Gameweek 27: Fantasy Preview

Posted by John Culea

John Peters/Getty ImagesWill a new contract help break the goal drought for Manchester United's Wayne Rooney?

Saturday, February 22
Chelsea (17-6-3) vs. Everton (12-9-4)
This is the only game to check announced lineups before the fantasy week locks.
Chelsea come off a dismal dismissal from the FA Cup. Eden Hazard has 12 goals, double what any teammate has. The Blues have conceded the fewest goals (21) in the league. John Terry will return, David Luiz is out.
Everton have made it to the FA Cup final eight and unveiled a bright talent in Ivorian Lacina Traore. The forward will spell Romelu Lukaku who cannot play against his parent club. Steven Naismith, in good form has recovered from a concussion.

Arsenal (17-5-4) Sunderland (6-6-13)
Arsenal took out Liverpool in the FA Cup with goals from Alex Oxlade-Champerlain and Lukas Podolski. Olivier Giroud leads the team with 10 goals but is not a guaranteed starter. Mesut Ozil is in a funk.
Sunderland is back in the drop zone and have Adam Johnson as their main scoring threat. Wes Brown is suspended.

Cardiff (5-7-14) vs. Hull (7-6-13)
Gary Medel is out with an injury for Cardiff, a team with only 19 goals scored, 44 conceded in 26 games, and Craig Bellamy is suspended. The relegation trap door is a few weeks from opening.
Hull plays poorly away from home, scoring just nine goals in 13 games but transfers Shane Long and Nikica Jelavic offer hope.

Manchester City (17-3-5) vs. Stoke (6-9-11)
The Citizens have scored 42 goals at home and conceded just nine. Sergio Aguero and Matija Nastasic are out. Stevan Jovetic seems preferred to Alvaro Negrego.
Stoke, once defensive misers have leaked 41 goals, third worst in the league and Robert Huth is still out. Peter Crouch has two goals in two games.

WBA (4-12-10) vs. Fulham (6-2-18)
The Baggies are draw specialists and tied on points with 18th place Sunderland. They will be without Jonas Olsson and Stephane Sessegnon.
Fulham have given up 58 goals and now goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg is a doubt with an eye injury.

West Ham (7-7-12) vs. Southampton (10-9-7)
The Hammers and goalkeeper Adrian have four straight clean sheets. With Kevin Nolan scoring, West Ham have jumped out of relegation doom to 11th. Andy Carroll is suspended.
The Saints tidy season has them eighth. Jay Rodriguez leads with ten goals, Rickie Lambert eight, and Adam Lallana seven. Lambert has seven assists. Defender Jose Fonte has two goals in his last four matches. Dejan Lovren could return.

Crystal Palace (8-2-15) vs. Manchester United (12-6-8)
Crystal Palace have managed only 18 goals in 25 matches, but their defense keeps them above relegation water.
Wayne Rooney's last goal was on Boxing Day but he has signed a new deal. Phil Jones may return but Jonny Evans is out injured. Robin van Persie, Rooney, and Juan Mata are still trying to mesh.

Sunday, February 23
Liverpool (16-5-5) vs. Swansea (7-7-12)
Daniel Sturridge has seven goals and two assists in his last six PL games. Luis Suarez's goals have dried up but he still is the top fantasy forward. Glen Johnson could return, but do they need him?
Michu is close to returning, but not Sunday. Wilfried Bony leads the Swans with eight goals. New manager Garry Monk saw his team crash out of the FA Cup and even though they are in 10th place, they are only four points out of the drop zone. They were at home in Europa League competition Thursday and had a scoreless draw against Napoli.

Newcastle (11-4-11) vs. Aston Villa (7-7-12)
The Magpies are bleeding goals, now ten in the last three PL games. Loic Remy returns from suspension and they may get Fabricio Coloccini back.
Aston Villa's positive season continues with hopes Christian Benteke has regained his scoring form.

Norwich (6-7-13) vs. Tottenham (15-5-6)
You never know what you get from the Canaries defense: stingy one game, generous the next. What you do know is they rarely score goals; just 19 in 26 matches.
Spurs rested several first-team regulars during the break while losing 1-0 in the Ukraine on Thursday in Europa League. Roberto Soldado still has no clue how to get the ball in the net.
Emmanuel Adebayor has three goals in his last two games. Christian Eriksen has disappeared in team importance.

Recommended fantasy captains: Sturridge, Suarez, Adebayor, van Persie, and Rooney


Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.