The EPL’s likely starting lineups for this weekend

Ross Barkley

This weekend we have another full schedule of ten EPL matches to look forward to. Here are the predicted lineups for every EPL game.

Crystal Palace v Brighton

Crystal Palace XI: Guaita, Wan-Bissaka, Dann, Tomkins, Van Aanholt, Kouyate, Milivojevic, Schlupp, Townsend, Batshuayi, Zaha

Brighton XI: Ryan, Montoya, Dunk, Duffy, Bernardo, Propper, Stephens, Bissouma, Knockaert, Andone, Jahanbakhsh

Questionable: n/a

Out: Speroni, Sakho, Souare (Crystal Palace); Balogun, Gross (Brighton)

EPL Best XI – Week 27

zahaWith the title race continuing to hot up, this weekend’s Premier League action saw contenders Liverpool going toe-to-toe with rivals Manchester United, while champions Manchester City took the weekend off from league action to battle Chelsea in Sunday’s Carabao Cup Final. At the lower end of the table, Newcastle hosted Huddersfield in what could be described as a relegation six-pointer. With that said, let us take a look at which players performed the best for their clubs over the past few days.

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The most wanted players outside of the Premier League top-six

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The Premier League and the top-six clubs will always be the main topic on a regular basis, no matter how they do against their opposition. The key big-game players such as Eden Hazard, Harry Kane, Mohamed Salah and Sergio Aguero are already starting to show their fine form as they look to help their respective clubs to challenge for the league title as well as compete in the other competitions.

However, the English media and the Premier League experts do not show enough respect and value to the teams and players outside of the top-six. The reason to why it is like this is not known as of yet, but the only time players from the likes of Crystal Palace, Everton and Southampton are mentioned, is when they are linked with a huge move to one of the clubs from the top of the league.

It’s time to now look at three most wanted players outside of the top-six in the Premier League…

James Tarkowski – Burnley

Looking at the campaign so far compared to recent seasons, Burnley’s defensive record  has been below standards and unconvincing as they have already conceded ten goals in six league games, which is more than the likes of Newcastle, Watford and Wolves. Though, when they are at their best, it is normally due to the ideal brilliance and consistent display of centre-back James Tarkowski.

The 25-year-old has been a dominant and reliable player for Sean Dyche’s side since joining the club from Brentford in February 2016. Furthermore, he has gone on to complete over 50 Premier League appearances and has also made his debut for the England national team early this year. Overall, his defensive tools could be really helpful for a side like Arsenal, Liverpool or Manchester United.

Ruben Neves – Wolves

Wolves have had a memorable transfer window in the summer, having brought in players with huge influence such as Adama Traore, Diogo Jota, Joao Moutinho and Ruben Neves. Out of the all the many signings that have arrived at Molineux Stadium, it’s been the perfect performances of central-midfielder Ruben Neves that has allowed the side to control and lead the matches from midfield.

Neves has already come up with some impressive showing against the likes of Everton, Manchester City and Manchester United, which has caught the attention of many as well as a number of scouts from the top-six sides. At the age of 21, the Portuguese international is showing that he can read the game on both areas of the pitch and has the pure ability to dictate the tempo and pull the strings.

Wilfred Zaha – Crystal Palace

The story of Wilfred Zaha and his time in the Premier League will always be deemed as an interesting and motivational one. He went from being a Manchester United player that had an attitude problem and was not given enough opportunities to show his worth, to an individual that has developed and maturely improved season by to season to go on to becoming the main man for Crystal Palace.

When he is not in the starting line-up, Roy Hodgson’s side suffer a lot as no other player in the squad has the ability to stretch the opponent’s defence and create chances for their team-mates in the final third like Zaha does. On top of that, he has the special spark to produce something out of nothing as well as proving himself to be one of the best dribblers in the league and in Europe.

Honourable mentions: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Abdoulaye Doucoure, Harry Maguire, Manuel Lanzini, Richarlison, Ryan Sessegnon and Wilfred Ndidi.

Play the most challenging Fantasy Premier League game here www.epl-fantasy.com

 

EPL Weekend Picks – Round 5

Alexandre Lacazette

Sadio Mane, Mo Salah, Sergio Aguero, Eden Hazard and Marcos Alonso are among the high-scorers for EPL Fantasy managers so far this season, but there are plenty of other players across the league who could be worthy of inclusion in your team this weekend.

GK – Kepa Arrizabalaga (Chelsea)
Chelsea’s big-money summer signing has picked up 12 points so far this season – Liverpool’s Alisson is the only goalkeeper with more – and he will surely add to that tally in the upcoming matches against low-scoring Cardiff and West Ham.

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Crystal Palace’s over-reliance on Wilfried Zaha is cause for concern

It is a startling statistic. Crystal Palace’s 2-0 defeat by Southampton last weekend means it is now almost two years since they won a Premier League game in which Wilfried Zaha has not featured. Alan Pardew was the club’s head coach for that come-from-behind 3-2 victory over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light in September 2016; Palace have since employed three other managers in Sam Allardyce, Frank de Boer and Roy Hodgson, while Pardew himself has worked as a pundit for Sky Sports and had a short spell as boss of West Bromwich Albion. It was, in the ever-changing world of football, a very long time ago.

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EPL Weekend Picks – Round 4

Mamadou Sakho

The first three weeks of the 2018-19 Premier League season have gone according to plan for many EPL Fantasy managers, with Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester City all having unbeaten starts to the campaign, but there are still plenty of players across the league who could be worthy of inclusion in your team this weekend.

GK – Jordan Pickford (Everton)
Everton haven’t started well defensively this season, conceding five goals in three games, but Jordan Pickford’s tally of -4 points should improve with home fixtures against Huddersfield and West Ham coming up. At 7.00m, he’s worth considering.

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Crystal Palace must be flexible to get the best out of Zaha

It is fair to say that Wilfried Zaha has quite the history with Watford. The Crystal Palace winger has faced the Hornets 14 times in his career, during which time he has scored two goals and provided six assists. Sunday’s 2-1 loss at Vicarage Road was only the third occasion on which Zaha has suffered defeat against the Hertfordshire outfit, the others being a 2-1 home reverse in 2015/16 and a 3-2 setback on the opening day of the Championship season in 2012/13.

That second-tier campaign ended with Palace and Watford locking horns at Wembley, with Zaha pivotal to the outcome of a tight and nervy play-off final. The Eagles were the better team for much of the encounter, but they had failed to make the breakthrough in regulation time and the match looked to be headed to a penalty shoot-out as the additional half-hour ticked away.

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Fantasy EPL Predictions: Matchweek 4

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Leicester vs Liverpool – King Power Stadium

While Maguire’s 95th minute winner will certainly send the Foxes tail up into this clash against the early league leaders, we think Liverpool will continue building their defensive record this season and claim the win. Fantasy managers who own stock in the Anfield Defense will look ahead with joy, as Leicester will be without Jamie Vardy, whose scoring record against the Reds is remarkable – 7 strikes in 5 games.

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Crystal Palace bosses continue to build on recent years’ success

parishSteve Parish is an individual who has accomplished much during his time as owner of Crystal Palace. Having led the consortium which purchased the Eagles from Simon Jordan back in 2010 following some financial difficulties, Palace have arguably gone from strength to strength with the 53-year-old at the helm. Heading the CPFC 2010 consortium alongside the likes of Stephen Browett, Jeremy Hosking and Martin Long, Parish has overseen the club solidify themselves as a top flight presence for the first time in many years, and has helped to nurture fine young talent along the way. Before Parish’s tenure as Chairman, they had never survived for more than a single season in the Premier League, having been relegated at the first time of asking in 1992/93, 1994/95, 1997/98 and 2004/05.

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Wilfried Zaha is the best signing of the summer

Wilfried Zaha looked set to leave Crystal Palace this summer. Rumours of interest from the top six – mainly Chelsea and Tottenham – were prevalent for several weeks, until they fizzled with a fortnight or so to go in the window.

Crystal Palace’s demands were probably part of the reason for that, but who can blame them?

The Premier League has such depth because smaller clubs are able to hold off the teams in Europe, or at least try to. The television income and sponsorship deals mean teams are not under significant financial pressure to sell their best players. Zaha falls into that bracket and no team was willing to make an offer that Palace ‘couldn’t refuse’.

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