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For the time being, this weekly Showdown Article will be a FREE read. I’ll take a peek at the odds, touch on some game theory that could play out within the single game slate, as well as ranking my preferred captain(s), all things considered.
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Odds Report & Expected Lineups
Norwich City (+1700) @ Liverpool (-700) – OU 3.5
Liverpool Predicted XI: Alisson- Alexander-Arnold. Gomez, van Dijk, Robertson – Wijnaldum, Fabinho, Henderson – Salah, Firmino, Origi.
Norwich Predicted XI: Krul – Adams, Hanley, Godfrey, Lewis – Trybull, McLean– Buendia, Stiepermann, Hernandez – Pukki.
It doesn’t take a genius to concur a conclusion that we’ll need to stack Liverpool on this single game slate. There’s no way around that. Liverpool opening day of the Premier League season hosting a newly promoted Norwich is a recipe for a battering. As 2 goal favorites, jamming in two of Liverpool’s front three will probably be a chalky move, but one that may be tough to deviate from if things go as planned.
The more intriguing part about this match is the 3.5 goal total. Liverpool are only -155 to keep a clean sheet. Norwich have some quality attackers, who we’ll get into a bit below. Don’t chalk up a Liverpool CS as a certainty on this slate. Weirder things have happened, and I personally feel Norwich sniffing the back of the net here despite Liverpool’s strong backline with Virgil van Dijk at the helm.
I’ll dive into it right away: while Norwich may score a goal, that doesn’t mean these attackers are good plays. They’ll have very little possession of the ball, so accumulating points will be a difficulty. Teemu Pukki has the best odds on Norwich to net anytime (+450). At 6K he’s a decent dart, but nothing more. He’d absolutely need to score to end up on the winning team. Emiliano Buendia is a stud for fantasy. Now, this is an awful spot, and I think he’s overpriced here, but he could end up somehow accumulating enough fantasy points to end up on the winning team even without goal involvement if Liverpool are held down a little bit.
My personal favorites here are probably Marco Stiepermann and Onel Hernandez given their ability to do a bit of everything, while still providing upside. Sub risk is most dangerous with those guys though. I won’t prioritize any of these guys, but they aren’t the worst plays on a SD slate. It’s quite possible you even only end up with one Norwich player, being either a fullback or a centerback. Realistically, we won’t want more than two Norwich players here.
Alright, onto Liverpool! As -700 favorites, we don’t have a choice but to load up. We know they’ll dominate the match, as well as where the goals and set pieces are coming from. So, Liverpool are usually a simple team to handle. Assuming Sadio Mane sits since he played a long AFCON tournament, the front three will consist of Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah, and Divock Origi. Firmino would drop further back into a CAM role if Origi starts. I love all three here, but who doesn’t?
Trent Alexander-Arnold is also tough to pass up on. His floor is too solid, and unless Liverpool score 3 or 4 with no TAA goal involvement (which is fairly likely), he’ll more than likely be in the optimal LU. Even if Liverpool score 4 and Trent isn’t involved in any, he could still be in the optimal. The midfield isn’t the most exciting thing in the world. The good news is they’re cheap, but the bad news is that they don’t get involved a whole lot. Jordan Henderson has had more freedom in the attack with the addition of Fabinho last season, so he’s my favorite one here. Georginio Wijnaldum is behind, with Fabinho at the back of that pack.
1. Mo Salah
2. Roberto Firmino
3. Divock Origi
4. Trent Alexander-Arnold
Feel free to reach out to me at any time in the Awesemo.com Premium Slack chat or on Twitter @tristanhoh.