|4 (7)||betojohn ||1325|
|5 (4)||Wild Things||1280|
On a side note with no game for Spurs or West Ham this week fantasy managers need to make sure they can pick a full team as well as remembering both of those teams play twice next week.
Saturday December 30
Bournemouth v Everton
3pm GMT, Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth
Bournemouth got a very late and controversial goal to draw 3-3 at home to West Ham in their last game, but they’re still in the bottom three. Only Swansea have taken less points at home and they have conceded 10 goals in their last four home games. They haven’t won in eight games and they failed to score in four of those games.
I can’t see any Bournemouth players to interest fantasy managers at the moment.
Everton just about managed to hold on for a 0-0 draw away to West Brom in their last game, but they’re only behind eighth placed Leicester on goal difference now. They have only won once in 10 away games, but they have kept clean sheets in their last two away games. They have only lost once in their last 10 games and they have kept clean sheets in five of their last seven.
Wayne Rooney should be back from injury and he’s the best choice in the Everton team for fantasy managers, but their defenders have done pretty well since Sam Allardyce took the reins.
I think this will be a very close game and a draw is probably the most likely outcome.
Chelsea v Stoke City
3pm GMT, Stamford Bridge, London
Chelsea won 2-0 at home to Brighton last time out to move within a point of second placed United. They have won their last six home games and they kept clean sheets in four of those six games. Only City have won more games and conceded less goals and they have won nine of their last 12 games with clean sheets in their last three.
The Chelsea defenders look to be the best fantasy options in their team at the moment with Alvaro Morata and Eden Hazard struggling a little for form, but that could change for those two in this game.
Stoke came from behind to get a 1-1 draw at Huddersfield in their last game and that point kept them three points above the relegation zone. Only Swansea have taken less points away from home and only West Ham have conceded more goals on their travels. They have taken four points in their last two games to move three points clear of the bottom three and no other team has conceded more goals.
Both Xherdan Shaqiri and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting are available at a good price and can have their moments for fantasy managers, but maybe not in this game.
I think it’s just a matter of how many goals Chelsea can get in this game and they should win quite easily.
Huddersfield Town v Burnley
3pm GMT, John Smith’s Stadium, Huddersfield
Huddersfield let a one goal lead slip at home to Stoke in their last game, but the point they got kept them safely in mid table. They have taken 10 points from their last six home games, but only four teams have scored less goals at home. They have taken eight points from their last five games to keep them six points above the drop zone.
I can’t see any Huddersfield players to recommend to fantasy managers at the moment.
Burnley almost won away to United in their last game, but they had to settle for a 2-2 draw and lost a little ground on the top six. Only City have lost less away games and only four teams have taken more points away from home. They haven’t won in their last three games and they didn’t score in two of them and only three teams have scored less goals despite Burnley being seventh in the table.
Burnley’s defenders and goalkeeper have done very well for fantasy managers and there’s no reason that shouldn’t continue.
I don’t see too many goals in this game, but I think Burnley should just about get the better of proceedings.
Liverpool v Leicester City
3pm GMT, Anfield, Liverpool
Liverpool strolled to a 5-0 win against Swansea in their last game to stay fourth in the table. They’re one of two teams unbeaten at home, but they have drawn half of their home games and no other team has conceded less goals at home. They’re unbeaten in 11 games and they kept clean sheets in six of those games with only City scoring more goals.
Both Mohamed Salah and Phillippe Coutinho are in great form for fantasy managers and their defenders are a pretty good bet at home too.
Leicester led 1-0 at Watford in their last game, but ended up losing 2-1 which saw them drop ten points off the top six. They have won as many games as they have lost on the road and the defeat at Watford was their first away defeat in eight games. They have only taken one point from their last three games and they have only kept one clean sheet in their last 10 games.
Riyad Mahrez is well worth considering for fantasy managers while Harry Maguire hasn’t done too badly either.
I think Liverpool will keep their place in the top four with a win in this game, but Leicester won’t make it easy for them.
Newcastle United v Brighton And Hove Albion
3pm GMT, St. James’ Park, Newcastle
Newcastle lost 1-0 at home to City in their last game and they’re only one point above the bottom three. They have lost their last five home games and they failed to score in four of those games. They have only taken four points from their last 11 games and they failed to score in six of those games.
I can’t see any Newcastle players to recommend to fantasy managers at the moment.
Brighton lost 2-0 at Chelsea in their last game, but they are still four points above the drop zone. No other team has lost more away games with only Palace scoring less goals on the road and they have lost their last four away games without scoring. They have only won once in their last nine games and they failed to score in six of those games.
Pascal Gross has been by far the best Brighton player for fantasy managers and this is the sort of game he might do well in.
I think this will be a very close game between two teams who’s main aim is to avoid relegation and the chances are it will end all square.
Watford v Swansea City
3pm GMT, Vicarage Road, Watford
Watford came from behind to win 2-1 at home to Leicester in their last game and that win kept them in the top half of the table. They have only won three of their 10 home games and no other team has conceded more goals at home. Their win against Leicester was their first win in seven games and only two other teams have conceded more goals.
Richarlison and Abdoulaye Doucoure still look like very good reasonably priced options for fantasy managers.
Swansea lost 5-0 at Liverpool in their last game and they seem more and more likely to get relegated with each passing game. They have taken less points away from home than any other team with only Palace scoring less goals on their travels. They have only taken five points from their last 12 games and they failed to score in six of those games with no other team losing more games or scoring less goals.
I can’t see any Swansea players who might make a difference for fantasy managers.
I think Watford will manage back to back victories for the first time in a long time in this game, but only just.
Manchester United v Southampton
5.30pm GMT, Old Trafford, Manchester
United scored late on to rescue a point at home To Burnley in their last game and they’re now 15 points behind City at the top of the table. Only City have taken more points at home and only Liverpool have conceded less goals at home with seven clean sheets in 10 games. They have drawn their last two games and have only kept one clean sheet in their last seven and the teams behind them are catching them quickly.
Jesse Lingard is the United player who has being impressing for fantasy managers in recent weeks while so many others have done very little.
Southampton lost 5-2 at Spurs in their last game and they’re now only two points above the relegation zone. They have only won once in 10 away games and they haven’t won in their last eight away from home. They have only won once in their last 11 games and they didn’t keep a clean sheet in any of those games.
I can’t see any Southampton players who might make a difference for fantasy managers at the moment.
I think United should take the three points, but I don’t think it will be as easy for them as some might think.
Sunday December 31
Crystal Palace v Manchester City
12pm GMT, Selhurst Park, London
Palace lost 3-1 at home to Arsenal in their last game, but they’re still a point above the bottom three. Their defeat against Arsenal was their first home defeat in seven games and they haven’t kept a clean sheet at home yet. Only three teams have conceded more goals than Palace, but their defeat against Arsenal was their first defeat in nine games.
Wilfried Zaha is the Palace player most likely to make a difference for fantasy managers.
City won 1-0 away to Newcastle in their last game and increased their lead at the top of the table to 15 points. They have won all of their 10 away games with no team conceding less away goals and only Liverpool scoring more. They are setting records with every passing game with 19 wins in their 20 games as well as being the top scorers and conceding the least goals.
There are so many City players to choose from for fantasy managers with Raheem Sterling the outstanding one at the moment followed by Kevin de Bruyne, Nicolas Otamendi and Sergio Aguero.
I can’t see anything other than yet another City win in this game.
West Bromwich Albion v Arsenal
4.30pm GMT, The Hawthorns, Birmingham
West Brom drew yet again in their last game at home to Everton when it finished 0-0 and they’re still in the bottom three. They have only won once in 10 home games, but they have drawn six of them and they haven’t won in their last nine at home. They haven’t won in 18 games with only Swansea scoring less goals and they have drawn more games than any other team.
I can’t see West Brom players who might make a difference for fantasy managers at the moment.
Arsenal just about held on to win 3-2 at Palace in their last game and they’re still only one point outside the top four. They are unbeaten in four away games, but eight teams have taken more away points than Arsenal. They are unbeaten in five games, but they have conceded more goals than the rest of the top six.
Alexis Sanchez might just be finding the form that made him a must have for fantasy managers last season while Shkodran Mustafi does very well too when he’s fit to play.
I think this will be a very close affair, but Arsenal should just get the better of Albion.
That’s it for this week.
See you next week.