RG Fantasy League monthly winner Antoine Daniels in arresting form
We can now announce this season’s second RG Fantasy League monthly prize winner … congratulations Antoine Daniels!
The Assistant Commissioner of Police’s Ahri FC scored a mammoth total of 395 points to earn the January monthly prize, provided by our title sponsor, One Communications.
RG Fantasy League participants are encouraged to check their positions in the table for previous months this season with prize winners still outstanding.
Turning attention to this week’s English Premier League action, the standout encounters include Arsenal welcoming North London neighbours Tottenham Hotspur to the Emirates Stadium, while at the wrong end of the table, Brighton & Hove Albion will be aiming to move away from the drop zone in a trip along the South Coast to Southampton.
Newcastle United v Aston Villa
Newcastle fans will be forgiven for fearing the worst as they hover precariously close to the relegation zone.
Having lost key attackers Allan Saint-Maximin, Miguel Almirón and Callum Wilson to injury, and endured a training-ground bust-up between midfielder Matt Ritchie and manager Steve Bruce, the club missed a golden opportunity to ease their relegation fears in a goalless draw with struggling West Brom last week.
That result extended a terrible run of just two wins in the past 16 Premier League matches, leaving the club two places and only a single point above the bottom three.
To add further woe, Newcastle have failed to beat ninth-placed Villa in their three previous league meetings.
Leeds United v Chelsea
Thomas Tuchel has certainly settled into life at Stamford Bridge with ease. A 2-0 victory over Everton last time out extended his unbeaten record at the helm since replacing Frank Lampard in January.
The Blues remain fourth, two points ahead of West Ham, having played a game more the David Moyes’s side.
However, Tuchel will be wary of Leeds, with Chelsea having not overcome the Yorkshire club in their previous four league visits to Elland Road.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side are aiming to return to winning ways after going down to 2-0 away to West Ham last time out, making it back-to-back defeats.
Crystal Palace v West Bromwich Albion
Crystal Palace will be desperate to get back on track ahead of hosting struggling West Brom at Selhurst Park.
The Eagles had their three-game unbeaten run brought to abrupt end in emphatic fashion with a 4-1 thrashing away to Tottenham on Sunday.
However, Palace fans will be hopeful of three points against former manager Sam Allardyce’s side, who may already be resigned to losing their league status. The Baggies remain second from bottom, eight points adrift of safety.
Everton v Burnley
Everton are another side aiming to get back to winning ways ahead of a visit from Burnley.
The Toffees failed in their attempt to secure a fifth successive victory last time out, as they went down to a 2-0 loss away to rampant Chelsea.
Promisingly for manger Carlo Ancelotti, Burnley have failed to beat Everton in their previous two league meetings. An extra incentive for the home side is that three points tomorrow could be enough to push them into the top five and keep the pressure on those directly above them.
Sean Dyche’s side head to Goodison Park encouraged on the back of successive draws against Leicester City and Arsenal.
Fulham v Manchester City
Resurgent Fulham will be out to cause to another shock result and continue to pursuit of Premier League survival.
To do so, Scott Parker’s side will have to end a shocking sequence that has seen them fail to beat City in their previous 13 league meetings.
However, the West London side will take huge confidence from their 1-0 win away to defending champions Liverpool on Sunday.
Pep Guardiola’s champions-elect put a disappointing derby-day defeat by Manchester United behind them with a 5-2 thrashing of Southampton on Wednesday.
Southampton v Brighton & Hove Albion
Brighton fans will be looking nervously over their shoulders as the threat of relegation remains very present.
Graham Potter’s side are winless in five league games and come into the match in seventeenth and just one point clear of the drop zone, with resurgent Fulham breathing down their necks.
Southampton will be desperate to get back to winning ways immediately, having been thrashed by Man City last time out. Manager Ralph Hasenhüttl will also be wary of another slump in form, having suffered a nine-game winless run before beating basement side Sheffield United early this month.
Leicester City v Sheffield United
Leicester City can cement their place within the top four with victory over Sheffield United.
After a slight slump in form, Brendan Rodgers side are unbeaten in their past two matches to find themselves in third place, three points ahead of Chelsea and just one adrift of Man United.
While their fate may already be sealed, Sheffield United are not expected to roll over, with manager Chris Wilder adamant his squad have plenty of fight left in them.
The Blades will aiming to make amends after a disappointing 2-0 defeat at home to Southampton last weekend.
Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur
A fierce rivalry resumes at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday as North London neighbours Arsenal and Tottenham go head-to-head for derby-day bragging rights.
Form suggest Spurs come into this contest as favourites, having secured three successive victories to leave them in seventh, three points behind fifth-placed West Ham.
Arsenal, meanwhile, were held to a disappointing 1-1 draw with Burnley in their previous outing, leaving them tenth, seven points adrift of their bitter rivals.
A lot may rest on Arsenal stopping Spurs’ frontline trio of Gareth Bale, Harry Kane and Son Heung Min, who have hit top form in recent weeks.
Manchester United v West Ham United
An intriguing encounter at Old Trafford pits second-placed Man United against fifth-placed West Ham.
The Red Devils head into the match unbeaten in eight matches, including a 2-0 victory over rivals and league leaders Man City last time out.
However, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be well aware of threat posed by the Hammers, who have enjoyed a stellar season under former United manager David Moyes.
The East London side bounced back from a narrow defeat away to City with an impressive 2-0 success over Leeds on Monday to leave them just two points outside of the top four.
One setback for the visiting side is the unavailability of on-loan forward Jesse Lingard, who is ineligible to face his parent club.
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Liverpool
Questions remain over Liverpool’s failed title defence after they suffered yet another setback in a shock defeat by Fulham last time out.
It followed a 2-0 setback against Chelsea three days earlier to make it six defeats in seven for Jürgen Klopp’s side at Anfield. The latest setback leaves them in eighth and a mammoth 25 points adrift of leaders Man City.
Worryingly for the Reds, a trip to Molineux Stadium to face Wolves is no simple fixture, despite Nuno Espírito Santo’s side enduring mixed fortunes this season.
The twelfth-placed home side will be aiming to improve on a goalless draw with neighbours Aston Villa last time out and continue their push for a top-half finish.
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