It was a big weekend around the Premier League as many different races saw a huge makeover. The title race turned upside down with Chelsea upsetting Liverpool at Anfield, the top four race between Arsenal and Everton was essentially decided, and Sunderland left the relegation zone for the first time since week 25. Let’s take a look at the all the important matches and the fantasy impacts from each.
The weekend started with Southampton facing Everton at home. The Saints have nothing to play for but came out determined and two own goals later came out with three points. The Toffees didn’t look like they were fighting for a top four spot and saw their chances slip away. They now need to win both of their games and they need Arsenal to go winless if they are to get into the top four. Realistically, their chances are very low. With Everton playing against Manchester City, I don’t trust many of their players next week.
We then saw Fulham – Hull City, which ended 2-2. Fulham had a comfortable 2-0 lead but Hull City were able to make a late comeback and help their chances of staying in the Premier League. The draw hurts Fulham, who are still in the relegation zone. Fantasy wise, Lewis Holtby was subbed out early and ended with only 1 fantasy point. He had been good before this game but this definitely makes him harder to trust. It also brings his price down. Use at your own risk.
Next up, Spurs beat Stoke City 1-0 away from home. Ryan Shawcross was sent off and is not an option to end the season. Emmanuel Adebayor played well but his consistency is not there and it’s hard to trust him right now. Christian Eriksen came back to earth and was relatively quiet, but that could have been the Stoke effect. I wouldn’t mind using him in the final week. Swansea took care of business at home with a 4-1 win over Aston Villa. This was easily the Jonjo Shelvey show and the midfielder ended the day with 31 fantasy points! Wilfried Bony was great once again and is a premium option to finish off the season. If week 37 wasn’t a double gameweek for the Manchester clubs, he would be a must own for me. West Brom defeated West Ham at home to put themselves four points ahead of relegation, almost ensuring they stay up. The Hammers are also likely to stay up with 37 points.
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The late game featured a very anticipated match. Manchester United took on Norwich City with new interim manager Ran Giggs in charge. Giggs put out an attacking squad that played well from start to finish and the Red Devils destroyed Norwich 4-0. The problem I have here is that United played against the worst away team in the league. That makes it hard for us to predict how well they’ll do for the rest of the season, but considering they have two easy matchups in week 37, I will be using a number of their players. Rooney is a must own for me and David de Gea is a great option among others.
On Sunday, Sunderland destroyed Cardiff City, also with a score of 4-0. Sunderland have put together a fantastic three-match run – draw against Man City, win at Chelsea, win vs Cardiff. They are now out of the relegation zone but are tied on points with Norwich. They have an easier schedule and are currently playing much better, but anything can happen in the extremely tight relegation race. Sunderland have a double week up next, and with how they are playing, some of their players should be considered. I wouldn’t mind having one of their defenders or Fabio Borini.
Then came the big game. Liverpool took on Chelsea at Anfield. Chelsea came out with a relatively weakened squad but Jose Mourinho’s tactics were fit for his squad and the Blues were able to defend and counter-attack on the way to a 2-0 win. With the title race wide open again, all the regular stars from these teams should be used. Both teams have relatively easy schedules and there should be plenty of goals. Check back later in the week to get all the injury updates.
Manchester City travelled to Selhurt Park and defeated Crystal Palace to put themselves in prime position for winning the league. Yaya Toure came back from injury and was the best player on the pitch despite only playing 60 minutes. He has to be in everyone’s squad for the double week in week 37. David Silva missed the match through injury but has returned to training and will try to be fit for the important double week. Sergio Aguero didn’t score but played well and I would go as far as captaining him next week. Almost everyone from City who is likely to play is a good option next week.
The situation for the title race is as follows: Liverpool are at the top of the table, but Manchester City are three points behind with a game extra left to play. Due to goal difference, Manchester City are likely to win the title if they win all fo their remaining matches. Chelsea are two points behind Liverpool but need both Manchester City and Liverpool to lose points on the way if they are to win the title.
The Monday match saw a very expected result as Arsenal trumped Newcastle 3-0. The Gunners dominated from start to finish and won with ease. Mesut Ozil played well, coming out of the game with a easy/lucky goal and a great assist. Everyone on Arsenal’s squad did well in fantasy except Bacary Sagna and Aaron Ramsey (the two I had on my squad). With Arsenal facing West Brom and Norwich, their players are fantastic choices for the rest of the season.
My team was extremely average this week, mainly due to choosing the wrong captain (Aaron Ramsey). The good news is that I only went down 15 places and I am still barely in the top 4000. How did your squad do?
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