Welcome to this week’s edition of ?Friday Feature’. My apologies for last week, I couldn’t make a post because I had some problems with my health (You would think that I’m not eating my apples…J). Anyway, it was a pretty interesting week with Manchester United giving a breathtaking display (5 goals in 22 minutes) to keep their lead at the top of the league intact. This week again, Liverpool will try to close the gap to the champions to give themselves an outside chance. Also bear in mind the tough Champions League fixtures coming up for Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United. Let’s take a look at this weekends games, and what’s in store for us!
Middlesbrough vs Manchester United: Saturday 2nd May, 12.45 PM
Prediction: The Borough have been disappointing of late, with just one win in their last 5 games. The probability of their being relegated increases with each passing week. United, on the other hand, come off an amazing comeback against Tottenham and a comfortable victory against Arsenal in the Champions League semi final, first leg. This one looks like it’s going United’s way…but you can never be too sure with Middlesbrough, who have a history of handing out major upsets to the Red Devils.
Stewart Downing (Middlesbrough): The flanker has been one of Middlesbrough’s most consistent players this season, and he’ll try his best to match up to United’s strong lineup.
Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United): Despite his problems with injury, he currently the joint top scorer in the Premier League, which is an achievement in itself. A Ronaldo goal won’t be a surprise at all.
Chelsea vs Fulham: Saturday 2nd May, 3 PM
Prediction: Fulham are on a decent run of form with 13 points in their last 6 games. However, beating Chelsea at Stamford Bridge looks like too tall a task. Fulham, currently place 7th in the league, will try their best though.
Didier Drogba (Chelsea): The Ivory Coast striker is back in top form, performing notably well since coach Guus Hiddink took over. He was the only one who got even close to threatening Barcelona in their midweek Champions League encounter. Expect him to play a major role in this match.
Andrew Johnson (Fulham): The veteran striker has been pretty consistent this season, and is currently Fulham’s top front man. He’s likely to make an impact!
Manchester City vs Blackburn Rovers: Saturday 2nd May, 3 PM
Prediction: Both in terms of recent form and league position, Manchester City are clearly the stronger team. Plus they have the home advantage. This is probably going to be a tough weekend for Blackburn.
Blumer Elano (Manchester City): With the pacy Shaun Wright-Phillips out due to injury, it’ll fall on the experienced shoulders of Elano to handle the right midfield. The creative Brazilian can be expected to give a noteworthy performance.
Portsmouth vs Arsenal: Saturday 2nd May, 3 PM
Prediction: Portsmouth have been average of late, and if we speak in terms of team strength, they’re really not a match for the mighty Arsenal. But they do have the home advantage on their side, let’s see if they can spring a surprise.
Peter Crouch (Portsmouth): Since his move back from Liverpool, he’s been Portsmouth’s best player. If Portsmouth manage to score, he’s very likely to be their man!
Andrei Arshavin (Arsenal): The prolific Russian striker is cup tied in the Champions League, as he’d already featured for Zenit St Petersburg. He’s very likely to get a start this weekend, and as likely to score after his breathtakingly brilliant quadruple against Liverpool!
Stoke City vs West Ham United: Saturday 2nd May, 3 PM
Prediction: Both teams have been in decent form (results notwithstanding), and will look to consolidate their position in the league. West Ham face some problems because of injuries and otherwise, and will be glad to take anything away from The Britannia Stadium.
Rory Delap (Stoke City): The superman with the super-long throw will have to take on extra responsibility this weekend with two of the strikers out due to injury or otherwise. Hope to see a strong performance from him, maybe an assist or two.
Matthew Upson (West Ham): With an injury crisis of sorts, the team will clearly not be at 100 percent. It falls to their best defenders to keep the Stoke henchmen out!
Tottenham Hotspur vs West Bromwich Albion: Saturday 2nd May, 3 PM
Prediction: This is not the first time I’m saying this, Tottenham have been constantly improving after the Berbatov transfer episode left them at the bottom of the table early on. Their last 6 games have produced nearly as many points as many top teams. West Brom are the ones who’ve been at that place for some time now, and are almost certain to be relegated at the end of the season. The result of this one looks beyond question my friends!
Darren Bent (Tottenham Hotspur): The English striker has been pretty impressive, with 12 league goals already this season. He’s quite likely to add to that tally this weekend!
Marc-Antoine Fortune (West Brom): The Frenchman, on loan from AS Nancy, has been a consistent performer for West Brom with 2 goals and 4 assists. He was probably brought in to try and prevent relegation. Even though that looks unlikely, he continues to give strong performances.
Wigan Athletic vs Bolton Wanderers: Saturday 2nd May, 3 PM
Prediction: This one is like a battle among equals as the two team are nearly equal in terms of points in the league. Both teams haven’t fared too well in their latest set of matches, but Wigan will enjoy the home advantage and hope that it sees them through.
Antonio Valencia (Wigan): The 23 year old Ecuadorian midfielder has impressed many this season, and rumour has it that he’s caught the Red Devils’ eye. Whether Manchester United sign him or not is a different question, he’s pretty likely to make an impact in the coming weeks.
Matthew Taylor (Bolton): He’s Bolton’s highest scoring fantasy player so far this season, with 10 goals and 5 assists. He’s likely to continue doing well..
Liverpool vs Newcastle United: Sunday 3rd May, 1.30 PM
Prediction: After being knocked out of the Champions League after a mind blowing encounter against Chelsea, Liverpool will look to focus all their energies on winning the league. I really don’t see Newcastle doing anything enough to stop them from giving Manchester United a tough time..
Fernando Torres (Liverpool): The young Spaniard has impressed one and all with his fleet footed dribbling and strong finishing. He’s pretty likely to score again this weekend.
Michael Owen (Newcastle): Newcastle will try to do everything in their power to prevent being relegated. Michael Owen will have a major role to play if they manage to do so.
Sunderland vs Everton: Sunday 3rd May, 4 PM
Prediction: Everton are currently 6th in the league and gunning for 5th place. Sunderland are trying to secure their survival in the league. With only 3 points in their last 6 league games, Sunderland are in deep waters, and will need to work hard to survive!
Anton Ferdinand (Sunderland): Sunderland will look not to concede, and a key man in that regard is Rio Ferdinand’s younger brother Anton. He was a familiar face at West Ham before moving to Sunderland, and will play a key role this Sunday.
Louis Saha (Everton): Former United striker Saha is likely to get a start this weekend, and there’s no doubt about his scoring ability. He may very well add another goal to his name.
Aston Villa vs Hull City: Monday 4th May, 8 PM
Prediction: In this late game, strugglers Aston Villa face relegation threatened Hull. From league positions you’d say that there’s really no match between these teams, but on the basis of current form, both look square at the bottom of the charts. Villa should take this game due to the home advantage…but I wouldn’t put my money on either.
Ashley Young (Aston Villa): The Englishman has been pretty successful at Villa this season, and will look to help them out of their trouble with form.
Deiberson Geovanni (Hull City): He has been Hull’s most valuable fantasy player this season, with plenty of goals and a few assists. It’s quite likely that he’ll deliver a worthwhile performance.
We hope you liked the latest edition of ?Friday Feature’, and it is helpful for your fantasy pursuits! May the best teams win, and Happy Fantasy! Your valued comments and suggestions are always welcome.