Gameweek 24 – 1 February 2016

Gameweek 24 Preview of Fantasy Premier League, courtesy of Bet365.

Amongst tomorrow night’s 8 fixtures leaders Leicester City are looking to maintain their advantage at the top of the table against Liverpool. The Foxes lost at Anfield in December so will be keen to gain revenge for that, but it’s almost 15 years since they managed to beat Liverpool. They’ll be confident of a result here though, having had 10 days’ rest since their last match (a 3-0 cruise against Stoke), whilst their opponents have had two gruelling cup ties in which they failed to score in 210 minutes of football – their Capital One Cup semi-final went all the way to penalties on Tuesday night and they then played out a hard-fought 0-0 draw against West Ham in the FA Cup on Saturday evening. Leicester have a formidable record at the King Power Stadium too, with only 1 defeat in the league there this season and 2 defeats in their last 18 home league matches. Jamie Vardy (£7.2m) was back amongst the goals in their victory over Stoke, bagging his first in 7 appearances. He’s still the Premier League’s leading scorer this season, so is well worth a look for your team.

Elsewhere Arsenal take on Southampton in an intriguing tie at the Emirates. The last time these sides met the Gunners were in great form having won 5 and drawn 1 of their previous 6 matches, whilst Southampton were the exact opposite, having recorded 1 draw and 5 defeats from their previous 6. Of course, the formbook was completely thrown out of the window with the Saints hammering a shell-shocked Arsenal 4-0. Since then the two teams have continued to have contrasting fortunes, with Southampton losing 3 on the bounce and Arsenal recording 3 consecutive wins, before Southampton won 3 league matches in a row while Arsenal went on a run of no wins in 3 in the league. It’s anyone’s guess what happens here, but Southampton’s Charlie Austin (£7.0m) scored 18 goals for relegated QPR last season and marked his return to the Premier League with the winner at Old Trafford last weekend (scoring 8 Fantasy Football points from just 12 minutes on the pitch). He would be a fine addition to anyone’s strikeforce.

Manchester City’s away form has been patchy at best in the league this season, but tomorrow night’s fixture provides them with a perfect opportunity to pick up 3 points. The hosts have kept just 3 clean sheets from 26 matches in all competitions this season and City have won 4-1 on their last 2 visits to the Stadium of Light. Sergio Agüero (£13.5m) appeals as a captain choice here, having scored 5 goals and assisted 1 in his last 4 league appearances. Those of you with Kevin De Bruyne (£10.5m) in your squad may want to take this opportunity to offload him after the midfielder picked up a knee ligament injury in last week’s Capital One Cup Semi Final win against Everton.

On Wednesday Everton host Newcastle at Goodison Park. The Toffees have failed to win any of their 5 league games since beating Newcastle with a goal deep into injury time on Boxing Day. Indeed that last-gasp win was their only victory from their last 10 league games, and Newcastle have only 1 win from 7 in the league, so neither side are in good form. This is a game between 2 of the leakiest defences in the Premier League so goals should be on the cards, and for that reason Romelu Lukaku (£9.1m) is worth serious consideration and could find himself back on the scoresheet after 4 league games without a goal.

To round off the midweek action we have Watford v Chelsea. The Blues will be hoping to continue their revival under Guus Hiddink, having won 5 and drawn 4 of the 9 games since his appointment. It’ll be a tough task to secure a win at Vicarage Road though, with Crystal Palace the only away team outside of the top 5 to do that this season. Watford have just one win in their last 6 league games and Chelsea have kept clean sheets in 4 of their last 5 Premier League games away from Stamford Bridge, so perhaps a Bore Draw could be on the cards. Kurt Zouma (£5.4m) has established himself as a regular starter so could be a solid choice at the back.