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Week 16 Predictions 17/12/11

Saturday 17th December 2011
The start of the season is always exciting. No one knows exactly how their team is going to do and it is the first chance to see new signings in action. The end of the season is always tense. With so much money in football today, single games can be worth tens of millions. But my favourite time of the season is the Christmas period and it starts this weekend.

All the clubs are starting to tell at this point whether they will be challenging for the title, pushing for Europe or fighting relegation. They will be sure of which by the end of this period. There are so many points up for grabs in such a short space of time that a good run could turn a team's season around. Why would anyone want a winter break?

Blackburn 2-1 West Brom

While still not convinced by Kean, I do feel Blackburn have improved in the last couple of games. West Brom seem to be missing something from last year. Losing at home to Wigan was a very poor result and with Blackburn needing to win their home games, I think it could be back to back defeats for the Baggies.

Everton 2-2 Norwich

The more I see of Norwich, the more they impress me. Newcastle were lacking fit centre backs and Norwich took advantage of that and scored four times. I will be shocked if they go down. Everton really should be picking up nine points (at the very least) over the next four games. I still don't have a clue where they will end up finishing. As soon as they seem to be building some momentum, they go and lose at home to Stoke. I can't see them outscoring Norwich but I think they will match them.

Fulham 2-0 Bolton

Before the Villa game last week, I was still convinced that Bolton would easily stay up and it was just a matter of time until they moved out of the bottom three. Now I'm not so sure. Bolton have some tough but very winnable games coming up. If they are still bottom in the new year, I just can't see them staying up. For Fulham to play all those games in Europe and go out before the knockout round, it does feel like a wasted effort. When the fixture schedule dies down in January, Fulham should be happy to have the midweek off. I can only imagine that it will be a benefit to them.

Newcastle 0-0 Swansea

I don't believe that either team here will be fighting hard for a victory. With Newcastle's injury problems have come at a really bad time and the more defeats they can avoid in the next few games the better.

Wolves 1-1 Stoke

This is a big game for both sides. A Stoke win could see them really push on from the rest of the mid-table teams and a Wolves could see them join the mid-table teams. Both will see it as a winnable game and then cancel each other out.

Wigan 1-3 Chelsea

Wigan deserve a lot of credit. They beat Sunderland away, got spanked by Arsenal at home and bounced back to beat West Brom away. With Liverpool to face after Chelsea, those six points have meant they can lose these two games and not get left behind. Chelsea seem to be sorting themselves out again. Just a couple of games ago AVB's job was in danger but suggest it now would be pure stupidity. It's a funny old game.

QPR 1-4 Man Utd

Up until the last game, I still thought United hadn't recovered from the defeat to City. They put up a pathetic showing in the Champions League and then gave a performance against Wolves that reminded me of the start of the season. I hope they continue to entertain at QPR and keep the title race wide open.

Aston Villa 1-2 Liverpool

Villa play their next four games against sides from the top eight. This could be where their slide down the table begins. If they are still in the top half by the new year then all credit to them. Liverpool have bottled some of their easier games this year and that is my only worry for them here. I still expect them to win with a comfortable performance.

Tottenham 2-1 Sunderland

Spurs' fantastic run came to an end last week so it will be more interesting how that effects them in a game that they should be winning. Sunderland managed to scrape a win against Blackburn which will give them confidence but they won't get anywhere near as many chances at White Hart Lane.

Man City 3-2 Arsenal

I really want this to be a good game. I hoped for one in the Carling Cup but instead got one of the worst games I have seen. I'm putting that down to a lot of first team players rested on both sides and predicting that this time it will be a Christmas cracker (can I use that joke or should I really leave it until Boxing Day).

My first Christmas guest is a familiar one, he was in fact my first guest. Welcome back Ste Dinnage. He is hoping to increase his score which is currently a not so merry 3 points. Here's what he has picked:

Blackburn 1-2 West Brom

Everton 1-2 Norwich

Fulham 0-0 Bolton

Newcastle 2-2 Swansea

Wolves 1-0 Stoke

Wigan 0-2 Chelsea

QPR 0-3 United

Villa 1-1 Liverpool

Spurs 3-0 Sunderland

City 3-1 Arsenal

Quite a few interesting predictions there. I predict he will beat his previous score by quite a bit but hopefully not enough to beat me.

I will be back again in a few days for the midweek games. The Premier League really is the gift that keeps on giving.

Oliver Friend
23 year old Psychology graduate from The University of Hull. Massive England fan and supporter of Birmingham City at club level. Currently spending a lot of time going to watch North Ferriby United in the Conference North. Also try to keep up with the major European leagues. Follow on Twitter: @ole1208

Total articles: 35

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