1 month ago
The time has come, ladies and gentlemen, for the decisive week of the English Premier League — and oh boy, are there still things to be decided! Manchester City are 1 point ahead of Liverpool, with both teams playing at home against Aston Villa and Wolves. The battle at the bottom of the table will be no less fierce, with Burnley and Leeds tied on points. Leeds are facing a tough test away at Brentford, who will be looking to put the cherry on the top of their first-ever premier league campaign with a home victory. Burnley are hosting an inform Newcastle and are far ahead of Leeds in terms of goal difference. All ten games kick off at the same time on Sunday in one of the most exciting GW 38 to date. Direct buy-in is €100 in case you haven't won any entries via satellites, with €10,000 going to the first — let's say goodbye to the English Premier League in style, this tournament is not to be missed.
It is very tempting to pick City and Liverpool assets this week, but I believe the games might be more challenging and nerve-racking than supporters from both sides would like. Salah is questionable while nailing a City attacking assets is always tricky. Defensive picks from both sides hold more value in my opinion, with City's assets around 1mln. cheaper.
Arsenal have a point to prove in front of their fans after a dismal performance away at Newcastle, which most likely rids them of Champions League commitments next year (given Tottenham beat or draw Norwich away in GW38). Their opponent Everton might still be dizzy after overcoming a 2-goal deficit on Thursday and securing their Premier League status for the next season. Still, Arsenal assets are a bit too pricey for me this time around, while Richarlison (2nd in shots, 7th in Xg since GW32) at 7.6 may offer good value.
Similarly to Everton, players from games that mean nothing including the likes of Leicester, Manchester United, Southampton, Brighton or Crystal Palace can hold some value. These games in the last week of the season tend to be rather wild with both teams just going at each other, leading to goals galore.
General word of advice - look for goals in unlikely places as those gameweeks tend to be wild in areas where little matters for the teams involved.
The budget is set at 105 mln., with 10 games making up the slate. Let's jump right into it.
vs Norwich, away
Tottenham will be looking to kill two birds with one stone in their final game of the year. They might get the coveted Champions League spot and finish above their arch-rivals Arsenal if they beat Norwich away. One of the easiest games of the season and with the golden boot race still on, I fancy Son and Kane to be extremely motivated. Currently, Son is one goal behind Salah with 21, and I won’t even rule out him taking a penalty instead of Kane if it comes to that.
Kane leads the charts with 27 shots and 4.19 xG since GW32 and should be considered for captaincy. Son has taken 14 shots and trails Kane in xG with 2.75, while leading the Englishman with 15 chances created to 9. Kane also has taken almost twice as many touches in the opponent’s box than the Korean (37 to 24).
I probably don’t have to remind you that Norwich is the worst defence of the league (1.93xG conceded/90 on average) and I won’t be surprised if ultra-motivated Tottenham score 3+ goals here. The only drawback is the likely sky-high ownership percentage for both.
Tottenham are projected to score 2.54 goals
vs Manchester United, HOME
Crystal Palace is on my mind again looking to finish on the high against a top but beatable opponent, given the state of affairs at United. They also might be a bit off the playing rhythm, having missed the last gameweek.
Crystal Palace are in the middle of the pack when it comes to xG/90 since GW 32 with 1.32/90. They are 7th this season (right below United) with 1.47 xG/per home game, which is good news for Zaha, who is coming off one of his best seasons for the Eagles with 13 goals and 2 assists.
Zaha leads the team with 0.44xG/90, but Mateta is ahead in terms of non-penalty xG with 0.36 and I expect him to start. The duo leads the team for shots per game and penalty-area touches. In case Edouard starts ahead of Mateta, he is also a viable pick against a likely stale United side. I have no doubt the home crowd will be pushing the Eagles forward for the big win to celebrate the end of a successful campaign under a new manager.
Palace are projected to score 1.27 goals
vs Watford, HOME
Chelsea are in top-4 for xG allowed since GW32 with 0.75 and Watford have not looked like scoring since like forever. Alonso scored 3 times in his last 7 games, averaging 0.23xG+0.25xA from the left-wingback slot.He is taking 2.29 shots/90 and is one of Chelsea’s most in-form players coming into the penultimate game of the season.
James is slightly ahead in terms of shots (2.33/90, 4 shots in his last game) but behind in xG with 0.09. His xA is on par with Alonso’s both wingbacks love getting into opponents' box (4.14 to 3.67 touches). The duo also share some set-pieces with Alonso taking most of the direct freekicks.
Mount is leading the chances created team chart with 2.67/90 with Alonso a close second with 2.57. He is second only to Werner with 5.83 touches/90 in opponent’s penalty area and shots with 3.33/90.
I believe this stack offers a solid alternative to the other premium options of the slate given the clean sheet odds and defenders' attacking potential.
Chelsea are given 56% to keep a clean sheet
vs Newcastle, HOME
Newcastle have already broken the hearts of Arsenal fans beating them 2:0 last week to snatch Champions League football from them, will they play the party poopers at Burnley this week? They might, of course, sitting in the top-1o for xG/90 with 1.30 across the last six games. But While playing slightly more expansive football under the interim manager, I believe this is the game where Burnley go back to the roots – defend deep, don’t conceded, play on the counter. They have too much at stake (their Premier League status) to risk.
Pope is your go-to pick when it comes to Burnley’s backline – he is averaging 3.7 saves at home as a welcome bonus. Collins has 10 shots (0.92 xG) in his last 7 games and Burnley are traditionally dangerous at set-pieces.
I don’t want to really go for a 3-man stack here as there are better options in attack elsewhere and this promises to be a tight affair. Cornet would be my pick of the bunch with 2.65 xG in his last five and 13 shots to go with it. He is likely to be deployed again as an OOP forward, coming off an assist in his last game against Aston Villa.
Burnley are given 31% to keep a clean sheet
Alexey, also known as KJIIOIIIKA, has been playing daily fantasy football since 2015 on various European sites. Scratches his fantasy itch on FanTeam, where he has a net profit of €6000+ with more than 2500 tournaments played and a 30%+ ROI. FanTeam's 2018 World Championship of Fantasy Football finalist. As Head of Content at DraftGym, his mission is to help our young European fantasy community grow. A proud father of two, plays ice-hockey at the regional level, loves board games.