You’ll obviously want to avoid players with blanks, but players who won’t feature through injury or suspension won’t do you any good either. Let’s run through GW28’s team news to help you avoid missteps.
Last updated 17 March 13:30 GMT.
Friday, 17 March
Nottingham Forest vs Newcastle
Forest have taken just two points from their last five games, but least those points were at home where they have been slightly better. They’ve been outscored 13-4 during that run too. This downturn in form draws them back into the ever-expanding relegation battle.
Newcastle have just ended their own poor run of form with their win against Wolves. That bad stretch has them sitting just out of the top four (although they have two games in hand over Spurs). During that poor stretch they really struggled to score, even as their defense remains the best in the EPL.
Nottingham Forest: Willy Boly, Scott McKenna, Taiwo Awoniyi, Dean Henderson and Gustavo Furtado Scarpa are out. Doubtful are Brennan Johnson and Wayne Hennessey. Chris Wood is ineligible to face his parent club.
Newcastle : Emil Krafth and Anthony Gordon are out. Joelinton remains suspended.
Saturday, 18 March
Aston Villa vs Bournemouth
Aston Villa are solidly mid-table at the moment and have now strung together a few quality performances, taking seven points from their last three games. They only conceded once over those 270 minutes too. While Villa have struggled against better competition, they are getting results from games against lower table teams, which is certainly what Bournemouth are.
But just when you think you can figure out the EPL, Bournemouth surprises everyone with a gutsy 1-0 win against Liverpool. Those were a massive three points for them and “vaulted” them from 20th to 18th. They are showing that they can defend. Only Arsenal and Manchester City have been able to score more than once against them over the last seven matches. But they need to produce at the other end too if they are going to get much-needed points on the road.
Aston Villa: Philippe Coutinho is out. Doubtful are Leander Dendoncker and Boubacar Kamara.
Bournemouth: Stanislas is out. Marcus Tavernier, Adam Smith, and Hamed Traore are doubtful.
Brentford vs Leicester
Brentford have lost just once in the new year. If they want to move into the European spaces, they need to turn draws into wins. They are tough at home (and just in general, really). Toney continues to score.
Conversely, it’s four straight defeats for Leicester and only goal differential has them outside the bottom three. They’ve scored only once during that stretch. To be clear, it’s been against good competition, but they desperately need points from the Brentford match.
Brentford: Thomas Strakosha, Vitaly Janelt and Kristoffer Ajer are out.
Leicester: Youri Tielemans, James Justin, Wout Faes, Jannik Vestergaard, and Ryan Bertrand are all out. Jonny Evans is touch and go. There is no further news on James Maddison after he was spotted limping in GW27.
Southampton vs Spurs
Last-place Southampton have a single goal in four games. They are struggling on both sides of the ball, and haven’t scored in four games. It’s not pretty.
Spurs have been playing well overall, but have lost their last two away games. They have climbed their way into the top four, so there is hope and some motivation. Kane and Son are still the driving force and have picked up their form has the season has progressed.
Southampton: Doubts are Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Kyle Walker-Peters. Larios and Livramento remain unavailable.
Spurs: Yves Bissouma, Hugo Lloris, Ryan Sessegnon, and Rodrigo Bentancur are all out. Emerson Royal was seen training this week.
Prediction: 0 - 2
Wolves vs Leeds
Wolves are maybe a little bit better at home, but they still aren’t scoring goals. They’re tied for the worst goals-for and goal differential. But they find themselves sitting in 13th place somehow.
Leeds have just a single win in 2023. They have the least wins in the EPL, with just five. They are struggling and need points. Badly. I’m not sure what else you need to know.
Wolves: Sarabia, Boubacar and Traore are doubts. Chiquinho, Diego Costa, Hugo Bueno, and Sasa Kalajdzic are out.
Leeds: Stuart Dallas, Tyler Adams, and Adam Forshaw are out.
Chelsea vs Everton
The good news for Chelsea is that they’ve won two straight and they’ve done well against teams at the low ends of the table. They have to win games like this if they want to have a chance for Europe (although they did just punch their ticket to this season’s Champions League quarterfinals).
Oh Everton. What do we think about them? Win here. Tie there. Lose a few there. They have tinkered with lineups over the last two games to some positive effect. But they are still just a point out of the bottom three.
Chelsea: Armando Broja, Thiago Silva, Cesar Azpilicueta are out. Raheem Sterling, Mason Mount, Edouard Mendy, Reece James, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and N’Golo Kante are doutbful.
Everton: Andros Townsend is out. Patterson and Dominic Calvert-Lewin are doubtful.
Sunday, 19 March
Arsenal vs Crystal Palace
It’s five straight wins for the Gunners. They need to keep this pace to stay ahead of the constant threat from City. Jesus is back. Having Jesus back will make a big difference, but they have 15 goals in their last four even without him.
Do you remember the last time Palace won? It was 2022. They’ve also lost three in a row. They also haven’t scored in four straight. That has now seen the club part ways with Patrick Vieira. They sit in 12th, but they really aren’t out of the relegation struggle just yet.
Arsenal: Edward Nketiah, Mohamed Elneny, and Takehiro Tomiyasu are out. Saliba is a doubt.
Crystal Palace: Ferguson, Guaita, Hughes, and McArthur are doubts. Sam Johnstone is out.
Prediction: 3 - 0
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