NMA – EPL DGW-28 Pre-Deadline & Live Chat at FPL & Fantrax

DGW-28 promises double production for eight teams, but after an unimpressive performance from the Clarets last time out, caution is in order. Man City host rivals Manchester United in the weekend’s blockbuster clash which could have huge ramifications for the title race. Title-chasing Liverpool also have an unpredictable West Ham side, sometimes in the top 4, to contend with this weekend. The dance card promises to captivate fans with races for the top and bottom.

For fantasy managers, here are your DGW teams:


Saturday

Leicester against Leeds

[ For Fantrax managers, this is the one early match that should confirm lineups before the Fantrax deadline. ]

The Foxes will be looking forward to two wins from two when they host Leeds in the opener of GW-28. Leicester endured a topsy-turvy season that failed to fight for a place in the top 6. Leeds are freshly punished with the sacking of manager Marcelo Bielsa, ending his four-year spell at the club. The Argentine left after a losing streak in which the Peacocks conceded 17 goals in their last four games.

Injuries and suspensions

James Maddison and Ricardo Pierrera are major doubts for this game, and the likes of Jonny Evans, James Justin and Ryan Bertrand are ruled out. For Leeds, Patrick Bamford and Diego Llorente are set to face late fitness tests, but Kalvin Philipps and Liam Cooper are both ruled out.

Prediction: 2-1

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Aston Villa v Southampton

Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa ended a three-match winless streak with a 0-2 away win against Brighton last week. The Villans have flirted with good and bad since Gerrard’s appointment. So it’s hard to predict what we’ll see from them this weekend. The Saints look to be on a high, currently enjoying an unbeaten run of three wins and two draws in their last five – with Man City and Man United among those results to give them clout.

Injuries and suspensions

Aston Villa have no new injury problems. Mohamed Salisu, Shane Long, Kyle Walker-Peters and Mohamed Elyounoussi are all doubts for Southampton.

Prediction: 1-1

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Burnley v Chelsea

Burnley failed to fully exploit the last DGW, scoring just one goal to earn a single point from a possible six. Despite a recent upturn in form, the Clarets still find themselves sandwiched in the bottom three, one point off 17and Everton Square. Chelsea bounced back from a disappointing League Cup final by coming from behind to defeat mighty Luton City in the FA Cup on Wednesday. But with Russian owner Roman Abramovich under a political cloud and rushing to sell the club after 20 years, some Blues could be distracted.

Injuries and suspensions

Ben Mee and Dale Stephens are both doubts, but Erik Pieters is ruled out for a few weeks with a knee injury. Chelsea have no new injury problems.

Prediction: 1-2

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Newcastle v Brighton

Four wins and a draw in their last five games saw the Magpies climb out of the relegation zone at 14and in the table. They have seen a huge improvement in form since the appointment of Eddie Howe and new owners whose new money bought new players in the January transfer window. Despite Kieran Trippier’s season-ending injury, their recent form makes them slight favourites. Brighton have had another season that hasn’t been bad, but it hasn’t managed to become very good territory either. The Seagulls continued to impress with ball possession and game control, but a lack of cutting edge continues to ruin them.

Injuries and suspensions

Allan Saint Maximin and Matt Richie are both expected to face late fitness tests while Kieran Trippier is out for the season. Both Adam Lallana and Jeremy Samiento could return for Brighton in this game.

Prediction: 2-0

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Norwich v Brentford

Norwich and Brentford face off in a bottom-half clash with relegation ramifications. Despite being five places apart, only seven points separate the two teams. A win for Norwich would give the Canaries momentum and confidence in late-season business while dragging Brentford deeper into the relegation fight.

Injuries and suspensions

Ozan Kabak is struggling with a shoulder injury so he is unlikely to feature for Norwich. Joshua Dasilva is ruled out for Brentford due to a red card.

Prediction: 1-0

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Wolves vs Crystal Palace

Wolves’ European aspirations have deflated in recent weeks. Bruno Lage’s side have won just one of their last four games, falling to 8andfive points behind 5and West Ham Square. Crystal Palace could only manage a draw when Burnley visited Selhurst Park last week.

Injuries and suspensions

Nelson Semedo is out for a month with a thigh injury. Crystal Palace have no new injury problems.

Prediction: 0-0

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Liverpool v West Ham

League Cup winners Liverpool come into this game in top-flight form. The Reds are currently on a six-game winning streak in the league that has narrowed the gap behind league leaders Man City to just six points with one game less. West Ham ended a five-game losing streak by beating Wolves last time out. Despite their poor form, the Hammers are still in contention for a top four finish.

Injuries and suspensions

Curtis Jones, Nabil Keita and Joel Matip are doubts, while Roberto Firmino and Thiago Alcantara are both ruled out. Thomas Soucek and Mark Noble are both doubts for West Ham, while Vladimir Coufal is ruled out with a groin injury.

Prediction: 2-0


Sunday

Watford v Arsenal

Changing managers has not changed Watford’s predilection for flirting with both the sublime and the ridiculous. However, another ‘unbeaten run’ of a win and a draw could give the Hornets the momentum they need in their aerial relegation battle. Arsenal have won their last three games to put the Gunners firmly in the hunt for the top four. They are two points behind fourth-placed Man United with Three games in hand. The Gunners were particularly impressive in their recent win over Wolves.

Injuries and suspensions

Ismaila Sarr is ruled out for Watford while Takehiro Tomiyasu is out for Arsenal.

Prediction: 0-2

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Manchester City v Manchester United

Manchester Derby! It may be fantastic dust, but it is drama. Pep Guardiola’s league leaders Man City host erstwhile great Man United (but still 4th) at the Etihad in the weekend’s blockbuster Premier League clash. Each team enters this game needing a win to keep the season on track. A defeat for City could see Liverpool close in on the current game for the Reds. Man United, on the other hand, need a win to stay in the top four.

Injuries and suspensions

Ruben Dias remains ruled out for Man City while the Red Devils have no new injury concerns.

Prediction: 2-0


Monday

Tottenham against Everton

Antonio Conte must still be in shock after watching his full-strength Spurs side fall to Championship side Middleborough in FA Cup extra time on Tuesday. Spurs have suffered from inconsistency all season. Recent defeats to Burnley and Middleborough after big wins over Man City and Leeds clearly show how inconsistent the north London side have been playing all season. Meanwhile, a routine FA Cup win over Boreham Wood on Thursday was the perfect warm-up for Frank Lampard’s Everton side before they face Tottenham’s top four prospects. A spirited performance against Man City, who should have snatched a point last week, should give Everton confidence.

Injuries and suspensions

Everton are without Yerry Mina, while Dominic Calvert Lewin, Fabian Delph, Ben Godfrey and Andre Gomes are all doubts. Tottenham have no new injury problems.

Prediction: 1-1


Thursday

Wolves v Watford

Wolves’ results from their last two DGW fixtures show their credentials for a top-four finish. Wins in two home games in this DGW will bring them closer to fourth place Man United. Bruno Lage’s decision to rest some of his usual starters in GW-27 should mean a full squad in both halves of DGW-28.

Watford come into this game knowing that even a point could become decisive at the end of the season. A recent string of clean sheets will leave them positive about their chances of securing a result at Les Molineux.

Prediction: 1-0

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Southampton v Newcastle

Two in-form sides face off when Southampton host Newcastle on Thursday. Neither team has lost in the last four, so it will be interesting to watch and difficult to predict if either can emerge victorious. Newcastle are eager to increase the distance above the relegation-hunting pack, and Southampton are looking to solidify a place in the top half.

Prediction: 2-2

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Norwich v Chelsea

Chelsea are the clear favorite against bottom Norwich on Thursday. The Blues have no room for slip-ups as the chasing pack of Arsenal, Tottenham, West Ham and Man United are hot on their heels in the sprint for a top-four place. A three-game losing streak has taken Norwich to the bottom of the table. An upset win in that sort of game would give the Canaries the much-needed belief (and three priceless points) to start a run that could salvage their otherwise disappointing season.

Prediction: 0-3

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Leeds v Aston Villa

Leeds have a rebounding chance under new manager to move away from the bottom three when the Villans visit Elland Road. Currently 16th, the Peacocks are desperate for the change of manager to improve their results, especially in defense. On the other side, Gerrard is eager for his seventh win as Villa boss.

Prediction: 2-2


Please add your thoughts and questions! How are your teams structured? What late news have you seen? Please join us in the comments below!

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