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GW 31 Saturday Live Chat

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The long-awaited game-week with only teams active (all on Saturday) is finally here. How do you line up?

Wilfried Zaha - Crystal Palace - Premier League
My fantasy squad and Crystal Palace in particular need this smiling guy to shine this Saturday.
Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images

It’s hard to get carried away this week with the number of teams (only eight!!!) in action and their respective quality and form. The FA Cup quarter-finals messed up the whole calendar and condemned us to “enjoying” only one out of the Top 8 teams this Saturday. Should they have rather branded the GW31 as a “relegation heads-up”? There are only ten points between Everton (currently 9th) and Crystal Palace (currently in a relegation zone), which shows how small the gap is and that every point can become crucial in two months from now.

Three games will kick off at 4pm CET:

Bournemouth v. West Brom

Both teams are constantly conceding. But there are 13 points between these two teams because one side (the Cherries) is capable of scoring. The Baggies have been rubbish all season, and the fans are demanding Alan Pardew to go. Salomon Rondon has been putting a shift game after game, but you know they will need a miracle to stay up when their striker has scored only five goals.

Bournemouth, on the contrary, are an entertaining side to watch, even though they’ve been ridiculously inconsistent this season. A home win will give Bournemouth a huge boost to stay up.

Huddersfield v. Crystal Palace

Four points separate the teams, and both are capable of an unpredictable result when in a good mood. Crystal Palace’s talisman Wilfried Zaha returned in the second half against Chelsea and almost turned the game around. Roy Hodgson will be happy with a point in my opinion though, because his team have one of the easiest calendars to finish the season. Huddersfield has the next four games to stay up and hopefully nine points to earn. They will face Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal in their last four, so I don’t fancy their chances at the wire. Tough game to predict, but there should be goals, and the home ground support can make the difference.

Stoke v. Everton

Stoke has been slowly drowning and are now 2nd from the bottom, having issues all around the pitch. Something must be wrong, when you consider Peter Crouch to be your main firepower. There were controversial reports about Xhedran Shaqiri’s fitness, but he should be starting for the Potters. A must-win game for the home side, but I decided to stay away from them.

Everton is a mystery team for me this season. With all the transfers made and money invested, the team was expected to be in Top 6, if not to push for a surprising Top 4 spot. It is March 17, and they are technically not yet safe, demonstrating one of the worst performances in the league. They lost Gylfi Sigurdsson until May (announced earlier this week), while Wayne Rooney hasn’t scored since game week 18. The team has no chemistry or game plan. To say something positive about the Toffees, they now have the “veterans” Leighton Baines, Seamus Coleman and Phil Jagielka back and fit. If they can stop conceding unnecessary goals, and if Cenk Tosun has found his goal-scoring form, they should land in a comfortable mid-table spot at the end of the season. Oh, forgot to mention: They are awful on the road, with one draw and five losses in the last six travels. Enjoy!

Liverpool v. Watford

The only Top 8 representative will be closing the diverse program of the game week 31 at 6:30pm CET at Anfield. It’s a pity that some fantasy formats limit the number of players from the same team, because otherwise it would be a no-brainer to go all-in on Liverpool. The Hornets are hard to beat under their new coach Javi Gracia, but they aren’t expected to pose any real threat for Liverpool. Watford needs two more wins to achieve a 40-points’ mark. With home games against Newcastle, Bournemouth and Crystal Palace yet to come, will they even arrive at Liverpool? You are most certainly owning the fan-favorite Mo Salah and even captaining him, while two of Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, Loris Karius, Virgil van Dijk, Andrew Robertson and maybe Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will be completing the Liverpool representation. We all need some points this Saturday, and who, if not Liverpool, should supply them?

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I lost my focus this morning for around 10 minutes, and when I was back to normal my team was already saved and in this shape:

Loris Karius

Nathan Ake / Ahmed Hegazi / Leighton Baines

Junior Stanislas / Jordan Ibe / Mo Salah (C) / Wilfried Zaha

Steve Mounie / Roberto Firmino (V) / Cenk Tosun

Looking at it now and thinking how crazy I am? Agree, it’s madness, but I’m chasing and want some fun. Good luck to you too!

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Are you liking your squad for this game week? Did you use a free hit chip? How many players did you manage to field (we prepared a poll for you, so please go and vote)?

Poll

How many players did you end up having for GW31?

This poll is closed

  • 20%
    Used Free Hit, so all 15
    (5 votes)
  • 29%
    11
    (7 votes)
  • 16%
    10
    (4 votes)
  • 16%
    9
    (4 votes)
  • 12%
    8
    (3 votes)
  • 4%
    7
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    6
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Other (tell us in comments)
    (0 votes)
24 votes total Vote Now

Thank you for reading us!

Alexey