GW36 - The Home Stretch - Draft Fantasy Football

With just three Gameweeks remaining in the Premier League Fantasy Football season all remaining roster decisions are going to be agonized over, as whether you are protecting your lead or trying to gain some ground in your Draft Fantasy league, all choices could be vital. The two main things you need to know about GW36 is that it begins a day earlier than usual with a Friday deadline, and that both Arsenal and Southampton have a DGW. Here is a detailed look at the matchups for this Gameweek.

West Ham v Tottenham

It all kicks off with Spurs visiting West Ham with Kane and company needing a victory to keep their title hopes alive. Expect the usual lineup with the only exceptions being that Walker should come in for Trippier as they have been alternating and Son's spot could be in jeopardy with the return of Dembélé. The Hammers seem to be just going through the motions as the season winds down but if an upset is in the cards then they will need Lanazini and Ayew to lead the way but I like Spurs to keep their run going.

Man City v Crystal Palace

With the news that Agüero is being assessed for a late injury picked up, the stock of Gabriel Jesus is soaring but he is not the only one who would benefit. Sterling and Sané would be much more likely to hold down roles and City have a really favorable schedule coming up. De Bruyne is also probably secure, especially if Silva remains out. Caballero is locked in now that Bravo has been ruled out for the season but there are question marks on defense due to rotation. Kompany, Otamendi and Clichy seem to be the best picks but Kolarov, Sagna and Zabaleta are alternatives so beware. Palace's momentum slowed as they slumped to defeat at home to Burnley but if they are going to get anything then Benteke and Zaha will be central.

Bournemouth v Stoke

What can you say about King right now, he is just on 🔥🔥🔥, and a home matchup with an average Stoke side makes me think he keeps it going. Bournemouth seem to be a side with much more attacking flair at home, with Daniels and Smith given more license to get involved too. Afobe left last game which could open the door for Stanislas to get a start. I say roll out your Cherries in general, they should produce. Stoke seem like a side just playing out the remainder of their campaign so I would not go much outside of Arnautovic, let's face it, I just like Bournemouth at home.

Burnley v West Brom

This does not look like a game with many goals as it could trudge along at 0-0 for awhile. But if you made me choose I would say that Burnley could use the momentum of that big win over Palace to their advantage, they certainly still could use another 3 pts to assure safety. Barnes is an intriguing pick as things fell nicely for him last game, plus Gray could be back as his partner after scoring off the bench. West Brom? They haven't scored since that win over Arsenal but both Keane and Mee are questionable so maybe they have a shot to get on the board this time, maybe.

Hull v Sunderland

We all know by now that Hull are a different team at home under Silva so this is a good spot to back them. Jakupovic and the defense are a solid play against a Sunderland team that has struggled to score, with Maguire, Rannochia and Robertson all with potential to sneak you some extra attacking points. In attack, Niasse leads the way up front but both Grosicki and Markovic look dangerous. What about the recently relegated Sunderland? Not sure what to expect but it seems a risk to me to hope they can produce for your team.

Leicester v Watford

Two teams sitting on the infamous safety spot of 40 pts, neither mathematically out of the woods yet, so we should still see their big guns. Leicester should be favored at home and the defense and attack both have a good shot at getting you points. Vardy is hot and Mahrez always could break out. Slimani was an unused sub last game but if he gets some starts down the stretch he could become a useful player, but assume minutes off the bench in this one first. Morgan is struggling with injury so Benalouane should continue to provide cover. Watford have Deeney, Capoue but the most dangerous guy last game was Janmaat, and while he may not get you clean sheets he is a defender with a DGW coming up and is playing further forward, food for thought, just maybe not this matchup.

Swansea v Everton

Well we have a pretty good idea what Swansea are about, Sigurdsson as the main course with a side of Llorente. And this combo will be needed if they are to have any chance of avoiding relegation. A home matchup with Everton is not bad, winnable but I would think that Lukaku will find a way to get on the scoresheet. As mentioned in an earlier preview Everton did give Valencia a start but he did not exactly take advantage so look for Mirallas to get his spot back, joining Barkley and Big Rom as the offensive trio to watch for. I like the desperate Swans to score at home so stick with the attackers here in general.

Liverpool v Southampton

Liverpool welcomed back Lallana but at the expense of Coutinho, and they will be sweating over his fitness for this tricky fixture. He should be fine but if he can't go then it should be Origi or dare I say even Sturridge playing up front with Firmino and Lallana in support. Can's wonder goal saved them against Watford, but he is not exactly a consistent scorer, but kudos on turning Leiva's poor cross into something...😏. A clean sheet is a possibility here but people risking Southampton players with their DGW will hope not. And who are the Saints most likely to help you out you ask? Forster in net and the backline of Bertrand, Yoshida, Stephens and Soares seem to be starting unit, but in attack is where is becomes a little cloudy. Gabbiadini is the trendy choice, with Tadic also being an important creative outlet, but don't be surprised if he is off pks. Then you have the likes of Redmond, Boufal and Ward-Prowse with Long and Rodriguez also in the mix. Seems unlikely that you will get 2 x 90mins from any, unless you decide to go with Romeu?

Arsenal v Man Utd

Arsenal's first game of their DGW is a home matchup with a depleted Utd team with one eye, maybe even both, on their Europa League Semi-Finals so there could be points to be had here. Sanchez, Özil, Koscielny, Cech and Monreal are the most likely to get you two starts but there could be value in Walcott, Giroud, Welbeck, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain or Gibbs, it may just depend on who performs in this one. I'm not sure what to think about Utd's fantasy potential for these final few games, 3 tough road games before a decent home finale. Throw Europa League involvement and a rash of injuries and it looks a mess. Rooney probably gets most of the PL games and De Gea will be busy in net I assume.

Chelsea v Middlesbrough

One team's players that you can certainly still back despite there being DGW options is Chelsea. Home to Middlesbrough and the title still on the line means that it will be a full strength squad hitting the pitch at Stamford Bridge. There are only a few questions about the starting eleven with Willian still likely on the outside looking in after Pedro's goal. Fabregas has a chance as his assist potential could be preferred against a defensive Middlesbrough. Luiz is a slight doubt but early news seems to indicate he will be good to go, if not Aké will deputize. Do you really want to back Middlesbrough here? Didn't think so.

Southampton v Arsenal

The second game for both teams. I have mentioned the players above already so if you choose to back DGW'ers then I guess you will be cheering for clean sheets or a goalfest, depending which way your gut told you to go. This game could go either way in that regard so I plan on having my bases covered in both ways. And if my chief competitor "The Desperate One" is reading this, pretend I didn't say any of that.

So the question you have to ultimately ask yourself is whether you think a good single game matchup is better than an average double? The good news is that next week you will not have to worry about that too much as there are plenty of doubles to go around. Until then, enjoy GW36!

Simon Wardle

Draft Fantasy Football 2015/16 Global Champion

Visit my website at: http://simonsayssoccer.com/

Follow me on Twitter: @PriMaradona1