Premier League Game of the Weekend: Aston Villa 1-6 Manchester City

Two teams at two different halves of the league with two different objectives played on Sunday afternoon. For Aston Villa they were always going to be the underdog, but they knew they needed to fight for points. The emergence of Watford who looked to be taking up one place for relegation this season means that Villa have become a relegation contender. They fight it.

For Manchester City, the league looks over but they won’t give it up. The champions are 14 points behind Liverpool with this win and the Reds have a game in hand. It could be 17 by the end of the month. City’s true objective in the league was never to be in 3rd place, a position they courted for a few weeks as Leicester showed flashes of the team that won them the league title in 2016. Another objective in winning this game then, was to go 2nd and leapfrog Leicester who had already lost to Southampton the day before.

City met their objective as Villa’s one collapsed in on itself like a black hole. And it is a black hole where most of the Villa team would have wished for when they were on the receiving end of a vintage Manchester City performance.

When City attack this good, not many teams can match them.  A 6-1 victory is a massive score line and one that you feel manager Pep Guardiola needed (lest we forget the team in bottom place, Norwich City, who actually beat Guardiola’s team earlier this season) and these kind of games before a whistle is blown can be potential banana skins. But the only players slipping on them were Villa’s back four who were opened up time and again from the devastating attacks born from defence, made in the midfield and executed so well by a forward line, stand up Sergio Aguero.

It was Aguero who scored his 175th, 176th and 177th goals on Sunday. It was Aguero who passed Thierry Henry’s decade long record of scoring the most goals in the Premier League for a foreign player, and it was Aguero who scored his 12th hat trick, a record in the league surpassing Alan Shearer’s 11.

Aguero earned a whopping 16 pts in the Euro Fantasy League rankings too. He has 60 pts in total and is the current 2nd best potent striker in the rankings. From 12 starts Aguero has scored 13 goals and assisted in another three.

Rightly so Aguero should be championed but let’s not forget Riyad Mahrez who also had a spectacular game scoring two goals himself and at one point both him and Aguero were on 2 goals a piece and we were just wondering who of the two was going to complete a hat trick? Mahrez may have lost out on that battle, but it didn’t matter one bit. Mahrez is now ranked 5th in the fantasy rankings for Premier League strikers with 52 points. He has scored 7 goals and assisted in another 7 and that is an impressive stat.

Talking of stats City had a stunning 22 goal attempts, with 12 on target against Villa, just more than 50% of shots were hitting their target and 50% of goals flew in as a result. Gabriel Jesus’ 9th goal of the season was largely forgotten then giving the exploits of Aguero’s record and Mahrez’s goals.

This was a statement win for City and they would have loved to have kept a clean sheet too but Villa were awarded a last minute penalty, to give what fans remained crumbs from the richness of a six banquet meal.

What this means for the league may seem like little. Guardiola will hope that if Liverpool cannot lose games this season they will start drawing them and dropping points. It would mean that City would have to do what they did last season and go on a truly unique run which saw them win every game in the new year. The league title seems unlikely but at least City are interested in giving a challenge, and, that is the least one could ask for.

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Premier League Weekend picks for Matchday 22

As most teams will be preparing for their 22nd game of the season in the Premier League we pick out 11 players from this weekend who could make a difference to your fantasy football points. Some of these players you may already have in your team and others we can suggest to you, maybe it is time to ditch some and transfer some in? Based on the games this weekend we weigh up the players who could make a big difference to your team.

Formation: 4-4-2

Goalkeeper: Kasper Schmeichel- Leicester

Schmeichel has 44 points which is the most in the Premier League and is currently ranked no.1. in the fantasy league standings. He is only 7m to bring in and has already achieved 8 clean sheets. His team Leicester are in 2nd place in the league and are at home to Southampton who are 12th. Possibly another clean sheet is on the horizon?

Defender: Cedric Soares- Southampton

Cedric Soares has already been involved in 3 clean sheets for Southampton, a club who are improving in the league. The Saints have conceded just 3 goals in their last five games with Soares in defence and he can be brought in for just 7m.

Defender: Craig Cathcart-Watford

Watford have been poor this season but their recent form since appointing Nigel Pearson has been brilliant and the club have conceded just 4 goals in their last five games. Cathcart is the clubs leading defender with 15 points and he would cost a bargain 4.5m to bring in for the weekend.

Defender: Harry Maguire- Manchester United

Manchester United seem to go through bouts of good and bad spells which can linger. But the club will be playing Norwich at home and have the quality to win and keep a clean sheet. Maguire is their main man in defence and he is just 7m. He is currently United’s 2nd best defender based on fantasy league points.

Defender: Sokratis- Arsenal

Sokratis only has 8 points but that’s good enough to be Arsenal’s best defender. The club have changed under Mikel Arteta and face Crystal Palace at the weekend would could be a low scoring game, that could work in the defender’s favour. He would cost 6.5m to bring in.

Midfielder: Mesut Ozil- Arsenal

Sticking with the Gunners, Mesut Ozil has looked like a different player since Mikel Arteta took over the reigns at Arsenal. The club play Crystal Palace who have a stubborn defence and the talents of Ozil could well unlock the Eagles tactics. Ozil would cost 8m to bring in.

Midfielder: Theo Walcott- Everton

With some injuries mounting up, Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti may rely on Theo Walcott to start Everton’s home match against Brighton. The club will be the favourites to get back to winning ways, and Walcott’s pace could be the difference. He has earned 7 points from 8 starts this season.

Midfielder: Riyad Mahrez- Manchester City

Mahrez is starting to score goals again and Manchester City have looked impressive in attack lately. At the weekend they will face Aston Villa away from home and will be the big favourites. Normally City players would be expensive but for what he brings to the table Mahrez would cost 9.5m which seems like a bargain.

Midfielder: Joao Moutinho- Wolves

Joao Moutinho has been really solid for an impressive Wolves and has earned 20 points already with one goal this season but also 6 assists. He would cost 7.5m to bring in and Wolves will be at home to Newcastle where they should start as the favourites.

Striker: Sebastian Haller- West Ham

Sebastian Haller has struggled this season but with David Moyes now in charge of West Ham he looks like a player full of confidence and has scored since Moyes got re-appointed. West Ham will play Sheffield United away from home and goals could be the order of the day. Haller would cost 9m and has 6 goals so far.

Striker: Moise Kean – Everton

This is our risky choice since Moise Kean has been poor for Everton this season. But new manager Carlo Ancelotti believes in him and he might start the former Juventus player. He would only cost 4.5m to bring in and it is clear he has talent but is lacking some confidence. Everton are at home to Brighton and could score a few goals.

How well do you know English football? Want to challenge the best English Fantasy Managers? Play www.epl-fantasy.com now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EPL Weekend Picks – Week 34

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This weekend’s Premier League will see the season continuing to take shape as, with just a few games to go, there is still a wide open title race and only one relegation spot left to fill. Liverpool leapfrogged Man City back into top spot last weekend, but the Citizens have a game in hand – just how much of a say will Chelsea and Crystal Palace have on Sunday against the top two? Palace host City while Chelsea travel to Liverpool and so there could well be more twists and turns in this title race yet. Towards the bottom of the table, already-relegated Huddersfield and Fulham both have tricky fixtures, with the Terriers at Tottenham while Fulham host Everton. Let’s take on a 4-3-3 here and see which players will fancy their chances.

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EPL Player of the Week – Raheem Sterling (Man City)

Raheem-Sterling-Manchester-City-1

Life at the top is certainly tough! The old adage that it is harder to defend a title than to win it has certainly seemed apt in recent Premier League seasons, with champions often finding themselves struggling to put up a serious defence the year after lifting the trophy. That has not been the case this year, however, with Pep Guardiola’s reigning champions Manchester City sitting on top of the league table with just a handful of games remaining. Liverpool seem to be the only genuine contenders to City’s crown, with the Reds sitting just one point behind the Citizens at the time of writing.It is imperative, therefore, that City’s players continue their excellent run of form as the season begins to wind down.

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EPL Best XI – Week 29

pereiraThis past weekend saw no less than three local derbies in the Premier League, with two of them winding up as draws. Of the six clubs involved in these three games only Chelsea triumphed, toppling Scott Parker’s Fulham 2-1 at Craven Cottage. It was a spirited performance from the hosts, who sacked manager Claudio Ranieri last week after only 19 games in charge. Spurs hosted Arsenal while Liverpool made the short trip to Everton, with both of these games ending in stalemate. Arguably the finest action to be seen was at Old Trafford, where resurgent Man Utd battled to a 3-2 home win against Southampton, who on this performance alone really should not find themselves in the trouble they are in. Adopting a 4-3-3 this time, let’s see which players stood out!

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EPL Weekend Picks – Round 11

Riyad Mahrez

The 11th week of the 2018-19 Premier League season sees Bournemouth take on Manchester United and Liverpool travel to Arsenal. Let’s take a look at some players who you should consider adding to your EPL Fantasy teams before the weekend…

GK – Hugo Lloris (Tottenham)
We’re going to look specifically at high-scoring players who sometimes go under the EPL Fantasy radar in this week’s picks, starting with Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. The World Cup winner has 21 points this season — only four goalkeepers have more — and he could easily add to that tally against Wolves on Saturday.

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EPL Best XI – Ross Barkley leads the way

Ross Barkley Chelsea

The 10th weekend of the 2018-19 Premier League season saw Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea maintain their unbeaten starts, while Arsenal’s winning streak ended with a 2-2 draw at Crystal Palace. Let’s take a look at the top EPL Fantasy points scorers from the weekend’s games…

GK: Ben Foster, Watford – seven points
Ben Foster gets the nod in goal after helping Watford to a 3-0 win against Huddersfield on Saturday. He has kept two clean sheets in a row, earning an impressive 14 points in the process.

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EPL Weekend Picks – Round 7

Joao Moutinho

The seventh week of the 2018-19 Premier League season kicks off with West Ham v Manchester United on Saturday. Let’s take a look at 11 players who you should consider adding to your EPL Fantasy team before the weekend.

GK – Ederson (Manchester City)
Only 10 goalkeepers have picked up an average of one point or more in 2018-19 so far, which goes to show how difficult it is to select a reliable scorer of points in between the sticks. Ahead of Manchester City v Brighton on Saturday, you can’t go wrong with 10.00m-rated Ederson.

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EPL Best XI – Riyad Mahrez leads the way

Riyad Mahrez

The sixth weekend of the Premier League season saw Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea maintain their unbeaten starts to the campaign, while Burnley picked up their first three points of 2018-19 with a 4-0 win over Bournemouth. Let’s take a look at which players made our Best XI of the Weekend.

GK: Petr Cech, Arsenal – seven points
With eight teams keeping clean sheets this weekend, EPL Fantasy managers picked up plenty of points from goalkeepers and defenders. Petr Cech was key in the first half of Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Everton, earning himself seven points.

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Man City vs Arsenal is the EPL game of the weekend

mancityarsenalWith the Premier League now set to return to pitches up and down England and Wales, this long summer is drawing to a close. We did of course have the World Cup in Russia to tide us over, but nothing quite beats the few months of the year where you can turn out and watch your favoured club in action each and every weekend – though some people tend to enjoy more happy afternoons at local grounds than others do of course! With that in mind, it’s time to take a quick look ahead and see just which ground will have the most neutral eyes on it, and there can be few contenders to come anywhere close to Man City travelling to Arsenal on what must be one of the earliest Super Sunday fixtures in living memory!

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