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Manchester City, Manchester United and West Ham picked for Preview

GW24 Preview: Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla can shine on his date with Palace


Before the recent FA Cup North London derby against Tottenham at the Emirates Stadium, Santi Cazorla (£9.5m) had scored just one goal this season. He’s got six now.

Terrific goalscoring form has seen the Spaniard hit the net five times in his last five matches in all competitions, and with the Gunners suffering plenty of injury setbacks as they continue their challenge at the top of the Premier League, those goals are crucial for a side missing plenty of attacking talents.

After scoring in the 2-2 draw at Southampton in midweek, Cazorla will surely start when Crystal Palace come calling to the Emirates Stadium on Sunday afternoon in a match that the Gunners should certainly win.

That Saints game was the only Premier League match in the last six that the Gunners haven’t won, with Cazorla starting all of those matches and completing the 90 minutes in all of them bar going off for the final five minutes at St Mary’s.

The Spanish international’s current goalscoring spurt shouldn’t really come as much of a surprise.

Until that Spurs FA Cup clash his only strike this season came in a 2-0 win over Liverpool in early November, but Cazorla scored 12 times in his first season in English football last year, and so there could well be more goals on the way if he is to keep up his average.

Against Palace he’ll be joined by the likes of Olivier Giroud (£8.7m) and Mesut Ozil (£10.0m), but injuries to the likes of Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey has opened the door for young German Serge Gnabry (£4.2m), who is a more than useful cheap squad addition and has started the Gunners’ last three games.

Elsewhere this weekend, Manchester United’s newfound attacking trio will be backed by many to win at Stoke.

Juan Mata (£9.6m), Robin van Persie (£13.6m) and Wayne Rooney (£11.3m) were all available for the first time in the midweek win over Cardiff at Old Trafford, and as they go to the Britannia Stadium they’ll have plenty of Fantasy bosses cheering them on.

As showcased above though, there are plenty of reasons when Cazorla is the preferred option to his Spanish international teammate Mata right now, but with both players available at a similar price then it is certainly worth monitoring the displays of both over the next few matches.

Everton were embarrassed by neighbours Liverpool at Anfield in midweek, and so they’ll be determined to bounce back when they host Aston Villa at home on Saturday.

Romelu Lukaku was crocked by teammate Gareth Barry in that Liverpool loss and he’ll miss out here, meaning that we could see a debut for giant on-loan forward Lacina Traore (£7.5m), but a shrewder move could be to go for winger Kevin Mirallas (£7.2m), who at least put in plenty of effort at Anfield and scored in his two previous appearances before that.

Everton’s Merseyside conquerors go to West Brom on Sunday, and they’ll be going there with plenty of confidence.

Luis Suarez (£13.4m) will of course be plenty of Fantasy bosses’ pick for the captaincy following his goal and assist against the Blues, but it is Daniel Sturridge (£9.4m) who is catching the eye more for Liverpool at the moment, scoring five goals in four games since returning from injury.

Tottenham will fancy their chances as they go to Hull City, where Emmanuel Adebayor (£7.8m) could shine again and keep up the fine form he’s been displaying recently, whilst the big clash of the Gameweek obviously comes on Monday night when Manchester City host Chelsea.

Often such titanic clashes are ones to avoid from a Fantasy perspective, but you simply can’t ignore City’s stellar home form this season, and in the wake of Sergio Aguero’s injury at Tottenham, a goal for Edin Dzeko (£6.7m) wouldn’t be too surprising.





Gameweek 24 PREVIEW: Time for Wayne to reign again?


There has only been one star in Manchester United’s and in 44.8% of Fantasy Premier League teams’ seasons.

Robin van Persie (£14.1m) has been the main man, the top goalscorer, the top points scorer, the man outshining all the others. He has looked indestructible. He even survived that attack from Ashley Williams at Swansea before Christmas.

The man eclipsed by the rise and rise of Van Persie’s star has been Wayne Rooney (£11.8m), as frequent injuries and frustrations have left him looking enviously at his team’s Dutch master and wondering just how he let a top billing that he used to own slip so easily into the former Arsenal man’s grasp. Just recently though, he’s been making hay whilst Van Persie was away.

Alright, they were in the FA Cup. And okay, he did hopelessly miss a penalty in the West Ham game, but Rooney has found the net in each of United’s last two matches at Old Trafford – matches that Van Persie was rested for – and so should be in a confident mood ahead of the visit of Southampton on Wednesday night.

The forward is itching to impress after scoring just seven Premier League goals this season, and he could just be the key to a strong ending to the season for both United and for your Fantasy team.

As the pressure cranks up, each and every win for United looks more and more important as they seek yet another title. Sir Alex Ferguson could find himself turning to the man who has been there and done it before in a bid to get over the line.

That bid could start on Wednesday.

Elsewhere during this midweek Gameweek – everyone loves a midweek Gameweek don’t they? – there will be tales of cup woe to be shared at the Emirates Stadium as Arsenal meet Liverpool.

Supporters of Bradford City and Oldham Athletic can watch that one with smug smiles on their faces, and one man that Liverpool will need to watch closely will be the Gunners forward Olivier Giroud (£7.8m), who could just shunt Theo Walcott (£9.4m) out to the right of midfield again following his excellent recent form.

There were also cup woes for Norwich and QPR at the weekend, and they don’t look like disappearing in the league as the duo host Tottenham and Manchester City respectively. Gareth Bale (£9.8m) and David Silva (£9.4m) look to be the men to watch.

Rafael Benitez takes his Chelsea team to Reading, and in amongst the usual suspects in his Blues side – although there’s no Eden Hazard here of course – it could also be worth looking at the visitors’ defence, particularly the Spanish right-back Cesar Azpilicueta (£5.7m) who has racked up four assists since becoming more of a regular in the Blues’ team in November. Against a Reading outfit who have been known to leak goals at home, he’ll be looking to get forward.

Everton should also be on the front foot in their match against a stuttering West Brom, and many bosses will be hoping that Marouane Fellaini (£7.7m) can return to scoring ways after failing to find the net since December 1st. Meanwhile, Nikica Jelavic (£8.0m) has lost support following just one goal in 12 games.

One man who is more used to hitting the back of the net recently is Aston Villa’s Christian Benteke (£6.5m), and with the Belgian forward providing one of very few rays of light amidst the doom and gloom surrounding his club this season, Villa will be looking to him to fire against a similarly out of form Newcastle United at Villa Park.

He can do just that, and ensure that whilst his star still isn’t as high as Van Persie’s or even Rooney’s, it will at least stay on the rise.


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