What could you do with $100 million? MondoGoal's Daily Fantasy Football is handing you an opportunity to find out, and Bleacher Report's here to provide counsel on which Premier League stars could bolster your matchday XI.
Setting the Table
Having entered the final third of the 2015/16 Premier League season, there is still all to play for. Leicester City are the surprising leaders; although, with each matchweek, the shock factor begins to fade.
There are four legitimate title contenders, and the group consisting of Leicester, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal have separated themselves from the chasing pack.
How the top four and title race finish is yet to be determined, but Matchday 25 should provide some clarity. The top two sides, Leicester City and Manchester City, are scheduled to clash. A Foxes victory places them firmly in the driver's seat, but visiting the Etihad is no simple task. A City victory, or draw, and the north London clubs have an opportunity to close the distance.
Impossible to predict in August, it's a massive week in this Premier League season.
Our mission is not necessarily to look for star names but locating value.
Here's a prospective XI, using the 3-4-3 formation.
Goalkeeper and Defenders
The club we are building our defence around this week is Sunderland. Liverpool host the struggling Black Cats at Anfield. Jurgen Klopp's side have won one of their last five matches, but Sunderland are not doing much better. If the Reds need a pick-me-up game, Sunderland look the outfit.
Simon Mignolet ($6.7 million) is often viewed as an inconsistent goalkeeper, but the Belgian does have occasional moments of brilliance. Opponents like Sunderland tend to bring those out more than most.
Nathaniel Clyne ($7.8 million) and Emre Can ($7.5 million) will defend Mignolet's goal. Given their woeful record, both defending and scoring, Sunderland are an ideal mark.
Rounding out our defence, John Stones ($7.1 million) has received buckets of criticism in recent weeks, but the young centre-back is struggling more from Everton's team construct, not so much his own game. Visiting Stoke City, defending Mark Hughes' club should prove rather straightforward. The England international is suffering from a hamstring injury, but Toffees manager Roberto Martinez suggested the injury was "not too serious," per Sky Sports.
In the prime matchup of the week, Leicester City and Manchester City will battle for English supremacy, even if only momentarily, at the Etihad. Leicester's Claudio Ranieri and Manchester City's Manuel Pellegrini—on increasingly differing sides of managerial safety—in this championship six-pointer will be depending on their respective midfields for control of the game.
Yaya Toure ($10.9 million) and David Silva ($10.4 million) in the absence of an injured Kevin De Bruyne will be needed to create goals for Man City's wingers/strikers, and also score their own fair share. Combatting the aging duo will be Danny Drinkwater, N'Golo Kante and Riyad Mahrez ($11.6 million).
Despite Jamie Vardy's magical season, the player who keeps Leicester ticking is Mahrez—his level will determine how far the Foxes can travel.
The fourth member of our midfield is Dele Alli ($9.8 million). A testament to youth, scouting, managerial trust and his own qualities, Tottenham Hotspur's faith to play Alli has been repaid. The 19-year-old midfielder is scoring, assisting and contributing defensively. With much room left to improve, Watford will hope Alli's inevitable improvement isn't at their expense.
The crown jewel of this XI is Tottenham's Harry Kane ($12.2 million). Alli's team-mate struggled to start the season, but that history has long been forgotten. Fifteen goals in 24 EPL starts is one of the league's best, and Watford, though stingy, should be extremely wary of the 22-year-old centre-forward.
Southampton's Charlie Austin ($8.6 million) scored in his debut after his £4 million transfer from Queens Park Rangers. Saints host West Ham United at St Mary's Stadium. Arguably the best transaction of the 2016 January transfer window, Austin should receive minutes on the pitch, if not a start. Known for his poacher-like abilities, he is always a threat.
Funding other areas, Marko Arnautovic ($7.2 million) is the final member of our squad.
Stoke City face an open Everton, and Arnautovic is the primary beneficiary of Stoke's offensive output. If the likes of Bojan and Xherdan Shaqiri can disrupt Martinez's back four, joy could be found.
As shown, this squad used $99.8 million.
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