With Christmas around the corner and a packed fixture schedule, starting lineups are expected to change. On the bright side, midweek schedules were fairly light and most managers opted to start their b-team sides.
This week we look forward to 1) Everton vs. Chelsea, 2) City vs. Bournemouth, 3) Southampton vs Huddersfield, 4) Swansea vs. Palace, 5) Burnley vs Tottenham, and 6) Leicester vs United. Plenty of great matchups from a fantasy perspective.
Kane, Austin, and Aguero (c) are our forwards for this week. We’ve heard the Kane complaints. He is underperforming last year, conversion rates are low, Dele Alli is playing horribly, and the side has been lackluster in their last 4-6 games. Burnley away is a tough fixture though the Clarets have a poor record against the Spurs. Tottenham have failed to win 5 of their last 7 top games though we expect Poch to make some tactical changes and apply the pressure on his side.
We do think Charlie Austin is worth a 1 week bring in as the Saints see considerably more difficult fixtures right after. Gabbiadini started last week before being subbed off for Austin clearly showing Charlie’s dominance. While Huddersfield did slash Watford last week, we remind everyone that prior to that, the squad had only scored three goals on the road. Southampton should be ripe for a clean sheet here and at least two goals.
Aguero wins the armband despite the risk of rotation. At this point in the season, differentiated calls is where the money will be made.
Everyone is comfortable going with Kane, Lukaku, and Morata (Salah) week over week. Aguero has largely been forgotten. Should he start, City at home to Bournemouth could easily be a 3-0 affair. We are getting ahead of ourselves but we also think this is one of the best opportunities to shoot up the ranks.
Sterling, Lingard, Shaqiri, and Zaha take our midfield places. We have been impressed by the emergence of reasonably priced mids, helping to alleviate the pain of premium strikers. Sterling, continues to dominate FPL despite playing worse than KDB. City are a difficult team to pick but with Silva temporarily out, we think Sterling, Sane, KDB and the best choices.
Lingard has been winning Jose’s heart as Mkhitaryan likely needs to find a new job. Pogba’a return will aid the side in need of flair. Losing clean sheets to WBA late in he day is generally embarrassing.
Shaqiri and Zaha both have easy fixtures this week and are critical pieces of their respective sides’ offensive threat. Palace dominated Leicester last week and have been playing like a mid-table squad. Stoke on the other hand have been the opposite but Mark Hughes has not yet been axed.
Defensively, Chelsea, City, Southampton, Palace, Tottenham, and United are all great shouts for clean sheets. Chelsea double defense has finally perked up after two back to back failed weeks.
We still like Otamendi, Alonso, Mariappa, and Courtois in goal. Otamendi has the attacking threat that mirrors Alonso. Over the course of the season we do think Alonso’s price tag will be justified. He is a midfielder for all intents and purposes. Mariappa and Watford have some great fixtures coming up including Brighton, Leicester, and Swansea.