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West Ham’s Emerson can bolster Fantasy defences

Emerson, left, scored a stunner against Brentford in midweek and celebrates alongside Lucas Paquetá

The Premier League season is heating up and the added complication of FA Cup and European football bring selection headaches to Fantasy managers, although West Ham defender Emerson could be a solid option for the coming period.

The Royal Gazette Editor Dexter Smith finished top of the standings in February after his APorLa15 picked up 358 points, but he is ineligible for any prize. That goes instead to Frankie Brewster Jr and Tricky Trees with 349 points.

Jaylen Martin and Haven’t got a Kalou lead the overall standings with 1,671 points.


Brentford v Chelsea (11am)

Brentford have taken just one win from their last five matches and are within five points of the bottom three. Rico Henry, Aaron Hickey, Ethan Pinnock, Josh Dasilva, Bryan Mbeumo and Kevin Schade are out with various injuries, while Ben Mee is doubtful with an ankle injury.

Chelsea edged Leeds to reach the FA Cup quarter-finals in midweek and Benoit Badiashile, Marc Cucurella, Wesley Fofana, Reece James, Carney Chukwuemeka, Lesley Ugochukwu, Romeo Lavia and Christopher Nkunku are out to injury. Thiago Silva is doubtful with a groin injury this match.

Brentford have won three of five league meetings with the Blues.

Prediction: 1-2

Everton v West Ham United (11am)

Everton had their punishment for breaching league financial rules reduced from ten points to six and they are now three places above the drop zone. Andre Gomes, Dele Alli and Arnaut Danjuma are out injured, while Idrissa Gueye and Lewis Dobbin are doubtful.

West Ham kept their European qualification hopes alive with victory over Brentford and they have a fully-fit squad this weekend.

Prediction: 1-2

Fulham v Brighton & Hove Albion (11am)

Fulham defeated Manchester United at Old Trafford for the first time in 21 years last week. Joao Palhinha is suspended, Raul Jimenez is out with a hamstring injury, while Willian is doubtful with a muscle injury.

Brighton were held to a draw at home by Everton last weekend. Billy Gilmour is suspended, Solly March, James Milner, Kaoru Mitoma, Jack Hinshelwood and Joao Pedro are out injured, while Joel Veltman and Evan Ferguson are doubtful.

Fulham are unbeaten in seven top-flight league meetings with the Seagulls.

Prediction: 1-1

Newcastle United v Wolverhampton Wanderers (11am)

Newcastle suffered their first loss in five league matches at Arsenal last Saturday. Nick Pope, Joelinton and Callum Wilson are out with various injuries, while Matt Targett is doubtful with a hamstring problem.

Wolves edged Sheffield United in the league and Brighton in the FA Cup to make it three straight wins in all competitions. Matheus Cunha is out with a hamstring injury this weekend for the West Midlands club.

Prediction: 0-2

Nottingham Forest v Liverpool (11am)

Nottingham Forest lost at Aston Villa to take their record to four defeats in six league matches. Nuno Tavares, Willy Boly, Ola Aina, Ibrahim Sangare and Chris Wood are out through injury this weekend.

Liverpool won the first of four possible trophies when beating Chelsea in the Carabao Cup last week.

They are still navigating an injury crisis with Alisson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joel Matip, Stefan Bajcetic, Diogo Jota, Curtis Jones, Thiago Alcantara, Ben Doak and Ryan Gravenberch out through injury, while Mohamed Salah, Dominik Szoboszlai, Wataru Endo and Darwin Nunez are doubtful.

Prediction: 0-2

Tottenham Hotspur v Crystal Palace (11am)

Tottenham have not played since their narrow home defeat to Wolves two weeks ago. Fraser Forster and Ryan Sessegnon are out to injury, while Pedro Porro, Destiny Udogie and Manor Solomon are doubtful.

Crystal Palace beat Burnley 3-0 in their first match under new coach Oliver Glasner. Rob Holding, Marc Guehi, Cheick Doucoure, Michael Olise and Jesurun Rak-Sakyi are out to various injuries, while Eberechi Eze and Will Hughes are doubtful.

Prediction: 2-1

Luton Town v Aston Villa (1.30pm)

Luton have slipped back into the drop zone after three straight league defeats. Mads Juel Andersen, Tom Lockyer, Marvelous Nakamba and Jacob Brown are out with injuries, while Albert Sambi Lokonga, Elijah Adebayo and Amari Bell are doubtful.

Aston Villa have re-established a five-point lead in the race for the fourth guaranteed Champions League spot after consecutive wins. Diego Carlos, Tyrone Mings, Emiliano Buendia, Boubacar Kamara and Jhon Duran are out with injuries, while Ezri Konsa and Pau Torres are doubtful.

Villa won the reverse fixture 3-1 at Villa Park, their only previous Premier League meeting.

Prediction: 1-2


Burnley v Bournemouth (9am)

Burnley have gone winless in eight games to fall eleven points from safety. Midfielder Josh Brownhill is suspended, while Nathan Redmond, Luca Koleosho, Aaron Ramsey and Lyle Foster are out injured. Jordan Beyer is doubtful.

Bournemouth will miss Ryan Fredericks, James Hill and Max Aarons through injury with Tyler Adams, Enes Unal, Lloyd Kelly and Dominic Solanke.

Prediction: 2-0

Manchester City v Manchester United (11.30am)

Manchester City are on an 11-game unbeaten run but are still one point behind Premier Division leaders Liverpool in their quest for a fourth-straight title. Josko Gvardiol and Jack Grealish are doubtful this week.

Manchester United have won four of their last five games and are eight points behind Aston Villa in the race for the final Champions League spot. Tyrell Malacia, Lisandro Martinez, Luke Shaw, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Mason Mount, Rasmus Hojlund and Anthony Martial are out with injury, while Harry Maguire is doubtful.

Prediction: 2-0


Sheffield United v Arsenal (4pm)

Sheffield United have lost four of their last five and are adrift at the bottom of the league. Mason Holgate is suspended with Chris Basham, John Egan, Max Lowe, Rhys Norrington-Davies and Daniel Jebbison are out through injury. George Baldock, Ben Brereton Diaz and Cameron Archer are doubtful.

Arsenal are the form team in the league, scoring 20 goals in five straight wins. Jurrien Timber is out with a knee injury, while Takehiro Tomiyasu, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Thomas Partey are doubtful.

Prediction: 0-4

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Published March 01, 2024 at 7:58 am (Updated March 01, 2024 at 8:18 am)

West Ham’s Emerson can bolster Fantasy defences

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