If you somehow missed the Liverpool – Manchester City game, do yourself a favor and go watch it now. There is nothing I can say in here that will correctly reflect the emotion and energy in that match. You can find the replay on NBC Live Extra by clicking here. And while you’re at it, you should also consider checking out the Fulham - Norwich game, another great match that was the relegation battle version of Liverpool - Manchester City.
Crystal Palace 1 – 0 Aston Villa
At the start, this game looked like all the players were ready to watch Liverpool – Manchester City. No effort, no energy, nothing. As the game went on, Palace improved and deservedly won. Jason Puncheon is on a hot streak right now and has averaged 23 points over his last three. Mile Jedinak is also racking up points as he intercepted an incredible 11 passes and won 6 tackles. Joel Ward has also been in great form and with Palace have two games this week, it’s uncharacteristic how much impact Palace players are having on this gameweek. Villa are quite the opposite. They can’t get anything going without Christian Benteke and Grant Holt is just not good enough to lead a Premier League team. They’ve now entered the relegation battle but there isn’t too much pressure on them yet as they are four points ahead and have a game in hand.
Fulham 1 – 0 Norwich
I had very low expectations for this game but I was proven wrong. It was an action packed match that proved why the Premier League is so exciting. Two teams at the bottom of the table put on a great show with action going both ways. At the end, it was Fulham who walked away with the win through a Hugo Rodallega goal. The man of the match award goes to David Stockdale, who made save after save to retain a clean sheet. Fulham have picked up some momentum and will be looking to exit the relegation zone at Norwich’s expense in the coming weeks. Lewis Holtby will be a big part of anything they do and should be considered for the rest of the season.
Southampton 0 – 1 Cardiff City
Southampton controlled the game from the beginning but a second half goal from Cala changed everything. Cala scored with a brilliant strike from outside the box in the 65th minute and gave Cardiff enough momentum to see off the Saints. Without Jay Rodriguez, who is out for the season with a torn ACL, the Saints struggled to put much pressure on Cardiff after the goal. Whatever pressure they did put was defended well by Cardiff. David Marshall had to step in a few times as well and he deserves praise for his efforts. Cardiff are fighting to exit the relegation zone but I don’t trust many of their players going forward. On Southampton’s side, there is value to be had, but beware of the fact that the Saints have nothing to play for and Mauricio Pochettino can choose to experiment a bit.
Stoke City 1 – 0 Newcastle United
Yet another 1-0 match and it came from two teams with nothing to fight for. Both are cemented in mid-table and it showed on the pitch. Erik Pieters’ cross caught some wind and wound up in the back of the net and that basically summarizes the game. I would avoid these two teams for the rest of the season as you never know how hard they’ll try on any given day.
Sunderland 0 – 1 Everton
Yes, this game ended with just one goal as well. This one saw Everton score a late goal to take all three points and move into fourth place with their seventh win in a row. With Tottenham and Arsenal constantly dropping points, Everton have a real chance of finishing with a Champions League spot. Fantasy wise, there were as many great performers as there were disappointing ones on Everton’s side. Tim Howard(21), John Stones(16), Leighton Baines(13) were the better ones while Ross Barkley(0), Romelu Lukaku(4), and Seamus Coleman(0) disappointed owners. Everton’s schedule gets tougher, but with them fighting for a top four spot, I would advice looking at some of the above players for the last few weeks.
West Brom 3 – 3 Tottenham
Finally a non 1-0 game! West Brom started the game spectacularly, going up 2-0 in the first four minutes, but Tottenham found a way to fight back. It got even worse for Tottenham at the beginning, as Emmanuel Adebayor missed a penalty and Stephane Sessegnon added a third to make it 3-0. The second half was much different. Christian Eriksen led spurs to a big comeback but it wasn’t enough for three points. Spurs are now in sixth place, six points behind Everton. It’s almost impossible for Tottenham to win a fourth place finish and they’ll likely have to battle with Manchester United for the sixth spot. Christian Eriksen is the only player I would trust regularly on this team for fantasy purposes.
Liverpool 3 – 2 Manchester City
What a game! This was by far the best game of the season. Lots happened and if you really can’t find a way to watch it, at least check out the highlights here. On Liverpool’s side, Luis Suarez had a poor fantasy game but he played well on the pitch and should be a premium option next week once again, especially if Daniel Sturridge is forced to miss any time. Raheem Sterling also gets a bump if Sturridge’s injury is serious. Steven Gerrard was fantastic once again and he is the most motivated player in the Premier League right now, a must own over the last few weeks in my opinion. On Manchester’s side, Sergio Aguero came off the bench but failed score any fantasy points. He was relatively quiet but the good news is that we get to see him again in week 34 before we have to make a decision about using him in week 35. There is talk Yaya Toure could be out for the remainder of the season. That would certainly raise Aguero’s stock since he will definitely be on PK duty in that case. Silva and Nasri will also get a bump. Joe Hart had a horrific fantasy game, but that’s more Liverpool’s fault than his. His price has decreased and you can feel free to bring him in for the last few weeks.
Swansea City 0 – 1 Chelsea
Swansea went down to 10 men early on in a somewhat controversial decision. The referee took a long time to decide whether to give Chico his second yellow and there were protests once he sent him off. At the end of the day, Chico’s challenge was a bookable offense and I think the referee made the right call. Chelsea dominated the entire game but struggled to score once again. Demba Ba snuck one in to win the game, but the lack of goals is concerning for Chelsea fans. Good news came from the post match conference as Chelsea announced Eden Hazard should be back “sooner rather than later”. With Hazard’s price down to £ 18.09M, he should be considered once he is back. There is still lots of value to be had in Chelsea’s defense, and outside of a trip to Liveprool, Chelsea have a very favorable schedule. Take advantage of it.