Playing The Fixtures – Gameweek 7

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Gameweek 7 is fast approaching and finding the right team is getting even more important. Managers at the top of their leagues are sitting pretty and have no immediate need to chase the differential.

That leaves the dedicated in the league to look for that weekly hidden gem to use their free transfer. The rest will fade out and sink further and further into the abyss.

Nearly 250,000 managers have used their wild cards this week, with the rest keeping their powder dry. Finding the weekly Top Player is not easy but you can edge your bets by doubling up on teams with good fixtures. This Playing the Fixtures post will shortlist a few teams to consider.

Arsenal

(bur, SWA, MID, sun, TOT, mun)

Arsenal have been ruthless in front of goal recently, scoring 12 goals in four games. Unsurprisingly, Alexis Sánchez has been the stand out Gunner. In those four games he has scored 4 and assisted 2.

The two standout fixtures of their next 6 are Swansea and Sunderland. With both teams struggling at the back, they may struggle to contain an Arsenal attack that has seen six different scorers contribute to the 12 goals scored.

The matches against Burnley and Middlesbrough are likely to be more of a test for the Gunners to break down. Middlesbrough have made the most tackles in the league and Burnley have made the most clearances. Burnley have a habit of being able to block shots too.

Fantasy Football managers should also consider looking at the Arsenal defence over the next four weeks too. Goals have been short for the four teams, they make up the lowest five scoring teams so far. Middlesbrough have scored 6, Burnley, Sunderland and Swansea have scored 5 and Bournemouth have scored 4.

Options

Premium: Sánchez (£11.1 – 18,2%), Özil (£9.5 – 7.2%) / Bellerín (£6.5 – 24.8%)

Alternative: Walcott (£7.6 – 4.2%) / Koscielny (£6.1 – 9.3%), Monreal (£6.0 – 4.6%)

Liverpool

(swa, MUN, WBA, cry, WAT, sou)

Liverpool’s goal scoring form has been like that of Arsenal, again scoring 12 in four games. Seven different players have contributed to the 12 goals, with the bulk coming from the midfield.

As already mentioned, Swansea are struggling in defence and a prolific Liverpool team are expected to continue their form. Man United will prove a tougher test so be cautious with this fixture despite their unpredictable form.

West Brom and Palace have performed well defensively so far, which may slow down the Liverpool attack. With the Liverpool midfield scoring goals for fun good attacking points are still likely. The Baggies are tied second for clean sheets, sharing the position with eight other teams who have kept two. Palace have made the second most tackles in the league, totalling 140 tackles.

Watford may also provide the opportunity for the Liverpool midfield to score good attacking points having conceded 11 goals. Only one team outside the bottom three has conceded more at this point in the season.

Options

Premium: Mané (£9.0 – 15.0%)

Alternative: Lallana (£7.2 – 12.9%), Firmino (£8.4 – 9.7%)

Watford

(BOU, mid, swa, HUL, liv, LEI)

Watford’s performance this season has been a bit of a mixed bag. They managed to overturn a two goal deficit to beat West Ham, followed that performance to beat Man United 3-1 but then come a cropper to Burnley in gameweek 6.

The next four teams for Watford look good for both attacking and defensive points. The highest placed team in the league is Hull who are sitting 14th. They have conceded 12 goals and have had to make the most saves, 28 so far.

Bournemouth have only managed 3 shots from inside the box, Swansea and Middlesbrough have managed 5 and Hull have 6. If Watford can find the style of play that beat West Ham and Man United there should be some good defensive points scored.

Be sure to rotate your defence when Watford face Liverpool and Leicester. There are decent fixtures for Watford in gameweek’s 13 and 14 so plan your tactics accordingly.

Options

Premium: Ighalo (£7.3 – 5.8%), Deeney (£7.0 – 6.2%) / Gomes (£5.0 – 2.4%)

Alternative: Capoue (£5.2 – 41.3%), Pereyra (£6.0 – 0.9%) / Zuniga (£4.4 – 2.0%)

Everton

(CRY, mci, bur, WHU, che, SWA)

It is worth taking a look at Everton over the next few weeks, although following their loss to Bournemouth it may seem a risk. Romelu Lukaku found his knack for scoring by grabbing a hat-trick against Sunderland. A week later he added another to his tally in a rather dubious fashion.

Palace are next for The Toffees who need to bounce back instantly in the league. Pardew’s men are good for a challenge and have conceded 7 goals. With Lukaku over his slight injury from last week, he will be back leading the Everton front line.

Burnley have adapted to their second stint in the Premier League under Dyche well. They are good defensively and have conceded 8 goals, while others around them (notably, Champions Leicester) have conceded 11 goals. Their struggle has been finding the goal for themselves. Swansea are struggling in much the same way. They are missing a goal scoring presence with Fernando Llorente still finding his form. Swansea have been forced in to 172 clearances, the fourth highest, which gives an indication of how much pressure they have had to go through.

Man City are rampant at the moment, its hard to see any Fantasy Football team score decent points against them. West Ham and Chelsea on the other hand are faltering. West Ham have only won 1 of their opening 6 games, while a draw to Swansea seemed to knock the stuffing out of Chelsea. The concern for West Ham is in defence, they have conceded 16 goals in 6 games, a league high. Chelsea look slow on the ball with no sense of purpose or intent. This is the ideal time to face both teams to score good points.

Options

Premium: Lukaku (£9.3 – 19.9%) / Baines (£5.6 – 11.4%)

Alternative: Bolasie (£6.1 – 6.1%), Barry (£4.6 – 7.7%) / Jagielka (£5.1 – 5.1%)

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