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Staff Picks: Best EPL Fantasy Fixture, Week 12

We've taken a look at the Week 12 Premier League fixtures and picked our favorites for fantasy investment. Do you agree?

The North London derby is always an exciting affair. Which team will come out on top?
The North London derby is always an exciting affair. Which team will come out on top?
Clive Rose/Getty Images
Zach - Aston Villa v. Manchester City

Let's face it, Aston Villa are in a real crisis. It wasn't so long ago that Villa were punching well above their weight and were playing European football. But alas, how things have changed. Villa have appointed Remi Garde however, the Frenchmen has a huge task laid before him. Turning Villa around won't be quick and Garde faces what looks to be a hard relegation fight this season.

Week 12 serves up a home clash with joint top of the table Manchester City, and it is certain the Sky Blue won't be serving Aston Villa any favors. There will be goals in this one, and City's hiccup performance against a plucky Norwich aside, I expect Pellegrini's and co. to pump up the scoreline.

Chris - Manchester United v. West Bromwich Albion

I don't see either a standout offensive barnburner for both sides or a shoe-in for a comprehensive victory by one team in the upcoming weekend's fixture list. Rather, I envision a plethora of low scoring, hard fought games of the 1-0, 1-1 and 2-1 variety, many of which could easily go either way. Given that expectation, I'm picking the game most likely to end in a scoreless draw for fantasy glory on the defensive end. In the immortal words of a young Anakin Skywalker from Star Wars: Phantom Menace, "Yippee!"

The case that West Brom will not find the net is long and compelling: the game is at Old Trafford, Manchester United is tied with Arsenal for the fewest goals allowed, the Red Devils have notched clean sheets in each of the past three and four of its past five games, United has allowed only one goal in five home tilts all season, and finally, West Brom has managed only three goals in five fixtures on the road. Making the argument for a clean sheet going the other way, Albion has only allowed two goals in keeping four clean sheets over its five road games while United has suffered a shutout in three of its past four and has been involved in three 0-0 results already this season including a current string of two straight. Why not another? Who feels like loading up on Manchester United and West Brom defenders/keepers and rooting for a nil-nil snooze fest?

Roberto - Arsenal v. Tottenham Hotspur

My match of the weekend has to be the North London derby. In some cases, this is probably as strong a North London derby that it has been in a while because of the current positions both Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal are at. The Gunners, who are currently second in the league with 25 points, having won eight, drawn one and lost two. Spurs on the other hand, have only lost once and that was the first match of the Premier League season vs. Manchester United three months ago. Since, they went on 11 matches unbeaten having won and drawn five.

Spurs currently sit fifth in the league with 20 points but it's clear that a win for Spurs would be humongous to cushion the gap a bit on their North London rivals. If Arsenal are going to win at home on Sunday, they need to rely the best on Alexis Sanchez and Oliver Giroud, two players who Arsene Wenger really cherish. Mauricio Pochettino's men on the other hand will have to get Harry Kane on track if he is going to emulate his second half performance from last season.

Charles - Leicester City v. Watford FC

There are certainly a few possibilities this week, but my choice is Leicester hosting Watford. I can remember Leicester being mired in last place for 3/4 of the season last year. They looked an obvious choice to be relegated. Since that time, they have enjoyed a monumental resurgence where they now, 11 games into the next season, are competing for a spot in Champion's League play. They reside in third place, having accumulated 22 points. And still, I find myself waiting for the bubble to burst.

And this week, they host Watford, who has done better than expected, currently holding down the 11th spot. Both teams compete hard, there is little chance for an outlier, in fact, Watford appears to even play better on the road.

For Leicester, can Vardy continue his roll? Is Riyad Mahrez for real and where do his points come from? Marc Albrighton, what is he doing in the Premiership, anyway (I kid, I kid). For Watford, can the 33 year old Heurelho Gomes continue to keep them in games? Who is this forward Odion Ighalo? They have a balanced squad, can anyone step up this week? Are they for real as a mid-table contender, or will this be the start of a slide?

Simon - Arsenal v. Tottenham Hotspur

Not very original, but I like the North London derby this weekend.

Its always entertaining and a game with talking points. With Tottenham unbeaten in 10 league games and Arsenal dealing with some injuries and a mentally testing game in Bayern the tie looks more even than at first glance.

Spurs' defense is tighter than in previous years and with Harry Kane and their form they may be content with the timing of the fixture. As always in this one I'm looking at the attackers Alexis Sanchez, Olivier Giroud, Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen all interest.

Overall the fixture rarely disappoints, and this week looks to be one more to enjoy.

Gavin - West Ham United v. Everton

Two of the most inconsistent teams in the Premier League face off this weekend, and this one could go either way. We've seen West Ham dismantle top teams like Manchester City, but fall to Watford, while Everton just put six goals past Sunderland after low-scoring losses to Arsenal and United.

If both teams show up, this could be one of the most exciting attacking matches of the season, with in-form players like Dimitri Payet and Romelu Lukaku battling it out. Can Arouna Kone and Gerard Deulofeu reproduce their performances from Week 11? Will Diafra Sakho return to lead the line for the Hammers, or will Andy Carroll continue up front? Could we be in for a surprisingly strong defensive performance and a clean sheet for one or both sides?

Each outcome seems as likely as the next, but the fantasy points should be flying no matter the result.