English Premier League 2/20/21
Welcome back everyone for another Ram’s Random EPL Breakdown! We had some seriously wild Champions League action this week, some sensational performances. We saw a Mbappe hat trick, a Haaland brace, and some surprising results, including Liverpool 2-0 and away win and Porto’s 2-1 win at home over giant Juventus. But enough about European competition, let’s get back to England for some domestic fun. They continue with the staggered start times for this Saturday slate the first kicks off at 10am EST, the next at 12:30pm and the last kicking off at 3pm. As always, let’s start by looking at some odds.
Burnley (+100) vs. West Bromwich Albion
Liverpool (-227) vs. Everton
Fulham (+115) vs. Sheffield United
-We get 3 home favorites for the first time in a while, but let’s be honest, only Liverpool is really favored here. The other two games are bottom dwellers in desperate need of points for survival. Let’s dive into our Game by Game Breakdown to find out.
Burnley vs. West Bromwich Albion-
Burnley is up to 15th, now 8 points clear of Fulham, while West Brom is in 19th and only has 13 points on the season. This game could be pretty interesting for DFS purposes as each team gives up a ton of shots and crosses but each lack finishing skills.
Unfortunately, Johan Gudmundsson got hurt midweek and should be out. I’ve been enjoying Jay Rodriguez’s ($17) play of late (goal and 2 assists last two games). Ashley Barnes ($17) scored vs. Fulham but has a very low floor. Matej Vydra ($9) is intriguing given the lineup construction. Dwight McNeil ($15) has been much better of late but still has a low ceiling since he just doesn’t score. I like both full backs a lot in this matchup, Michael Lowton ($10) has shown the massive upside, and Charlie Taylor ($9) has worked his way back from injury and is a bit more of a sub risk. Nick Pope ($12) seems like the go to cash play on the slate.
West Bromwich Albion:
Very little to low on this squad, but it definitely all starts with Matheus Pereira ($14) who is very reasonably priced for the matchup given his near monopoly of set pieces and open play value. Mbaye Diagne ($16) scored vs. Man Utd last weekend and is a definite threat they haven’t had all season. Conor Gallagher ($15) is a slam dunk play if Pereira is on the bench for some reason but even if he’s in, Gallagher seems to contribute something every game. Semi Ayaji ($11) is a really solid CB and isn’t priced too high. Darnell Furlong ($6) came on at the half for Lee Peletier last game and had a nice run earlier in the year, really nice value play and we will know if he’s in since this is the first game. Sam Johnstone ($8) like I’ve said many a time before is a really good keeper on a bad team. Nick Pope can commiserate with him well on that one. I like him as a GPP play, you’re definitely going to want Liverpool pieces so Pickford probably isn’t the play.
Prediction: Burnley 1 – West Bromwich Albion 1
Liverpool vs. Everton:
This is the marquee match of the day, but it’s also the biggest gap odds wise on the slate, once again. Remember last week when we had City vs. Spurs? Yah City thrashed them. So will Liverpool do the same to Everton? Liverpool is fresh off a really nice 2-0 win away in the UCL on Tuesday, while Everton lost to Man City on Wednesday.
Mo Salah ($23) found the back of the net in Hungary and should be hungry for more… sorry I had to. He is a pretty safe play with PK duty and will be running in the channels of the Everton shaky defense all afternoon. Sadio Mane ($22) also got on the score sheet midweek and will test that back line with pace from the other side. Robert Firmino ($18) has been better of late and is a nice secondary piece to Mane or Salah as you probably don’t have the money for both. Most of the other midfielders are fades for me, as their upside is very limited and floors nil. I’d rather spend on defense with Trent Alexander-Arnold ($15) who has most set pieces and has never met a cross he didn’t like to send in, or Andrew Robertson ($14) who has the other side’s sets and has had plenty of big games himself. Ozan Kabak ($9) is a cheap CB who will see some action from Everton but not sure if they get the CS for the bonus. Alisson ($14) turned back the clock in Budapest with a brilliant shutout of RB Leipzig, but he’s just so pricey with only a decent chance at the CS/W bonuses.
Everton are sinking, just like Liverpool has been but the issue here is they haven’t beaten Liverpool in 20 matches… that’s tough for a derby. James Rodriguez ($16) should be back for this one after missing a few games of late, and Dominic Calvert-Lewin ($18) may be back as well after a short injury absence. Those two would be a huge boost for the Toffees chances in this one and while Richarlison ($20) scored vs. Man City on Wednesday he’s a fade for me at that ridiculous price. Lucas Digne ($11) has come down in price and while his form hasn’t been there of late, the Liverpool full backs definitely give up a lot of tackles and are not very solid defensively. I like Ben Godfrey ($8) again as a cheap CB in a tough away match. Jordan Pickford ($7) is rarely a play for me, he’s just not very good and this defense is in tough shape.
Prediction: Liverpool 2 – Everton 1
Fulham vs. Sheffield United:
18th place Fulham take on 20th place Sheffield United… woohoo! Fulham will be desperate to get the 3 points and inch closer to Newcastle who starts the day 6 points clear of the relegation zone. Sheffield is doomed to go down this season and it’s too bad after such a great season they had last year as debutants.
Josh Maja ($16) had that amazing debut then like I predicted, came back to earth vs. Burnley, but this is a great spot for him to bounce back. Ademola Lookman ($19) has been great this year and will provide width to the attack and some pace too. Ola Aina ($13) has been on fire with back to back 20+ FD point matches (1 goal and 1 assist over last two). Kenny Tete ($8) is getting back into fitness and went 78 minutes last weekend, he now has double figures in 3 straight games even without going 90 in any of them. Alphonse Areola ($11) has 2 clean sheets in the last 3 matches and only allowed 1 goal vs. Burnley.
I guess I have to mention a few players here; I’ve enjoyed Billy Sharp ($13) of late as he’s on PK duty while Oliver Norwood ($10) has had a decent share of set pieces for cheap, and Fulham aren’t exactly ironclad. Jayden Bogle ($10) has a real future, this kid is a stud and I hope he gets a chance next season in the EPL again to shine. Enda Stevens ($6) is very cheap and at least has a little floor of around 7-8 points. Aaron Ramsdale ($9) has had a rough season in net for the Blades after Dean Henderson was miraculous last year for them. He does have a good string of DFS scores though with only one game less than 9.5 FD points in the last 4.
Prediction: Fulham 2 – Sheffield United 0
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-Ram (DFS Karma Soccer Lead)