ROUND 32: FANTASY EPL REVIEW
Chelsea was the only one out of the top eight teams in the Premier League that didn’t win last weekend. It suffered a devastating 3-1 defeat from Tottenham at Stamford Bridge. A late Christian Eriksen long range effort canceled out Morata’s opener, as the first half ended 1-1. Two goals from Dele Alli completely flipped the script and likely doomed The Blues to the Europa League next season.
It took 75 minutes for Arsenal to break through Stoke and even that was after a penalty that never was. Aubameyang scored and then added another one, along with Lacazette (pen.) for a final 3-0 score. Three first-half goals in Everton earned Manchester City a chance to seal the league title against its city rival on Saturday. Gabriel Jesus, Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling were the goalscorers while David Silva assisted on two of them.
Manchester United was also quick to dispose of Swansea with two goals in 20 minutes. Lukaku scored one of them, while Alexis scored the second one and assisted on the first one. Liverpool need an 84th minute strike by Salah to overturn a 1-0 deficit at Crystal Palace. Sadio Mane scored the equalizer at the beginning of the second half, while Luka Milivojevic scored his 7th penalty kick of the season.
West Ham swept Southampton away in a direct clash of teams near the relegation zone. Joao Mario and Marko Arnautovic (x2) were the scorers in the 3-0 victory. Michail Antonio had to leave the game in the 9th minute due to an injury. Burnley strung its third consecutive victory by defeating West Bromwich on the road. Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes were the goalscorers in the 2-1 win. They’re two of the hottest fantasy commodities at the moment, having found the net in the past three and four fixtures, respectively.
Leicester kept pace with The Clarets with a 2-0 win of its own. It came at the expense of Brighton, who missed a penalty right before Iborra’s opener in the 83rd minute. Vardy was the other goalscorer. Benitez’s Newcastle needed one goal to grab the three points versus Huddersfield, courtesy of Ayoze Perez. Lastly, Watford and Bournemouth played out a 2-2 draw in the only tie of the round. The Eagles held the lead twice, but a penalty kick by Josh King and an injury-time strike by Jermain Defoe earned The Cherries a point.
ROUND 32: HIGHEST FANTASY SCORERS
Goalkeepers: Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester) and the rest who kept clean sheets.
Defenders: Ben Chilwell (Leicester), Arthur Masuaku (West Ham), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle), Florian Lejeune (Newcastle), Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal), Kiko Femenia (Watford), Andrew Robertson (Liverpool).
Midfielders: Marko Arnautovic (West Ham), Dele Alli (Tottenham), Alexis Sanchez (Manchester United), David Silva (Manchester City), Joao Mario (West Ham), Luka Milivojevic (Crystal Palace), Vicente Iborra (Leicester), Christian Eriksen (Tottenham).
Forwards: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal), Josh King (Bournemouth), Chris Wood (Burnley), Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United), Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City), Salomon Rondon (WBA).
ROUND 33: FANTASY EPL PREVIEW
Everton vs. Liverpool
– Round 33 opens with the Merseyside derby between Everton and Liverpool. Both teams have something to play for in this one. Liverpool is trying to catch Manchester United while resisting Tottenham’s pressure, while Everton sits at 9th place and still has hopes for European football. Mohamed Salah suffered a groin injury in the Champions League victory over Manchester City and will likely be forced to miss this match. Either Wijnaldum or Solanke will take his place, depending on which tactic Klopp chooses to go with. I think both teams will score and I wouldn’t be surprised if Everton manages to scrape away a point.
Bournemouth vs. Crystal Palace
– Considering how their last matches have played out, I expect both teams to score here as well. Stanislas had to leave Bournemouth’s previous encounter and is doubtful for this fixture. Crystal Palace’s forwards are both dealing with injuries and are questionable. I believe Benteke will play, which is not something I can say about Sorloth.
Brighton vs. Huddersfield
– Brighton and Huddersfield are still in danger of dropping out from the top flight, which means they’ll both be looking to earn some much-needed points. The visitors have not scored a goal in the previous four fixtures, while the hosts haven’t done so in their last two. Maybe the head-to-head matchup will spark a plug.
Leicester vs. Newcastle
– Leicester can’t afford to stumble in matches it’s supposed to win if it wants to participate in the Europa League next season. This is one of them. The Magpies won’t give up without a fight, though. I’d be wary of their set pieces if I was Claude Puel. Wilfred Ndidi will miss his first game of the season for The Foxes due to a suspension.
Stoke vs. Tottenham
– Even though it’s on the road, this is Tottenham’s game to lose. With Harry Kane back from injury and Stoke’s pitiful play of late, winning shouldn’t be an issue. The question is whether Kane can get back on the score sheet? I wouldn’t bet against it.
Watford vs. Burnley
– Burnley does not want to let go of that 7th spot on the table. Wood and Barnes are the players to own and start from Dyche’s team. Anyone can do damage for Watford on any given day, but Deeney’s your safest bet.
West Bromwich vs. Swansea
– As we go towards the final stretch, this is the time for West Brom to gain some momentum if it wants to have any chance of avoiding relegation. Although, if you ask me, it’s a foregone conclusion that it drops out. If I had to pick one fantasy-worthy player from either team, it would be Jay Rodriguez.
Manchester City vs. Manchester United
– This is what City hoped for – a chance to claim the title in front of its own fans and versus its hated city rival. The mid-week loss to Liverpool must have stung, but it doesn’t change the fact that The Sky Blues are the better team. If Aguero is deemed healthy enough, he’ll play. At the moment, he has a questionable designation. I believe Leroy Sane, De Bruyne and possibly Raheem Sterling will be the game-changers.
Arsenal vs. Southampton
– After watching them demolish CSKA Moscow in the Europa League, I don’t think The Gunners should have any problems dealing with an inferior Southampton. Mkhitaryan suffered a knee injury during that Europa League contest and will likely miss this match. Aubameyang, Ramsey, and Ozil would be my go-to fantasy players, Also, keep an eye on a potential clean sheet.
Chelsea vs. West Ham
– Albeit too little too late, I believe Chelsea will win this game. The Hammers showed some life in the last round, but it was against lowly Southampton. Hazard and Willian are my favorite players from this contest. I also anticipate Olivier Giroud to have some sneaky value, whether it is from the start or from the bench.