Week 14 EPL Sit or Start previews the best upcoming matchups and lineup choices for your Fantrax draft teams. There are still some players on the waiver wire who are available to fill in the gaps this week. As you begin to set your lineup for the weeks be sure to check injuries and team news, as always things change, especially with mid-week games in Europe for top teams.
This week’s matchups are highlighted by a top-of-table matchup between Manchester City and Tottenham, who desperately need a win after three straight losses. The bottom-of-the-table game between Sheffield United and Burnley is as big as it gets for teams sitting in 18th and 20th place respectively. A draw doesn’t do it for either team here. They need the three points.
Week 14 EPL Sit or Start
Arsenal vs Wolverhampton Wanderers (Saturday, December 2, 10:00 AM EST)
Arsenal, now in first place, takes on Wolves. The Gunners, who will be riding high after their six-goal victory on Wednesday, will be looking to secure all three points to stay in the top spot of the EPL. Wolves will look to bounce back after a disappointing loss.
Sit: Wolves defenders are a risky play this week, as they have only kept Everton scoreless on the season. Also, probably not playing many offensive players as the Gunners have the best defense in the league. Okay, so maybe just no on Wolves this week.
Start: The Gunners have earned 17 points from a possible 21 at home, without a loss. They have scored two or more in all but one of those home games, and that was their win against City. I’m starting Arsenal players, but I’m checking lineups and rotation too after the midweek game.
Brentford vs Luton Town (Saturday, December 2, 10:00 AM EST)
Brentford sits mid-table this season and will be looking to stay that way against Luton Town. The Bees have struggled against top-tier teams, but have been solid otherwise.
Sit: Like most weeks, I’m sitting any Luton player not named Alfie Doughty. Luton is plagued by injuries and in trouble. Only the Everton points deduction has them out of the bottom three for now.
Start: I’m looking at Brentford players on both sides of the ball here. Nathan Collins is also out meaning there will be some rotation for the Bees, and Ben Mee is back.
Burnley vs Sheffield United (Saturday, December 2, 10:00 AM EST)
Burnley faces off against Sheffield United in a match that could have significant implications for the relegation battle. This is an EPL sit or start dilemma. Both teams give up massive amounts of goals, but neither has scored prolifically either.
Sit: I simply don’t trust the defense or goalie on either team. They have 34 and 32 goals against on the season. No other teams have more than 30 conceded thus far. Sit. As usual.
Start: If you’re looking for a way to be a bit different and take a chance, I’m looking at the set piece takers and forwards here against the previously mentioned bad defenses. There are players on the EPL waiver wires that you can grab if you’re feeling really lucky, as they also are the two worst offensive teams in the league. My money is on a few goals here.
Nottingham Forest vs Everton (Saturday, December 2, 12:30 PM EST)
Nottingham Forest will play Everton in a clash that is crucial for both sides, especially in Everton’s fight to avoid relegation. Forest disappointed at home, suffering their first loss at home last weekend, and will be looking to get back on track.
Sit: I don’t trust either goalkeeper in this game. I don’t anticipate clean sheets either way, nor do I think there are enough shots coming to advocate either keeper racking up points.
Start: Anthony Elanga has scored in two straight and is being fed by Morgan Gibbs-White. Both should be in your starting lineup if they weren’t already. I’m also looking at Boly and Aurier to round out my defense against a poor Everton team. I’m not picking up anyone for Everton, but I’d still keep your normal starters like James Tarkowski, Abdoulaye Doucoure, and Dwight McNeil in.
Newcastle United vs Manchester United (Saturday, December 2, 15:00 PM EST)
An intriguing match with 6th place Newcastle hosting 7th place Manchester United. Both teams are coming off wins, making this a must-watch and important game.
Sit: United have won three straight, but their record against top-table teams is poor. They have lost to every team in the top half they have played this season. I’m cautious here with United on the road despite recent form. I’m not taking any risks on United players.
Start: Newcastle have proven they are a fantastic home team. Their only dropped points at home were against Liverpool, otherwise they have six wins. I’m starting Newcastle players (and with injuries there may be players on the waiver wire), and I’m playing my normal set of United big names.
AFC Bournemouth vs Aston Villa (Sunday, December 2, 9:00 AM EST)
Bournemouth and Aston Villa are at opposite ends of the table but both have won their previous two games. Villa is a top-four team currently and needs these wins to stay in contention. Any points for Bournemouth keep them from the mire of relegation.
Sit: I’m shying away from any Bournemouth defenders and Neto in goal. Boubacar Kamara is suspended for Aston Villa due to yellow card accumulation.
Start: Only Manchester City have scored more than Villa this season. I’m starting all Villa players on my roster, as even their defenders are getting forward and creating chances for points on the offensive end.
Chelsea vs Brighton & Hove Albion (Sunday, December 2, 9:00 AM EST)
Neither Chelsea nor Brighton are where they want to be on the table. Each has shown sparks of quality, but a lack of consistency on both sides of the field for both teams has them sitting 8th and 10th. There’s a lot left to play in the season, so these three points are big for the clubs.
Sit: There are real struggles at the wide defensive position for Chelsea. James and Cucurella are suspended. Gusto and Chilwell are hurt. It’ll be interesting to see how Poch fills in. Brighton has their own injury problems with Mitoma, March, Estupian, Faiti, Dunk, and Welbeck all out or doubts.
Start: I think there could be some goals here, so I’m starting attacking players on either team, and I’m especially watching lineups for possible last-minute pickups.
Liverpool vs Fulham (Sunday, December 2, 9:00 AM EST)
Liverpool, aiming to keep pace with the league leaders, will take on Fulham at home. Liverpool is undefeated at home with 6 wins in 6 games.
Sit: I’m sitting (most) Fulham players. Away from home they are giving up close to two goals a game while scoring under a goal a game, which explains why they just won once away from home. This just isn’t a good matchup for them.
Start: Liverpool are fantastic at home. They are averaging almost three goals a game at home while conceding just twice in those games. Klopp has rotated, but I’m all in on Liverpool players. I’m still starting Leno, as his saves are still scoring him points this season.
West Ham United vs Crystal Palace (Sunday, December 2, 9:00 AM EST)
West Ham United faces Crystal Palace in a London derby with two teams headed the opposite directions on the table. WHU have won two straight while Palace have dropped their last two.
Sit: Michail Antonio is the only injury concern for West Ham, but they can fill those gaps. More concerning though is Eze for Crystal Palace who may be out again. That’s a huge creative loss if he can’t go, which devalues attackers for Palace.
Start: Again, I’m considering my normal set of starters like JWP and Olise for this matchup, but I’m not going out of my way to pick players up either.
Manchester City vs Tottenham Hotspur (Sunday, December 2, 11:30 AM EST)
A marquee matchup with Manchester City facing Tottenham. Spurs continue to struggle, but City have faltered a bit with draw draws in a row, although against quality competition. Both teams have a lot at stake in this high-profile encounter. It’s a great way to end the weekend!
Sit: It’s not just three losses in a row for Spurs, it’s also that they have given up 8 goals while only finding the back of the net once in each game in that stretch. Injuries continue to mount. I’m questioning Spurs defenders and Vicario in goal. City rotation is always a real thing to be ready for. So… be ready for it after their Champions League game.
Start: I’m starting City players as usual. Son Heung-Mi remains an option as he’s capable of goals.
Before you make your final EPL Sit or Start choices for your own team, double-check injuries and rotations! Good luck!