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Week 24: Player Picks

After a disastrous Game Week 23 with 59 points scored – my lowest of the season, I look to get back on track. Thankfully, this Game Week has some very good match-ups that, I hope, will make me forget about the last week's disaster. So let's get to the Player Picks…

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Thibaut Courtois – It is a tossup between Courtois and Hart for this Game Week. In the long run, however, Chelsea has a better schedule (Aston Villa, Everton, Burnley and Leicester City) and stronger defense.

Joe Hart – You could do much worse this Game Week than Hart at £7.49. I am always concerned, however, that City's defense has not been very impressive and may concede an odd goal even to a side as down on its luck as Hull City.

Mark Schwarzer – You all know I like cheap keepers and have been fortunate to get decent scores from Hamer and Robles when I played them. At £2.16, Schwarzer is cheap. He will start and should make plenty of saves home to Crystal Palace.

Robert Green – Continuing with cheapies, at £2.49 and home to Southampton, the QPR keeper is a risk. Southampton, however, put in a terrible performance last week against Swansea where it became very obvious to me that it is not a top 4 team for one reason alone: they do not have a dominant striker. Pelle was manhandled by Ashley Williams and I see Steven Caulker doing the same to him on Saturday.

Tim Krul – I recommended Krul in the 5 Questions as he was too good to be overlooked priced at £1.98 at one time. As a result, many, except for me, had him in their starting 11 and were rewarded with a 24 point haul, the highest goalkeeper score of the week. If you hold Krul at his brandoor price of £3.22, no need to panic home to Stoke; he is a good option if you do not want Courtois or Hart.


Vincent Kompany / Pablo Zabaleta – both are reasonably priced, expected to start (Zabaleta should rotate with Sagna who played last week vs. Chelsea) and play a full game. I could also add Aleksandar Kolarov to the list but starts have been far too infrequent for the Serb and even then his performance very mediocre.

Patrick Van Aanholt – As with Tim Krul, I am gutted that I took PVA out of my starting line up to bring in Ryan Bertrand. We all know what happened, but I will not make the same mistake twice and advise those of you who hold, barndoored or considering the Dutch left back to have him when Swansea comes knocking.

Kieran Trippier – Few have been as consistent as Kieran Trippier this season. Home to a "flat and flaky" West Browmich Albion team as described by Tony Pulis, this will be a hard fought match that will present the right back with plenty of opportunities to add to his high season point tally.

Matt Targett – No Bertrand means that the youngster Targett comes in to fill in at the left back. He is an enticing option priced at just £3.38.

Kurt Zouma – I don’t know if Gary Cahill has been secretly injured but the 20 year old Zouma has been very impressive in his last few starts and plenty of UK newspapers are picking him ahead of Cahill in the pecking order. Priced at just £3.87, Zouma is a good pick to a Villa team that cannot score goals.


David Silva / Jesus Navas – I like David and I like Jesus, and so should you this Game Week. One and preferably both should be in your starting 11.

Eden Hazard – He is really expensive, but with Costa banned he is also the best offensive Chelsea player. I think he deserves serious consideration away to Aston Villa this Game Week.

Riad Mahrez – Just got back from AFCON, but I don’t think he gets a rest here especially since Leicester has a beatable opponent at home in Crystal Palace. A great all-around player that should continue to cause problems for defenses.

George Boyd – had a letdown performance against Sunderland with only 7 points but expect a good game from him home to West Bromwich Albion.

Dusan Tadic – The matchup is favorable, the price is right, plus the Serb is on all set pieces, including penalty kicks. I am in.

Remy Cabella – The Frenchman scored his first goal for Newcastle and while he is too inconsistent to be considered at full price, if you grabbed him at his barndoor price of around £8, do not hesitate and start him.


Sergio Aguero – last time I was very adamant about having Aguero in my starting 11 was Game Week 15 at home against Everton. We all know what happened that day – knee ligament damage injury, so I will save the trifle and just say that I think he is a good option.

Harry Kane – if you had him before or brought him on barndoor, keep him. He is guaranteed a few shots on target at the very least and I should give the untested David Ospina something to think about.

Loic Remy – If Olivier Giroud can score against Aston Villa, so can his countryman. Priced at £8.34, Remy will get the nod up front and should get some good chances to score.

Leonardo Ulloa – He has "trolled" me every time I picked him, so I won't this Game Week but it does not mean that you should not. Priced at £5.26, Ulloa is a total punt but he is a due a goal at home to Crystal Palace.

Charlie Austin – I keep coming back to Charlie because I will forever have a soft spot for a player who scored 42 points for me in one week. This game is no different, call me crazy but I really like Austin's chances to put at least one past Forster.

Saido Berahino – Has not scored in two games but due a goal. While Burnley plays tight defensively, Tony Pulis should have his men ready and roaring after a gutless performance against Tottenham. Priced right at £7.74, those looking to make up some ground should consider the England under-21 in this one.

So, there you have it. My team currently is:

Krul, Van Aanholt, Cresswell, Zouma, Silva, Hazard, Tadic, Walcott, Fabregas, Kane, Aguero, with Tremmel, Okore, Kelly and Sanchez on the bench. I may downgrade Hazard to a cheaper midfielder and upgrade Zouma/Cresswell. What are your preliminary teams?