We’re back with a Friday deadline in a game-week shrouded in doubt. Not only did we have European fixtures (but not Tottenham’s!) during the week, but now the Tottenham at Brighton game is in jeopardy after Spurs reported that eight players plus five staff tested positive for SARS-Cov-2.
Tottenham’s schedule is now in turmoil. Having earlier postponed the Burnley match due to snow, now the Europa League match must be squeezed in sooner rather than later, which could even bump yet another midweek league match from an already-congested festive schedule. Eventually however, all missed league match(es) must be made up, so we can take some consolation from the knowledge that there will be some Spurs mini-DGW fun in our future.
And speaking of snow, the UK weather forecast for this weekend looks okay, but do keep a weather-eye out to the next game-week’s midweek matches (yes, we’re facing another short turn-around!) as we’re never more than one cold-front away from suffering a slew of postponements.
[ Our one early game of the week is Brentford hosting Watford, so those two lineups should be confirmed in the countdown hour before our deadline. Come back to NMA for our Pre-deadline & Live Chat to see those and other late breaking news! ]
David De Gea (NOR vs MUN, $11.60) It’s all looking a bit more promising for Man United, now with a couple of wins on the bounce, the last of which also kept a clean-sheet against in-form Crystal Palace. Next up are the Canaries who have scored only eight goals so far this season. New interim boss Ralf Rangnick is looking to tighten up the defense, which bodes well for De Gea.
Alvaro Fernandez (BRE vs WAT, $5.87) Fernandez is still a decent budget pick with a home fixture against a Watford side without a win in three. Brentford hasn’t been in great form recently but did record a clean-sheet at home back in GW-13 and will hope to do the same in this fixture.
Kieran Tierney (ARS vs SOU, $7.96) Arsenal has had a couple of poor results recently, but the defense will get a boost from Tierney’s return from injury. The dependable fullback managed a good number of minutes last game-week and provided the assist for Arsenal’s goal. His price is depressed at the moment, so get in quick.
Marcus Alonso (CHE vs LEE, $10.31) Chelsea looks to get back to winning ways this week, and a home fixture against injury-stricken and poor-form Leeds is just the tonic to do that. Alonso was afforded a bit of a rest in yesterday’s Champions League fixture, coming on for only the last 14 minutes. He should get plenty of attacking opportunities in this one.
Luke Thomas (LEI vs NEW, $5.89) Thomas is a good budget pick currently favored in a Leicester side that should get back to business at home against a shaky Newcastle side. Thomas got an assist back in GW-14 and should offer potential attacking returns against a Newcastle side known to leak goals.
Mason Mount (CHE vs LEE, $14.73) Mount may have played the full 90’ for Chelsea on Wednesday, but there is no reason for him not to feature this time around. Mount scored and assisted in both of Chelsea’s last two league matches, bringing his total to five goals plus five assists in the league so far. He’s a consistent performer, in-form and faces a struggling defense.
Bryan Mbeumo (BRE vs WAT, $6.06) The Brentford attacker got back among the returns last game-week with an assist. Fellow teammate Toney is currently out, so Mbeumo will be relied on to provide the attacking returns. He’s currently cheap and faces a Watford side trying to catch Brentford in the table.
James Maddison (LEI vs NEW, $12.01) Leicester may be struggling at the moment, but Maddison certainly isn’t. The midfielder is back to his old self with two goals plus two assists in his last three matches. Newcastle may have won last game-week, but this is still a great chance for Leicester to turn around.
Demarai Gray (CRY vs EVE, $12.46) is back on fantasy radar after his brilliant winner against Arsenal last game-week. He’s priced well and could be an excellent pick if Everton can maintain form. Two goals plus an assist in the last two matches shows form from earlier in the season.
Richarlison (CRY vs EVE, $7.34) is our second Everton pick, one who also impressed last game-week. He may have finished the match with only one goal, but he was unlucky to not take the match ball after having two goals disallowed. This is a promising sign for a forward who won’t cost you much.
Romelu Lukaku (CHE vs LEE, $5.80) it’s hard to ignore a fully fit Lukaku at this price. He scored midweek before being subbed off and plays a ravished Leeds side, so the big forward is well worth a go. His return to the starting lineup will surely push his stock upward, so at least have him on your watch-list to grab before the barn door closes.
Cristiano Ronaldo (NOR vs MUN, $11.24) Ronaldo was given a full rest in the Champions League midweek, so he should be back in the lineup this weekend. He’s still relatively cheap (though many of you already have him for pennies!) and faces bottom of table Norwich, so you’d back him to get at least something in this game.
What do you think of my picks for this week? Are you swayed by the big scorers from last week? Will they strike again this week? Did I leave out anyone you’d have included? Can you suggest any affordable Liverpool players nailed on to start against Aston Villa this week? Please let us know in the comments!