The sense of tranquility and contentment that can only come from a good Fantasy gameweek passes through us. Our recommendations scored 71 points (if you captained Romelu Lukaku, 69 if you captained Alexis Sanchez), a solid 20 points above the average, with Ross Barkley and Mesut Ozil bringing home double-digit hauls. Read on as we preview Gameweek 15 from the bookies’ perspective and try to build some momentum.
With only 4 clean sheets across all fixtures last weekend defensive returns were hard to come by. Sunderland won the battle of the low scorers against Stoke, Tottenham and Chelsea cancelled each other out in a London derby, whilst Liverpool shut out a Swansea side in freefall. As a result, 18 points from our defensive selections gave us a good platform on which to build. Both Heurelho Gomes and Laurent Koscielny unfortunately succumbed to injury, limiting their points potential (especially the latter), leaving Alberto Moreno (9 points, clean sheet and maximum bonus) and Seamus Coleman (5, assist and bonus) to fly our flag. Given the fixtures this weekend, the bookies are expecting more in the way of clean sheets, so let’s analyse their offering..
|Team||Clean Sheet Odds||Implied chance|
Arsenal welcome Sunderland to The Emirates on Saturday, and, according to the bookies, the Gunners have a 52% chance of keeping a clean sheet against the Black Cats. Whilst Sunderland are expected to travel to London and park the bus, recent form tells us that Arsenal may not have things all their own way, having only kept 2 clean sheets in their last 6 and registering their last home shutout back in early October against Manchester United, with Sunderland equally only blanking twice in their last 6.
Both afforded a 50% chance of a keeping their respective opposition at bay, Manchester United and Southampton rank joint-second this week. The Red Devils welcome West Ham to Old Trafford where they’ll be looking to get back to their defensive best, having conceded against Watford and Leicester after keeping 4 consecutive clean sheets in the Premier League. Shorn of their main creative outlet in Dimitri Payet, the Hammers’ goals per game average has fallen from 1.9 to 1, highlighting the mercurial Frenchman’s importance to the East London side. Meanwhile, Southampton enjoy home comforts against rock bottom Aston Villa, the second lowest scoring side in the division with 12 goals this season. The Saints, hammered 6-1 at home by Liverpool midweek, will have had the defensive basics drilled into them in training by Ronald Koeman and will look to respond by adding to the 5 clean sheets they have accrued this season, with the goal shy Villains still finding their feet under new manager Remi Garde.
Chelsea (47%) look to have turned a corner, defensively at least, having kept 2 clean sheets in their last 2 outings. An encounter with Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge gives the Blues a great chance of making it 3 in a row, but Eddie Howe’s men have scored 5 in their last 2 and won’t be afraid to attack in Saturday’s late kick off. Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham all have a 41% chance of a clean sheet this weekend, as they travel to Newcastle, Stoke and West Brom respectively, 3 of the poorest attacks in the league this season, having all scored an average of 1 goal per game or less.
There are no surprises at the bottom of the rankings, with Sunderland (7%) not fancied against Arsenal’s attacking juggernaut, whilst Bournemouth, Aston Villa, West Ham and Stoke all come in with a less than 20% chance. We recommend looking elsewhere for your defensive returns this weekend.
Our recommendations for your back line this week; David de Gea, Hector Bellerin, Alberto Moreno, Ryan Bertrand.
Only Sergio Aguero (2 points) and Roberto Firmino (3) let us down last time out as our attackers brought home the bacon; Ross Barkley (13 – goal, assist and maximum bonus), Mesut Ozil (10 – goal and max bonus), Jamie Vardy (9 – goal and max bonus), Romelu Lukaku (6 – goal) and Alexis Sanchez (4 – assist) all chipped in as 5 of our front 7 notched valuable Fantasy points. With some plum fixtures this weekend for some of the best attacks in the country, let’s see what the bookies have to say about midfield and striking prospects for Gameweek 15..
|Player||Goalscorer Odds||Implied chance|
|Kevin de Bruyne||3.75||26.67%|
Olivier Giroud, despite failing to find the net against Norwich last time out, is still one of the form men (4 in 6 in the league) playing in one of the league’s most fearsome attacks at home against a Sunderland side who have conceded 18 in 7 on the road this season, and for those reasons he tops this weekends attacking rankings, with the bookies giving the French striker a 50% chance of scoring. In the same game, with Alexis Sanchez a severe injury doubt (reports suggest he is likely to miss the next month), Mesut Ozil (33%) will be looking to continue his recent goalscoring exploits (2 in 2 in all competitions).
Stoke have only conceded 7 times in 6 home games this season, but they face a tough task to keep opponents Manchester City at bay this weekend. The Citizens are the top scorers in the league this season with 30 goals, but just 7 of those have come away from home, with the Sky Blues scoring just twice in their last 4 away games. Nevertheless, it would take a brave manager to bet against a City team that includes Sergio Aguero (49%), Wilfried Bony (40%), Raheem Sterling (29%) and Kevin de Bruyne (26%). The Argentine frontman is a slight injury doubt, so Friday’s press conference will be worth tuning into, whilst Belgian midfielder de Bruyne has scored 3 and assisted 3 in his last 2 games in all competitions.
Another team with a wealth of attacking options, but uncertainty over their starting lineup, is Liverpool. Daniel Sturridge (44%), Christian Benteke (44%), Roberto Firmino (34%) and Philippe Coutinho (33%) will all fancy their chances of goals and points this weekend, assuming they can prove their fitness and secure a place in the starting XI. Their opponents? A Newcastle side who are defensively at sea, conceding over 2 goals per game on average this season, and look in real trouble under Steve Mclaren.
A first away game awaits Remi Garde and his Aston Villa team at St Mary’s on Saturday, where Graziano Pelle (45%), back from suspension, and Sadio Mane (35%), who scored midweek, lie in wait. The Saints’ attacking pair have scored 9 goals between them this season in the league and will surely be relishing the prospect of a home clash with Villa, who have lost 6 away games on the bounce, conceding 17 goals in the process.
Red-hot strikers Jamie Vardy (42%, 13 goals in 11 games) and Romelu Lukaku (40%, 8 in 8) face Swansea and Crystal Palace respectively, whilst their midfield compatriots Riyad Mahrez (26%), Gerard Deulofeu (22%) and Ross Barkley (30%) will all fancy their chances in games where Leicester and Everton are favourites courtesy of their attacking firepower this term.
For those managers more inclined to take a risk, Eden Hazard (37%) has the perfect opportunity to kickstart his season at home to a leaky Bournemouth defence (joint-worst in the league), whilst Junior Stanislas (12%), who scored twice against Everton in Gameweek 14, is perhaps the ultimate differential. Watford strike duo Odion Ighalo and Troy Deeney (both 35% and on the scoresheet last time out) welcome Norwich to North London and look good value.
Our recommendations for your attacking line-up this week; Romelu Lukaku, Jamie Vardy, Odion Ighalo, Philippe Coutinho, Mesut Ozil, Kevin de Bruyne, Sadio Mane.
Our recommendations for your captain; Romelu Lukaku and Mesut Ozil.
Victory is a Fantasy football and anytime goalscorer betting enthusiast. Enjoys SSS – statistics, strategising and spreadsheets. Follow his tips on Twitter.
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