EPL

Premier League Fantasy Picks: Kulusevski can continue impressive start and Jimenez can find the net again

By Sports Desk March 11, 2022

It's time for gameweek 29 in the Premier League, and for some it is a double, which will no doubt lead to panicked stockpiling of players from those teams involved.

Do not be fooled into transferring out your star player for a cheaper alternative who has twice as many games on the horizon, though. You get more points for a goal in one game than not scoring in two, after all.

As ever, there are some obvious picks, but also some less obvious ones should you be a fan of the odd differential to gain an upper hand in your mini-leagues.

So let Stats Perform lead you by the hand with Opta data as we pick four players who might just give you those precious extra points in the latest Premier League gameweek.

ALISSON (Brighton and Hove Albion v Liverpool, Arsenal v Liverpool)

Alisson is unquestionably one of the best goalkeepers in the world, and has played as big a role as anyone in Liverpool clawing their way back into the title race.

Since the turn of the year, no Premier League goalkeeper with a minimum of 180 minutes played has kept more clean sheets (five), conceded fewer goals (two) or has a higher save percentage (89.47).

The Reds suffered the unfamiliar feeling of defeat against Inter on Tuesday, albeit still defeating the Italian giants in the Champions League round of 16 on aggregate, but it still took a world-class strike from Lautaro Martinez to beat Alisson.

The big Brazilian comes up against a Brighton team that always manages to make scoring goals look more complicated than quantum mechanics and an Arsenal side that has failed to score against Liverpool in their last five meetings in all competitions.

KYLE WALKER-PETERS (Southampton v Watford)

Southampton may have lost to Aston Villa and Newcastle United in the last week, but before then they were going great guns, winning six of their previous seven in all competitions (D1).

One player in particular who has stood out has been Walker-Peters, who has been getting forward to great effect from right back.

No Premier League defender has had more chance creating ending carriers this season than Walker-Peters (12), while his three goal involvements (one goal, two assists) equals his best tally in a single league campaign (three assists for Tottenham in 2018-19).

DEJAN KULUSEVSKI (Manchester United v Tottenham, Brighton v Tottenham)

Tottenham have gone a bit 'Jekyll and Hyde' lately under Antonio Conte, often following up an impressive win with an insipid defeat. Unfortunately for Spurs fans, they're coming off a 5-0 win against Everton.

While Harry Kane and Son Heung-min have rightly been getting their usual plaudits for recent form (every other game at least), Kulusevski has taken to the Premier League like a duck to water since arriving from Juventus in January.

Since making his debut in England, only Kane (six) has been involved in more Premier League goals than the Swedish winger (five - two goals, three assists).

RAUL JIMENEZ (Everton v Wolves)

It may seem counter-intuitive to look to a Wolves attacker for points given only Brighton (26), Burnley (22) and Norwich City (17) have scored fewer than their 28 goals in the Premier League this season.

They did bag four against Watford on Thursday though, including a goal for Jimenez, who has a tremendous record against Everton and is about to come up against possibly the worst iteration of the Toffees he ever has on Sunday.

The Mexican striker has scored in all five of his league appearances against the Merseyside club, netting five goals in total. In the competition's history, only Liverpool's Mohamed Salah has a better 100 per cent record of scoring against an opponent (six goals in six games against Bournemouth).

Related items

  • Wimbledon: Djokovic takes his tennis 'up a notch' as he serves up Centre Court drubbing Wimbledon: Djokovic takes his tennis 'up a notch' as he serves up Centre Court drubbing

    Novak Djokovic warned Wimbledon title pretenders his game is improving with every round as he eased past fellow Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic on Centre Court.

    Defending champion Djokovic won 6-0 6-3 6-4 in one hour and 53 minutes to book a last-16 clash with Dutch wild card Tim van Rijthoven.

    The 20-time grand slam winner will carry out due diligence on Wimbledon rookie Van Rijthoven, who is through to the fourth round on his debut and has reeled off eight successive wins.

    Van Rijthoven won the Rosmalen Grass Court Championships in the lead-up to this fortnight, stunning world number one Daniil Medvedev in the final.

    Yet on the form that saw Djokovic crush Kecmanovic's hopes, Van Rijthoven will surely stand little hope of going any deeper into the tournament.

    Djokovic won 88 per cent of points when landing his first serve in court, and he has now reached the fourth round at Wimbledon on 14 occasions, a performance only beaten in men's singles by Roger Federer (18) and Jimmy Connors (16).

    "I thought I started off very, very well, very strong with a lot of good intensity, good focus," Djokovic said in an on-court interview.

    "Honestly, I think I've been playing better and better as the tournament progresses, so that's something you wish for as a player, that every match you play you raise a level of tennis up a notch, at least, and I think that's what is happening at the moment.

    "I know I can always do better, I always expect the highest from myself, and so far, so good, and I'm looking forward to the next challenge."

    Data slam: Familiarity breeds familiar outcome

    The battle of these Davis Cup team-mates was always unlikely to go the way of the 25th seed, and so it proved that Kecmanovic could not cope with the animal that Centre Court brings out in Djokovic.

    This was a third career meeting in tournament action for the pair, with both previous encounters having come at the Serbia Open. Kecmanovic took the opener against Djokovic before slumping to defeat when they played in Belgrade in April, but this was a rout, the 22-year-old underdog trampled.

    WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
    Djokovic – 36/19
    Kecmanovic– 13/27

    ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
    Djokovic – 6/4
    Kecmanovic – 1/5

    BREAK POINTS WON
    Djokovic - 6/12
    Kecmanovic - 1/4

  • Wimbledon: Isner breaks Karlovic's ATP Tour ace record Wimbledon: Isner breaks Karlovic's ATP Tour ace record

    Another big-serving display from John Isner at Wimbledon means he now has the most ATP Tour aces on record.

    Ivo Karlovic – one of only two tennis stars taller than the giant Isner – had set the benchmark with 13,728 across his career, the most since aces were first tracked in 1991.

    But Isner has chipped away at that total over the course of this week at the All England Club.

    The American's 54 aces in five sets against Enzo Couacaud in the first round made him the first player to pass 50 in a grand slam match since he had last done so versus Steven Johnson at the 2020 US Open.

    And there were a further 36 in an epic second-round win over Andy Murray, leaving Isner just four short of matching Karlovic and five away from passing him.

    Against Jannik Sinner, in Friday's third round, Isner raced past his target, tallying 12 aces in the first set alone.

    It is a record Isner is likely to own for some time, with 43-year-old Karlovic absent from the ATP Tour this year and playing only six main-draw matches in 2021.

    Roger Federer is third on the list, way back on 11,478.

  • Salah ready to 'go for everything' with Liverpool as Reds star makes 2025 commitment Salah ready to 'go for everything' with Liverpool as Reds star makes 2025 commitment

    Mohamed Salah landed a bumper new contract through to 2025 and vowed to repay Liverpool's belief in him by firing Jurgen Klopp's Reds to more trophies.

    Uncertainty over the Egyptian forward's future had lingered for months, with no clear sign of a breakthrough in negotiations between the club and the player's representatives until a deal was announced on Friday.

    With Sadio Mane being allowed to leave for Bayern Munich since the end of last season, the importance of securing Salah was ramped up, and now the 30-year-old has confirmed he will stay at Anfield.

    He could have walked away at the end of the 2022-23 season on a free transfer, had he not agreed to new terms, but that worrying prospect has been quashed.

    With at least three years more to come of his Anfield career, Salah is convinced he and Liverpool can enjoy huge success in that time.

    They threatened a quadruple last term before just missing out to Manchester City in the Premier League title race and losing 1-0 to Real Madrid in the Champions League final, having already pouched the FA Cup and EFL Cup.

    Salah said of his new deal: "It takes a little bit of time, I think, to renew, but now everything is done so we just need to focus on what’s next.

    "I think you can see in the last five or six years the team was always going [upwards]. Last season we were close to winning four, but unfortunately in the last week of the season we lost two trophies.

    "I think we are in a good position to fight for everything. We have new signings as well. We just need to keep working hard, have a good vision, be positive and go for everything again."

    In an interview for Liverpool's official website, Salah spoke of the departure of Mane to the Bundesliga and the arrival of Uruguayan frontman Darwin Nunez from Benfica, as manager Jurgen Klopp shuffles his pack.

    "I'm so excited, I want to play with him," Salah said of Nunez. "He had a good season last season and played well against us home and away [in the Champions League].

    "Sadio's leaving, and I'm going to miss him, he had great seasons with the club, so I wish him all the best, and I wish Darwin also all the best to score many goals for us."

    Salah had a stellar 2021-22 campaign, finishing level with Tottenham's Son Heung-min in the race to be the Premier League's top scorer, while also managing the most assists in the competition, racking up 13 to finish one ahead of team-mate Trent Alexander-Arnold.

    It was the third time that Salah has won the Premier League's Golden Boot, having also been top scorer in the 2017-18 and 2018-19 campaigns.

    He won the FWA Footballer of the Year and the PFA Players' Player of the Year awards, and taking all competitions into account finished the campaign with 31 goals and 15 assists in 51 appearances, creating 87 scoring chances.

    Across his five-season Liverpool career to date, Salah has managed 118 Premier League goals, at an average of one every 126 minutes, a league-best for players who have played at least 100 games in that time.

    Salah had been linked with the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid, but Friday's announcement means the former Roma and Chelsea forward's stint with Liverpool is far from over, as he prepares for a sixth season with the Reds.

    In a message to supporters, Salah said Liverpool would "try to win all the trophies" in the new campaign.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.