The EPL Weekly Monster is back for Gameweek 35 with another packed schedule, featuring 9 fixtures once again 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 9 fixtures, starting with the 3pm kick offs on Saturday and concluding with Monday night Football, as Brentford visit Old Trafford to take on Manchester United.
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 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 Alonso, 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.
Wolves vs Brighton (30/04 – 15:00 BST)
This feels like a typical “both teams cancelled each other out” kind of game. For that reason, I’m inclined to side with their shot stoppers and the defenders. For two teams that don’t score an awful lot, their attacking options are priced a little too high for me this week. My preference would be Jose Sa (8.2m), who has had the fourth most saves (111) this season. Wolves’ defender Jonny (7.3m) has also been quite attacking in recent weeks. The wing back has 6 shots in his last 4 starts and has 3 key passes with a big chance created within that time period. If you feel the pricing on the keepers is a little too much, you could drop down to defence quite easily.
It’s a very similar story for Brighton in this one. Robert Sanchez (8.0m) comes in just under Sa’s price tag, and in all honesty, I think I would rather own Sa of the two keepers. He tends to rack up more save points and of the two teams, I marginally favour Wolves at home. It is a tight game this one though, and one I’m keen to avoid.
Southampton vs Crystal Palace (30/04 – 15:00 BST)
The pricing slightly favours Southampton in this contest. This is another tight one, as Palace have also had a dip in form.
Wilfried Zaha (8.6m) is worth a punt at his price. Southampton have conceded 11 goals in their last 5 games, granted 6 came in one game against Chelsea. That’s just not very promising defensively, though. Zaha benefits in scoring from the fact he takes a lot of shots. In his last 4 appearances, he’s had 8 shots on target. He also tends to take penalties, so he’s always worth a play if you fancy Palace to score or get a result.
James Ward-Prowse (9.8m) really ticks over, doesn’t he? Amongst these 18 teams in the monster, he is the 6th highest scoring midfielder. His price never suggests he is, but that’s more of a reflection of Southampton than him as a player. Over his last 5 appearances, he’s had 9 total shots, 3 goals, 10 key passes, and created a big chance. He’s also made 46 crosses, more than anyone else in the league in that period of games. All of the inputs are there, and the outputs are starting to look after themselves recently. Well worth your consideration this week.
Watford vs Burnley (30/04 – 15:00 BST)
Possibly the least appealing fixtures of the slate! With that said, Burnley have had a resurgence. I am quite surprised to see Nick Pope (7.3m) priced less than Ben Foster (7.4m), given Burnley have defensively been better recently. On top of that, he’s the better keeper!
If Dwight McNeil (6.8m) is a starter, I’d be inclined to pay his cheap price. The beauty of this game is it’s one of the 3pm kick offs, so we will have the lineup information. McNeil is 2.5m cheaper than Maxwell Cornet (9.3m) despite almost matching him stat for stat in the past 5 games. If you are paying up for a Burnley midfielder or forward, I think you can do a lot worse than paying down to own McNeil this week. I’m not sold on paying 8m and over for other Burnley attackers that can be just as inconsistent.
Sorry Watford fans, but once again, I have zero interest in your players. Despite playing Burnley, they’re priced too highly for me.
Aston Villa vs Norwich (30/04 – 15:00 BST)
I can understand why Villa’s players are priced the way they are this week. Afterall, they are playing Norwich. However, their form is dreadful. It really puts me off them and I do think you can use the money more effectively elsewhere.
If you are going there, I think you have to pay up and play Ollie Watkins (13.0m). He’s only bagged himself 1 goal in his last 4 appearances, but his attempts on goal remain consistent. If you fancy anyone to break the resolve (and I use that term loosely) of Norwich, I would be backing the Villa forward. You can pay a little less to own Philippe Coutinho (12.5m) if you so wish, but much like Villa, he is also out of form.
Teemu Pukki (6.4m) might be one of my favourite plays this week! What do you have to lose? He costs 6.4m, super cheap. He’s scored 3 in his last 5 games with an assist to his tally, too. Prior to drawing against Leicester, Villa had conceded 9 goals in 4 games. At the price, he’s worth a shot! Norwich are still fighting.
Leeds vs Manchester City (30/04 – 17:30 BST)
City players are the most expensive on the slate, which you can understand really. Kevin De Bruyne (13.6m) finally finds himself priced at the top of the City attacking assets after weeks of being 3rd or 4th in the pricing. It is another City attacker that has presented us with some value this week, though. We cannot ignore Gabriel Jesus (12.9m) after his 4 goal haul last week. He’s taken more shots (14), scored more goals (5) and has created more big chances (2) than any other City player in his last 4 appearances. They’ll be highly owned this week, City players. If you can’t decide, pick both De Bruyne and Jesus!
Leeds have been playing better recently, ever since the sacking of Bielsa as a matter of fact. They’re unbeaten in their past 5 games. If you fancy them to make a game of it, Raphinha (6.6m) is as cheap as I remember seeing him for a while. Jack Harrison (5.9m) and Daniel James (6.0m) are both worthy of mention if you are going to the Leeds pool of players. Honestly, you may as well flip a coin and let fate decide if you do want to own a Leeds player! Their underlying statistics are all fairly similar in recent weeks.
Spurs vs Leicester (01/05 – 14:00 BST)
As I write this blog, Leicester are competing in the Europa conference league against AS Roma. They have nothing to lose or gain in the Premier League currently, as they look all but out of the running for european places. Spurs focus remains clear, they need to get wins on the board to finish 4th.
I fancy Spurs to get the job done here, as does the FanTeam pricing team! It’s unsurprising that Harry Kane (13.2m), Heung-Min Son (13.5m) and Dejan Kulusevski (12.8m) are all priced the way they are. You should absolutely be considering them all in this one. They’re all priced in a way where it will be difficult to own 2 or 3 of them with some City coverage, so you have some decisions to make.
If you are struggling for budget in your team, Kasper Schmeichel (5.2m) is so cheap this week! He has found himself at the lower end of the pricing consistently recently, despite averaging 5.1 points per game over his last 5 games. Spurs look handy to score here, but Schmeichel offers the potential for save points. Leicester players on the whole are cheap this week, but it is hard to recommend them following their European trip, as I suspect they will rest some of their players for the return leg in Rome next Thursday. With the uncertainty over who will start and who will be rested, I’d rather just leave well enough alone this week.
Everton vs Chelsea (01/05 – 14:00 BST)
Everton will be thankful of the short turnaround for Chelsea. As I write this, they are currently away at Manchester United. They don’t have Europe as a distraction anymore, their focus is solely on securing a top 4 place.
I can see a Chelsea double up for me, here. Marcus Alonso (9.5m) has scored 2 in his last 2 starts, he doesn’t really face competition for his place as Chelsea’s Left wingback. He’s slightly cheaper than Reece James (10.0m), and Chelsea have been a little tentative with James following his injuries this season. If for whatever reason Alonso doesn’t play, Antonio Rüdiger (9.3m) is his safety net, not bad hey? My second Chelsea choice would come from one of Mason Mount (12.4m), Kai Havertz (12.1m) or Timo Werner (11.2m). Any of the 3 mentioned have the potential for attacking returns on any gameweek, so assess your budget and make your decision based on personal preference.
I don’t fancy Everton here, unsurprisingly. If you do however, Richarlison (7.3m) and midfielder Anthony Gordon (6.9m) are the only attacking players I see value in.
West Ham vs Arsenal (01/05 – 16:30 BST)
I’m really quite surprised at the pricing for West Ham, here. Given Arsenal did have a dip in form until putting together 2 wins on the bounce, I thought there’d be much more balance in the pricing. I understand that West Ham also have a European focus, much like Leicester. They still need to win games in the league though, as they can make a move for 6th or 5th spot if other teams slip.
As of writing this, Michail Antonio (7.7m) has finally found the back of the net!! I feel like his drought has been mentioned every week on this blog for the past 4-5 weeks, but he has finally added to his tally. Not in league competition though, his latest goal came in Europe. I don’t think Arsenal’s defence is anything to write home about, so he could be worth a play here. Jarrod Bowen (8.1m) also looks a great price given how threatening he can be. I expect him to play, if for whatever reason he doesn’t, Saïd Benrahma (7.4m) is the safety net.
Arsenal are a bit of a funny one this week. I am a huge fan of Bukayo Saka (11.9m), but at his price, I think I’d rather pay up slightly and look elsewhere. Arsenal have a tougher game on paper than Chelsea, Spurs and City, yet the Arsenal attackers are priced very similar to both. I will keep it brief on them this week and just say in summary, I’m looking elsewhere.
Manchester United vs Brentford (02/05 – 20:00 BST)
Manchester United are slipping further and further down the league table. They need to be careful, they don’t have the points buffer they had a few weeks ago! This presents a tough matchup, as Brentford are finishing the season strongly and haven’t lost in their last 4.
This is another game where I think the pricing of United’s stars puts me off owning them. Bruno Fernandes (12.3m) and Cristiano Ronaldo (12.6m) will likely be popular. But would you rather own them over Chelsea players? Would you rather pay a little more to own City players or Spurs players? Yeah, me too. Because of their poor form, nobody looks like a “bargain”.
I do think Brentford have a shot of at least coming out of this one with a point. Realistically, nobody would be surprised if they go on to take all 3 on offer with how they’ve been playing! Ivan Toney (7.6m) is a great price this week. In the last 5 league games, nobody in the Premier League has taken more shots. Who is second to Toney in that period? Bryan Mbuemo (7.2m), believe it or not! I also think Christian Eriksen (6.2m) continues to present good value at his price. He has a goal and an assist in his last 4 games.
This week, you are either paying up or paying down. Brentford, much like several other teams this week, do definitely help us in that regard.
With this being a multi entry contest, this is just an example of one of the number of line ups I will enter.
As has been the case in previous weeks, I will most certainly be entering this with different captains. Kevin De Bruyne, Gabriel Jesus, Harry Kane, Kai Havertz, even Marcus Alonso. All valid captaincy options.
I really wanted to own Spurs, Chelsea and City players in one line up. Somehow, we have managed it! That’s because of the pricing of Brentford players and Burnley players.
Jose Sa was my desired goalkeeper this week, so I’m happy we were able to accommodate his price.
Worth keeping an eye on the 3pm Saturday team news, just in case Dwight McNeil finds himself on the bench to begin the game.
Best of luck for the Gameweek 35 EPL Weekly Monster contest, I hope to see you on that leaderboard!
HOW TO GET INVOLVED
Existing users can click the graphic below for direct access to the weekly monster or head on over to the GW35 lobby.
Best of luck for the Gameweek 35 Monster contest!