20 Teams: 20 Players looks at the best fantasy football options from each team, each week. From the must starts to the best of a bad bunch, here are this week’s picks for Gameweek 36 of the 2015/16 season.
Arsenal (Norwich City H)
Mesut Ozil: Arsenal’s opponents in Gameweek 36 have been less than watertight this season, shipping five goals over the course of their last three games, but the Canaries may be looking at Sunderland’s 0-0 draw with the Gunners for inspiration. The man to break through any defence in this Arsenal team is of course Mesut Ozil with 18 assists so far.
Aston Villa (Watford H)
Ashley Westwood: A Villa man through and through, Ashley Westwood will be the first name on the teamsheet for Aston Villa against Watford in Gameweek 36 by virtue of the fact that he was only the second Villains player to get on a scoresheet in six games.
Bournemouth (Everton A)
Callum Wilson: It’s been a slow process to get back to form and fitness for Callum Wilson following his cruciate knee injury back in September and Eddie Howe has been gently easing him back into the squad in Gameweek 36 against Everton. There’ll be goals in a clash between these two sides and Wilson could really mark a return with one.
Chelsea (Tottenham Hotspur A)
Cesc Fabregas: The Spain international has already voiced his desire to halt Spurs’ dissipating pursuit of Leicester and the Premier League title and on Monday he has the opportunity to do exactly that. Fabregas has clawed himself back into some form of late, contributing three assists just last week alone and will look to make a dent in the considerable defence of their Monday night hosts.
Crystal Palace (Newcastle United A)
Yannick Bolasie: Newcastle United are looking a far more dogged team under Rafael Benitez but their chances of escaping the relegation pitfalls are looking increasingly on a knife edge. Palace may be a blunt team up top at the best of times but Yannick Bolasie is the go to man to do the damage against the Toon. The Congolese international has two goals in his last two games.
Everton (Bournemouth H)
James McCarthy: Everon’s goalscoring exploits have been pretty threadbare of late, much like their wins over the past number of Gameweeks, as such it seems unwise to invest too much confidence in their forward players – or defenders for that matter. James McCarthy’s workman contributions should serve to give at least 1000 PlayON points however, an option in damage limitation.
Leicester City (Manchester United A)
Jeffrey Schlupp: With Jamie Vardy out of the picture last time out, Claudio Ranieri put Jeffrey Schlupp – out of the starting XI since autumn – back into the fray to make up for a pace deficit. It transpired to be a cunning play by the Leicester gaffer as Schlupp was one of the Foxes most effective players on the day, setting up Leonardo Ulloa on their way to a comprehensive 4-0 victory.
Liverpool (Swansea A)
Daniel Sturridge: The often enigmatic Liverpool forward appears to have put the worst of injury woes behind him and is now putting together the kind of performances that made him such a potent player in the first place. It’s four goals in his last five games in all competitions and eight goals in just nine starts this league campaign. With the kind of form the Reds are in, you suspect the Swans don’t stand much of a chance.
Manchester City (Southampton A)
Kelechi Iheanacho: This youngster has come up trumps time and again for Manuel Pellegrini and it was no different as City cruised to a confident 4-0 victory over Stoke last time out. The Nigerian youngster came on to astounding effect in Gameweek 35 and tore Stoke’s defence to pieces with a superbly taken brace. The Saints are more resolute prospect but Iheanacho could pose and canny differential pick.
Manchester United (Leicester City H)
Anthony Martial: Leicester may well have to wait another week to be crowned Premier League champions and you suspect someone like Anthony Martial might have his say in that. The Frenchman – alongside David De Gea – has been United’s outstanding player this season and with eight goals in 26 starts this season, you wouldn’t bet against him making a dent in that Leicester dream.
Newcastle United (Crystal Palace H)
Andros Townsend: The ex-Spurs man currently looks like the Toon’s most impressive player and you feel it will be through his contributions that Newcastle will escape this relegation scrap.
Norwich City (Arsenal A)
Wes Hoolahan: The Irishman probably hasn’t been as involved as he’d like in the latter half of the season, but he possesses the ability to play Norwich out of this relegation dogfight. Do Norwich have the strike power necessary to finish off his chances however?
Southampton (Manchester City H)
Shane Long: Long is currently in the form of his life and has been at the heart of anything good that Southampton have produced in recent times. He’s bagged two goals and four assists in his last four games and could be more than a handful for a City side with one eye on the Champions League.
Stoke City (Sunderland H)
Ibrahim Afellay: The ex-Barca man has been the primary string puller for Stoke in recent times and although the trio of Shaqiri, Arnautovic and Bojan have grabbed the headlines, Afellay has quietly went about his business putting together a goal and an assist in five games but the recent run of form for Stoke suggests they may struggle to Sunderland.
Sunderland (Stoke City A)
Patrick van Aanholt: When all was not right at the Stadium of Light, there was at least one man in the starting XI that could be proud of his consistent performances, that was Patrick van Aanholt. The dutchman has shown himself to be one of the outstanding attacking fullbacks in the league this season and has contributed goals when needed to his team’s cause. Stoke have been found wonting in both defence and attack this season and the Black Cats’ left back could take full advantage.
Swansea (Liverpool H)
Gylfi Sigurdsson: Once again, the dependency on Gylfi Sigurdsson at Swansea means that he is the only figure at Swansea currently worth including in your fantasy XIs. His quality on the set piece could prove especially useful against a Liverpool back five who are prone in that situation.
Tottenham Hotspur (Chelsea A)
Toby Alderweireld: Spurs’ title bid may have well have been buried against West Brom in Gameweek 35 but Pochettino’s men looks poised to fight it down to the wire. It could be easier said than done against Chelsea but with the likes of Toby Alderweireld in defence, they won’t want to give the Blues an inch.
Watford (Aston Villa H)
Heurelho Gomes: Despite his best efforts, Watford’s undoubted performer of the season, Heurelho Gomes was unable to keep out Crystal Palace as Watford succumbed to FA Cup semi-final defeat last weekend. Against a Villa who have buy in large been unable to buy goals this season – Gameweek 35 aside – you can expect a bounce-back clean sheet from the Brazilian.
West Brom (West Ham United H)
Craig Dawson: The uncapped Englishman has been West Brom’s Mr. Dependable at right back this season and went from villain to hero as he scored a goal at each end as the Baggies grabbed a late draw to effectively foil Spurs’ title bid. Another consecutive goal from the defender may be wishful thinking but Dawson has been one of the bargain fantasy acquisitions this season.
West Ham (West Brom A)
Andy Carroll: The divine ponytail of East London is in the form of his life of late and the physical battle he’s bound to endure against West Brom should suit his unique set of skills down to the ground. It’s been five goals and an assist in his last five games in all competitions and his blossoming relationship with Dimitri Payet is becoming a welcome bookend to an impressive Hammers season.