PlayON Pro and former FPL Champ Tom Fenley previews three of the upcoming Saturday fixtures as we head into Gameweek 33 and picks out some key players to consider in your squads.
Sat 09 Apr 2016 – Premier League
West Ham v Arsenal 12:45
The Hammers have drawn back-to-back matches 2-2 and worryingly for manager Slaven Bilic, ahead of the visit of an in-form Arsenal, have conceded six goals in three matches. Four clean sheets in their previous five outings before that recent run points towards a downturn in West Ham’s defensive capabilities, meaning it’s likely they’ll need two or three goals at the Bolyn Ground to secure a result.
Fortunately they have been producing in front of goal, Dimitri Payet has been scoring and fulfilling a fundamental playmaker role, picking up three goals and four assists in six appearances. Manuel Lanzini is a tempting budget option after netting in their last two league ties. Only one defeat in nine matches bodes well for the East-London outfit’s chances.
The Gunners could pick up a third straight win for the first time since before Christmas if they can overcome sixth-placed West Ham. This match will be a tougher encounter than the 4-0 victory over Watford last time out but Arsene Wenger has indicated he is happy with his side’s recent performances and is likely to stick with the same team.
That system should see Danny Welbeck retain the lone front spot, while Alex Iwobi could once again be utilised on the left, especially since the youngster has scored in their last two league matches. Alexis Sanchez also has to be considered in our PlayOn line-ups, the Chilean having scored twice and assisted three over four gameweeks.
Manuel Lanzini Midfielder Fpl 4.9, PlayOn 7.1
Dimitri Payet Midfielder Fpl 8.5, PlayOn 10.5
Alex Iwobi Midfielder Fpl 4.5, PlayOn 6.6
Alexis Sanchez Midfielder Fpl 10.9, PlayOn 14.5
Crystal Palace v Norwich 15:00
The Eagle’s are without a win in 14 league matches, though a battling draw at Upton Park last gameweek could signal the start of an upturn in form for the run-in. Alan Pardew’s side sit in sixteenth, directly above opponents Norwich and with a game in hand, this match is high stakes then for a Palace side in dismal form, a defeat would move them much closer to a relegation scrap.
Yohann Cabaye and Conor Wickham have both been side-lined of late but may earn recalls for this crucial tie. The latter has missed three games but is back training, four goals and an assist in the three outings before his injury may push Pardew to start the forward.
Yannick Bolasie has underwhelmed this campaign, picking up only two assists compared to last season’s twelve, it would be a timely match for the winger to impose himself more. Scott Dann remains the defender of choice, five goals so far for the central defender illustrates his threat at set pieces and Norwich have failed to score in seven of their last ten on the road.
Norwich though will fancy their chances after winning successive matches for only the second time this term. The 3-2 win over Newcastle boosted their chances of survival following the hard-fought 1-0 victory at the Hawthorns and a goalless draw against Manchester City, the Canaries should be high on confidence as they travel to Selhurst Park.
Robbie Brady has a goal and an assist over the last two, the winger will be looking to supply lone-striker Dieumerci Mbokani who scored a fifth goal of the season against Newcastle. Jonny Howson also impressed from midfield, serving up a pair of assists. In defence, Timm Klose scored his first goal for the club and after keeping two clean sheets in the previous matches another shut-out here could be on the cards.
Scott Dann Defender Fpl 5.7, PlayOn 7.3
Yannick Bolasie Midfielder Fpl 6, PlayOn 9.1
Timm Klose Defender Fpl 4.2, PlayOn 6.6
Jonny Howson Midfielder Fpl 4.9, PlayOn 7
Southampton v Newcastle 15:00
The Saints 1-0 loss to Leicester City at the King Power was hardly a surprise given the league-leaders recent form. Prior to that defeat, the come-back victory over Liverpool last time out at St Mary’s and the preceding 2-1 win at the Brittania suggests the Magpies are in for a difficult afternoon on the South Coast, especially as over their last three league visits there, Southampton have scored 10 goals to no reply.
Grazino Pelle appeared to be back to his best in those recent wins, scoring three goals and providing a pair of assists, the Italian is a strong contender for inclusion in our line-ups. Newcastle have conceded more attempts from set plays (56) than any other side in the division and Virgil Van Dijk’s aerial ability has earned the centre-back three goals this season, all have arrived at St Mary’s.
Newcastle remain win-less under Rafa Benitez, the 1-1 draw with Sunderland followed by a chastening defeat to Norwich making a result here potentially critical in their hopes of survival after dropping points to relegation rivals.
The new manager does at least have options in forward positions with Papiss Cisse, Ayoze Perez and Aleksander Mitrovic all pushing to start. The latter seems most likely to lead the line after scoring a brace from the bench agains the Canaries following a goal against the Black Cats.
In midfield and defence, options such as Georgiano Wijnaldum, Jonjo Shelvey and Daryl Janmaat have failed to convince of late so are unlikely to find their way into many line-ups with the club appearing destined for the drop.
Virgil Van Dijk Midfielder Fpl 5.7, PlayOn 7.4
Graziano Pelle Midfielder Fpl 7.8, PlayOn 10.8
Jonjo Shelvey Midfielder Fpl 5.3, PlayOn 8
Aleksander Mitrovic Forward Fpl 5.1, PlayOn 9.6