Duke breaks down Tuesday’s DFS four-match slate for the English Premier League!
Alright alright! We’re getting better slates. We have four games with two different time slots. It’s better than nothing boys and girls and we have a ton of soccer action to get to this week.
This slate features Man United and Arsenal plus several teams jockeying for position in the table. We’ve also seen the close of the January transfer window. Some new faces have come in and some familiar faces have left, particularly for Arsenal.
Mesut Ozil left for Fenerbache and that drama is over. Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Joe Willock have left the club as well. The business was done early for Wolves with William Jose already making his full debut.
West Brom could feature the previously mentioned Ainsley Maitland-Niles. Newcastle could feature the previously mentioned Joe Willock! Both young players would add to their news squads.
Also, in this slate we have two games with totals of just 2 goals. Perhaps the ownership will trend later in the 3:15 slots where the totals are a touch higher… Regardless it’s going to be a fun one to break down. Let’s get to it.
To the desert….
Don’t you love the Premier League? Just when you think you have it figured out everything changes.
Sheffield United again put in a good performance against Manchester City. However they finally buckled under the constant pressure and lost 1-0. Still this does not look like a team that is automatically relegated. They play organized. They play Sheffield football.
The concern for Sheffield this year isn’t how they play against the big boys, it’s what they do against the bottom half. That is how Chris Wilder will keep these boys up. They lost to West Brom earlier in the season and will look to right the ship here in what could be a low-scoring game. With a total of 2 and slight juice on the over Vegas certainly appears to agree with that game flow.
Sheffield will be without The Usual Suspects then Osborn, Jack Robinson, Sander Berge and end Stevens are still out but the Midfield three of Lunstrum, Norwood and Fleck combined with the wing play from Bogle have given this team stability and dynamism going forward when they do have possession.
McGoldrick looks likely to head back to the starting XI and his work-rate cannot be understated with how important it is to their success. Burke is finally finding his form as we were on him early in the year and he failed to produce perhaps he is slightly overlooked in a situation where Sheffield are finally favorites.
West Brom in one sense did well to get a point against Fulham and in another dropped two crucial points and their race for salvation. With Tottenham Man United and Brighton coming up in the next 5 games surely this is one of their best chances for points.
It’s a game of two teams who are hyper organized and favor defense over attack. Will some new faces emerge for this West Brom attack and where does Maitland-Niles lineup? That is the question I would love the answer to?
The total is low for a reason and I can see this finishing 1-0, 0-0 or 2-0 either way with Sheffield being the more likely to pull off 3 points.
Wolves at home are conceding 1.3 goals per game. Their form has been poor. Their play has been poor. Their attack has been abysmal. William Jose certainly gives them a different look up front and they’ll welcome the return of Raul Jimenez when he comes back, but a 1-0 loss to Crystal Palace it’s tough to paper over.
Does it get any easier with Man United coming to town? No. I will say, to their credit, Wolves have looked better defensively of late. You go back to games like the 2-1 loss to Burnley, the 3-3 draw to Brighton and the 3-2 loss to West Brom and think to yourself: this team just lost their way for a month.
Perhaps they’re getting back to their best defensively and will need the attack to pick up the slack. The likes of Podence and Neto losing their form isn’t helping the situation.
Major credit to Arsenal for grabbing the 0-0 draw against Man United without their two best players. The big question here is does Aubameyang return. Obviously, he’s had some personal issues with his mom’s health that he’s been dealing with but he was back in training after missing recent matches. He would be a huge boost to this attack.
Saka also should return to the first 11. Tierney looks set to miss out and while Soares filled in well against United, he’s not much of a defender. Perhaps playing against a Wolves team focused more on defense will render that worry useless.
The total is interesting. Wolves want to keep the 0 and Arteta would analyze the proper way to open a cereal box. He isn’t one to go guns blazing to score goals. This could be a cagey match that is tight until the final whistle.
It’s gut-check time for Man United. The manager is complaining about two decisions in the Sheffield contest that could be the difference in their season. That’s well and good but go get three points against Arsenal.
The two decisions being the no foul on Sheffield leading to their goal and of course the foul on Man United that negated the ball hitting the back of the net.
I’m worried about this Man United team. They look short of ideas. They look tired. And it appears as though they don’t have the depth to properly rotate the squad and perform at the highest level. It’s either that or the manager doesn’t trust his bench enough to make these rotations.
Anthony Martial has been well below the standard of Manchester United. Mason Greenwood looks like a teenager again. Marcus Rashford, God bless him, is out on his feet exhausted. Bruno Fernandes is lost in the wash of a busy Midfield that’s currently experiencing a power struggle between Pogba and Bruno.
They have so much talent that they’re capable of putting three past any team in Europe but at the moment they could really use a two-week break to rest and recover. Unfortunately, that never happens in this league. Suck it up and get a result if you can.
Southampton are on a three-game skid. The last two losses at home to Arsenal and Aston Villa will particularly sting. This isn’t uncommon or new. They started the season with two straight losses before reeling off 5 wins in six games.
For whatever reason, they tend to give Manchester United a tough game. While it’s been years since South Hampton have beaten Man United in the Premier League they’ve scored in five straight. most recently in their last two games they’ve scored two and each drawing one and losing the other.
Considering Man United’s issues on defense it’s not out of the realm of possibility to see Southampton scoring one if not two goals in this match.
This game does have the highest total on the slate. Manchester United are the biggest favorites and I do expect to see a response from them but I wouldn’t bet this game with anyone’s money.
This isn’t a game that I’ll be targeting for goalkeepers but will certainly look for players from both teams to fill out our cash and gpp rosters.
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of a locker room after a win especially when you’ve lost five straight games. Newcastle put in a hell of a performance against Everton in their 200 win. Frankly, it’s one I did not see coming.
They are getting healthy just in the nick of time. I mentioned the addition of Joe Willock who will give them an extra body if not more quality in the attacking third of the field. While he struggled to get into the side for Arsenal, he can compete from a talent basis with everything in front of him at Newcastle.
Saint-Maximin is back and causing defenses headaches again. Wilson found his scoring form and is definitely one of those players who really excels when he’s feeling confident. Two goals will do that to a man.
I still have big questions about their defense and Deandre Yedlin left the team for Galatasaray this week. I’m not sure Steve Bruce knows his best formation, but after a performance like they saw last time out, I doubt we’ll see too many changes to the side.
Basically, take everything I said for Newcastle and copy and paste it for Crystal Palace. They were on a two-game slide as well conceding 7 goals in the process. However, they bounced back with a 1-0 win against Wolves thanks in large part to the performance of their goalkeeper. He made several big time goal-line saves to keep the clean sheet and grab all three points for Crystal Palace.
The injury list is lengthy for Palace but crucially the impact players are still healthy. Zaha is having another fantastic season. New boy Eze grabbed the winner last week and looks to be taking up the number 10 position in the system.
And upfront a combination of the two big boys Batshuayi and Benteke are occupying the back line. Realistically, this is pretty darn close to a best 11 they can put out even though it’s not Hodgson’s first choice 11.
The total has me scratching my head a little bit. 2.5 with juice on the under when both of these teams are poor defensively. Newcastle is conceding 1.7 goals per game at home and Palace are conceding 1.8 goals per game away.
Perhaps the bookies and bettors are looking at historical results as these teams haven’t broken the three goal mark in years. Seriously…2-0, 1-0, 1-0, 0-1 and 0-0 are the last five score lines when these teams played one another.
- Saka – ARS – $10.2k
Call me crazy but is he the safest play on the slate? I fully understand saying no on the surface. Over $10k for a teenager carrying a Q next to his name but if he starts, he’s good to go and has finished the full 90 in 3 straight matches. He’s had at least 12 FLOOR points in 5 straight matches. If Pepe starts we’ll revisit this price as he could eat into the set piece share.
- Martial – MU – $6.9k
He’s been horrible. He’s had to have extra security around him home due to the racism he’s faced for his poor performances. It’s disgusting, really. Tony can shine in these times. He seems to love shutting up the haters. I need to see him playing F though. He’s been largely irrelevant off the left wing. I can’t get there in cash but I love how bad his game logs look for those building GPP lineups.
- Neto – WOL – $9.7k
The good news: he still has a floor. The bad news: that’s almost all he has. His crossing statistics have been off the charts but he’s shooting less and the poor form of Podence has limited his options in the attack. They’ve also taken a very conservative tactical approach of late that’s limiting his upside. I’d rather find the extra $500 for Saka but Neto is in the cash consideration conversation.
- Wilson – NEW – $8k
Confident forward who just scored 2 goals behind 6 shots…It’s the second highest total on the slate and while I know this is typically a lower scoring game, Newcastle seemed to hit another level last time out.
- Aubameyang – ARS – $8.7k
With so many options it’s hard to prioritise him and you have to wonder where he is mentally at the moment. This is a steep price to pay for his upside in a low total game but it’s for that exact reason that he should be low owned. Remember, he’s coming off his best performance of the season with 2 gaols against Newcastle, even if it was several weeks ago.
- Ings – SOU – $7.4k
7 shots in his last 3 games with just the 1 goal in the first few seconds of the Liverpool game. The chances are there but the finishing is not. GPP option to play naked or paired with someone like Armstrong or Redmond.
- Almiron – NEW – $7.1k
This is about as cheap and I want to go in cash at this position. He has over double digit FLOOR points in 3 straight and a goal to boot. His 3 shots assisted in the last two weeks is a season high and shows his growing influence on this attack.
- Pepe – ARS – $7.8k
This is a trap if Saka starts. Pepe loses his set piece equity and will be reduced to open play value. He’s listed hear to tell you but also to say that if Saka MISSES the match then Pepe is most likely going to be in my cash lineup. The team news makes that big of a difference.
- Fernandes – MU – $10.9k
Gone are the days of 20 point floors that made him an auto play but he’s still very much in play for GPPs with a hint of a look in cash. They are the biggest favorites and most likely to score multiple goals on the slate. He is still on penalty duty and has averaged 13.76 FLOOR points over his last 5, even with the dip in form.
- Shelvey – NEW – $6.7k
Especially with Fraser potentially out, he’s in play for cash with a slight look to GPP. He rarely impacts goals, even with his set piece usage. That lack of massive “upside” has me hesitate in anything other than cash and single entry GPP. He does have 7 shots over his last 2 games and they will be on the front foot here.
- Fleck – SHU – $6.8k
This is an efficient price for Fleck in this matchup. If for some reason Norwood does not play and it appears Fleck will have more share of set pieces we can consider him for cash but as of right now we are strictly looking at him for an upside play. He went back-to-back games with an assist just a few weeks ago and cracked 14 points in each. He’s exposure to a home favorite on a team that you don’t really want to roster.
- Armstrong – SOU – $6.2k
I can’t seriously consider him for any other contest than multi-entry GPPs but he does pop up with crucial goals in games like this. This is much higher of a price than I was expecting so he’s at the bottom of the totum pole but in my player pool.
- Pereira – WBA – $8.6k
He’s in sparkling form and the matchup isn’t TOO tough but Sheffield are hyper organzied and Pereira has lost his floor in favor of goal upside. This is a steep price to pay in cash but a pivot from the chalk in GPP.
- Fred – MU $3.2k
Basically free and shooting on site after the ball is cleared out on set pieces.
- Xhaka – ARS – $3.7k
He has some floor and does seem to have fixed his temper and the silly yellow cards.
- Bertrand – SOU – $4.3k
Why JWP doesn’t take every set piece is beyond me but Betrand has been taking some corners. He’s also hanging at the top of the box on set pieces he isn’t taking leading to some decent attacking opportunities. They always give United a game and certainly won’t be sitting back. This is a decent price for him.
- Shaw – MU – $6.3k
Mannnnn – you’ve heard me say this a lot but this is expensive but you are paying for the floor. Shaw is giving up a few corners to Bruno but in general is taking set pieces for the biggest favortie on the slate who’s playing at home. He’s going to be expensive. The 12 and 13 crosses in 2 of his last 3 really stand out but he’s no lock for 2x. In consideration for all contests.
- Gibbs – WBA – $2.8k
Price + position = playable.
- Bogle – SHU – $4.8k
I would love this at $4.1k so yes, it feels a touch expensive but this has potential ceiling game written all over it. What’s his ceiling? 14 or 15 and that’s with a goal or assist. We play Bogle because he makes his way in the box and shoots as a defender but he doesn’t have much of a floor to speak of. HArd to justify this in cash games but a good GPP option.
- Valery – SOU – $3.8k
Under $4k for a wingback automatically gets a look. He crossed more than we saw all of last season against Arsenal. I don’t know if it’s just a 1 game sample size that will never be repeated or a preview of the new Valery.
- Wan-Bissaka – MU – $5.3k
This might even be a little low but yes, I’m recommending you look at AWB. #1 this will be a high action game. Both teams will attack and that open nature should help AWB’s defensive stats. #2 more and more the fullbacks are providing the width in this attack and it’s not just that he’s crossing, it’s where he’s crossing from. He’s picked out quality passes in each of the last 2 matches I’ve watched that should have been assists.
- Bellerin – ARS – $4.5k
This feels a touch expensive but he is increasing his crossing stats and getting forward a ton. Obviously the systems clash with one another so he’s not a core play but an option.
- Johnstone – WBA – $4.2k
- Patricio – WOL – $4.4k
- Darlow – NEW – $4.7k