First a review of Gameweek 12
It was a strange week in the Premier League, with only 3 of the top 7 winning. Chelsea have climbed to the top of the table following a run of 6 consecutive wins, with Liverpool dropping to second after a goalless draw with Southampton. Manchester City are up to third after beating Crystal Palace while Arsenal drop to fourth despite somehow salvaging a draw at Manchester United. Tottenham needed two late goals to turn defeat into victory against West Ham and they’re in fifth position, but just 4 points from first.
This weeks’ Fantasy Football Dream Team features four Sunderland players after their 3-0 win against Hull lifted them off the bottom of the table. Jordan Pickford, Patrick van Aanholt, Jermain Defoe and Victor Anichebe all played big parts in the win, and they’re joined in the Dream Team by two from West Brom, one from Watford, one from Bournemouth and perhaps more predictably one each from Tottenham, Man United and Man City. Yaya Touré and Nathan Aké were the standout performers of the week – both were making their first Premier League starts of the season and both picked up 15 points.
Gameweek 13 Preview
The first fixture of the weekend pits title favourites Manchester City against Burnley. If City are at their best they’ll be too strong for the hosts, but they’ll need to be wary of a Clarets side who are capable of upsetting bigger teams, as proved by their victories over Everton and Liverpool and draw against Manchester United this season. Burnley have only lost one of their last 6 home games, and that was an undeserved defeat to Arsenal when they were stunned by a controversial injury time winner. City have failed to score in just one of their twelve league games so far this season though, and against a Burnley defence that conceded 4 against West Brom on Monday night you have to fancy their attacking players to shine. Sergio Agüero (£13.2m) has 3 goals from his last 3 league matches and Kevin De Bruyne (£10.8m) has claimed an assist in each of his last 3. Both are viable captain choices this week.
Moving onto the 3pm kick-offs, and another team whose fixture looks very inviting in terms of captaincy decisions this week. Second-place Liverpool host second-from-bottom Sunderland, and this is a game that sees currently the Premier League’s best attack against one of its worst defences. The Reds have scored an average of 2.5 goals per game in the league this season and this increases to 3.2 for their home games. Sunderland have kept just one clean sheet in their last 18 away league games, so it would be a massive shock if they can keep Sadio Mané (£9.1m), Roberto Firmino (£8.8m) and Philippe Coutinho (£8.7m) quiet in this one. Liverpool do have a habit of conceding goals though, and it could be a good move to get Jermain Defoe (£7.5m) into your team this week. He’s in red-hot form, scoring 3 and assisting 2 in his last 3 games and after this game Sunderland do look to have some inviting upcoming fixtures.
The late game on Saturday is the big one of the weekend. Leaders Chelsea host Tottenham, who are the only undefeated side in the league. Chelsea are now on an amazing run of 6 consecutive league victories without conceding a goal and will be fresh for this one coming off the back of a week’s rest. Spurs on the other hand faced a tough Champions League trip to Monaco in midweek for a defeat that knocked them out of the competition, and have now won only 1 of their last 9 matches in all competitions (and they needed two late goals to turn a 2-1 defeat into a 3-2 victory in that one). On top of this, Spurs have a horrendous record at Stamford Bridge; they haven’t won on any of their last 28 visits, a run that stretches back to 1990. Form and history is on Chelsea’s side, and Pedro (£7.2m) could be an interesting pick in this one. While Hazard (£10.2m) and Costa (£10.6m) have been grabbing the headlines Pedro has played a key role in Chelsea’s resurgence and has 4 assists and 2 goals from their last 5 matches.
Sunday’s standout fixture is Southampton v Everton. Southampton have lost just one of their last fifteen home games in all competitions and Everton are in a poor run of form, having won just one of their last eight matches. A home win looks on the cards here, and considering Southampton’s strong defensive record it’s worth looking at the likes of Virgil Van Dijk (£5.5m) and Jose Fonte (£5.4m) in this one.
To finish off, one Fantasy Football pick from each of the remaining fixtures:
Hull v West Brom – Allan-Roméo Nyom (£4.3m)
Leicester v Middlesbrough – Marten de Roon (£4.3m)
Swansea v Crystal Palace – Gylfi Sigurdsson (£7.2m)
Watford v Stoke – Roberto Pereyra (£6.0m)
Arsenal v Bournemouth – Olivier Giroud (£8.8m)
Man United v West Ham – Juan Mata (£7.4m)
Best of luck for this weekend, and we’ll bring you another update next week.