Fantasy Spotlight – Gameweek 31
Who were the Standout Performers?
Leicester City, Tottenham and Arsenal all won on Gameweek 31 to keep the Premier League title race thrillingly alive over the international break, while Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United won 1-0 at Manchester City to reignite their previously slim top-four hopes.
Newcastle United and Sunderland drew 1-1 in a pulsating Tyne-Wear derby and GW31 also saw narrow victories for Stoke City and Swansea City.
Read on for the Fantasy Football Portal Team of the Week for GW31.
David de Gea
David de Gea is a regular fixture here in Fantasy Spotlight and he is back for GW31 after a star showing in United’s derby day victory at the Etihad Stadium.
It was an unusually flat performance from Manuel Pellegrini’s men but Spain international de Gea was in typically unbeatable form to earn his 11th clean sheet of the season.
United are now back in the hunt for Champions League football next season and if they do qualify they will have a string of superb de Gea performances to thank.
Ashley Williams has been in our Team of the Week a couple of times recently, but in a 1-0 win over Aston Villa on Saturday it was defensive partner Federico Fernández who caught the eye.
Fernández scored Swansea’s winner – although there was a hint of luck as Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan punched the ball in off the defender – and Fernández’s strong defending helped the Swans to a second clean sheet in three games. Francesco Guidolin’s side are now effectively safe.
Arsenal’s ropey recent form has seen them slide out of title contention, but young right-back Héctor Bellerín continues to excel.
Bellerín collected an assist and a clean sheet in a fine performance in a 2-0 win at Everton.
He now has five assists and 13 clean sheets for the season and it would be no surprise if the 21-year-old was the subject of big transfer bids in the summer.
Timm Klose keeps his place in Fantasy Spotlight after another strong showing for Norwich City, who boosted their survival hopes with a 1-0 win at West Bromwich Albion in GW31.
Klose was man of the match in Norwich’s victory, which saw them keep a clean sheet for the second game in a row and climb out of the relegation zone as a result.
Next up for Norwich is a vital home match against Newcastle – can Klose make it three successive clean sheets for Alex Neil’s side?
Spurs beat Bournemouth 3-0 on Sunday, with Kyle Walker setting up Harry Kane for the opening goal in the opening seconds of the match.
Walker has shared the right-back slot with Kieran Trippier recently but he has still racked up 10 clean sheets for the season and is one of the top-scoring defenders in fantasy football this year.
Remarkably, Chelsea remain unbeaten in the Premier League under Guus Hiddink, with the defending champions having not tasted defeat in their last 14 matches.
Nobody encapsulates the transformation of Chelsea better than Cesc Fàbregas, who struck both of his side’s goals in a 2-2 draw at home against West Ham United on Saturday.
Fàbregas looked sullen and disinterested prior to the departure of José Mourinho but he is now strutting about the Chelsea midfield again, with his free-kick goal on GW31 a magical moment.
Sadio Mané has slipped out of fantasy football favour in recent months, with the fleet-footed Senegal star having failed to score since October in the Premier League – before GW31, that is.
Southampton trailed Liverpool 2-0 at half-time this weekend but, sparked by their catalyst Mané, Ronald Koeman’s side roared back to win 3-2 and stay in contention for continental qualification.
Mané scored two goals, although his performance was marred by having a penalty saved by Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.
Robbie Brady scored Norwich’s winning goal at The Hawthorns on Saturday, the Republic of Ireland winger hitting his third Premier League strike of the season to give his side all three points.
Brady was one of Norwich’s big summer signings and if he scores more winning goals he will prove to have been worth every single penny – especially if the Canaries can seal survival.
Jonathan Walters has had a frustrating season at Stoke City, often finding himself left out of the Potters’ starting XI by Mark Hughes.
But Walters was recalled at Vicarage Road and repaid the faith of his manager with a goal and an assist in a sparkling individual performance full of drive, determination and class.
Walters has five goals this season and only Marko Arnautović has hit the net more time for Stoke.
Pellè is the second of three players to keep their place in Fantasy Spotlight for GW31, with the Italy international striker continuing his fine form after scoring a brace against Stoke last week.
A goal and two assists in Southampton’s comeback at home against Liverpool ensures Pellè retains his spot. He now has nine goals for the season despite his 14-game run without scoring.
Kane is the top scorer in the Premier League after a brace against Bournemouth took his tally for the season to 21 in the English top flight.
Spurs are five points behind league leaders Leicester in the race for the title, but Kane’s hot streak – he has scored five goals in four games – could prove the difference.
Kane keeps his place in our Team of the Week for GW31 after his second straight double.