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Staff Picks: Best EPL Fantasy Fixture, Week 24

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We resume Premier League action midweek after FA Cup action finishes up on Monday. Here is a look at where we are most likely to invest for our fantasy squads this week.

Tottenham's teenage sensation is in excellent form. Will that continue against the Canaries?
Tottenham's teenage sensation is in excellent form. Will that continue against the Canaries?
Matthew Lewis/Getty Images
Chris - Manchester United v. Stoke City

I'm tempted to go with Everton v. Newcastle United, but I hesitate after being burned by Everton's lackluster performance against Swansea last week. I don't see anything else that should be bankable either as an offensive explosion from both teams or a comprehensive victory from one squad, so I'm taking a turn to the dark side and going for a bit of nil-nil misery at Old Trafford. After all, Manchester United has kept 11 clean sheets and been shut out eight times (including five 0-0 results), while Stoke City has nine clean sheets to its credit along with nine against (albeit coinciding with a mere three nil-nil games).

So feel free to load up on defenders (Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, Matteo Darmian and Chris Smalling for United and Glen Johnson, Erik Pieters, Marc Wilson and Philipp Wollscheid for Stoke) and keepers (David De Gea and Jack Butland) and root for the ugliest of snooze fests! Even if one team doesn't deliver a clean sheet, odds are pretty sky high that the other will.

Roberto - Leicester City v. Liverpool

The Foxes are currently first in the Premier League table, three points above Manchester City and Arsenal. If they want to continue their fairy tale title challenge, they'll need to play much better than they did in the 1-0 loss to Liverpool a few weeks ago. Riyad Mahrez has suffered a dip in form and Jamie Vardy hasn't been at his best either, but with the league lead on the line they could be back to their best for this one. The Reds, led by Roberto Firmino and Jordan Henderson, will have plenty of confidence coming off of their qualification for the League Cup final, though. Could we be in for another multi-goal thriller like their match against Norwich?

Zach - Norwich City v. Tottenham Hotspur

This is a clash of two teams facing very different prospects in the league. Norwich City find themselves in 17th on 23pts, just 2pts above the drop zone. The 5-4 reverse to Liverpool was damaging, especially after taking a 3-1 lead early in the second half and equalizing in stoppage time only to concede just a minute later. Norwich now find themselves on the wrong side of a 4 game losing streak in all competitions, having conceded 13 goals in the process. The prospect of a CS in Week 24 is also looking very unlikely as they face an in form Tottenham Hotspur well within the hunt for the title.

Spurs by contrast, currently occupy 4th on 42pts, just 2pts behind Arsenal and Man City, and 5pts behind leaders Leicester City. Last gameweek, Crystal Palace turned on the pressure in the first half, taking a 1-0 lead via a Vertonghen own goal. But the second half was all Spurs as Harry Kane and Dele Alli lead the charge to come out victorious 3-1. Given their strengths this season, Spurs look like a team likely to finish within the Champion's League places.

Fantasy wise this match up looks good for the North London club, with Kane, Dele Alli, Eriksen, Alderweild and Lloris all looking like fine Week 24 options. If Trippier can keep his right back berth, the former Burnley man could be a great low %owned selection. I expect Spurs to have a good chance at the CS away to Norwich, who 4 goals against Liverpool aside, haven't been finding the back of the net with much consistency.

Charles - Sunderland v. Manchester City

These are the types of matches that the Citizens must win if they are going to make their move for the title. Kevin de Bruyne's injury was a blow, but this is where the great teams gather themselves and move forward. The Black Cats have been truly woeful defensively at home conceding 34 goals but appear to have solidified things just a bit, recently.

Sergio Aguero is almost certainly a "must have" with his goal outbursts the past three game weeks. Sunderland's defense will struggle to handle the diminutive striker. David Villa and Raheem Sterling are also solid options. I am not so sure about City's defense in this one. Consider Patrick Van Aanholt as an option for Sunderland, as he has been one of the top fantasy producers in January from his defensive role.

The title this year is up for grabs and Manchester City can make a statement by winning this game in style. Sunderland, of course, need a result to keep the chances of relegation at bay.

Gavin - West Ham United v. Aston Villa

There are a number of tempting options this week, but for the most part it's the away teams who look like they should come away victorious on paper. The added bonus of playing in front of a home crowd can make a huge difference in the outcome of a match, so I'm leaning away from Tottenham and Man City. Stronger opposition has also kept me from going with either Arsenal or Everton, though all four teams are reasonable bets to look to for players for your teams this week. Instead, I'm opting for the Hammers taking on bottom-of-the-table Villa.

While the Villans have rediscovered some semblance of form lately, they tend to struggle when they face a team with pace, power and a key playmaker who can distribute the ball from difficult positions. Enner Valencia, Michail Antonio and Dimitry Payet fit the aforementioned triumvirate to the letter, so I don't see a happy day for Remi Garde's charges on Tuesday. The Hammers are also returning to full fitness at the back, with Winston Reid and new signing Sam Byram looking to strengthen what has already been an above average defensive unit. You could certainly do worse than to have any of the above players in your side for the midweek slate.