GW34 Preview: Everton pair can make your Double Gameweek a breeze
It’s a bit of a stealth Double Gameweek, this.
Because of the FA Cup semi-finals, two teams don’t play at all, whilst of the four who play twice, one are away to the current league leaders and two of the others have spent all of their season in the lower reaches of the table. One of them is currently rock bottom.
All of which leads you to one team this week, and luckily they are a team bang in form.
Everton know that over the next week they can cement their claims for a top four finish and Champions League football next season.
Following their sixth win in a row against Arsenal last weekend, Roberto Martinez’s Blues now go to a slumping Sunderland before following that up with a home game against a carefree Crystal Palace who are pretty much assured of their Premier League status for next season.
Because of the opportunity for Everton goals, the eyes are immediately drawn to forward Romelu Lukaku (£9.0m), who is sure to see his ownership rate rise over the coming days.
The Belgian recorded a double figure points score for the fourth time this season and the second time in three games in the demolition of the Gunners, and wherever he ends up playing next season the on-loan Chelsea man appears determined to shoot Everton into the top four during this one.
Lukaku has received strong attacking support from the likes of Steven Naismith (£4.6m) and Kevin Mirallas (£7.6m) in recent weeks, but the Blues’ defence also deserves some attention given that they are facing two of the lowest scorers in the division.
Everyone knows about how well Seamus Coleman (£6.9m) has done this season, but his young teammate John Stones (£4.1m) has come into the team in the last six matches, and it’s no coincidence that Everton have won all of those games.
Stones has been excellent since coming in for the injured Phil Jagielka, and this week it could pay to partner him with Coleman in your defence as the Blues look to keep things tight at the back.
Of the other teams facing Double Gameweeks, Manchester City head into what is surely the match of the season against Liverpool on Sunday and then follow that up with the much more winnable contest at home to Sunderland.
The Anfield meeting will of course be on a knife edge, and whilst you really can’t confidently predict which way it will go, the opportunity of some extra points for City players before they go into the Sunderland game means that they really can’t be ignored.
David Silva (£9.5m) has been excellent since moving into the No. 10 position behind the main striker, usually Edin Dzeko (£7.2m), but after his goal against Southampton it is perhaps Samir Nasri (£8.2m) who warrants the most attention.
The Frenchman will be a key goal threat at Anfield, and will also fancy his chances of impressing against Sunderland, a match which – like Everton v Crystal Palace – takes place now after it was postponed due to high winds in February.
Elsewhere, the big relegation battle between Fulham and Norwich at Craven Cottage could see Steve Sidwell (£5.3m) impress for the home side, whilst Stoke City look like being the latest team to profit from the fact that Newcastle United appear to have packed up for the season. Marko Arnautovic (£5.1m) and Peter Odemwingie (£5.4m) could impress at the Britannia Stadium.
West Brom’s Morgan Amalfitano (£4.2m) has rediscovered some of his early season form in the past few weeks and he could be worth a gamble as the Baggies host Tottenham, whilst after he returned from the bench in dismal circumstances at Goodison Park last Sunday, Arsenal could give Aaron Ramsey (£6.9m) a start in their match against West Ham.