Fantasy Sports – Premier League

This weeks Premier League round contains three big favorites. Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool are all playing at home, and looks set to score a lot of goals between them.

The round actually starts already on Friday evening, when Cardiff and Wolverhampton meet up in Wales. Those involved in season fantasy games must remember to make their choices in time for that game. In this column however, we are mainly concerned with daily fantasy Premier League, and as usual the big competitions start at 16:00 on Saturday.

Perfect task for Chelsea

Every time Fulham participates in a match, there is a good chance there will be more goals than the average. They are just not too concerned about defending, it seems. They behaved the same way last season, in the Championship, but they are being punished harder for it in the Premier League. However, the 3-2 win over Southampton last weekend was a nice break from the disappointing results. Chelsea on the other hand were in reality with any chance against a stunning Tottenham. Maybe it was just an off day for Chelsea, or maybe Tottenham are just that good. In either case, we suspect Chelsea will hit back hard this week, and Fulham is the perfect candidate for it. We think EDEN HAZARD (14.5M) is the best captain option.

Injury headaches for Pep (and fantasy managers)

There should be plenty of goals at Etihad Stadium too. Manchester City welcomes Bournemouth, which is another team that is not known for parking the bus. Bournemouth were a bit unlucky losing to Arsenal the other day, as they had enough chances to deserve a draw or maybe even more. Manchester City were really disappointing in the first half against Lyon, but woke up in the second half, and grabbed the single point they needed. As usual, there are uncertainty as to who will play for Pep Guardiola this week. The City manager has some trouble filling the midfielder position that Kevin de Bruyne controlled every single week last season. RAHEEM STERLING (14.6M) was put in that position against Lyon, which probably was not ideal, but the replacements for the long term injured de Bruyne have their own injury problems! BERNARDO SILVA (12.5M) and ILKAY GUNDOGAN (11.9M) both had to stay out of the Champions League match because of it, but both are close to being available for the encounter against Bournemouth, and Pep would probably prefer one of them filling the spot in right midfield instead of Sterling doing it. In attack, SERGIO AGUERO (14.8M) should be leading the line one again, while Sterling, LEROY SANE (14.0M) and RIYAD MAHREZ (13.2M) will fight it out for the spots on each side of Aguero. Obviously, there is only room for two of them up front next to Aguero. Who will miss out is anyone’s guess, but the match is scheduled for 16:00 Saturday, which means you will be able to check the line up before you hand in your entries in the Main Event tournaments.

In the bargain bin

Huddersfield surprised us by scoring twice against Wolverhampton last time around. In hindsight, we may have underestimated Huddersfield, as they actually had shown nice form before that match. Even when they lost 0-1 to Liverpool and 0-3 to Watford some rounds ago, Huddersfield delivered a decent display. Against Wolves, they came out of the gate flying, and were actually dominating the game for a long time. The 2-0 victory was very much deserved. Can they follow up with another win this week? We think they could. Opponent Brighton have played ok lately, but perhaps not more than that. They had to settle for a disappointing 1-1 draw against Leicester, even after Maddison was sent off one hour from the end. Leicester actually came back late in the game from being one goal behind before Maddison got the red card. Additionally, Brighton are one of those teams who are clearly best at home. AARON MOY (8.6M) scored twice against Wolves, and must be the one most likely to score against Brighton. The Australian playmaker is back in form, and is capable of making really good shots from distance. ALEX PRITCHARD (8.6M) is another one who gave a nice display against Wolves. Worth considerations if you are looking for a name flying under the radar. STEVE MOUNIER (8.8M) did not impress anyone last weekend, and even though he is likely to start once again as Huddersfield striker, he is not a clear candidate.

 Tomkins to score on header?

One team stands out when it comes to defence and it is Crystal Palace. After been through a tough series of matches, against Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester United, they now host Burnley – possibly the worst team in Premier League right now. Palace actually played fairly well against those top teams, even though they only got two points from four matches. They were definitively no pushovers against Arsenal and Tottenham, and as we remember, they managed to hold United to a 0-0 draw last weekend. Palace have some trouble scoring goals, so we think the best bet is to pick players from their defensive line. JAMES TOMKINS (8.2M) surely must be the first pick, as he is very dangerous on corners and set pieces. The Burnley defence is short on tall players like Tomkins, who is 192 cm. The only Burnley defender that is close to that height, is Long, and he may be benched this week as Tarkowski is back after injury. PATRICK VAN ANHOLT (8.9M) is still a nice offensive outlet. He is always rushing down on the left side and is another mandatory pick is you are going with three Palace defenders. As the third one, we like MAMADOU SAKHO (7.9M) for this match. AARON VAN-BISSAKA (8.6M) is certainly possible too. He is in great form, although we suspect the chance for him scoring is a bit lower than for Sakho. It is close between the two, anyway.