FanDuel Premier League Matches to Target in Matchweek 27
The schedule is getting hectic for the top teams in the Premier League, so Pep Guardiola is among the managers that have worked in days off ahead of Matchweek 27. Guardiola's Manchester City side will be a part of the five-game slate on FanDuel this Saturday. The smaller slate again features more games that play into the relegation battle.
|Saturday, February 10th|
|Crystal Palace at Everton|
|Watford at West Ham|
|Brighton at Stoke|
|Burnley at Swansea|
|Leicester at Manchester City|
The refreshed City team is the only club in the top six on the slate. It is no surprise that they are the biggest favorite and playing in the game with the highest over/under. The other fixtures are up for grabs and are not expected to produce many goals.
Even though the game sticks out on this slate, let's start at the Etihad Stadium.
Manchester City vs. Leicester
City is about to embark on a stretch of four games in 15 days, which means that Guardiola will have to choose where to prioritize his starting lineup. Their match against Wigan in the fifth round of the FA Cup will be a good place for squad rotation. The first match of the Champions League knockout rounds is on February 13th, so obviously, the top choice players will be on the field against Basel. Would Guardiola dare role out a few reserves for this match against eighth-place Leicester City? Anything is possible.
David Silva and John Stones are still in doubt for the weekend, creating a lengthy injury list for City. Newcomer Aymeric Laporte could slot into the back line, especially if Guardiola decides to go with a back three. Laporte is already priced at $6,000, but he is tied with Danilo for the cheapest expected starter on the back line. Danilo scored a wonder goal last weekend to preserve a draw for City.
The rest should help City keep up their pace of 3.5 goals per game at home during this Premier League season. Even if Guardiola does rotate the squad, players like Sergio Aguero, Kevin De Bruyne, and Raheem Sterling should still have feature roles.
Meanwhile, one familiar player at Leicester, Riyad Mahrez, is unlikely to feature after failing to force a move to City last month. Fousseni Diabate performed well in his Premier League debut and appears to be the starter on the right side of midfield for the foreseeable future. He will still need time to build a relationship with Jamie Vardy similar to what Mahrez had forged.
Diabate's $7,000 price tag makes him a sneaky play against a City defense that has allowed at least one goal in seven of the last nine games across all competitions.
Regardless, the best potential for points from the Foxes' players comes from the defense given City's 66.5% average possession. Christian Fuchs is coming off a good game against Swansea and has his average FanDuel output up to 13.9 points. He may be the best value at $6,000 given his responsibility on set pieces.
City should still win, but the team has publicly stated they're running out of steam, which is never good against a speedy team. Leicester forwards will be the contrarian play while their defenders will be busy all game. Value can be had on both sides of the ball.
Stoke vs. Brighton
The other games on this weekend's slate do not have a lot of intrigue at face value. However, this match is the most porous team in the Premier League versus a team that struggles mightily on the road. It is also a pivotal match for relegation, which spells unpredictability.
Stoke have now allowed 52 goals on the season, six more than the next-closest team. They have shown improved form under Paul Lambert, but are coming off a loss to Bournemouth. They also gave up two goals to Brighton earlier in the season.
Stoke have been on the back foot much of the year, meaning their defenders are still putting up good numbers despite the horrendous defensive record. Kurt Zouma, Ryan Shawcross, and Moritz Bauer all average over 17 FanDuel points per game. Brighton have conceded 44 crosses down their left side over the last four matchweeks, which bodes well for the active Bauer.
Stoke's offensive contributions have been scattered, but Brighton have allowed 11 goals over their last seven matches across all competition. They've also failed to win their last seven away matches in the Premier League, so Stoke should be confident heading into the fixture.
Xherdan Shaqiri remains dangerous despite sporadic output this season. Although he's one of the shortest players on the pitch, he managed to score on a header last weekend and should be joined in the midfield by Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Joe Allen. The striker position is up for grabs between Peter Crouch and Mame Diouf, so be sure to check the team news on Saturday morning.
There is no debate on who starts in the lone striker role for Brighton, as Glenn Murray has hit another hot streak -- he has five goals in the last seven games across all competitions.
Pascal Gross continues to be Brighton's playmaker, but Jose Izquierdo is now a top-20 forward on form from WhoScored.com following his performance in the last two games. He is coming off his second-best performance of the season and remains priced at $6,000.
In recent weeks, the matches that have the biggest impact on the relegation battle have been the most open ended. These teams are separated by three points, with Stoke currently in the drop zone. Both teams need the three points from this match and should go hard for the win.
Douglas Smith is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Douglas Smith also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username aquemini03. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.