Saturday November 17, 3 p.m. GMT, Madjeski Stadium, London
Reading are without a win in their 10 games so far but they have managed six draws. They have only lost one of their home games though and they will be looking for their first win. They have played quite well so far but have conceded goals at crucial times.
I can't see any Reading players setting the fantasy world on fire at the moment.
Everton are in the top four with only one defeat in their opening 11 games. They have played really well and deserve to be challenging for a Champions League place. If they keep playing the way they are they might even close in on the three teams above them.
Marouane Fellaini is the must have fantasy player in the Everton team with Leighton Baines doing very well too.
I think Everton will be too strong for Reading and claim another three points.
Prediction: Reading 1-3 Everton
West Bromwich Albion vs. Chelsea
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
Saturday November 17, 3 p.m. GMT, The Hawthorns, Birmingham
West Brom have had a great start to their season and are only behind fourth placed Everton on goal difference. They have won five of their six home games and their only home defeat was in the last minute against champions City. They have a real chance of getting a result from this game.
Ben Foster, Gareth McAuley, James Morrison and Shane Long are all very good fantasy buys as long as they are fit enough to play.
Chelsea have fallen a little behind the two Manchester clubs and this will be another real test for them. Their squad is strong enough to cope with almost any eventuality except maybe in the striking department. They will feel they have to take all three points or a real gap will develop between them and the two teams above them.
Juan Mata and Eden Hazard are in fantastic form for Chelsea with Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic worth considering for fantasy managers too.
I think West Brom will be strong enough to take a point from Chelsea in a very tight game.
Prediction: West Brom 1-1 Chelsea
Norwich City vs. Manchester United
Bryn Lennon/Getty Images
Saturday November 17, 5.30 p.m. GMT, Carrow Road, Norwich
Norwich have turned things around in recent weeks and found some defensive strength after Liverpool and Chelsea put plenty past them a few weeks ago. They have moved clear of the relegation zone and will want to remain in relative safety. They will have to be at their very best to have any chance of getting something from this game.
John Ruddy has performed well in goal and gained plenty of fantasy points in recent weeks.
United have won their last five league games in a row and look very difficult to stop at the moment. They are conceding goals but their ability to outscore the opposition is seeing them through week after week. If something were to happen to Robin van Persie it might be a different matter although the hat trick from Javier Hernandez last week would suggest otherwise.
Van Persie is the must have United player at the moment with Rafael da Silva as a possible other choice for fantasy managers.
I can't see Norwich being able to stop the United machine rolling over yet another team and taking all three points.
Prediction: Norwich 1-3 United
Fulham vs. Sunderland
Christopher Lee/Getty Images
Sunday November 18, 4 p.m. GMT, Craven Cottage, London
Fulham did really well to come from 2-0 down away to Arsenal last week and eventually got a 3-3 draw. Only United have scored more goals than them so far, but only the bottom two have conceded more than them. Goals galore seem to be aplenty whenever Fulham play.
Dimitar Berbatov has been a good buy for Fulham and is a very good fantasy choice too.
Sunderland have a very good defensive record and only Stoke and City can better it so far. However, their return of seven goals in 10 games simply isn't good enough and they will continue to struggle until they can score more regularly. All of the players who shone for them last season after Martin O'Neill's arrival seem to have reverted to their pretty average type.
Simon Mignolet and John O'Shea are not bad fantasy choices as long as Sunderland's defensive strength holds up.
Free scoring Fulham should be good enough to take all three points in this game.
Prediction: Fulham 2-1 Sunderland
West Ham United vs. Stoke City
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
Monday November 19, 8 p.m. GMT, Upton Park, London
West Ham had a very good start on their return to the Premier League, but I expected them to fade. They have managed to keep the momentum going though and are sixth in the table with only three defeats in 11 games. Their position has been built on defensive stability and as long as they can keep that stability they will continue to prosper.
Kevin Nolan is having a very good season for fantasy managers and West Ham's defensive players have to be considered too.
Stoke have the joint best defensive record in the league, but only three teams have scored less goals than them so far. They are a difficult team to beat and their six draws in 11 games emphasise that. To climb the table they will have to find the net on a more regular basis though.
Asmir Begovic and Ryan Shawcross are good fantasy choices at the moment with Peter Crouch doing well considering Stoke's shortage of goals.
I can see the ball spending more time in the air than on the ground in a drab affair that West Ham should just edge.
Prediction: West Ham 1-0 Stoke
That's it for this week but as usual feel free to tell me where I may have gone right or wrong as the case might be.
See you next week.