With the Premier League title race hurtling toward its conclusion, fantasy managers can expect a glut of points to be on offer as teams produce some of their biggest displays of the season to secure (or rescue) their seasons. The top six in particular face crunch fixtures which could decide whether their seasons are ultimately successful and the same may apply for fantasy managers relying on these teams!
The early kick off on Saturday sees Slaven Bilic’s West Ham host Arsenal at the Boleyn Ground and the former Hammer will be hoping for a repeat of their impressive dismantling of Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on the first day of the season. Inevitably though as pressure for Arsenal to win the league or any major trophy has subsided, their performances have become increasingly impressive and many will fancy the Gunners to put in a solid display given their form. Héctor Bellerín (£6.4m) in particular has been hugely impressive in recent weeks, having been involved in 4 goals in the last 3 games (1 goal, 3 assists). Alexis Sánchez (£10.9m) looked back to his best against Watford last weekend when he scored a goal and assisted another for the first time since April 2015, collecting 14 points in the process, and the Chilean may well be worthy of consideration for your team ahead of Arsenal’s upcoming double gameweek. Easily the pick of West Ham’s fantasy assets is Dimitri Payet (£8.5m) who has a well-earned reputation for being a dead ball specialist this season and he has 2 goals and 2 assists in his last three matches and has a double gameweek of his own coming up.
In the 3 o’clock fixtures, Guus Hiddink’s resurgent Chelsea side travel to the Liberty Stadium to take on a struggling Swansea team. Chelsea dismantled a woeful Aston Villa side with ease last weekend, fielding a side full of promising young talent and handed Ruben Loftus-Cheek (£4.6m) his first full 90 minutes in the Premier League. The 20 year old impressed throughout the game and scored his first league goal for the blues, and will likely start again on Saturday as the Blues continue to struggle with injuries to key players in the side including Diego Costa, Eden Hazard and Kurt Zouma. Spanish midfielder Pedro (£8.8m) put in an impressive display at Villa Park, scoring 2 goals and collecting 3 bonus points for his efforts, and may prove a shrewd acquisition ahead of Chelsea’s double gameweek. For the Swans, Iceland midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson (£7.3m) has put on some impressive displays of late, scoring 3 and assisting 1 in his last four games and he may well find the net again at the weekend against a severely weakened back line that may find itself without John Terry (£6.6m) and Gary Cahill (£6.1m) who have both picked up minor injuries.
Sunday’s action gets underway at 1:30pm with Leicester facing a difficult trip to Sunderland. Last weekend saw Leicester scrape another win to move 7 points clear at the top of the Premier League table, and it’s clear that all but the most sceptical of football fans will be buying into their fairy tale campaign. There’s no doubt that Big Sam will be happy to sit back and leave no spaces for the counter-attacking Leicester forwards to exploit and an out-of-form Jamie Vardy (£7.8m) is unlikely to bring any joy to managers keeping their faith in him. Conversely, defensive returns have been excellent from both Wes Morgan (£4.4) and Robert Huth (£4.9m) of late, who returned 15 and 7 points respectively against an unlucky Southampton side last weekend and have kept an impressive four consecutive clean sheets. Despite Sunderland’s truly awful season, Jermain Defoe (£5.2m) has consistently been the Black Cats’ best player in this campaign and he’s scored 2 in his last 3 games, marking him out as a potential differential for managers trying to catch up with the league leaders.
Arguably the clash of the weekend is Spurs v Man United, in a match that could make or break United’s hopes of finishing inside the top four at the expense of fierce rivals Manchester City. This match will be crucial for Tottenham too, and Mauricio Pochettino will be acutely aware that the Lilywhite’s title charge will be dead in the water if they fail to beat Louis van Gaal’s men. Current top goalscorer Harry Kane (£10.4m) will be eager to add to his tally this weekend having scored 6 in his last 4 games, and he has proven to be a huge asset to fantasy managers in recent weeks having scooped 43 points in his last 4 appearances. 19 year old Dele Alli (£6.2m) has continued to enjoy his spectacular breakthrough season in recent weeks having assisted 4 in the last 4 games, and many managers will have him lining up in their teams in the hopes he will continue to deliver. Wayne Rooney (£9.9m) remains on the sidelines this week with an injury, and so Anthony Martial (£7.6m) looks to be the best chance of securing points from a United side that has struggled to perform consistently this season. For managers chasing a differential, Marcus Rashford (£4.5m) has proven he has a knack for scoring in big games, with his 3 Premier League goals to date coming against Arsenal (2) and Man City (1) and he may well find himself back amongst the goals this Sunday.