EPL Fantasy Preview: Match Week 26

Michael Regan

Looking at who to sit and who to play for the weekday games.

Who saw what happened this past weekend coming? Wow! Arsenal gets ran out of Anfield by Liverpool, Manchester City refuses to take advantage once again and mighty Fulham goes into Old Trafford and earns a draw with a goal during "Fergie Time".  It was an insane couple of days and, if we are lucky, will only get crazier!

We have a full slate of weekday games this week so let's get to who to play and who to bench.

Goalkeepers

  • Maarten Stekelenburg (Fulham) - He played out of his mind on Sunday, keeping Fulham in the match by making crucial saves. United was basically playing in their offensive end the entire match and to just give up 2 goals is spectacular. Now, he gets Liverpool. (VERDICT: BENCH)
  • Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur) - Kept a clean sheet against the Toffees on Sunday and now faces a horrid Newcastle side. (VERDICT: PLAY)

Defenders

  • John Arne Riise (Fulham) - No way Fulham's defense can stand up tall for a second game against top talent. Liverpool might outdo their effort from Saturday. (VERDICT: BENCH)
  • Mark Hudson (Cardiff City) - Hudson came out last week and stated that he is "very, very confident we (Cardiff) can stay in this league". If he want to back up the talk, he needs a big game this week. (VERDICT: PLAY)
  • Vincent Kompany (Manchester City) - The defense hasn't been City's problem lately. (VERDICT: PLAY)
  • Leighton Baines (Everton) - OOOOOHHHHH, Baines sort of took a shot at old manager David Moyes this past week. Wait, who DIDN'T take a shot at Moyes last week? (VERDICT: PLAY)

Midfielders

  • Steve Sidwell (Fulham) - I take back everything bad I have ever said about Mr. Sidwell. He has been playing great football his season and, when he scored the opening goal on Sunday, I received no less than eight text messages from friends. With that said, sit him against Liverpool. (VERDICT: BENCH)
  • Juan Mata (Manchester United) - He is playing superb football. Unfortunately for United fans, he is the only one. His vision on the pitch is absolutely insane. (VERDICT: PLAY)
  • David Luiz (Chelsea) - The new EPL leaders will stay on top with an easy win at West Brom. Luiz is gearing up for the World Cup in his home Brazil. (VERDICT: PLAY)
  • Nathan Dyer (Swansea City) - After winning the battle of the Welsh teams on Saturday, Swansea look to continue their good form against mighty Stoke. Stoke can't handle Dyer. (VERDICT: PLAY)
  • Kevin Nolan (West Ham United) - Got a brace on Saturday. Look for him to put the ball into the net again. (VERDICT: PLAY)

Forwards

  • Luis Suarez (Liverpool) - I tweeted this on Saturday, but seriously, what were the chances that three players from Liverpool who has a last name that starts with S would score and NONE of them would be Suarez? Shows you depth. It also shows how porous Arsenal's defense is. (VERDICT: PLAY, as always)
  • Robin van Persie (Manchester United) - Was the benefactor of an easy goal opportunity on Sunday. Will this help him go on a run? Nah. (VERDICT: BENCH)
  • Steven Naismith (Everton) - Played remarkably well against Spurs but had no goals to show for it. I like his chances against Crystal Palace. (VERDICT: PLAY)
  • Nicklas Bendtner (Arsenal) - Just, ummm, what's the word, ummm, not good. (VERDICT: BENCH)
  • Fernando Torres (Chelsea) - He's set to return against West Brom. If he plays, I would definitely keep him on your fantasy pitch. (VERDICT: PLAY)

As always, feel free to Tweet me (@brianjstultz) or email me (brianjstultz@gmail.com) if you have any questions or comments.

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