Tom Fenley, our PlayON Pro and last year’s official Fantasy Premier League winner, takes you through the Premier League fixtures for Gameweek 37.
Sat 16 May 2015 – Premier League
Southampton v Aston Villa 12:45
The Saints’ 2-0 defeat at Leicester makes it one point from six matches on the road for Ronald Koeman’s side. However, they are unbeaten in four at St Mary’s, and are clearly preferring home comforts as the season draws to a close. For a team many predicted would be relegation candidates, the south-coast club have had a more than respectable season.
Villa’s 1-0 win over West Ham was a third victory in four games, taking Tim Sherwood’s team to 14th in the table – a drastic improvement on the squad’s performances since the uninspiring Paul Lambert’s reign. Ten goals in nine matches for Christian Benteke has been the basis of that run, though Tom Cleverly has scored in each of the last three, proving Sherwood’s attitude has increased confidence throughout his side.
Burnley v Stoke 15:00
Despite the 1-0 victory at Hull, only their second win in fifteen, Burnley have been condemned to relegation. Sean Dyche’s side have shown plenty of character, but have struggled to pick up points consistently. Danny Ings finally scored after going ten games without a goal; alas, it was too little too late.
Stoke had their best performance of the season in their penultimate match at the Brittania, the 3-0 win over Spurs pushing them to 9th in the league and increasing their chances of a top-half finish. Mark Hughes’ team have four wins in six now at home but are without an away victory in four as they visit Turf Moor. Charlie Adam has been the stand-out player for the Potters of late – netting four goals in six.
QPR v Newcastle 15:00
QPR sunk back to the Championship after an unpleasant 6-0 rout at Manchester City, a result that highlights how far this expensive squad was from staying up. Chris Ramsey should not be blamed for the lackluster performances that have provided a single goal in four outings. The manager had a difficult task and his players have lacked the work-rate and concentration required to avoid such heavy defeats.
Newcastle have been in similarly dire form – eight straight losses before the 1-1 draw with West Brom – and they could still end the season in the relegation places. That draw at St James’, courtesy of an Ayoze Perez equaliser may not be enough to keep the Magpies up, but a crucial win would likely make them safe.
Sunderland v Leicester 15:00
The 2-0 win at Goodison park provided Sunderland back-to-back wins for the first time this season. Now two points above Hull with a game in hand, Dick Advocaat looks set to keep the Black Cats in the Premier League. Options that would have been unthinkable a few weeks a go now appear as potential differentials for PlayON selection. Danny Graham scored the opener against the Toffees and also served up an assist in the previous win over Southampton. Jordi Gomez scored two penalties against the Saints and grabbed the assist for Graham’s goal at Everton.
Leicester continued their impressive run with a sixth win in seven. The 2-0 defeat of Southampton was their fourth clean sheet in five, having only conceded to Chelsea in that period. On that form, the Foxes have assets at either end worth consideration in our PlayON squads. A win here would likely assure survival for Nigel Pearson’s side.
Tottenham v Hull 15:00
Spurs’ form has dropped off at an alarming rate, and a single win (against Newcastle) in five matches suggests Mauricio Pocetinno’s men are not entirely convinced a Europa League spot is a desirable option. Harry Kane has scored once in six matches, highlighting the issues in the final third, whilst the 3-0 loss at Stoke indicates that Spurs are too porous at the back to keep a clean sheet. A home-tie versus Hull could be the perfect antidote to this malaise.
Hull failed to capitalise on Newcastle’s collapse into the relegation fight, losing 1-0 at the KC to relegated Burnley. The Tigers appear to have left themselves with too much to do in the last two matches, but stranger things have happened. A 2-0 win at Crystal Palace on their last away trip bodes well, Dame N’Doye scores a brace in that match and could be the hero here.
West Ham v Everton 15:00
A sixth loss in ten matches has fueled doubts about Sam Allardyce’s future at the club; the 1-0 defeat at Aston Villa was a third away trip without a goal, and Big Sam has admitted they have nobody capable of finding the net consistently . The absence of injured strikers Andy Carroll and Diafra Sakho is largely to blame, and makes it almost impossible for PlayON managers to confidently back the Hammers in their last two games.
After a five game unbeaten streak, including four wins in that run, Everton suffered a second consecutive loss with the 2-0 defeat to Sunderland at Goodison, further weakening their chances of a top-half finish. It was the Toffees first loss at home this year and Sunderland’s first away win, demonstrating the unpredictably that exists at this point of the season.
Liverpool v Crystal Palace 17:30
Steven Gerrard’s equalising header inspired a late charge for victory against Chelsea, but the 1-1 draw was not enough to keep pressure on Manchester United in the hunt for fourth. Liverpool’s last two games will now be defined by the captain’s farewell tour. This game marks his final appearance at Anfield, and his team-mates will surely be doing their utmost to give him a goal on send off send-off.
Last week’s 2-1 defeat to Manchester United means Crystal Palace have now lost four successive matches. Jason Puncheon’s free-kick was the Eagle’s first goal in four, but the 3-1 victory over Liverpool at Selhurst Park earlier this term, not to mention last year’s 3-3 draw, shows Palace are capable of ruining Gerrard’s leaving party.
Sun 17 May 2015 – Premier League
Swansea v Man City 13:30
Swansea’s 1-0 win at the Emirates was a third consecutive victory for the Welsh side. Garry Monk is rightly winning plaudits for the huge progress his side has made despite losing their main striker, Wilfried Bony, in January. The win over Arsenal means they’ve now beaten the North-London team twice this season. They also completed the double against Manchester United so City should be wary.
Four straight wins for Manuel Pellegrini culminated in the 6-0 destruction of QPR – Sergio Aguero once again increasing his credentials as the best player in the league with a hat-trick and two assists. Eight goals in five matches brings the Argentine’s total to 25 for the season, making the Swansea back four a decidedly unattractive option.
Man Utd v Arsenal 16:00
United all but sealed fourth spot with the 2-1 win over Crystal Palace, a first win in four for Louis Van Gaal. Ashley Young created both goals, and now appears to be a real option to consider in fantasy football.
Arsenal lost for only the second time in 15 outings when failing to break down a resilient Swansea. The 1-0 defeat was only the fourth time this season they have failed to score – with two of those blanks coming against Chelsea. Arsene Wenger will be keen to finish second to avoid the Champions League play-offs and the Gunners are currently level on points with City with a game in hand.
Mon 18 May 2015 – Premier League
West Brom v Chelsea 20:00
The 1-1 draw at Newcastle leaves the Baggies unbeaten in four games and means another season in the Premier League for Tony Pulis’ side. The manager has lost only five of his seventeen in charge, producing nine clean sheets in that time. Recent shut-outs against Liverpool and United suggest another is not out of the question.
After the 1-1 draw with Liverpool, Jose Mourinho has indicated the fringes of Chelsea squad will be utilised for this match, with familiar faces likely to be rotated for some youngsters to be given a chance. This could lead to the Champions being less potent than usual and getting starters for our PlayON teams could also be a lottery.