Predictions on the best Fantasy Footballers for next season

The popularity of fantasy football has grown hugely over the years with many people buying their players to make up the team that they think will accumulate the most points over the season. Whether they base their teams on the football club that they support, or whether they pick and choose players based on form or record, players are switched, bought and sold throughout the season and during the transfer windows. More often than not some of the best sports betting sites get involved and you can pit your fantasy football team against others to win money, or they base their sports betting predictions in line with their fantasy football team. With the end of the 2015/16 season on the horizon, people are starting to think about who they can get into their team to craft their fantasy football team for next season, so we’ve put together some predictions on who we think the best fantasy footballers will be for next season’s Barclays Premier League.

With Leicester having caused so much of an upset this season, it’s only right to pinpoint one of the major masterminds behind their success. Jamie Vardy has contributed 22 goals this season, and is currently the third highest goal scorer in the Premier League. Having worked on his game for many years at non-league clubs and almost retiring due to a lack of success, he has finally had the breakthrough he was after. As long as he can keep up momentum, whether he stays with Leicester or not, he will definitely be amongst one of the best fantasy footballers next season and is worth having in any fantasy team.

When you hear ‘Harry Kane he’s one of our own’ chanted around White Hart Lane you know he’s done it again and had an excellent game. This has been the norm for the last two seasons, and we can’t see the 2016/17 season being any different. Harry Kane has consistently been top of the tables for goal scorers and points in the fantasy league and so he is highly expected to do the same again. It’s unlikely that the Tottenham local will be tempted by a team abroad with the Spurs blood in his veins, so he’s a safe bet for still being around next season.

Odion Ighalo may seem surprising on this list, but with his incredible form this season with Watford as striker, he has been rapidly accumulating points. With Ighalo supposedly desperate to stay in the Premier League this summer, despite having turned down offers from Atletico Madrid and teams in China, it is likely that he will hone his skills and keep scoring goals to allow him to become of the best fantasy footballers next season.

West Ham player Dimitri Payet regularly spellbinds his fellow players and rivals with his magic feet, as he has helped West Ham to continue to climb up the table this season. The PFA Player of the Year nominee has had an impressive debut season in the Premier League following his £12 million move from Marseille last summer and it is sure that he will continue to rise up the ranks next season.

Kevin de Bruyne was a record signing for Manchester City last year and has been dubbed one of the best footballers in the world. Despite his injury at the end of January which kept him out of the team for two months, before his return on 2nd April and then preceded to score the winning goal against Paris Saint-Germain advancing Manchester City to the semi-finals of the Premier League for the first time in the club’s history. As long as he can remain free from injury (particularly on his knee which has kept him out of Chelsea and Manchester City sides previously), he will easily be up there with the best fantasy footballers next season.

If the 2015/16 Premier League season has proven anything about football, it is that the unexpected can happen. With some great players moving their teams up the ranks, the 2016/17 season is going to be an exciting time for fantasy football.

2016 FA Cup Final Preview

FA Cup Final Preview by Bet365

The FA Cup Final takes place at Wembley this Saturday evening, with Manchester United and Crystal Palace going head to head for the final major trophy of the domestic season. Louis Van Gaal is yet to secure any silverware in his time in the Old Trafford hotseat, and if he fails to win this it may turn out to be his final game in charge. A disappointing league campaign saw them miss out on the top 4 on goal difference to city rivals Manchester City, to compound misery in the Champions League, Europa League and Capital One Cup. The FA Cup is the one competition that can salvage the season for Van Gaal and potentially earn him another year in charge. bet365 have United as strong favourites at 1/3 (1.33) to lift the trophy on Saturday, with Crystal Palace priced at 12/5 (3.40). If you fancy either team to get the job done in 90 minutes you can back Man United at 3/4 (1.75) or Crystal Palace at 19/4 (5.75).

Palace manager Alan Pardew has been runner-up in the FA Cup twice, once as a player and once as a manager. He was in the starting line-up when Crystal Palace drew 3-3 with Man United in the 1990 Final (before losing the replay 1-0), and he was manager of West Ham when they drew 3-3 with Liverpool in the 2006 Final, going onto lose on penalties. Another 3-3 thriller on Saturday could therefore be worth a look at 80/1 (81.00). Both teams secured 2-1 victories at this stadium in the semi-finals, and if you think this scoreline is more likely to be repeated you can get Manchester United to win 2-1 at 8/1 (9.00) or Crystal Palace to win 2-1 at 16/1 (17.00). Remember also that bet365 refund your stakes on correct score bets (as well as Half-Time/Full-Time and Scorecast) if the match finishes goalless with their fantastic Bore Draw Money Back Offer.

In the first goalscorer market, youngsters Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford both appeal at 9/2 (5.50). They have been major plus points in Man United’s season, with Martial showing no signs of buckling under the pressure of his enormous price tag and Rashford making a sensational impact since being called into the first team in February. Palace have plenty of goal threats themselves though, and there’s likely to be a lot of speculative bets on the likes of ex-United man Wilfried Zaha at 18/1 (19.00), Yannick Bolasie at 12/1 (13.00) and French international and Palace penalty-taker Yohan Cabaye at 14/1 (15.00). bet365’s Each-Way First Goalscorers Offer provides each-way bettors on this market with the reassurance that they’ll be paid out at 1/3 odds for unlimited places in normal time.

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Please note that odds quoted above by Bet365 are subject to change and correct as of 10am on Thursday 19 May 2016.

Gameweek 38 Preview – 13 May 2016

Gameweek 38 Preview of Fantasy Premier League, courtesy of Bet365 – the Final Gameweek of the 2015/16 Season.

There’s just one round of fixtures left, and the final fixtures throw up some interesting conundrums for Fantasy Football managers.

Arsenal’s final game of the season looks to be the standout fixture for captain choice – they’re at home to one of the worst sides in Premier League history. Aston Villa may have picked up a point against Newcastle last week, but it was only their seventeenth point of a dreadful season and they’d lost 11 in a row prior to that. They haven’t won any of their last 19 away games in all competitions, losing 15 of those, so the current bet365 odds of 1/6 for the home victory seem pretty fair. Alexis Sánchez (£11.1m) is odds-on to score, and he’s the man in form for the Gunners with 7 goals and 3 assists from his last 10 games. He’s averaged 7.7 Fantasy Football points per game over that run, and many will be putting their faith in him to finish the season on a high. If he’s firing the Villa defence will be rattled, and goals will be on the cards. With 3 clean sheets in a row prior to last week’s 2-2 draw with Man City, Arsenal’s defenders can also be looked upon for Fantasy Football points this week. Héctor Bellerín and Laurent Koscielny are both priced at £6.3m, but if you can afford to get them in they should provide value, it shouldn’t take much to keep out a Villa attack that’s been tamed by most of the Premier League this season!

Chelsea v Leicester promises plenty of goals – Chelsea have failed to score in just 1 of their last 14 home games in all competitions and champions Leicester have scored in each of their last 17 games in the league. They’ll be looking to end the season on a high, and potentially win the title by a frankly incredible 13 points. Jamie Vardy (£7.4m) bagged 2 goals on his return from suspension last week and has 5 goals from his last 3 appearances. If he outscores Harry Kane this weekend he’ll win the Golden Boot, and he’ll be desperate to do that to cap an unforgettable season. For the home side, Eden Hazard (£10.9m) looked back to his best on Wednesday night against Liverpool, and he’ll be determined to put in another good performance in what could potentially be his last game for Chelsea if rumours about a summer departure are to be believed.

Meanwhile Man United can surely be relied upon for a clean sheet this weekend. Bournemouth are Sunday’s visitors, and they’ve won only one of their last 7 games (that win coming against Aston Villa). Champions Leicester are the only away team to have scored at Old Trafford in the past 5 matches and United have conceded only 8 times in the league at home all season. United need 3 points to have any chance of Champions League qualification, so this has all the trademarks of a dour 1-0 win, seemingly a Louis Van Gaal speciality! Antonio Valencia (£5.1m) has been back in the side recently, starting the last 5 league games. He’s got 2 assists and 3 clean sheets in that run, so could be a reliable option this week.

A game for Fantasy Managers to beware of is Liverpool’s trip to West Brom. Jürgen Klopp is certain to rest players with Wednesday’s Europa League Final looming, so the likes of Roberto Firmino (£8.3m), Philippe Coutinho (£8.2m) and Daniel Sturridge (£10.2m) are not likely to get a look-in. West Brom’s players could therefore be likely to pick up some surprise points, and Craig Dawson (£5.0m) could be an astute pick. Tony Pulis will be asking his men to keep it tight at the back, and with the Liverpool changes in mind they could be up against a neutered attacking force anyway. Dawson could cash in with clean sheet points, and he’s always a threat at set pieces too, having bagged 4 goals this season.

Sunday 3pm

Arsenal v Aston Villa
Chelsea v Leicester
Everton v Norwich
Man Utd v Bournemouth
(3pm Sky Sports 1)
Newcastle v Tottenham
Southampton v Crystal Palace
Stoke v West Ham
(3pm Sky Sports 3)
Swansea v Man City
(3pm Sky Sports 2)
Watford v Sunderland
West Brom v Liverpool

Gameweek 37 Preview – 5 May 2016

Gameweek 37 Preview of Fantasy Premier League, courtesy of Bet365

With 8 teams playing twice this week, it’s a final opportunity to take advantage of a double gameweek and try to secure extra points at a crucial stage of the season.

West Ham are still in with an outside chance of finishing in the top 4, and they have two home matches this week. These are the last 2 competitive games to take place at Upton Park before the Hammers move to the Olympic Stadium next year, so they’re bound to have an emotional and passionate crowd behind them and the place will be buzzing for these. The first game against a Swansea team with nothing to play for and who’ve lost 3 of their last 4 away matches should be an ideal opportunity for victory. West Ham’s attacking players could rack up the Fantasy Football points in this one, especially considering Saturday’s opponents have kept just one clean sheet on their travels all season. With this in mind, it’s worth including Andy Carroll (£6.5m), who has 6 goals and an assist from his last 6 matches, and of course Dimitri Payet (£8.5m), who has impressed immensely with 9 goals and 11 assists in his debut Premier League season. Wednesday’s visitors are Man United, another team who don’t tend to keep many clean sheets on their travels (just two from their last eleven in the Premier League), so goals could be on the cards again.

Sunderland are another team with two home matches, and despite their lowly position in the league table their players are worth consideration this week. They face Chelsea and Everton, two teams who have underperformed this season and who are stuck firmly in mid-table with nothing really left to play for. The fight for Premier League survival should mean that the Sunderland players are more motivated for these matches than their opponents, and two wins will leave them knowing that they go into their final game of the season with their destiny in their own hands. Jermain Defoe (£5.3m) has scored 4 of Sunderland’s last 6 goals and has 14 league goals for the season, so he looks to be the standout option up front. The Black Cats have also tightened up at the back recently, with 3 clean sheets from their last 5 games, so the likes of Lamine Koné and Jan Kirchhoff (both £4.3m) are worth consideration.

Liverpool’s double gameweek sees both Watford and Chelsea visit Anfield. Daniel Sturridge (£10.2m) has started 5 of the last 6 games in the league and came on as sub in the other. He has 5 goals and 2 assists from those 6 matches, and as long as Klopp is willing to start him in both of the games this week he has every opportunity to pick up a big Fantasy Football score – Watford have kept 1 clean sheet in their last 10 games in all competitions and Chelsea have kept just 1 in 15. In midfield the likes of James Milner (£6.7m) and Roberto Firmino (£8.3m) have picked up plenty of points this year and will be looking to finish the season on a high.

Sunday’s 4pm kick-off is the big game of the week as Manchester City welcome Arsenal to the Emirates. Man City crashed out of the Champions League at the semi-final stage this week, and their misery could be compounded further in this one. A victory for Arsenal will mean that the Gunners are virtually certain of Champions League qualification for the nineteenth consecutive season, and they still have hopes of overtaking Tottenham to finish second in the league this year. The Spurs players looked bewildered after conceding the goal that killed off their title dreams on Monday night and were flying into challenges with vitriol, actions that have left the club facing disciplinary action. It could be hard for them to pick themselves up after that devastating blow, and Arsenal will be keen to pounce on any slip-ups from their bitter rivals. Tottenham play earlier in the day, and if they do drop points then Arsenal will be fired up for a win at the Etihad. Alexis Sánchez (£11.1m) and Mesut Özil (£9.4m) are certain starters and will be the men the Gunners look to for inspiration on Sunday.

Gameweek 36 Preview – 29 April 2016

Gameweek 36 Preview of Fantasy Premier League, courtesy of Bet365

A huge game taking place on Sunday this weekend that could provide this season’s fairytale with the perfect ending. The 5,000/1 outsiders will wrap up the league title if they claim 3 points at Old Trafford, and what better place for them to secure their first ever league title than at the home of the most successful club in English football history? This could be a cagey game though, bearing in mind Jamie Vardy’s suspension and the defensive records of these two sides – Leicester have 6 clean sheets from their last 7 games and United have 5 from their last 6. Chris Smalling (£6.5m) and David de Gea (£5.9m) are the only certainties to start at the back for the home side, while for the visitors any one of Schmeichel (£5.0m), Fuchs (£5.2m) or Huth (£4.9m) could be great purchases.

If Leicester drop points on Sunday then Monday evening’s game between Chelsea and Tottenham could be very interesting, with Spurs hoping to capitalise on any slip-ups by the Foxes to allow them back into the title race. The FA’s decision to kibosh Dele Alli’s season for his off-the-ball punch in Monday evening’s draw with West Brom could be good news for England as it allows him a few games’ rest before this summer’s tournament, but it will mean that plenty of Fantasy Football managers are searching for alternatives to provide them with the points required to surge up the table in the final few gameweeks of the season. Christian Eriksen (£8.6m) and Harry Kane (£10.4m) could both be excellent attacking options, especially considering the fact that Chelsea have kept just one clean sheet in their last 14 games, and that was against Aston Villa.

On Saturday there’s plenty of Fantasy Football points potential from Arsenal. They have a home game against Norwich, and will be looking to secure a vital win before next weekend’s game against Manchester City, which could be a top 4 decider if Man United can win their final few games. Alexis Sánchez (£11.1m) is in great form of late, with 6 goals in his last 7 games. He’s scored or assisted 9 of Arsenal’s last 15 league goals, and with Saturday’s visitors having lost 7 of their last 8 away games in the league and only picking up 3 away wins all season you’ve got to fancy him to add to his goal haul this weekend.

Saturday
Everton v Bournemouth
Newcastle v Crystal Palace
Stoke v Sunderland
Watford v Aston Villa
West Brom v West Ham
Arsenal v Norwich
(5.30pm Sky Sports 1)

Sunday
Swansea v Liverpool
(12.00pm BT Sport 1)
Man Utd v Leicester
(2.05pm Sky Sports 1)
Southampton v Man City
(4.30pm Sky Sports 1)

Monday
Chelsea v Tottenham
(8.00pm Sky Sports 1)

Late additions to you squad that could make your season

We are heading into the final few gameweeks of the season but there is still so much to play for, especially if you are in contention for any of the leagues you entered at the start of the campaign.

With clubs in the Premier League having so much riding on their games at the top and bottom ends of the table, it really is important that you study the fixtures which are remaining over the next few weeks.

Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech
Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech” (CC BY 2.0) by Ben Sutherland

Games at this stage of the season tend to have plenty of goals in them so if you can find a goalkeeper who can provide you with a clean sheet or two, it could prove very valuable. Arsenal will be hoping to finish their campaign strongly and with games against Sunderland, Norwich and Aston Villa, you’d expect them to secure a top three spot in the table. Petr Cech (£5.8m) could be a good signing considering the games against three of the worst teams in the league. Aston Villa are already relegated and have nothing to play for, while the other two sides have struggled for goals all season.

Manchester United have recorded two clean sheets recently and although it has not been a great season for United, they have been consistently solid at the back during the campaign. Matteo Darmian (£5.4m) has returned to the starting XI following injury. The Italian is an attacking full-back so provides you with a great opportunity to pick some points up for assists and is also capable of getting on the scoresheet.
The most in form team in the Premier League at the moment is Liverpool. James Milner has particularly stood out for Jurgen Klopp’s side as he has seven assists to his name from his last few games. The Englishman costs just £6.6m which looks terrific value. Liverpool have been free scoring recently and Milner always appears to be part of the action. The Merseyside club will be keen to finish the season strongly and qualify for Europe again where they are 2/5 in the football betting for a top-six finish. Milner will also want to impress England manager Roy Hodgson ahead of Euro 2016 later this summer where he will be vying for a starting spot in the side.

With Jamie Vardy banned for the next two Premier League games, Leicester are going to need to rely on Leonardo Ulloa (£5.2m) to fill the void. The Argentine was as cool as you like when taking the penalty which provided the Foxes with a last-minute equaliser against West Ham. That was a point which could be the difference in them winning the title and completing what has been a fairytale season.

Another striker who can provide you with some valuable points at the back end of the season is Jermain Defoe (£5.2m). Despite playing in a struggling side in the 2015/16 campaign, the former England international has scored 13 Premier League goals this season. The Black Cats will be relying on the striker to do what he is good at to give some chance of avoiding relegation.

Gameweek 35 Preview – 22 April 2016

Gameweek 35 Preview of Fantasy Premier League, courtesy of Bet365

Following last week’s double gameweek we have a diluted fixture list to contend with this weekend; the scheduling of the FA Cup Semi Finals means we only have 7 Premier League matches to ponder over the next 3 days.

There’s an early kick-off for Manchester City, as they look to exact revenge for December’s 2-0 loss to Stoke City. That day Marko Arnautovic (£6.3m) was on the scoresheet twice, but it’s hard to see history being repeated at the Etihad on Saturday. Stoke are in terrible form, having conceded 4 goals in each of their last 2 matches and not keeping a clean sheet in their last 6. Sergio Agüero (£13.5m) should be a serious contender to captain your Fantasy team this week, having scored in each of his last 4 league appearances to take his tally up to 15 in his last 15.

Later in the day relegated Aston Villa host Southampton. The Saints are still looking to secure a Europa League place for next year, and should have no problems dispatching a Villa side in disarray. Virgil van Dijk (£5.7m) could be a good option here – the Dutchman has 3 goals to his name this season and will be a big threat at set pieces. He also has every chance of clean sheet points against the worst attack in the Premier League, with Villa scoring just 23 goals from their 34 games.

Liverpool’s season has ignited over the last month or so, with progression to the Europa League Semi Finals and a 4-game unbeaten run in the Premier League. They’ve scored 12 goals in their last 3 home matches, and this weekend welcome an Anfield legend back with Rafael Benítez’s Newcastle side the visitors. Newcastle have lost 9 consecutive away league matches, and few would bet against that run extending to 10 on Saturday. Daniel Sturridge (£10.0m) and Roberto Firmino (£8.2m) should both provide great point-scoring potential, but keep in mind that Klopp may decide to rest players with a Europa League Semi Final coming up this week and both players having missed games this season due to injury.

Monday evening’s game provides more potential captain options, with Tottenham at home to West Brom. Harry Kane (£10.3m) and Delle Alli (£6.2m) are the two major stars of Spurs’ title push, and bagged 2 goals each in this week’s Monday evening stroll against Stoke. A home game against West Brom should provide little problem for a team in title-winning form (it’s now 10 wins, 2 draws and 1 defeat from their last 13 league games for Spurs), and either of these players could rack up good scores for you. At the back, Toby Alderweireld (£6.4m) has been the standout performer in the league this season, and he’s chipped in with two goals in his last 6 games too.

Saturday

Man City v Stoke
(12.45pm Sky Sports 1)
Aston Villa v Southampton
Bournemouth v Chelsea
Liverpool v Newcastle
Everton v Man Utd
(FA Cup semi-final – 5.30pm BBC ONE)

Sunday

Sunderland v Arsenal
(2.05pm Sky Sports 1)
Crystal Palace v Watford
(FA Cup semi-final – 4.00pm BT Sport 2)
Leicester v Swansea
(4.15pm Sky Sports 1)

Monday

Tottenham v West Brom
(8.00pm Sky Sports 1)

Gameweek 34 Preview – 14 April 2016

Gameweek 34 Preview of Fantasy Premier League, courtesy of Bet365

This is a huge Fantasy Football gameweek, with 10 teams in action twice. Those of you with a wildcard remaining should be seriously considering using that this week to ensure your whole starting XI have two matches in which to rack up those crucial points. There’ll also be plenty of managers who’ve saved their Triple Captain, All Out Attack or Bench Boost chips specifically with this week in mind, so there’s potential for huge points. One point to note though – you can’t use your wildcard in the same week as a chip, so choose wisely between the two if you have both remaining.

The obvious team to put your faith in this week are Arsenal. They’re in third place in the league and have a game in hand over both Leicester and Tottenham, so are just about still in the title race. They have two home matches against teams in the bottom half in Crystal Palace and West Brom. Both of those sides have a big enough gap in terms of points to the bottom three, so there’s no real danger of relegation for either, meaning that their players’ minds may be shifting to their summer holidays or avoiding injury for the upcoming European Championships. There are several players appealing for the Gunners for various reasons. Danny Welbeck (£7.4m) will be keen to put in some good performances to secure his place in the England Euro 2016 squad, so he could be a good option up front. He has 3 goals and 2 assists from his 7 games since returning from injury, and is restricting the more expensive Olivier Giroud (£8.7m) to substitute appearances at the moment. Alexis Sánchez (£10.9m) seems to be coming into some form too, having scored 3 and assisted 3 in his last 5 league games. Mesut Özil (£9.6m) has been their most reliable performer in 2015/16, picking up 18 assists so far this campaign, and he was back amongst the goals with his sixth of the season against West Ham last week. In goal, the Premier League’s record holder for clean sheets Petr Cech (£5.8m) is back from injury, and is up against two of the least effective attacks in the league – Palace have only 35 goals from 33 games and the only team that West Brom have outscored are Aston Villa.

Manchester United also have two very winnable home matches, against Aston Villa and Crystal Palace. United have 10 clean sheets from their 15 home matches in the league this season, so their defensive players could be very reliable options this week. David de Gea (£5.8m) and Chris Smalling (£6.5m) are the obvious choices, as they are the two who are guaranteed their starting positions. If you’re looking for a more cost-effective option though Timothy Fosu-Mensah (£3.9m) could be the way to go. In his last 2 league matches he’s picked up points for an assist in the 1-0 win against Everton and a clean sheet, having been subbed off with the score still 0-0 after 67 minutes of the last match against Tottenham. He impressed last night in the FA Cup against West Ham, and considering the way the defence fell apart after he left the field on Sunday it would be a surprise if Van Gaal didn’t pick him for the next two matches. In the attacking third it’s worth considering the likes of Jesse Lingard (£4.3m), Anthony Martial (£7.6m), Marcus Rashford (£4.5m) and the returning Wayne Rooney (£9.9m).

Romelu Lukaku (£9.0m) failed to score in his double gameweek this week, and those of you who’d drafted him in and captained him will be feeling a little perplexed by this. He has a chance to make immediate amends with another double gameweek though, as Everton host Southampton on Saturday and travel to Anfield to face Liverpool on Wednesday. If he doesn’t score against Southampton then he’ll have equalled his longest goalscoring drought of the season, so will be due a goal by the time the derby comes around! He should be on the scoresheet at least once over these next 2 games. Prior to the derby Liverpool are away to Bournemouth, so are facing two sides who’ve conceded 98 goals between them in the league this season. Their attacking players will be looking forward to these fixtures, and Roberto Firmino (£8.1m) is the standout option. Before his injury he’d scored 7 and assisted 4 in 8 Premier League matches. He managed 62 minutes against Stoke last weekend, so should be fit enough for the 2 upcoming matches.

Another team to look out for are Man City. Confidence will be sky high after their Champions League Quarter Final victory against PSG, and they have trips to Chelsea and Newcastle this week. Kevin De Bruyne (£10.3m) has made a blistering comeback from injury, scoring against Bournemouth and in both legs of that Champions League Quarter Final. His importance to the team is underlined by the fact that City won just two of the seven league games he missed, and those wins came against Aston Villa and Sunderland. He’ll need a run of games to help ensure he’s fit for the Semi-Finals, so expect him to start both games this week. Another man that can’t be ignored is Sergio Agüero (£13.5m). He has 18 league goals so far in this campaign and scored against both Chelsea and Newcastle in the reverse fixtures earlier in the season, with his 5-goal haul against Newcastle perhaps the outstanding individual performance of 2015/16.

Gameweek 33 Preview – 7 April 2016

Gameweek 33 Preview of Fantasy Premier League, courtesy of Bet365.

With the Premier League title race hurtling toward its conclusion, fantasy managers can expect a glut of points to be on offer as teams produce some of their biggest displays of the season to secure (or rescue) their seasons. The top six in particular face crunch fixtures which could decide whether their seasons are ultimately successful and the same may apply for fantasy managers relying on these teams!

The early kick off on Saturday sees Slaven Bilic’s West Ham host Arsenal at the Boleyn Ground and the former Hammer will be hoping for a repeat of their impressive dismantling of Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on the first day of the season. Inevitably though as pressure for Arsenal to win the league or any major trophy has subsided, their performances have become increasingly impressive and many will fancy the Gunners to put in a solid display given their form. Héctor Bellerín (£6.4m) in particular has been hugely impressive in recent weeks, having been involved in 4 goals in the last 3 games (1 goal, 3 assists). Alexis Sánchez (£10.9m) looked back to his best against Watford last weekend when he scored a goal and assisted another for the first time since April 2015, collecting 14 points in the process, and the Chilean may well be worthy of consideration for your team ahead of Arsenal’s upcoming double gameweek. Easily the pick of West Ham’s fantasy assets is Dimitri Payet (£8.5m) who has a well-earned reputation for being a dead ball specialist this season and he has 2 goals and 2 assists in his last three matches and has a double gameweek of his own coming up.

In the 3 o’clock fixtures, Guus Hiddink’s resurgent Chelsea side travel to the Liberty Stadium to take on a struggling Swansea team. Chelsea dismantled a woeful Aston Villa side with ease last weekend, fielding a side full of promising young talent and handed Ruben Loftus-Cheek (£4.6m) his first full 90 minutes in the Premier League. The 20 year old impressed throughout the game and scored his first league goal for the blues, and will likely start again on Saturday as the Blues continue to struggle with injuries to key players in the side including Diego Costa, Eden Hazard and Kurt Zouma. Spanish midfielder Pedro (£8.8m) put in an impressive display at Villa Park, scoring 2 goals and collecting 3 bonus points for his efforts, and may prove a shrewd acquisition ahead of Chelsea’s double gameweek. For the Swans, Iceland midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson (£7.3m) has put on some impressive displays of late, scoring 3 and assisting 1 in his last four games and he may well find the net again at the weekend against a severely weakened back line that may find itself without John Terry (£6.6m) and Gary Cahill (£6.1m) who have both picked up minor injuries.

Sunday’s action gets underway at 1:30pm with Leicester facing a difficult trip to Sunderland. Last weekend saw Leicester scrape another win to move 7 points clear at the top of the Premier League table, and it’s clear that all but the most sceptical of football fans will be buying into their fairy tale campaign. There’s no doubt that Big Sam will be happy to sit back and leave no spaces for the counter-attacking Leicester forwards to exploit and an out-of-form Jamie Vardy (£7.8m) is unlikely to bring any joy to managers keeping their faith in him. Conversely, defensive returns have been excellent from both Wes Morgan (£4.4) and Robert Huth (£4.9m) of late, who returned 15 and 7 points respectively against an unlucky Southampton side last weekend and have kept an impressive four consecutive clean sheets. Despite Sunderland’s truly awful season, Jermain Defoe (£5.2m) has consistently been the Black Cats’ best player in this campaign and he’s scored 2 in his last 3 games, marking him out as a potential differential for managers trying to catch up with the league leaders.

Arguably the clash of the weekend is Spurs v Man United, in a match that could make or break United’s hopes of finishing inside the top four at the expense of fierce rivals Manchester City. This match will be crucial for Tottenham too, and Mauricio Pochettino will be acutely aware that the Lilywhite’s title charge will be dead in the water if they fail to beat Louis van Gaal’s men. Current top goalscorer Harry Kane (£10.4m) will be eager to add to his tally this weekend having scored 6 in his last 4 games, and he has proven to be a huge asset to fantasy managers in recent weeks having scooped 43 points in his last 4 appearances. 19 year old Dele Alli (£6.2m) has continued to enjoy his spectacular breakthrough season in recent weeks having assisted 4 in the last 4 games, and many managers will have him lining up in their teams in the hopes he will continue to deliver. Wayne Rooney (£9.9m) remains on the sidelines this week with an injury, and so Anthony Martial (£7.6m) looks to be the best chance of securing points from a United side that has struggled to perform consistently this season. For managers chasing a differential, Marcus Rashford (£4.5m) has proven he has a knack for scoring in big games, with his 3 Premier League goals to date coming against Arsenal (2) and Man City (1) and he may well find himself back amongst the goals this Sunday.

Gameweek 32 Preview – 31 March 2016

Gameweek 32 Preview of Fantasy Premier League, courtesy of Bet365.

The international break is over and we can look forward to Premier League action again this weekend. There’ll be plenty of Fantasy Football managers with gripes about the outcome of the internationals though, particularly those of you who have the likes of Jack Butland or Rob Elliott. Both of these goalkeepers picked up pretty major injuries during the international friendlies and will miss the remainder of the season. Changes are needed to your Fantasy Football squad if they’re in there to help to ensure you have the full complement of players to choose from.

This week’s matches start with two teams who could hardly have more contrasting form as Chelsea visit Aston Villa; the hosts have lost 6 successive games while Chelsea are unbeaten in 14 in the league. A win could lift the Blues as high as seventh in the table and within 3 points of the Europa League spots, and after their disastrous start to the season that’s a position that they’d be pretty happy with going into their final 7 games. Villa have the worst defensive and attacking records in the league this season, and their relegation is almost certain to be confirmed within the next couple of weeks. The sacking of Remi Garde in midweek is unlikely to arrest their slump, and Chelsea have a great record in this fixture (winning 7 of the last 8 meetings). Everything points to an away win here, and for this reason Cesc Fàbregas (£8.4m), fresh from his 2-goal match-saving performance against West Ham, could be a good pick in your midfield.

Arsenal got back to winning ways just before the international break with a 2-0 win away at Everton, and will be hoping to build on that when they welcome Watford to the Emirates. Saturday’s visitors have lost 4 of their last 5 away games in the league, and failed to score in any of those defeats, so Arsenal defenders could provide a good source of points this weekend. Héctor Bellerín (£6.3m) would be the obvious choice – the Spaniard has played the full 90 minutes in all but 2 of the Gunners’ league games this season, and provides an attacking threat having picked up 3 assists from his last 2 appearances. Up front Olivier Giroud (£8.8m) is out of form having fired blanks in his last 9 league appearances, so Danny Welbeck (£7.3m) can provide real value for money. The England man will surely be their main striker for the remainder of the season, and since returning from injury he’s scored 3 league goals and assisted 1, in just 275 minutes of football.

There should also be a routine home victory at Upton Park, with West Ham facing Crystal Palace. The Hammers have won 5 of their last 6 league games at home, and haven’t lost there in any competition since August. Palace meanwhile are in horrendous form, having not won a league game since before Christmas (drawing 4 and losing 9 of their 13 matches from Boxing Day onwards). Dimitri Payet (£8.3m) is the man to look to here, with the French midfielder in superb form. He’s bagged 3 goals and 5 assists in his last 10 games, and has been West Ham’s most creative force all season.

The late kick-off on Saturday should be a cracker, with Liverpool facing Tottenham at Anfield. Spurs have lost just one of their last fourteen away games in the league, while Liverpool have lost only one of their last seven at home. Both teams have real quality in attack, and this fixture promises goals at both ends. Adam Lallana (£7.3m) could be a good selection from the home team here. He put in an excellent display for England in midweek, and has 3 goals and 3 assists from this last 6 league games. Daniel Sturridge (£9.9m) is the only fully fit senior striker available to Jürgen Klopp, and having scored in his last 2 league games he’ll be a threat to the Spurs defence too. For the away side Harry Kane (£10.4m) is in excellent form, scoring 10 goals in his last 10 league appearances. He’s now up to 21 league goals for the season, matching last year’s total with 7 games still to play, and he’ll be eager to impress over the remainder of the season to fire Tottenham to league glory and confirm his place in England’s starting line-up at Euro 2016.

On Sunday Jamie Vardy (£7.9m) will be hoping to replicate his international goalscoring form at club level. The striker has gone 5 games without a goal in the league, but scored for England against both Germany and the Netherlands during the international break. He’ll fancy his chances of getting back amongst the goals against a Southampton side who’ve not kept a clean sheet in their last 5, despite going 7 games without conceding before that.

Saturday

Aston Villa v Chelsea
(12.45pm BT Sport 1)
Bournemouth v Man City
Norwich v Newcastle
Stoke v Swansea
Sunderland v West Brom
West Ham v Crystal Palace
Arsenal v Watford
Liverpool v Tottenham
(5.30pm Sky Sports 1)

Sunday

Leicester v Southampton
(1.30pm Sky Sports 1)
Man Utd v Everton
(4.00pm Sky Sports 1)