Predictions for English Premier League Gameweek 20

Jamrock Rover@@JamrockRoverSenior Analyst IJanuary 2, 2012

Predictions for English Premier League Gameweek 20

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    It's that time of the week again when I attempt to predict the outcome of the upcoming Premier League games.

    Last week was another bad week for me with no perfect scorelines, three correct outcomes and seven incorrect outcomes. It was also a bad week for most other managers in my predictions league, and I actually managed to move up to ninth place.

    The games are coming thick and fast at the moment, and it can be very hard to tell how teams will do when they play two games in three days.

    It also means that many players are being rotated and rested by their clubs, and that can be a disaster for some fantasy managers. Both Spurs and Everton get to play twice this week, as they play the game that was postponed in August due to the riots.

    Here's a look at how my predictions league table stands.

     Pos  Player Week
     1  b_red_devils   50  1105
     2   ahujag   25   990
     3   GGooner   -10   905
     4   gooner2194   5   875
     5   nitin004   -35   860
     6   sanziano   -30   850
     7   lubu722   0   760
     8   Rutland Gooner
      10   755
     9   Jamrock Rover
      10   705
     10   ReApEr666   25  700

Aston Villa Vs. Swansea City

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    Monday January 2, 3p.m., BST

    Villa had a great win away over Chelsea on Saturday. They're starting to play well at last.

    Their home form hasn't been great so far, but they are just about in the top half of the table. They will be favourites to win against a Swansea team that have only taken three points in nine away games so far.

    Gabriel Agbonlahor is still Villa's best fantasy bet, and if he can keep his head together has the ability to do very well.

    Swansea are the only team not to win away from home in the Premier League so far this season. No team has scored fewer away goals than them either, so they will have their work cut out to get anything from this game.

    That won't stop them from playing their own style of football—it has to pay off away from home at some stage.

    Swansea's defenders and goalkeeper are all good fantasy bets and so is Scott Sinclair. 

    I think Villa will continue their recent revival by taking all three points.

    Prediction Villa 2-1 Swansea

Blackburn Rovers Vs. Stoke City

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    Monday January 2, 3p.m., BST

    Blackburn had a magnificent win away to Manchester United on Saturday, and it got them off the foot of the table. If they can win this game they could even move out of the bottom three, which would be some turnaround in two games.

    They have lost seven of nine home games so far though, and they needed to score four times to win the two games they did win.

    Yakubu continues to be the player most likely to perform for Blackburn.

    Stoke are eighth in the table, and they have managed 10 points away from home despite scoring only six goals. They haven't won in three games—their season seems to be one of runs.

    They will see a trip to Blackburn as an ideal opportunity to close the gap on the teams above them.

    Jonathan Walters is still the best bet of all the Stoke players for fantasy managers.

    I think this game will end with both teams level.

    Prediction Blackburn 2-2 Stoke

Queens Park Rangers Vs. Norwich City

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    Monday January 2, 3p.m., BST

    QPR have taken only two points from their last seven games, and have only won once at home so far this season.

    Only Wigan have scored fewer goals, and only West Brom have scored less at home. Those are the statistics of a team heading for the relegation zone, and QPR need to halt that slide.

    If I had to choose a QPR player it would be Heidar Helguson, but none of them are really setting the world alight.

    Norwich have only won once away from home this season, and they haven't kept any clean sheets at all. They never give up though, and they did well to get a late equaliser against Fulham on Saturday.

    They're still in mid-table, but a couple of poor results could see them slide towards trouble.

    Norwich are doing very well, but their players are often rotated and it's tough to choose any of them for a fantasy team.

    I think this game will end up all square as well.

    Prediction QPR 1-1 Norwich

Wolverhampton Wanderers Vs. Chelsea

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    Monday January 2, 3p.m., BST

    Wolves did well to come from behind and get a point away to both Arsenal and Bolton in the last week. Their home form has been alright so far, but they're only two points above the relegation zone.

    I'm sure they will throw everything they have at a Chelsea team that is still very uncertain at the back.

    Wayne Hennessey is not a bad bet in goal for Wolves, and Steven Fletcher is on a good goal-scoring run at the moment.

    Chelsea lost at home to Villa on Saturday, and dropped out of the top four too. They need to string some good results together very soon, or they will fall too far behind the pacesetters.

    They have only taken three points from their four festive games, and that simply isn't good enough for them.

    Chelsea still have some players performing very well for fantasy managers, and I think Juan Mata and Daniel Sturridge are the best of them.

    I think Chelsea will get back to winning ways by beating Wolves.

    Prediction Wolves 1-3 Chelsea

Fulham Vs. Arsenal

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    Monday January 2, 5.30p.m., BST

    Fulham's last home game was a 5-0 thumping by Manchester United, and they will want to prove it was a one-off.

    They can be a very tough team to beat at home, but their home form has not been as good as usual so far this season. They grabbed a 1-1 draw away to Arsenal a few weeks ago, and they will be looking for more of the same.

    Clint Dempsey is by far the best performing fantasy player for Fulham.

    Arsenal just about beat QPR on Saturday to move into the top four, and they will want to stay there. They have a lot of defensive injuries at the moment, and their choices at the back are very limited. They will give it all they have, and a win would be a great result for them.

    Robin van Persie is by far Arsenal's best performing fantasy player at the moment.

    I think Arsenal will just about manage to sneak a win in a very tight game.

    Prediction Fulham 1-2 Arsenal

Tottenham Hotspur Vs. West Bromwich Albion

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    Tuesday January 3, 7.45p.m., BST

    Spurs have two home games in the next week, as they play their match in hand on the teams above them.

    They have won six of their last seven home games, and two victories in the next week would see them putting real pressure on the two Manchester clubs. If they are to be real title contenders, they will have to win both of those games.

    With Spurs having two home games this week it's not a bad idea to pick as many of their players as possible for fantasy managers. Gareth Bale and Emmanuel Adebayor are probably the best of them, but Brad Friedel and Rafael van der Vaart are doing pretty well too.

    West Brom have taken 14 points from nine away games so far, and only four teams have won more away games than they have. Their home form has let them down though. They will probably feel they have a good chance of creating an upset in this game. 

    West Brom are spreading the fantasy points among their players, and it's hard to choose any outstanding performers.

    I think Spurs should manage a win, but West Brom won't make it easy for them.

    Prediction Spurs 2-1 West Brom

Wigan Athletic Vs. Sunderland

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    Tuesday January 3, 7.45p.m., BST

    Wigan have only won one of their nine home games so far this season, but they have played very well over the last few weeks.

    They are the lowest scorers in the league, and their lack of goals will continue to see them struggle near the wrong end of the table. 

    Ali Al-Habsi is still the best fantasy player to choose among the Wigan players.

    Sunderland did really well to beat league leaders Manchester City on Sunday, and they are looking a lot better under Martin O'Neill already. They have struggled away from home so far, but they will see Wigan as a team they can beat.

    Both Stephane Sessegnon and Seb Larsson are scoring plenty of fantasy points for Sunderland this season.

    This game looks like it will end up all square to me.

    Prediction Wigan 1-1 Sunderland

Manchester City Vs. Liverpool

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    Tuesday January 3, 8p.m., BST

    City haven't scored in two games, and they have only taken one point from those games.

    They have won all of their home games so far this season though, and no other team has a better defence at home than they have. They will want to get back to winning ways, but it won't be easy against Liverpool.

    There are still a host of City players to choose from, but their points haul has slipped recently. Joe Hart, Vincent Kompany, David Silva and Sergio Aguero are the best bets among the City players.

    Liverpool looked a much better team when Steven Gerrard came on against Newcastle last Friday night. If Kenny Dalglish can accommodate both him and Charlie Adam in the same team they could pose a real threat. I think Gerrard could play on the right if Andy Carroll is playing, but I doubt if Dalglish will play them both.

    Jose Reina, Glen Johnson and Jose Enrique are all good bets in the Liverpool team, but Gerrard could be the player to watch when he's fully fit.

    I think City will get back to winning ways, but it won't be easy for them.

    Prediction City 2-1 Liverpool

Everton Vs. Bolton Wanderers

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    Wednesday January 4, 7.45p.m., BST

    Everton are playing quite well at the moment, but they just can't score enough goals. They have only managed four in their last six games and have only scored more than one goal five times this season.

    They will see a home game against the bottom club as an ideal chance to change that statistic.

    Leighton Baines, Tim Howard and Phil Jagielka are probably the best fantasy bets among the Everton players at the moment. Don't forget Everton get to play twice this week too.

    Bolton are at the bottom of the table again, and they have conceded more goals than any other team in the league.

    They have managed to win three times away from home though, and that will give them some hope for this game. If they can score a goal they will have a chance against an Everton team that struggles to score.

    Bolton's best fantasy performer is Ivan Klasnic, but one goal in seven games would suggest he's not in form at the moment.

    Everton have to win a game at some stage, and I think they will beat Bolton.

    Prediction Everton 2-0 Bolton

Newcastle United Vs. Manchester United

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    Wednesday January 4, 7.45p.m., BST

    Newcastle have a few defensive problems at the moment, but they're still playing quite well. They have done quite well at home this season, and they will fancy their chances against a United team that has a few injury worries of its own.

    Demba Ba is doing really well for Newcastle at the moment, but this will be his last game before going to the ACN I think.

    United  was beaten at home by Blackburn on Saturday, and they will want to bounce back immediately. They have won seven of their nine away games so far, and they are unbeaten away from home.

    Their injury problems are a real worry for them though.

    If Wayne Rooney plays, he's always a great bet, but besides him Nani and Antonio Valencia are performing very well too. Dimitar Berbatov has five goals in two games, but he might not even get a game if Rooney returns.

    I think Newcastle might just manage to take a point off United.

    Prediction Newcastle 2-2 United

Tottenham Hotspur Vs. Everton

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    Wednesday January 11, 7.45p.m., BST

    Spurs have a very good home record this season, and I think their firepower will make things tough for Everton.

    Everton have no real goalscorers in their team, and I think that will give them a real problem in this game.

    I think Spurs will get their second win of the week and move just behind the top two.

    Prediction Spurs 2-0 Everton

    That's it for today, but feel free to tell me where I might have gone right or wrong as the case may be.

    It's not too late to join the over 1,000 other teams in my fantasy league. There are prizes for the top three teams at the end of the season. Just go to the site and use the code 125540-42785 to join my league when your team is set up.

    To join the predictions league, just go to the site and set up your predictions. Then use the code F688F-JCO to join my league. I'll update the league table in my predictions every week.

    Don't forget you can follow me on Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook too.

    I'm also a member of a very good and very active Arsenal group on Facebook, which you can join here.

    See you tomorrow.


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