When our Soccer (SOC) experts have important information or updates on individual players, injuries, match-ups, positions, or other specific aspects of a sport, they share it in a Spotlight. These articles provide in-depth analysis on how to reveal hidden value in the world of daily fantasy sports. This is where you will find key advantages that can launch your lineups to the top of your contests.
This week’s matchup at Villa Park has extremely high potential, and is worth a deeper look. At first glance we see Aston Villa’s terrible form, excessive number of goals allowed, and the 6-0 thrashing by Liverpool two weeks ago. When we look at the away side we see Everton’s 1-0 loss to West Brom last week, but back-to-back 3-0 wins prior to that. We also see that Everton is coming off a bye week and has its whole team healthy. This game has the makings of another Everton blowout.
Aston Villa has been ineffective at defending against through balls, and are one of the worst in the league when it comes to defensive errors and fouling in and around the box. Everton has a master of the through ball in Ross Barkley (DK: $6,700). We suspect he’ll have a stellar game on the offensive front, create a lot of chances, and providing the possibility of an assist or a goal of his own. Aaron Lennon (DK: $3,300) is also a great option for a value play. Since Deulofeu lost his starting spot a few weeks ago, Lennon has been absolutely brilliant. Excluding Barkley, he has arguably been the biggest asset to the Everton offense. He had the most chances created the last game vs West Brom, and has had a knack for scoring in the past couple weeks as well. Romelu Lukaku (DK: $7,600) might be the best option for striker as Aston Villa ranks 4th in the EPL in goals allowed.
Lastly, when Everton is dominating possession (like they are projected to at Villa Park) Bryan Oviedo (DK: $3,000) and Seamus Coleman (DK: $4,100) put up substantial numbers as defenders. Both essentially act as wing backs, getting forward and playing a lot of crosses. In addition, they have both proven they are great defenders, tallying multiple tackles and interceptions in recent games. Joel Robles (DK: $4,000) has given up just one goal in his past three matches, so we especially like their chances at a clean sheet. A clean sheet would help boost the upside for these defenders (this also means Robles is a decent pick at goal for today).
This weekend’s match at Britannia Stadium is full of goal-scoring potential and extremely valuable plays. Stoke and Aston Villa have allowed 10 and 8 goals in the past 4 games, respectively. Each have only won one game in that span. Both teams are terrible at defending set pieces and avoiding fouls in dangerous areas. This leads us to believe that both Shaqiri (DK: $5,300) for Stoke and Gestede (DK: $3,200) for Aston Villa could have big games. Both take set pieces and corners for their teams, and Shaqiri also specializes in crossing.
Another huge spotlight for this game is the value brought about by injuries. Villa’s Ayew is still sitting on a three-match ban and Stoke’s backline was badly wounded during their last match vs Bournemouth when both Johnson and Muniesa were subbed off due to injury. Teixeira (DK: $2,000) was subbed on and could possibly get the start this weekend and would be a great value play.
With Ayew out, Gestede, Agbonlahor (DK: $3,400) and Gil (DK: $3,500) are all candidates for Aston Villa’s starting forward role. With Diouf sitting out the last game due to a redcard it is possible that Walters (DK: $4,100) could continue at the starting forward position for Stoke. Alongside Walters, Arnautovic (DK: $4,700) is fit, back from injury, and could also possibly get the start. Lastly, depending on if and where Bacuna (DK: $3,800) gets the start, he could be another huge value play as a winger or left mid.
*All of these players could be huge value picks. However, it is important to check to see who gets the start as there is no certainty in this until the lineups are released. We recommend checking the teams’ official Twitter pages an hour before game time.