Surprise package Fulham offer attractive player options
The Premier League season hits the halfway stage with a few surprises still left in store, with Fulham emerging a surprise contender for European qualification after conceding just three goals in their last five games.
Fantasy managers have some decent selection options with Fulham goalkeeper Bernd Leno, who has made the second-most saves in the division, a solid mid-priced choice between the posts.
Meanwhile, young Brighton starlet Evan Ferguson has registered two goals and two assists in the Seagulls’ last four games to burst onto the budget forward scene.
1 IssyFC 23 (Ari Tucker) 95 179
2 297Lock@Load FC (OJay Minors) 95 177
2 Untouchables (Julian Carpenter) 86 177
4 Chifc (Chiemeka Raynor) 85 170
5 Bermudianbootboys (Dave Boyce) 96 167
6 Bermy United (Kurt Repose) 92 166
7 Rego Warriors FC (Jared Rego) 84 165
8 Something Witty (Matt Shrubb) 92 163
9 MarschMallows FC (Conor Smyth) 82 160
10 Netflix and Chilwell (Marley Saggar) 105 159
10 Comingupthetable FC (Shaun Johnson) 86 159
12 Son Perignon (Aaron Jackson) 80 158
12 Cha Bredrins BudBoyz (Jaelen Steede) 93 158
14 FCTy (Stacie Robinson) 82 157
14 RichHomieToineFC (Antoine Saunders) 71 157
14 Ivan PeriSICK (Henry Banks) 90 157
17 Toosh FC (Natasha Trott) 83 156
17 Wout There It Is (Jaylen Martin) 94 156
19 Mwaisa Nyonyoma (Dennis Lyelu) 70 155
20 Marinai8n (John Nusum) 76 154
21 Oh My Ghoddos (Jordan E) 68 153
21 Big Boats Spurs (Kenneth Horton) 88 153
21 Harry Kane FC (Jordon Lindsay) 79 153
24 Unatheltico Madrid (James Gater) 92 152
25 ToonArmyTopSeven⚽️(Micquita Minors) 80 151
25 Wakanda Warriors (Tawana Tannock) 93 151
1 FC Perrydise (Perry Thompson) 65 1255
2 Untouchables (Julian Carpenter) 86 1248
3 Funinthesun (Lester Woodhouse) 83 1244
4 Ur Muda’s Hary Kante (Victor Falcao) 72 1243
5 Expected Toulouse (Darran Reitze) 68 1241
6 Tinmen (Robert Eastham) 84 1238
7 GQ FC (Ian Simmons) 68 1234
8 Erik ten Häagen-Dazs (Calum Maule) 71 1230
9 Non Sequitur (J D) 62 1227
10 Poinciana Road FC (Jorge Sanchez) 73 1226
11 Who’s Ur Captain Dan (Lara Nash) 68 1223
12 KO for knockout (Kathryn Roberts) 73 1222
13 One Hag Two Hag (Mark Godfrey) 96 1219
13 Earth Wind & Maguire (Chris Alexander) 75 1219
15 Why I Jotaaa (Blake DeSilva) 74 1219
16 Res Ipsa Loquitor (Rod Semaj) 61 1218
17 Harry Kane FC (Jordon Lindsay) 79 1215
17 Jai FC (Jair Eve) 77 1215
19 Fish & Chips (Martyn C) 70 1214
20 Channelmarkers (Paul Watson) 83 1213
21 Foy (Armand Foy) 63 1211
21 Divots Bar (Marvin Burchall) 69 1211
21 Tactics15 (Scott Clarke) 65 1211
24 Heywood St James FC (Danny Dyson) 77 1210
24 Who’s DA (Daniel Andrade) 68 1210
24 SimpliCity FC (Geoffrey Law) 61 1210
24 V R United (Remson F.) 76 1210
24 No Way 2 FC (Mr Hullo) 65 1210
Liverpool v Chelsea (8.30am)
Liverpool continued their domestic struggles, suffering a heavy away defeat to Brighton to slip ten points behind the top four. Virgil van Dijk, Luis Díaz, Arthur Melo, Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota are out with various injuries this weekend, with Darwin Núñez doubtful after recovering from a dead leg.
Chelsea edged London neighbours Crystal Palace at home to climb level on points with their hosts this week. Edouard Mendy, Reece James, Wesley Fofana, N’Golo Kanté, Christian Pulisic, Raheem Sterling, and Armando Broja are out, new recruit João Félix is suspended for three games after being sent off for a challenge on Fulham’s Kenny Tete, while Denis Zakaria is doubtful.
This rivalry is historically even, but the Reds edge it with 23 wins to Chelsea’s 21.
Bournemouth v Nottingham Forest (11am)
Bournemouth suffered their fourth straight loss at Brentford last weekend to drop within one point of the relegation zone. David Brooks, Marcus Tavernier, Ryan Fredericks, Junior Stanislas, Lewis Cook and Dominic Solanke are doubtful this weekend.
Forest enhanced their survival ambitions with victory over Leicester in the East Midlands derby. Giulian Biancone, Moussa Niakhaté, Omar Richards, Jesse Lingard and Cheikhou Kouyaté are out, while Willy Boly, Ryan Yates and Taiwo Awoniyi are doubtful for the trip to the South Coast.
The Cherries won the only Premier League meeting between these clubs 3-2 at the City Ground in September.
Leicester City v Brighton & Hove Albion (11am)
Leicester are also on a four-match losing streak, scoring just once in that run. Jonny Evans, Ryan Bertrand, Ricardo Pereira, James Justin, James Maddison and Boubakary Soumaré are out this round, while Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall and Ayoze Pérez are doubtful.
Brighton have scored at least three goals in seven of their nine victories this term. Leandro Trossard is pushing for a move away from the South Coast club, while Jakub Moder is out with a knee injury.
The Foxes dominate this rivalry, winning six of their 11 Premier League encounters.
Southampton v Aston Villa (11am)
Southampton came from behind to take a valuable away victory over fellow strugglers Everton. Tino Livramento, Armel Bella-Kotchap, Juan Larios Lopez and Stuart Armstrong are out, while Alex McCarthy is doubtful this weekend.
Aston Villa edged Leeds United to pull ten points clear of the bottom three. Diego Carlos and John McGinn are out with Achilles and hamstring injuries respectively, Jan Bednarek is ineligible owing to league loan rules, while Matt Cash, Ludwig Augustinsson, Lucas Digne and Ollie Watkins are doubtful.
This contest is even, with each side winning 16 of their 41 total league meetings.
West Ham United v Everton (11am)
West Ham have scored just three times in their last five league games, suffering four defeats in that run to slip into the bottom three. Maxwel Cornet and Alphonse Areola are doubtful this weekend for the Hammers.
Everton are on a similar run to their hosts only behind them on goal difference. Nathan Patterson, Andros Townsend, and James Garner are out, while Michael Keane is doubtful with a knee injury.
The Toffees hold a heavy lead in this series, with 28 wins to the Hammers’ 12.
Crystal Palace v Newcastle United (1.30pm)
Crystal Palace have won just once of their last seven games in all competitions but did pick up a decent draw against Manchester United on Wednesday. James McArthur is out with a hip injury, while Nathan Ferguson and Joachim Andersen are doubtful for the Eagles this week.
Newcastle held off Fulham last week to keep themselves in the top four. Emil Krafth, Jonjo Shelvey and Matt Targett are out with various injuries, while Bruno Guimaraes is doubtful.
The Magpies hold the advantage in this match-up with 11 wins to five for Palace.
Leeds United v Brentford (10am)
Leeds are winless in their last six Premier League matches and Stuart Dallas, Crysensio Summerville and Archie Gray are out for the Yorkshire side, with Adam Forshaw doubtful.
Brentford are unbeaten in seven league games, including victories over Manchester City and Liverpool. Pontus Jansson and Frank Onyeka are out with hamstring injuries, while Shandon Baptiste, Rico Henry and Aaron Hickey are doubtful.
Each side has won one of their three top-flight meetings.
Manchester City v Wolverhampton Wanderers (10am)
Manchester City have scored only seven goals in their last five matches and John Stones and Ruben Dias are out for the defending champions.
Wolves have still scored the fewest goals in the division, but hold firm just outside the relegation zone after the home win against West Ham. Pedro Neto, Francisco Oliveira, Boubacar Traoré and Sasa Kalajdzic remain out, while Diego Costa is doubtful.
City have won 11 of the 17 encounters between these clubs.
Arsenal v Manchester United (12.30pm)
Arsenal dominated Tottenham to cruise to victory in the North London derby. Reiss Nelson and Gabriel Jesus remain out for the Gunners as they take on yet another challenging test in their quest to win their first league title since 2004.
Manchester United came from behind to edge neighbours Manchester City last weekend. Donny van de Beek is out with a knee injury, while Diogo Dalot, Jadon Sancho and Anthony Martial are doubtful for the visit to the Emirates Stadium.
United hold the upper hand in this contest, with 26 wins to Arsenal’s 17 through 61 league meetings.
Fulham v Tottenham Hotspur (4pm)
Fulham aspire to European football and are probably assured of a top-half finish after 31 points from their first 20 games. Neeskens Kebano is out with an Achilles injury, while Shane Duffy is ill this weekend.
Spurs failed to make an impact in the home North London derby defeat to Arsenal. Lucas Moura and Rodrigo Bentancur are doubtful for another London derby. Tottenham have taken 17 victories over their western neighbours from 31 overall encounters.