As the final weeks of the season run down, our fixture ticker shrinks. Our look at the upcoming schedules over the final five Gameweeks reveals three top sides with fixtures to boost their ambitions, while hope springs eternal at the bottom end of the table:

Man City

mancity34

After seeing off Southampton at the weekend, Manuel Pellegrini’s men turn their attentions to a title-chase six-pointer at Anfield as the first part of their double Gameweek. With home fixtures against Sunderland, West Brom, Aston Villa and West Ham following that, and only a trip to Everton looking particularly daunting, the blue half of Manchester looks a very enticing Fantasy prospect indeed. The only question is which of the multitude of viable options fit your squad and budget best.

A recent run of five consecutive clean sheets highlights the upturn in defensive resolve shown by Vincent Kompany’s backline. The Belgian himself probably doesn’t quite represent the best value since Martin Demichelis has shown himself more amenable to the bonus point system, whilst Pablo Zabaleta is the only full-back with security of starts, leaving Aleksandar Kolarov to remain a real punt on the other flank. In midfield, Yaya Toure is expected to shake off a knock sustained against the Saints, whilst Pellegrini revealed yesterday that David Silva is carrying a slight ankle knock and has been sitting out training sessions to manage the problem. That perhaps adds to the appeal of Samir Nasri, who is both cheaper and has outscored the Spaniard over the last four weeks.

In attack, Sergio Aguero is widely expected to return for the crucial Liverpool showdown, though how much of the double Gameweek he plays is anyone’s guess, as his manager will be keen to ensure he doesn’t break down yet again. At just 7.2, Edin Dzeko presents a much cheaper option, and one in good form, with four goals and two assists in his last four starts. There is just a shadow of doubt over his game time in light of Aguero’s imminent return – it remains to be seen whether Pellegrini will pair the two up top and go on the offensive or continue with his recent move to a lone forward system for the run-in.

Arsenal

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Humbled by a rampant and tactically astute Everton, Arsene Wenger’s side are low on morale right now. A season that so recently looked capable of bringing a Premier League title is now in danger of seeing them crash out of the Champions League places too. Fortunately for the Gunners, their run-in could scarcely be kinder, with home games against West Ham, Newcastle and West Brom, plus trips to Hull and Norwich.

These fixtures bring the Arsenal defence back into consideration, particularly with the imminent return of Laurent Koscielny to shore up a back-line that has looked porous in his absence. Alternatively, Bacary Sagna is cheaper and fully fit, while Wojciech Szczesny looks a good option between the sticks. In midfield, early-season sensation Aaron Ramsey climbed off the bench against Everton and looked spritely enough; if he can return to the form that made him such a Fantasy essential, he has the potential to shake up the Fantasy landscape for a second time. It’s hard to recommend any of the other Arsenal midfield though; beset by injuries and bereft of goalscoring form, Santi Cazorla seems too expensive for a punt, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain blows too hot and cold for most tastes. Olivier Giroud has just one goal in six starts to suggest that his form has dried up again, while any allure around the obvious talent of Lukas Podolski is surely tainted by a lack of guaranteed game-time.

Tottenham

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Tim Sherwood’s team went into last night’s game against Sunderland with a cloud of media speculation concerning the feisty manager’s future hanging over their heads. But if there was any gloom in the dressing room, it didn’t affect their performance as Spurs blew the Wearsiders away in a show of creative power. The remaining schedule suggests that Tottenham can finish the season on a high – trips to West Brom and West Ham, allied with home games against Fulham and Aston Villa make Sherwood’s side a good-looking prospect for points at both ends of the pitch, despite a lack of double Gameweeks.

The appeal of Spurs’ defence is hard to gauge – injuries to key personnel have taken their toll and they haven’t kept a clean sheet in six weeks. These fixtures could be profitable, though, and with Younes Kaboul and Vlad Chiriches now seemingly preferred at centre-back in the absence of Jan Vertonghen, a cut-price entry into a defensive gambit presents itself. In midfield, it’s hard to look past Christian Eriksen; his second double figure haul in three weeks brings him firmly onto Fantasy radars. Emmanuel Adebayor, the main beneficiary of the Dane’s creative verve, also scored big against Sunderland; his fourth double figure haul since being rejuvenated by Sherwood gives Fantasy managers a pair of ready-made, mid-price differentials – both are still owned by less than 5% and could be poised to deal further damage from this point on.

ALSO CONSIDER

Stoke
Well beaten by Chelsea to end a run of five games undefeated, Mark Hughes’ Stoke are still primed to end the season in the top half. The fixtures fall in the Potters’ favour, with visits of Newcastle and Fulham as well as trips to Cardiff and West Brom. In their last five home games, including Arsenal and Man United, the Potters have conceded just three goals, suggesting that the budget services of Marc Wilson could be profitable if they get the rub of the green. In midfield, Charlie Adam has been assigned to bench-duties in each of the last two since returning from suspension, though Marko Arnautovic has been steadily impressing as he grows into his first Premier League season and, at 5.1, may yet prove to be a solid budget enabler.

Sunderland
The writing looks on the wall for the Wearsiders. Despite briefly turning around Paolo Di Canio’s dispirited team, Gus Poyet’s best efforts look destined to end in relegation. With two double Gameweeks to come, though, investment in Sunderland could still be profitable. Vito Mannone has delivered – incredibly for a goalkeeper – six double-figure scores, while Marcos Alonso and Phil Bardsley are now utilised as wing-backs in a 3-5-2. Bardsley needs to navigate next weekend’s clash with Everton without picking up a yellow or he’s set to topple off the Suspension Tightrope and head for a two-match ban. Adam Johnson is a persistent threat when given game time and his central role against Spurs perhaps bodes well, whilst Ki Sung-Yeung may offer some upside for his bargain-basement price. Fabio Borini has been moved to the middle since the switch to 3-5-2 and is first in line for spot-kicks but allocating one of our three forward slots to a Sunderland striker with three goals to his name all season seems a very risky tactic.

Fulham
A win away at Aston Villa lifted the Cottagers off the bottom of the table to offer a glimmer of hope for survival. Their coming fixtures afford further reason for optimism, most notably in the form of home games against Norwich, Hull and Crystal Palace. If Felix Magath can continue to wring performances out of his squad, such fixtures contain some hope for Fantasy managers in search of differentials. Those home games could offer clean sheets; both David Stockdale and Fernando Amorebieta are priced to tempt a punt. In midfield, Lewis Holtby has been growing keenly into his playmaking role with returns in four of his last five games, while the 4.9-priced Ashkan Dejagah has served up three goals since the arrival of his former Wolfsburg manager.

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roscola @rosco

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  1. Already have eriksen yaya mata and noble

    1. well done

  2. Hmm.. who do you guys replace Hazard with?
    I have Silva, Yaya, puncheon and sterling as other mids.. thinking Hazard-> Eriksen?
    But then I suddenly have 7mill ITB... doesn't seem right

    My team:

    Mannone
    Baines Mariappa Coleman
    Yaya Puncheon Silva Hazard
    Sturridge Lukaku Suárez

    Subs: Boruc Ivanovic Vlaar Sterling

    1. Would you not bust play Ivan for that 15 pointer he's due?

    2. Hazard --> Eriksen/Lallana
      Then you can do Sturridge ---> Aguero
      And possibly Sterling --> Mata after this week

    3. Hazard > Eriksen, Sturridge > Aguero and then cash for Rooney and/or Mata

    4. I'd wait for news on Hazard as you can play Ivanovic if short term and all the main dgw options are covered already. You may want to bring Mata in next week or after. Alternatively this week I would suggest Eriksen or Lallana

  3. With Hazard out, which of these options is preferable for DGW:

    A) Play Bardsley (already have Mannone)
    B) Play Mutch
    C) Bards > Ward (-4)
    D) Mutch > AJ (-4)

  4. Chaps, need advice please.. should i do this?? Azpi Hazard and Sturridge to Baines Ramsey and Aguero?? -4

    1. Sound moves. Obviously Ramsey and Kun are risks, but could play off. Maybe someone else instead of ramsey and wait till he shows some form

      1. what about shurrle or willian

        1. well schurrle will probably play quite a bit at the minute, although again a risk.

    2. its a big if whether its worth it to get Baines in for a hit - you'll want to transfer him out in GW35 or GW36, which is the dilemma I'm also having

  5. Mannone
    Ward Coleman Cahill
    Yaya Nasri Eriksen Hazard*
    Aguero Suarez Lukaka
    (Chambers)

    Chambers is my only sub player with a game. If Hazard is injured do you think I should take a hit to get him out, or just play chambers this week?

  6. How about Mutch to Puncheon or eriksen.

  7. My current midfield: Hazard, Yaya, Lallana, Eriksen

    So who to replace Hazard with? Silva is the obvious choice, but everybody will have him. What do people think of Nasri as a differential for the DGW? Especially with Silva carrying this ankle problem, Nasri might play more minutes?

    1. yep, Nasri is a great choice!!!

    2. I'd do Nasri if didn't already have Silva - due to reported ankle problem.

  8. Morning all,

    HART (MANNONE)
    BAINES ZABALETA WARD Terry (xChesterx)
    YAYA AJ BARKLEY (Mutch, xHazardx)
    LUKAKU Suarez Sturridge
    1FT, 0ITB

    Honestly haven't got a clue this week.
    Could play 4-3-3 but then I think Terry will be rested this week.
    Could ditch a City defender or keeper and get Aguero in for Sturridge.
    Could even ditch Yaya and get Aguero in,
    What on earth would you do?

    1. Two city players at the back is a bit of a pain. Keep yaya. Would just ship hazard out for someone, like lallana/eriksen

      1. Don't really know what I was thinking, was a daft move.

        1. You can't justify taking them out. The only thing is, nobody is sure what the best route to take on city is. So after the double you can reassess.

          1. Yeah, interestingly the RMT throws up similar numbers for any of Citys nailed on options in both defence and attack.

            1. I would do:

              Mutch to Puncheon

              1. Don't have the cash and I'd sooner ditch an injured player than one who plays - might be useful off the bench.

  9. So we all getting rid of Eden now?

    1. No need to rush

      1. His price is going down and I was considering getting rid of him for Lallana already though..

        The -4 was making me stay with Hazard, but now I think my choice was made for me :P

        1. Keep an eye on Fiso for price changes

    2. looks like it

    3. Most likely ditching for Mirallas or Lallana.

      1. Already having 3 Everton players (Bain, Cole, Luk) makes it Lallana vs Eriksen for me..

        Lallana, I've missed you!

        1. Lallana this week, Eriksen next? Eriksen will rose more this week, but shouldn't matter too much.

          1. I have plenty of other transfers to take care of so that would be for a hit. Eriksen has the form.

    4. Most probably

  10. Kaboul or Chiriches?

    1. Kaboul if fit is more nailed on but Chiriches is more likely to be fit.

  11. Should I bring in Barkley or Puncheon?

    Going for Puncheon ATM, but Barkley is so tempting

    Thanks in advance :)

    1. Puncheon

      1. Thank you!

        Puncheon it is

  12. What is your exist strategy after this DGW if you have 2 Everton defenders?
    I have Baines, Distin, Ivan and 2 cheapies...

    I plan to get Phil Jones for the DGW37 but after GW35 as they play Everton away on that week.
    What about an Arsenal defender?

    1. I'm probably getting kos & Cahill

      1. Do you already have a Chelsea defender?

        1. Yes terry

          1. Chelsea play away to Liverpool on GW36, risky to double up

            1. That's true :grin:

  13. Hi guys
    Have a big bench dilemma this week.team is
    Monnone Davis
    Ivan Cahill baines marriapa zaba
    Millares sterling nasri Erikson lallana
    Suarez stuge dzeko
    1 free tranny , was thinking of doing the boring:-)stuge to lukaku move
    Or maybe bench sturridge and steering and play the Chelsea duo'help

  14. Any ideas chaps? 2FT, 0 in the bank.

    MANNONE
    COLEMAN, WARD, Terry
    TOURE, SILVA, Gerrard, Hazard
    LUKAKU, Suarez, Sturridge

    (Marshall, Cahill, Noone, Demel)

    Thinking...

    A) Cahill & Hazard out for Baines & Nasri
    B) Demel & Hazard out for Kompany & Mirallas
    C) Sturridge & Hazard out for Aguero & Mirallas
    D) Marshall & Hazard out for Howard & Nasri

    Cheers

    1. C

      1. Thanks

  15. Grrrmpf sooo many midfield-options I want to enter my team during the next 2 gameweeks..
    In my (I think) prefered order:

    Mata (gw35), Lallana, Eriksen, Ramsey..

  16. F5
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member

    50 points behind ML leader who has Yaya.

    Which option is best?
    A Hazard to Yaya
    B Hazard to Nasri

    FWIW, I have Silva and probably will get Kun

    1. If you have Kun then Hazard to Nasri could be very good combo-punt.. penalties for Aguero instead of Yaya etc

  17. Hazard to Lallana for the next two then gw36 lallana to Mata as I already have 3 city and Eriksen.

    Sound decent?

    1. Not sure about mata with rvp return

  18. New Post
  19. Kaboul or Smalling until the end of the season?

    Kaboul: wba, FUL, sto, whu, AVL
    Smalling: blank, eve, nor, SUN/hul, sot

    Note I do not need them this coming week so the blank for smalling doesn't bother me

  20. Guys how am i looking?

    Mannone

    Coleman, Zab, Mariappa
    Silva, Eriksen, AJ, Punch,
    Suarez, Aguero, Lukaku

    Haz, Chambers, Chester

    1. Looks decent to me. I see you a put your faith in Aguero ...

  21. Just over 3 days until the deadline.
    So many injuries/rotation issues to consider.

    1. lol the Micheal Owen of FFS

        1. The Yaya injury is bugging me most. I want to make a mooove!

  22. Haz > Lallana or Eriksen?

  23. What do you think to this ?

    Despite doing OK in my leagues, I haven't got Yaya. Thinking doing this:

    Hazard -> Yaya
    Dzeko -> Aguero

    The first is an obvious one for me but what about the 2nd ??

  24. latest update on boruc injury? chance of playing this weekend?

  25. short survey:

    What's the probability to see aguero for this week-end game week ?
    What's the probability to see him & dzeko ?

    tx

  26. Hi guys, this is my team:

    Boruc
    Coleman Mariappa Azpilicueta
    Hazard Yaya Gerrard Silva
    Suarez Lukaku Sturridge

    I already have a -4 point hit
    I'm thinking about getting Aguero and Eriksen
    Hazard -> Eriksen
    Sturridge -> Aguero

    What do you think? Yes or no?

    1. Yes

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