April is the Month of the Underdog Other than Kavum and Kokis, April brings about happiness to football fans with the busy football calendar. With the FA Cup schedule there will be a unprecedented amount of matches being played in April. It is the best time to get up the leader boards in my opinion.
If you have your All out Attack, Bench Boost and Triple Captain Cards available, this is the time to play them. But I’m not here to talk about that. I’m here to talk about the bottom of the table scrap. You might have Lukaku, Costa, Sanchez in your team, but guess what? So do others. This is the ideal time to differentiated from the rest and bet your money on the wounded dog.
I’m talking about Defoe (Sunderland), Llorrente (Swansea), Benteke (Crystal Palace). The teams that represent the above mentioned players will be fighting for survival and the strength of the opponent would not matter. Defoe would be banging them in. I am betting on it that Sunderland might stay up as they have in the past. They tend to forget that they are mediocre for the last two months of the Premier League. So, all I am saying is to bet on the underdogs and take a risk. Living is for the brave!!!
Game vs Crystal Palace at home sees Chelsea beat the defensive rankings, with Conte’s men managed a major possibility of keeping a clean sheet on Saturday evening. The Eagles have blanked in 3 of their last 5 games, giving the Blues the ideal chance to add to the 7 home clean sheets they have effectively collected this term. Marcos Alonso, with all his attacking potential, is at the end of the day our pick from the Chelsea defense.
With West Brom failing to score in 4 of their last 7 away games, Mourinho’s men will hope to make it 3 clean sheets in 4 at Old Trafford. David de Gea offers a solid match of hands between the sticks and has his spot in goal for our squad.
Tottenham will be headed to their trip to Turf Moor. While the fixture may appear to be simple on paper, Burnley have just blanked twice at home this season, so Pochettino’s men might not have things all their own way on Saturday. Still, Ben Davies, with Danny Rose still sidelined, offers value and attacking threat, and makes our starting XI thus.
Watford and Swansea both sides offering defenders for £4.5m, we choose Alfie Mawson, who has scored an incredible 4 goals in his last 10 Premier League games. The Swans host Middlesbrough, who are goalless in 4 on their travels, on Sunday.
To fill the remainder of our defensive slots, we opt for Stoke’s budget shot stopper Lee Grant (£4.0m) as our backup keeper, with Southampton’s Jack Stephens (£4.0m) and Sunderland’s Donald Love (£4.0m) taking the second and third spots on our bench respectively.
Before moving onto our analysis of attackers, a quick look at the bottom rungs of the clean sheet ladder tells us that defensive assets from Bournemouth (away to Southampton), West Brom (away to Man United) and Crystal Palace (away to Chelsea) should be avoided this weekend.
Diego Costa tops the attacking ranks, and dons our captain’s armband, for Gameweek 30, with a massive chance of finding the net against Crystal Palace. The fiery Spaniard has produced attacking returns in each of his last 4 home games (3 goals, 2 assists), with Sam Allardyce’s men conceding an average of 1.86 goals per game away from home this term – the 6th worst travelling defence in the league.
Sergio Aguero and Marcus Rashford join Costa in our front 3 this weekend ahead of games against Arsenal and West Brom respectively. The explosive Argentine has produced attacking returns in 3 of his last 4 (2 goals, 1 assist) and faces an Arsenal side in disarray – the Gunners have conceded an average of 2 goals per game recently (12 in 6). Rashford, meanwhile, is expected to deputise for the suspended Zlatan Ibrahimovic up front for United. The Baggies have only managed 1 clean sheet away from home this term, all the way back on the opening day of the season.
In midfield, Eden Hazard attracts top billing as we double up on Chelsea’s attacking assets ahead of their game against Crystal Palace. The Belgian superstar has produced fantasy returns in 4 of his last 5 outings (2 goals, 2 assists). Heung-min Son joins Hazard in our midfield, with the bookies’ rating him highly due to his OOP prospects – the South Korean is current playing up front for Tottenham in the absence of Harry Kane.
Two derby participants complete our starting XI for Gameweek 30 – Liverpool’s Sadio Mane and Southampton’s Nathan Redmond. 3 goals and an assist in his last 3 home games bode well for the Senegalese speedster ahead of the Merseyside derby at Anfield on Saturday lunchtime. Redmond, meanwhile, bagged a brace against Watford back in Gameweek 27 to remind us of his explosive, if inconsistent, potential. South Coast rivals Bournemouth have conceded 12 goals in their last 4 away games, highlighting Redmond’s appeal this weekend. Etienne Capoue once again completes our squad with his £4.5m valuation vital for our budget.
We also fancy the chances of Alexis, Mkhitaryan , Firmino, Tadic and Pedro, but they all miss out on our team due to budget constraints.
EPLSL FPL Team of the Week
Mawson Alonso Ben Davies
Hazard Son Redmond Mane
Costa (C) Aguero Rashford
Grant, Capoue, Jake Stephens, D. Love
Defoe, Llorente, Benteke