The Headline Pick: Heung-Min Son – West Brom (H)
The standout fixture of the weekend in terms of favourability has to be Spurs home clash with West Brom. While Spurs are in the mix for the European places, West Brom are languishing at the bottom and look certain to be relegated in this campaign. It could be a fruitful fixture for Jose Mourinho’s attack.
West Brom did manage to put up a reasonable fight in the reverse fixture, which ended 1-0 to Spurs and with Harry Kane set to be absent from the squad once again, they will have hope. However, Heung-Min Son is the focal point in this Spurs attack now and will also be on penalties.
Son remains one of the most outstanding players of the season, having already scored 12 goals in this campaign. Meanwhile, West Brom are the most porous defence in the Premier League, having conceded a mammoth 52 goals. In recent weeks, they are conceding on average three goals per game.
Spurs available to back at Evens to win and score over 2.5 goals against West Brom this weekend..
The Budget Pick: Michail Antonio – Fulham (A)
West Ham have looked rejuvenated since Michail Antonio returned from injury. They’ve now won five of their last six games, scoring nine goals in their last four and surprisingly sit fifth in the Premier League table. It’s time to sit up and take note of their offensive assets, as they travel to Fulham who are in the relegation zone.
Antonio has started all of West Ham’s last five games, and has shown no signs of fatigue. In that spell he’s picked up two goals and three fantasy assists, leading the current form chart among all forwards. He’s arguably been unlucky not to deliver more returns, having had a mammoth 15 shots on target over the same period.
It’s rumoured that Antonio could be on penalties given that Mark Noble rarely sees significant Premier League minutes for the Hammers. Their opponents Fulham have looked like an improved defensive outfit of late, but have conceded two goals in three of their last four games. I imagine that West Ham will pose a similar attacking threat to Manchester United and Leicester City.
The VAR Pick: Bruno Fernandes – Everton (H)
Bruno Fernandes was widely overlooked for the armband in midweek, but duly delivered big points. Manchester United were impressive, although the early red card for Southampton undoubtedly changed the entire landscape of the game. Fernandes owners were left waiting until late on for his attacking returns, but he duly delivered one goal, two assists and maximum bonus points.
That big performance puts him firmly at the top of the FPL points scoring for the season, with double digits for both goals and assists. He’s now also the most owned player in the game. Over the course of the last four games, Fernandes has had 15 shots as well as creating 10 chances for his team-mates. He also has a phenomenal penalty record, with Manchester United second for spot kicks received this season, with seven. Everton have conceded four.
Long term Bruno Fernandes owners will look back fondly on the reverse fixture, in which he bagged two goals and one assist at Goodison Park. Expect a similar result on this occasion if you compare the relative form of each side: Everton could be without Jordan Pickford once more for this one and have conceded in each of their last four games.
You can back VAR and bet on Manchester United to score a penalty against Everton at odds of 3/1.
The Sleeper Pick: Raphinha – Crystal Palace (A)
While Patrick Bamford has been a staple of many fantasy squads for a while now, it’s his teammate Raphinha who has the form, despite sitting in just over 1% of squads. Only four players have picked up more fantasy points than him over the last thirty days: he’s bagged two goals and two assists in his last three games.
While I wouldn’t recommend ditching Bamford in favour of Raphinha, having the pair is a big differential when Leeds are firing in the goals. They’ve certainly showed a good improvement since the start of January, scoring six goals in their last two games.
The reverse fixture ended 4-1 in Crystal Palace’s favour, but expect fortunes to turn with Leeds United on home turf. Palace are managing a number of injuries to their key players, which puts Leeds at a significant advantage here. The Eagles have conceded eight goals in their last four games.
The Wildcard Pick: Joao Cancelo – Liverpool (A)
The wildcard pick comes from the big top four clash of the weekend, between Liverpool and Manchester City. Liverpool have been imperious at Anfield for a number of seasons now, but have now lost two consecutive games on home turf. Given the comparative form of the two opponents, I can only see one outcome: a win for Manchester City.
Delving further into the numbers, Liverpool have failed to score in their last three home games. Meanwhile, Manchester City haven’t conceded a goal for six consecutive games and have only conceded four times since these sides last met. There are high hopes for another City shut-out here for their defence, including for Joao Cancelo. Sadio Mane is a major doubt for this game, which further dents Liverpool’s fire power.
Cancelo has been playing out of position for most of the season, sitting in midfield when City have possession. He was substituted on 63 minutes in midweek, which indicates Pep Guardiola is saving him for this weekend game. Attacking returns are always likely from him: he grabbed a goal and assist in Gameweek 20. Liverpool have plenty of defensive issues, and Alisson is currently flagged with illness. They’ve conceded in each of their last four games. The takeaway here is to start your Manchester City players and bench your Liverpool players.
Back Manchester City to beat Liverpool at 21/20 in Gameweek 23.
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