|4 (5)||Rutland Gooner||1980|
Saturday April 7
Everton v Liverpool
12.30pm BST, Goodison Park, Liverpool
Everton lost 3-1 at home to City last week and it’s looking more and more likely that will only finish as high as ninth. Only the top six have taken more home points than Everton, but they haven’t won at home to any of those top six. They have lost more games than any other team in the top half of the table and only three teams have conceded more goals.
Cenk Tosun still looks like the Everton player most likely to perform for fantasy managers, but maybe not in this game.
Liverpool came from behind to win 2-1 at Palace last week and they still hold out hope of catching United for second spot. Only City have taken more points away from home and no other team has scored more goals on the road. They have only lost twice in their last 23 games and only City have scored more goals.
Mohamed Salah is still far and away the best player for fantasy managers (if he’s fit to play) while Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino have done quite well too along with Andrew Robertson.
I think this will be a very close local derby, but Liverpool should just about manage the three points.
Bournemouth v Crystal Palace
3pm BST, Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth
Bournemouth twice came from behind to draw 2-2 at Watford last week and they must surely be safe from the drop now with nine points to spare over the bottom three. They have only lost once in their last seven home games and they scored 14 goals in those games. They have only lost twice in their last 13 games and they scored in each of those games, but they have only kept one clean sheet in 19 games.
With Junior Stanislas a doubt I can’t see any other Bournemouth players to recommend to fantasy managers.
Palace led at home to Liverpool last week, but ended up losing 2-1 and they’re only two points above the relegation zone. They have only won once in their last five away games, but they have only taken four more points at home than they have away from home. They have lost four of their last five games, but those defeats were all against teams in the top five and were all by a single goal.
Luka Milivojevic continues to rack up the points for fantasy managers while Wilfried Zaha is certainly worth considering too.
I think Palace showed enough against Liverpool last week to suggest they can win this game.
Brighton And Hove Albion v Huddersfield Town
3pm BST, AMEX Stadium, Brighton
Brighton lost 2-0 at home to Leicester last week, but they still have six points to spare over the bottom three. Only seven teams have taken more points at home than Brighton and the defeat against Leicester was only their fourth home defeat of the season. They haven’t kept a clean sheet in 10 games and only three other teams have scored less goals.
Pascal Gross is still the Brighton player to have for fantasy managers and their defenders and keeper could prosper in this game too.
Huddersfield lost 1-0 at Newcastle last week and they’re only three points above the bottom three. No other team has lost more away games and they lost five of their last six on the road without scoring in any of those five defeats. They have only taken one point in their last four games and they failed to score in each of those games.
I can’t see any Huddersfield players to recommend to fantasy managers.
I think Brighton should get the win that will more or less insure their Premier League survival in this game.
Leicester City v Newcastle United
3pm BST, King Power Stadium, Leicester
Leicester won 2-0 at Brighton last week to keep their chances of finishing seventh alive, but sixth place looks beyond them. They're unbeaten in six games at home, but they drew four of those games and they drew their last three home games by the same 1-1 scoreline. They have only lost twice in their last 10 games and they kept clean sheets in four of those games.
Riyad Mahrez is the best fantasy option in the Leicester team with Jamie Vardy and Harry Maguire both doing quite well too.
Newcastle won 1-0 at home to Huddersfield and they now have seven points to spare over the bottom three. They have only won three of their 15 away games and they have only taken two points from the last four games on the road. They have only lost twice in their last 11 game though and only the top five and Burnley have conceded less goals.
Kenedy continues to impress for fantasy managers and he’s still available at a good price too.
I think Leicester will continue their pursuit of the highest possible finish with a narrow victory in this game.
Stoke City v Tottenham Hotspur
3pm BST, bet365 Stadium, Stoke
Stoke lost 3-0 away to Arsenal last week and they're three points from safety with some tough games to come between now and the end of the season. They haven't won in their last four home games and they only scored two goals in those four games. They haven’t won in eight games and they failed to score in four of those games with no other team conceding more goals.
Xherdan Shaqiri is the only Stoke player to consider for fantasy managers, but probably not in this game.
Spurs came from behind to win 3-1 at Chelsea last week and that win almost assures them a top four finish. Only City have taken more points away from home and they are unbeaten in their last seven away games. They have taken 33 points from their last 13 games and only the two Manchester clubs have conceded less goals.
With Harry Kane back from injury he’s the obvious choice in the Spurs team for fantasy managers while Heung-Min Son, Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli as well as all of their defenders and keeper are hard to ignore too.
I can’t see anything other than a comfortable Spurs win in this game.
Watford v Burnley
3pm BST, Vicarage Road, Watford
Watford led twice at home to Bournemouth last week, but they had to settle for a 2-2 draw which moved them nine points above the bottom three. They’re unbeaten in five home games, but no other team has conceded more goals at home. They have struggled for consistency and only Stoke have conceded more goals, but they should still be in the Premier League next season.
I can’t see any Watford players to recommend to fantasy managers at the moment.
Burnley won 2-1 away to West Brom last week to just about keep their chances of finishing sixth alive. They won their last two away games after failing to win in the previous seven and only the top four have taken more points on the road with only City conceding less goals. They have won their last three games after failing to win the previous 11 and only three teams have conceded less goals.
Both Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood have done very well for fantasy managers in recent weeks despite Wood’s game time being limited and Burnley’s defenders and keeper have been on song too.
The chances are this game will end with the spoils shared.
West Bromwich Albion v Swansea City
3pm BST, The Hawthorns, Birmingham
West Brom lost 2-1 at home to West Brom and that defeat cost Alan Pardew his job as well as leaving them 10 points from safety with only six games left to play. They have only won two of their 16 home games and have lost their last four at home with only Watford conceding more goals on their own patch. They have only won once in their last 30 games and have lost their last eight with no other team scoring less goals.
I can’t see any West Brom players to interest fantasy managers despite Solomon Rondon doing well in recent weeks.
Swansea lost 2-0 away to United last week and they’re still only three points above the drop zone. They have only won two of their 16 away games and only two teams have scored less goals away from home. They have only lost twice in their last nine games, but no other team has scored less goals.
Lukasz Fabianski has been the outstanding Swansea player for fantasy managers this season and he’s certainly worth considering.
I think West Brom’s woes will continue with yet another defeat in this game.
Manchester City v Manchester United
5.30pm BST, Etihad Stadium, Manchester
City won 3-1 away to Everton last week and a victory in this game will see them crowned as Premier League Champions. They have taken 43 of the 45 points available at home so far and they’re the top scorers at home with only United conceding less goals at their own ground. They have won 27 of their 31 games and they’re the top scorers with the best defensive record too, but they were well beaten in the Champions League by Liverpool on Wednesday night.
There are so many City players to choose from for fantasy managers with David Silva, Sadio Mane, Raheem Sterling and Kevin de Bruyne probably the best options at the moment.
United won 2-0 at home to Swansea last week, but second place is the best they can manage and they could drop to third if they lose this game. They won their last away game after losing the previous two without scoring and it’s their failure to match City’s away points haul which has seen them lose so much ground on their local rivals. Only City have won more games and conceded less goals, but they have won eight of their last 10 games.
Romelu Lukaku is probably the United player in the best form for fantasy managers at the moment, but he has a reputation for failing to perform in big games.
A win for City would hand them the title and I think they will manage it despite their midweek European defeat to Liverpool.
Sunday April 8
Arsenal v Southampton
2.15pm BST, Emirates Stadium, London
Arsenal won 3-0 at home to Stoke last week to strengthen their hold on sixth place. They have won four of their last five home games and they scored 15 goals in those games with only City scoring more goals at home. They have lost five of their last nine games though and have conceded more goals than the rest of the top six.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is the Arsenal player to have for fantasy managers while Aaron Ramsey is worth a shout too if he’s picked.
Southampton lost 3-0 away to West Ham and they’re still two points from safety with only seven games remaining. They have only won two of their 15 away games and have conceded six goals without any in reply in the last two on the road. They have only won once in their last 18 games and have only scored one goal in their last five games .
I can’t see any Southampton players to recommend to fantasy managers.
I think Arsenal should continue to keep themselves safely in sixth place with a couple of goals to spare in this game.
Chelsea v West Ham United
4.30pm BST, Stamford Bridge, London
Chelsea led at home to Spurs last week, but ended up losing 3-1 and their chances of a top four finish look very slim. They have taken less points and scored less goals at home than the rest of the top six and they have only won two of their last five games at home. They have lost five of their last seven games and have scored less goals than the rest of the top six.
Eden Hazard is still the best bet in the Chelsea team for fantasy managers with Willian worth considering too, but none of their players are doing too well at the moment.
West Ham won 3-0 at home to Southampton last week to move five points clear of the relegation zone. They have only won two of their 16 away games with no other team conceding more goals on the road and they have lost their last three away games and conceded 11 goals in the process. The win over Southampton ended a run of three consecutive defeats and only Stoke have conceded more goals.
Marco Arnautovic is the form player in the West Ham team for fantasy managers, but he could find points hard to come by in this game.
I think Chelsea will get back to winning ways in this game with at least a couple of goals to spare.
That’s it for this week.
See you next week.