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Fantasy EPL: Week 4 Review / Week 5 Preview


The break did wonders for City and the opposite for Liverpool, after The Reds were trounced 5-0 at the Emirates. Klopp’s decision to play the defense high up backfired, as The Citizens repeatedly used the empty space to their advantage. Sadio Mané’s reckless challenge on Ederson, which deservedly earned him an early trip to the locker room, made things even worse. Kevin De Bruyne showed his passing prowess, whereas Gabriel Jesus and his substitute Leroy Sané banged a couple each. The most surprising result of the afternoon was Brighton’s relatively easy win over WBA. Summer signing Pascal Groß was the determining factor by scoring once right before half time and once right after. United’s perfect start came to an end at the hands of Mark Hughes’ Stoke City. This is a team that will give headaches to every single team in the league for the rest of the campaign when playing in its own backyard. It ended 2-2. Arsenal confirmed what I expected and had written in last week’s article by easily disposing of Bournemouth, a team that by all means necessary appears to be an early candidate for relegation. The London teams took care of business on the road, as Chelsea defeated Leicester 1-2 (it could’ve been more) and The Spurs made Everton’s good start to the season look like a mirage. Alvaro Morata scored once again, while Harry Kane came back to his scoring ways by bagging two. Burnley continued Crystal Palace’s misery, effectively relieving Frank de Boer of his duties. Former England manager Roy Hodgson was the one chosen to try and salvage Palace’s season. Swansea disappointed at home against a rather average Newcastle United, none more so than Renato Sanches. The burden of high expectations took its toll, as one mistake led to another, with his confidence falling apart as the game wore on. The wish to prove himself was there from the beginning, though, therefore I anticipate him making good on the promise as he settles within the new surroundings. Be patient!

Southampton was shocked by an ever more intriguing Watford. Doucouré has been this season’s version of Capoué, while Kiko Femenia has benefited from Janmaat’s injury. That might not last for long, as the Dutchman scored after having replaced the Spaniard and is back to full strength. Andre Gray started the game as the lone forward and Troy Deeney entered the game with 6 minutes to spare. As far as Southampton goes, needless to say, it has been an underwhelming four games. Pellegrino has some work to do. Lastly, on Monday West Ham broke through Huddersfield and won 2-0. This might jump-start their season, although the performance didn’t impress.

Week 4 highest fantasy scorers

Goalkeepers: Robert Elliot (Newcastle), Heurelho Gomes (Watford), Petr Cech (Arsenal), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Joe Hart (West Ham).
Defenders: Jamaal Lascelles (Newcastle), Ben Davies (Tottenham), Sead Kolasinac (Arsenal), Kiko Femenia (Watford), Benjamin Mendy (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham), Jose Fonte (West Ham).
Midfielders: Pascal Groß (Brighton), Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (Stoke), Leroy Sané (Manchester City), Abdoulaye Doucouré (Watford), Andre Ayew (West Ham), Pedro Obiang (West Ham), N’Golo Kanté (Chelsea).
Forwards: Daniel Welbeck (Arsenal), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City), Tomer Hemed (Brighton), Chris Wood (Burnley), Sergio Agüero (Manchester City).


Bournemouth vs. Brighton
– Well, it’s time for Bournemouth to do something right, isn’t it? With all due respect, they won’t get an easier opponent for the rest of the season. I’m 3-for-3 in predictions of game-week goal scorers so far (Gabbiadini, Morata and Lacazette in the previous three rounds), and I’ll take my chances with Joshua King on Friday. Groß will be a popular add this week, and rightfully so. Other than him, Davy Propper could have a decent game for blue & whites, while those few who have held on to Defoe will be banking on him finally finding the back of the net. Charlie Daniels and Nathan Aké are two more players to keep your eyes on.

Crystal Palace vs. Southampton
– This is a matchup between two sides desperate for improvement and results. Pellegrino is still searching for the best lineup and some stability at the back. Too bad he doesn’t want to give Ward-Prowse more playing time. Wesley Hoedt made his debut last week. He was paired with Jack Stephens, with Yoshida sitting on the bench, but that could change this week. In an ideal world, van Dijk and Hoedt would be the ones starting, if you ask me. However, that is unlikely to happen for the time being. Hodgson has had little time to get to know his new team. It doesn’t mean we’ll see a bad performance, though. As it often occurs in soccer, players will want to impress and earn the trust of their new manager. I see this ending up as an entertaining tie (1-1 or 2-2). A popular sleeper pick, Nathan Redmond has yet to find his form. We may see a decent number of changes in Palace’s starting eleven, but that doesn’t change the fact that Benteke is their main threat.

[the_ad id=”384″]Huddersfield vs. Leicester
– These are two teams whose positions on the table seem to have been flip-flopped. Leicester has had to face Arsenal, United and Chelsea, so their current rank is hardly representative of their true quality. Riyad Mahrez has been playing well, but he has yet to find the net. That might change this week. I believe both teams will scorе, and I would single out van La Parra, Mounié, Vardy and Okazaki (or Iheanacho) as players with potentially fantasy-worthy games.

Liverpool vs. Burnley
– The Reds will be pumped up for this one. After the City defeat, a frustrating mid-week 2-2 draw with Sevilla in the Champions League has further sharpened their insatiable goal-scoring desire fueled by Klopp’s up-tempo attacking pace. Burnley will be hard-pressed to get anything out of this match. On the other side, Coutinho is the likely replacement for the suspended Mané after making a short cameo versus Sevilla. Sturridge should be in line for another start, as will Alexander-Arnold, James Milner and perhaps Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Newcastle vs. Stoke
– Emotions will be running high for Newcastle after last week’s rather unlikely win. Stoke are also self-confident, so this one is tough to judge. I don’t see it as being a high-scoring affair nor a good matchup for fantasy purposes. I can simply say that Choupo-Moting and Joselu are players in good form, with Joselu carrying the extra incentive of playing against the team that sold him and basically never gave him an opportunity.

Watford vs. Manchester City
– The Hornets haven’t lost, but that’s about the change. After a slow start, City has put five past Liverpool and four past reigning Dutch champions Feyenoord in Rotterdam on Wednesday. That will certainly boost their confidence. Therefore, Watford is up against it. Ederson’s injury required stitches, but luckily nothing more. Everything appears to be falling into place, as Walker and Mendy both had assists against The Reds and John Stones scored twice mid-week. Most of the City squad is a good fantasy option, while I wouldn’t bet against Doucouré from Watford’s team.

West Bromwich vs. West Ham
– WBA suffered their first defeat and will look to rebound against a vulnerable West Ham side. I think The Hammers will do better when Lanzini returns from his injury, because right now they are lacking creativity in the midfield. West Brom, on the other hand, has currently no depth behind Rondon (Robson-Kanu is suspended). If he’s not on top of his game, there’s no one who can come in and provide that type of threat. We are looking at a tactical, low-paced game with set pieces the likeliest way to score.

Tottenham vs. Swansea
– Harry Kane is back in business. Two versus Everton, followed by two versus Dortmund. Swansea is up next. Two more? Possibly. The Welshmen shouldn’t represent a tough task for an ambitious team such as the Spurs. To use baseball terminology, this could be a slugfest. I expect to see Tottenham players all over the highest fantasy scorers list next week.

Chelsea vs. Arsenal
– Who needs Gary Cahill? Who needs Nemanja Matic? Chelsea is doing just fine. All new signings (Rudiger, Bakayoko and Morata) have adapted quickly. Even Zappacosta was toying with Qarabag on Tuesday. And that’s all without Hazard. According to me, they are back to being the favorite for the title. This game is time for revenge, to show Arsenal that the Chelsea from the Super Cup was not the real Chelsea and nowhere near the championship squad from a year ago. The Blues will win, and I’d be surprised if The Gunners score. Hazard will likely start and is the player I like the most from this matchup.

Manchester United vs. Everton
– The standing ovation for Rooney is going to be the most Everton will get out of this one. After a solid start, they have faded rapidly and suffered further humiliation in Atalanta on Thursday. United also suffered a heavy blow despite a convincing win versus Basel in the Champions League, as Paul Pogba’s hamstring injury will keep him out for about six weeks. However, Mourinho knows how to deal with these situations, and even use them as motivation. He also has more than enough talent at his disposal to replace the Frenchman. Everything I said about Tottenham applies here. Lukaku, Martial, Rashford, all great players to own in fantasy.

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