Gameweek 14 kickstarts this season’s hectic Christmas schedule with the first full set of midweek games in the Premier League so far.
Tuesday night sees four fixtures take place, with the showcase game being the first ever Premier League meeting between rivals Brighton and Crystal Palace. Fantasy football fans will certainly be aware of the impressive performances of Brighton playmaker Pascal Groß in his debut campaign. With three goals and five assists in thirteen appearances, Groß has been a useful but cheap addition to many fantasy sides, and will be hopeful of extending his tally against a Palace side with a leaky defence.
Palace, aside from their obvious talisman in Wilfried Zaha, will be hoping that Christian Benteke breaks his duck for the season after recently returning from an extended injury layout and with Palace facing a succession of bottom half rivals this December, his form may be the key to their survival hopes.
With seemingly straightforward home ties for Arsenal, Chelsea and Man City on Wednesday, it is Liverpool’s visit to Stoke that looks to be the most competitive midweek encounter for a top 6 side. Topping the league’s goal charts so far, Mohamed Salah has been a fixture in most side’s fantasy teams this season in spite of his rising price, and will likely be Liverpool’s most potent attacking outlet at the Bet365 Stadium. For Stoke, while their typically rigid defence has faltered so far posing only 2 clean sheets, the attacking talent of the likes of Xherdan Shaqiri and Eric Choupo-Moting have kept them afloat, and have an impressive fantasy points return given their moderate price value.
For this week’s fixtures, the standouts are likely to be the big performers for the big sides, with Arsenal and Chelsea in particular looking for a glut of goals and a clean sheet in their games against strugglers Huddersfield and Swansea.
Fantasy fans who will be looking to maximise their defensive points return should look no further than Sead Kolasinac or Marcos Alonso. Though both are more expensive defensive options, both are capable of regularly contributing to their sides’ attacking threat, particularly when faced with opponents who are likely to sit deep.
If you are looking for a cheaper option however, then Bournemouth’s Charlie Daniels looks to be the best shout this week. Bournemouth are on a run of 3 successive clean sheets and host Burnley who, despite their early season form, are far more known for their organisational work than their attacking flair. Add this to the possibility of Daniels gaining additional points from the penalty spot and this transfer seems like a no-brainer for fantasy fans.
In midfield, while the ever-improving form of Eden Hazard and Alexis Sanchez has understandably made them two of the most transferred players this week, Paul Pogba could be the man to rake in the points, and at a significantly lower cost. Pogba is beginning to have a real impact on United’s form this season and despite nearly two months out with a hamstring injury, is only two goals and an assist off matching his returns from the league last year.
In attack, the obvious inclusion has to be Alvaro Morata. Despite his lack of goals in recent games, Chelsea’s set of upcoming fixtures look the most straightforward of the big sides, and goals shouldn’t be in short supply. Morata will be confident of being on the scoresheet in particular against the Swans who, despite having conceded less goals this season than the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool, rank highest in saves made in the first thirteen games. Swansea tend to give away a lot of chances, and a striker as clinical as Morata should be able to take advantage.
In terms of cheaper options, Salomon Rondon could end up coming good for West Brom this week, who was clinical against Spurs at Wembley. With West Brom seemingly looking to take a more expansive approach post-Pulis and Newcastle coming to the Hawthorns winless in four, Rondon stands a good chance of extending his so far disappointing tally for the season.