Midweek Premier League Preview and Predictions

It’s an all-important double game week for fantasy football players, with big points to be won. The big match in round 12 is the Manchester derby, but what do you think of the midweek fixtures? Leave your predictions in the comments section below.

Stoke City vs. Birmingham City (Tuesday, 19:45)
With Man City and Chelsea coming up in their next two games, Birmingham know that tonight will be the prefect time to register their first away win of the season. Tony Pulis will be hoping that Stoke can end a run of five consecutive defeats and that he will be able to talk about his team after the game rather than the performance of the referee. Stoke will be looking to add to their tally of clean sheets which so far reads only one.
Key man: Nikola Zigic
After a slow start to Birmingham’s campaign, Zigic has played 90 minutes in the Blues’ last four games and in that time has weighed in with two goals and two assists. The Serbian striker is 6ft 7in tall and Stoke could struggle to contain him with Ryan Shawcross missing.
Last two league meetings: Birmingham 0-0 Stoke, Stoke 0-1 Birmingham
Prediction: 0-1. History suggests few goals and I don’t see why that should change this time around, Birmingham to nick it.

Tottenham Hotspur vs. Sunderland (Tuesday, 20:00)
Spurs and Sunderland are teams with contrasting fortunes of late. Spurs went from an all-time high against Inter Milan to a reality check against Bolton, and Sunderland went from an all-time low against Newcastle to salvaging some pride against Stoke. Both teams have injury concerns, Darren Bent will be missing for the Black Cats while Tottenham’s sick list continues to grow by the day.
Key Man: Asamoah Gyan
While Bent’s absence is bad news for Sunderland, Gyan’s two goals at the weekend will provide some hope and he could give Tottenham’s well documented make-shift defence a lot of problems.
Last two league meetings: Tottenham 2-0 Sunderland, Sunderland 3-1 Tottenham
Prediction: 1-1. Tottenham will be desperate to impress, but could struggle to break Sunderland down and if there’s one thing that is certain this season it’s that Spurs will concede.

Aston Villa vs. Blackpool (Wednesday, 19:45)
Villa were denied a morale boosting win after Fulham’s equaliser at the death on Saturday. Villa fans are generally behind Houllier, but their league position of 14th isn’t doing him any favours. Blackpool’s season continues to astound and entertain and there’s little reason to suggest that this game shouldn’t be the same. The Tangerines keep finding goals from all over the pitch and Matt Phillips looks like he could become a good player at this level
Key Man: Ashley Young
Young’s recent form has been some way off his best, but he could provide Villa with a huge boost if he finds a good performance on Wednesday.
Last two league meetings: Aston Villa 1-0 Blackpool, Blackpool 0-3 Aston Villa
Prediction: 3-2. Blackpool have won three times away from home this season so this will be a stern test for Villa, but I fancy the Midlanders to just have too much.

Continue to PAGE TWO for more Premier League predictions

Chelsea vs. Fulham (Wednesday, 19:45)
Chelsea will need to bounce back from conceding two goals in a league game for the first time this season, while Fulham will be buoyed by their last minute heroics against Villa. Fulham always give a Chelsea a good run for their money, but they haven’t beaten them in the league since 2006, and they haven’t won at Stamford Bridge since 1979. Carlo Ancelotti made an error by leaving Didier Drogba on the bench for Sunday’s defeat at Liverpool, and I don’t imagine that he’d make the same mistake again.
Key Man: Didier Drogba
If there’s one thing Didier Drogba isn’t used to it’s starting a game on the bench, so expect him to be keen to show why he deserves a starting role every week. His early season form seems to have escaped him of late, so Drogba is a player with a point to prove.
Last two league meetings: Fulham 0-2 Chelsea, Chelsea 2-1 Fulham
Prediction: 3-1. Chelsea will recover from their setback, but Fulham will make them sweat for it.

Newcastle United vs. Blackburn Rovers (Wednesday, 19:45)
After two fantastic wins, Newcastle have rocketed up to 5th in the league. Both teams have been through a lot since 1995 when Blackburn won the league and Newcastle finished 6th. Blackburn have been involved in three consecutive games which have finished 2-1 and have scored one goal in a game seven times this season.
Key Man: Kevin Nolan
Nolan has been a key performer so far this season for the Magpies, but has often been over-shadowed by the goals of Andy Carroll. His last three games have returned four goals and two assists and Blackburn’s defence has struggled to keep clean sheets so far this season.
Last two league meetings: Newcastle 1-2 Blackburn, Blackburn 3-0 Newcastle
Prediction: 2-0. Newcastle’s climb up the league continues at the expense of a Blackburn side who will be starting to look nervously over their shoulders.

West Ham United vs. West Bromwich Albion (Wednesday, 19:45)
Wednesday’s battle of the ‘Wild West’ sees both teams needing the points for different reasons. After West Brom went down to Manchester City on Sunday they will want to prove that their impressive start to the season was more than just a flash in the pan. West Ham went 0-2 up against Birmingham on Saturday and showed a lot of promise, before reverting back to their old ways. The Hammers need three points to take advantage of Wolves’ tough run of games and to climb out of the bottom three.
Key Man: Frederic Piquionne
A man in form for West Ham. Piquionne has been racking up the stats over the last month and you get the feeling that if West Ham are going to get anything from this one then Piquionne will need to provide the goals.
Last two league meetings: West Brom 3-2 West Ham, West Ham 0-0 West Brom
Prediction: 1-1. A result that neither will want, but a game that both will be desperate not to lose.

Wigan Athletic vs. Liverpool (Wednesday, 19:45)
After three consecutive wins, Liverpool’s season of disaster has suddenly begun to show signs of recovery, after all not many teams can put two past Chelsea. The Reds are a different team when Torres is on form, and his goals on Sunday were top class. Wigan continue to hover just about the bottom and are capable of picking up points in some unlikely places, but after picking up five points in three games they have lost their last two.
Key Man: Fernando Torres
A no-brainer really. If Torres plays well Liverpool will be too good for Wigan, if he doesn’t they could find it tough
Last two league meetings: Liverpool 2-1 Wigan, Wigan 1-0 Liverpool
Prediction: 0-2. Wigan will give a good show, but they will fail to deliver when they need a real touch of class.

Continue to PAGE THREE for more Premier League predictions

Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. Arsenal (Wednesday, 19:45)
Both teams will be immensely disappointed with their results from the weekend. Wolves were left heart broken at Old Trafford after a goal deep in injury time denied them for the second time in just over a week. Arsenal were frustrated against Newcastle, and on another day they could have won convincingly. Mick McCarthy will be relieved that this match will be the final game of Wolves’ run against the top four.
Key Man: Cesc Fabregas
Arsene Wenger believes his star-man has been ‘restricted mentally’ by his recent injury problems, however his natural ability could provide the touch of class that separates the two sides.
Last two league meetings: Wolves 1-4 Arsenal, Arsenal 1-0 Wolves
Prediction: 0-2. For all the good that Wolves have done lately I fear that they’ll be on the wrong end of an Arsenal backlash tomorrow night.

Everton vs. Bolton Wanderers (Wednesday, 20:00)
Bolton will be riding the crest of a wave after their demolition of high-flying Tottenham on Saturday. Kevin Davies ran the show and his two goals were just reward. Owen Coyle has transformed Bolton and they are becoming increasingly difficult to beat. Everton could only muster a draw at Blackpool, but they won’t be the last team to find things tough at Bloomfield Road.
Key Man: Seamus Coleman
Coleman had a fine game against Blackpool and looked dangerous going forward. His goal may have been a little lucky, but on Wednesday he could be the catalyst for Everton to continue their good league form.
Last two league meetings: Bolton 3-2 Everton, Everton 2-0 Bolton
Prediction: 2-1. Everton’s poor start to the season is firmly behind them and they will scrape past a plucky Bolton side.

Manchester City vs. Manchester United (Wednesday, 20:00)
The match everyone looks out for. Manchester United are unbeaten and Manchester City’s performances has been patchy, but since when has form been a deciding factor in big derby games?
Key Man: David Silva
City fans have been raving about this guy recently. Since Silva’s well publicized slow start he has firmly got to grips with the Premier League and is really showing his class. He has weighed in with his fair share of stats and runs the show from midfield.
Last two league meetings: Man Utd 4-3 Man City, Man City 0-1 Man Utd
Prediction: 3-1. United’s unbeaten run will be ended emphatically by a City side determined not to let their season deteriorate into nothing.

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