WEEK 15: Fantasy EPL REVIEW
Time flies. It feels like it was only yesterday when I was writing about the upcoming Pep vs. Mou battle, and we’re already there. But, before going into further detail, let’s have a look at last week’s action, in which Liverpool’s Brazilian duo of Firmino and Coutinho led the way.
The Reds are officially on fire. They’ve scored at least three times in eight of the last nine fixtures, including five times in Brighton in Week 15. That’s exactly where the above-mentioned Firmino and Coutinho come into play, with two goals and one goal plus two assists, respectively. City outclassed and, more importantly, outlasted another opponent, winning 2-1 versus West Ham. Behind at the half as a result of Ogbonna’s 44th minute strike, The Citizens proved their resilience once more. First, Otamendi leveled the scoring early in the second, and then David Silva skillfully converted a magnificent De Bruyne pass late in the game to seal the victory. United didn’t fall behind, exploiting two Arsenal errors to take a 2-0 lead, and then resisting several rapid fire attacks on the way to a 3-1 win. The “only” blemish was Pogba’s silly elbow, which earned him a straight red card, and will subsequently force him to miss the crucial Manchester derby. Valencia, Lingard (x2) and Lacazette were the goal scorers.
Tottenham’s winless streak continued with a draw in Watford. Kabasele gave The Hornets the lead, which was later canceled out by Son. Davinson Sanchez was sent off, and that took the wings out of The Spurs for the rest of the contest. Chelsea, on the other hand, kept the pace with the leader, defeating Newcastle fairly routinely. Hazard was the man of the match with two goals (one from the penalty spot), while Morata added the third. Elsewhere, West Bromwich and Crystal Palace played out a bore draw, Stoke prolonged Swansea’s misery with goals from Shaqiri and Diouf, Leicester defeated Burnley 1-0 courtesy of Demarai Gray, and Everton won again, handing Huddersfield its fourth consecutive loss. Sigurdsson and Calvert-Lewin found the net for a 2-0 final score. Finally, Bournemouth and Southampton shared the spoils in a 1-1 tie. Ryan Fraser and Charlie Austin wrote their names on the scoresheet.
Week 15 highest fantasy scorers
Goalkeepers: Julian Speroni (Crystal Palace), Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester), Jordan Pickford (Everton), David De Gea (Manchester United).
Defenders: Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City), Victor Moses (Chelsea), Mamadou Sakho (Crystal Palace), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Antonio Valencia (Manchester United), Christian Kabasele (Watford).
Midfielders: Philipe Coutinho (Liverpool), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ryan Fraser (Bournemouth), Gylfi Sigurdsson (Everton), David Silva (Manchester City).
Forwards: Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton), Alvaro Morata (Chelsea).
WEEK 16: Fantasy EPL PREVIEW
West Ham vs. Chelsea
– West Ham is falling apart, and while Chelsea had a tasking encounter against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League, it shouldn’t represent an excuse for them not to perform here. The Hammers will be motivated; however, even though The Blues might be tired, they are the better team, and it should show.
Burnley vs. Watford
– This matchup can go either way. Burnley’s loss to Leicester was made worse by Robbie Brady’s knee injury, which will keep him out indefinitely. Sam Arfield will now need to step up. Chris Wood is back as the starter in the #9 role, but I’m not convinced how The Clarets will handle Brady’s loss. Watford keeps oscillating. Will Hughes, who just got going, was injured and will be out for at least a couple of weeks. Roberto Pereyra, recently recuperated himself, will receive another opportunity to run away with the starting job.
Crystal Palace vs. Bournemouth
– A similar game to the one Palace played last weekend against WBA, only this time at home. The Eagles have what it takes to win here. The question is whether they’ll execute. Benteke is bound to score, and I also expect a nice fantasy game from Loftus-Cheek.
Huddersfield vs. Brighton
– The opposite of United vs. City is the meeting of the newcomers. Both Huddersfield and Brighton were off to good starts, but, as it often occurs with promoted squads, they’re beginning to fade. This fixture has all the makings of a draw in which each team scores at least once. Kasey Palmer is back in the fold for The Terriers, although it’s uncertain whether he’ll start.
Swansea vs. West Bromwich
– A matchup between two bottom dwellers who will, as things stand right now, fight to avoid relegation. Swansea hasn’t tasted victory in seven games, while WBA hasn’t done so in 13 games (after winning the first two). I’m a big believer in Tammy Abraham. Therefore, I’m projecting (and hoping, since I have him on my fantasy team) he’ll be the difference maker.
Tottenham vs. Stoke
– The winless streak ends here. Tottenham will win. I anticipate another great day for Kane (two goals, possibly one from a penalty kick), and I also like the prospects of the two side backs – Trippier and Davies. Central back Sanchez is out due to his red card and is probably going to be replaced by Eric Dier.
Newcastle vs. Leicester
– Newcastle is another side that hasn’t won in a while. Leicester has been playing well lately. Nonetheless, I think The Magpies might have the upper hand here. If they do manage to come out on top, Matt Ritchie will be one of the main culprits.
Southampton vs. Arsenal
– The Gunners went off for six in the Europa League clash with BATE Borisov. If that’s a sign of things to come, Southampton’s prospects are not looking good, especially considering how much trouble they’ve had scoring this season. Austin has been one of the few bright spots in the past couple of games.
Liverpool vs. Everton
– The second city derby this weekend is passing under the shadow of Manchester. It could turn out to be the more eventful one, though, offering plenty of goals and fantasy points. After notching a goal and two assists at Brighton, Coutinho scored three more in the 7-0 Champions League dismantling of Spartak Moscow. Coutinho, Salah, Firmino and Mane are all no-doubters (if in the starting lineup) when The Reds are performing as they are at the moment.
Manchester United vs. Manchester City
– The one everyone is waiting for, a spectacle for all viewers and soccer fans. I predict a tightly fought chess match, considering the history between the coaches and the fact that the match is being played at Old Trafford. I don’t anticipate many goals, and I see a 1-1 draw as the most likely final outcome. Pogba will miss the game, while David Silva is questionable.