Duke’s EPL DFS Preview for Saturday’s three-match slate…
It’s good to have breaks. I know you all work hard. I work hard. We have an awesome community. Hopefully you were able to refresh during the international break like I was.
I’m excited about tackling this EPL slate but I can’t help but harp on the fact that these players weren’t able to refresh themselves. In fact, in many cases they were pushed to their limits.
Some…shit, many…were exposed to COVID. Some were hurt. It’s ridiculous that they have to do this with the already rigorous schedule they face…oh, you know, AT THEIR JOB.
I could bitch for hours about the insane nature of club teams releasing their assets in the middle of the season but that’s not making us any money. Let’s get to the good stuff.
To the desert…
-Aston Villa +120 2.5 (-140o/+110u)
-Tottenham +305 3 (EVENo/-125u)
Man City -125
-Man United -335 3 (EVENo/-125u)
West Brom +900
We say this every week but especially after an international break, team news will be KEY. There are so many players who just played Tuesday or Wednesday and likely won’t be training with their teams until Friday and then hopefully playing on Saturday. It’s a mess, but we’ll make our way through it.
Villa is the surprise of the season for me! Am I ready to say I was wrong about Ollie Watkins? Surely, you know me better than that by now. Of course I’m NOT ready.
However, the addition of Ross Barkley has also created a spark in the attacking third, creating more chances for Watkins and Grealish. Villa showed great fight to get off the schneid away to Arsenal.
Coming off back-to-back losses that had everyone asking if the first four games were simply fool’s gold, the response was great and put Villa right back on track.
Villa come in as home favorites here and that’s how I see it as well. Villa haven’t lost to Brighton in 10 games. That dates back to before I was born, fyi. Outside of the stinker against Leeds, they’ve ranged from competitive (Southampton) to brilliant (Liverpool). If they fall somewhere in that range here they’ll be in line for three points.
Brighton are conceding nearly two goals per game but have found their scoring touch on the road this season. The 3-0 win over Newcastle certainly boosts the numbers but they are yet to be shut out away from home and have a draw against Palace on their CV as well.
I can see both teams scoring here with perhaps Villa jumping out to a 1-0 or 2-0 lead before Brighton grabs one late to make it close. They’ve scored three goals in the last 15 minutes of away matches.
Let’s gooooo! Pep Guardiola just signed up for two more years with Man City. The stability at the helm will help but honestly, does this team need help?
Torres looks like a brilliant signing and bagged some goals on international duty this week/end for Spain. Foden picked up quality minutes for England. They are overflowing with talent. Ruben Dias looks like he might be the missing piece to anchor this back line.
As a United fan it makes me sick but here we are. But, guess what? Mourinho loves to park the bus and he’s had success against this City team in recent memory.
Let’s go back to February of last season. Spurs were desperate for points. They were in a tough spell and in comes big bad Pep Guardiola and Man City.
Mourinho does what Mourinho does, parks his defense at the top of the box and puts 11 guys behind the ball. Sure, Man City had 67% possession and outshot Spurs 19-3. Mourinho waited out City, Zinchenko was sent off in the 60th minute and three minutes later Spurs were up 1-0.
You might say, well that’s a bit fluky Duke. What about the game before?
I’m glad you asked. This game was at the Etihad and had a slightly better but still maddening final scoreline. City tied Spurs 2-2 but outpossessed Tottenham 55/45 and outshot them an astonishing 30-3. THIRTY TO THREE!!
So yes, we can look at options from both sides, but clearly the preference here is with City. Tottenham haven’t had weapons like they have now either but I still expect a similar game plan and game flow.
Can Man United field a competent first 11? They have so many injuries and issues at the back. Let’s walk through them quick:
Luke Shaw – hamstring – out
Eric Bailly – What is it today? Guy is always hurt – Out
Harry Maguire – Played 90 minutes mid-week for England but has a foot issue – Doubtful
Lindelof – Back issue and had to come off mid-week for Sweden – Doubtful
Alex Telles – COVID 19 scare – Has been in quarantine but did show up to the training ground this morning and hopefully will be fit to play.
Martial and Rashford are both fitness doubts as well. Rashy pulled out of England duty. Martial had a back issue that kept him out of the France game against Sweden.
We know that Fred/McTominay were the midfield pair before the international break but McTominay dropped into defense when an issue arose in the last match. Does he shift back to CB? Does Pogba come back into the side? What the hell is going on with van de Beek?
By the way, Man United wins this game and we need shares of whoever starts. United are desperate for three points here. For one, they need to work their way up the table, but they also need to regain that positive momentum at Old Trafford. They are yet to win a Prem match at home this season and losing three and drawing the other match to start the year.
Away from home West Brom have been really poor. They conceded five to Everton, two to Southampton, two to Fulham and one to Brighton. They have certainly been more competitive in their last four matches but the 2-0 loss to Fulham cemented their place in the relegation zone.
Team news will be big. Unfortunately, it’s the last match of the day so we’ll need to plan accordingly or simply fade all together as there are no sure things.
*These are the core plays but I anticipate us looking for value with the big $ at M*
- Rashford – MU – $8.5k
His form wasn’t exactly sparkling prior to the break and he’s nursing a shoulder injury but should he start this is as juicy a matchup as he’ll see all year. His value has been hurt this season with the loss of pens to Bruno but he still has a massive two goal+ upside.
- Jesus – MCI – $7.7k
He’s scored in each of his premier league games this season and I have him finding the net here as well. The #9 for City should always be $8.5k or more so we are seeing value on the price here. City at home will be on the front foot and I have him with three or more shots.
- Greenwood – MU – $6.6k
Martial is certainly an option as well for United but I’ll attack this West Brom defense from the wings. I would anticipate a 4-3-3 and Greenwood is about 1k too cheap in this role. His goal scoring ability is like few I’ve seen at his age. It’s right foot/left foot/head — doesn’t matter, he just finds the back of the net.
- Watkins – AVL – $7.8k
This is so expensive for him but this Villa team is attacking like we haven’t seen them attack in year’s past. Add in the home favorite factor and this player averaging 2.7 shots per game over his last three is on my radar.
- Hueng-Min – TOT – $8.3k
Did bag a goal against City last year and has added a more permanent role on set pieces to his DFS array of skills. Surely, they’ll defend and counter and for my money, there is no one better in the league than Sonny on the counter attack. Risk invovled here but the juice is worth the squeeze.
- Fade: Harry Kane – $9.3k
EVEN IF HE SCORES, I can’t see him actually paying off this price considering how they play.
*Grab two of the three at the top and run with it*
- Fernandes – MU – $11k
This guy murders bad teams. 43.3 against Newcastle. 20.3 against Palace. 26.8 against Brighton. I seriously have his floor at 2x. I prefer him to KDB and Grealish.
- Grealish – AVL – $8.8k
His floor is lower than the top two but so is his price. His ceiling is similar. Brighton are conceding nearly two goals per game and Grealish’s goal involvement has been off the charts this year with four goals and five assists through just seven games. Can he keep this up? I say yes. He has 11 shots over his last two games and was on fire for England last weekend. His confidence will be riding high.
- De Bruyne – MCI – $10.6k
In the two matches they played last year against Spurs KDB went for 40.4 and 19.1. The 19.1 was away to Spurs as they are here. He played 90 minutes and had 12 crosses with four shots. I can see a similar output here but the key is with goal impact output. Without a goal or assist, others will pass him for value at the position.
- Torres – MCI – $5.5k
This price – lol. He’s FAR less of a sure thing as the top three, hence his ranking. He also can hit 4x if City turn the screw a bit here. Sterling is questionable and Mahrez will likely start off the right flank. Knowing KDB generally slides that direction as well leaves more space and less defenders on the backside for someone like Torres to slip in and grab a goal.
- Barkley – AVL – $7.4k
18 shots in seven games is what I want from my #10. Barkley looks to have some wind in his sails this year and is flourishing in this open system. His crossing and shots assisted numbers are off the chart. Six, four and four shots assisted in his last three is eye popping stuff. If not for the top three, I’d have more love here. GPP option for sure.
- Pogba – MU – $4.1k
This is Pogba coming off the bench pricing. Look, he’s been poor this year but if he can’t get it done against West Brom, go ahead and ship his ass to Spain because I won’t be rostering him ever again. This price is appropriate for his current production but far too cheap for the matchup and ability of this player.
- Lamptey – BHA – $6.1k
Want a deeper GPP option? Villa can concede goals and Lamptey has been unleashed as an attacking force in games like this. One issue is that his deep runs into the box at times get too close to the goal and he doesn’t register crossing stats for his passes into attackers in the box. Make no mistake, he’s attacking.
- Gundogan – MCI – $3.7k
We typically like him without Mahrez and KDB. Both will likely play but this is still too cheap. Worst case scenario he goes for 1x and we get exposure to cheap Man City shares.
- Cancelo – MCI – $5.2k
Alright so the left back experiment is working. I don’t love teh pay up options on the slate but he’s the best of the bunch. We aren’t sure exactly what we’ll get from Telles, or even if he’s fit enough to last 90 minutes. The worry here is his failure to crack double digits against Liverpool and Arsenal. City should have the majority of possession but I’m hesitant here.
- Mings – AVL – $3.4k
Six shots and two goals with an assist in seven games for a CB. He’s fearless in the air and has some upside here. Brighton are a tall team but Mings can have his way.
- Targett – AVL – $4k
Once a staple in our lineups, I believe this will be the first time he’s in consideration for my main lineup in the 20/21 season. His pricing and role make sense for my preferred roster construction. Teh upside is a touch limited but the floor is solid.
- Webster – BHA – $2.6k
Seven shots in eight appearances for Webster at this price is worth a stab. He only has one yellow card so we are hopefully avoiding the complete stinker if he can maintain his discipline record.
- Walker – MCI – $4.4k
While double digits is unlikely, he’s a safer bet to hit 7-8 than the CBs listed.
- De Gea – MU – $5.9k
GK is gross. Highest CS odds and most likely to get a win. I hate paying up at GK but here we go.
- Lloris – TOT – $4.2k
You heard the shot numbers, right? Save opportunties all over the place. Even if he concedes two, he can get home.
- Martinez – AVL – $5k
CS/W is possible but I do have both teams scoring here.