FanDuel Premier League Matches to Target in Matchweek 3
Matchweek 3 in the Premier League is lacking marquee match ups, especially on Saturday's FanDuel main slate. It is a five-game slate, one fewer than the first two weeks of the new season, and features four of five teams that have failed to earn a point thus far in August.
|Saturday, August 26th|
|Southampton at Huddersfield|
|Swansea City at Crystal Palace|
|Brighton at Watford|
|West Ham at Newcastle United|
|Leicester City at Manchester United|
Only one match has an over/under above 2.5 goals and that is where we'll start.
Manchester United vs. Leicester City
This is the headlining contest of Saturday's games, including the match between Bournemouth and Manchester City that is not on the FanDuel slate. However, United have lost just two of 22 Premier League matches against Leicester. The last time Leicester bested United at Old Trafford was 1998.
Regardless, Leicester holds plenty of appeal, as they have failed to score in only one Premier League match under manager Craig Shakespeare. They have also scored in four of the last five matches against United. Last year's 3-0 loss to Manchester United was one of the last actions of Claudio Ranieri before Shakespeare took control.
Leicester's statistics are strange, as they have struggled to possess the ball in their first two matches despite ranking in the top-8 in aerial duels won and tied for second in goal scoring. If the trend holds, they will look to counter and see less of the ball than United.
That increases the value of Leicester's back line, given they should have plenty of opportunities to score defensive action points. Harry Maguire is the most expensive defender in this match at $7,500, but he has scored 29 points per game in the first two weeks and should continue to be active on defense and a threat on corners.
The forth goal pogba ðŸ˜âš½ï¸â¤ï¸#MUFC
â€” ShefaðŸ¦ðŸ‘‘ðŸ–¤ (@shefa_sh) August 13, 2017
United will put the pressure on Leicester, as they lead the league with 8 goals scored. Henrik Mkhitaryan has recorded 4 assists, but trails Paul Pogba in points per game by a count of 35.5 to 42.1. They are far and away the most expensive midfielders in this match.
Mkhitaryan is $3,000 more expensive than Wilfred Ndidi and $4,500 more than Matty James. Ndidi and James will be tasked with trying to stop the United midfielders from building play to start the explosive attack, so taking a flier on increased defensive action points for the Leicester players makes sense.
Romelu Lukaku shares the title of most expensive player in the slate with Pogba at $12,000, but he has been a menace in the early going.
There is no reason to believe that the United attack will slow down, but Leicester will be comfortable against pressure and look to break on the counter attack. The value truly lies with the big names along Manchester United's front line and the Leicester players assigned to slow them down.
Huddersfield Town vs. Southampton
In order to get the big guns from United into a lineup, there will need to be cost cutting elsewhere. This match at John Smith's Stadium can provide savings, especially on the defensive end. Huddersfield have not allowed a goal, while the Saints earned a clean sheet in Matchweek 1.
The Terriers are the surprise team of the first two weeks, as the newly promoted side is off to a dream start with wins over Crystal Palace and Newcastle. They have been a force in the air, controlled nearly half of the possession, and found success despite averaging 8 shots per match.
Midfielder Aaron Mooy and defender Christopher Schindler are among WhoScored's top ten players through two Matchweeks. They were two of the team's most consistent players in last year's promotion campaign as well. New keeper Jonas Lossl has also been a key to success thus far, recording 9 saves.
Aaron Mooy first goal in the epl is a beauty! pic.twitter.com/w9PdkXRXDG
â€” EPLnews.com (@eplnews_com) August 21, 2017
Huddersfield will be tested more this week as they face a Southampton team that is second in shots per match. They are also averaging nearly 60% possession after facing Swansea City and West Ham.
Dusan Tadic has created 6 chances thus far, while midfield partner Oriol Romeu created 5 from his deep-lying role in the opening week. Nathan Redmond completes the midfield trio that averages over 20 FanDuel points per match, having created 8 chances of his own.
There is a level of unpredictability to this match, but Huddersfield have built confidence and will play in front of their home crowd. Southampton are a solid club that plays a sound, defensive game. The key will be to pick goal scorers or the right keeper, as Southampton's Fraser Forster has 34 clean sheets over the last three-plus seasons, and is 3 saves behind Lossl this season. There is a good chance of a clean sheet on both sides, although a 1-1 finish is the betting favorite.