With a weekend of FA Cup Fourth Round action to come we have until Tuesday to prepare our teams for game week 25 before the action comes around fast for GW26 on Saturday. With all but five Premier League teams in the fourth round (Arsenal, Bournemouth, Everton, Stoke and Crystal Palace being dumped out) there will be some rotation concerns as we head in to the week.
To add to the thoughts around team planning we have seen some interesting transfer movements and talks happening this week with the Mkhitaryan/Sanchez swap being the one that is most intriguing. The Armenian goes to Arsenal with just a £7.6m FPL price tag and could be an interesting prospect for GW25 given the extra prep time that Arsenal have and their fixture over Swansea who over-performed against Liverpool. Sanchez on the other hand will no doubt breathe fresh life in to a Man Utd forward line that now looks up there with the best of them and certainly brings Lukaku back in to contention for selection.
We take a look at the key fixtures and most likely heroes for Game Week 25.
Swansea Vs. Arsenal
Swansea somehow managed to scrape a vital 1-0 home win last time out against a below average Liverpool side but Arsenal looked like they had been reborn following the Sanchez saga last weekend as they swept Crystal Palace aside. Arsenal are one team (like Man City) that can break down a defensive set up and we can’t see anything other than an away win here. Mikky looks set to make his debut and offers excellent value at £7.6m if he can get off to a flying start and begin to rebuild his confidence.
Nacho Monreal at £5.6m is ready to go back in your side and is looking dangerous from set pieces. This is a good chance for a clean sheets for the Gunners.
West Ham Vs. Crystal Palace
The Hammers looked like they were building up a head of steam a few weeks ago and whilst they have been scoring goals things have just started to simmer down for them. Injuries to Arnautovic, Lanzini and Carroll will have a huge impact on them and they will most likely go back to playing quite defensively in this crucial clash.
Palace on the other hand need to bounce back from a big defeat at Arsenal last week and we seee this being a pretty tight affair. Palace could well punish a thread bare West Ham here and if you are looking for a budget player Milivojevic is a bargain pick at just £4.7m and having scored 2 in his last 3 games.
Huddersfield Vs. Liverpool
Liverpool were poor by their own high standards against Swansea last week but we don’t see Huddersfield having the strength to keep out Jurgen Klopp’s side in this game. It is certainly not time to throw the towel in with Liverpool players and they will come again – and with them looking to prove a point this week you have to fear for the home side.
The usual suspects should be in contention and VVD looks a good option in defence at £5.5m as he is looking a serious threat from set pieces.
Chelsea Vs. Bournemouth
You never quite no what you are going to get with either of these two teams at the moment and Chelsea have had a tough midweek after missing out on a place in the League Cup final at the hands of Arsenal. The 4-0 win over Brighton in GW24 was sensational and you might expect more of the same in this game – but Bournemouth have made themselves more difficult to beat of late and have been on an unbeaten run since being thrashed by Liverpool and City in quick succession back in December.
The only Chelsea player to really be recommended right now is Eden Hazard or one of their pricey defenders who continue to keep clean sheets in the league.
Man City Vs. West Brom
City blew Newcastle away last time out with Aguero reaping the rewards as many predicted with a hat-trick. Jesus is not far from being back fit so if you haven’t jumped on Aguero yet then you won’t have much time to get guaranteed game time from him. This game will not be a walk in the park for City but they should still win it comfortably. The usual suspects should all be in contention with Sane being back in the mix and looking very reasonably priced at £8.4m.
Spurs Vs. Man Utd
This game is very intriguing and looks likely to be the game where Alexis Sanchez makes his debut for United. Despite that, this game could go either way in terms of being a snooze fest or a firecracker of a game.
It is a game that is hard to predict but it is likely that it will be similar to the tight game we saw earlier in the season at Old Trafford when United ran out 1-0 winners.
This is not a game to look to for captains that is for sure.
Best of the Rest
Everton take on Leicester this week with the newly signed Theo Walcott looking a very good pick and having grabbed an assist on his debut. Southampton take on Brighton this week in a must win game for both sides. Ward-Prowse is in fine form and looks a steal at £5m for this game.