The Fantasy Football transfer window for game week 35 is now closed. Join me in our virtual Fantasy Football world while we watch the games and hope our points rack up. Sit back, relax, enjoy the football and hang-out here with your fellow Fantasy Football managers and chat in real time as the action unfolds. Perhaps everyone else is experiencing the same “Aggghhhh” player difficulties you are, or the same “Yeahhhh” moment as your captain puts the ball into the back of the net? Talking Points is simply a chat area for us Fantasy Football First managers. Tell us about your highs and lows, and get into the match day atmosphere. Get involved.
To help you with your early transfer, these are the expected talking points for this weekend
|Everton (A)||Middlesbrough (H)||Watford (H)||Sunderland (H)|
|West Brom (A)|
Chelsea restored their lead at the top of the Premier League to seven points with a convincing win over Southampton at Stamford Bridge. The Blues face one tricky fixture at Everton but once that’s out of the way, it’s smooth sailing with games against Middlesbrough (H), Watford (H), West Brom (A) and Sunderland (H) to end the season.
Conte manoeuvred his resources to perfection in the victory against Spurs at Wembley – and did it again here as Hazard and Costa made decisive contributions to a vital Chelsea win. Diego Costa was quiet in the first half but then exploded in the second – scoring his 50th and 51st league goal for the Blues. Hazard on the other hand has scored 15 league goals this season – his best return in a single campaign in the competition. Keep one or both until the end of the season.
The Blues have now failed to keep a clean sheet in their past 11 Premier League games, but both Alonso and Cahill made offensive contributions with an assist and a goal respectively. For those playing their wildcard soon it’s worth including a Chelsea defender, despite the lack of clean sheets.
|Middlesbrough (A)||Palace (H)||West Brom (H)||Watford (A)|
Manchester City and Manchester United fought out a goalless draw at the Etihad Stadium. This was deja vu for City and Guardiola – so much possession and territory, too little result. They remain in fourth place, with United a point behind in fifth as both sides have five games remaining. City’s schedule does look very good though with games against Middlesbrough (A), Palace (H), West Brom (H), Leicester (H) and Watford (A).
Vincent Kompany’s return to form and fitness has been massive bonus for Manchester City and Guardiola – and the 31-year-old who has captained the club to two Premier League titles looked back to his imperious best against Manchester United. This was the first time in more than a year Kompany has put together a sequence of three successive games and came after a tough 120 minutes in Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final defeat by Arsenal at Wembley. The Belgian looks to be the most nailed on option at the back and could be a great differential, although Pep’s rotation policy is still looming large.
In attack Sergio Aguero attempted nine shots in this match. The last player to attempt more in a competitive game against the Red Devils was Cristiano Ronaldo (11) for Real Madrid in a Champions League match back in March 2013. This equals the most shots that Aguero has attempted in a Premier League game without scoring (9) – level with his appearance versus West Brom in March 2015. The Argentinian is now prone to rotation as Gabriel Jesus recovered from injury and will certainly be pushing for a starting spot.
|Man City (H)||Chelsea (A)||So’ton (H)||Liverpool (A)|
Middlesbrough had a mixed week after they lost heavily at Bournemouth but then won the Tees-Wear derby to fellow strugglers Sunderland and register a first victory of 2017. This victory means Boro cannot be relegated this weekend but they face a tough run-in against Manchester City (H), Chelsea (A), Southampton (H) and Liverpool (H).
In a tepid encounter, de Roon’s alertness to Adam Clayton’s lofted pass was a rare moment of quality. The Dutchman has scored twice in his last four Premier League appearances, as many as in his previous 26 combined. Coming in at 4.4 million you can keep de Roon as a bench filler but replace all other assets as soon as possible.
|Stoke (A)||Spurs (H)||Liverpool (H)||Burnley (A)|
West Ham’s Slaven Bilic was the happier of the two managers as the point against Everton edged his side closer to Premier League safety on 38 points, seven clear of Swansea in 18th, with four games remaining. On paper those games are quite tricky, with trips to Stoke and Burnley, as well as home games against Tottenham and Liverpool.
West Ham showed a lot of effort, dedication and determination in an uninspiring encounter, but if any team deserved three points it was the Hammers. They limited Everton to one chance but lacked quality in their decision-making on the other end.
Adrian kept his fourth clean sheet of the season; the same number fellow West Ham keeper Darren Randolph has kept but the Spaniard has played 10 games fewer (12 games). He was shielded superbly by a three-man defence in which Collins excelled. He made a game-high eight clearances and five interceptions, and kept Lukaku quiet. Stay away from the Hammers unless you’re looking for a left-field differential.
Other Talking Points
- Lukaku failed to have a shot on target against West Ham – the third successive away game the Belgian striker has failed to do so. It is the longest run without a shot on target away from home in the Premier League.
- No player has scored more headed goals than Fernando Llorente in the Premier League this season (six – level with Romelu Lukaku and Michail Antonio).
- Only Kevin de Bruyne (13) has more Premier League assists than Gyfli Sigurdsson this season (12 – level with Christian Eriksen), while the Iceland international has provided more from set plays than any other player in the competition (seven).
- Another tireless performance by Clucas, who covered 11.73km in the centre of the park, more than any other player bar fellow midfielder Alfred N’Diaye (11.8km). He also led his team in tackles (5) and – most importantly – made sure of three priceless points with a stunning goal.
- Marc Pugh will not forget his 250th league appearance for Bournemouth in a hurry. The 30-year-old set up the first and scored the third. While the Cherries do not have double gameweeks, they do have an easy schedule and keeping a cheap bench filler could be useful. Get Pugh as a differential or King, who has now scored 11 Premier League goals in 2017.
- Benteke’s sharpness in front of the Liverpool goal was the glaring difference between the two sides and he deserves all the plaudits after this display. Benteke (11) is one of only four players to register 10 or more away goals in the Premier League this term (Alexis Sanchez 13, Sergio Aguero 12 and Zlatan Ibrahimovic 10).
- Since Philippe Coutinho made his Premier League debut in February 2013, only Yaya Toure (14) has scored more goals from outside the box than the Brazilian (13). Coutinho is the fifth Brazilian player to score 10 or more goals in a single Premier League season after Gilberto Silva, Juninho, Robinho and team-mate Roberto Firmino.
- Ander Herrera has provided six assists in the Premier League this term, as many as in his previous two campaigns combined. The Spaniard cemented his place in the starting eleven and might be worth a punt.
- As well as contributing to the winner, Monreal gained possession eight times in Arsenal’s new-look three-man defence. Get him for the double game weeks or go cheap with Gabriel.
- Sunderland will be relegated at the weekend if:
- They lose to Bournemouth and Hull avoid defeat at Southampton
- They lose to Bournemouth and Swansea – who play on Sunday – beat Manchester United
- They draw with Bournemouth and Hull win at Southampton
- Christian Eriksen has had a hand in 16 goals in his last 12 games in all competitions for Tottenham (5 goals, 11 assists). Since his debut in September 2013, he has scored more Premier League goals from outside the box than any other player (14).