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Ivan Toney a must as schedule throws up a few surprises

Ivan Toney will be involved in plenty of matches in the coming weeks

The upcoming schedule has to be taken into consideration by Fantasy League managers.

As well as the return of European football this month and the upcoming EFL Cup final between Chelsea and Liverpool, there will be two blank gameweeks — rounds with fewer than ten matches — in round 26 and 29, with some teams potentially having as few as three matches between rounds 25 and 29.

To the contrary, Brentford, who are already out of the FA Cup and Carabao Cups, will have six league matches in the next five rounds, which increases the appeal of striker Ivan Toney.


Brentford v Liverpool (8.30am)

Brentford returned to winning ways at Wolves, pulling six points clear of the relegation zone. Rico Henry, Aaron Hickey, Josh Dasilva, Bryan Mbeumo and Kevin Schade are out through injury this weekend for the Bees.

Liverpool withstood a few periods of pressure to get over the line at home to Burnley and keep their nose in front in the title race. Joel Matip, Stefan Bajcetic, Dominik Szoboszlai, Thiago and Ben Doak are unavailable through injury, while Mohamed Salah, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Conor Bradley are doubtful.

Prediction: 1-2

Burnley v Arsenal (11am)

Burnley have won just two of their last 11 league games to slip seven points from safety. Nathan Redmond and Luka Koleosho are out through injury, while Jordan Beyer, Charlie Taylor and Lyle Foster are doubtful.

Arsenal destroyed London rivals West Ham 6-0 last week and are right back in the title race. Jurrien Timber and Thomas Partey are out through injury, while Fabio Vieira, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Jesus are doubtful.

Prediction: 0-2

Fulham v Aston Villa (11am)

Fulham held off Bournemouth to extend their short unbeaten run to three matches. Kenny Tete and Raul Jimenez are out with Achilles and hamstring injuries with Matthew Dibley-Dias a doub.

Aston Villa were narrowly beaten by Manchester United to suffer their third straight home defeat in all competitions.

Ezri Konsa, Tyrone Mings, Emiliano Buendia, Boubacar Kamara and Jhon Duran are out with injury, while Diego Carlos is doubtful with a hamstring injury.

Prediction: 1-1

Newcastle United v Bournemouth (11am)

Newcastle were triumphant in a see-saw battle at Nottingham Forest last weekend in which saw midfielder Bruno Guimaraes score twice.

Nick Pope, Matt Targett, Elliot Anderson, Joelinton, Alexander Isak and Joe Willock are out to injury or lack of fitness, while Jacob Murphy and Callum Wilson are doubtful to calf and arm injuries.

Bournemouth are on a winless run of five matches, yet remain comfortably eight points clear of the drop zone. Philip Billing is suspended, while Ryan Fredericks, James Hill, Max Aarons and Tyler Adams are out injured.

Prediction: 2-2

Nottingham Forest v West Ham United (11am)

Nottingham Forest failed to make the most of two comebacks and lost to Newcastle at home last week. Chris Wood and Gonzalo Montiel are out to hamstring injuries this weekend.

West Ham have conceded twelve goals in their last five games without winning. Lucas Paqueta (calf) and Michail Antonio (fitness) are out for the Hammers.

Prediction: 2-1

Tottenham Hotspur v Wolverhampton Wanderers (11am)

Brennan Johnson scored a last-gasp winner to keep Tottenham in the top four with victory over Brighton. Alfie Whiteman, Ryan Sessegnon and Manor Solomon are out to various injuries, while Giovani Lo Celso is doubtful.

Wolves were beaten at home by Brentford to conclude a mixed period of two wins in five matches. Matheus Cunha is out with a hamstring injury, while Hwang Hee-Chan is doubtful with a calf problem.

Prediction: 2-1

Manchester City v Chelsea (1.30pm)

Manchester City are firing on all fronts now after their early setbacks and are unbeaten in eight matches, winning their last six league outings. Josko Gvardiol is out with an ankle injury, while Jack Grealish, Bernardo Silva and Mateo Kovacic are doubtful.

Chelsea recorded their 13th consecutive league win over Crystal Palace behind Conor Gallagher’s second-half brace. Marc Cucurella, Wesley Fofana, Reece James, Lesley Ugochukwu and Romeo Lavia are out to injury, while Robert Sanchez, Benoit Badiashile and Thiago Silva are doubtful.

Prediction: 3-2


Sheffield United v Brighton & Hove Albion (10am)

Sheffield United beat Luton on the road for just their third win of the campaign to move within seven points of safety. Chris Basham and John Egan are out with leg injuries, while George Baldock, Daniel Jebbison, Ivo Grbic, Rhys Norrington-Davies, Gustavo Hamer, Ben Brereton Diaz and Oliver McBurnie are doubtful to injury or illness.

Brighton are struggling with just three wins in ten league matches after the late defeat at Spurs. Julio Enciso, Solly March, James Milner and Joao Pedro are out with injury, while Jack Hinshelwood is doubtful.

Prediction: 1-2

Luton Town v Manchester United (12.30pm)

Luton have scored twelve goals in their last five games, yielding just one win. Mads Juel Andersen, Marvelous Nakamba and Tom Lockyer are out this week.

Manchester United have won three straight league matches for the second time this campaign to climb within six points of the Champions League spots. Tyrell Malacia, Lisandro Martinez, Mason Mount and Anthony Martial are out to injury, while Aaron Wan-Bissaka is doubtful.

Prediction: 0-2


Everton v Crystal Palace (4pm)

Everton have taken just three points from their past seven matches. Andre Gomes, Dele Alli and Arnaut Danjuma are out with injury, while Abdoulaye Doucoure is doubtful .

Crystal Palace will miss Rob Holding, Marc Guehi, Cheick Doucoure, Eberechi Eze, Michael Olise and Jesurun Rak-Sakyi through injury.

Prediction: 1-0


Manchester City v Brentford (3.30pm)

Manchester City lead this rivalry with three wins to Brentford’s two.

Prediction: 2-1


Liverpool v Luton Town (3.30pm)

Luton held the current league leaders to a draw at Kenilworth Road on their only previous top-flight meeting.

Prediction: 2-0

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Published February 16, 2024 at 7:53 am (Updated February 16, 2024 at 7:38 am)

Ivan Toney a must as schedule throws up a few surprises

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