Written by @CraigHazell – (that’s important!) #FPL GAMEWEEK 28 DEFENDER: Nathaniel Clyne, Liverpool In a gameweek with less matches than Phil Jones on tinder, picking a defender is a pretty difficult choice. I don’t actually think any of the 4 fixtures will have a clean sheet for either side so it makes sense to go […]
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Written by @CraigHazell – (that’s important!) #FPL GAMEWEEK 26 Manchester United, Southampton, Manchester City and Arsenal – DO NOT PLAY IN GW26… You have been warned! DEFENDER: SEAMUS COLEMAN, EVERTON I’ve mentioned plenty of times this season that Everton have a disproportionately decent defensive record and I will be sticking with that and […]
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Written by @CraigHazell – (that’s important!) DEFENDER: DEJAN LOVREN, LIVERPOOL All headlines were stolen last week by Marco Alonso, who was successfully tipped a few weeks back, when he was cheaper than his higher picked teammates. However, to afford someone like Alonso in wildcard season you are going to need to stick a few cheaper […]
The guys from @FootballFanCast have provided us with 5 potential Captaincy picks for #FPL Gameweek 16. Check out their Guest Post Romelu Lukaku The ‘new Jamie Vardy’? With this crazy season, it is a definite possibility that Vardy’s 11-game goal-scoring could be beaten by the now consistent Romelu Lukaku (9.1), who has now scored […]
DEFENDER: Toby Alderweireld – £4.7m (Home v Burnley)
Having returned to the Southampton defence for the first time in seven league games in the draw at Chelsea, Belgian international Toby Alderweireld will be targeting an injury-free run to the end of his first campaign in English football.
When fit he’s been a crucial element of the Saints’ back-line, and he’ll be confident of a clean sheet in a must-win match at home to struggling Burnley.
MIDFIELDER: Christian Eriksen – £8.4m (Home v Leicester)
They might have been royally put in their place by Manchester United, but Tottenham are about to embark on a kind run of games which are likely to determine whether or not a top four finish is really attainable.
The Dane Christian Eriksen will be crucial in that quest for points, and if he can get his team ticking at home to Leicester then there could be a few points heading your way too.
FORWARD: Romelu Lukaku – £8.8m (Away v QPR)
Barring any upsets in Europe, Romelu Lukaku is likely to approach Everton’s trip to Queens Park Rangers on Sunday in good heart.
He scored and assisted in the win over Newcastle, has good form in the Europa league and will be up against a QPR defence which seems to be holding weekly tributes to very worst defensive setups we’ve ever seen in the Premier League. What isn’t there to be confident about?!
THE OUTSIDER: Christian Benteke – £7.4m (Home v Swansea)
All of a sudden Aston Villa seem upwardly mobile, and key to all of that is the forward Christian Benteke.
Lacking fitness and seemingly lacking belief for much of the campaign, the big Belgian has now scored three times in his last two games, and will be eyeing up the weekend meeting with Swansea City as a chance for more.
THE CAPTAIN: Harry Kane – £6.3m (Home v Leicester)
Chelsea look tired and Manchester City can’t exactly be trusted even at home to West Brom, so Harry Kane could well ride to the rescue for many as the Spurs striker attempts to continue his remarkable season at home to Leicester.
The forward has scored six times in his last seven home appearances in the Premier League during this season’s ascent to stardom, and he can improve that record by hunting down the Foxes.
DEFENCE: John Stones, Everton – £5.4m (Home v Crystal Palace)
After conceding eight goals at home to both Arsenal and Chelsea, Everton boss Roberto Martinez appears to have discovered the secret to keeping things tight at the back, and it’s John Stones.
The young defender returned to the side at West Brom last weekend, and subsequently helped his side register a clean sheet for which he was also awarded two bonus points. Everton face a couple of tough fixtures after Palace at home, but Sunday should guarantee points.
MIDFIELD: Christian Eriksen, Tottenham – £7.9m (Home v West Brom)
Tottenham’s Great Dane grabbed his first goal of the season and three bonus points in the draw at Sunderland, and providing he comes through the Europa League trip to Belgrade unharmed (and perhaps unused) then he should sparkle against a poor West Brom side.
On his day Eriksen can be a devastating attacking talent, and you’d have thought that he’ll get the chance to demonstrate his abilities against one of the weaker outfits in the division.
FORWARD: Graziano Pelle, Southampton – £7.6 (Away v Swansea)
Last week’s tip-off that the Italian forward would shine didn’t turn out to be such a bad one, and after his two goals against Newcastle the frontman will have Swansea in his sights.
Pelle looks to be a forward who’ll go on little goalscoring runs rather than be a prolific hitman, and so back him to shine just as Swansea’s good start to the season gets a little trickier.
THE OUTSIDER: Ander Herrera, Manchester United – £7.3m (Away v Leicester)
Goals from the centre of midfield are something that Manchester United haven’t had for a while now, and although Ander Herrera’s strike in the win over QPR won’t be the beginning of a prolific run for the Spaniard, it will at least give him confidence.
Herrera is one of the less celebrated of United’s new arrivals, but creativity from midfield could be crucial in a tricky looking contest at Leicester.
THE CAPTAIN: Romelu Lukaku, Everton – £9.0m (Home v Crystal Palace)
With Manchester City facing Chelsea and Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United all being given tough away games, it could pay to put your trust is Everton’s Belgian battering ram for their clash with Crystal Palace on Sunday.
Wait and see what happens in the Blues’ Europa League clash with Wolfsburg first (and then pick one of the usual suspects if the worst occurs), but after his goal at West Brom last weekend Lukaku is up and running for the season, and when’s he’s on form there are few better in the division.
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.
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Whilst one team in west London continues to misfire, another one could well be on the end of the latest battering administered by their rivals’ best forward. Yes, it remains a curious fact in this Premier League season that Chelsea’s most effective frontman is currently being seen in the blue of another club, not that […]
As international breaks go that one was pretty entertaining wasn’t it? But it’s time to get back to the real stuff now.
When we left the Premier League a fortnight ago, the division’s last remaining unbeaten record had been surrendered at Manchester City.
Everton were perhaps a touch unfortunate to lose 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium, particularly as they were on the end of some unfortunate refereeing decisions and had gone 1-0 up in the match. For the scorer of their goal though, this week offers up a chance at redemption.
Romelu Lukaku (£8.0m) is still the only Chelsea forward to have scored a Premier League goal this season. He’s scored four in fact, but they’ve all come for the Blues from Goodison Park and not those from Stamford Bridge.
The talented Belgian has netted those four goals in just 217 minutes of action for Roberto Martinez’s men, and as he returns to Goodison ahead of the weekend meeting with Hull he’ll be looking to rekindle memories of his only other league appearance for Everton there so far, when he scored twice against Newcastle.
Steve Bruce’s side have been impressive at the back so far this season though and so Lukaku can’t expect the kind of generous defending he got from the Geordies, but following an international break in which he scored the two goals against Croatia which fired Belgium to the World Cup, he shouldn’t be short on confidence.
Supported by the likes of Ross Barkley (£5.6m) and international teammate Kevin Mirallas (£7.2m), this could turn out to be an afternoon to remember for Lukaku, who scored four goals against promoted teams when he was wearing a West Brom shirt last season. Hull have been warned.
Elsewhere we are confronted with the sort of fixtures that you’d think were home bankers.
Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United will all be expecting to take maximum points as they welcome Norwich, Cardiff and Southampton respectively to their home grounds.
For United, a home slip up would be simply unthinkable so soon after the Old Trafford defeat against West Brom, but they’ll be coming up against a team who’ve kept clean sheets in each of their last four games – a run which includes their win at Anfield.
Such form might make it difficult to recommend Robin van Persie (£13.9m), who is interestingly losing support amongst Fantasy bosses.
Take away penalties, and the Dutchman has failed to score in 14 of his last 18 games, a run which is most unlike him and has seen many turn their attentions towards the more in-form and cheaper Wayne Rooney (£10.9m) instead.
No such issues exist at Arsenal though, and they welcome Norwich for a fixture which looks like it’ll guarantee goals.
The back of the next has been hit at least four times on each of the last four occasions that these two have met in North London, and with Norwich having conceded three to Chelsea last time out the likes of Olivier Giroud (£9.5m) and Aaron Ramsey (£6.7m) are sure to see support here. Mesut Ozil (£10.6m) is a slight doubt but should recover.
For Chelsea, the Brazilian Oscar (£8.8m) could again hold the key for them against Cardiff following goals in five of his last seven matches for club and country, whilst Newcastle won’t be relishing the visit of Liverpool to St James’s Park less than six months after the Reds won 6-0 there. Daniel Sturridge (£9.9m) grabbed two of those, and the Reds look likely to welcome most of their injured players back on Tyneside.
Gus Poyet’s Sunderland career starts with a visit to a Swansea side that he could see as a strong reference point for his new team’s future, particularly if he can nurture players as good as home full-back Ben Davies (£5.0m) who has scored two in his last five.
West Ham’s Ravel Morrison (£4.4m) is on a run of two in three, and the ex-Manchester United man will be fired up for the visit of Manchester City, who have already slipped up twice on the road this season and will be fearful of a third.
Luis Suarez scored a hat-trick, Gareth Bale impressed again and a Manchester United player ended up as the top points scorer. Gameweek 28 was a pretty standard one in truth.
Now though, with the forthcoming FA Cup quarter-finals creating havoc with the fixture schedule, Gameweek 29 is going to prove to be far from normal. Only 12 of the 20 teams are in action, with six matches spread across Saturday and Sunday, as no players from Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea or Arsenal kick a Premier League football. This one isn’t for the faint-hearted.
In honour of the altered Gameweek, we’re going to switch up the latest Fantasy Yirma preview and instead of the usual fare, we’ll give you a game-by-game breakdown of a weekend which could ultimately prove vital to just how your season ends up. As well as that, we’ll give you a player from each match who we’re tipping to score you some points.
Hold on tight for Yirma’s six appeal…
Norwich v Southampton, Saturday, 15:00
The Canaries have won just one of their last 11 matches, and with boss Chris Hughton declaring that this heralds the start of ‘a big month’ for his side then the pressure is sure to be on at Carrow Road. Southampton will also be eager to make up for their loss to QPR last time out, and so this has the potential to be a tight, low-scoring affair.
Saints forward Rickie Lambert (£7.2m) disappointed many as his fine recent run came to an end in the QPR game, and with Hughton struggling to partner Grant Holt (£5.9m) and Luciano Becchio (£5.1m) at the other end, this is a contest in which defenders could shine. Having started all but one match since he signed, Norwich full-back Javier Garrido (£4.7m) will hope to keep things tight at the back and get forward to try and add to his two assists thus far.
QPR v Sunderland, Saturday, 15:00
Will the Southampton win see QPR turn a corner or will it lead them down another cul-de-sac? In truth this could be seen as a pretty perfect game for Harry Redknapp’s side given Sunderland’s patchy away form, but the Rs frequently struggle when home expectations are high, and the visitors might find some momentum from bouncing back from two goals down to draw with Fulham last time.
Stephane Sessegnon (£6.9m) hasn’t hit the heights he scaled last season but his goal against Fulham was a second in a row, and the midfielder from Benin gets the nod in a contest which could well see both sides score. QPR’s hopes for a goal are likely to rest on Loic Remy (£5.7m), whilst Junior Hoilett (£5.6m) made a first start since November at the weekend and also provides an added threat.
Reading v Aston Villa, Saturday, 15:00
Reading really need to win this one ahead of trips to Manchester United and Arsenal, and they’ll be buoyed by the fact that Villa have only won two of 14 on the road this season. The home side will know that these three points will only look more important the longer the season goes on, and if they can stay in the game until close to the conclusion of it they can capitalise on Villa’s likely nervousness.
Brian McDermott isn’t averse to a bit of forward rotation, but with Pavel Pogrebnyak suspended he’s likely to have to rely on Adam Le Fondre (£5.0m) from the start, with the skipper Jobi McAnuff (£4.7m) another certain starter. ‘Alfie’ gets the not due to his goalscoring prowess though, but the Royals will of course have to watch out for Christian Benteke (£7.0m), who scored the winner when these two met in November.
West Brom v Swansea, Saturday, 15:00
An attractive match on paper, and one for fans of both sides to celebrate the giant strides that their clubs have made this season. However, Swansea have only won one in seven on the road and they face a Baggies side who have won the same amount of Premier League home matches as Tottenham, Chelsea and Arsenal this season. Steve Clarke’s side could just nick a close but entertaining contest.
They badly missed him at Chelsea last weekend, and Romelu Lukaku (£6.5m) returns here in a match in which his strength and power could prove telling. In a match in which the Baggies may be on top, Michu (£8.4m) could find it tough to improve on a run of scoring in just one match in his last eight, whilst Jonathan De Guzman (£5.7m) might find it difficult to make his midfield presence felt.
Newcastle v Stoke, Sunday, 15:00
Neither of these two are in particularly good form, with Stoke winning just one in their last eight in the league and hosts Newcastle never looking that convincing. Alan Pardew’s side will have targeted this clash for a victory though, especially off the back of the late loss at Swansea last time out, and the Geordies’ French connection can combine and help deliver what would be a hugely welcome three points.
The amount of new players in this Newcastle side can mean that the team can be somewhat hit and miss, but Yohan Cabaye (£6.6m) has been in the north-east for a while now and can show much-needed leadership skills in what could become a bit of a battle. Moussa Sissoko (£6.5m) is also likely to find plenty of fans given his recent goalscoring form at St James’s Park, but the vote goes to his compatriot.
Liverpool v Tottenham, Sunday, 16:00
Undoubtedly the weekend’s glamour league fixture, this promises to be a terrific watch for the neutral given the two sides’ recent form. Liverpool have scored nine goals without reply in their last two league matches, but Spurs are unbeaten in 12 since their last trip to Merseyside when Everton beat them in December. An exciting contest looks in store, with both sides likely to find the net and get the pulses racing.
This was always going to be between two names – although Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho (£6.6m) deserves an honourable mention – and it is home advantage which just sees Luis Suarez (£10.8m) get the nod ahead of Gareth Bale (£10.5m). The Premier League’s top goalscorer has been in devastating form recently, and although you really do need to have both him and Bale in your team at the moment it is the Uruguayan who could win the day here.