Gameweek 27 Fantasy Preview

Wayne Rooney missed his second penalty of the season against West HamPA PhotosWayne Rooney could be sidelined for another game

Round 27 will have just nine matches with Liverpool and Swansea City idle after their double game week in round 26. Most managers will be using a transfer or two to have a full slate of players eligible for points. However, with Fulham and Stoke City playing the early game on Saturday, there will only be that match to check announced line-ups before the week locks.

Saturday, February 23

Fulham (7-8-11) - Stoke City (7-12-7)
A wake-up call for Dimitar Berbatov is in order. He has one goal in his last five matches. The 10th-placed Potters are awful in attack and now look shaky in defence.

Arsenal (12-8-6) - Aston Villa (5-9-12)

Aston Villa give up about two goals a game. Their average will be worse after this one is over. Theo Walcott, Santi Cazorla, Olivier Giroud and co. should have a blast at home, perhaps giving Arsene Wenger some relief from his contract woes and memories of the dismal performance against Bayern Munich. Barcary Sagna is out with a knee injury.

The only Villa player who could make it a bad day for the Gunners is Christian Benteke, who has scored six goals in six games. Charles N'Zogbia returns from injury for Villa.

Norwich City (6-11-9) - Everton (10-12-4)

Anthony Pilkington could be back and is needed for the weak Canary attack. Will Marouane Fellaini concentrate on playing instead of whining? If so, he will score. The two teams have a combined 23 draws.

QPR (2-11-13) - Manchester United (21-2-3)

The trio of Cesar, Remy, and Hoilett are due back from injury for QPR. Fabio can't play because he is on loan from SAF's library. Rangers have only scored 19 goals in 26 games. Manchester United have scored 62!

The regulars should start for Fergie, although Wayne Rooney's sinus problem could keep him out. Even so, despite Christoper Samba and Julio Cesar guarding the net, this could be a rout. Phil Jones is out injured.

Reading (5-8-13) - Wigan (5-6-15)

This is a key game for teams in relegation territory. Reading's Adam Federici was sensational against Manchester United in the FA Cup, making 11 saves. The Royals attack is weak and Jimmy Kebe is a doubt. Arouna Kone, back from African Nations Cup duty, scored an FA Cup brace and looks lethal. Will key defender Antolin Alcaraz finally return from injury?

WBA (11-4-11) - Sunderland (7-8-11)

Why Steve Clarke does not start Romelu Lukaku is a mystery. He may on Saturday for the ninth-placed Baggies who are still the Premier League' s surprise team of the season.

Sunderland's Simon Mignolet has turned into the best fantasy goalkeeper with 100 saves and nine clean sheets. James McClean's return from injury will help the Black Cats.

Sunday, February 24

Manchester City (15-8-3) - Chelsea (14-7-5)

On paper this should be a terrific match to watch. Both teams have scored 55 goals and only conceded 28.
Gareth Barry is out with a knock. Vincent Kompany may return for City in a big boost for the champions.

Juan Mata is Mr. Everything. Based on Thursday's Europa League victory, Rafa Benitez likely will start Demba Ba, Frank Lampard and Branislav Ivanovic who were rested. Eden Hazard got the late goal against Sparta.

Newcastle (7-6-13) - Southampton (6-9-11)

Newcomer forward Yoan Gouffran could return to partner midfield sensation Moussa Sissoko who will be deployed in an attacking role. Hatem Ben Arfa's lengthy absence with a hamstring injury may continue.

The Magpies got a Europa victory Thursday, but Shola Ameobi, who scored a great penalty, could be sidelined with a hamstring problem. The Saints are expecting many players back from injury including defender Luke Shaw.

Monday, February 25

West Ham (8-6-12) - Tottenham (14-6-6)

The Hammers hope defender James Collins will be fit. Gareth Bale seems unstoppable. Jermaine Defoe is still out with an injury. Spurs will have an additional two days rest after their last-gasp Europa win on Thursday. Moussa Dembele's late goal shows why he should be up front more.

Managerial rotation is a concern for fantasy managers and Sir John believes that possibility is greatest in round 28.

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