Gameweek 36 preview

April 24, 2014

26 Apr 12:45 Southampton v Everton
26 Apr 15:00 Fulham v Hull City
26 Apr 15:00 Stoke City v Tottenham
26 Apr 15:00 Swansea v Aston Villa
26 Apr 15:00 West Brom v West Ham
26 Apr 17:30 Man Utd v Norwich
27 Apr 12:00 Sunderland v Cardiff City
27 Apr 14:05 Liverpool v Chelsea
27 Apr 16:10 Crystal Palace v Man City
28 Apr 20:00 Arsenal v Newcastle


Ordinarily with a double gameweek looming it’s sensible to do a bit of forward planning. There are six teams with two fixtures in gameweek 37, and bringing players in now to be topped up next week is usually a sensible suggestion. However each of the six come with baggage, and there’s plenty on offer this week and next from those not playing twice that could easily outscore those that are.

City, as always, play twice, but their fixture this week is far from easy. It’s against the form team in the league, and they’ve a shedload of injury doubts. Sergio Aguero and David Silva didn’t make it to the end of their victory over West Brom last week, and while Aguero’s substitution may have been little more than a precaution, the signs don’t look good for the Spaniard. Jesus Navas and Yaya Toure are rated doubtful. Both look more likely to be reappearing next week.

It’s almost impossible to predict how United are going to perform this week. In any other season their three fixtures starting with this weeks against Norwich, and their two next week against Hull and Sunderland, all of which are at home, would be bankers. Can Ryan Giggs and the various class of 92’s he’s roped in to help him really have much more of an impact on how the team plays than David Moyes? Their defence is shaky and changeable, and their creative players have more off days than on. United’s players aren’t often viewed as fantasy differentials, but if you take the risk with Rooney, Mata and maybe Januzaj, and it pays off, vital ground could be made on those managers above you in the table.

And the other four are all battling in the relegation scrap. Sunderland’s two miracle results against City and Chelsea have made their escape chances more possible. They seem to be the team with the most momentum of the four. Hull obviously have one eye on the cup final and need to be careful. West Brom are scoring but conceding as many and Villa look very wobbly. And all four of them come up against fellow strugglers this week, so any defeat will be twice as demoralising.

Whereas Arsenal, who’ve come back into form at just the right time probably play the easiest game of the week at home to Newcastle. There may not be a more obvious home banker on the fixture list than there has been all season. Aaron Ramsey is back in the side and instantly in form, and Lukas Podolski is the form striker. They don’t play twice next week, but there’ll be enough points in them this week to make up for that. And then they’ve got West Brom and Norwich which also offer lots of potential.

The reliability of Liverpool players won’t be in question this weekend either. Mourinho may be genuine of joking, but he’s apparently dropping those who he wants fit for his Champions League semi final second leg. So don’t expect to see Hazard, Willian or Oscar on Sunday. Nor one of Eto’o or Torres. He’ll have to play most of his defence, but I imagine Ashley Cole will come back in. He may even dip deep into his reserves and call up Nathan Ake and Tomas Kalas. Lampard, Mikel, Matic and Salah will start due to suspensions or ineligibility, but there’s not too much to et excited about there. It’s been billed as a title decider, and that’s exactly what it will be….deciding in the favour of the Reds.


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