5 Players to shape the destiny of Euro 2016

The European Championships offer a platform for the top players to express themselves and showcase their talents but who will be the man that decides the destiny of the famous trophy on July 10?

Here are five contenders for the mantle.

Paul Pogba – France

The current Juventus midfielder went into the tournament as one of the main attractions. Every host country needs a talisman and Pogba is expected to be just that for the French.

Pogba is easily turning into one of the world’s most complete midfielders – he can shoot, score, tackle and make the game look effortless. The 23 year-old has the class to light up the tournament despite enduring a tough opening match against Romania.

He will need to find his scoring boots for the national side however as his last goal for Les Bleus was over 18 months ago. Nevertheless, he has the talent and presence to cope with the pressure and lead France to glory.

Nolito – Spain

The Spanish have a lack of top class centre forwards but 22 year-old Celta Vigo attacker Nolito looks set to have a break through tournament for the current double European Champions. Nolito plays the game with a smile on his face and had scored four goals in nine appearances for the national side before the tournament kicked off.

He predominately plays on the left side of a front three but can also play central if required. Nolito has
been a consistent performer for his club over the last three seasons posting 39 goals in 100 appearances and thoroughly deserved his call up to the national side.

The Celta Vigo man can be become a household name if Spain can lift yet another European trophy.

Thomas Muller – Germany

The 26 year-old striker has already amassed 71 caps for his country and found the net on 32 occasions. Muller can play anywhere across the front three and can even excel playing behind the front man. He has an incredible knack of scoring when it looks like the game is slipping past him.

With the absence of Philip Lahm from the German side, Muller’s role within the team has taken on an extra importance.

He is a creator, goal scorer and leader all rolled into one. If the Germans do well this summer you can be sure Muller will at the heart of it.

Dele Alli – England

Twelve months is a long time in football – Dele Alli can vouch for that. This time last year he was celebrating promotion to The Championship with MK Dons which had earnt him a move to Spurs the previous January.

Alli took to the Premier League like a duck to water and was one of the shining lights last term. He is fearless, energetic on the ball and possesses the subtle arrogance that the top midfielders require. The 20 year-old box to box midfielder scored 10 goals in his debut Premier League season and looks set to have a big future ahead of him.

Meanwhile, his inclusion in the England squad has been seamless, he plays a supporting role to Harry Kane that will be integral to England’s chances of success this summer.

Kevin De Bruyne – Belgium

Belgium have more talent than coach Marc Wilmots knows what to do with. Their squad list will be the envy of most managers in France but it’s the star quality of Manchester City attacking midfielder Kevin de Bruyne that’s look to be Belgium’s jewel in the crown.

Since leaving Chelsea in the 2013-14 season, De Bruyne’s game has moved on to another level. He was the voted the best player in the Bundesliga after scoring 10 goals in 34 matches for Wolfsburg and assisting even more.
This prompted Manchester City to sign the Belgium maverick and he delivered again last season with seven goals in 25 games, but perhaps more tellingly, his absence through injury at the end of the season sparked a big drop in form for Manchester City.

Without doubt, Kevin De Bruyne will be Belgium’s main man this summer.

Euro 2016 Fantasy Football

The 2016 European Championships get underway in just over a week’s time so it’s time we take a look at the main Euro 2016 Fantasy Football games and tips to help you pick your fantasy teams.

The main Euro 2016 fantasy football games include:

Telegraph Fantasy Football Euro 2016 and you can see what this season’s Premier League TFF champion has suggested for his team. The Sun DreamTeam’s Euro 2016 game again offers large prizes and will attract many entries as will the official UEFA.com McDonald’s sponsored game.

When picking your fantasy team it’s first a good idea to have a look at the Euro 2016 odds so you know who the favourites teams are who thus should progress furthest in the tournament. Then gather knowledge on the main team’s starting line-ups – UEFA.com’s correspondents have picked their predicted line ups for every team.

Now look at which players are likely to score most points. Well a starting point is to look at the players who were the leading goal scorers in qualifying that made it through to the Finals in France. These are:

Robert Lewandowski 13 + 3 assists–poland
Zlatan Ibrahimović 11 + 0 assists–sweden
Thomas Müller 9 + 1 assist–germany
Artyom Dzyuba 8 +1 assist–russia
Marc Janko 7 + 2 assists–austria
Kyle Lafferty 7 + 1 assist–ni
Gareth Bale 7 + 2 assists–wales
Wayne Rooney 7 + 1 assist–eng
Arkadiusz Milik 6 + 6 assists–poland
Ivan Perisic 6 + 1 assist–croatia
Andriy Yarmolenko 6 + 2 assists–ukraine
Gylfi Sigurðsson 6 + 1 assist–iceland

and those tied with 5 goals were:
Kevin du Bruyne–bel
Robbie Keane–ire
Paco Alcácer–esp
Edin Hazard–bel
Cristiano Ronaldo–por
Jon Walters–ire
Marek Hamsik–slov

Some fantasy games award points for key contributions and the players with the leading assists in qualifying were

Arkadiusz Milik- Poland -6
Kamil Grosicki – poland -5
Vladimir Weiss- slovakia -5
Mesut Ozil – Germany -4
Ivan Rakitic – Croatia -4
Xherdan Shaqiri – switz -4
Oliver Norwood – ni -4

Fiso’s opinion on the Euro 2016 Set Piece Takers (more chances of goals and assists) are as follows:

Country
Penalty Taker– Freekick Taker– Corner Takers

Albania
Memushaj salihi—Memushaj Xhaka — xhaka Memushaj

Austria
Alaba, Arnautovic— Alaba Junuzovic– Alaba Junuzovic

Belgium
Hazard, De Bruyne– De Bruyne Hazard –De Bruyne Mertens

Croatia
Modric, Mandzukic— Rakitic Srna– Rakitic, Srna

Czech Republic
Kadlec Dockal— Shalak Dockal— Rosicky, Plasil

England
Rooney Sturridge– Rooney Milner– Milner, Lallana

France
Griezmann Giroud — Payet Griezmann– Payet Cabaye

Germany
Muller Ozil– Ozil Kroos— Ozil Kroos

Hungary
Dzsudzsak Priskin– Dzsudzsak Fiola— Dzsudzsak Fiola

Iceland
G. Sigurdsson Sigthorsson— G.Sigurdsson, Gudmundsson—- G.Sigurdsson, Gudmundsson

Italy
De Rossi Candreva– Candreva, Eder— Florenzi, Candreva

Northern Ireland
Lafferty, S. Davis— Norwood, S. Davis– Norwood, S. Davis

Poland
Blaszczykowski Lewandowski— Grosicki Lewandowski— Grosicki Blaszczykowski

Portugal
Ronaldo Quaresma– Ronaldo Nani— Nani, Moutinho

Republic of Ireland
Keane, Walters— Brady, Hoolahan— Brady, Hoolahan

Romania
Torje, Keseru— Torje, Keseru— Torje, Keseru

Russia
Kokorin, Kombarov— Shatov, Kombarov— Shatov, Kombarov

Slovakia
Hamsik, Mak— Mak, Weiss— Mak, Hrosovsky

Spain
Iniesta,— Silva, Fabregas— Silva, Fabregas

Sweden
Ibrahimovic, Larsson— Ibrahimovic, Kallstrom— Kallstrom, Forsberg

Switzerland
Rodriguez, Shaqiri— Shaqiri, Rodriguez— Shaqiri, Dzemaili

Turkey
Inan, Yilmaz— Inan, Calhanoglu— Calhanoglu

Ukraine
Seleznyov, Konoplyanka— Konoplyanka, Rotan— Rotan, Konoplyanka

Wales
Bale, Ramsey— Bale, Ramsey— Ramsey, Bale

Consider also the fixtures particularly if you have substitutions or transfers between matches so focus on the teams with the earlier matches:

GROUP A

Friday, June 10: France v Romania (20:00, Stade de France, Paris)

Saturday, June 11: Albania v Switzerland (14:00, Stade Bollaert-Delelis, Lens)

Wednesday, June 15: Romania v Switzerland (17:00, Parc des Princes, Paris)

Wednesday, June 15: France v Albania (20:00, Stade Velodrome, Marseille)

Sunday, June 19: Romania v Albania (20:00, Stade de Lyon)

Sunday, June 19: Switzerland v France (20:00, Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille)

GROUP B

Saturday, June 11: Wales v Slovakia (17:00, Stade de Bordeaux)

Saturday, June 11: England v Russia (20:00, Stade Velodrome, Marseille)

Wednesday, June 15: Russia v Slovakia (14:00, Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille)

Thursday, June 16: England v Wales (14:00, Stade Bollaert-Delelis, Lens)

Monday, June 20: Russia v Wales (20:00, Stadium de Toulouse)

Monday, June 20: Slovakia v England (20:00, Stade Geoffroy Guichard, St Etienne)

GROUP C

Sunday, June 12: Poland v Northern Ireland (17:00, Stade de Nice)

Sunday, June 12: Germany v Ukraine (20:00, Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille)

Thursday, June 16: Ukraine v Northern Ireland (17:00, Stade de Lyon)

Thursday, June 16: Germany v Poland (20:00, Stade de France, Paris)

Tuesday, June 21: Ukraine v Poland (17:00, Stade Velodrome, Marseille)

Tuesday, June 21: Northern Ireland v Germany (17:00, Parc des Princes, Paris)

GROUP D

Sunday, June 12: Turkey v Croatia (14:00, Parc des Princes, Paris)

Monday, June 13: Spain v Czech Republic (14:00, Stadium de Toulouse)

Friday, June 17: Czech Republic v Croatia (17:00, Stade Geoffroy Guichard, St Etienne)

Friday, June 17: Spain v Turkey (20:00, Stade de Nice)

Tuesday, June 21: Czech Republic v Turkey (20:00, Stade Bollaert-Delelis, Lens)

Tuesday, June 21: Croatia v Spain (20:00, Stade de Bordeaux)

GROUP E

Monday, June 13: Republic of Ireland v Sweden (17:00, Stade de France, Paris)

Monday, June 13: Belgium v Italy (20:00, Stade de Lyon)

Friday, June 17: Italy v Sweden (14:00, Stadium de Toulouse)

Saturday, June 18: Belgium v Republic of Ireland (14:00, Stade de Bordeaux)

Wednesday, June 22: Italy v Republic of Ireland (20:00, Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille)

Wednesday, June 22: Sweden v Belgium (20:00, Stade de Nice)

GROUP F

Tuesday, June 14: Austria v Hungary (17:00, Stade de Bordeaux)

Tuesday, June 14: Portugal v Iceland (20:00, Stade Geoffroy Guichard, St Etienne)

Saturday, June 18: Iceland v Hungary (17:00, Stade Velodrome, Marseille)

Saturday, June 18: Portugal v Austria (20:00, Parc des Princes, Paris)

Wednesday, June 22: Iceland v Austria (17:00, Stade de France)

Wednesday, June 22: Hungary v Portugal (17:00, Stade de Lyon)

LAST 16

Match 1: Runner-up Group A v Runner-up C (14:00, June 25, St-Etienne)

Match 2: Winner D v Third-place B/E/F (20:00, June 25, Lens)

Match 3: Winner B v Third-place A/C/D (17:00, June 25, Paris)

Match 4: Winner F v Runner-up E (20:00, June 26, Toulouse)

Match 5: Winner C v Third-place A/B/F (17:00, June 26, Lille)

Match 6: Winner A v Third-place C/D/E (14:00, June 26, Lyon)

Match 7: Winner E v Runner-up D (17:00, June 27, St-Denis)

Match 8: Runner-up B v Runner-up F (20:00, June 27, Nice)

TFF Winning Team for 2015/16

Here is an account of Roy Frost’s winning TFF team of ‘City Aguero’ which was formed before the first Monday night game (10th August) West Brom v Man City. It included Aguero who was on the bench and M Ritchie who looked good for Bournemouth. So this was a City block team:
Hart, Kompany, Sagna, Kolarov, Mangala, Silva, Toure, Navas, Ritchie, Sterling & Augero.

Man City’s 5 clean sheets to start the season gave this team a great start. Early on it became obvious that Vardy and Mahrez were players that were performing and so cheap so these were the first two transfers on 26th September after Tot v Man City 12:45 and Leicester v Arsenal where the Gunners won 5 to 2 but Vardy scoring a brace. The players taken out were Mangala & Navas.

4th October brought in Ozil for Sterling as Man U game was a bonus and some good match ups for Arsenal. This was a key move as Ozil made loads of points and remained in till the end.

Week 11 – next transfer was Augero injury so took him out for Sanchez on 16th October (so didn’t forget the next day) and on 17th October bought in C Dawson & Costa for Kolarov and Silver (more Man City injuries).

Costa got 13 points and swapped for Lukaka on 1st November followed by Ritchie for Barkley a week later as Everton had a great run of games, this turned out to be great timing as they both scored great points.

21st November and Augero is fit again so swapped Sanchez for him.

29th November was a ‘big move’ swapping Man City defenders for Arsenal (Man City struggling and Arsenal had a great match ups) so dropped Kompany, Hart and Sanga for Bellerin (kept till end), Monreal (also until end) and Cech.

Augero injury again so swapped for Kane on 13 December.

28th December Arsenal playing 5:30 so swapped Barkley for Mertesacker (this turned out to be a bad move as he got injury and I kept him in for several weeks without playing).

29th December, Augero playing again so my strategy was to always have him playing so Lukaka dropped.

Now lost it: googled African Cup of Nations and read an article from previous year! Let’s not go there, so removed Toure for Sterling on 9th January.

WK 25 Sterling gets injured so swapped for D Ali on 24th January. And also took out Vardy for Giroud at the same time, he stays for three weeks getting a grand total of 6 points! At this point the team was in 21st place but 78 points off lead. Then after the FA cup games 30th and 31st January it dropped to 46th and 99 points off lead.

3rd February – Mahrez and Giroud out Barkley and Lukaka back in (for rest of season).

After 14th February games, team in 50th Place 92 points behind. On the 20th Feb after FA cup games it was 108 points behind.

Augero yet again injury, dropped for Costa on 21st February, at the same time I finally gave up on Mertesacker ever playing again and swapped for Payet (great move and he stayed until the end)

27th February I finally jumped on the Dier bandwagon dropping Dawson (another great move).

On 2nd March, Augero playing again so Costa dropped.

Now Cech gets his injury and after a great deal of looking at the match ups, Schmeichel is the replacement (5th March), great move as he has a string of clean sheets. Before the move the team was in 25th place 95 off the lead and after it was in 15th, 74 behind.

On 14th March removed D Ali for Mahrez (silly move but moved into 9th place 58 off the lead), but even more stupid was the fact I tool Mahrez back out on 20th March and, wait for it, bought in Wijnaldum!!!

International break and lots of time to think, with still having 9 transfers and Everton having 10 or 11 games left to Tottenham’s and Leicester’s 7 that became 6 before Everton played, made some bold moves on 3rd April – Kane out and Vardy (Villa game) in then the move that almost lost it Schmeichel, Wijnaldum & Dier all dropped for Robles, Lennon & Coleman.

Everton had good match ups but were so bad and of course the players I took out scored loads of points. Still can’t believe that this mistake didn’t destroy the teams chances but it just goes to show, never give up.

10th April decided that Leicester were getting tense and Man Utd were in the cup so Vardy out for Mata, at first this looked to be am error but not in the end.

Coleman got injured and that helped as he was replaced by Koscielny on 17th April.

After Thursday night arsenal v West Brom it was in 10th place 51 off the lead,

On 23rd April took out Augero for Rashford with the intention of bringing in Cech for Robles the following day but at the last minute changed that to bringing in Sanchez as they played Sunderland and Norwich so Sanchez must score – not! If it had been Cech, it was a walk in the park as Robles did not score a single point in the last 4 games.

With one transfer left the decision was which Man Utd player in for who. In the end on 1st May went for Rooney in place of Sanchez as was so far off the lead (31 off the lead), needed to make the team very different from the top of the table teams and couldn’t see anyone bringing in Rooney. Somehow this all worked, still not sure how but an amazing last weekend followed by Man Utd last week and having the top three fantasy scorers in the team rocketed City Augero to number one!

As you can see there were some very bad transfers as well as some good ones but it just goes to show you can make lots of errors and still win.

The top 20 teams in TFF for 2015/16:

Position Manager Team Name Points
1 Roy Frost city Aguero 2131
2 Andrew Jones Devilsweep 16 2121
3 Lee Fricker Superman 38 2115
3 David Watson Winetotal 2115
5 Sandor Kovacs sou11 2114
6 Keith Williams corniish knocker 2105
7 Russell Malt El Phantasmo 2097
8 Dave Thompson bantamsmc5 2095
9 David Browne Relegated Gunners 2092
10 Andrew Bates Waratahs 2088
11 Peter Roberts Robbo’s Hotshots 2086
12 Geoffrey Tattersall Tatt’s Tigers 2084
13 Simon Allen Hyperion 2083
14 Lee Fricker Superman 10 2082
14 Gez Batchelor Gezzy’s Giants 2082
14 David Watson Corkies 2082
17 Lee Bowyer Zero Tolerance 2081
18 David Holdroyd southern spurs 2079
19 Jamie Baer Si’s Southampton 2078
19 Neil Perkins Strummerville 2078

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)