ROUND 28: FANTASY EPL REVIEW
The match of the round was played at Old Trafford, where Manchester United came back from a goal down to defeat Chelsea. Willian opened the scoring, but Romelu Lukaku equalized soon after. Lingard brought United the victory in the second half. Lukaku was the man of the match, creating problems for Chelsea’s defenders all game long. The Blues’ other two rivals for Champions League qualification also won. Harry Kane was Tottenham’s hero once again, scoring in the 88th minute on the road against Crystal Palace. It was The Spurs’ second straight 1-0 win. Liverpool was much more efficient, putting four past West Ham’s Adrian. Emre Can scored first, and then the deadly trio up front scored one each. Can and Salah had assists as well.
Manchester City demolished Arsenal for the second time in four days. After a convincing 3-0 victory in the Carabao Cup final on Sunday, City did it again at the Emirates on Thursday. Leroy Sane was the man of the match, participating in all three goals. Bernardo and David Silva were the other scorers. From the other teams, Brighton was mighty impressive in its 4-1 win over Swansea. Murray (x2), Knockaert and Locadia were the scorers. Things are starting to click for The Seagulls. Watford recorded its second straight home victory by defeating Everton 1-0. Deeney scored the game-winner in the 79th minute.
Three matches ended in ties. Bournemouth managed to salvage a draw with two goals in the last ten minutes (Andrew Smith and Gosling) against Newcastle, who had a 2-0 advantage at half-time thanks to a brace by Dwight Gayle. Gabbiadini, who came in as a substitute late in the game, denied Burnley its first win in eleven EPL matches against Southampton. Ashley Barnes was the host’s scorer in the 1-1 draw. The same result applied in Leicester, where The Foxes couldn’t overcome Stoke. Butland’s second half blunder canceled out Shaqiri’s first half strike.
ROUND 29 HIGHEST FANTASY SCORERS
Goalkeepers: Ederson, and the rest who kept clean sheets.
Defenders: James Tomkins (Crystal Palace), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Davinson Sanchez (Tottenham), Adrian Mariappa (Watford).
Midfielders: Emre Can (Liverpool), Leroy Sane (Manchester City), Rajiv van la Parra (Huddersfield), Mohamed Salah (Liverpool), Dan Gosling (Bournemouth), Anthony Knockaert (Brighton), Willian (Chelsea), Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke).
Forwards: Dwight Gayle (Newcastle), Glenn Murray (Brighton), Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United), Troy Deeney (Watford), Steve Mounie (Huddersfield), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Manolo Gabbiadini (Southampton).
ROUND 29: FANTASY EPL PREVIEW
Burnley vs. Everton
– Despite holding onto the seventh position on the table, Burnley is a bad fantasy option. They rarely score, and they concede at least once more often than not. A matchup against Everton seems like a good clean sheet opportunity, but I’m not willing to bet on it. Tarkowski is getting close to returning, Arfield is questionable to play, and the rest of the squad is healthy. This is a bad matchup for Everton too. I would avoid starting their players this weekend.
Leicester vs. Bournemouth
– The Foxes haven’t won in the last four fixtures, failing to take advantage of Burnley’s struggles. Mahrez is playing, but the team’s not doing well. On paper, this seems like a high-scoring match. Vardy should score, but I wouldn’t speculate on who else might find the net. Just avoid defenders here.
Southampton vs. Stoke
– Gabbiadini saved Pellegrino last weekend, but Southampton isn’t improving. Despite all the talent, their attacking players are probably better off sitting on your fantasy bench for the time being. Stoke is one of the worst teams in the league when it comes to scoring, so Alex McCarthy and The Saints’ defenders could have some sneaky value, though. Shawcross and Crouch are questionable, but leaning towards inactive designations for the visitors. Guido Carrillo should get another start with Austin and Long out injured.
Swansea vs. West Ham
– Both squads lost by the same 4-1 score in the previous round. Swansea’s loss to Brighton was probably more demoralizing than West Ham’s loss to Liverpool. Regardless of that, both teams are going to try to bounce back with a win, which makes me anticipate a draw. It’s unbelievable that Moyes still doesn’t want to play Chicharito – the best scorer available on the roster. With Lanzini, Antonio and Arnautovic all back in the fold, The Hammers are going to be a dangerous team the rest of the way.
Tottenham vs. Huddersfield
– The Spurs thrashed Rochdale 6-1 in the FA Cup replay on Wednesday. Llorente scored four, and Son added two. They look unbeatable at the moment, thus a similar fate might be in the cards for Huddersfield as well. Harry Kane, anyone?
Watford vs. West Bromwich
– This is an excellent opportunity for Watford to move up the table. Deeney’s level of play is rising, and The Eagles will need that for the stretch run. It’s a nice matchup for Marco Silva’s men. I’m just scared WBA will score.
Liverpool vs. Newcastle
– Despite The Magpies’ four-game undefeated run, another exhilarating day for Liverpool fans is to be expected. I’m becoming repetitive, so – Salah, Mane, Firmino. Enjoy!
Brighton vs. Arsenal
– As I’ve mentioned before, it’s difficult to trust Arsenal on a week-to-week basis, fantasy or real life. Brighton is in good form, having gone four matches without a loss. Arsenal’s pricy winter additions could have problems getting anything going at Falmer Stadium. Monreal and Lacazette will be out for the Londoners, whereas all of Brighton’s most influential players are healthy.
Manchester City vs. Chelsea
– This is a huge game for Chelsea. Liverpool, United and Tottenham are all favorites and expected to win, making this a potential make-or-break fixture for Conte’s men. Back-to-back meetings with Arsenal means Guardiola’s boys will be somewhat tired. It’s going to be a tense encounter. Willian is in excellent form and is the player to own from Chelsea at the moment. As for City, well, De Bruyne will be The Blues’ villain for as long as he plays football.
Crystal Palace vs. Manchester United
– Roy Hodgson likes to defend and play on the counter attack. That doesn’t suit Mourinho. Therefore, I anticipate a low-scoring affair. Lukaku was the best player against Chelsea last weekend. Is it a sign of things to come, or just a one off? I think he’ll score. Sanchez might do so as well.