ROUND 30: FANTASY EPL REVIEW
David Silva, Chris Wood, Kenedy and Petr Cech were the stars of Round 30 in fantasy. As De Bruyne’s pace has slowed down, Silva’s has picked up, scoring or assisting in each of the last three games. His two goals were all City needed to beat Stoke 2-0 at The Britannia Stadium. Aguero missed the match due to soreness in his knee. Wood found the net twice and assisted on the other goal in Burnley’s 3-0 away win at West Ham. The Hammers are in really bad shape at the moment. The fans voiced their frustrations by running onto the field in protest of the team’s performances and also heckled the chairman, who they blame for the 16th position on the table, only three points from the relegation zone.
Southampton finally fired Mauricio Pellegrino. It was a long time coming. I don’t know why they waited. It was obvious the team wasn’t progressing under his guidance. Mark Hughes, who lost his job at Stoke this season, will replace Pellegrino. He’ll be trusted with the task to save Southampton from further embarrassment. Two goals by Kenedy, one by Ritchie and two assists by Shelvey doomed Pellegrino in Newcastle’s 3-0 home victory over The Saints. Arsenal defeated Watford by the same score. Mustafi, Aubameyang, and Mkhitaryan scored the goals, while Cech saved Deeney’s penalty. Tottenham managed to turn around a 1-0 deficit into a 4-1 win. Son was unstoppable again, adding two more goals to his impressive season tally. The main news from this fixture, though, was Kane’s ankle injury that will keep him out of action for around a month – a devastating blow for fantasy owners. A similar scenario took place in West Bromwich, where goals by Vardy, Mahrez, Iheanacho, and Iborra led Leicester to a 4-1 road win.
Chelsea utterly dominated Crystal Palace, especially in the first half, yet failed to utilize its countless opportunities, and eventually even conceded. One of the hottest players in soccer at the moment is Willian. He scored one of the two goals. The other was an unlucky ricochet own goal by Kelly. Van Aanholt scored the goal for Palace. Huddersfield and Swansea played out a goalless draw, whereas Everton kept a clean sheet at Goodison Park versus Brighton. Bong (own goal) and Cenk Tosun were the scorers, while Wayne Rooney missed a penalty.
Lastly, in the match of the round, Mourinho used his renowned counter-attacking tactics to grab a 2-1 win over Liverpool at Old Trafford. Rashford was The Red Devils’ hero with two first-half well-struck efforts. Bailly’s own goal gave hope to the guests, but they weren’t able to find a way to penetrate United’s defense. The result means Manchester is now five points ahead of The Reds in the battle for second place.
ROUND 31: HIGHEST FANTASY SCORERS
Goalkeepers: Petr Cech (Arsenal), Nick Pope (Burnley), Lukasz Fabianski (Swansea), and the rest who kept clean sheets.
Defenders: Serge Aurier (Tottenham), Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal), Leighton Baines (Everton), Florent Hadergjonaj (Huddersfield), Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City).
Midfielders: David Silva (Manchester City), Kenedy (Newcastle), Heung-Min Son (Tottenham), Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Manchester United), Riyad Mahrez (Leicester), Jonjo Shelvey (Newcastle), Dele Alli (Tottenham), Willian (Chelsea), Vicente Iborra (Leicester), Matt Ritchie (Newcastle).
Forwards: Chris Wood (Burnley), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal), Cenk Tosun (Everton).
ROUND 31: FANTASY EPL PREVIEW
Due to the FA Cup quarter-finals, only four matches will be played in the Premier League this weekend.
Bournemouth vs. West Bromwich
– Four games without a win have Bournemouth falling behind the race for European qualification. If the streak doesn’t stop against West Bromwich, then The Cherries don’t deserve it anyway. Howe is tinkering with his lineup too often for me to have any confidence in a certain player, but I would say Joshua King and Callum Wilson are your safest bets.
Huddersfield vs. Crystal Palace
– Don’t let the losing streak fool you. Crystal Palace is playing good soccer at the moment. The problem is its opposition was too strong (faced Tottenham, Manchester United and Chelsea in the last three rounds). Both teams should score. I like Pritchard and Mounie from the hosts and Zaha and Townsend from the guests. Fosu-Mensah is expected to be back in the starting lineup after missing the last two fixtures.
Stoke vs. Everton
– Everton’s trying to keep pace with Burnley and Leicester in the battle for the seventh position on the table that leads to Europe. Stoke has won once this year. Nevertheless, I think The Toffees will struggle to win this match. Stoke’s desperation should push them to try harder and play better. Choupo-Moting and Peter Crouch are two players I would take my chances with. Gylfi Sigurdsson injured his knee and will be out for 6-8 weeks.
Liverpool vs. Watford
– Liverpool’s the only active team from the top six in this round. Klopp’s men will look to bounce back from a frustrating defeat at Manchester and try to revenge the events that took place in Watford in their first matchup this season. Then, Britos scored in the 93rd minute to steal two points away from the visitors in a 3-3 tie. I expect demolition, which means Mohamed Salah should get back to his scoring ways.