FPL 2023-24: Gameweek 33 preview

Gameweek 32 gave us a matchday full of fantasy points with an average score of 56 FPL points and it saw a couple of big fantasy names return to the Team of the Week. Both Ollie Watkins and Kevin de Bruyne made it into the gameweek’s eleven of highest-scoring players, with the latter even taking the title for Player of the Week. Not so surprising, after a brace and an assist at Selhurst Park. The big (BIG) differential in the GW32 Team of the Week was Luton midfielder Jordan Clarke, who scored against Bournemouth and sits, as we are writing this, in exactly 0.0% of all squads.

Unfortunately for Clarke, his chances to make it back-to-back gameweeks with an attacking return (or indeed a defensive return) look rather slim this week, as the Hatters are visiting Manchester City on Saturday. On paper, we’d say this is perhaps the juiciest fixture of the weekend from an FPL point of view, together with Liverpool versus Crystal Palace at Anfield and Brentford at home to Sheffield United. From a neutral point of view, the most anticipated clash of gameweek 33 takes place on Sunday, when leader Arsenal host fifth-placed Aston Villa.

Check out FISO’s FPL Forum for the latest discussion and don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 33 is set at 11h00 (UK time) on Saturday, April 13th, 2024. If you fancy playing a fantasy premier league game just based on Saturday’s or the Weekend’s fixtures then have a look at FanTeam’s Daily Fantasy Games (18+ only).

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per April 11th, 2024)

 TRANSFERS OUTTRANSFERS INPOSSIBLE REASONS
GKAreola (WHU), Martinez (AST), Leno (FUL)Pickford (EVE), Raya (ARS), Onana (MUN)DGW34, Areola injured
DEFTrippier (NEW), Walker (MCI), Aké (MCI)White (ARS), Gabriel (ARS), Porro (TOT)DGW34, all transferred-out defenders are injured
MIDLuiz (AST), Bowen (WHU), Son (TOT)Palmer (CHE), De Bruyne (MCI), Diaz (LIV)DGW34, Luiz suspension, Bowen injury doubt, Tottenham blank in GW34
FORSolanke (BOU), Isak (NEW), Toney (BRE)Watkins (AST), Darwin (LIV), Isak (NEW)DGW34

Premium pick

After not scoring or assisting in three consecutive gameweeks, Erling Haaland (£14.3m) got back into his scoring boots against Palace in GW33, scoring one goal and netting 8 FPL points. We know, a single goal in four matches is not exactly great, but if you’re doubting about his chances of scoring against Luton at home coming Saturday, just look a little bit further back. Haaland, as we know, is one of the very best strikers in world football, which explains why he already has 19 goals and 7 assists to his name from 24 league starts this season. Luton, on the other hand, have already conceded 65 goals in 32 league games, of which 38 goals were conceded on the road. The Hatters are giving it all they’ve got this season and merely the fact that they are still very much in the race for Premier League survival is impressive, but we feel that the upcoming visit to the Etihad Stadium will be too much for them.

Non-premium pick

Now, Ivan Toney (£8.1m) does not have a double gameweek 34, but his upcoming schedule is almost just as good. The first stop is Brentford’s own Community Stadium, where Sheffield United are coming to visit on Saturday afternoon. In gameweek 34 the Bees have a single fixture away at Luton Town, followed by a visit to Everton and then a home game versus Fulham. In other words, looking at that run of fixtures, we feel it’s reasonable to bank on Toney getting at least three attacking returns over the next four. Starting, of course, with the plummest fixture of all, in front of their own crowd against a Sheffield United side that looks destined to relegate at the end of the 2023-24 campaign. The Blades have conceded 16 goals in their last five games and an unacceptable 82 goals in 31 league matches in total. We admit that Toney, on the other hand, has been quiet of late, providing just a single assist in his last eight games. Since returning from his ban though, back in gameweek 21, he recorded 4 goals and 2 assists, and every manager knows how instrumental he is to the side overall. On top of that, he is on penalties, which only adds to his appeal.

The budget enabler

More than a few managers were badly burned by Sergio Reguilón (£4.4m) back in blank gameweek 29, especially those managers on a Free Hit at that time. The Spaniard found himself in lots of teams, thanks to the combination of his attacking playing style and the fact that he had a game in a gameweek consisting of just four games. Eight minutes in though, he got a red card and about 85 minutes after that, his -3 FPL points was confirmed. If that hits a bit too close to home for you, we suggest you forget about that disaster ever happening and put Reguilón on your budget player watchlist, at least. Where the previously mentioned Ivan Toney failed to get a return in gameweek 32 at Villa Park, his Spanish teammate came away with a 9-pointer, courtesy of 2 assists in the 3-3 draw. That made it 5 assists in total in the league so far, on top of 3 clean sheets. We know, not exactly earth shattering, but with the run of fixtures that Brentford have coming up (see Toney’s piece above), starting with Sheffield United at home on Saturday, we wouldn’t be surprised if the Spanish left-back adds a few more returns to his totals.

The differential

At the moment of writing this, Kai Havertz (£7.3m) is still just within the threshold of what we consider a differential fantasy pick, i.e. a player with an ownership of maximum 5.0%, and that’s exactly where the German is at right now. That is in itself quite surprising when you consider that he managed 5 goals and 6 assists in his last nine league games. That is in great parts thanks to him having conquered a spot in manager Mikel Arteta’s starting eleven at last. The Gunners have an interesting fixture this week, at home to an Aston Villa that is having a fantastic season but that has slumped a few times in away games already. Arsenal, on the other hand, are flying as they are going into gameweek 33 as leaders on goal difference. They also have a double gameweek 34 (Wolves away, Chelsea at home), which makes integrating Havertz into your squad perhaps a bit easier. He is not cheap after all, but at his current ownerships, he is perhaps the biggest differential in the official fantasy game right now.

The (vice-)captaincy

As far as we are concerned, with Manchester City playing at home against Luton Town, the captain’s armband is for Erling Haaland.

If you think he has lost his scoring touch a little bit or if you simply can’t afford him at the moment, his teammate Kevin de Bruyne is a good alternative, as is, of course, Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah at home to Crystal Palace. The risker captaincy fantasy picks include Ivan Toney at home to Sheffield United, Dominic Solanke at home to Manchester United, and Kai Havertz and Bukayo Saka at home to Aston Villa.

FPL 2023-24: Gameweek 32 preview

We’ve got two gameweeks deadlines in about five days this week, so the turn-around is a bit shorter than usual. As a result, we have opted to write our gameweek 32 preview today already. This means that, at the time of writing, the Liverpool – Sheffield United and Chelsea – Manchester United games have not been played yet. Keep this in mind when reading through our fantasy picks for GW32.

As far as fixtures go, Liverpool’s visit to Old Trafford naturally stands out this coming weekend, though not necessarily from a fantasy point of view. In that sense, many eyes will be on Manchester City’s visit to Crystal Palace, as well Aston Villa’s home game against Brentford, Chelsea’s visit to Sheffield United and Spurs home encounter with Nottingham Forest to close the weekend. When making your transfer considerations, also keep in mind that FPL gameweek 34 is set to be the biggest double gameweek of the season and is just three deadlines away (including the upcoming GW32 kick-off).

Check out FISO’s FPL Forum for the latest discussion and don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 32 is set at 11h00 (UK time) on Saturday, April 6th, 2024. If you fancy playing a fantasy premier league game just based on Saturday’s or the Weekend’s fixtures then have a look at FanTeam’s Daily Fantasy Games (18+ only).

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per April 4th, 2024)

 TRANSFERS OUTTRANSFERS INPOSSIBLE REASONS
GKAreola (WHU), Ederson (MCI), Alisson (LIV)Raya (ARS), Onana (MUN), Ortega (MCI)All transferred-out goalkeepers are injured
DEFTrippier (NEW), Aké (MCI), Walker (MCI)Ait-Nouri (WOL), White (ARS), Gabriel (ARS)Ait-Nouri form + fixtures, all transferred-out defenders are injured
MIDSaka (ARS), De Bruyne (MCI), Maddison (TOT)Foden (MCI), Salah (LIV), Palmer (CHE)Foden and Palmer form + fixtures, Saka injury doubt
FORWatkins (AST), Haaland (MCI), Alvarez (MCI)Isak (NEW), Solanke (BOU), Darwin (LIV)Solanke form + fixture, Isak form, Watkins injury doubt

Premium pick

Mo Salah and especially Erling Haaland both have good fixtures in gameweek 32, but both with the downside that they are playing away. Heung-Min Son (£10.1m), on the other hand, is playing at home against Nottingham Forest in what can be considered a favourable fixture, on paper at least. Son has been in decent form of late, scoring 3 goals and providing 2 assists in his last five league starts for a total of 38 FPL points, or an average return of just under 8 points per game. On Sunday, the Korean attacker and his teammates are facing one of the less sturdy defences in the league. Forest have conceded 53 goals in 31 games and 30 of those goals were conceded on the road. Spurs have been kind of up and down this season, but this one looks like a three-pointer for the home side, or at least like a game in which goals could be flowing. And if they do, the roughly 35% of all managers who currently own Son could be sitting very pretty.

Non-premium pick

Normally, we would have recommended Ollie Watkins here, but seeing as the Aston Villa striker is marked as an injury doubt in the official game and Villa’s game in GW33 is against Arsenal away, we think it’s wise to bring in Watkins after that game. Instead, we have gone with Dominic Solanke (£7.2m), whose 2023-24 campaign just seems to get better every week. The Bournemouth striker started the season with a £6.5 price tag, but with 16 goals and 3 assists from thirty league starts, he has kind of made a mockery of that price. Solanke is one of the most consistent attackers this season and he’s on penalties as well, which is always a big FPL plus. On top of that, the Cherries visit Kenilworth Road on Saturday afternoon, where Luton have conceded 26 goals in 15 games so far. His blank in the home game versus Crystal Palace a few days ago was disappointing, but the encounter with Luton Town feels like a perfect opportunity for the in-form forward to make up for it.

The budget enabler

The rare occasions on which we repeat fantasy picks, it usually occurs in the premium fantasy pick category, because it has the fewest players who qualify. This season though, it’s our budget enabling category that’s been seeing the same name in more than a few gameweek previews. In fact, we could practically rename this category “The Weekly Cole Palmer Recommendation”, simply because Cole Palmer (£5.9m) just keeps delivering despite starting the season with a bottom-bargain price tag of £5.0m. In twenty league starts this season, the Chelsea midfielder already recorded a very impressive 13 goals and 9 assists, making him the highest-scoring Chelsea asset by some distance. That is in part thanks to penalty duties, which are all firmly stored in his locker. Of course, Palmer does still have a game to play in GW31, so keep an eye on team and injury news, but if you don’t own him yet and are in need of a budget enabler, he’s the outstanding option. Especially with a visit to Sheffield United and a home game against Everton coming up after the GW31 clash with Man United.

The differential

The Wolverhampton Wanderers have a relatively good fixture list until the end of the season and their squad is basically built up of budget players and differentials, so our differential fantasy pick for gameweek 32 is a Wolf. For a long time, we figured Matheus Cunha would feature here, but we ended up going with Rayan Ait-Nouri (£4.7m) instead. Where the former only just returned from injury, the latter is actually one of the form players for Wolves. In the last five league games, RAN recorded 1 clean sheet, 2 goals and 1 assist for a total of 32 FPL points. What stands out as well, underlying data-wise, is that the Moroccan’s Expected Goal Involvement has been over 0.35 in four of his five last league matches. Based on Wolves’ upcoming schedule on the short and medium term, which includes home games against West Ham (this weekend), Bournemouth and Luton Town, and a visit to Nottingham Forest in DGW34, there could be FPL points on the horizon at both ends of the pitch for Ait-Nouri.

The (vice-)captaincy

We are placing the armband on Heung-Min Son this weekend, instead of Mo Salah away at Manchester United or Erling Haaland away at Palace, for much the same reason as why we picked him as our premium fantasy pick for gameweek 32. Spurs are playing at home against Nottingham Forest in what could be considered the optimum fixture this weekend and Son has shown good form of late.

Good alternatives for Tottenham’s South Korean star are the previously mentioned Mohamed Salah and Erling Haaland, as well as Ollie Watkins at home to Brentford (IF he is declared fit before the GW32 deadline), Cole Palmer away at Sheffield United and Dominic Solanke for his visit to Luton Town. Riskier captaincy picks include Leon Bailey at home to Brentford, Alexander Isak for Newcastle’s visit to Craven Cottage and Nicolas Jackson away at Sheffield United.

FPL 2023-24: Gameweek 31 preview

Lots of FPL action this week with two deadlines in about five days’ time. We have got a midweek gameweek 31 coming up in about 24 hours, barely 48 hours after the final whistle of gameweek 30, and then the gameweek 32 deadline on Saturday. The turn-around between games should be enough for most teams to manage in terms of fitness, but do keep an eye on fixture charts and, of course, any trustworthy early team news.

As usual though, we are taking it one game at a time, so let’s shift our focus back to the preparations for gameweek 31. With current leaders Liverpool playing at Luton Town and current number two Arsenal playing at home to Sheffield United, the captaincy debate is going to be an interesting one, especially when you consider that third place Manchester City are playing at home as well. Sure, the Cityzens are playing a stronger opponent in Aston Villa, but the Villans have not been as reliable as they’d like to be on the road this season and City is City. From a fantasy point of view, Newcastle at home to Everton will likely attract some interest as well, while the clash of the weekend overall will be played on Sunday evening, when Manchester United roll up to Stamford Bridge.

Check out FISO’s FPL Forum for the latest discussion and don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 31 is set at 18h00 (UK time) on Tuesday, April 2nd, 2024. If you fancy playing a fantasy premier league game just based on Saturday’s or the Weekend’s fixtures then have a look at FanTeam’s Daily Fantasy Games (18+ only).

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per April 1st, 2024)

 TRANSFERS OUTTRANSFERS INPOSSIBLE REASONS
GKAreola (WHU), Alisson (LIV), Ederson (MCI)Kelleher (LIV), Raya (ARS), Onana (MUN) 
DEFWalker (MCI), Cash (AST), Doughty (LUT)White (ARS), Bradley (LIV), Van Dijk (LIV)Walker + Cash injured, Doughty injury doubt
MIDGordon (NEW), Maddison (TOT), Luiz (AST)Salah (LIV), Palmer (CHE), Son (TOT)Gordon suspension, Palmer form
FORWatkins (AST), Morris (LUT), Haaland (MCI)Isak (NEW), Darwin (LIV), Muniz (FUL)Watkins injury doubt, Isak coming off brace + good fixtures

Premium pick

With Mohamed Salah (£13.3m) just coming off an important goal against Brighton and with Liverpool preparing for the home game against Sheffield United, we figured that we had no option but including the Egyptian as our premium fantasy pick for gameweek 31. The likes of Arsenal (at home to Luton) and Manchester City (at home to Villa) present several excellent options as well, but we feel there is no going against Mo Salah facing the worst defence in the entire league, in front of his own crowd. No team currently comes close to the 77 goals conceded by the Blades in 29 league games and that defence is now facing the best forward line in the league, bar Man City. As for Salah, he just scored the winning goal against Brighton to make it a two-point gap between them and chasers Arsenal and City. Overall, the Reds talisman has already scored 16 goals and provided 9 assists in 21 league games, and the coming encounter with Sheffield United looks like the perfect opportunity to further boost those numbers.

Non-premium pick

Including Alexander Isak (£7.7m) honestly feels a bit like chasing the points after his 15-point haul against West Ham on Saturday, while at the same time it makes sense to consider the Newcastle forward right now. He has been bringing in the points for his owners for a little while now, recording attacking returns in each of his last three league games: a goal and 8 FPL points against Wolves in GW27, a goal and 6 points at Stamford Bridge in GW 28, a blank in GW29 and 2 goals plus 1 assist last Saturday at home to West Ham. With Callum Wilson out injured for the foreseeable future, Isak has become pretty much nailed-on in the Magpie attack and with a run of decent fixtures coming up, that’s bound to be worth something. Newcastle are playing Everton at home tomorrow, followed by encounters with Fulham, Palace, Sheffield United, Burnley and Brighton spread over the remaining eight games of the campaign. When looking at it like that, Isak might actually enter the conversation as a potential fantasy hold until the end of the season.

The budget enabler

The ongoing absence of Trent Alexander-Arnold due to injury provides us with the chance to enjoy the budget benefits of Conor Bradley (£4.2m) a bit longer. “It’s going well now. [I’m] in the final stages and just excited to get back out there. I think a couple of weeks if everything keeps going well and there are no setbacks”, is what TAA himself said about his own injury yesterday, which makes us think that Bradley is a safe budget pick for at least another two to three gameweeks. For Liverpool, that means a home game against Sheffield United on Thursday, followed by a visit to Old Trafford on Sunday and then a home game against Crystal Palace. Not a bad run for an offensive right-back like Bradley, who already managed an impressive goal and 3 assists from just seven league starts so far this season. Bar a miracle recovery ahead of expectations for TAA, Bradley definitely belongs to the most appealing budget fantasy picks ahead of gameweek 31.

The differential

Anthony Gordon was on fire against West Ham on Saturday, as he conjured up a hattrick of assists (including two won penalties) to help his side claim a 4-3 victory of the visitors. In spite of that, right around the time his Man of the Match award was being announced, the winger also managed to get a second yellow card for timewasting, meaning a red and therefore a ban (of one game). Fortunately for manager Eddie Howe though, in that same game, another winger came off the bench around half an hour earlier who made an immediate impact with 2 goals. Harvey Barnes (£6.2m) has had a disappointing campaign so far, playing just 375 Premier League minutes (in which he did manage 4 goals and 1 assist by the way!), but his brace against the Hammers was a sudden reminder of what he is capable of. That’s interesting from an FPL point of view as well, because he now looks likely to replace the earlier mentioned suspended Gordon for the upcoming home game against Everton. Looking back at the season so far, bringing in Barnes is not a move for the long term, but on the short term it could bring you some serious differential value.

The (vice-)captaincy

Our captain for gameweek 31 is Mo Salah as he prepares to take down the shaky Sheffield United defence. He is expensive and still sitting in “just” 32.5% of all teams, but if you can, you should probably try to bring him in right around now.

Fortunately for those not convinced by the Egyptian, or not flush enough to be able to afford him, gameweek 31 is offering plenty of appealing captaincy options. Bukayo Saka at home to Luton stands out, as does Salah’s teammate Darwin Nuñez for Sheffield United’s visit to Anfield. With Manchester City playing at home against Villa, the likes of Erling Haaland, Kevin de Bruyne and Phil Foden also automatically enter the discussion. More differential captaincy picks include Alexander Isak at home to Everton, Rodrigo Muniz away to Nottingham Forest and Dominic Solanke at home to Crystal Palace.

FPL 2023-24: Gameweek 30 preview

So, did you score more than 12 points in blank gameweek 29? If you did, congrats, because it means you scored above the points average for the gameweek. That’s right, almost eleven million fantasy managers in the official FPL game and together they only managed an average of a measly twelve points. Of course, it should be said that GW29 was also the biggest blank of the season with just four games, which greatly contributed to what surely became one of the lowest-scoring, most underwhelming gameweeks in FPL history.

As a result, the BGW29 Team of the Week was a differential festival the likes of which we have rarely seen before. Player of the Week was Fulham’s Rodrigo Muniz, who scored a brace against Spurs and got 13 FPL points for it. The only other players to make it into double digits for BGW29 were Muniz’ teammate Antonee Robinson and Burnley’s Jacob Bruun Larsen (both 11 points), and Fulham left-back Timothy Castagne with 10 FPL points. For the sake of most of us, let’s just forget about one of the worst blank gameweeks ever and move on to regular gameweek 30!

Check out FISO’s FPL Forum for the latest discussion and don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 30 is set at 11h00 (UK time) on Saturday, March 30th, 2024. If you fancy playing a fantasy premier league game just based on Saturday’s or the Weekend’s fixtures then have a look at FanTeam’s Daily Fantasy Games (18+ only).

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per March 28th, 2024)

 TRANSFERS OUTTRANSFERS INPOSSIBLE REASONS
GKAreola (WHU), Ederson (MCI), Dubravka (NEW)Kelleher (LIV), Leno (FUL), Petrovic (CHE) 
DEFDoughty (LUT), Trippier (NEW), Gabriel (ARS)Gusto (CHE), Robinson (FUL), Van Dijk (LIV)Fulham upcoming fixtures, all transferred-out players dealing with injury doubts
MIDDe Bruyne (MCI), Bowen (WHU), Saka (ARS)Salah (LIV), Palmer (CHE), Son (TOT)De Bruyne + Saka injury doubts
FORMorris (LUT), Toney (BRE), Watkins (AST)Muniz (FUL), Haaland (MCI), Darwin (LIV)Muniz form + fixtures,

Premium pick

Gameweek 30 offers us a few interesting premium options, including Mohamed Salah at home to Brighton and Erling Haaland at home against Arsenal, and we have chosen to go with Heung-Min Son (£10.1m). The South Korean forward was amongst the biggest disappointments of blank gameweek 29, as more than a few managers captained him for what ended up being a blank at Craven Cottage, so we are considering the upcoming home encounter with Luton Town as a chance for the player to redeem himself. After all, Son is still an exceptional footballer who is listed as a midfielder in the official fantasy game, but often deployed as a striker by manager Ange Postecoglou, and who already has 14 goals and 8 assists from 24 league starts this season. Luton have already conceded 60 goals this season and 34 of those goals were conceded away from home, which only adds to Son’s appeal as the stand-out premium fantasy pick for gameweek 30.

Non-premium pick

Ollie Watkins (£9.0m) has reached the £ 9-million price point in the official fantasy game, so he’s approaching the premium category. For now though, we are still including him as our favourite non-premium fantasy pick for gameweek 30, in which he is facing the Wolves defence at Villa Park. Like Watkins and the rest of his Aston Villa teammates, Wolves are having a very good 2023-2024 campaign so far, taking 41 points from their first 28 league games. Villa at home are a different story this season though, and we expect them to keep the three points at Villa Park on Saturday. As for Watkins, he is absolutely nailed-on as his side’s striker and main man in attack, which is only emphasised by the fact that he has penalty duties in his locker as well. With an incredible 16 goals and 15 assists from 29 league starts, the England international has more than justified his position as talisman for Aston Villa. The home game against Wolves provides him with a good opportunity to improve on those totals even further.

The budget enabler

It’s becoming a bit repetitive, we know, but when a player has 11 goals and 9 assists from 19 league starts to his name, while being priced at just £ 5.7m, he is very likely to dominate the budget enabler category. In other words, Cole Palmer (£5.7m) is once again our budget fantasy pick, this time for gameweek 30 in which Chelsea welcome Burnley to Stamford Bridge. The Clarets are looking more and more like one of the season’s prime candidates for relegation, which is in part due to their leaky defence. They have already conceded 63 goals this season (28 of which in Away games), a total only surpassed by Sheffield United so far. While Chelsea have been far from good this season, they have scored 47 goals already and they do still rank fifth in the league in terms of Expected Goals. We’re not expecting this one to become a goal fest, but we do think Chelsea will put two or three past the Clarets and if they do, Palmer is likely to be involved. Especially because with his cool head he is on penalties as well.

The differential

It sounds like fake news, but Richarlison (£6.9m) is currently part of just 4.1% of all FPL teams, despite sitting on 10 goals and 3 assists from 17 league starts. His overall ownership was undoubtedly affected by his absence from the Spurs starting lineup in gameweeks 27 and 28, but 4.1% still sounds like it’s too low for a player of Richarlison’s quality. The Brazilian has been mainly deployed as a number nine by Ange Postecoglou, which only adds to his appeal, although it should also be noted that he is not as nailed-on a starter as some of his fellow attackers. With a set of fixtures consisting of Luton at home on Saturday, followed by West Ham away and Nottingham Forest at home, we nevertheless feel confident in selecting Richarlison for our squad. On the short and the medium term, he has the potential to bring his owners both goals and assists, and his current price of £ 6.9m makes him an affordable consideration as well.

The (vice-)captaincy

As you could already infer from our premium fantasy recommendation, GW30 presents us with a few excellent captaincy options. Our armband is going to Heung-Min Son, who is facing Luton Town at home for a game in which we expect at least a goal or two for Spurs.

If you’re not one of the roughly four million fantasy managers who own the South Korean already or if you were perhaps discouraged from captaining him now after his disappointing blank in BGW29, there are good alternatives on hand hand. Erling Haaland at home to Arsenal is a good pick, as is Mo Salah at home to Brighton and Ollie Watkins at home to Wolves. More differential captaincy picks include Dominic Solanke at home to Everton, Cole Palmer for his home game against Burnley and Fulham’s Rodrigo Muniz away at Sheffield United.

English Premier League Highlights: March 2024

Fantastic goals, incredible saves, dramatic endings: the best moments of the EPL for March

Immerse yourself in the exciting atmosphere of the English Premier League yesterday’s football results  as you explore the highlights of March. From incredible goals to impressive saves, emotional victories, and dramatic draws, March in the EPL was full of unforgettable episodes.

Phil Foden’s briliant double:

Phil Foden emerged as the standout player in the derby game between “Manchester City” and “Manchester United” by netting a double. The English midfielder netted two goals, both from open play, in a span of 25 minutes, from the 56th to the 80th minute of the game. Foden’s impressive goals display demonstrated his skill: a stunning long-range shot from beyond the box and a quick one-two with Alvarez finished with a low angled goal. Foden played a crucial role in Manchester City’s dominant win which was completed by a 3rd goal from Haaland for a 3-1 win (after Rashford had scored first for Man United).

Impressive saves by Kelleher:

Liverpool managed to secure a 1-1 draw against Manchester City with the help of crucial saves from Caoimhin Kelleher who is standing in for injured Alisson. The Irish goalie prevented his team from losing by stopping Foden’s shot in the 2nd half. This critical moment enabled Liverpool to come back and draw the game 1-1 after City’s John Stones had put the light blues ahead in the 23rd minute only for opposing keeper Ederson to concede a penalty in the 2nd half converted by Alexis Mac Allister, leaving the top of the table clash even.

Dramatic winning goals in the 2nd half:

Antoine Semenyo’s two goals in the 64th and 83rd minutes led Bournemouth to an incredible 4-3 comeback victory over Luton after being 3-0 down at half time. Goals from Dominic Solanke and Illia Zabarnyi early in the 2nd half sparked intense excitement and stirred up strong emotions for Bournemouth players, coaches, and fans with intensense disappointment for Luton which kept them in the relegation zone. The match goes down as one of the greatest turnarounds in Premier League history.

Magical goals from Arsenal:

Arsenal faced Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on 4th March and within 15 minutes were 3-0 ahead thanks to goals from Captain Odegaard, an Own Goal and Brazilian Gabriel Martinelli. Two more goals before half-time (Kai Havertz and midfielder Declan Rice) meant the Gunners were 5-0 ahead at half-time away from home. Just the solitary goal in the second half from right-back Ben White meant the game finished 6-0 but as a contest it was over in the first 15 minutes!

Great goals by an in-form striker:

Rodrigo Muniz became the hero of the match “Fulham” against top side “Spurs” on 16th March. The Premier League striker scored two goals either side of half-time goal to give Fulham a surprise 3-0 win. Muniz’s confident performance and excellent goals showed his skill and became the key to Fulham’s success. It was the first time Spurs have failed to score in 39 league matches in a disappointing performance.

March in the Premier League: The month that gave us unforgettable emotions

March in the Premier League gave us many unforgettable moments. Incredible today’s scores and goals, impressive saves, and dramatic endings make the Premier League one of the most exciting football leagues in the world.

Nottingham Forest vs Fulham preview, team news, tickets, and prediction

Nottingham Forest are now in the relegation zone after their 4 points deduction announced in the last week. Their poor form for major parts of the season has put them in danger of returning to the EFL Championship. Fulham find themselves in a much better position than their relegation-threatened opponents, needing only 5 points more to guarantee their safety in the top flight at the time of writing.

Nottingham Forest conducted impressive business during the transfer window in a bid to strengthen their squad. They signed Ibrahim Sangare from PSV Eindhoven, Anthony Elanga from  Premier League rivals Manchester United, Chris Wood from Newcastle, Andrew Omobamidele from Norwich, Murillo from Corinthians, Nicolas Dominguez from Bologna, Gk Matt Turner from Arsenal, Odysseas Vlachodimos from Benfica and Callum Hudson-Odoi from Chelsea. Loanees include Nuno Tavares from Arsenal, Giovanni Reyna from Borussia Dortmund, Andrey Santos from Chelsea, Gonzalo Montiel from Sevilla, Divock Origi from AC Milan and Rodrigo Riberio from Sporting CP while Ola Aina joined from Torino on a free transfer.

Departures from the Forest ranks include Brennan Johnson who joined Tottenham Hotspur, Sam Surridge to Nashville, Gustavo Scarpa to Atletico-MG, Braian Ojeda to Salt Lake, Richie Laryea to Toronto, Mohamed Dräger to FC Basel and Serge Aurier to Galatasaray. Orel Mangala and Joe Warall sealed loan moves to Olympique Lyon and Besiktas respectively.

Fulham had quite several significant additions to their team during the transfer window. Signing the likes of Nigerian attacking midfielder Alex Iwobi from Everton, Calvin Bassey joined from Ajax Amsterdam in Netherlands. Former Wolves frontman Raul Jimenez also joined the Cottagers, Timothy Castagne from Leicester City while Adama Traore joined from Wolves on a free transfer. Fulham also got some players on loan such as Fode Ballo-Toure from Seria A side AC Milan, Kevin Mbabu from Servette FC in the Swiss League, Paulo Gazzaniga from Girona in La Liga, Joe Bryan from OGC Nice in French Ligue 1, Ivan Cavaleiro from Alanyaspor in Turkish League, Terence Kongolo from Le Havre FC in French Ligue 1 and Armando Broja from Chelsea.

Departures from the ranks of the Cottagers include Aleksandar Mitrovic, an integral member of their squad who was signed by one of the money merchants of the Saudi Pro League Al Ahli while also having to return players whose loan contracts had expired such as Cedric Soares from Arsenal FC, and Layvin Kurzawa from Paris SG amongst a few others. 

Nottingham Forest have had a really poor season in the Premier League so far. A consistent poor run of results earlier in the season prompted a change in the dugout for the east midlands outfit, relieving Steve Cooper of his managerial duties and handing the reins to former Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo. However, the change has yet to spark an upturn in the fortune of the club. Forest sit in 17th position with 24 points, just three points above Luton Town in 18th having played one more game.

Their form in recent weeks is a testament to their poor season as they have only managed to take three points from the last fifteen that have been available to them. Their only victory in this period came in a 2-0 triumph over West Ham United at the City Ground. Forest suffered defeats at the hands of Newcastle United, Aston Villa, Liverpool and Brighton respectively. Despite visible improvements in their pattern of play since appointing Nuno, Forest has just been unable to grind out the much-needed results.

Fulham sits in 12th position on the Premier League table after 28 rounds of matches. Their record of 10 wins, 5 draws, and 13 losses has seen them gather 35 points. The Cottagers are not a team who are shy in front of goal, scoring 40 times already this season but their defensive frailties have seen them concede 44 goals in return, leaving them with a goal difference of -4. 

Despite lacking consistency all season, The Cottagers have managed to grind out important results in recent times, recording 3 wins, 0 draws, and 2 losses. A vital 3-1 win over Bournemouth was followed by a narrow defeat at the hands of Aston Villa, however, Marco Silver’s men bounced back to winning ways in style as they subjected Manchester United to a 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford and then followed up with a 3-0 win over Brighton before suffering defeat against Wolves at the Molineux.

Head-to-head statistics reveal that Nottingham Forest and Fulham have met on 15 occasions. Forest have won 5 of those meetings (scoring 22 goals) while Fulham have won 9 of the meetings (scoring 32 goals) with 1 draw.

Match tickets

The epic match at City Ground in Nottinghamshire kicks off on Tuesday, 2nd of April 2024 at 18:30 GMT. 

The magnificent 30,445-capacity stadium will host the Reds and another side hoping to stay in the top half.

Getting tickets for the Nottingham Forest vs Fulham tickets could take a lot of work given the standard of this game. Hence, you are advised to search ticket reselling sites should they be expectedly sold out on each club’s channels. 

Team news

Line-ups

Injury concerns for Forest include Ola Aina (knock), Nuno Tavares (knock), and Giovanni Reyna (knock). Taiwo Awoniyi’s goals have dried up and things have not gone well for them, but the Reds will be hoping to make things work.

Nottingham Forest: Sels, Toffolo, Murillo, Omobamidele, Williams, Dominguez, Danilo, Yates, Gibbs-White, Wood, Origi

Injury concerns for The Cottagers include Raul Jimenez (hamstring) but he should be back for this game. However, Muniz should continue to lead the line with his great form. The likes of Alex Iwobi and Calvin Bassey will be hoping to continue their post-AFCON form as we approach the final weeks of the season.

Fulham: Leno, Robinson, Bassey, Adarabioyo, Castagne, Reed, Lukic, Iwobi, Pereira, Wilson, Muniz

Prediction

Nottingham Forest will look to utilize the speed and power of their wide men up front in counter-attacking situations while Fulham will look to press heavily from the front and push their opponents back with sharply direct football when the ball is won. 

We expect Forest to maximize home-ground advantage and at least get a result from this game.

Nottingham Forest 2-2 Fulham

FPL 2023-24: Blank Gameweek 29 preview

DATE  
Sat, March 16 (15h00)BurnleyBrentford
Sat, March 16 (15h00)Luton TownNottingham Forest
Sat, March 16 (17h30)FulhamSpurs
Sun, March 17 (14h00)West HamAston Villa

We figured we’d start this edition of the FPL 2023-2024 gameweek previews with the above table, as it kind of says it all about the weekend ahead of us. Gameweek 29 presents us with the biggest blank gameweek of the season so far, though we doubt there will be any even blanker gameweeks coming up after this one. We’ve just got four games to look forward to this weekend and in true FPL fashion, none of these games offer a very obvious way to points.

Seeing as practically all of the popular fantasy assets are blanking this week, bar Ollie Watkins and Heung-Min Son basically, a lot of FPL squads will be struggling to field a sufficient number of players. And we’re not talking about eleven starters, but perhaps eight or nine players with a good chance of getting some points. As a result, Free Hits (and a few other chips) will be flying in the build-up to the Saturday afternoon deadline. This theory is supported by the table below regarding the most transferred-in and the most transferred-out players so far this week. Players active in BGW29 feature heavily in the transferred-in column, while blanking players (including several big hitters) can be found in the transferred-out column. The same is reflected in our fantasy player picks for blank gameweek 29.

Check out FISO’s FPL Forum for the latest discussion and don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 29 is set at 13h30 (UK time) on Saturday, March 16th, 2024. If you fancy playing a fantasy premier league game just based on Saturday’s or the Weekend’s fixtures then have a look at FanTeam’s Daily Fantasy Games (18+ only).

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per March 14th, 2024)

 TRANSFERS OUTTRANSFERS INPOSSIBLE REASONS
GKEderson (MCI), Alisson (LIV), Pickford (EVE)Flekken (BRE), Vicario (TOT), Onana (MUN)BGW29
DEFTrippier (NEW), Saliba (ARS), Gabriel (ARS)Porro (TOT), Romero (TOT), Doughty (LUT)BGW29
MIDDe Bruyne (MCI), Saka (ARS), Foden (MCI)Son (TOT), Maddison (TOT), Bowen (WHU)BGW29
FORSolanke (BOU), Haaland (MCI), Alvarez (MCI)Toney (BRE), Watkins (AST), Morris (LUT)BGW29

Premium pick

Heung-Min Son (£9.9m) away at Fulham is one of the easiest premium fantasy picks we had to make all season. Not just because he’s good (he is), but also because no other true premium player has a game this weekend. Having said that, the Korean attacker is coming into this major blank gameweek in good form, scoring 2 goals and providing 3 assists in his last four league games, and that includes the home encounter with Brighton back in GW24 when he gave an assist, despite just returning from the Asian Cup. He now sits on 14 goals and 8 assists in total, and up next is Fulham at Craven Cottage. The Cottagers have made their stadium a difficult one to visit this season, but we can definitely see Son score or at least assist one in this one, especially after seeing their impressive display away against Aston Villa last weekend. Expect their Korean star to feature in a lot of teams this weekend, thanks to his current 32% ownership plus all the activated Free Chips.

Non-premium pick

Much of what we wrote about Son also goes for Ollie Watkins (£9.0m) this weekend. Like the Korean, Watkins will be part of a large number of squads this weekend, perhaps even as the highest-owned player of BGW29, thanks to the many Free Hit sides on top of his usual ownership. Of course, the main plus for the Villa striker this weekend is the fact that he has a fixture, though a visit to West Ham’s London Stadium is far from easy. Fortunately, Watkins is having a fantastic season with 16 goals and 15 assists from 28 league starts so far, as he is close to becoming fixture-proof in FPL terms. When Villa and West Ham met earlier this season, back in GW9 at Villa Park, the home side booked a 4-1 victory, in great part thanks to a goal and an assist from Watkins. That doesn’t mean something similar will happen this weekend, but it does reinforce the attacker as our stand-out non-premium fantasy pick for blank gameweek 29. He’s got a game, he’s a starter and on penalties, and he has shown that he can deliver against the Hammers, so what more can you wish for in this barren four-game weekend?

The budget enabler

If we’re talking about fantasy picks that will feature in a lot of FPL teams this weekend, then we can surely add Carlton Morris (£5.2m) to the list as well. The Luton striker has recovered his spot in Luton’s starting eleven, which means that he has a relatively favourable home fixture against Nottingham Forest coming up in a weekend in which twelve out of twenty Premier League sides blank. The fact that he did not manage a single attacking return in the 4-3 defeat at the hands of Bournemouth on Wednesday was disappointing, but overall, the attacker has been doing more than decently this season. In his first campaign at the very highest level of English football, he has already managed 8 goals and 6 assists, which frankly represents excellent value for his current price tag of £5.2m. Our hope is that he can build on those tallies against one of the leakiest defences in the league, at least when it comes to away games. Forest played 14 games on the road so far this season and they conceded 29 goals in those games. If Luton want to keep their hopes of Premier League survival alive, a victory here is almost obligatory for them.

The differential

The differential fantasy pick of the week is a bit harder to pinpoint this weekend as opposed to most other weeks, as the ownership stats are skewed due to the blank gameweek and the subsequent Free Hit bonanza that is expected. In other words, many of the players that feature heavily this week will usually have ownerships of less than 5% or 10%. One interesting player who has not crossed those thresholds yet is Morgan Gibbs-White (£5.7m), who is visiting Kenilworth Road on Saturday and currently owned by just 2.8% of FPL managers. Luton have already conceded 59 goals this season, a total only exceeded by Burnley and Sheffield United, and no team ranks worse than them in terms of expected conceded goals per ninety minutes this season. MGW has become a key cog in manager Nuno Espirito Santo’s Forest side and he is on penalties as well, which adds to his appeal considerably. He hasn’t been overly prolific in front of goal so far this season, managing 3 goals and 6 assists from 25 league starts, but we feel that if Forest get on the scoresheet this weekend, Gibbs-White will likely be involved.

The (vice-)captaincy

Heung-Min Son is our captain in blank gameweek 29.

The obvious alternative to Son is Ollie Watkins, despite Villa’s questionable away form. Riskier picks for the armband include Ivan Toney away at Burnley, Carlton Morris at home to Nottingham Forest and Jarrod Bowen at home to Aston Villa.

FPL 2023-2024: Double gameweek 28 preview

Even though the FPL season is long, the coming two gameweeks will prove to be one of the make-or-break moments of the season for many managers. We’ve got a small double gameweek coming up, followed by an enormous blank gameweek that features just four matches. The way in which you make your decisions and possibly activate any chips over this period is likely to have a considerable impact on the rest of your season and your eventual (mini league) ranking.

DOUBLING TEAMSFIXTURE 1FIXTURE 2
BournemouthLuton Town (home)Sheffield United (home)
Luton TownCrystal Palace (away)Bournemouth (away)

Looking at the upcoming doubles, it looks quite limited at first sight, were it not for the fact that Bournemouth offer us, on paper at least, a very good combination of form and excellent fixtures. Luton do not have the most difficult double imaginable, but they do play away from home twice and they won’t be expecting too many points from those encounters. As a result, our fantasy picks for double gameweek 28 include a few Cherries, but no Hatters. That’s also because a couple of regular single-gameweek teams have a favourable match-up this weekend as well, including Arsenal, West Ham and Brighton.

Check out FISO’s FPL Forum for the latest discussion and don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 28 is set at 11h00 (UK time) on Saturday, March 2nd, 2024. If you fancy playing a fantasy premier league game just based on Saturday’s or the Weekend’s fixtures then have a look at FanTeam’s Daily Fantasy Games (18+ only).

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per March 7th, 2024)

 TRANSFERS OUTTRANSFERS INPOSSIBLE REASONS
GKAlisson (LIV), Raya (ARS), Pickford (EVE)Neto (BOU), Areola (WHU), Kelleher (LIV) 
DEFTrippier (NEW), Porro (TOT), Estupiñan (BRI)Doughty (LUT), Zabarnyi (BOU), Romero (TOT)Luton + Bournemouth DGW28, Trippier + Porro injury doubts
MIDRicharlison (TOT), De Bruyne (MCI), Hee Chan (WOL)Son (TOT), Bowen (WHU), Foden (MCI)Bowen + Foden form, Hee Chan + Richarlison injuries
FORAlvarez (MCI), Toney (BRE), Haaland (MCI)Solanke (BOU), Morris (LUT), Watkins (AST)Luton + Bournemouth DGW28, Watkins + Solanke form

Premium pick

GW 22: Goal versus Nottingham Forest away.

GW23: Goal versus Liverpool at home.

GW24: Brace versus West Ham away.

GW25: Brace versus Burnley away.

GW26: Goal versus Newcastle at home.

GW27: 2 assists versus Sheffield United away (before being withdrawn at half-time).

Looking at these recent numbers, it’s hard to imagine that around gameweek 20, the opinion was forming amongst many FPL managers that Bukayo Saka (£9.8m) was perhaps overpriced and no longer worth considering. Oh Gods of football, how you fool us sometimes! The England international has been nothing short of exceptional for the Gunners over the last six gameweeks, a period over which he collected an impressive 66 FPL points. That’s 11 points per game on average, in case you hadn’t realised it yet. Up next are Brentford for Saka and even though Arsenal have a blank in GW29 followed by a visit to Man City, we feel there are few better assets in the official fantasy game than the Arsenal star at the moment who is expected to recover from illness to face Brentford.

Non-premium pick

Despite his (goal-scoring) form having somewhat dropped off lately, there is no avoiding Dominic Solanke (£7.1m) in double gameweek 28. The 26-year-old forward represents a potentially explosive mix of fantasy football ingredients at the moment, as he is coming into a very favourable double in good form. Solanke is already sitting on 14 goals and 3 assists from 26 league starts, and faces two of the leakiest defences overall in DGW28. As a matter of fact, Sheffield United is actually the least-resistant defence in the league, having conceded a worrying 72 goals in 27 games. Luton compares nicely to the Blades, but they still sit on 54 conceded goals from 26 league games. To make the case for Solanke even juicier, it should also be noted that he is an absolute guarantee to start for Bournemouth and he is their designated penalty taker as well. Starting to regret your decision to triple captain Haaland a few weeks ago yet, Captain Hindsight?

The budget enabler

Much of double gameweek 28 attention is focused on Dominic Solanke, and deservedly so, but it’s causing another Bournemouth attacker to go under the radar a bit. Antoine Semenyo (£4.5m) has been in great form for the Cherries of late, scoring 2 goals in his last three league games. League games which he all started, by the way. As a matter of fact, over that period of three matches, the Ghana international even outscored Solanke in terms of FPL points: 17 versus 16 FPL points. With home games against Luton Town and Sheffield United up next, Semenyo looks like the budget enabler par excellence, even despite his blank in gameweek 29. His price tag of just £4.5m allows you to essentially bring him in as your third attacker, who can start for your squad this DGW28 and then be benched in BGW29, if you’re not planning on using a chip there.

The differential

One of the big advantages of Bournemouth’s double this gameweek, apart from the favourable fixtures, is the fact that their roster contains quite a few assets with good differential potential. We were actually planning to include Marcos Senesi in this category this week, but seeing as he is currently flagged in the official game with a 50% chance of playing, we’ve decided to recommend Illia Zabarnyi (£4.4m) instead and guess what? Senesi’s partner in the heart of the Cherries defence is even £0.2m cheaper than the Argentinian international and owned by just 1.3% of managers (Senesi’s ownership just crossed 5%). Zabarnyi is a guaranteed part of Bournemouth’s starting eleven, but do keep in mind that you would bring in the Ukrainian for his clean sheet potential, not for his attacking returns. As far as goals and returns go, Zabarnyi has amassed exactly zero from 26 league starts so far, but he did bring in 6 clean sheets. We’re hoping that with a bit of luck, our differential of choice will make that 8 clean sheets from 28 league starts this upcoming double gameweek 28.

The (vice-)captaincy

Thanks to his very favourable double against Luton Town and Sheffield United, both at home, we’re placing the armband on Dominic Solanke for DGW28. If you still have the Triple Captain chip at your disposal, we would even recommend considering using it on the Bournemouth striker. Sounds kind of unnatural, right?

In case Solanke doesn’t have you as convinced as he does us, Bukayo Saka at home to Brentford is probably a pretty safe pick. There are also the usual suspects Erling Haaland and Mo Salah, but they face each other at Anfield on Sunday. More differential captaincy fantasy picks include Jarrod Bowen at home to Burnley, Ollie Watkins at home to Spurs, and Carlton Morris for his double with Luton against Palace and Bournemouth (both away).

FPL 2023-24: Gameweek 27 preview

Blank gameweek 26 saw Chelsea, Liverpool, Luton Town and Spurs all without a fixture, which caused problems for more than a few fantasy managers. Once the BGW26 dust settled though, on Monday evening with West Ham beating Brentford 4 to 2, it was clear that in the absence of some of the official game’s most popular picks, more than a few players decided to step up, including some highly owned assets. Jarrod Bowen (17.3% ownership) stole the show with a 20-pointer, followed by Villa’s Douglas Luiz (11.5% ownership) with 15 FPL points, and differential picks Kai Havertz (Arsenal, 1.8% ownership) and Chris Richards (Crystal Palace, 0.8% ownership) with 14 FPL points each. The savior of the week for many managers was Ollie Watkins, who is owned by 54% of all managers and bagged a 9-pointer against Nottingham Forest.

Gameweek 27 then, is coming off a week full of domestic cup action. On Sunday, there was the League Cup final between Chelsea and Liverpool that caused the BGW26 blanks in the first place. Throughout the week, it was time for the FA Cup Fifth Round, which has now come to a close and has resulted in an extremely stingy blank gameweek 29. We will get into that in more detail during the build-up to BGW29, but when making your transfers and planning your chips over the coming weeks, just keep in mind that only Aston Villa, Brentford, Burnley, Fulham, Luton, Nottingham Forest, Spurs and West Ham will have a fixture that round. That’s four fixtures in total, in case you thought you misread.

Check out FISO’s FPL Forum for the latest discussion and don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 27 is set at 13h30 (UK time) on Saturday, March 2nd 2024. If you fancy playing a fantasy premier league game just based on Saturday’s or the Weekend’s fixtures then have a look at FanTeam’s Daily Fantasy Games (18+ only).

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per February 29th, 2024)

 TRANSFERS OUTTRANSFERS INPOSSIBLE REASONS
GKAlisson (LIV), Areola (WHU), Dubravka (NEW)Kelleher (LIV), Pickford (EVE), Neto (BOU)Alisson injury
DEFPorro (TOT), Estupiñan (BRI), Alexander-Arnold (LIV)Gabriel (ARS), Senesi (BOU), Van Dijk (LIV)Gabriel consistent returns, Senesi fixtures + DGW28, Porro injury doubt, Alexander-Arnold injury
MIDDe Bruyne (MCI), Jota (LIV), Hee Chan (WOL)Salah (LIV), Saka (ARS), Douglas Luiz (AST)Saka form, Jota injury, Hee Chan injury doubt
FORHojlund (MUN), Alvarez (MCI), Darwin (LIV)Solanke (BOU), Watkins (AST), Morris (LUT)Solanke + Watkins form, Morris DGW28, Hojlund injury, Darwin injury doubt

Premium pick

The case of Mo Salah is a curious one, because in the official fantasy game, the Egyptian is marked with a 50% chance of playing on Saturday, while he did not feature in last weekend’s League Cup final. Jurgen Klopp said a few days ago that Salah is one of the players whose return to fitness is being managed on a day-to-day basis and that he might feature against Nottingham Forest in gameweek, but it’s far from guaranteed. As a result of this situation, we’re going with Erling Haaland (£14.4m) as our premium fantasy pick once again. It should be said that it’s not just the uncertainty around Salah that has made us repeat this pick for the umpteenth time this season, though. On Tuesday, Haaland also managed a glut (that’s 5 goals in a single game) away in the FA Cup at Luton, which makes us think that this weekend’s opponents are shaking already. Sure, it’s a Manchester derby at the Etihad on Sunday, but that doesn’t really mean that Haaland can’t haul now, does it?

Non-premium pick

Tottenham Hotspur were one of the Premier League sides already eliminated from all domestic cups before the FA Cup Fifth Round and the League Cup final began, which meant that this week has been a calm one for Ange Postecoglou’s men. Their last competitive game took place on Saturday, February 17th, when they were beaten 1-2 at home by Wolves, so by the time their GW27 fixture is up on Saturday afternoon, they will have had a full two weeks of rest. This strengthens our conviction that Richarlison (£7.1m) (Note -since publication Richarlison has been confirmed as out with a knee injury for about 2 weeks) get back to his scoring ways after two consecutive 2-pointers. Before that though, the Brazilian forward scored 9 goals in eight league games, a run during which he only blanked once. Spurs are hosting Crystal Palace on Saturday and while the Eagles look headed for a comfortable mid-table finish this season, they did already concede 25 goals in 13 away games so far. They are definitely the underdogs this weekend and we feel Richarlison might be the one to take advantage of that situation.

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The budget enabler

Our budget enabler for gameweek 27 is a fantasy pick that we made with one eye on gameweek 28 already. That’s because Bournemouth, who are having a great season so far, are one of two teams to double in gameweek 28 and it’s a juicy one on paper. The Cherries are set to face Sheffield United and Luton Town at home, and seeing as they are visiting Turf Moor this weekend, we have opted to go for Marcos Senesi (£4.5m) as our budget fantasy pick for GW27. The Argentinian central defender is a mainstay in Bournemouth’s starting eleven and carries considerable attacking threat as well, looking at his current 3 league goals and 2 assists. The main reason to bring him in though, apart from his affordable price tag, is the fact that Bournemouth have got Burnley (away), Sheffield United (home) + Luton (home) coming up, who all feature amongst the six lowest-scoring teams in the league. Sheffield United and Burnley are even the lowest and second-lowest-scoring team, respectively, at the moment. It should be noted that Bournemouth blank in gameweek 29, but thanks to Senesi’s price of £4.5m, he can easily feature as the fourth or even fifth defender in your squad.

The differential

The differential fantasy pick for gameweek 27 was also chosen with double gameweek 28 in mind, as Luton are the other team besides Bournemouth to have two fixtures. Carlton Morris (£5.1m), while perhaps going under the radar for many managers, has been excellent for the Hatters so far this season. In his first season amongst England’s footballing elite, he has already managed 7 goals and 6 assists from 19 league starts. He lost his spot in the starting lineup for a while a few weeks ago, but he seems to be back now and with good reason. Luton blanked last weekend, but in the six games preceding that blank, Morris collected no less than 38 FPL points, courtesy of 4 goals and 2 assists. That’s an average of 6.3 points per game and that includes clashes with Liverpool, Manchester United, Newcastle and Brighton. Luton have got their work cut out for them this weekend as Aston Villa roll up to Kenilworth Road, but it should be said that the Villans have not been at their best while travelling this season. In any case, the big one for Morris, who could be benched this weekend if needed, is double gameweek 28, when Luton visit Crystal Palace and Bournemouth. Luton have no easy games this season, we know, and these upcoming fixtures could end up in disappointments for them as well, but at £5.1m and an ownership of just 4.2%, their striker (who is on penalties) could be worth a punt.

The (vice-)captaincy

We know that it’s the Manchester derby at City’s ground this weekend and we know that anything can happen during that game, regardless of each side’s form and situation, but we really see it going just one way on Sunday. That’s why Erling Haaland, who scored five at Luton mid-week, gets the armband in gameweek 27.

If you’re uncomfortable with captaining a Manchester derby asset, the likes of Bukayo Saka away at Sheffield United, Ollie Watkins away at Luton Town and Richarlison at home to Crystal Palace look like excellent alternatives to the big Norwegian striker. More differential captaincy options include Cody Gakpo away at Nottingham Forest and, if fit, Dominik Solanke at Turf Moor.

West Ham vs Burnley preview, team news, tickets & prediction

The March winds whip through the London Stadium, carrying whispers of contrasting narratives as West Ham United, riding on impressive winning streaks, lock horns with a beleaguered Burnley side just clinging to Premier League survival. This isn’t just a Saturday afternoon kick-off; it’s a clash of hope and despair, a tactical chess match where West Ham’s attacking Trident faces a hopeful Burnley’s defensive wall.

David Moyes’ Hammers have rediscovered their swagger. Jarrod Bowen’s return adds spark, his creative bursts linking seamlessly with midfield metronome Lucas Paqueta and the predatory instincts of Mohammed Kudus. Young Ghanaian prodigy Mohammed Kudus injects a dose of unpredictability with his dribbling wizardry and eye for goal. The London Stadium crowd will vibrate with anticipation, eager to witness their revitalized heroes weave an attacking tapestry.

Vincent Kompany’s Burnley, on the other hand, fight for every inch of Premier League air. Their Turf Moor fortress, once a symbol of Championship dominance, now echoes with the ghosts of defeats. 

Yet, the Clarets haven’t lost their bite. Zeki Amdouni, the Tunisian magician, dances with the ball and is very good at orchestrating attacking forays, while young Luca Koleosho terrorizes defenses with his blistering pace on the counter. Burnley does not arrive with resignation, but with a flicker of defiance, determined to exorcize their home demons and rewrite the narrative at the London Stadium.

Beyond the headline acts, other figures could hold the key. James Ward Prowse, West Ham’s energetic midfielder, can unlock Burnley’s congested midfield with his intelligent running and pinpoint crosses. For Burnley, Jay Rodriguez’s experience and aerial prowess could prove crucial in set-piece situations, a potential chink in West Ham’s armor.

Moyes is likely to stick to his trusted 4-2-3-1, with Alvarez, Paqueta, and Soucek anchoring the midfield and Kudus, Bowen, and Benrahma forming a fluid attacking trident. Their movement and passing interchanges could carve open Burnley’s defensive block. Kompany, however, might opt for a 4-4-2 diamond, with Brownhill playing just behind Foster and Amdouni, hoping to exploit space on the counter-attack. The battle between Alvarez and Brownhill, two midfield maestros, will be a fascinating duel, as whoever gains control of the center could seize control of the match.

If West Ham dominate possession and find their rhythm early, Burnley might resort to a deeper block, inviting pressure before unleashing swift counter-attacks. A Burnley goal, however, could change the complexion of the game, forcing West Ham to push forward and potentially leaving gaps in their defense. A draw, while not ideal for either side, would keep Burnley’s faint hopes alive while maintaining West Ham’s mid-table momentum.

The outcome of this clash resonates beyond the confines of the pitch. For West Ham, a victory would solidify their position amongst the top ten, boosting their European ambitions. For Burnley, it’s a lifeline in the relegation fight, a chance to claw their way back from the precipice. This isn’t just about three points; it’s about vindication, redemption, and the relentless pursuit of glory in the face of adversity.

West Ham have had impressive scalps already this season, one of which was a 2-0 victory over Premier League giants Manchester United at the London Stadium. Other notable victories were against title contenders and fellow Londoners Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.

Burnley on the other hand has almost been bare all season and has barely survived all the onslaught of the other 19 premier league sides. With wins against the likes of Nottingham Forest and Luton Town, their stand-out results.

As the referee blows the whistle, the air crackles with anticipation. Can West Ham’s attacking force overcome Burnley’s defensive wall? Can Kompany orchestrate a stunning away victory and rewrite the Clarets’ narrative? The drama unfolds under the London lights, promising a battle where hope meets desperation, and every tackle tells a story of resilience, belief, and the unwavering pursuit of Premier League dreams.

The echoes of the final whistle will reverberate far beyond the London Stadium. For West Ham, a rousing victory could spark a resurgence, silencing doubters and igniting whispers of European challenges. A convincing performance against a desperate Burnley side would serve as a statement of intent, demonstrating their newfound attacking prowess and solidifying their place amongst the league’s elite.

For Burnley, however, the ramifications could be starkly different. A defeat, particularly a heavy one, could cast a long shadow over their relegation battle, deepening the sense of despair and potentially triggering a crisis of confidence. The pressure on Kompany and his men will intensify, with every point dropped feeling like a nail in their Premier League coffin.

This match could, therefore, be a watershed moment for both teams. For West Ham, it’s a chance to prove their recent resurgence is more than just a fleeting flicker, a chance to establish themselves as genuine contenders for European qualification. For Burnley, it’s a desperate fight for survival, a must-win encounter that could rekindle their flickering hopes or extinguish them altogether.

Match tickets

The match is scheduled for Saturday, March 9, 2024, with kick-off set for 3 PM UK time. Tickets are available on each club’s website, with priority allocation for club members. Given the high demand, non-season ticket holders are advised to secure their seats promptly. 

Traveling fans may explore ticket resale sites for availability. Fans are advised to book their West Ham vs Burnley tickets on a ticket resale site.

Team news

Injuries have affected both sides in the past and possibly just before the game. Lucas Paqueta should be back in time for the encounter. Jarrod Bowen has found form and should be on the starting eleven. Ghanian Mohammed Kudus is on fire and will look set to add to his already impressive goal return.

Burnley have almost the full complement of their squad, with the likes of Lyle Foster and Zeki Amdouni likely to be fit and ready to battle the hammers.

Line-ups

Lineups are quite unstable for most teams, as they are mostly a function of player form and injuries. These are factors that can not be predicted.

As managers aim for continuity in results and performance, the line-ups are crucial. 


West Ham XI: Aréola; Coufal, Zouma, Aguerd, Emerson; Soucek, Ward-Prowse; Bowen, Paquetá, Benrahma;

Burnley XI: Trafford, O’Shea, Al Dakhil, Gudmundsson, Brownhill, Ekdal, Vitinho, Cullen, Odobert, Amdouni

Prediction

This will be a tough game, as no game is easy in the Premier League. But, the form of Burnley makes it difficult to not see yet another disappointing game for them here. The first goal may determine the game.

West Ham 2-0 Burnley