After a few disastrous weeks when none of my picks seemed to work out, I’m now languishing in the bottom half of the top 100. With Chelsea being the runaway train that they are, GW32 brings about some interesting matchups where most of the top 6 teams have games against teams in the bottom half of the table. Let’s hope I’ve turned a corner and the fantasy gods are smiling down on me again.
A.F.C. Bournemouth v Chelsea
Crystal Palace v Arsenal
Everton v Leicester City
Manchester City v Hull City
Middlesbrough v Burnley
Stoke City v Liverpool
Sunderland v Manchester United
Tottenham Hotspur v Watford
West Bromwich Albion v Southampton
West Ham United v Swansea City
Stay Away From
- Everton v Leicester City –> This is a tough game to call. Leicester was our dream team last season, when Mahrez, Vardy and Fuchs formed the core of our teams. Not so much this season though. But after only winning 5 of their first 25 league games of the season, Leicester have now won 5 on the trot. Everton have had a see-saw kind of season, always in the chasing pack but never seeming to make the final push. But they do have a solid home record, with only 1 loss (Liverpool!) in the league all season. Stay away but if you must, ride the Vardy train who has scored in the last 3 games.
- West Bromwich Albion v Southampton –> The teams are sitting 8th and 9th in the table respectively, safety surely guaranteed and almost certainly no European places to play for. There is no way to tell if this game will end up a goal fest or snooze fest.
- Sunderland v Manchester United –> Sunderland is rock bottom in the league, 10 points away from safety with games against Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea still to come. Hard to see how they will stay up. The Red Devils are still pushing for a spot in Europe and will consider this a winnable game for them. But note that they are also leading the league in draws, with 12 to date.
- A.F.C. Bournemouth v Chelsea –> Is there any way not to pay attention to Chelsea players in any fantasy GW? They come up against Bournemouth, who have better than most expect this season, but with mid-table mediocrity beckoning, I’m not sure if the players will be motivated enough to put up a fight against a team that wants to wrap up the title as soon as possible. But do note if you’re considering Chelsea’s defenders, their defence have been a little porous of late, with no clean sheets in the last 8 league games.
- de Gea, David (MUN) – The obvious choice for this week. Sunderland has scored just 24 goals in the league all season, a feat only “bettered” by Middlesbrough. Should be an easy clean sheet.
- Heaton, Tom (BRN) – Top scoring keeper in PXI, he could turn up with some saves for a good return. An alternative to consider if you’re not going with DDG.
- Walker, Kyle (TOT) – An easy game against Watford should see him pick up some points with maybe a chance for an assist.
- Valencia, Antonio (MUN) – He should be back after being rested for the Everton game.
- Mustafi, Shkodran (ARS) – He has had a decent run of games, managing to return double digits even in the 2-2 draw against Manchester City. With Koscielny injured, he will be the Arsenal defender to have.
- Otamendi, Nicolas (MCI) – A home game against Hull perhaps will help them turn the tide.
- Alonso, Marcus (CHE) – If you still believe in Chelsea’s defence, then he’s the man for you.
- Hazard, Eden (CHE) – It’s impossible not to have him in your squad.
- Pogba, Paul (MUN) – Coming off the bench against Everton, he should be returning to the starting lineup.
- De Bruyne. Kevin (MCI) – Not the points machine he used to be early on in the season, but an easy game against Hull is the perfect game to bounce back. Plus I suspect he’s due a goal soon.
- Ozil, Mesut (ARS) – Red hot since coming back from the international games, his form should continue against Crystal Palace.
- Sigurdsson, Gylfi (SWA) – Could be worth a shot against a team that has let in 27 goals at home this season. Ironic that only Swansea has let in more at home.
- Sanchez, Alexis (ARS) – He should be able to find the net against Crystal Palace.
- Firmino, Roberto (LIV) – Maybe I’m biased, but I believe he’s due a goal.
- Aguero, Sergio (MCI) – 3 goals in 3 games, Hull shouldn’t be able to stop his scoring streak.