In FPL, luck rules all. But an educated guess increases those odds drastically, especially when navigating the upheaval of players now relocated for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Gabon. An experienced tipper like FPLAddicts contributor ‘Blunty’ can help guide you to betshop success or FPL legend status.
By looking over Blunty’s shoulder at the test answers, sliding into the slipstream of the tipper’s advice, it all becomes so much less of a gamble, whether in FPL or on your next multi-bet. So, here goes. Blunty lays down the predictions, and I break down the breakdown for the upcoming fixtures.
WEST HAM v Crystal Palace (3-1)
Amidst the brouhaha that has erupted since Payet handed in a transfer request, Bilic omitted the Frenchman from the squad for this outing, so in the absence of the team’s most reliable creator, Carroll and Antonio may have to score all the goals, with Andre Ayew in international action with Ghana. Lanzini or Reid could always channel their inner Payet, with the genuine article packed up tight for winter in cotton wool. The prospects of a Zaha-less Palace side with shoulder uncertainty surrounding Benteke (and on a pettier, FPL-level, the uncertainty surrounding his penalty duties) don’t look like a gold mine in either attack or defense. Unless perhaps a defender scores, in which case the name Scott Dann comes readily to mind.
Watford DRAW Middlesbrough (1-1)
In the clash voted least likely to garner genuine interest in pure footballing terms but which still appeals from a betting or FPL perspective, a score draw at Vicarage road might see Holebas or Negredo exit the match with returns but don’t expect much from popular picks from the Boro back line like Gibson or Chambers, or the returning Valdes between the sticks. Ramirez misses the match, and though rumours swirl about concerning the new arrival of Bojan from Stoke, the clash comes much too early for the diminutive former Barcelona man.
Sunderland v STOKE (0-2)
Blunty predicts Stoke will overcome the home side, with a shut out, no less. Human skyscraper Peter Crouch could come in contention, having returned to scoring ways of late, like a much taller Jermain Defoe. As for the actual, life-size Defoe or van Aanholt, while they might threaten the goalmouth, the tipper tips them ultimately having to confront the disappointment of nothingness. The Sunderland defense must soldier on in the absence of its best defender, the AFCON-bound Kone, but Mannone could yet generate a few save points.
Everton v MAN CITY (0-2)
As with Stoke, Blunty sees the Sky Blues keeping an away clean sheet on their trip to Goodison Park. Agüero, Sterling, Yaya, de Bruyne, Silva and the City backline look set to profit on their travels. Captainers of Lukaku, as always, beware, especially now that Baines has reclaimed penalty duties. Investors in the Manchester City midfield could hit the jackpot, providing anyone on the planet can accurately pick the players that actually play.
Man Utd DRAW Liverpool (1-1)
Ibrahimovic comes into the match in hot form, although he missed the midweek match due to illness. Pogba or Mhkitaryan could alternately prove pivotal for the home side in staving off defeat to the club’s bitter rivals. As has been the case so often this season, Liverpool score and Liverpool concede. Despite bidding adieu to the Senegalese Mané at the AFCON departure lounge, the club still has several weapons at its disposal. Sturridge has (as of this exact, precise moment, but not necessarily 5 minutes from now) avoided recent re-injury, Lallana has turned into a fantasy points machine, Coutinho returned midweek against Southampton, and Firmino always remains a threat.
Hull DRAW Bournemouth (2-2)
In the uMAXit bonus match, the weather report reads: raining goals. Want-away main maestro Snodgrass has scored in back to back matches for Hull, while Bournemouth may derive goals from both the attack or the defense, with Cook, Daniels and Smith all firing (though no longer Aké, recalled to parent club Chelsea). Stanislas looks primed to run amok and Wilshere will undoubtedly score a wondergoal in a Bouthmouth shirt one day. In the realm of “Wil-” surnames, however, a Wilson strike looks far more likely.