Another round is down in this year’s Premier League and another massive statement was made by Liverpool in their quest for the title, as they smashed Arsenal 5-1 to keep a seven point gap atop the table. There were also a fair few surprise results thrown in to mix everything up at the end of 2018.
The season now moves into the New Year, with round 21 the first to occur in 2019. The team at PlayON are ready for 2019 too, with their Daily Fantasy offerings back again for this round.
To help you move towards the cash prize places, I have been through the games and picked out my best plays, from the must-have guns to value-for-money plays, with a few sneaky POD picks thrown in to set you apart from the other players.
We start with the New Year’s Day matches, of which there are three for PlayON consideration.
Everton v. Leicester
A couple of surprise losses for these two last out, going down 1-0 to Brighton and Cardiff respectively. The losses were even more surprising given they came off the back of a rampant 5-1 win for the Toffees and a win over City for the Foxes. Both teams will be looking to bounce back here then.
In 25 previous meetings between the sides, the draw is the most common result – 13 of them in fact. Of the remaining 12, Everton lead 8-4 and have won four of the last five clashes.
A tough one to pick, but the most likely outcome is goals on both sides, so jump on the attack-minded players on each side for DFS.
No chance for any of the guns to shine for these two sides in losses last round. But over the course of the season, the bright spark for the Foxes has been James Maddison (£11m).
Coming into the team on the back of a big money move from the Championship, the midfielder has scored five and set up three so far, building an impressive average of 1220, that is better than any other Leicester player. Can’t argue with those kinds of numbers, lock him in here.
Odd to pick a defender when I’m tipping both sides to score, but I’m opting for Lucas Digne (£7.2m) for his forward-minded plays.
An average of over 1200 since coming into the side, and providing three goals and two assists to his side’s cause, look for him to bomb on again in what should be an open game.
The average under 700 might scare others away, but Bernard (£6m) has four assists for the season, the most of any player in this one. He also provided two of those in the game before last, so is in a bit of form.
The average is diluted by some low minute appearances. But he has started the last two games, so shapes as a great POD if he starts this one as well.
Arsenal v. Fulham
A 5-1 humiliation last out, Arsenal will be looking to get back to winning ways here. On paper, there is no better chance to do so than against a team in the relegation places, but Fulham are unbeaten in three, and beat fellow strugglers Huddersfield last out.
Ironically, the Gunners won the reverse of this fixture 5-1 themselves back in October. They had also won 19 of the 29 meetings between the teams at this level, with the Cottagers winning only three and never away from home.
The hosts will be fired up here and should get a win based on the history. But having watched their defending against Liverpool, I can see the visitors scoring here too. I would be avoiding defenders for PlayON purposes then.
With 13 goals for the season, the good money still sits with Aubameyang (£17.1m) although admittedly it is a lot of good money to shell out.
Three in his last three show the form is there though, so it might be worth splashing the cash in a day with fewer games and fewer other gun options. An average over 1600 suggests it could be money well spent.
Second start and first goal of the season for Ainsley Maitland-Niles (£5.9m) means a PlayON average of 830+.
It isn’t massive, but the absolute bargain price means it is value for money. If he does start, he is a great way to free up that cash for a high priced gun (see Aubameyang/Kane).
The quiet run of games, higher price and quality opposition could ward some off, but Aleksandar Mitrovic (£11.3m) got back on the scoresheet last out, his eighth of the season.
After the on-field argument with Kamara about penalty taking, Ranieri’s post-match comments suggest the Serbian will also be given those duties going forward, increasing the scoring prospects.
Cardiff v. Spurs
Somewhat surprising results last out for these sides, with Cardiff beating Leicester and Spurs losing to Wolves after leading, adding to the interest in this one.
Just three previous games between the sides in the top flight and they have all finished 1-0 Spurs. I can see another Tottenham win, but probably with a few more goals involved, given the visitors form in front of goal around Christmas. With that, I will be filling my PlayON squads with away team players.
A fourth goal in three games means Harry Kane (£16.6m) has 13 for the season and sit on top of the scoring charts with Aubameyang and Salah for company. He has also set up five goals, which is already three more than he did for the whole of last season.
His ability to find the net speaks for itself. Flip a coin between him and Aubameyang. Or fill your team with cheapies and have them both…
Averaging more than Kane while costing over £4m less, Son Heung-Min (£12.4m) remains a man in form. Seven goals and six assists for the season himself, with four goals, three assists coming in his last three outings.
With Spurs negotiating him to miss the first two group games of South Korea’s Asian Cup campaign, he will be around for a little while longer and is a great value play while he is!
Short and sweet for the first day of 2019. A few more games coming at you on the 2nd, so be sure to check back in for that.
In the meantime, don’t forget to head to the Games Lobby to enter your teams for these contests first.