Here we have my predictions for this weekends premier league fixtures and key fantasy team players. As we approach the final dozen games of the season, all is up for grabs at both ends of the table.
FULHAM 1-1 STOKE – A less than inspiring fixture. Both teams should be well rested after last weekend off. Fulham should play the better football at home, however, Stoke will bring the battling physical presence. This one has the potential to go either way, but with Stokes solid defence and Fulham with home advantage, we go draw.
Key Fantasy Player: Breda Hangeland/Kenwyne Jones
ARSENAL 2-0 ASTON VILLA – Paul Lambert has told the media that Villa have to win 12 cup finals in order to be sure of survival. They currently sit one point above the relegation zone in 17th. Arsenal need to bounce back after a humiliating result against Blackburn in the FA Cup. The fans also need some confidence restoring and this is the game to do that. Villa’s young and inexperienced defence could falter. Benteke could always be a threat depending on which side of the player turns up!
Key Fantasy Player: Santi Cazorla/Olivier Giroud
NORWICH 1-2 EVERTON – Norwich will need to continue to scrape results if they are to stay in the PL next season as they sit 6 points off the drop. Everton have their eyes on Arsenal for 5th spot and possibly looking at Tottenham in the CL qualification places. Everton to have to edge in attack and defence.
Key Fantasy Player: Marouanne Felliani/Leighton Baines
QPR 0-3 MAN UTD – This would be a tough fixture for any side, QPR have the added pressure of a relegation battle. Loftus Road is a tough place to go, but this Man Utd side seem to achieve results whether playing good or bad and have a settled squad rotation policy in effect meaning the player will not be fatigued from Monday nights victory over Reading.
Key Fantasy Player: RVP/Rooney
READING 1-0 WIGAN – Relegation dog fight is on the cards here. Both teams need the points and need to fight to stay in the league. Reading just to shave this one, especially with home advantage.
Key Fantasy Player: Kebe/Le Fondre
WEST BROM 1-1 SUNDERLAND – a close and tight affair expected. Albion have been very impressive at home whilst Sunderland have solidified as the season has progressed. If the game is not to be a draw, Albion have to be faviourites for a close win.
Key Fantasy Player: Lukaku/Adam Johnson
MAN CITY 2-1 CHELSEA – by far the tie of the weekend. A defeat for Chelsea will end their already slim hopes of winning the title this season. Man City cannot afford to lose and need to keep up with Manchester United and hopefully claw back some of the 12 point deficit. A cagey affair but Manchester City have to be favourites at the Etihad.
Key Fantasy Player: Aguero/Toure (Yaya) or Silva.
NEWCASTLE 2-1 SOUTHAMPTON – Another close game at the foot of the table with both teams 4 points off the relegation zone. Newcastle should be favourites with home advantage and all their new signings. However, do not underestimate Southampton who were mightily impressive and showed they can play football against the best away from home when they were unlucky to lose at Old Trafford earlier this season.
Key Fantasy Player: Cabaye/Ben Arfa
WEST HAM 0-2 TOTTENHAM – The Hammers look comfortable in mid-table and the threat of relegation should be minimal. Spurs are looking to push Chelsea for 3rd spot. Jermain Defoe is looking like he will miss another week and striking duties will be down to the out of form Adebayor, Clint Dempsey and Gareth Bale. Quality should prevail here with Tottenham easing to a comfortable win.
Key Fantasy Player: Bale