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Gameweek 31 Preview: Fantrax EPL

Predicting the outcome of each weekend is tough. So many factors go into fantasy lineup decisions, and hopefully this article can help to make some of those toss-ups easier. Below we will preview some of the marquee matchups of the weekend, and highlight some Fantrax players that you should look to pick up and stream as a one week punt.

Mohamed Salah

Fantrax Preview Gameweek 31

Here is our Fantasy EPL Preview where we outline how to plan ahead for this gameweek. Post International break games are always tough to predict, with some teams affected by injuries and late returners more than others. There will be certain players worth stashing with a potential chance for a sneaky start.

Gameweek 30 Learning Points

Manchester United Are All Over The Place

Recap: United can consider themselves lucky to leave with a point vs. Brentford. United were second best the entire game, and a mediocre finish from Mount saved their day. They can consider themselves lucky to not have been 5-0 down by the time Mount came on in the first place. United are headed into a key fixture vs. Chelsea where this kind of defensive and midfield display will surely be punished more harshly than Brentford did. Despite Mount's "heroics" he probably won't start this key fixture with a midfield of Mainoo - Casemiro - Bruno the most likely on Thursday. I would be frightened to start any United defenders outside of Dalot and Onana this week given the poor display we just saw. United also had no fluidity to any of their attacks, but given how poor Chelsea are at the back I would expect them to still get chances. Hojlund got no service vs. Brentford so don't be afraid to start him vs. Chelsea.

Poch is Almost Out of Time

Recap: Chelsea really need to take a hard look at themselves. Looking second best vs. a relegation threatened team who only had 10 men for most of the game. Cole Palmer deserves better than this, truly. There's only so much this kid can do for them. Poch is on thin ice, and a loss to United could be the tipping point to have him released come the summer time. I expect Poch to look to control the game in a similar fashion to how Brentford did, but truthfully aside from Palmer and Gallgher on the odd day Chelsea just don't have that midfield stability or control. The Chelsea defence should be ashamed as well, and it seems like they will never figure it out. A few mishaps from the Burnley attackers is what really saved Chelsea from losing this one.

Advantage Liverpool

Recap: Liverpool are the real winners of the weekend, with the title fully in their control. Their come from behind win vs. Brighton coupled with the very boring 0-0 of City vs. Arsenal means Liverpool sit alone at the top by 2 points. All three teams still have 9 games remaining, so of course the title is far from settled. Liverpool have looked the part, and are close to welcoming back Trent, Alisson, and Jota. Three key players who will help push Liverpool closer to the title. Liverpool have shown that despite the odd defensive slip their attack is just too good to be denied. It is key to note than Liverpool, Arsenal, and City no longer have any games against each other, so the latter two will need to hope other teams can do them some favours.

Matchup Previews

Manchester United vs. Chelsea

Prospects: This fixture is basically the battle of who can be the least embarrassing "top 6" team of this season. Both these teams have been horrid, but have still found moments to be praised. There is every chance this fixture ends in a draw, but I do think both teams will go for it. Chelsea just for pride and United to push themselves towards a potential UCL spot. This is not the game to stream defenders from, start the likes of Dalot, Onana, Petrovic, and Gusto if he is fit, other than that, probably look elsewhere. Obviously, start your attackers, but be warned of rotation among both camps and this being one of the last fixtures. The likes of Gallagher, Sterling, Mudryk, Enzo, McTominay, Casemiro, and Garnacho are all players who could be on the bench that are highly rostered.

Bournemouth vs. Crystal Palace

Prospects: Bournemouth just keep on ticking after a win against Everton, whereas Palace are close to welcoming back Olise, and have just welcomed back Schlupp. This should be a fun game to watch and an unpredictable one. It should be Bournemouth's to win but I wouldn't be shocked to see a 2-1 Palace win or even a 2-2 draw. In terms of streaming assets the likes of Mepham, Richards, Lerma, and Adams (if Christie isn't fit) all represent solid streaming options in an early fixture. When it comes to midweek games, getting starters in your lineup early is key to avoiding an unnecessary jam.

Liverpool vs. Sheffield United

Prospects: This game has Liverpool win written all over it, but Sheffield United just shocked the Prem by putting 3 past Fulham showing they can score. Liverpool have Manchester United on the weekend and could look to rotate heavily here. The likes of Gakpo, Tsimikas, Elliott, and Gravenberch could all see starts. A "weakened" Liverpool side should still have more than enough fire power to take down Sheffield United. With this being another Thursday game, there could be some shock benchings. I would actually be okay starting Nunez, Diaz, or Salah from the bench. In terms of defenders though try to have a backup or flexible spot at least for the likes of Gomez/Tsimikas and Quanash/Konate.

Punts for the Week

Konstantinos Tsimikas vs. SHU (DEF, LIV)

Prospects: Tsimikas could be in line to give Gomez a breather. If so he is a top defender stream this weekend. A lot will depend on Robertson's fitness. If Tsimikas doesn't start this one he is a definite drop.

Chris Richards vs. BOU (DEF, CRY)

Prospects: Richards has been a solid ghosting defender. Despite Bournemouth likely scoring here, Richards could still offer close to double digits. With clean sheets impossible to predict for the run in you need to be starting defenders with a high floor and Richards is near the top of that list.

Harvey Elliott vs. SHU (MID, LIV)

Prospects: Elliott could be in line for a start vs. Sheffield United to give Szobo a rest after his recent return from injury. We could also see Elliott lineup on one of the wings. He is worth holding until you see lineups but be ready with a replacement in mind. In deeper leagues unfortunately this might mean a pivot to someone like Caicedo but Elliott's upside is worth the risk.

Players Who Should Be Dropped (70%+ Rostered)

We are at the business end of the season, which means heartfelt sentiment needs to go out the window. With single digit gameweeks left, there is no time to hold on those players who will do you more harm than good. These players are droppable in both playoff and non-playoff leagues in my opinion. All players listed are at least 70% rostered at the time of writing.

  • James Ward-Prowse - (85% ROS, FWD, CRY) - Starting off with a bang! JWP is usually Mr. Reliable but has been very poor both on the field and in fantasy over the last month or so. Alvarez is back this weekend, and I would expect JWP to go back to the bench. Let him be someone else's frustration, especially given West Ham don't double, although name value means you should look to trade out first.

  • Christopher Nkunku - (71% ROS, FWD, CHE) - I would be shocked to see Nkunku get more than 10-15 minutes off the bench in the last few games. He is not worth rostering as Chelsea will not risk him getting another setback with the focus being on next season.

  • Cody Gakpo - (83% ROS, FWD, LIV) - Even when he starts he scores very poorly. Look to trade to someone with Nunez ahead of Sheffield United, if that doesn't work...DROP!!

  • Ethan Pinnock - (71% ROS, DEF, BRE) - Brentford are too inconsistent and Pinnock is still injured. Drop.

  • Lucas Digne - (75% ROS, DEF, AVL) - Why is he so highly rostered? Tough fixtures to end the year and a rotation LB, the easiest drop on this list.

  • Jordan Ayew - (77% ROS, FWD, CRY) - A tough one. If you only have 1-2 forwards then I would hold Ayew for the double in 34, but he has been scoring very poorly outside of that 33 point haul. He is an easy drop for a flex position if he is your FWD3-4.

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