So here we are at the calm before the festive storm; from Boxing Day in the space of 7 days, we’ll be asking our Premier League footballers to squeeze in 3 gameweeks (18-20)! But before that we have Gameweek 17, which is also the qualifying round for the Fantasy Premier League cup where as long as you finish in the top 2 million you’ll be safe.
Rotation is inevitable for managers who can afford to do so, so now’s the time to do the final touches to our squad.Bench players are sure to come into play at some point over Christmas so if you have any duds, start initiating plans to get rid.
This period could play a crucial role in your season; if you tackle it correctly, you could be entering January with a significant lead over your friends and rivals. Tackle it incorrectly and you could be hoping your wildcard will help you play catch up.
However, before all this kicks off, we have one more round of fixtures that should give us a little more insight before the festive fun begins. Here’s our take on what might happen this weekend…
So without further ado, here is our selection for the 17th gameweek of the season:
- Joe HART [CPL(H), 6.1m] – In recent weeks, City have been great defensively, conceding just the once in their last 4 matches. They’ve performed so well that in the last 3 gameweeks, Hart has only made 4 saves in total. A home match against Palace shouldn’t change much.
- Gary CAHILL [STO(A), 6.4m] – With Luis affecting Azpilicueta’s gametime, we’ve opted for Cahill who was rested midweek and should return for the game against Stoke. Each weekend, a Chelsea clean sheet always appears likely, as shown by their ability to stop 4 out of the last 5 sides they’ve faced from scoring.
- Aaron CRESSWELL [LEI(H), 5.5m] – West Ham keep on going from strength to strength and are definitely one of the most in-form teams in FPL. So we’re backing their rampaging left back in GW-17, to serve up the potential to score points at both ends of the field against a Leicester side desperate for points.
- Jan VERTONGHEN [BUR(H), 5.9m] – Spurs have had an underwhelming season so far but things are finally starting to look up for Pochettino. Players are starting to click and fitness levels are reaching their peak. Next up they have a favourable home game against Burnley, where they can continue their encouraging form.
- Stewart DOWNING (C) [LEI(H), 6.3m] – Downing has been rejuvenated following his switch to the tip of the diamond and is returning points consistently with 2 assists and a goal in his last 3. His supporting stats are impressive too with plenty of shots in addition to chances created. This is sure to continue against Leicester so we’ve decided to give this budget star the armband for GW-17.
- Christian ERIKSEN [BUR(H), 8.1m] – One of the main reasons why Spurs have improved of late is down to Christian Eriksen. We saw glimpses of his brilliance last season but he’s finally starting to show his class once more. He scored and assisted in the 2-1 win over Swansea and set up 3 of Spurs’ 4 goals to take them past Newcastle into the League Cup Semi-Final.
- Eden HAZARD [STO(A), 10.6m] – Another player to impress in midweek was Hazard as the Belgian’s fine form continued with a well-taken goal against Derby to show us that he can actually score away from Stamford Bridge. As Costa continues to flicker, Hazard is shining bright with his 4th double-figure haul of the season coming last weekend.
- Samir NASRI [CPL(H), 8.2m] – Pellegrini stated this week that he’d be experimenting with Silva, Milner and Nasri as a potential false 9 and we’re hoping it’s the latter. Nasri’s form is on the up and even if he isn’t given the spot up top, he’ll be floating in and around the box against Palace with attacking points a distinct possibility.
- Charlie AUSTIN [WBA(H), 6.0m] – This weekend, we’re going for a budget strikeforce that could make a mockery of their pricetags, starting with Austin. Having returned from his one-match ban, he’ll be raring to go against the Baggies and the rest could set him up well for the festive period. With 2 sets of a goal and an assist in his last 3 gameweeks, Austin has the potential to score big once more.
- Harry KANE [BUR(H), 5.1m] – Since breaking into the Spurs starting eleven, Kane hasn’t looked back putting in a number of strong performances. He’s currently by far their best striker and is available for a ridiculously cheap price. For those looking to free up some funds or simply some Spurs coverage, Kane is your man.
- Andy CARROLL [LEI(H), 7.0m] – It was a close call picking between Carroll and Sakho for our final spot but we chose the former as he had more shots inside the box against Sunderland. West Ham are one of the strongest attacking sides around at the moment and Carroll is set to profit against a Leicester side who are culpable of giving chances away.
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Author Credit: Richard Lam
Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/8058853@N06/