EPL Fantasy Preview: Target the Doubles, Free Hit Time?

EPL Fantasy Preview: Target the Doubles, Free Hit Time?
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Fantasy Premier League returns after a lengthy gameweek which spilled over the FA Cup weekend and this one looms as a prime opportunity to utilise your free hit.

Eight clubs have doubles this gameweek, while a long list of key players have departed for the Africa Cup of Nations including Mohamed Salah, Edouard Mendy, Said Benrahma and Riyad Mahrez.

The clubs on doubles are Chelsea, Watford, Leicester City, Brentford, Brighton, Tottenham, Manchester United and Burnley.

There’s varying degrees of good and bad double draws. For example, it’s worth noting that Chelsea face Man City away in their double, while Watford’s two games are away to lowly Newcastle and Burnley.

Tottenham take on Arsenal at home and Leicester City away, while the Foxes also host Burnley. Brentford have a tough double away to Liverpool and home to Manchester United, while Brighton host Crystal Palace and go to Chelsea. United’s other fixture is at home to Aston Villa so their run is attractive.

And don’t forget Chelsea have the Club World Cup coming up in a few gameweeks, meaning they’ll miss a few games, so don’t load up too heavily on Blues players.

Previous week lessons

We’ll start this week’s preview with the key lessons from last gameweek as we’re already on the topic of doubles. West Ham had the pick of the double gameweeks last time out and they delivered with Jarrod Bowen and Manuel Lanzini top scoring for the round.

Hammers pair Lukasz Fabianski and Michail Antonio were the top scoring goalkeepers and forwards available too. The point of the story is assess the draw and choose the right team to target on the doubles. West Ham had Palace away and Norwich at home in the double.

New Options

Tottenham and Leicester have several games in hand starting with doubles this gameweek so they’re worth inspection. Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris is a reliable option, having collected 31 points from their past six gameweeks.

Davinson Sanchez netted last gameweek for Spurs and is a regular, while Emerson Royal has proved handy with Fantasy points. Harry Kane scored in three straight games before drawing a blank last gameweek. He’s still pricey so he’s a tough call.

Leicester’s top options loom as James Maddison and Youri Tielemans with Jamie Vardy and Kelechi Iheanacho out, which may make Patson Daka more appetising.

Brighton’s Dan Burn is an interesting cheap defensive option, given the Seagulls’ double and his set-piece threat. He’s not someone you’d keep for the season, but he may be worth a shot. Burn’s Brighton teammate Neal Maupay looms as a mid-price forward option too. He has managed 68 points for the season.

Watford’s Emmanuel Dennis is not a new option. In fact he’s been popular all season, but Watford’s double is juicy and he’s been their best point scorer. But he has an injury worry.

Finally, Bruno Fernandes is in ordinary form, managing only two points from Manchester United’s past three gameweeks but is he worth a punt on their double against Villa and Brentford?

Who to captain?

It needs to be a player on the double. The likes of Kane and Fernandes have excellent point scoring history but their form lines are hard to trust. Cristiano Ronaldo would be high on the list but also has an injury concern which needs to be monitored.

Chelsea’s Mason Mount has scored 95 Fantasy points this season and is on a double, but one is against City. The other is softer, against Brighton. He may be the pick of the Blues’ options, alongside Jorginho.

Injuries

There’s a lot to cover in this category, firstly with Martin Odegaard and Phil Foden out with COVID-19, while Raheem Sterling isn’t certain to return in time for City after testing positive earlier this month.

The AFCON list is long and exhaustive with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Nicolas Pepe, Yves Bissouma, Mendy, Wilfried Zaha, Iheanacho, Salah, Sadio Mane, Naby Keita, Mahrez and Benrahma among those absent.

To add to that, Ronaldo is in doubt with a groin issue which saw him miss the FA Cup game on Monday, while Son Heung-Min has been ruled out for the month by Spurs.

Sergio Reguilon, Dennis and Armando Broja will all face fitness tests, while Watford’s Ismaila Sarr is out with a knee injury and may still link up with Senegal at AFCON. There’s also doubts on Vicente Guiata (hand) and Emile Smith Rowe (hip).

Ben somerford
Sports Pundit staff writer @bensomerford
Australian journalist who specialises on all sports, focusing on football, tennis, basketball and racing, having written for global publications including FourFourTwo, AAP, Inside Futbol and many more....

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