Neal Thurman

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Perfect XI Player Picks WK34

Friday, April 13, 2018


Week 34 is going to be a tough one for managers who play both the Perfect XI game and the Premier League's game.  Why is that? The two fantasy formats are diverging as to which week some of the matches are being counted against.  In the Premier League's game, all of the upcoming mid-week matches (the ones starting on Tuesday) - Brighton vs. Spurs, Bournemouth vs. Manchester United, Burnley vs. Chelsea, and Leicester City vs Southampton - will be counted as part of Week 34.  In the Togga format, all of those matches will be counted as part of Week 35.  There isn't a "right" answer per se but it will require setting one team and then completely rethinking player valuation before starting in on the other format.  

 

In an effort to help you out with that mental shift, I'm here to sub in for Marathon Man Nik with my Player Picks for Togga Perfect XI for Premier League Week 34.  First off, the schedule (again, in Perfect XI world only):

  1. Southampton vs Chelsea
  2. Burnley vs Leicester City
  3. Crystal Palace v Brighton
  4. Huddersfield Town vs Watford
  5. Swansea City vs Everton
  6. Liverpool vs Bournemouth
  7. Tottenham vs Manchester City
  8. Newcastle United vs Arsenal
  9. Manchester United vs West Brom
  10. West Ham United vs Stoke City

The big things that stick out here are Chelsea (because Southampton are fading faster and faster), Manchester United (because West Brom are terrible), and Liverpool (because they're on fire).  The risk among those is Liverpool resting some of their stars with the Champions League likely being the higher prioirity for the balance of the season.  Manchester City and Spurs are the question marks among the big teams as they face each other.

 

Goalkeepers 

David De Gea – The goalkeeper playing against West Brom is pretty much always a good bet.  When it’s DDG, that just makes the choice easier.

Petr Cech – Arsenal are nothing if not consistent. Once the pressure is off in the Premier League they crush bottom half opposition.  Look for more of the same at St James Park.

Thibaut Courtois – Southampton are bad and seemingly getting worse.  The only hesitation is that Chelsea have been poor themselves in recent weeks.  That said, in the absence of any compelling match-ups favoring mid-table clubs, I’m backing my third goalkeeper from a big club.

 

Defenders

Antonio Valencia – High probability of a clean sheet plus solid attacking potential.

Chris Smalling – Similar to Valencia but with slightly less attacking potential unless he puts in another goal like the winner against City.

Marcos AlonsoAbove average chance of a clean sheet against Southampton and always a threat to score or assist.

Cesar Azpilicueta – My favorite (fantasy) defender in the Premier League this season, partially because he has been excellent and partially because I called him as the defender you needed to have this season way back in pre-season.

Harry Maguire – He has been excellent all season in this format and Leicester City have at least a solid match-up.

Andrew Robertson – He’s been excellent over the second half of the season.  I was on him in preseason but I didn’t have the balls to stick with him early when he wasn’t playing.  Fortunately, PXI allows me to rectify that mistake on a week-by-week basis.

 

Midfielders

Eden Hazard – The Belgian superstar has been slumping along with his team but Southampton seem like the perfect tonic for that.

Paul Pogba – I don’t think he’s going to repeat his performance of last weekend but between him getting some mojo back and West Brom being the opposition, it seems like a bet that’s hard to pass up.

Xherdan Shaqqiri – I usually tend toward the big players from the biggest teams given this format but Shaqiri has been great and West Ham have rarely been tight at the back.

David Silva – Even against Spurs it’s hard to ignore a player who is playing as well as Silva is, especially with the title in their sites. 

Mesut Ozil – He should be the focal point against Newcastle with Mkhitaryan out.  The Magpies are better than expected at the back but Ozil should still be a worthy pick.

 

Forwards

Alexis Sanchez – He’s started to produce some stats and the match-up is hard to ignore.

Mo Salah – The only real downside here is that he could be rested now that Liverpool have made it through to the Champions League semi-finals.

Harry Kane – He doesn’t shrink from the big moments and while I think City will win the match I think Kane will score a goal.

Romelu Lukaku – If you’re worried that Salah will be rotated and Kane’s match-up is too tough then here’s the next guy in line.  Not the biggest endorsement but there’s a fair amount of “meh” after those first three.


 

 

 

 



Neal Thurman manages the Rotoworld's Premier League coverage and contributes to Never Manage Alone which he co-founded. He is also a diehard Arsenal supporter. You can find him on Twitter @NealJThurman.
Email :Neal Thurman





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