THE EPL MONSTER IS BACK!
With Gameweek 27 in the books, we move on to Gameweek 28 and welcome back a packed list of fixtures following last weekend’s shortened schedule.
You know what that means… The EPL Monster is back!
This week’s Monster contest features two buy-ins, €2 and €20. The difference in the contests is of course the prize pool at stake. In the low entry, the prize pool sits at €7,500. A massive €30,000 is aup for grabs in the high entry, with €3,000 awarded to first place!
If this is your first time playing in an EPL Monster contest, allow me to break down some of the key details you need to know. This week’s contest features 9 fixtures, starting with the 3pm kick offs on Saturday and concluding with Monday night football, as Spurs take on Everton at 8pm.
The rules are simple to follow. You will be required to pick 11 players to fill out your squad whilst staying within a budget of 107.0m. For each team you enter, you must select a captain and a vice captain. Your captain will score 2x points. However, in the event that your captain does not play, your vice captain will then score 2x points.
You can select a maximum of 3 players from the same team. It is worth noting that if you select two or more defensive players from the same team (GK and DEF), and the team keeps a clean sheet, a stacking penalty will apply. For example, if you select Allison from Liverpool and he keeps a clean sheet, no penalty will apply. If you also start Andrew Robertson, you will be deducted 1 point. If you stack Allison, Robertson and Virgil Van Dijk, you will be deducted 2 points.
No bench required in this contest, folks. Instead, you have the innovative safety net feature to fall back on! This means if you have a player who does not start, your player will be replaced at the beginning of the match. This is dependent on a player being available from the same team, at the same price or less. The closest price to your player value will be automatically selected.
This is a great tool to use, as it allows you to start a player with confidence. If your player doesn’t start, his replacement is already determined. Teams that rotate heavily like Manchester City are a prime example of how the safety net feature can benefit you in your selection process.
Standard scoring applies to this contest.
With the rules covered, let’s take a look at the fixtures shall we?
Wolves vs Crystal Palace (05/03 – 3pm KO)
This threatens to be a low scoring affair. Wolves have conceded only 21 goals this season. Palace have only one win in 2022 so far, and have only won twice away from home this season. Jose Sa (8.6m) is the pick of the bunch for Wolves. He has the third most saves this season, and the saves points can be valuable even when Sa doesn’t keep a cleansheet. Wolves attacking assets are a little bit too pricey for me, given they score at a rate of just less than 1 goal per game. With this in mind, Jack Butland (6.8m) also appears to hold decent value this week.
For Palace, Conor Gallagher (8.4m) and Wilfried Zaha (8.2m) are the only others worthy of consideration here. My preference would be Gallagher, who has the responsibility of taking the majority of set pieces with free-kicks and corners.
Burnley vs Chelsea (05/03 – 3pm KO)
If you want to get different this week, Burnley ‘assets’ are sure to be low owned! With that said, there is nothing really that interests me about Burnley this week. Especially as Ben Mee looks set to watch on from the sideline. This significantly weakens Burnley’s defensive resolve.
Despite the stacking penalty, I’m not opposed to a Chelsea double up here. Reece James (10.5m) returned at the weekend and logged 64 minutes at the weekend in the Carabao cup final. When he starts, he is influential in Chelsea’s attack. Anthony Rudiger (9.9m) is as safe and consistent a starter as you will get for Chelsea, and will pop up with the occasional attacking return. This is a great match for clean sheet potential. Chelsea’s attacking returns have been hard to predict of late, in terms of where they come from. The safe bet here, is their defense.
Newcastle vs Brighton (05/03 – 3pm KO)
The Magpies have been on a rich run of form of late, with 4 wins, 2 draws and only 1 loss in 2022. Brighton’s form has slipped, losing 3 on the bounce. Their league position still feels a little false to me, they started the season well but have been quite poor in recent months.
Ryan Fraser (8.7m) and Joe Willock (8.2m) both appear to be reasonably priced here, both in great form, both with recent attacking returns. If Allan Saint-Maximin (9.6m) is fit and ready to go, he’d be hard to turn down here, too. Though, it is worth noting he hasn’t been spotted in training so far this week. I also like Martin Dubravka (7.8m) who has had 3 clean sheets in his past 5 games. I don’t fancy Brighton in this game, but if you feel it could be scoreless, the Brighton Defense are priced reasonably cheap.
Norwich vs Brentford (05/03 – 3pm KO)
Arguably the least attractive fixtures of the nine on offer! Two teams that are battling for their Premier league survival. Despite propping up the league, the better recent form probably lies with Norwich. Though, it isn’t pretty reading for either side. Brentford’s assets in this game are far too highly priced for me. With that said, I am not too enticed by Norwich either. Teemu Puuki (8.5m) is due a goal, isn’t he?
Aston Villa vs Southampton (05/03 – 3pm KO)
This could be a great game to stack from an attacking potential. It has the hallmarks of a 3-2 kind of game, as both teams have struggled to keep clean sheets this season. I actually really like the pricing of the Southampton players in this one. James Ward-Prowse (8.8m) is talismanic for the saints, with 6 goals and 5 assists to his name this season. He also takes all of the set pieces, so has a higher potential for an attacking return. Che Adams (8.4m) and Armando Broja (8.2m) are priced far cheaper than the Villa forwards, too.
Jacob Ramsey (9.4m) has been somewhat of a surprise for Villa this season. If you are looking to be a little bit different, he could be a good leverage play. Especially given most will likely gravitate to Philippe Coutinho (9.9m).
Liverpool vs West Ham (05/03 – 5.30pm KO)
The Liverpool defensive assets are priced much cheaper than their attackers this week. Which is understandable, West Ham are a good side both on paper and in their results. Mohamed Salah (13.8m) will likely be one of the most owned players, and most captained. I am absolutely not going to tell you that you should be picking somebody else. I will likely be starting Salah myself. I also really like Diogo Jota (13.1m) here, he’s likely to start, and if he doesn’t, you have Sadio Mane (13.0m) as his safety net.
If you fancy the Hammers to make this competitive and bag a goal, Michail Antonio (6.8m) is ridiculously well priced this week. Understandable given the opposition this week, but he’s a handful for any defense. Jarrod Bowen (7.2m) is also a nice price this week, he’s had a hand in 45% of West Ham’s goals in the premier league this season!
Watford vs Arsenal (06/03 – 2pm KO)
For me, Arsenal are the team to stack this week. Alexander Lacazette (11.3m) has a clear path to minutes since Aubameyang departed, and has 3 assists in his last 3 games. The goals, I feel, are coming for the Frenchman. Bukayo Saka (11.7m) has taken 58 shots this season, more than any other Arsenal player by some margin. I also like the Clean sheet potential for Arsenal here, Gariel (9.3m) and Kieran Tierney (9.2m) are both in consideration. There isn’t a lot to like about Watford. Only 1 win since the end of November, only 3 goals scored in the Premier League in 2022. Avoid.
Manchester City vs Manchester United (06/03 – 4.30pm KO)
This is an interesting one, as the edge and preference will absolutely lie with Manchester City assets. With that said, I think I would rather pay a little bit extra to acquire the Liverpool attackers. David de Gea (5.7m) is as cheap as you will ever find him, and if nothing more, he will likely face a lot of shots in this game. If you are looking to free up some budget to stack elsewhere, he cannot be dismissed. I think most will avoid defenders on both sides here, though if you want to be different, City defenders will likely be less owned than they usually are.
The headline City attackers are all priced similarly (Raheem Sterling 12.8m, Riyad Mahrez 12.7m, Kevin De Bruyne 12.5m), so if i were playing any, i’d be inclined to start De Bruyne. His safety net is Phil Foden (12.4m), who may very well start through the middle for City. You can’t discount United’s attackers here either, Bruno Fernandes (7.4m) would be my preference, as he has the set pieces to fall back on and likely to have the highest influence on the game if United are to come away with any of the spoils.
Spurs vs Everton (07/03 – 8pm KO)
Everton looked like they had turned a corner when they brushed Leeds aside with a 3-0 win. They’ve lost twice since and have failed to score in both. Frank Lampard has a huge task at hand, here. Spurs sole focus will now be on the League and attempting to force their way into Europe. Harry Kane (12.0m) and Heung-Min Son (12.3m) are both appealing here, as is Dejan Kulusevski (10.8m) who has 2 goals and an assist in his last 3 games. He’s been impressive since his arrival in January.
I’m not against a triple stack here, Spurs need to respond after crashing out of the FA Cup midweek. If you have the funds to do it, go for it if you are feeling bold! Most will likely target Liverpool and Arsenal this week, so Spurs could go under owned despite their poor opposition. Their form may put people off, but don’t let it, Spurs eggs are completely in the league basket now. If however you fancy Spurs to concede, Richarlison (8.0m) is your man to include for the toffees given the injury doubts throughout their attack.
As this contest allows multi entries (max 100), I will likely be entering different line ups. Here’s an example of one of my line ups I will be entering using some of the players mentioned.
Salah feels like a boring captaincy pick, but a reliable one nonetheless. Here, I have targeted a triple Arsenal stack, with a Chelsea, Southampton and Newcastle double up. Jarrod Bowen is a game stack with Salah, and presents good value at his price tag.
I will have a vested interest in the status of Allan Saint-Maximin. If he looks good to go, I may switch Bowen to Saint-Maximin, Dubravka would have to make way to facilitate this move with de Gea stepping in between the sticks.
Twitter – @Nickofwigan
HOW TO GET INVOLVED
If you’re new to FanTeam then you’ll need to create a new account here – alternatively, head on over to fanteam.com and click the green ‘Register’ button in the top right corner.
Existing users can click the graphic below for direct access to the weekly monster or head on over to the GW28 lobby.
Best of luck for the Gameweek 28 EPL Monster contest!