Gameweek 21 Preview – 12 January 2016

Gameweek 21 Preview of Fantasy Premier League, courtesy of Bet365.

We have three fixtures tonight and seven tomorrow night, making up a full round of midweek fixtures and helping to compensate for the lack of Premier League action over the weekend.

From a Fantasy Football perspective the pick of tonight’s games could be Aston Villa v Crystal Palace, with the Palace players offering a good opportunity for you to pick up some points. Their away form is superb, with only Leicester and Tottenham defeating the Eagles on their travels this season. Tonight’s opponents have yet to win a home game this season and sit at the bottom of the Premier League table. Palace’s strikers haven’t been finding the net with any regularity this season though, so look to the midfielders to provide you with goals and assists. Wilfried Zaha (£5.3m) could be a shrewd choice – he played in a very advanced role in the FA Cup win at Southampton this weekend and scored the winning goal. At the back Wayne Hennessey (£4.1m) has taken over as first choice goalkeeper for Alan Pardew’s men. He has 3 clean sheets from his last 5 league appearances and has every chance of adding to that tally tonight. He could be a great option if you want to free up some funds for more expensive forward players.

Tomorrow night Chelsea face West Brom at Stamford Bridge, with the Blues somewhat rejuvenated since Jose Mourinho’s dismissal. They are undefeated in 5 games since the Special One left, securing 3 wins and 2 draws. They’ve scored 10 goals in those 5 matches and have kept 3 clean sheets in a row, so the visit of West Brom, a team who haven’t won at Stamford Bridge since 1978, should hold no fears for them. A win could move them to within 3 points of the top half as they look to recover their season in the second half of the campaign. Kurt Zouma (£5.4m) seems to have established himself as a regular in the Chelsea defence, completing 90 minutes in 16 of the last 18 Premier League fixtures. Bearing in mind their impressive defensive record since Hiddink took over he could be a great pick. The outstanding player of Chelsea’s season though has been Willian (£7.1m). The Brazilian midfielder has 3 goals and 6 assists in the league this season, as well as 5 goals in 6 Champions League games. He’s also established himself in the starting line-up, and 4 assists and 1 goal have come from his last 4 league matches.

Man City v Everton is a game in which attacking players should star, with both teams less than convincing at the back. It’s 3 clean sheets from the last 15 league matches for City and 2 from 14 for Everton. The options are seemingly endless, with a whole host of star names to choose from. For the home side Agüero (£13.2m), Touré (£8.7m), De Bruyne (£10.9m), Sterling (£8.7m) and Silva (£10.0m) are all worth serious consideration, whilst for Everton Barkley (£7.4m), Deulofeu (£6.2m) and Lukaku (£9.3,m) continue to impress this season.

Over at Anfield league leaders Arsenal face a tough test of their title credentials. Liverpool’s form isn’t great, having won just 2 of their last 6 league games, but they seem to have reserved their best performances for the big matches under Klopp’s tenure so far. Having said that, Liverpool have an injury crisis at the back that’s got so bad that reports this morning suggest they are set to sign Steven Caulker on an emergency loan. Arsenal’s attacking talent will fancy their chances of goals, and the two standout performers are still Olivier Giroud (£9.2m), who has 10 goals and 2 assists from 20 Premier League games this season, and Mesut Özil (£10.0m) with 3 goals and 16 assists.

Finally, two teams with slightly more surprising ambitions of Champions League places for next season go head to head at White Hart Lane, with Tottenham hosting Leicester. The two sides played out an entertaining 2-2 draw in the FA Cup at the weekend, but that means for Leicester it’s now 4 games without a win. Jamie Vardy (£7.3m) is a doubt for tomorrow night’s match and hasn’t scored in his last 4 league games, whilst Riyad Mahrez (£7.2m) hasn’t scored in 3 and missed a penalty in his last match. Throughout Leicester’s excellent start to the season there have been doubts over their ability to sustain their performance levels and concerns over what would happen to them should the form of Vardy and Mahrez dip. This dip seems to be happening now and Tottenham will therefore be confident of securing the 3 points that would move them to within 1 point of tomorrow night’s opponents and potentially just 3 points from the top of the league if the Merseyside clubs can do them a favour against Arsenal and Man City. Alli (£5.4m) and Kane (£9.9m) are the men that can propel Spurs to victory here, with the two of them contributing 5 goals and 3 assists between them in the last 4 league games.

Don’t forget that a second wildcard has been allocated, and this can be used in the second half of the season. If your team is in need of wholesale changes to give you a chance of climbing the table it’s definitely worth considering.