The battle for the international places carries on
The matchday will be as exciting as every matchday in the Premier League. For Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal, Man. United and Co. the fight for the international places is on, but of course the focus is on the title race. Both of the giants’ opponents have been more than upbeat of late. Leeds are unbeaten in five games and Newcastle have won each of their last four games. We can therefore be very curious to see if they will be able to contain the supremacists City and Liverpool, who both picked up an important win in the first leg of the CL semi-final.
Lukasz Fabianski (67₵, West Ham): He put in a very strong performance against Chelsea last time out, even saving a penalty, but the Pole still has his share of sub-par performances, like on matchday 33 against Burnley when he made -30. But in his best game this season he made an outstanding 440 points and that exactly against this week’s opponents Arsenal. With both teams keen to pick up the all-important three points in the fight for the international places, I expect an open but also attacking game in which the Pole can pick up some points against a finishing-heavy Arsenal and maybe even break his record from the first leg.
Ashley Young (62₵, Villa): The full-back returned to Aston Villa last summer but has been only partially convincing this season. He was injured before the last matchday, but then started again against Leicester and made a good 243 points. Villa face bottom side Norwich this weekend and it could be a high-scoring game for Young, who is also a frequent attacking threat.
Nathan Collins (62₵, Burnley): Burnley are not normally a club you like to include players from in your SPITCH starting eleven this season, but they have a lot at stake in their basement clash against Watford and are even rated as slight favourites. Add to that the fact that Nathan Collins has been revving up in the last three games and is averaging 230 points. The Irishman could be given plenty to do again in this game and hopefully he can build on his performances.
Willy Boly (60₵, Wolverhampton): He should finally be back at 100% and has been allowed to play more and more in recent games. Bruno Lage also told the press conference that the 31-year-old should start as he is not convinced by the performance, the defensive trio that played as well as ever in the first half of the very season. In his four games so far this season, he has always put in solid performances and averages 200 points.
Joel Matip (128₵, Liverpool): After Liverpool’s Champions League win during the week, the whole team will be buoyed going into the weekend and Joel Matip could be just the right pick for your line-up. He hasn’t scored less than 200 points in seven matchdays and is averaging a strong 331 points in those games. With Newcastle also having a good run of form recently I think he will get to some defensive action despite the perceived superiority and hopefully get you plenty of points.
Philippe Coutinho (86₵, Villa): If he returns to Barca in the summer, they will have to think very hard about keeping him as the Brazilian is having an outstanding season at Villa. His 238 point average is something to be reckoned with and with the Norwich matchup, he has huge scoring potential this matchday.
Jonny Otto (57₵, Wolverhampton): After a serious knee injury, the Spaniard was able to return to the Wolves squad on matchday 28 and has impressed with his performances in his six games so far. He has already scored two goals in his last four games and has a point average of 331. With a market value of only 57₵, he is of course playing well above his value at the moment and could therefore become a good option for your midfield.
Ngolo Kante (72₵, Chelsea): I don’t think there is a football fan who doesn’t like Kante because he is one of the most down-to-earth players in modern football. At SPITCH, until recently, he was not one of the most popular players because of his inconsistent scoring. But for the last three games things have been very different and he is averaging 353 points in those, but why all of a sudden? Thomas Tuchel has changed Chelsea’s system of play, allowing the Frenchman to get much more attacking action. This season he has a total of three assists, eleven shots on goal and two goals. In the last three games he made two assists and shot on goal a total of five times, making it clear that he is being allowed to work forward more.
Wout Weghorst (55₵, Burnley): Burnley have scored two goals in their last two regular-season games and the Dutchman has been involved in both. He also managed to crack the 300-point mark in both games and seems to be one of Burnley’s essential players in the relegation battle. They have a very important game against Watford and Weghorst could be the difference maker again.
Anthony Elanga (14₵, Man. United): The talented winger from the Red Devils has very big scoring fluctuations but when he plays from the start he always performs well, like in the game against Norwich where he made 468 points, but also in the 1-3 defeat last weekend against Arsenal he made 190 points. Since he costs just 14₵, you can actually always field him at low risk and he might even score really strongly.
Timo Werner (111₵, Chelsea): He seems to have slowly found his form and has shown us in the league as well as in the CL and the FA Cup that he is performing better than Romelu Lukaku at the moment. They also face Everton this weekend, who are 18th in the table at the moment, which could see Timo Werner pick up scorer points once again.
Other players to keep an eye on are Diogo Dalot (62₵, Man. United) who should start, Dejan Kulusevski (94₵, Spurs) who is having a really strong season and Bukayo Saka (82₵, Arsenal) who could really step up in the CL battle.
About me: I have been assisting SPITCH in its various divisions for several months now. With my experience on the free pitches, I want to help you find interesting players that maybe not everyone has on their radar.