With the Capital One Cup Final taking place this weekend the Liverpool v Everton and Newcastle v Manchester City games have had to be postponed, meaning that there are only 8 Premier League matches taking place. Time to sell on the players you have from those four teams, or at least bench them for the week if you have enough cover!
Saturday’s early kick-off pits high-flying West Ham against relegation-threatened Sunderland. A draw would be enough to take the Hammers up to fifth place in the table (with Southampton and Man United both playing later in the weekend), but they’ll be going all out for a win against the league’s joint-worst defence. Sunderland have conceded 50 times in the league already, and haven’t kept a clean sheet since November. Dimitri Payet (£8.3m) is the stand-out option here – he got a goal and assist in the last league match against Norwich, before scoring twice and assisting once in last week’s 5-1 demolition of Blackburn in the FA Cup.
There are four games at 3pm, and the main one from which to look for Fantasy Football points should be Leicester’s home match against Norwich. The Foxes are still Premier League leaders and if they win on Saturday they’ll have a 5-point lead over both Spurs and Arsenal, neither of whom are in action until Sunday. Saturday’s visitors have conceded 50 league goals so far, and have yet to keep a clean sheet on their travels all season. Jamie Vardy (£7.6m) has 4 goals from his last 4 games and scored a penalty in Leicester’s 2-1 victory away to Norwich earlier this season, so he looks to be a perfect captain choice this week. Riyad Mahrez (£7.2m) also appeals, having picked up a goal and 3 assists from his last 4 matches.
On Sunday it’s a traditionally huge Premier League fixture, with Manchester United hosting Arsenal at Old Trafford. Arsenal’s last-gasp victory against Leicester in their last league game will have galvanised them, and the goalless draw against Hull in the FA Cup and Champions League defeat to Barcelona since then will have reaffirmed the Premier League as their main priority. Had Leicester held on for a win in that one the Gunners would have been 8 points behind, but the gap stands at just 2 points and there’s everything to play for. Arsenal have won 2 and drawn 1 of their last 3 meetings with Man United, including a 2-1 win at Old Trafford in last season’s FA Cup. Danny Welbeck (£7.3m) scored the winner that day and came off the bench to do the same against Leicester two weeks ago. The England striker is back from injury and playing for a place in Roy Hodgson’s Euro 2016 squad, and he could be a shrewd purchase for the title run-in, particularly bearing in mind that Olivier Giroud has only scored in 1 of his last 9 league games.
At the same time Arsenal’s North London rivals Tottenham are in action against Swansea. Spurs have won 5 in a row in the league and should add to that against a Swansea team who’ve won just 2 away games from 12 in the league this season. Harry Kane (£10.1m) is a doubt having broken his nose in last week’s FA Cup defeat to Crystal Palace, and Tottenham could therefore be looking to Dele Alli (£6.1m) to get on the scoresheet from midfield. He has 3 assists and 2 goals from his last 4 league matches and should feature prominently in the big points scorers this week.
West Ham v Sunderland
Stoke v Aston Villa
Leicester v Norwich
Watford v Bournemouth
Southampton v Chelsea
West Brom v C Palace
Man Utd v Arsenal
Tottenham v Swansea