Gameweek 24: Fantasy Preview

Posted by John Culea

Neville Williams/Getty ImagesAston Villa's revived Christian Benteke faces an Everton team riddled with injuries and suspension.

There is a fast turnaround from Week 23 to Week 24 and a chance to check the announced lineups of four teams before kickoff.

Saturday, February 1
Newcastle (11-4-8) vs. Sunderland (5-6-12)
Newcastle have lost Yohan Cabaye in a transfer and Loic Remy is suspended. Yoan Gouffran is a doubt.
Adam Johnson is on fire with five goals and two assists in three games. He is a one-man gang trying to lead them out of relegation while Vito Mannone is nails in goal.

West Ham (4-7-12) vs. Swansea (6-6-11)
West Ham withstood 39 shots by Chelsea to earn a draw; however, is there a goal-scorer on the team? Big Sam's lads took only one shot against the Blues. Mohamed Diame and Joey O'Brien are out hurt.
Nathan Dyer could return. Swansea are relying on Jonjo Shelvey and Wilfried Bony and are a week away from getting Michu back. The Swans are awful on the road.

Cardiff (4-6-13) vs. Norwich (6-6-11)
Cardiff are dead last and dead in the water.
This may be the dullest game of the weekend. The Canaries have scored only seven goals on the road and Bradley Johnson is suspended.

Everton (11-9-3 vs. Aston Villa (7-6-10)
Everton will be without injured Romelu Lukaku, and Seamus Coleman and Sylvain Distin are still sidelined. Gerard Deulofeu and Arouna Kone are also on the injured list. After weeks in hibernation, Christian Benteke has roared to life with three goals and an assist in his last three games and Andreas Wiemann has two goals in two matches. Villa have a better road record than at home, Everton have only conceded nine goals at home.

Fulham (6-1-16) vs. Southampton (8-8-7)
Fifty goals conceded and 16 losses make for a sad-sack Fulham team in the drop zone.
Adam Lallana continues to sparkle on offense for the Saints. Rickie Lambert is doubtful.

Hull (6-5-12) vs. Tottenham (13-4-6)
Hull thrive at home and have given up only eight goals on their home pitch. Goalkeeper Alan McGregor is suspended and Jake Livermore cannot face his parent club.
Spurs will try to recover from the 1-5 pasting against Manchester City. Christian Eriksen is Spurs best player. Jan Vertonghen is needed to return for the defense. Danny Rose is suspended. Roberto Soldado may be recalled.

Stoke (5-7-11) vs. Manchester United (12-4-7)
Stoke is on a rot having managed just one point in six matches and only 22 goals scored. They meet a United team nearly fully loaded.
Robin van Persie looked lively and scored in his first game back since December 7. Wayne Rooney is set to fill the nets and new transfer Juan Mata appears ready to run the offense. Nemanja Vidic is suspended.

Sunday, February 2
WBA (4-10-9) vs. Liverpool (14-4-5)
The Baggies blew a two-goal lead at Aston Villa and offered little offensive threat, despite goals from Chris Brunt and Youssouf Mulumbu.
Liverpool is scoring in bunches, now 57 goals for the season. Daniel Sturridge has four goals in three games and Luis Suarez has four goals in his last four games. Steven Gerrard with three goals in three games will not likely let Sturridge take any more penalty kicks.

Arsenal (16-4-3) vs. Crystal Palace (7-2-14)
Santi Cazorla has come to fantasy life with three goals in two games. Olivier Giroud is a good fantasy pick and the Gunners have conceded fewer goals (six) at home than any team. Jack Wilshere is out and Aaron Ramsey is now a long-term injury. Mathieu Flamini is suspended.
Tony Pulis has resurrected Palace from the dead; however, with just 15 goals scored, this will not be a weekend of celebration at the Emirates. Jason Puncheon has two goals in two games.

Monday, February 3
Manchester City (17-2-4) vs. Chelsea (15-5-3)
The marquee game of the week has City with a perfect 11-0-0 record at home and 42 goals scored with just eight conceded. Sergio Aguero is injured and out for a month and Alvaro Negredo faces a late fitness test, but firepower will come from Edin Dzeko who has four goals in five games. Yaya Toure has three goals and one assist in four games.
The Chelsea defense has five clean sheets in the last seven matches. Eden Hazard, Oscar, and Frank Lampard each had six shots against West Ham and could not score. City will be no easier.

Recommended fantasy captains: Suarez, Cazorla, van Persie, Rooney, and Mata

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