With just two days between Gameweeks the action is coming fast for Premier League Fantasy Football managers and is leading to injury and rotation issues that is making some of us, you guessed it, furious. It was a high scoring second day of GW31 in Draft Fantasy, let's take a look at the matchups to see if that trend is going to continue.
Tottenham v Watford
Spurs had a big, late comeback on Wednesday and it came as no surprise that Alli, Eriksen and Son were the scorers. Expect more of the same but with an added wrinkle, Kane is in contention to possibly start, he will make the bench at least. I would still start the above mentioned trio confidently though. Lloris has not trained and Vorm is a question mark but regardless of who is in net the backline have a good shot at points too. Watford do not carry a major attacking threat but when they do come forward Deeney is the central figure. Not a great matchup for the Hornets though, Britos is suspended, plus Mazzarri has stated they have a defensive crisis going on and various fatigue issues.
Middlesbrough v Burnley
Despite looking in shambles while giving up 4 to Hull, yes I said Hull, I think that Middlesbrough has a decent shot at a clean sheet at home to Burnley but don't expect much action in this one. Negredo is your attacker of choice as usual. I don't usually advise backing Burnley players on the road this season but at least their defense is still serviceable against their goal shy opponents. Expect a low scoring game.
West Brom v Southampton
West Brom finally welcomed Phillips back as he got some minutes but it is not known yet whether he will get a start this weekend. Róndon was a surprise omission from the starting eleven but expect him to reclaim his spot as the offense struggled. At home to Southampton is just an average matchup, and this game could go either way so it could be feast or famine for your fantasy involvement. This game likely comes too early for Gabbiadini once again so it is probably Rodriguez's turn to lead the line. Bertrand missed out last game and will be a late decision.
Man City v Hull
This the matchup that has owners of City players drooling. Despite Hull's improvement, they are stronger at home and still giving goals so City should have no problem. Agüero, De Bruyne, Silva, Sterling and Sané could all produce but will all start? Sterling should return after coming off the bench, but I feel there is a bit of a risk with Sané, he is due a rest after starting a lot of games in a row. The defense has clean sheet potential but Hull are starting to click offensively. And who is doing that scoring, well there are a few to name here, Niasse, Hernandez, Grosicki and Markovic. I would assume City will score so the defense are not appealing.
Stoke v Liverpool
Liverpool have been hit with a pair of tough injuries to Mané and Lallana but Coutinho has stepped up and Origi is a threat up top. The problem is that Coutinho has picked up an illness and is questionable now. Firmino and Origi will have to shoulder the load and Wijnaldum should have more license to get forward. At Stoke is going to be tough so don't expect huge paydays. Stoke are finding goals hard to come by but I think they will find a way to get at least one at home, plenty of ex-Liverpool players who would probably like to be the guy who scores it, Adam, Allen, Crouch...but do you really want to bet on trying to pick a single goal?, I don't. Arnauovic still seems like the likeliest source of offense for me.
West Ham v Swansea
The Hammers have a good home matchup against a Swansea side that was stunned by that late Spurs fight back. Carroll was pulled at the half as a precaution but the news sounds like he is good to go. Antonio has picked up an illness but still has a chance too. Ayew, Lanzini and Snodgrass are your best bets and the defense could surprise but Cresswell is still sidelined. Swansea are hoping Llorente will be ready but it is no guarantee at this point so Sigurdsson will be the man again, he has been a little quiet the last couple but can break out at any time with all the set pieces he takes plus his advanced position, hold onto him if you are having second thoughts.
Bournemouth v Chelsea
I think Bournemouth are going to put up a fight at home to the likely champions but don't let that put you off of your Blues, I still think there will be goals. Hazard is a machine right now and Costa seems due for a goal or two. Moses is 50/50 again. Willian seems due a start and he usually produces when he does, could it be Pedro that makes way? Bournemouth are not likely to sit back with King and Afobe still preferred in attack. Not sure I would start any defenders, Hazard will create at least a goal, right?
Sunderland v Man Utd
Utd should have a strong lineup for this one with Zlatan leading the way as usual. With Rooney a question mark again and Mata out, you would think that Martial and Mkhitaryan would be locks to start this one after making the bench on the weekend. The Utd defense shouldn't really have much problems with this Sunderland side but they are at home and everyone gets up for a game with the Red Devils, right Utd conspiracy theorists? Actually I am one...
Everton v Leicester
Leicester are rolling but this is the situation where there could be a bump in the road as the chance of rotation for Vardy and Mahrez in particular is very real with the UCL game a few days later, despite what Shakespeare has publicly stated. So now you will have to decide, to start, or not to start? 😏 Maybe you get a half out of them max? I think Everton will put in a good effort at home, and the lineup should be similar to what you saw at Old Trafford as they looked much better than the youthful Merseyside derby lineup. Lukaku will look to get back on track, I fancy him to do just that.
Crystal Palace v Arsenal
The fantasy impact of the Gunners has been changing over the past couple of games, Sánchez has seen his output drop playing on the left, while Özil seems to be becoming a factor again. Welbeck has started twice in a row but I would be shocked not to see Giroud in this one after he came off the bench to score. Walcott has also re-emerged to become a goal threat once again. Even with Koscielny out they managed a clean sheet against West Ham and have a decent chance again, but Zaha and Benteke are both in good form so don't count on it. Both teams have something to play for so expect an open game with scoring chances.
As the fantasy season winds down, decisions become tougher, and planning ahead becomes even more important. Look for multi-week investments and stay on top of the upcoming DGWs. Until next time. P.S. Go Zlatan.
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