Gameweek 35: Fantasy Preview
Manchester United's Easter visit to Everton is the game to watch this holiday weekend, with just four weeks left in the Premier League season.
Saturday, April 19 Tottenham (18-6-10) vs. Fulham (9-3-22) Harry Kane's two goals in two games have him at the forefront of Spurs' attack. Christian Eriksen has four goals in as many matches and one game after his brace, Emmanuel Adebayor had a dismal penalty shot saved. Hugo Rodellega's two goals in two games have revived survival hopes at Craven Cottage, but in-form Lewis Holtby cannot play against his parent club.
Aston Villa (9-7-17) vs. Southampton (13-9-12) With Christian Benteke finished for the season, Aston Villa have zero offensive weapons. Gabriel Agbonlahor's last goal was New Year's Day. Southampton are still in a state of shock without Jay Rodriguez. Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana have not stepped up.
Cardiff (7-8-19) vs. Stoke (11-10-13) There is a pulse at Cardiff thanks to a miracle goal from defender Cala. Stoke are comfy in mid-table and have won four straight at home, but are a bad road team with 11 losses.
Newcastle (14-4-16) vs. Swansea (8-9-17) How have Newcastle won 14 games? The Magpies are sleepwalking to season's end and hope Loic Remy's return will be a wake-up call. It is nervous time for the Swans, now just three points clear of relegation with training ground bust-ups adding to Garry Monk's survival challenge. Fantasy fizzle Michu is questionable and Chico is suspended for three games. Wilfried Bony, who did not play in the 3-0 win over Newcastle in December may have a huge game.
West Ham (10-7-17) vs. Crystal Palace (12-4-18) West Ham is nonchalant in the safety zone and had an apathetic surrender at Arsenal. Matt Jarvis got only his second goal of the season. Kevin Nolan should return. The magic of Tony Pulis was on full display as Palace administered a huge defeat to Everton and reached the magic 40-point safety level. Jason Puncheon has four goals and an assist in three games.
Chelsea (23-6-5) vs. Sunderland (6-8-19) Chelsea will be without injured Eden Hazard. They got a game-winning goal from Demba Ba last time out. The Blues have the best defensive record in the league, conceding just 24 goals. Petr Cech has 16 clean sheets. Despite holding Manchester City to a draw on Connor Wickham's brace, the relegation trap door is open and the Black Cats are about to be pushed into it.
Sunday, April 20 Norwich (8-8-16) vs. Liverpool (24-5-5) Norwich begin their season-ending killer schedule and are barely above the drop zone. Liverpool come off an emotional home result over Manchester City but injured Daniel Sturridge is out and Jordan Henderson is suspended. Luis Suarez added his 12th assist of the season and has 29 goals from a trigger-happy 161 shots. Raheem Sterling and Phillipe Coutinho are in fabulous form. Vintage Steven Gerrard has seven goals and an assist in his last seven matches. Martin Skrtel has seven goals on just 14 shots.
Hull (10-6-17) vs. Arsenal (20-7-7) Hull and their game in hand feel relegation breathing down their necks and face a stimulated Arsenal. The Gunners are in a Champions League spot after Everton's loss and get Mathieu Flamini back from suspension. Lukas Podolski has three goals and two assists in four games. Olivier Giroud scored and Aaron Ramsey finally got a fantasy point, as did Santi Cazorla. Fantasy budget drain Mesut Ozil is projected back.
Everton (19-9-6) vs. Manchester United (17-6-10) Everton suffered a bitter home defeat to Crystal Palace on Wednesday and lost the chance to move into fourth place. James Naismith has three goals in his last four games. There is a glimmer of hope that Manchester United's Wayne Rooney will play. Juan Mata has three goals and an assist in two games and Javier Hernandez has two goals and an assist in his last two matches. Shinji Kagawa is projected to start. Fantasy failure Marouane Fellaini may play, but Rafael and Jonny Evans are doubts.
Monday, April 21 Manchester City (22-5-6) vs. WBA (6-15-12) City were lucky to draw against bottom-feeder Sunderland. Injured David Silva is a doubt, while Yaya Toure is out until April 27. Joe Hart has no clean sheets the past four games. Sergio Aguero was subbed out early in the second half.
Recommended fantasy captains: Suarez, Gerrard, Aguero, and Bony