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Staff Picks: Best EPL Fantasy Fixture - Week 32

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Welcome back after a long International Break. We kick off straight away into a look at the best fixture for Week 32. Which will be your choice? Let's discuss!

Arsenal will look to banish the demons from their FA Cup exit at the hands of Week 32 opponents Watford
Arsenal will look to banish the demons from their FA Cup exit at the hands of Week 32 opponents Watford
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Simon - Arsenal v Watford

For fantasy returns I'm picking Arsenal v Watford. Despite results going against them, the Gunners continue to make chances going forward and have no distractions bar the league until seasons end. Watford may have beaten them in the FA Cup and players will know a drop in standards could cost them their Semifinal place. Having Said that, I thinks the home side will probably do what they do best, win when the pressure is off. I like them to win by a couple of goals and hope that Petr Cech returns a clean sheet.

Knowing who will start in the attacking element for Arsenal is a tricky task. Danny Welbeck seems to have taken the forward role but we will need to see how fit he is coming back from International week. Danny was seen with an ice pack on his knee but with a big smile on his face (we had just come back from 2-0 down against Germany after all). Olivier Giroud scored twice for France against Holland suggesting he is coming back into form. Alexis Sanchez has played for Chile and could face problems with jet lag. Theo Walcott seems out of favor. The two safest starters seem to be Mesut Ozil and Alez Iwobi. For hte remaining spot I assume Sanchez starts as he tends to do so regardless of form or travel commitments. He is well known as being a player who doesn't like to be rested and Arsenal must win to keep their slim title hopes alive. There were signs of the Alexis we know in the last couple matches and it could be that we see big returns from him before season ends.

Finally if you are looking to do something fun, Iwobi in particular offers you a real alternative pick. He scored at Everton last time and should be fresh and full of confidence. Wenger doesn't like to change winning sides too much so the young man should start against Watford.

Zach - Bournemouth v Manchester City

I could have easily gone for Aston Villa v Chelsea, but such has been this season, both teams have been a far shadow of their former selves respectively. Thus I will throw my hat into the ring for Bournemouth v Man City. On evidence from Week 31, Bournemouth have yet to find their defensive muscle, allowing a red hot Tottenham Hotspur to put 3 away against them. Eddie Howe has done an amazing job with the Cherries and safety is agonizingly close. But as last match week proved, Bournemouth are still vulnerable to giving up multiple goals a game and Manchester City have every capability of unleashing upon any opponent.

Was is the best decision to announce Pep's reign mid season? Probably not, but it can't be the sole reason behind Man City's recent stumbles. Pellegrini is a very astute manager and has taken the clubs decision with dignity. But he must find a way to turn around his side's league play. With the title seemingly out of grasp this season, assuring a top 4 finish is now the priority. This means Aguero and co will be charged out of the gates when the whistle blows. Offensively, City cover will be a must this week and the chances of a clean sheet are there, but still not a guarantee.

Chris - West Ham v Crystal Palace

I'm a big fan of looking at trends. In this case, West Ham has scored at least two goals in eight of its past 12 games, has not lost any of its past 12 home fixtures and has secured clean sheets in four out of its past five tries at Upton Park. Meanwhile, Crystal Palace has not won any of its past 13 games, scoring one goal or fewer in 11 of those. With Champions League play in reach for West Ham and a Palace having fallen into a relegation battle, both teams have plenty to play for which should make it a tense tilt, but you have to expect recent form to continue given the significant gulf in class combined with the locale.

Crystal Palace has given up a barrage of fantasy points against strikers and midfielders in recent weeks (in Fantrax, eight starting strikers and 16 starting midfielders have scored in double digits against Palace since GW20 with two and three, respectively, netting 25 or more points), leaving the selection list for West Ham highlighted by offensive threats Michail Antonio, Cheikhou Kouyate, Manuel Lanzini, Dimitri Payet and Enner Valencia. Given the aforementioned trends, taking a punt on Adrian and/or the back line would not be a bad idea either. With the Hammers limiting opposition fantasy points to all positions, you're not going to expect too much from Palace, although as we learned against his outing against generally similarly stingy Leicester City, Yannick Bolasie will be plenty busy and has a chance to do well even if he doesn't contribute to the score sheet.


Charles - Leicester City v Southampton

I am going with the team of destiny, here, coming off a period where they sent 16 players off to various teams for international duty. My, my, things have changed. http://www.lcfc.com/news/article/lcfc-stars-set-for-international-duty-3015140.aspx Mahrez was called in for Algeria and contributed a spectacular assist off a corner against Ethiopia. https://streamable.com/dx11?t=15.0

Leicester has changed their style and is playing a much more defensive style these days, reducing scoring opportunities for their opponents. Southampton have scored but 14 goals on the road this season tied for 4th lowest in the premiership. The Leicester fans are going to be there in force, trying their best to compell their squad to victory.  These are the type matches that Leicester must win if they deserve to be Premier League Champions particularly given they still face tricky encounters against the likes of West Ham, Everton and Chelsea. Anyway, they have had 3 straight 1-0 victories and I'm thinking it might be four.

I like an in form, Kaspar Schemeichel to keep a clean sheet.  The back four of Christian Fuchs, Robert Huth, Wes Morgan and Danny Simpson are each solid picks.  Although the dynamic duo of Jamie Vardy and Riyad Maharez, have slowed the points production down, they are certainly worth considering. Danny Drinkwater has been in superb form, recently.  Of the Southampton bunch, the only player I really like is Graziano Pelle, who has been on a tear, recently.  And I would not be surprised if this match ended at 0-0.