Thursday, 21 May 2015

Dan's Digest - GW38 Preview

The final day of the season is close at hand and with only a few league positions yet to be decided most teams don’t have much to play for. From a chairman’s point of view each league position is worth £1.2m so they’ll be putting the pressure on their managers to do their best to climb the rankings. In the same way we’ll be hoping our FPL teams make a late dash up the rankings to achieve as high a finish as possible. Below we've got a brief preview of each game that makes up GW38 plus a player from each team to consider as you look to win or climb your mini-leagues.

Arsenal v West Brom
West Brom visit the Emirates on the back of an impressive 3-0 victory over the champions on Monday evening whilst the Gunners have all but confirmed 3rd place and automatic qualification to the Champions League group stages. With their focus now firmly on the FA Cup final against Aston Villa, Wenger will undoubtedly rest a few of his first teamers, which is bad news for those of us who loaded up on Arsenal’s stars prior to the double gameweek.

Theo Walcott – With 5 big chances from just 215 minutes and the expectation of rotation, Walcott could looks set to be a main attacking threat this week
Joleon Lescott – With 4 clean sheets from the last 5 games including games against Liverpool, United and Chelsea, another shut-out isn't out of the question and Lescott carries a goal threat from set pieces too.

Aston Villa v Burnley
Villa were embarrassed by Southampton last week and will be in two minds this week. They won’t want to go to Wembley in terrible form lacking confidence but they’ll want to rotate players and keep them fresh. Burnley are preparing for life in the Championship and will hope to finish the season on a high whilst some of their players will be in the shop window hoping for moves back to the Premier League next season.

Tom Cleverley – With 3 goals in his last 5 appearances he’s a man in form and will want to carry that to Wembley.
Danny Ings – In what is very likely to be his final game for Burnley he’ll want to go out with a bang against a very poor Villa defence.

Chelsea v Sunderland
A match that has nothing riding on it after Sunderland’s hard earned draw away to Arsenal on Wednesday ensured their Premier League safety. Neither team will be particularly up for this which means anything could happen – as we saw at the Hawthorns on Monday.

Diego Costa – A player of undoubted quality that is owned by very few live teams. Fit enough to start on Monday evening he could be a real differential for this week.
Costel Pantilimon – 2 clean sheets last GW and plenty of save points up for grabs. Sunderland look more likely to keep a clean sheet than score against Chelsea.

Crystal Palace v Swansea
Palace have the worst home record in the league but still have the potential to finish in the top half if they win and other results go their way. Swansea’s position in 8th is secure but they’ll want to enjoy their last away day of the season.

Yannick Bolasie – If he can get his shooting boots on he can grab a few goals. He’s often in great positions but has struggled to finish the chances off all season.
Bafetimbi Gomis – 5 goals in his last 5 appearances shows he’s a man bang in form.

Everton v Spurs
Spurs could finish 5th with a win but were unimpressive against Hull last week despite their win whilst Everton will want to finish their very average season with a home win to give fans some hope of success next season.

Romelu Lukaku – A low ownership striker with 20 points in his last 3 games against a poor travelling Spurs defence.
Erik Lamela – 3 attacking returns in his last 5 games shows his potential.

Hull v Man Utd
This match means everything to Hull. They need to win and hope Newcastle fail to beat West Ham to secure their status in the Premier League. United have just 1 win and 3 goals in their last 5 games so it looks to be the ideal time to play them but it is still quite an ask of Steve Bruce’s team.

Nikica Jelavic – The striker has enough quality to get the goal Hull need to stay up and he looked sharp against Spurs despite his recent injury woes.
Ashley Young – The winger has shown plenty of attacking promise in terms of both assist and goalscoring potential recently.

Leicester v QPR
The Foxes secured their Premier League status last weekend whilst the Rs are destined for the Championship. QPR are woeful on their travels and Leicester will want to give their fans an end of season party.

Leonardo Ulloa – A strong aerial presence could see him take advantage of the shaky QPR back line.
Matt Phillips – One of just a few shining lights in the QPR squad this season has shown he can be an explosive FPL points scorer.

Man City v Southampton
Both teams have scored 6 goals in a game recently but Man City have been in much better form with Southampton losing a couple of games against supposedly weaker teams. Southampton know though that a win combined with a couple  of other outcomes this weekend could see them finish as high as 5th which would all but guarantee Koeman the manager of the year award.

Yaya Toure – Probably his last game in a sky blue shirt so he’ll want to continue his goalscoring form from last weekend.
Shane Long – Back in the starting lineup last week with 2 goals and 2 assists against Villa.

Newcastle v West Ham
Newcastle need a win to guarantee survival regardless of what happens at the KC Stadium. However, Sam Allardyce will be out to do all he can to send his old employers down to the Championship. Neither team are in good form so it will be a tight affair in what could be a crucial game this weekend.

Moussa Sissoko – You feel that if Newcastle are going to score they’ll need the powerful midfielder to be at his best
Mark Noble – The pressure could get to the Newcastle defence and cause them to give away a penalty for the West Ham midfielder to put away.

Stoke v Liverpool
Liverpool need a win to confirm 5th place whilst Stoke are guaranteed of a top half finish. Stoke surprised Spurs at the Britannia a couple of weeks ago and could do the same against Liverpool this week who only have 1 win in their last 5 games.

Jon Walters – Plenty of shots inside the box recently suggests he’s been unlucky not to get on the score sheet. 
Steven Gerrard – After all of the media attention last week, Gerrard will be looking to make his mark in his final Premier League game.

***All the best for your FPL aspirations heading into this final gameweek. May your final arrows be green***