3 FanDuel Premier League Trends to Exploit for Matchweek 21

Jamie Vardy has a good track record against England's top sides, and he'll take on Liverpool this weekend. Which other trends should you take note of for Saturday's main slate?

Spotting trends is one way to stay ahead of the crowd in Premier League DFS. Here, we're going to try to hone in on recent occurrences across the EPL DFS landscape that appear to be a sign of things to come.

This article is geared toward FanDuel's main slate, which begins at 10 a.m. EST on Saturday and features seven matches.

Matchweek 21
Saturday, December 30th
Leicester City at Liverpool
Everton at Bournemouth
Stoke City at Chelsea
Burnley at Huddersfield
Brighton at Newcastle
Swansea City at Watford
Southampton at Manchester United

A tasty slate with some big favorites in Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United, but please proceed with caution. The festive fixture congestion means lots of rotation, something I have strongly considered for the forthcoming analysis.

Without further ado, let's dig in.

Ibrahimovic Owns the Saints

With Manchester United a whopping 15 points behind Manchester City going into the weekend's fixtures, it is looking increasingly likely that Jose Mourinho's men are looking at a second-place finish at best this season. This may lead Mourinho to shuffle his pack for the visit of Southampton to Old Trafford on Saturday, giving players such as Henrikh Mkhitaryan ($7,000) and Zlatan Ibrahimovic ($8,000) an opportunity to start.

Ibra was pretty ineffective against Burnley, failing to tally a single shot on target and eventually getting pulled off at halftime. His numbers since he has come back from his ACL injury have been poor, but he has some superb track record against the Saints.

The Swede has scored four in his last two (and only two) games against Southampton and will be looking to add to that tally on Saturday.

As I mentioned, this is based on the idea that Mourinho will rotate. Romelu Lukaku ($11,500) is Mourinho's top striker and could well lead the line on Saturday. Keep an eye out on the team sheet, which is released an hour before kickoff.

If Ibra doesn't start, depending on who starts for Southampton, you could pivot to either Manolo Gabbiadini ($6,000), who bagged a brace on his last visit to Old Trafford, or Shane Long ($6,000) and then use the extra cash to beef up other areas of your lineup Southampton rank 8th in shots per game (12.6), so they are likely to give it a go.

Vardy Loves Facing the Big Boys

Jamie Vardy ($7,500) must be a nightmare for Leicester fans. Before his hat trick against Manchester City last December, he went 16 club games without a goal, an unthinkable barren spell for a top-tier striker like Vardy. But therein lies the rub. Although Vardy is far from the most prolific striker in the Premier League -- he has only scored 9 goals in all competitions this season -- he does seem to like playing against top-six opposition.

Since the 2014-15 season, Vardy has scored 21 goals in 40 appearances against top-six sides. When compared to the number of goals he has scored against teams outside the top six -- 29 in 84 appearances over the same time period -- you can see why he is considered the man for the big occasion. This season alone, he has scored nine goals, seven of which have come against top six-sides -- Arsenal (two), Liverpool (one), Man City (one), Manchester United (one),Chelsea (one) and Tottenham (one).

Although Liverpool have kept a clean sheet in five of their last seven home games, it would take a brave man to bet against the giant-slaying Vardy.

Morata and Azpilicueta Ready to Break Record

Cesar Azpilicueta ($7,000) has assisted Alvaro Morata ($12,000) six times this season -- a remarkable feat for a defender and a combination that is tied as the most in any season for a Chelsea pair.

Our Austan Kas does a great job analysing the merits of picking Morata this week in his Studs to Target article, but it might be a good idea to look at the Morata-Azpilicueta combination, especially against a Stoke side without Ryan Shawcross (injured) and Kurt Zouma (can't play against parent club) for their trip to Stamford Bridge

Even if Azpilicueta doesn't assist Morata on Saturday, he is a reliable defender with a healthy floor of around 15 points a week, but based on Stoke's performances of late, it should be a comfortable afternoon for Chelsea. Azpilicueta should spend a good amount of time coming forward to get in on the attack, and the Spanish duo may be able to continue their hot streak.