AM's Week 31 Fantasy Player Picks

Clive Mason

A detailed look at who you should be considering for your Yahoo fantasy line-up ahead of the Week 31 deadline.

Work continues to take over my life but I thought I should get some of my thoughts up here on NMA for the approaching game week.

After an international break it's always good to have some tasty Premier League fixtures for us to sink our fantasy teeth in to and there are plenty that interest me.

ARSENAL v Reading
The pick of the fixtures; this looks like a banker home win for the Gunners, despite Reading's appointment of Nigel Adkins.

EVERTON v Stoke
The Toffees rejuvenated their hopes of a top 4 spot with their victory over City in Week 30 and should beat a Stoke side in rotten form.

MANCHESTER UNITED @ Sunderland

Sir Alex won't allow the Champions to let up in their quest to break Chelsea's PL points tally record and so I expect an easy away win here. However, I won't be recommending too many United players as it's impossible to predict the starting XI with their FA Cup replay on Monday.

MANCHESTER CITY v Newcastle
The pressure if off City now the title has long gone, and Mancini's men often play their best football when the pressure is off. This one is a home win for me, despite the fact Newcastle have improved since buying shrewdly in January.

LIVERPOOL @ Aston Villa

A shocking result for Liverpool in Week 30, but that doesn't put me off backing them for 3 points at Villa Park as they look to avenge the 0-3 defeat at Anfield.

CHELSEA @ Southampton

I still think Chelsea have the best starting XI in the league when fit and on form and they should have too much for the Saints. I expect to see a full strength team put out as Benitez puts a Top 4 finish ahead of possible FA Cup glory.

FULHAM v Queens Park Rangers

It's a must win game for QPR, but I don't think they'll be able to topple Fulham at the fortress Craven Cottage. Home win.

I'm avoiding Swansea v Spurs as I can't call it either way, West Ham v West Brom holds no interest for me, while Wigan v Norwich is likely to be low scoring, with Wigan holding a slight edge. 1-0 wouldn't surprise me.

The players ...

KEEPERS
Fabianski - Should keep his place in net for a very winnable home game.
Al-Habsi - Expected to be restored to the Wigan line-up has a decent clean sheet chance.

DEFENDERS
Monreal - The pick of the defenders this week, so you can imagine how annoyed I am to have missed him on the barndoor.
Jenkinson - Slightly more affordable and doing a fine job covering for Sagna.
Oviedo - The Everton fan blogs are tipping Bryan Ovideo to replace the suspended Pienaar down the left hand side of midfield and if that is the case he is an absolute steal at 2.88.
Senderos - Impressive against Spurs, he remains the most affordable Fulham defender for the home game against QPR.
Alcaraz- The Wigan captain is back from a long-term injury, has a history returning decent YFF points and is well priced so I'm likely to stick with him at home to Norwich.
Carragher - A cheap way to get on the Liverpool defence if you think they'll keep Benteke and Co out.

MIDFIELDERS
Cazorla - You've all had him since Week 1 and you should obviously all keep him until the end of the season. I expect a goal against Reading.
Lampard - Super Frank salvaged my Week 30 and I'm going to keep the faith for Chelsea's trip to Southampton. It's just the sort of game he'll knock in a brace.
Coutinho - The young man is looking like one of the steals of the season and he should find plenty of space against a defensively fragile Villa.
Silva - Well priced if you fancy him to open up the Newcastle back-line this weekend.
Oxlade-Chamberlain - Surely the Ox is due a start in midfield with Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott sidelined?
Sidwell - I have a sneaky feeling my arch-nemesis may pop up with a goal against QPR.
Maloney - A pick for the riskier fantasy manager. He may look like a young Bill Murray, but Sean Maloney has been excellent for Wigan in recent weeks and I believe he's also on penalty duty.
Nani - I'd imagine Nani has a decent chance of starting at the Stadium of Light.

STRIKERS
Tevez - With Aguero out of form and Dzeko out of favour I have a massive hunch that Carlos Tevez is going to start and score big against Newcastle.
Hazard - After a quiet few months the wing-wizard is starting to show his very best form again, just at the right time for Chelsea.
Giroud - He'll be licking his lips at the prospect of leading the line against a leaky Reading defence.
Sturridge - When Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge are both fit to start they tend to share the points, so for I prefer Sturridge as the far cheaper option at Villa Park.
Mirallas - Scored a great goal which was incorrectly ruled out for offside against City and is starting to back to full match sharpness. Stoke beware.
Berbatov - His price is quite high after his match-winning performance at Spurs, but it is QPR, so he may prove worth the money.

I currently have this on my team page...

Lloris, Alcaraz, Ovideo, Jenkinson, Coutinho, Cazorla, Lampard, Ox, Giroud, Sturridge, Tevez

Four Arsenal players seems a lot given how many sides have good match-ups so I may spread the funds more evenly, but overall I quite like the look of it.

How's your team looking?

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