A total of 47 wasn’t a disaster score last time out, though points on the bench has left me with a tinge if regret. Butland and Zouma did benefit from the new manager bounce as Stoke won to nil, while Walcott marked his Everton debut with an assist.
On the pitch, Martial was my star performer, clocking up ten points with the only goal at Burnley. Up front, Lacazette broke his drought, finishing a lovely team move for Arsenal against Palace. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a whole lot elsewhere.
And so on to the midweek game week, where all 20 clubs are in action in a 3/7 split across Tuesday and Wednesday. Below is a lineup of players I think could aid your fortunes this week based on their match ups.
Despite Swansea beating Liverpool last time out, Arsenal should be confident of visiting the Liberty Stadium and coming away with a win. So I’ve gone for Cech (4.9%) this week in my starting lineup. On the bench, McCarthy (0.2%), who appears to have taken over duties from Forster, takes a place as Southampton face a Brighton side who’ve not scored on the road in the league since early November.
Like Cech, I’m expecting a clean sheet from Monreal (5.6%) this week, although another attacking return from the Spaniard might be slightly too big an ask. Next to him I’ve gone for the Liverpool pairing of Robertson (2.9%) and Van Dijk (5.3%. The Reds are overdue a shutout, with VVD failing to help produce one yet since his arrival – Huddersfield away should in theory be the perfect fixture. Completing my lineup is Tarkowski (5.3%), as Burnley travel to a Newcastle side looking badly short of firepower. On the bench I’ve gone for Stoke new boy Bauer (0.2%), who should start for the third game on the spin against freefalling Watford.
It’s a big dog midfield this week, with Hazard (7.4%) leading the charge alongside a surely reinvigorated Alexis Sanchez (3.5%). We know from his time at Arsenal that the Chilean loves a Wembley goal, and I’m not betting against him getting off the mark for United in the midst of a big occasion. Oxlade-Chamberlain (4.0%) is back in, as I think Klopp will return to him after leaving him out of the team who crashed out of the cup against West Brom. Completing my midfield four is Tadic (1.6%) in that favourable game with Brighton. On the bench, Milivojevic (3.3%) makes a rare appearance, with Palace looking favourites against an injury hit West Ham.
Up top, Benteke (2.3%) returns to the side, given West Ham’s problems. He’s due another goal again, and should get some sort of joy out of the depleted Hammers back line. Lacazette (8.5%) remains with the armband from last week, aiming to prove himself again to Arsene Wenger given that Aubameyang looks set to join before the window shuts. My first sub this will is Carrillo (0.1%), fresh from completing his move to Southampton. The south coast club will be hoping he can be this year’s Gabbiadini and provide them with an instant on-field impact.
Good luck getting those greens this midweek!
Written by Joe McPhee (@JPMc99)