Footstock Saturday Premier League Previews
There are plenty of tournaments this weekend on Footstock, including a Pro, Amateur and Beginner for the four fixtures on Saturday 20th June. Footstock have kindly guaranteed there will be a minimum of £4,900 in the prize pots across these events and we can expect them to grow bigger as the entries come in. On top of that, there is £400 of freeroll cash up for grabs in weekend-long tournaments, for which the Saturday games are of course also of interest.
Here’s your guide to who’s missing and what we might expect from Saturday’s matches in the Premier League.
Injuries and Suspensions
Arsenal are set to ‘miss’ David Luiz after his red card against Manchester City midweek, with the Gunners also having Pablo Mari and Granit Xhaka on the treatment table following that game. Dennis Praet and Ayoze Perez look to be fit for the Foxes, with James Justin set to deputise at right back for the injured Ricardo Pereira. Troy Deeney is expected to pass a late fitness test to feature for Watford, with a number of their other knocks being confirmed fit. Only Gerard Deulofeu, Isaac Success and Daryl Janmaat should be absent for the Hornets. West Ham have a clean bill of health other than a slight knock for Angelo Ogbonna, although he still has a chance. David Brooks has fractured his hand but should be able to play in a cast for Bournemouth. However, Phil Billing looks unlikely to make the squad with an ankle injury.
Prior to the hiatus, Leicester were in a rut of form, with just a win against Aston Villa in the final Premier League game before the break providing any hope. Nevertheless, they remain third in the Premier League table. Wolves are unbeaten over their last five, but have perhaps been unfortunate in racking up too many draws this season, which has hampered their progress up the table. Arsenal had been revitalised under Mikel Arteta, but a series of unfortunate events saw them take a tumble against Manchester City in midweek. Crystal Palace won their last three games into early March, but could be on the beach with 39 points.
Bournemouth were disappointed to drop into the relegation zone, having not won in their last four games. They surely have the most potential to avoid the drop, but need to start strong. Brighton are in 15th place in the table, but just two points above the relegation zone, and need a win against Arsenal: the Seagulls have been in free fall, having not won in their last five league games. West Ham and Watford are also in that relegation battle: both have one win in their last four games, with the Hornets putting in that emphatic performance against Liverpool.
Watford vs Leicester
The Foxes are the bookies’ favourites, but Watford perhaps have more motivation. Ismaila Sarr is the big consideration at Epic rating, but perhaps there are better options for that coveted slot in your Amateur lineups. Jamie Vardy provides huge flexibility at his Common rating and the Leicester defence could be worth backing here. Early team news will be helpful. James Justin should start in the absence of Ricardo Pereira, and fortunately he is currently a Basic card. It may be worth loading up on Perez and Iheanacho if they are given starting berths in the Foxes’ side.
Brighton vs Arsenal
Expect Arsenal to bounce back here after their defeat to Manchester City, although their squad could be depleted. Aubameyang is a great enabler in Amateur tournaments at his Rare rating, and keep an eye on the youngsters Saka, Nketiah and Willock, who all featured midweek. Pepe should return in this game, having failed to make it off the bench on Wednesday evening. Don’t overlook Brighton as they battle for Premier League survival, however: Neal Maupay is their likely goalscorer and most assured of a start in their attack.
West Ham vs Wolves
Wolves are perhaps the team to back from an attacking and defensive perspective this Saturday. Adama Traore will be a staple of most Pro entries given his potential in the scoring matrix. I’d be backing Raul Jimenez as the go-to Epic card in Amateur tournaments: expect him to restart much quicker than teammate Diogo Jota. Matt Doherty will have plenty of suitors in defence, with attacking potential to go alongside a likely clean sheet. Rui Patricio looks the most likely goalkeeper to keep a clean sheet, but will he be challenged enough by the West Ham attack to score big points? It’s hard to recommend any Hammers attackers or even predict who will get the nod from their many options. Yarmolenko could surprise, and he is a Basic card.
Bournemouth vs Crystal Palace
A game with plenty of potential, Bournemouth have to win this one to kickstart some momentum. Callum Wilson started the season very strongly, with attacking returns in all of the first seven games, and I’d expect him to do the same here. Harry Wilson is also in the mix, and Josh King could be a great option as a Basic card in Beginner tournaments. Wilfried Zaha is another player well-suited to the scoring matrix and could perhaps be a worthwhile pick in the Pro tournament alongside Jordan Ayew, if you expect the Eagles to get a surprise result.