Gameweek 31 Preview – 18 March 2016

Gameweek 31 Preview of Fantasy Premier League, courtesy of Bet365.

Saturday’s early kick-off should provide plenty of entertainment, with two teams on show who’ve notched 97 league goals between them so far this season. Goals at both ends are likely as Everton host Arsenal, so probably best to avoid any defenders in this clash. Arsenal’s form is shaky at the moment, with Wednesday’s defeat to Barcelona taking their recent record to just 1 win from their last 8 matches (and that win came against Championship side Hull City). They’ve not won on any of their last three visits to Goodison Park either, so Everton have every chance of winning this one. Romelu Lukaku (£8.8m) scored the two goals that earned the Toffees an FA Cup Semi Final place last week, and he’s also notched 3 goals in his last 4 Premier League appearances. He could be a good choice to lead your line this weekend.

At 3pm two of the league’s form sides go head to head in what promises to be a pulsating London derby. Chelsea (undefeated in their last 13 league games) host West Ham (who have lost just 2 of their last 16 in the league). Both teams could well find the net, with West Ham failing to do that just once in their last 12 league games and Chelsea once in their last 10. With this in mind, attacking options are the main ones to consider in this game. Bertrand Traore (£5.4m) could well start up front for Chelsea in Diego Costa’s absence, and he has 2 goals and an assist from his 3 league appearances so far this season. He could be a useful and cheap buy for your midfield. For West Ham Michail Antonio (£5.4m) is another who could provide real value for money. He’s scored in his last 3 league appearances, and has 6 goals and 5 assists from his last 12.

Moving onto Sunday, and there are 2 huge derby matches taking place that could have a big impact on the final standings at the top and bottom of the table. First up at 1:30pm it’s Newcastle v Sunderland, where Rafael Benítez will be hoping to make a better impact on the Tyne-Wear derby than his predecessors in the Newcastle hot seat. The Magpies have lost 6 consecutive derbies, and failed to score in 5 of those. Benítez is renowned for his tactical nous though, and a narrow defeat to league leaders Leicester in his opening game gives a bit of hope that they can climb out of the bottom three under his guidance. No doubt they’ll look to keep it tight at the back on Sunday, and Steven Taylor (£3.8m) could pick up some points if that’s the case. Players like Georginio Wijnaldum (£6.8m) and Jonjo Shelvey (£5.3m) have the quality in the attacking third, and if they find a new lease of life under the new manager they could be worth drafting into your midfield.

Finally, it’s Man City v Man United at the Etihad. The clubs both played out draws in midweek in Europe, but with very different outcomes. City’s goalless draw with Dynamo Kiev was enough to ease them into the Champions League Quarter Finals, whereas United’s 1-1 draw with bitter rivals Liverpool ended their European adventures for the season after a disastrous first leg showing gave them a mountain to climb. Anthony Martial (£7.6m) scored United’s goal last night, following up his equaliser in the FA Cup last week against West Ham. The young star has looked United’s best outfield player by far this season, and could find the net against a City defence who have kept just 4 clean sheets from their last 20 home matches in all competitions. The home side should have plenty of goalscoring opportunities too though, and Sergio Agüero (£13.6m) has eight goals from eight derby appearances. If he can score two or more on Sunday he’ll overtake Eric Cantona as the record goalscorer in the history of this fixture, and this is well within his capabilities.

There’s an international break next week.


Everton v Arsenal
(12.45pm BT Sport 1)

Chelsea v West Ham

Crystal Palace v Leicester

Watford v Stoke

West Brom v Norwich

Swansea v Aston Villa

(5.30pm Sky Sports 1)


Newcastle v Sunderland

(1.30pm Sky Sports 1)

Southampton v Liverpool

Man City v Man Utd

(4.00pm Sky Sports 1)

Tottenham v Bournemouth