In Need of a Friend
Home advantage key to Newcastle’s last minute survival bid
There are five midweek matches in the English Premier League, kicking off with Newcastle United versus Manchester City. The Magpies put three points on the board at the weekend, to give themselves hope of pulling off a great escape. Newcastle have an intriguing run-in that also includes a trip to Anfield, a home game against Crystal Palace, an away game at Villa Park and then the season finale at St James’ Park against Tottenham Hotspur of all sides!
They really need to get something tonight against surprise Champions League semi-finalists Manchester City, so perhaps the appointment of Kevin Friend as referee will be a blessing in disguise. The Leicester-based official, who was removed from the Stoke City v Spurs match has awarded just 3 penalty kicks from the 18 Premier League games he has taken charge of this season. Rafa Benitez and Serbian Aleksandar Mitrovic, who has already scored two spot-kicks this season and is available at 8.4M on Fanaments, will be hoping that he adds to the tally tonight.
Team news issues dominate elsewhere
The remainder of the midweek card is a real minefield for fantasy football managers due to a high risk of rotation. All four FA Cup semi-finalists are in action, so it’s very difficult to predict what line-ups Quique Sánchez Flores, Alan Pardew, Loius van Gaal and Roberto Martinez will go with ahead of the Wembley clashes.
Based on the bookies projections it might be safer to go with players from West Ham United, Liverpool and Arsenal. The Gunners will be expected to see off West Bromwich Albion to help secure Champions League football but Arsene Wenger could easily ring the changes following an inept display at the weekend.
Despite the FA Cup distraction Everton will surely not roll over with Merseyside bragging rights up for grabs so selecting Liverpool players comes with an added risk.
You can expect plenty of fantasy managers to go for Hammers duo – Dimitri Payet and the in-form Andy Carroll but it might pay-off to listen to pre-match interviews for any pointers towards likely starters elsewhere.
Aleksandar Mitrovic 8.4M on Fanaments (vs Man City, 100M Budget) in their midweek EPL contests