After Arsenal’s win over Hull in their FA Cup replay this week the number of Premier League matches this weekend is down to just five. Hopefully you’ve been planning your transfers for the last few weeks so that you don’t have to make a glut of changes and lose substantial points in doing so!
The early kick-off on Saturday will undoubtedly see a lot of Fantasy Managers putting their faith in Sergio Agüero (£13.6m) as captain, with Man City away at Norwich. Only a missed penalty denied him a hat-trick last week against the Premier League’s worst defence (55 goals conceded), and he’ll fancy his chances of at least another goal against the second-worst (54 goals conceded) this weekend. Norwich are in a terrible run of form, with 9 defeats and a draw from their last 10 matches in all competitions. That run was started by a 3-0 defeat at home to Man City in the FA Cup in early January, when Agüero himself bagged the opener. Man City’s away form is nothing to write home about, with only 2 victories from their last 10 in the league, but Agüero has 8 goals in his last 7 Premier League appearances so he looks to be a safe choice even if his team aren’t an absolute certainty to win.
At 3pm Bournemouth face Swansea City at Dean Court. Both teams have won consecutive league games over the past couple weeks to edge further away from the relegation zone, and if Bournemouth can make home advantage count with another win they’ll be on 39 points, a total that will all but guarantee them Premier League football next season. This could be all the motivation they need, and in Benik Afobe (£6.1m) they have a striker who has adapted well to life in the Premier League, scoring 4 goals from his 9 games so far. At the other end of the pitch Charlie Daniels (£4.9m) is proving an absolute bargain. This is his first season in the Premier League but he’s claimed 3 goals and 5 assists, as well as being involved in 7 clean sheets, helping him to a Fantasy Football haul of 119 points.
The other 3pm game is at the Britannia Stadium, where Stoke City host Southampton. After 6 consecutive clean sheets Southampton’s form seems to have deserted them, having lost 2 and drawn 1 of their last 3 fixtures. Saturday’s opponents have seen an upturn in fortunes having won 3 and drawn 1 of their last 4. Captain Ryan Shawcross (£4.8m) could be back for this game, and could provide real value at such a low price. Due to injury he’s only completed 90 minutes in 11 league matches this season, but Stoke have kept clean sheets in 7 of those. He’s also a real threat at set pieces, having scored in each of his 7 previous Premier League seasons.
On Sunday the only game is Tottenham’s visit to Aston Villa. Spurs will move to within 2 points of the league leaders if they can secure victory in this one, and they really should do that. Villa have lost their last 4 matches and conceded 15 goals in the process, so won’t be relishing the prospect of facing a side who’ve racked up 51 league goals this season. Harry Kane (£10.1m) was back amongst the goals with a stunner in the North London Derby last week and he notched against Villa earlier in the season in a comfortable 3-1 Spurs victory. He’s another appealing captain choice given his opposition this week.
The final fixture sees Leicester City up against Newcastle United in a game that should prove a formality for the Foxes. They’ve beaten the Magpies 3-0 in each of their last 2 meetings, and with Newcastle firmly in the relegation zone while Leicester’s remarkable title challenge continues apace it’s easy to see a similar scoreline on Monday. Kasper Schmeichel (£4.7m) has 7 clean sheets from his last 11 games and should be a reliable option in goal. Riyad Mahrez (£7.3m) and Jamie Vardy (£7.8m) will provide the attacking threat – between them they have 34 goals and 17 assists in the league this season.