Welcome to the latest edition of ?Friday Feature’. The Barclay’s Premier League is heating up with a number of prizes up for grabs. The race for the title between Liverpool and United has almost reached fever pitch with neither teams slipping. Also, there’s an intriguing midfield battle to decide which four teams will get a shot at being a part of next year’s Europa League. Apart from that, the relegation battle is far from over. These last days of the league really are too hot to handle!
Fantasy players, please note that both Manchester United and Wigan play twice this game week. So if you think that some players from these teams may perform well, make sure that they figure in your squad! Here’s a round up of all the matches, my predictions and the key players:
Blackburn Rovers vs Portsmouth: Saturday 9th May, 3 PM
Prediction: Both teams have been just average over the past few weeks, and both come off disappointing losses to teams better than them. Blackburn and Portsmouth are also within a point of each other in the Premier League table, so this should be one of the most evenly matched fixtures this weekend. It’s pretty likely though that the home advantage will swing it Blackburn’s way.
Keith Andrews (Blackburn): The Irishman got the consolation goal for Blackburn against Manchester City last week. Expect another impressive display from him this Saturday.
Sean Davis (Portsmouth): The experienced Englishman who was once tipped to be hot property for the national side is one of Portsmouth’s strongest assets. With Kranjcar out for the remainder of the season due to injury, he’ll be the key man in the midfield.
Bolton Wanderers vs Sunderland: Saturday 9th May, 3 PM
Prediction: This is another match which seems to be evenly matched. Both teams are struggling, and though both look like they’ll survive in the league this year, they won’t really be that far above the bottom three. Bolton might pull through owing to the home advantage.
Johan Elmander (Bolton): The 27 year old Swedish international has been pretty impressive for Bolton since his signing last year. He’s regularly featured in the playing 11, and scored a few too. Expect him to get better over time.
Djibril Cisse (Sunderland): The French international who’s on loan from Marseille this season is Sunderland’s top scorer thus far, with 10 goals. He’s been starting regularly and giving strong performances. Expect more from him in the final weeks!
Everton vs Tottenham Hotspur: Saturday 9th May, 3 PM
Prediction: Both teams are decently placed in the league. Everton’s place in next year’s Europa Cup is nearly confirmed, and Tottenham are also in the running for one. Recent record gives Spurs the upper hand, but Everton will enjoy being the home team. Again a very evenly balanced tie.
Marouane Fellaini (Everton): The Belgian international has been giving impressive performances since his signing last year. He’s scored 8 in the league thus far, and is very likely to add to that tally.
Aaron Lennon (Tottenham): The inspirational English winger, who’s supposedly the shortest player in the Premier League, has been a key figure in the revival of Tottenham. He’ll continue to play an important role.
Fulham vs Aston Villa: Saturday 9th May, 3 PM
Prediction: Aston Villa finally managed to hold their free fall with a hard fought 1-0 victory against Hull at home. Fulham, who’re battling for a Europa Cup spot, stand strong in the way of their recovery. My vote goes to a Fulham victory.
Danny Murphy (Fulham): One of Fulham’s strongest players off late. Expect him to do pretty well.
Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa): With 11 goals and 9 assists so far this season, Agbonlahor has been a consistent performer this season. He’s one of the fastest runners on the football pitch, expect good from him!
Hull City vs Stoke City: Saturday 9th May, 3 PM
Prediction: With just 1 point in their last 6 games, Hull desperately need a win to avoid being threatened by relegation. Stoke have a pretty decent recent record, and will take the fight to Hull at KC stadium.
Michael Turner (Hull): Apart from Geovanni, Turner has been one of Hull’s top fantasy players this season. Hull will try their best to secure points in this fixture, and for that it’s essential that they don’t concede. He will be a key figure.
Ricardo Fuller (Stoke): Stoke will look to be on the offensive, and the veteran striker will have an important role to play.
West Bromwich Albion vs Wigan Athletic: Saturday 9th May, 3 PM
Prediction: Yet again, both teams have been poor over the past few weeks, both home and away. The only difference is that Wigan are safely above the relegation zone while West Brom are most likely out. Wigan are in a position to hope for a Europa Cup place, so they’ll put their hearts and souls into this match. For me, Wigan should win this one.
Chris Brunt (West Brom): With 8 goals so far this season, Chris is the top fantasy player for West Brom this season. Lets see what he can do this weekend.
Antonio Valencia (Wigan): The youngster has continued to impress, and will have an important role to play this weekend too.
West Ham United vs Liverpool: Saturday 9th May, 5.30 PM
Prediction: Even though Liverpool have been at their dominating best in the league, victory against West Ham at Upton Park is not as easy as it might look. This should be an interesting contest, with a Europa Cup place on the line for The Hammers.
David Di Michele (West Ham): With Carlton Cole injured, the veteran striker on loan from Torino will have a key role to play if West Ham are to score.
Steven Gerrard (Liverpool): With this year’s League drawing to an end, Liverpool will chase after Manchester United with everything they’ve got. If they’re to cause some problems, their inspirational captain will have the most important role to play.
Manchester United vs Manchester City: Sunday 10th May, 1.30 PM
Prediction: This game week’s most tricky fixture, there’s no knowing what might happen in the Manchester derby. Even though City are traditionally poor away from home, and United traditionally strong, anything is possible in this match. Though I would really like to see a United victory, I won’t dare make a prediction!
Michael Carrick (Manchester United): Midfield domination will be the key to victory in this match, and that’s where Carrick comes in.
Stephen Ireland (Manchester City): With 9 goals and 10 assists so far this season, Ireland is City’s top fantasy player thus far. He’ll be the key to overcoming United’s powerful midfield.
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Sunday 10th May, 4 PM
Prediction: Both teams come off Champions League heartbreak, losing out in the semi finals to Manchester United and Barcelona respectively. Both will be keen to prove their worth. This one is going to be a cracker folks!!
Francesc Fabregas (Arsenal): The young Arsenal captain will be keen to prove his side’s strength at home, and will be a key figure in the match.
Frank Lampard (Chelsea): Chelsea’s most experienced midfielder will be keen boost his side’s morale with a victory after a controversial loss to Barcelona. He’ll play an important role.
Newcastle United vs Middlesbrough: Monday 11th May, 8 PM
Prediction: Both teams are struggling big time, lying level on points at the bottom of the table. A victory will give either team a ray of hope that they may survive in the league. Both teams will fight with their lives for the victory here..
Damien Duff (Newcastle): The experienced Irishman will have an important role to play if his team is to have any hope of victory.
Marlon King (Middlesbrough): The veteran Jamaican international will play a key role if Middlesbrough are to walk away with the victory.
Wigan Athletic vs Manchester United: Wednesday 13th May, 8 PM
Prediction: This is the crucial match in hand that Manchester United have at the moment, and it may well go on to determine the outcome of the season.
Ji Sung Park (Manchester United): The hardworking South Korean midfielder has been on a roll with two goals in his last two matches, including in the Champions League against Arsenal. If he features, he’ll have an important role to play.
Antonio Valencia (Wigan): The youngster will look to prove his worth to United, who hinted that they might be interested in the youngster.
Well, that’s it for this week’s ?Friday Feature’. Hope you’re all set for the weekend…don’t miss it at any cost! Your suggestions and comments are welcome as always. Happy Fantasy, and enjoy your football!