The EPL returns tomorrow, marking the start of the usual busy festive fixture pile-up! No doubt there will be some rotation among the teams as we look forward to four game-weeks between now and the New Year (with a packed schedule in January too!). This will certainly be tough on the players and managers (and Fantasy managers coping with rotation), but its a period relished by spectators.
Last time out, the Manchester Derby didn’t give the same level of entertainment as in years gone by, ending up in a damp squib of a 0-0 draw. Arsenal’s woes continued, while Tottenham, Liverpool and Chelsea all dropped points in the pursuit of the summit.
[ Confirmed lineups will come from Wolves hosting Chelsea before our deadline. ]
Now let’s take a look at our player picks this week:
Ederson - $10.61 - West Brom (H)
It’s going well for Ederson right now, three consecutive clean-sheets in the league bring his total to five from eleven. Next up, the Citizens face a struggling West Bromwich Albion side not exactly known for high-scoring matches. Ederson is priced modestly and has a great chance to record yet another clean-sheet.
Emiliano Martinez - $13.40 - Burnley (H)
Emi Martinez had a great return in game-week 12 after missing out in game-week 11. Aston Villa faced a Wolverhampton side missing its talisman, but Martinez still had to work hard for his clean-sheet, called into action on numerous occasions. Next up, the Villans face a Burnley side that has struggled in front of goal, needing an own-goal gift from Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang last game-week.
João Cancelo - $6.65 - West Brom (H)
We’re backing a Manchester City double-up at the back, with João Cancelo making our picks this game-week. As mentioned with Ederson, the Citizens have been in strong form at the back lately, and Cancelo has the added bonus of being able to provide returns at the other end of the pitch. Beware of Pep Rotation: John Stones and Kyle Walker are also viable options at the back should you be concerned with Cancelo’s game-time.
Reece James - $12.20 - Wolves (A)
Reece James was unlucky not to have scored the last time out, so he remains a viable option as he has performed well. Chelsea may have stuttered slightly in the 1-0 loss at Everton, but don’t let this put you off. The Blues have been in strong-form otherwise and are worth backing against a Wolves side lacking Raúl Jiménez’s luster. This gives the Chelsea fullback opportunities at both ends of the pitch.
Vladimir Coufal - $7.83 - Crystal Palace (H)
Coufal has dropped off a bit since his brilliant start to life at West Ham United, but he has been a consistent part of an in-form side now sitting 6th in the League. Hopefully a home fixture against Crystal Palace should give the reasonably-priced full-back potential at both ends of the pitch.
Kevin De Bruyne - $16.84 - West Brom (H)
The Manchester Derby may not have impressed or given De Bruyne the returns we wanted, but he’s our favourite pick for this game-week. In his last three game-weeks, he has been solid, registering a goal and two assists. He now hosts struggling Baggies who’ve conceded seven goals in their last two matches.
Bruno Fernandes - $21.74 - Sheffield United (A)
As mentioned previously, the Manchester Derby was not great for any assets who have attack potential, but Fernandes did better than his Man City counterpart. Next up is an enticing away fixture against abysmal Sheffield United. Fernandes is worth backing as he’s been strong away from home, with the Blades really struggling to keep the goals out.
Tomas Soucek - $10.55 - Crystal Palace (H)
Jarred Bowen may have been the most backed West Ham asset in recent times, but fellow midfielder Tomas Soucek has quietly gone about his business in the last couple of game-weeks, scoring in each and racking up 26 points combined. This is impressive reading, and he’s reasonably priced, so he’s certainly worth a punt this time around. Hopefully his taste for scoring continues!
James Maddison - $11.72 - Everton (H)
After an injury-hampered season, James Maddison is starting to get into some strong form, reminding us of the Maddison of previous seasons. The attacking midfielder now has two goals and an assist in his last two matches, linking up well with frontman Jamie Vardy. This could be a great time to capitalize on the in-form Maddison.
Jamie Vardy - $18.38 - Everton (H)
We’re backing another Leicester man who is in fine form. The Foxes’ talisman may have blanked a couple of weeks ago against Fulham, but he has now scored in back-to-back matches, as well as turning provider in the last game-week with two assists. Next up is Everton who have been a bit hit and miss in the last few weeks.
Danny Ings - $13.21 - Arsenal (A)
This could be a great time to pick up Danny Ings who recently spent a few weeks on the sidelines with an injury. He’s now very much back, with a goal and assist in his last two outings. The Saints have been scoring well, with seven goals in their last three matches. They managed to create in the absence of Ings, so you’d fancy even more goals with the talisman back in the side. Next up are the misfiring Gunners.
Ademola Lookman - $9.24 - Brighton (H)
Here’s a slightly cheaper pick and the most viable Fulham asset at the moment. Ademola Lookman has been scoring pretty steadily in recent times, with two goals and two assists in his last five matches; bagging a fair few fantasy points. Next up are fellow strugglers from Brighton, so this is a key fixture; we’ll be looking to Lookman to provide the creativity for the Cottagers.
What do you think of our selections this week? What changes will you make to your side? Are you concerned about rotation with any of your players? Please let us know your thoughts and join us in the comments!