Usually when we talk about the top players, we look to the major teams. Two of the Big Six teams play each other as Manchester United hosts Tottenham Hotspur, which could make that a bit tricky. However, Liverpool and Arsenal enjoy favorable away match-ups, while Manchester City and Chelsea will look to rampage in welcoming lower-tier competition to their home stadia. Are we looking to the stars from those big squads to explode, or is there an even better option elsewhere?
Sergio Aguero (Darryl)
Sergio Aguero is on a nice run of form lately, and a home game vs West Brom makes him very essential this game week. His record of 7 goals in 10 games against them is strong, and I expect this to continue.
Sergio Aguero (David)
The runaway league leaders host 19th-placeWest Brom at the Etihad, and Gabriel Jesus is not yet back from injury to jeopardize Kun’s start. City should have little trouble enforcing their will on the lowly Baggies, and although any of City’s usual suspects could prosper, I’ll back Aguero.
Sergio Aguero (Stall)
There is only one choice. On the back of his hat trick against Newcastle, it has to be Sergio Aguero. City have won 20 of their last 22, and have scored at least 3 goals in each of 9 matches in their last 11 at home. Opponents West Brom have a reasonable away defensive record, conceding 16 goals in 11 away games, but that good run ends this week. Harry Kane scored back to back hat tricks over Christmas; don’t be surprised if Kun does the same this week.
Eden Hazard (Chris)
The Cherries should have their moments and I think this will be a fun game to watch, but ultimately Chelsea has to be expected to prevail comfortably at Stamford Bridge. The Belgian superstar has five goals in five Premier League games against Bournemouth and is fresh off a brace at Brighton. Meanwhile, Alvaro Morata returns from suspension to help keep Bournemouth defenders occupied. Put all of those things together, and I see another strong performance from Hazard in the offing.
Riyad Mahrez (Santiago)
I will go out on a bit of a limb: Leicester’s Riyad Mahrez at Everton. More specifically, Mahrez terrorizing Toffee left back Cuco Martina. If Mahrez is fit, energized and inspired, this matchup could get real ugly for the hapless Martina. Simply put, he won’t be able to keep up with the Algerian magician. I’m also expecting a difficult day out for Everton’s weird mix of geriatric (Ashley Williams and Phil Jagielka) and pediatric (Mason Holgate) center backs against Jamie Vardy. In short, I expect a very busy day for Everton’s (and England’s) #1 Schoolboy (Jordan Pickford). Even if he racks up some saves, he won’t be able to stop The Mahrez and Vardy Show from the assist and goal columns.
The reason I referred to my Mahrez pick as going out on a limb is that I never feel like I can trust Mahrez 100%. He can look great on the telly, but he’s not one of those guys who picks up a lot of the phantoms that can pad the score when he’s not having a goals or assists explosion. He’s like a bizarro Willian in that way. Willian can walk backwards and he’ll pick up a random interception point. Mahrez can bomb down the right flank, perform a dribbling trick or three, and end up with a -0.5 dispossession on the Togga format. But Cuco Martina will be haunted by Mahrez, and he will never be the same again. That’s my story and I’m sticking by it.
Mo Salah (Alexey)
My vote this game-week goes to Mo Salah. Liverpool will travel to Huddersfield, currently in a fierce relegation battle and one of the bookies’ favorites to go down. They have conceded a lot lately, but won’t be able to sit back the whole game and play in a counter-attacking style (at least that’s my view on Wagner’s tactics). They need points, and those home games are vital.
Liverpool, on the other hand, were left shell-shocked in Wales by a surprisingly disciplined Swansea. ‘Pool were sloppy, obviously lacking in concentration and wasteful in front of goal. Salah has blanked only twice this season, going two games without an attacking return in back-to-back draws against Newcastle and Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United bus. I back the Egyptian this week, expecting a stellar performance from him and the team in general.
Mo Salah (Omar)
Liverpool will be looking to bounce back from their shock defeat to Swansea and get back to winning ways against Huddersfield. Huddersfield coach Wagner is a Kloppite who is steadfast in his philosophy of pressing high up the field. This plays right into the hands of Liverpool who will welcome the space afforded for their dynamic front four to hit on the counter.
Sergio Aguero (Jeff)
I usually come to the table late and pick a differential, but the case for Aguero is too strong, so he’s already my #1 in all three of my teams (captain at Fox), and it would be dishonest of me to tout anyone else (full disclosure: I also own Salah, Hazard & Mahrez). Between the matchup and the minutes offered deJesus’ absence, Aguero is the odds-on favorite to score multiple goals.
What do you think of our picks? Who is your top choice for the upcoming game week? Do you have all of them anyway? Let us know in the comments!