As the famous quote says, “Chaos isn’t a pit, chaos is a ladder”, and it has surely turned out to be just that for the Red Devils who are set to play three Premier League matches in five days due to the pitch-invasion postponement now wedged into Thursday May 13. That’s not much rest after their Tuesday match!
Hundreds of fans broke into Old Trafford last Sunday to wave banners, chant against and vandalize the American Glazer family owners for (among other things) their involvement in the flop European Super League. Dare I say, we live in “interesting times”!
Consequently, many fantasy managers are in a tight spot now, so we have much to think about. Also, let’s not forget that we have an almost-routine Friday deadline; don’t miss it!
The following are the teams that play twice (and thrice!) this official game-week:
- Arsenal – WBA (A), CHE (A)
- Aston Villa – MUN (H), EVE (H)
- Chelsea — MCI (A), ARS (H)
- Crystal Palace – SHU (A), SOU (A)
- Everton – WHU (A), AVL (A)
- Leicester – NEW (H), MUN (A)
- Liverpool – SOU (H), MUN (A)
- Man United – AVL (A), LEI (H), LIV (H) !
- Southampton – LIV (A), CRY (H)
Friday, May 7
[ This is the one pre-deadline confirmed lineup for Fantrax GW-35a ]
The Friday clash features the rejuvenated Newcastle side who should feel at ease with enough gap above the relegation zone. On the other hand, Leicester should be more motivated as the Foxes look to cement their place in a European spot, which is why this looks like a power win for Brendan Rodgers. The new combination of Iheanacho, Jamie Vardy and James Maddison is working in a good form.
Prediction: 2 – 0
Saturday, 8 May
Marcelo Bielsa’s side is unbeaten in six matches with a chance to finish in the top half of the table. On the other hand, Spurs can still be in the argument for a top-four place. With five points separating them from fourth-placed Chelsea, they seem to have momentum on their side with Gareth Bale scoring a hattrick and Son Heung-min netting one in their 4-0 win over Sheffield. If Raphinha doesn’t recover for Leeds, then advantage could shift to Spurs.
Prediction: 2 –1
Sheffield United v Crystal Palace
Relegated Sheffield United will look to gain something from the remains of their Premier League adventure so to revisit the Championship with confidence. Palace always looks like a dodgy team to gamble on; their lack of consistency on display throughout the campaign.
Prediction: 1 – 1
Man City v Chelsea
Both played and won their Champions League semifinals this week, so this immediate meeting is karma, a shadow-boxing precursor to the Champions League final. Man City can be crowned by the end of this week if Man United loses any of its three fixtures. Meanwhile, Chelsea wants to hold fourth. Thomas Tuchel will look to nick three important points domestically as the two powerhouses dance around their final game in Istanbul at the end of this month.
Prediction: 1 - 2
Liverpool v Southampton
The Reds will look to make up for lost time after resting too much from the Man United postponement. Jurgen Klopp’s men have won only once in their last five games in all competitions, in the process reducing their season to hunting a covetted Champions League spot in the EPL table. The Saints have sadly taken a dip within a dip in form; Ings is out, the defense is a shambles, and there’s nothing really to play for, so any result would be a shocker. I’d predict 6-0 except that Liverpool’s attackers have almost forgotten how to score at Anfield in 2021.
Prediction: 2 – 0
Sunday, 9 May
Wolves v Brighton
Both teams sit in the bottom half of the table and aren’t in the best form at the moment. Neither really has much to play for, each has scored twice in the previous seven league outings, and the story looks pretty the same for this weekend too.
Prediction: 0 – 0
Aston Villa v Man United
Man United is the team looking to delay noisy neighbor City’s party, but with three fixtures in the coming period, odds are slim to none that the title isn’t decided. Aston Villa has just won just two of the last nine, while the Red Devils are undefeated in 24 league away matches.
Prediction: 0 — 2
West Ham v Everton
David Moyes’ men are within touching distance of a European place after snapping a two-game losing streak. With a fit Michail Antonio whose relationship with Jesse Lingard is developing well, the Hammers can cause trouble for Carlos Ancelloti’s side. Everton lacks consistency and looked horrible at the back in the defeat against Aston Villa last weekend, which may start West Ham on the front foot to grab three massive points.
Prediction: 2 - 0
Arsenal v West Brom
The Gunners are on course for their worst season since pre-Wenger 1994-95. They currently sit ninth in the table and have just crashed out of the Europa League, so they look to be out of next season’s European competitions for the first time in 25 years. However, West Brom sits 10 points adrift of safety, now almost relegated. Both teams want all three points, and Arsenal may be more weary but is the still the better side.
Prediction: 1 – 0
Monday, 10 May
Fulham v Burnley
Here’s another dead-team walking. The Cottagers are without a win in their six games since their improbable 1-0 victory over Liverpool back in March. They’ve failed to score in five of their last seven home fixtures, while Burnley looks to grab back-to-back away wins for the first time since January. Unfortunately, the Clarets suffer terribly at finishing, but maybe Fulham will give them a gift.
Prediction: 0 – 1
Tuesday, 11 May
Man United v Leicester
The Red Devils’ second fixture of the week will likely feature tired legs, so Leicester can look to sieze an opportunity to win. The Foxes’ goal is to secure a European spot in the table, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men may not make it easy for them.
Prediction: 1 – 1
Southampton v Crystal Palace
Each team has just one win, one draw and three loses in the previous five league games. They will hope to edge each other for a better run till the season is over.
Prediction: 0 – 1
Wednesday, 12 May
Chelsea v Arsenal
Chelsea will continue on pace to finish fourth in the league, helped by a motivational boost from Europe as they reached the CL final. The Gunners have lacked consistency this entire season, and they just crashed out of the lesser European league, so Thomas Tuchel’s side may very well grab all three points.
Prediction: 3 – 1
Thursday, 13 May
Aston Villa v Everton
Villa has suffered terribly without captain Jack Grealish. Everton has enough quality players to seek a win. Expect Carlos Ancelloti’s men to grab three points for their European chances in this fixture.
Prediction 0 - 1
Man United v Liverpool
The biggest clash in English football was postponed on Sunday due to angry invasion and vandalism by Red Devil “supporters”. United will be playing its third fixture in five days, giving Liverpool the advantage in its quest for a Champions League slot. United were favorites for the original clash over their arch-rivals, but due to the new circumstances, the balance has tilted in the visitors’ favor.
Prediction: 0 – 0
[All key facts sourced from Reuters]
What are your predictions for these fixtures? What are your thoughts on the triple game-week? Any specific match you’re looking forward to watching? What are your fantasy strategies for the week? Any popular player whom you hope will earn you points? Whom are you adding and dropping? Please let us know in the comments below, and if you hear any late fitness news (e.g. Covid-19 positive or injury), please share!
Fantrax will treat the doublers as a separate game-week, so Fantrax managers should stay tuned for a picks and pre-deadline update late Sunday / early Monday.