Tom Fenley, our PlayON Pro and last year’s official Fantasy Premier League winner, takes you through the Premier League fixtures for Gameweek 36.
Sat 9 May 2015 – Premier League
Everton v Sunderland 12:45
Everton’s six match unbeaten run was ended promptly by a first-half Christian Benteke brace in their 3-2 loss at Villa Park. However, the Toffees should be confident heading into this one. The have four straight wins at home – with 8 goals scored and none conceded – making it clear that Goodison has become a fortress. Romelu Lukaku scored his ninth of the season – his first goal in four appearances – bringing him back on our radars for the final games.
Sunderland dropped into the relegation zone at a precarious time but remain only one point off safety with a game in hand. Two spot-kicks from Jordi Gomez gave them a vital three points as they dispatched Southampton 2-1 at the Stadium of Light last gameweek. The Black Cats have three away matches in their last four fixtures and have trips to Arsenal and Chelsea to come. A result in this match could be crucial for maintaining the push for seventeenth ahead of a six pointer with Leicester on Wearside.
Key Players: Romelu Lukaku, Conor Wickham
Aston Villa v West Ham 15:00
Christian Benteke struck again to give Tim Sherwood a fourth league win in eight matches, the Belgians ninth and ten goals of that run setting up the defeat of Everton. On his current form it’s difficult to look past the Villa striker in our PlayON squads and a home-tie with West Ham offers another fixture that Benteke could thrive in.
The Villans defence remains a concern, especially in front of their own fans, as they have failed to record a clean sheet in their last seven at Villa Park. There is a heavy reliance on Sherwood’s instinct to set out an attacking team.
West Ham won only their second match in thirteen, as a Mark Noble penalty secured them a 1-0 win against struggling Burnley. The Hammers have scored in just two of their last seven away matches, though a clean sheet at QPR on the last trip suggests they have tightened up at the back in recent times.
Key Players: Christian Benteke, Cheik Kouyate
Hull v Burnley 15:00
The 3-1 defeat to Arsenal was to be expected for Steve Bruce’s side, especially with this potentially season defining game up next. Hull travel to Tottenham and welcome Manchester United in their final two games so anything but three points here could be disastrous for the Tigers.
The previous wins over Liverpool and Crystal Palace indicate Hull should be able to dispatch the Clarets, and Dame N’Doye’s brace against the Eagle’s making him the most likely culprit to break down Burnley’s defence.
Sean Dyche will be ruing his strikers misfiring form, and a run four successive 1-0 defeats highlights the small margins that could cost them their Premier League status. No goals in six is not going to cut it for a side with top-flight aspirations. Burnley would need to win all three remaining games and rely on other teams to not pick up any points in order to stay up.
Key Players: Dame N’Doye, Tom Heaton.
Leicester v Southampton 15:00
The Foxes 3-0 rout of Newcastle was an extraordinary fifth win in six. While Nigel Pearson’s side are still not safe they certainly have the momentum and fixtures to secure the points required. Top-scorer Leonardo Ulloa took his total for the season to 10 against the Magpies, while Marc Albrighton also stood out with two assists following his goal against Chelsea, vindicating his late season run in the team.
The Saints went a third game without a win with mistakes in the box lending Sunderland a 2-1 win at the Stadium of Light. After conceding just two goals in five games they have conceded twice in each of their last three, signaling a decline of the defensive resilience that was the primary characteristic of a relatively successful season.
Key Players: Marc Albighton, Sadio Mane.
Newcastle v West Brom 15:00
Another game, another defeat for the free-falling Magpies, who now face a ninth consecutive loss if they fail get a result against West Brom. Newcastle were in the top half of the table when previous manager Alan Pardew left the club, but have now been sucked into the relegation fight and lie only two points ahead of Sunderland having played a game more.
West Brom visit St James’ following the 1-0 win at Old Trafford giving them back-to-back away victories for the first time this season, a worrying statistic for John Carver who looks increasingly out of his depth. Tony Pulis, meanwhile, has characteristically reached the 40-point mark with the Baggies, three clean sheets in a row the basis for an unbeaten streak that has all but secured their Premier League status.
Key Players: Tim Krul, Saido Berahino
Stoke v Tottenham 15:00
Stoke have won once in seven league outings,with the 2-0 defeat at Swansea their fourth defeat in that period. The Potters offered little in attack as they relinquished there place at eighth in the league to the Welsh side. After losing their last three meetings Mark Hughes’ side managed to beat Spurs 2-1 at White Hart Lane earlier in the season.
Spurs certainly looked interested in equalising after going 1-0 down to a Sergio Aguero goal at White Hart Lane, but were unable to avoid a second successive defeat at home. Europa League qualification is unlikely to provide the same impulsion to force results as the Champions League and Tottenham have looked bereft of ideas with their only victory in five a win over Newcastle.
Key Players: Charlie Adam, Christian Eriksen.
Crystal Palace v Man Utd 17:30
The run of five league victories in six must be a distant memory now for the Palace fans who watched their side succumb to a third straight defeat. An away tie at Stamford Bridge with Chelsea on the brink of the title was hardly likely to reap rewards, and the 1-0 score-line at least shows the Eagle’s managed some damage limitation. More worryingly, Alan Pardew’s side failed to score in those three defeats, limiting the appeal of Glenn Murray and Yannick Bolasie as PlayON options.
Manchester United have also lost three games in a row having previously not lost back-to-back games all season. Similarly they have not found the net in that run of losses but the 1-0 loss to West Brom was most likely just a freak result as 26 attempts on goal and nine on target imply it was an anomalous outcome.
Key Players: Julian Speroni, Juan Mata.
Sun 10 May 2015 – Premier League
Man City v QPR 13:30
After watching rivals Chelsea secure the title, City were still able to see through a 1-0 victory at White Hart Lane that ended a run of four away defeats.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side have dropped points only five times this season in 17 games at the Etihad and with five successive wins there it’s unlikely QPR will add to that record. Sergio Aguero has scored in each of his last four appearances and looks likely to claim the Golden Boot.
QPR have conceded 11 times in their last five away games, offering the Argentine a porous defense that should be ideal for to upping his tally. However, Chris Ramsey’s team will be motivated to sneak a win by any means, another loss would consign them to the Championship.
Key Players: David Silva, Charlie Austin.
Chelsea v Liverpool 16:00
Blooding some youngsters appears likely in the final weeks now that Chelsea have won the league, but Jose’s Mourinho’s plans for rotation are unclear. A full-strength team is likely against Liverpool but the last two weeks could be a mine-field for PlayON selection.
Liverpool’s 2-1 win over QPR was only their second win in six. A late Steven Gerrard header was required to seal the win after the captain’s second half penalty attempt had been saved. A goal and an assist for Phillipe Coutinho were evidence of his influence in recent matches. The Brazilian is increasingly the teams main creator and threat with out of form strikers. Chelsea have had the upper-hand in recent encounters, winning the last three league meetings.
Key Players: Nemanja Matic, Phillipe Coutinho.
Mon 11 May 2015 – Premier League
Arsenal v Swansea 20:00
After the goalless draw with Chelsea, the Gunners returned to winning ways with an emphatic first half performance against Hull giving them a three goal lead heading into the break. Hull grabbed a consolation goal in the second period but Arsenal were the better team overall – Alexis Sanchez in particular clearly of superior quality, the Chilean’s brace giving him sixteen goals in an impressive debut season.
Sanchez scored against Swansea earlier in the season at the Liberty Stadium but the Swans still won the match 2-1. Garry Monk’s side moved up to eighth with the victory over Stoke, and Jefferson Montero bagged his first goal for the club while Ki Sung-Yeung continued his fine season with his eighth goal of the campaign.
Key Players: Alexis Sanchez, Ki Sung-Yeung