The Monster is back, and we have something a little unique for you this week! This weeks’ Monster contest will feature 5 Premier League games, and both FA Cup semi finals.
If you follow my blog, last week we had a cashing line up. If you did what I did and multi-entered the line up with different captains, you’d have been very happy with your outcome! Hopefully more of the same this week.
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 €7,000. A massive €30,000 is up for grabs in the high entry, with €3,000 awarded to first place!
If this is your first time playing in a Monster contest, allow me to break down some of the key details you need to know. This week’s contest features 7 fixtures, starting with the 3pm kick offs on Saturday and concluding with Sundays’ FA Cup Semi Final between Chelsea and Crystal Palace.
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 103.0m. 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 Edouard Mendy from Chelsea and he keeps a clean sheet, no penalty will apply. However, if you also start Reece James, you will be deducted 1 point. If you were to stack Mendy, James and Rüdiger, you will be deducted 2 points.
No bench required in this contest. 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.
This contest can be multi-entered, with a maximum entry limit of 100 entries per user.
With the rules covered, let’s take a look at this weeks’ fixtures.
Watford vs Brentford (16/04 – 15:00 BST)
What a difference a few weeks makes for both teams. Watford look dead and buried, whereas Brentford have truly turned their form around. I predicted them to get over the line last week against West Ham, and they didn’t disappoint. Once again, I’m more than happy to go back to the Brentford well on this one. Especially given the pricing generosity once more. Ivan Toney (9.6m) cannot stop scoring at present, so he becomes an almost automatic inclusion for me.
I tipped Christian Eriksen (8.1m) last week, and despite not chipping in with a goal or an assist, I think he is once again priced nicely. He touched the ball more than any other Brighton player last week, and was still involved enough in attack, despite not finding the net or a teammate for Brightons’ goals. Bryan Mbuemo (9.0m) is a great option, too. I’m a little biassed on the pricing here, so I’m still going with Eriksen and Toney despite Mbuemo’s impressive showing against the Hammers. If you’re brave enough to play the triple up, though…
Watford don’t look particularly potent in front of goal, and they’re conceding goals for fun. With both things considered, I have no interest in them again this week.
Southampton vs Arsenal (16/04 – 15:00 BST)
Arsenal have really gone off the boil, so Southampton will really fancy this one! Beware the wounded animal though. Southampton are one of the Premier League’s least in-form teams currently, so this match comes at a great time for arsenal.
I’m not sure how I feel about this one, though. Arsenal’s players are priced quite highly for a team that has lost their mojo again. Bukayo Saka (11.0m) continues to top all of the essential stat charts you’d want to see him topping as an attacker. He is still taking more shots, creating more big chances, and making more key passes than any of his Arsenal teammates.
I’ve mentioned James Ward-Prowse (7.5m) before in this blog, nobody takes more crosses in the Premier League than he does. Which, you always like to see, as there is always the potential for an assist. As mentioned previously, he’s also Southampton’s Free Kick and Penalty Kick taker. If you fancy Southampton to make this a competitive affair, look no further.
Manchester United vs Norwich (16/04 – 15:00 BST)
I had the privilege of being able to attend the hospitality suite at Everton last week to watch their game against Manchester United. As a neutral, I had my eye more on Manchester United, as they often flatter to deceive on televised games. Let me tell you, it was no different in person. United were utterly putrid, Everton were good value for their win.
I’m surprised to see Cristiano Ronaldo (14.2m) seemingly fit for this match, as he limped off with what looked a bit of a knock at the end of last weeks’ game. He had a couple of chances that just didn’t fall well enough for him. If you want to start him this week, I have no issue with that. However, I’m diverting my attention to United’s midfield. Bruno Fernandes (14.4m) is the focal point of their attack, and takes almost as many shots as Ronaldo, but with a higher probability of an assist. Jadon Sancho (13.5m) has made more key passes (9) than any other Manchester United player over the past 5 weeks. Though this isn’t always a guarantee, often these key passes do tend to correlate with more assists over time. Returns feel like they’re right around the corner for this duo, and Norwich present a prime opportunity.
Manchester City vs Liverpool (16/04 – 15:30 BST) – FA Cup Semi Final 1
I could copy and paste last weeks’ write up for this one! These two teams play each other for the second weekend in a row. Frankly, not much has changed in my preferences, either. There are slight hikes in pricing for Trent Alexander-Arnold (7.0m), who did bag an assist last weekend. Mohamed Salah (9.0m) actually sees a slight reduction, after being fairly anonymous in the game. The Egyptian only had 1 shot at goal during the game. Diogo Jota (8.8m) found the back of the net last Sunday. I expect he will start the game again, and I’d be inclined to start him. His safety net is once again Sadio Mane (8.6m), which is a great option to have coming in if he doesn’t start.
Manchester City have had some price reductions, too. I’m a little worried for City in this game, as they had a tough time of it over in Spain mid-week in the Champions League. Kevin De Bruyne (10.0m) actually had to be substituted with a suspected injury. We don’t yet know the severity of this, so keep an eye on team news right up to line up lock. If De Bruyne is good to go, he’s too cheap once again not to play. Especially after scoring last week against Liverpool. Joao Cancelo (7.8m) will never be this cheap again. He offered a good attacking threat against Liverpool last week, delivering 4 crosses with 1 big chance created and taking a shot of his own.
Again, because of the pricing here and the quality on offer, I’d be inclined to heavily stack this game. It may be a little more open than the league game, given it is elimination football. That said, it was a fantastic game last week, end to end, and I expect this to pick up exactly where we left off.
West Ham vs Burnley (17/04 – 14:15 BST)
The Hammers will be bitterly disappointed with their performance last week against Brentford. Much of the same can be said of Burnley, who were quite frankly awful against Norwich at Carrow Road.
If you are playing Burnley players to free up some budget for your line up, they are priced very cheap. Wout Weghorst (6.5m) will likely be the most popular pick of the Burnley players, part of that is on name currently, as the underlying stats aren’t doing him any favours. The most likely Burnley player to provide some kind of return at the moment seems to be Maxwell Cornet (6.9m) who has had his moments this season. He could be vital for Burnley during the run in. If I was certain of Dwight McNeil (5.6m) starting the game, I’d also be tempted by his price. We just don’t have any real insurance there if he doesn’t.
West Ham are priced as you’d expect given the opposition this week. I think if you are willing to pay top dollar, Jarrod Bowen (12.3m) is the player to own in this fixture. He found the net in the Europa League for West Ham, he could quite easily continue that goalscoring form again against Burnley.
There surely has to come a week where Michail Antonio (11.8m) breaks his goal scoring hoodoo. He hasn’t scored since Gameweek 21 against Crystal Palace. In the last 5 weeks alone, he has taken 10 shots. There will come a week where he will go off, and you will be sorry you didn’t own him.
If the West Ham Midfield and attack is a little too pricey for your liking, Aaron Cresswell (9.4m) once again finds himself much cheaper but still with plenty of potential for an attacking return. West Hams’ defence doesn’t present the sternest of tests, but there is the potential again for a clean sheet here against Burnley.
Newcastle vs Leicester (17/04 – 14:15 BST)
This one may just come at the right time for Newcastle. As I write this, Leicester have just secured their place in the semi final of the Europa Conference League. A short turn around, as well as a switch of focus for the foxes may just give Newcastle the edge. Leicester now have to navigate a busy Easter fixture period before they play their Semi Final against Roma, so expect some squad rotation.
Allan Saint-Maximin (9.7m) is a lock to start for Newcastle and is their most potent attacking threat. He’s taken more shots (5) than any other Newcastle player in the last two starts. Matthew Target (6.9m) also presents us with some value. He’s no stranger to getting to the by-line, and has led his team in crosses over the past 5 weeks with 14. Though I wouldn’t bank on the clean sheet, he’s a cheap defender who offers some attacking threat.
I really want to play Leicester players this week. I’m just a little unsure on who will start. They are priced less than their opposition. James Maddison (8.5m) is the most likely to start for Leicester and has a good enough safety net in Harvey Barnes (8.0m). Maddison is in fine form, notching a goal and 2 assists in his past 3 starts. He has a share of the corners, and he has made a staggering 3x more key passes than anyone else for Leicester in the past 5 gameweeks. I also quite like the look of Youri Tielemens (7.6m) and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall (7.0m) at his price here, too. You may just come a little unstuck on the safety net if the latter doesn’t play.
Chelsea vs Crystal Palace (17/04 – 16:30 BST) – FA Cup Semi Final 2
I had expected Chelsea players to be priced a little higher than this if i’m honest. They’re in good form and despite exiting the Champions League midweek, they put in a superb display against Real Madrid.
Kai Havertz (12.2m) and Mason Mount (12.0m) are the headline plays in this game. There is a name I didn’t expect to be saying anytime soon though, and that’s Timo Werner (11.9m). The German forward has had his struggles during his Chelsea career, but much like Havertz, he’s kicked into gear the past couple of games, scoring 3 goals in his last 2 appearances. Has he turned a corner? Reece James (9.8m) at the price feels like daylight robbery, and he will absolutely be in my lineup this week! Last week I backed the Chelsea defensive double up. I’m not opposed to it again this week, especially given the fair pricing. Just be wary though, this is knockout football. Anything can happen.
If you aren’t backing the Chelsea defence this week, then you could do worse than playing Wilfried Zaha (6.6m) at his price. I fully expect Chelsea to come out on top in this one, but Zaha is a cheap option if you need to free up the funds to use elsewhere. He’s has 3 goals in his last 5 games
With this being a multi entry contest, this is just an example of one of the number of line ups I will enter.
Kasper Schmeichel didn’t let me down last week, so given how cheap he is once more, we once again require his services between the sticks.
In defence, I have opted to play the Liverpool and City defenders for a game stack. Normally I wouldn’t advocate starting defenders when you are also starting attackers from the same game. But, there is just too much attacking potential from both Alexander-Arnold and Cancelo to ignore them at their price.
The Midfield is strong. Again, this lineup could easily be multi-entered with different captains. I’m backing Fernandes with the armband, as I think United will do a job on Norwich. Though, I will likely enter this with different captains across midfield and the forwards. Kevin De Bruyne and Mohamed Salah are both just superb value.
Up top, we again play Ivan Toney who is in a rich run of goalscoring form. I’m taking a chance on Timo Werner, as he may not start. He doesn’t really have a playable safety net either, so if you do want to play it safer, find a way to slot Havertz into your line up. There just isn’t much in the way of options in the forwards this week, which is why I’m paying up for Werner.
Best of luck for the special edition Monster contest, I hope to see you on that leaderboard!
HOW TO GET INVOLVED
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Best of luck for the Gameweek 33 Special Edition Monster contest!