Two match days in a week means we’ve had a veritable banquet of football related fun and that will continue this weekend. We’ve got everything to get you ready for another match day in the most exciting league in the world.
Tottenham v Sunderland
Spurs will want to bounce back quickly from the midweek home loss to Leicester but Sunderland under Sam Allardyce are a tough nut to crack. After losing that game, Tottenham have now won under 50% of their home games this season, however, they only have Arsenal and Man Utd of the Premier League’s top sides to play at White Hart Lane. Christian Eriksen has scored every time he’s played against Sunderland (three in three games). Sunderland haven’t won on six visits to White Hart Lane (5 losses and a draw) and are still a point from Premier League safety despite winning their last two. Jermain Defoe scored five goals in those two games and will relish returning to his old stomping ground.
Who to pick?
Christian Eriksen, Tottenham ($6,600)
Erik Lamela, Tottenham ($5,600)
Jermain Defoe, Sunderland ($5,000)
Patrick van Aanholt, Sunderland ($4,000)
Bournemouth v Norwich
January’s only significant spenders, Bournemouth, welcome Norwich to the Premier League’s smallest ground in a match that pits two of last season’s promoted sides against each other. The home side have the second worst home record in the Premier League following Tuesday’s collapse against West Ham and have scored just once in four league games. Lewis Grabban, Juan Iturbe and Benik Afobe all made debuts on Tuesday, Afobe starting, and all will feature here. Norwich haven’t lost in their last three league games against the South Coast side and Cameron Jerome has scored in the last two clashes, both of which the Canaries won. Alex Neil’s side have conceded the second highest amount of goals away from home (25) and have lost five of their last six games on their travels.
Who to pick?
Junior Stanislas, Bournemouth ($5,000)
Lewis Grabban, Bournemouth ($3,600)
Cameron Jerome, Norwich ($3,100)
Wes Hoolahan, Norwich ($3,500)
Chelsea v Everton
Chelsea welcome the blue half of Merseyside to Stamford Bridge in a match that pits 14th place v 11th place in the Premier League. Everton haven’t won here since 1994 and when you consider they’ve played each other every season since then, it translates to a big 20 games. Chelsea have yet to lose under new boss Guus Hiddink and have risen to the heady heights of 8th in the form table after losing just once in six games. Wednesday’s draw against West Brom was disappointing and brought an end to two straight games without conceding, quite the feat when you consider how disastrous Chelsea have looked defensively this season. Steven Naismith has scored a total of five goals against Chelsea and there’s a hint that Roberto Martinez was keeping him in the bag for this game before selling him off to the highest bidder. Romelu Lukaku hasn’t scored in two Premier League games and will want to prove a point against the side that let him go 18 months ago.
Who to pick?
Willian, Chelsea ($7,800)
Diego Costa, Chelsea ($6,500)
Romelu Lukaku, Everton ($8,100)
John Stones, Everton ($2,500)
Man City v Crystal Palace
Man City bring their Premier League-leading home record to the table against a Crystal Palace that have won five times on their travels this season. City are still within three points of the leaders Arsenal and haven’t lost to Palace on home soil since 1990. Yaya Toure is always a factor between these two sides and has scored four goals in his last five games in all competitions against Crystal Palace. City’s defence has been tight over the past six games conceding just five goals. Palace have struggled ever since Christmas fell and haven’t scored in the four Premier League games since then, which has included fixtures against three of the bottom six in Bournemouth, Swansea and Aston Villa. They will have Connor Wickham back in the starting XI but he often takes a few games to get back to firing on all cylinders and he only returned against Aston Villa on Tuesday.
Who to pick?
Yaya Toure, Man City ($6,200)
Kevin de Bruyne, Man City ($8,300)
Wilfried Zaha, Crystal Palace ($4,800)
Yohan Cabaye, Crystal Palace ($6,200)
Newcastle v West Ham
Steve McClaren’s Newcastle side showed a lot of fight in coming back to draw against Manchester United but will find things hard against a West Ham side that is celebrating the return of Dimitri Payet to the lineup. Even with that draw, Newcastle are still second bottom and haven’t won in five games. Jonjo Shelvey and Henri Saivet could their debuts and will be fighting for places in the team. West Ham didn’t suffer as badly as expected without Payet in the team yet his return gives them a huge boost going forwards. Payet averages 18.6 fantasy points per game, which is second only to Riyad Mahrez, and announced himself to Premier League fans back in September with his excellent brace against Newcastle. The Hammers are unbeaten in eight games since losing to Tottenham in November and have won three games in a row, conceding just five times in the eight games.
Who to pick?
Aleksandar Mitrovic, Newcastle ($4,600)
Georginio Wijnaldum, Newcastle ($5,000)
Dimitri Payet, West Ham ($6,700)
Enner Valencia, West Ham ($4,400)
Southampton v West Brom
These two sides provided the biggest surprises of the midweek round and will go head-to-head at St Mary’s locked on the same number of points. Southampton’s 2-0 victory over Watford was just the second in nine games with Shane Long making it five goals on the season. Graziano Pelle made a substitute appearance against Watford and there’s every chance he starts this game with Long shifting out to a wider berth or even joining Pelle in a front two. Long plays against one of his old clubs and West Brom could choose to bring former Saints striker Rickie Lambert into the team. The visitors have been a hard nut to crack on their travels, conceding just 10 goals and scoring eight, both illustrating the defensive perfection that Tony Pulis has achieved. James McClean and Salomon Rondon both returned to the side on Wednesday following suspensions and it was no surprise that West Brom scored two goals in the process. Three of the last five games between these two have been decided by a 1-0 score-line and the other two have been 0-0. Expect another tight game.
Who to pick?
Shane Long, Southampton ($4,500)
Ryan Bertrand, Southampton ($3,800)
James McClean, West Brom ($4,000)
Craig Dawson, West Brom ($3,600)
Aston Villa v Leicester
Remi Garde picked up his first win as boss on Tuesday night against Crystal Palace and plays a Leicester team that has yet to hit a real dip in form. In winning, Villa reached double figures in the points department and it was only the 17th goal they’ve scored this season. Garde changed things up with Mark Bunn between the sticks and Libor Kozak starting the game up front. Kozak won six aerial duels and will start once again. Leicester got a precious win away at Spurs to go joint top of the Premier League and have been particularly solid defensively in recent weeks. The Foxes have conceded just once in four games and the fact they’ve only scored once in those same games hasn’t hurt them. Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy are in a bit of a rut scoring wise but an away game against Villa could be just the tonic they need. Remember, Villa have lost six home games and Leicester have the best away record by some way with just one loss all season on their travels.
Who to pick?Jordan Veretout, Aston Villa ($4,900)
Aly Cissokho, Aston Villa ($2,700)
Jamie Vardy, Leicester ($7,100)
Kasper Schmeichel, Leicester ($3,800)