Right, another double GW this time featuring Newcastle, Arsenal, Liverpool, Brighton, Spurs, and Everton. (Writing it alphabetically would have looked cooler).
There are a few interesting-looking single-game week fixtures as well. We will cover options from these fixtures too and why not right? We saw so many SGWers (if there is a term like that) sitting on the bench of so many of our teams with double-digit hauls in GW28.
So, let’s not leave any stone unturned!
Let’s take a look at the fixtures of what would be the 8th double game week in the last 9 game weeks!! (GW 24 was the last one without any double fixtures).
P.S. Double game week teams’ are marked in grey
- First up, the Liverpool pair of the Egyptian King and the local boy Trent Alexander Arnold who has a double game week against Brighton & Arsenal – both away games mind you.
- A contrasting bit to these two teams in the form they find themselves in. Brighton has only kept a solitary CS in the last 5 (h) games and has lost 4 games on the trot. Arsenal on the other hand has lost only once in the last 10 league games.
- Liverpool is #1 in mins per xG for the season and it’s no surprise they are #1 on the road as well. Well, what is equally important if not more is how well Brighton & ARS have defended at home.
- Below are the defensive numbers for Brighton (blue) & Arsenal (red) at their respective home grounds along with the season ranks
- BHA & ARS are the 7th and the 4th best respectively when it comes to mins per expected goal conceded (xGC). Now, on paper, those numbers look impressive but then what we also need to consider is how bad can Liverpool get on their off days when it comes to their attack
- LIV in the 27 games played, has not been involved in a goalless draw. It’s only been once where they have failed to score (away to LEI) and only in 5 instances their games have had just 1 goal scored. So, chances are bright for them to score 3/4 goals comfortably across these 2 games
Table 1: Mo Salah
Table 2: Trent Alexander-Arnold
- Now, Spurs is an interesting one. They have a DGW against MUN & BHA – again both away games.
We already know what BHA’s defensive home numbers look like. How has Manchester United fared at Old Trafford this season?
- Man United has clocked 86.9 mins per xGC at home which is 9th best for any home team. They have garnered four clean sheets in the last 7 home games.
- They have been all over the news lately coz of the drubbing they got at the Etihad but to be honest a loss was expected. On the positive side, this was only their 2nd loss in the last 10 league games. So, it really is not as bad as it has been made out to be. I expect them to come flying against Spurs with more ball possession and Spurs playing the counter-attacking game that they displayed against City
- Spurs have had a more inconsistent run coming into GW29 with 2 losses and 3 wins. I find it important to point out that their last 2 wins were against LEE & EVE who sit in the bottom 5 for goals conceded this season. Yes, Spurs looked good but the Man Utd game will be totally different
The below tables compare Kane & Son’s season thus far.
- God’s child as he likes to call himself – Bukayo Saka is our next candidate.
6 goals and 1A in the last 8 starts – the winger looks committed to taking his club to the Champions League next season.
- Arsenal has 2 home games – 1st one against LEI who seem to have hit some kind of form by winning 2 games on the trot. This is only the 2nd time this season that the Foxes have managed to muster back-to-back wins. That’s how strange their season has been thus far
- Arsenal’s 2nd game is against Liverpool who continues to chase City for the title. After GW29, City and Liverpool would have played an equal number of games and Liverpool would be looking to be as close as possible to City till both teams meet in April 1st week.
- This fixture has always seen goals in the past. Looking at ARS’s home record as well as Liverpool’s away record, I do see a couple of goals at least. My sense is the CS odds for this game would be really low
- Saka faces the 6th worst defense in Leicester first and he will fancy being on the scoring sheet. Leicester has kept just a single CS on the road this season and that was against Burnley in GW26. Leicester is expecting some good news on the injury front with Fofana back in training. On the other hand, they have been dealt another blow in form of Vardy who is supposedly out for 2-3 weeks. That’s good news for Arsenal’s defenders.
Table 5: Bukayo Saka
- Now, this is a punt candidate and the reason he is here is simply coz this club needs to wake up NOW if they have to survive in the Premier League. Yes, we are talking about Everton and in particular Anthony Gordon.
- Another reason we are talking about him is his price (£4.5M). Captaincy or not, I think he is a fair shout to be a 5th MF in your team who could be brought on to play considering the potential double game weeks Everton is expected to play in the near future
- Everton faces Wolves & Newcastle at home and that’s the 3rd reason why he should be considered. Everton has been absolutely appalling on the road but at home, under Lampard, they have been resilient (short sample). They kept Leeds United quiet to an xG of 0.3 in Lampard’s 1st home game and were impressive against City only to be robbed off a penalty kick in the dying moments.
- If Lampard has any chance of surviving the drop to Championship, these are the two games he can’t afford to drop points in
- Newcastle has improved considerably since their January signings but does have a habit of conceding goals on the road. However, with yet another away win last night which helps them inch closer to the perceived safety zone of 40 points, this is a huge game for the Blues
- Gordon’s mins/point is higher than Richarlison along with Mins/SoT. He just looks the hungriest of all the Everton players
THE SINGLE GAME-WEEKERS
- RAPHINHA v Norwich (home)
- Norwich continues to struggle and their last week’s loss at home to Brentford would have come as a huge setback. This is yet another MUST-win for them. The same applies to LEEDS as well
- With just 2 points above the relegation zone, after the 1st home game loss for Jesse Marsch, heat is surely on him
- With Norwich’s defensive numbers on the road ranked as the worst in the league, Raphinha would be eager to get on the field on Sunday
- MAHREZ v Crystal Palace (away)
- League leaders can’t be kept away from any discussion. They travel to Selhurst Park looking for an act of revenge for their home loss to Crystal Palace in GW10.
- Palace under Vieira has had a steady season thus far and has been impressive at home. They are ranked 3rd best for mins per xGC which stands at a measly 108.8. Only Liverpool & City have a better record at home this season.
- City played in the mid-week in the Champions League wherein Pep rested KDB and Mahrez came off the bench at half-time. I expect these two to start against Palace. Another one to look at considering Palace’s woeful defending from set-pieces is Laporte who in Dias’ absence is the leader at the back. Laporte could be a very sneaky call too. Cancelo didn’t play the CL game as he was announced sick.
- ALL THE VERY BEST FOR THE UPCOMING GAME WEEK –