Fantasy football tips: Top 5 strikers

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Who are the top five strikers going to be?

Each week, Sport360 will bring you tips for the English Premier League’s official fantasy football game. Fancy pitting your wits against us? Join the “Sport360 Fans'” league using the code 476463-715903.

What an amazing week of fantasy football action we had with the double gameweek being rewarding for all that picked well. The best shouts from the last fantasy tips has to be either Jamie Vardy, James Chester or Dame N’Doye that all scored highly.

This week Sport360 will be providing you with the top five strikers you should consider with only four gameweeks remaining. Most managers have similar midfields so it is the strikers that you can truly profit from.

Here are the fixtures for gameweek 35: 

 

TOP FIVE STRIKERS:

1.     Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) – 8.6m – Selected by 17.6%

Giroud is the most in-form forward in the league right now. He has scored seven in his last nine matches. Arsenal are unbeaten in all these games and Giroud is the monumental reason behind this. The Gunners, along with Sunderland, have played one game less than all the Premier League sides so this is another major reason he tops the list of strikers.

2.     Sergio Aguero (Man City) – 12.6m – Selected by 26.6%

How can you ignore the Argentine? He is the most lethal striker in the league and Manchester City will be relying on his services for the remaining fixtures. He has surprising got a low selection percentage for a player of his calibre. You could see him tearing apart QPR when City host them next week. Your captain picks itself really with that match.

3.     Graziano Pelle (Southampton) – 7.5m – Selected by 11.9%

Pelle couldn’t hit a barn door until a few weeks ago but now he is back. Like the pundits always say: “It’s amazing what a goal can do for your confidence.” The lofty Italian scored two brilliant goals last week and netted against Hull two weeks before. The Saints play three of the bottom five in their next few matches so expect to see Pelle add to his 11 goal tally this season.

4.     Enner Valencia (West Ham) – 6.3m – Selected by 0.7%

You might be surprised by this addition because West Ham are not in form but they are short of strikers due to injury so Big Sam will need his Colombian to end his goal-drought against Burnley this weekend. The Ecuadorian has only bagged four goals this season but he has struggled with injuries and has been forced to play out wide often to accommodate the Hammers system.  Last time he faced the Clarets he scored this bullet header below – fantasy managers will be hoping for more of the same in the last four matches.

5.     Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) – 7.6m – Selected by 4.8%

Tim Sherwood is relying on Benteke to continue his fine scoring form with his team not sitting just about the relegation zone. The Belgian has found the net eight times in his last seven Premier League matches. Although he is pricey, the form he is in now makes him a defender’s nightmare and a fantasy football manager’s dream.

SURPRISE FACTOR:

You might be shocked that there is no mention of either: Harry Kane, Diego Costa or Wayne Rooney but there is a good reason behind this.

Spurs have nothing to play for and Kane hasn’t looked his old-self in the last few weeks. He is selected by over 50% of players so you will be better off risking against him finishing off the season in style. In addition their fixtures are looking tricky. They have to travel to Stoke and Everton and host Manchester City. It is unlikely he will score highly in these matches.

Costa is injured with a hamstring tear and isn’t expected to return until gameweek 36. By this point Chelsea will have probably won the league so you start to doubt Mourinho’s intent once the title is sealed. You could see the Special One give the likes of Didier Drogba and Loic Remy more game time in the club’s final few outings.

Wayne Rooney is expensive (10.8m) and is a risky acquisition because you can’t be sure he is going to play upfront. They do have some appealing fixtures but you will be better off investing in one of the five men listed above.

Team of the week: 

Fancy pitting your wits against us? Join the “Sport360 Fans'” league using code 47463-715903.

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Wenger: Mourinho should have more respect

Scott 1/05/2015
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 Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger is asked for his reaction to Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho's comments after the teams' goalless draw last week and the Frenchman previews the Hull City fixture. 


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#360stats: Balotelli's torrid record & more

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Balotelli will be embarrassed by his record, Adrian and West Ham fans will be proud.

Ahead of every round of Premier League games, Sport360 – with some help from our friends at Opta Stats – will provide the pick of the facts and figures. Here are this week's highlights:

SATURDAY MAY 2 – 15:45 (GST)

Leicester City v Newcastle United

The Magpies have lost seven successive league games for only the second time in their history.

  • Newcastle United have won five and lost none of the last nine league matches against Leicester City.
  • The Magpies are unbeaten in their last five away league games against the Foxes (W1 D4), though they have drawn the last four in a row.
  • Newcastle have scored a divisional-high 69% of their goals in the second half of games this season.
  • Newcastle have gone just 12 minutes short of seven hours of Premier League football away from home since they last scored on the road.
  • Newcastle have the worst record of any club in the Premier League since John Carver took charge (nine points, -15 goal difference).
  • Papiss Demba Cisse serves the last match of his seven game ban. He has been missed after scoring a goal every 92 minutes on average this season, the best rate of any player with five or more goals in the top flight.
  • The Magpies have scored more goals from substitutes than any other team in the top division (9).
  • Only Arsenal, Everton and Chelsea (13 each) have picked up more points in the last five games than Leicester (12).

SATURDAY MAY 2 – 18:00 (GST)

Aston Villa v Everton

Gabriel Agbonlahor has scored seven goals vs Everton, more than he has mustered against any other opponent in the BPL.

  • Everton have taken as many points (16) in their last six Premier League games as they did in the previous 19 matches.
  • Aston Villa have won just one of the last 12 Premier League games against Everton (W1 D7 L4) and none of the last eight (D4 L4).
  • This will become the first fixture in English league history to have been played 200 times. Of the 199 so far, Villa have won 72, Everton 74 and there have been 53 draws.
  • Christian Benteke has scored eight goals in his last seven Premier League outings.
  • Roberto Martinez’s side have dropped more points from winning positions than any other team in the Premier League this season (19).
  • Aston Villa are averaging a goal every six shots under Tim Sherwood compared to one every 16 under Paul Lambert.
  • The Villans have scored the highest percentage of first half goals in the Premier League this season (69%).
  • The Toffees have conceded the lowest percentage of first half goals in the top flight this season (37%).

Liverpool v Queens Park Rangers

Coutinho has scored in both of his BPL games against Queens Park Rangers.

  • QPR have picked up seven points away from home in their last five Premier League away games after accruing none in their first 11 on the road this season.
  • Liverpool have won 19 and lost just one of 22 home league games against QPR.
  • The Reds have lost just one of their last 11 Premier League matches at Anfield (W7 D3 L1).
  • Liverpool have not scored in their last two Premier League games – they haven’t failed to score in three in a row since March 2005.
  • Mario Balotelli has one goal to his name from 940 Premier League minutes of action for Liverpool, despite attempting 56 shots (inc. blocked).
  • Since the start of last season, Charlie Austin has scored 36 league goals for QPR (inc. playoffs) – 29 more than any other player for the club (Zamora the next most with seven).
  • Liverpool have won just four points from their last five Premier League games (W1 D1 L3); only Burnley (1) and Newcastle (0) have won fewer in their last five matches.
  • Queens Park Rangers have won just two of their last 17 Premier League matches (D4 L11).

Sunderland v Southampton

Tadic got a hat-trick of assists in the reverse fixture against Sunderland.

  • Sunderland have only won one of the last nine Barclays Premier League meetings with Southampton (W1 D4 L4).
  • Southampton are unbeaten in their last six league visits to the Stadium of Light (W1 D5 L0), but did lose there in both cup competitions last season.
  • Southampton’s 8-0 win in the reverse fixture was their biggest margin of victory in a league match since December 1921 (8-0 versus Northampton Town).
  • Sunderland scored three own goals in that 0-8 defeat and this has contributed to the fact that they have netted the joint-most own goals (5) in the Premier League and Southampton have benefited from the most (5).
  • Saints have now recorded their best ever Premier League points haul (57), despite having four games to play.
  • Sunderland have won just one of their last 10 Premier League games (W1 D4 L5).
  • Ronald Koeman’s side have picked up just one point from their last four Premier League away matches.
  • The Black Cats have scored just five goals in their last 10 league outings and never more than once in a single game in this run.

Swansea City v Stoke City

Crouch has scored four goals in his last six BPL games against Swansea City.

  • Swansea are unbeaten in their last five home games against Stoke (W4 D1 L0).
  • Stoke have won just one of their last six Premier League matches (W1 D2 L3).
  • Swansea have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last seven Premier League games at Liberty Stadium.
  • Gylfi Sigurdsson is only the third player to reach double figures for goal assists this season (10) after Cesc Fabregas and Angel Di Maria.
  • The Swans have seen their woodwork struck 18 times this season, more than any other team in the top flight.
  • The Potters are the only team in the Premier League this season who have not picked up any red cards.
  • However, only Crystal Palace (462) have committed more fouls than Stoke City (433) this season.
  • Stoke only need one more win to equal their best ever points tally in a Premier League season which came in 2013-14 (50), while Swansea have already set a new high in the competition with 50 points this season.
  • Charlie Adam has scored in three of his last four Premier League appearances.

West Ham United v Burnley

Adrian is the ninth goalkeeper in BPL history to save three penalties in a row; no keeper has ever done four.

  • West Ham have won just two of their last 17 Premier League games (W2 D7 L8) but those two victories in that run have been at Upton Park (W2 D3 L3).
  • Burnley have failed to score in seven of their last eight Barclays Premier League matches and netted only one in the other game.
  • The Hammers have scored more headed goals than any other team in the top flight (15).
  • 33% of the goals Burnley have conceded have been from headers; the league’s highest proportion.
  • Sam Allardyce’s side have scored just three goals in their last seven Premier League outings.
  • The Clarets have the worst chance conversion rate in the top flight this season, scoring with just nine per cent of their shots.
  • West Ham are the only team not to score from the penalty spot in the Premier League this season, missing their one opportunity.
  • Only 30% of West Ham’s shots have come from outside the penalty area, the lowest proportion in the Premier League.
  • But the Hammers have scored with 9.5% of their long range attempts, the best conversion rate from outside the area of any team.

SATURDAY MAY 2 – 20:30 (GST)

Manchester United v West Bromwich Albion

Wayne Rooney has scored 15 in his last 16 Premier League games at Old Trafford.

  • Wayne Rooney has scored in each of his last six Barclays Premier League starts against West Brom (seven goals total).
  • West Bromwich Albion have won just one of their last 21 league matches against Manchester United (W1 D4 L16).
  • West Brom have failed to score in 10 of their last 13 league visits to Old Trafford.
  • Man Utd have failed to score in their last two Premier League games. They have not failed to score in three consecutive games since August 2007.
  • West Brom have scored the highest percentage of goals from set pieces of any team in the Premier League this season (56%).
  • The Baggies have scored 14 goals from headers this season (only West Ham with 15 have more) accounting for a division-high proportion of 44% of their total.
  • The Baggies have shipped 11 goals in the opening 15 minutes, the highest number in the Premier League.
  • The Baggies have netted more goals from corners than any other team in the top flight this term (12) and only Burnley (12) have conceded more than West Brom (10) via this route.
  • West Brom scored with their only two shots on target in the 2-2 draw with Man Utd at the Hawthorns back in October.

SUNDAY MAY 03 – 16:30

Chelsea v Crystal Palace

Jose Mourinho has coached Chelsea in 95 BPL games at Stamford Bridge, losing just one (W74 D20 L1)

  • Chelsea have lost just one of their last 14 league matches against Crystal Palace (W9 D4 L1).
  • Alan Pardew has won four of his last six Premier League matches as an opposition coach against Chelsea.
  • When Palace met Chelsea back in October, it was only the 12th time in Premier League history that both teams were reduced to 10 men before half-time.
  • Crystal Palace have recovered more points from losing positions than any other team in the Premier League this season (18).
  • Palace have only won seven of their 30 Premier League London derbies away from home (W7 D8 L15).
  • The Blues have kept five clean sheets in their last six Premier League games against London opposition, but conceded five in the other game (3-5 v Spurs).
  • Palace have committed more fouls than any other team in the Premier League (462).
  • The Blues have kept the most clean sheets in the Premier League this season (16), while Palace have kept the joint-fewest (6).
  • Chelsea will seal the title with a win. Their 2004-05 crown came in the 35th game, their 2005-06 one in the 36th game and their 2009-10 triumph on the final day.

SUNDAY MAY 03 – 19:00

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City

Dzeko has scored six goals in six BPL matches against Tottenham, though four of them came in one game, a 5-1 win at White Hart Lane.

  • Tottenham have kept just one clean sheet in their last 11 Premier League outings.
  • Manchester City have won seven and lost just one of the last eight Barclays Premier League meetings with Spurs.
  • Manuel Pellegrini has seen his side score 15 goals in their last three Premier League games against Spurs and at least four in each match.
  • Sergio Aguero has netted nine goals in six Premier League appearances against Spurs.
  • Samir Nasri has scored four Premier League goals against Tottenham Hotspur, more than against any other opponent in the competition.
  • When these two sides met back in October, four penalties were awarded in a Premier League game for only the second time (Bradford v Derby, April 2000).
  • Christian Eriksen has scored the most winning goals in the Premier League this season (7).
  • City have lost their last four Premier League away games in a row. They haven’t lost five on the bounce since April 2006.

MONDAY MAY 04 – 23:00 (GST)

Hull City v Arsenal

Sanchez has scored in both of his appearances this season against Hull City.

  • Hull City have lost five and drawn one of the last six Barclays Premier League games against Arsenal, including defeats in all three games at the KC Stadium.
  • The Gunners have won eight and lost none of the last nine meetings with Hull in all competitions.
  • Olivier Giroud has scored six goals in his last seven Premier League away matches.
  • Arsenal have won their last four Premier League away games all by a one-goal margin.
  • The Gunners haven’t conceded a first half goal in their last 13 Premier League matches.
  • Arsene Wenger’s side have more points after 33 games this season than any campaign since 2009-10; this despite having fewer points after 12 games than any other Premier League campaign.
  • Hull come in to this game on the back of a two game winning streak – they have only won three PL games in a row on one previous occasion; October 2008, when they won four successive PL matches.
  • Danny Welbeck has scored just four goals in 27 Premier League appearances this season – he’s scored more goals for England (six in seven games) since August.
  • Since their return to the Premier League in August 2013, Hull’s Ahmed Elmohamady has fired in 429 crosses from open play – 89 more than any other player.

All statistics and facts are brought to you by Opta Sports.

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