Pick of the week – GW14

The matches are lining up in quick succession these days. There is not much like mid-week football, and we are ready for the next round with some tips for our daily fantasy managers.

Let’s start with a quick look on how we did last weekend:

Gylfi Sigurdsson picked up an assist when setting up Wilfried Bony (who was mentioned as an alternative up front). Swansea failed to win at home to Crystal Palace, but our favorite Icelandic picked up 6 points after collecting 1 bonus point as well. Not too bad.

David De Gea had a quiet day in the Manchester United goal. A clean sheet was good enough for 6 points, and to make lots of fantasy managers happy.

Cesc Fabregas was, alongside the rest of Chelsea, a bit of a disappointment this weekend when Chelsea failed to score against Sunderland. 1 point for keeping a clean sheet is below what the Spaniard has averaged so far this season. It was probably bound to happen sooner or later that Chelsea met some friction along the road.

15 points in total is a one-point improvement from the weekend before, but not our best result so far.

This week, we have some interesting matches ahead. Southampton got lectured in their first really big test this year when the reigning champions visited St. Mary’s. This mid-week, they will be going to London to play Arsenal. We think they’d be eager to hit back, but are unsure whether they can. Therefore, we’d avoid filling our squads with Southampton players just yet.

Elsewhere in London, Chelsea and Tottenham clash together in the London-derby this mid-week. The home team was disappointing against Sunderland on Saturday evening, and saw their rivals from Manchester starting to close the gap. Tottenha, on the other hand, is brimming with confidence after two straight wins against Hull and Everton.

Tottenham have a miserable track record from these matches, and the last time they won at Stamford Bridge, Gareth Bale was six months old. This was in February 1990, and since then, Chelsea has tracked 17 wins, 10 matches ending with a draw. Note that Diego Costa is suspended after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season this weekend. This could be a chance for summer-signing Loic Remy to prove his worth, although Didier Drogba could also be chosen as the replacement up front. Either way, Jose Mourinho would probably accept nothing but a confident win.

At Wearside, Sunderland welcomes last season winner Man City to a very difficult match for them. City seems to be back on track, and looked sharp against Southampton last weekend. City climbed up to second place with a strong 3-0 win, and are ready to start breathing Chelsea down the neck if given the chance. Sunderland is drawing most of their home games, but this one we believe is going to be a tough one.

Crystal Palace may have started turning the season around after beating Liverpool at home a couple of weeks ago. Although Swansea at times outplayed the Palace side this weekend, they weathered the storm and equalized a 1-0 lead to grab a point from a difficult away match. Having Aston Villa on the opposite side of the pitch on Tuesday, they will certainly hope to extend their good run against another relegation rival. Both have 13 points, although the home side is having the momentum. Note that Christian Benteke will be back from suspension to this match.

Brendon Rodgers and Liverpool finally got a long anticipated win against Stoke last time around. For long, it looked like another disappointing match for the Reds, but a late rebound from Glen Johnson on Ricky Lambert’s brilliant header, saved the day and the three points. This Tuesday, they will be travelling to Leicester, who is still looking for their next win since the memorable 5-3 win against Manchester United. The visitors needs to continue winning matches, and this is a certain must-win if they are planning on staying in the contention for the top 4 spot.

Swansea failed to make their chances count in a hard-fought match against Crystal Palace. 13 points have slipped away from the Swans from leading positions this season, and manager Garry Monk certainly won’t be happy of that record. They are considerably stronger home than away, and should have good chances of inflicting QPR’s seventh loss in a row away from Loftus Road.

Manchester United looks to be on the right track after a troubling start to the campaign. They had little problems beating Hull in a confident way, and should also have few problems taking another 3 points when Stoke pay their visits on Tuesday.

Pick of the (mid) week

So, these are our picks for this round. We are aiming high, and will not be completely satisfied if we are unable to score a new all time high.

1. Wilfried Bony

When Bony scored against Crystal Palace, it was his 18th goal in 2014 (6 this season). This is the most in Premier League this year. After a slow start to the campaign (6 matches without a goal), he has now 6 goals from the last 7 matches.

QPR is visiting Liberty Stadium this Tuesday, which could be an excellent chance for Bony to add to his tally. We suggest including him as one of your three men up front.

2. Leighton Baines

After being sidelined when Everton beat West Ham before the latest international break, he was back in action in the defeat against Tottenham. Baines has been excellent this season, with 6 assists and 2 goals in 12 matches.    Hull is visiting this Wednesday, whose only away victory came in the season opening against QPR. Everton has looked more like themselves recently, and fantasy managers should have a good chance of picking up a clean sheet bonus and potentially some goal points as well.

3. Yaya Touré

The best midfielder in the Premier League last season has not looked the same this year, but in the recent weeks he has started to show signs of the class we know he possess. This is just in time for a hectic December schedule, before he ships off to the Africa Cup of Nations, starting January 17.

He scored a great goal against Southampton, but still has a way to go in terms of serving others like he did last season. 9 assists compared to his single one so far this season shows that he can still improve. We believe the big Ivorian will have a big impact in the coming weeks, and he gets the last spot in the pick of the week this time around.

That sums it up for today, let’s hope for some good mid-week football, and good luck with your games. Remember, the next two days is a whole “season” at FantasyBet.

Eirik Henriksen

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