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Week 17 Predictions 20/12/11

Monday 19th December 2011
Well the Christmas period didn't quite start with the bang I was hoping for but there were plenty of talking points. I was still very happy, mainly because I equalled my best ever score on the predictions with a total of 11 winners. I'm hoping that's just a sign of things to come for me over the next three games. Here's what I've gone with for the midweek fixtures:

Wolves 1-2 Norwich

Both these sides dropped points from a winning position at the weekend. The difference being that Norwich still ended up with a great result while Wolves got a very bad one. This is another must win for Wolves and with some big games just around the corner, they need to get 3 points on the board before they slip into the relegation zone. I hope Norwich use this game to move even further away from the bottom three, it would be such a shame to see them drop off, like Hull did a couple of seasons ago.

Blackburn 1-0 Bolton

This is one of the biggest games of the Christmas period. These two teams continue to lose games that they really shouldn't be, especially Bolton. I would like to know how many people predicted them to have such a bad start, they seemed to be turning things round under Coyle. Whoever loses this game will be bottom on Christmas day and we all know what the probability of staying up is when that happens. The fact that this is a debry game makes it all the tastier. A couple of weeks ago, I would have picked Bolton but they have failed in so many of their recent games that I am going with the home side for a narrow, narrow win.

Aston Villa 0-2 Arsenal

Villa were very absent against Liverpool and I expect them to put up even less of a challenge to Arsenal. As long as Arsenal want to win the game, they will.

Man City 2-1 Stoke

While the City-Arsenal game wasn't bad, I was expecting more goals. Stoke have been on such a fantastic run and I can't imagine them rolling over. I don't think they will get a point but they will make the game a lot closer than City will be hoping for.

Newcastle 1-1 West Brom

West Brom got a good win at Blackburn, one I wasn't expecting them to get. I still believe this period is damage limitation for Newcastle. If they can make it to the New Year without losing the games like this one (and the Swansea game) than they should be able to start mounting another push for the Europa League. Demba Ba is going to become an even more important player for them.

Everton 1-0 Swansea

This was very hard to call. Had Everton beaten Norwich or perhaps just thrown away a win, I would have had an easier time saying Everton to get the victory. I think they will win but it will be hard fought.

Fulham 1-2 Man Utd

I seem to remember around this time of year, two years ago, Fulham won this fixture 3-0. I wouldn't be hugely surprised if Fulham won this one again but with Rooney in scoring form again, United should be able to win with another decent performance.

QPR 1-1 Sunderland

And the most boring game of midweek goes to this one. I didn't realise how far QPR had fallen down the table recently. I still thought of them being safe in midtable but they are only just above Sunderland. Both sides need to win but neither will.

Wigan 0-1 Liverpool

Liverpool looked like they were going to get a cricket score at Villa Park. The only negative for them was that they didn't. Wigan continue to get points from games that they are expected to lose but I think this could be a step too far. I just don't seem them taking points off Chelsea and Liverpool in back-to-back games.

Tottenham 2-1 Chelsea

Everytime I expect a good game, it always seems to be a let down. Spurs should be really up for this. They bounced back from losing to Stoke by beating Sunderland and I think they will want to prove just how good they are. They have already beaten Arsenal and Liverpool so Chelsea would be a nice scalp to add to the collection. It would also give them a nice points cushion between themselves and Chelsea. I really thought Chelsea were back on track but you can't be dropping points to the teams who are struggling if they want to be serious title challenges. Maybe the questions about AVB will return if they lose here, I really hope not but they have been raised before for less.

As we are into the second round of games for the Christmas period, I have got into the spirit more by inviting a family member to be this week's guest. Please welcome my brother, Mark Friend. He knows very little about football and has admitted that his predictions are based on what he knew about football 12 years ago. I am expecting a straight-forward win but the last time a guest knew nothing about football, I was beaten by current prediction league leaders Laura and Jen. Here is Mark's selections for this round of matches:

Wolves 2-1 Norwich

Blackburn 1-1 Bolton

Villa 0-3 Arsenal

City 4-1 Stoke

Newcastle 0-0 West Brom

Everton 1-0 Swansea

Fulham 0-2 United

QPR 0-0 Sunderland

Wigan 0-2 Liverpool

Spurs 1-3 Chelsea

They look a lot better than I was expecting them to. I will feel very ashamed if I lose.

I will be back in a few days with my predictions for the Boxing Day fixtures (and the two on the 27th, which I am not happy about as all 20 teams should play on Boxing Day, it's tradition). Those will be the games to take use to the half way point. I can't belive it has gone so quickly. Merry Christmas.



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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