December
17

This week’s regular look at the upcoming fixtures begins, as ever, with those sides whose appeal is increased by kind schedules over the next four to six Gameweeks. Three of the top five are handed an opportunity to boost their aspirations, while a bevy of lower placed outfits provide some intriguing differentials to help Fantasy managers break the template and climb the ranks.

Man City

mancity17
Manuel Pellegrini’s men are now undisputed home turf heavyweights, having scored an astounding 22 goals over the last four home games to renew their title bid. City’s away form is famously less stellar but they now have an appealing stretch of fixtures to turn that around. The next six Gameweeks provide home fixtures against Liverpool, Crystal Palace and Cardiff whilst trips to Fulham, Swansea and Newcastle could help them banish their travel demons.

Nowhere near as prolific for clean sheets as last term, City defenders aren’t top of many Christmas lists but it’s worth noting that Pablo Zabaleta has three assists in the last four games and the return of Vincent Kompany can only increase his appeal. In midfield, an array of options presents itself, with Yaya Toure continuing to defy the doubters, and looking to have penalty duties in Sergio Aguero’s absence, while David Silva’s return to fitness makes him the statisticians’ choice. It’s the injury to Aguero that occupies the minds of most managers, though. Alvaro Negredo comes with a formidable history from La Liga and has made himself a favourite with the fans, but just one double-figure haul so far hints at a possible lack of explosive potential from the Spaniard.

Everton

everton17
The 4-1 scoreline against Fulham flattered Everton a little but there’s no denying that the Toffees are on song. A wonderful accompaniment to their strong form is the best set of festive fixtures in the league, a mouth-watering combination for Fantasy managers. The next six for Roberto Martinez’s team comprise home games against Sunderland, Southampton and Norwich along with trips to Swansea, Stoke and West Brom, all of which look profitable at both ends of the pitch.

Seamus Coleman’s third goal of the season confirmed his position as a budget-friendly usurper to Leighton Baines’ throne, though Phil Jagielka provides the promise of bonus points, while Sylvain Distin has price on his side. In the middle of the field, the injury to Gerard Deufoleu increases Kevin Mirallas’ appeal, while Steven Pienaar hinted at a return to Fantasy form of old with a pair of assists against the Cottagers. Romelu Lukaku’s stock has been kept ticking over lately with a couple of dubious assists, but his underlying goal threat is still very much present.

Norwich

norwich17
A draw at home against Swansea wasn’t the worst result in the world but the Canaries could do with grabbing a few more points to lift themselves clear of danger. Thankfully for Chris Hughton, his team have the fixtures on their side to do so. With Sunderland, Fulham, Crystal Palace and Hull in the next six, investors need only be wary of games against United and Everton sandwiched in between.

Martin Olsson looks to be the defender of choice, whilst John Ruddy could be worth considering between the sticks if you’re prepared to pay a little more. In midfield, Nathan Redmond and Leroy Fer offer budget appeal, though the former could be at risk when all first team regulars are fit. The headline act right now, however, is Gary Hooper. The former Celtic man – who averaged over 20 goals per season in his time north of the border – has now scored four goals in six games to present differential-hunting Fantasy managers with a budget-priced star performer.

Aston Villa

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A lamentable performance at the weekend that barely troubled United is a serious concern for Paul Lambert, but he does have four consecutive kind fixtures to help him resurrect the glimpses of form we’ve seen on occasion. Trips to Stoke and Sunderland bookend back-to-back home games against Palace and Swansea, a set of fixtures that could well deliver Fantasy points.

Ron Vlaar’s continued absence through injury has robbed us of the most sure starters in defence but Antonio Luna is fit again and carries someattacking threat from left-back, while Brad Guzan rarely fails to deliver save points. The Villains’ midfield hasn’t shown much sustained promise this season but the towering form of Christian Benteke is a slumbering giant that Lambert will be hoping to rouse – the Belgian’s toils in front of goal are hard to reconcile with the irresistible displays we saw at the beginning of the season. If he can be sparked back into life, his pedigree suggests points galore.

ALSO CONSIDER

Crystal Palace
Tony Pulis continues his impressive turnaround of the team that not long ago were simply armband fodder for Fantasy managers. With a spirited fight against Chelsea dispensed with, the Eagles have three home games in the next six (NEW, NOR, STO) as well as a trip to Aston Villa to tempt investment. Such fixtures make the defensive services of Danny Gabbidon or Joel Ward worth considering. Barry Bannan is still the most attractive proposition amongst the Eagles’ midfield, whilst the award for the wildest differential striker must surely go to Marouane Chamakh, who has now scored in each of the last three.

Sunderland
A goalless draw against Stoke will be frustrating for Gus Poyet but does at least show defensive resilience. He’ll be hopeful that the upcoming fixtures can help him to ignite the Wearsiders’ attack, though – in the next six games, Norwich, Aston Villa and injury ravaged Southampton visit the Stadium of Light whilst trips to Fulham and Cardiff combine to make a case for investment. Phil Bardsley and Wes Brown look like the defenders of choice, especially in the absence of certainty between the sticks. Further up the field is very much differential territory but Emanuele Giaccherini has the potential for goals and assists, though Poyet’s decision to bench Steven Fletcher last week and revert to a lone striker system places question marks over the forward options.

Arsenal
Arsene Wenger’s side stagger back to the Emirates with their tails between their legs after a hiding at the hands of Man City, but they’re still top of the table and remain a great source of Fantasy profit. After a home game with Chelsea, the fixture list turns in Arsenal’s favour, with trips to West Ham, Newcastle and Aston Villa as well as the visits of Cardiff and Fulham. The Gunners’ defence looks set to be devoid of Laurent Koscielny, which may temporarily lessen the appeal of Per Mertesacker and Wojciech Szczesny. In midfield, the embarrassment of riches just increased with the emphatic return of Theo Walcott, while Mesut Özil and Aaron Ramsey still retain their appeal. However, with goals in just two of the last twelve Gameweeks, the sun may have now set on Olivier Giroud’s appeal.

About The Author

roscola @rosco

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  1. Clichy at rb?

    Kolarov at lb?

  2. Who replaces a zab as first choice ?

    1. My guess is Kolarov or Clichy. Can't see Boyata playing in the PL, would be a bargain if he did.

      1. So no clear cut choice..

        1. Don't think so, only a brave man would do a transfer based on that before anything is confirmed.

    2. Milner, surely.
      Boyata can't play there...to slow, no?

      At home Pelle would want some full back play, surely.
      Milner can do that job.
      Actually he is similar (physical) with Zabaleta.

      1. Good shout. Boyata doesn't seem good enough either from the little i've seen of him today, obviously early to judge.

    3. milner if u ask me

  3. *silently listens to Zaba injury without saying anything as his players might get injured. On another note Ltd of people have Zabs and Kun

  4. I CANT CATCH A BREAK

  5. who to bring in for aguero? have suarez and rooney.

    Negredo?
    Lukaku?

    1. neg

    2. Lucky Luke

  6. Just logged into my FPL team and it says Chester WBA (T) in my starting line-up. Glitch or new code?

    1. Hull Tigers

  7. This Zab injury is perfect timing for a Koscielny replacement

    1. A what?

      1. Koscielny is injured

    2. Kosc is only out for Chelsea game

      1. Longer than that surely?

  8. Repost, was hidden in the treasure of Zaba OUT

    Team for GW17:

    ---------------Mignolet-----------------------
    ----Coleman ¤ Ward ¤ Burner---------
    Shelvey ¤ Ozil ¤ Ramsey ¤ Hazard
    --Rooney ¤ Suarez(C) ¤ Lukaku

    Bench: Harper-Distin-Kim-Vlaar
    1FT
    0.3M in bank

    Should I do?

    A: Kim :arrow: 4.6 midfielder, one of Redmond/Bannan
    B: Vlaar :arrow: M.Olsson
    C: Ozil :arrow: Walcott
    D: Please suggest something if you would want to do something else...
    E: Save FT
    Cheers! :)

  9. Hey guys I'm in a bit of a conundrum

    Who should I bench from my defense? I have Coleman/Distin/Gabbidon/Terry/Baker

    I’m thinking of benching both Baker and Distin, but am nervous about using Terry against Arsenal where I doubt we’ll keep a clean sheet.

    ANY tips would be appreciated

  10. Play Chester over Zabs and ship next week?

    1. fancy them against the tesco bags. stick with chester.

  11. Haha, how did Dzeko miss that? Great pass from Silva creating that chance.

  12. anyone think Kolarov will cover RB while Pablo and Micah are out? could be worth a punt if so..

  13. Neeed help!!
    I'm on a tight spot here

    My team:
    GK: Mignolet, McGregor*
    D: Coleman, Kompany, Dawson, Fonte, Baker*
    M: Ramsey, Hazard, Cabaye, Januzaj*, Morrison*
    F: Suarez, Rooney, Aguerro

    I have got 0.0 ITB and 1 FT. As you guys can see the obvious predicament. I need to do something about Aguerro. Problem is I bought him for 11.0, and shipping him out means, no chance to buy him back.
    Late dec GW upon us too.
    So what should be my strategy?
    ps: I'm 50 points away from mini-league leader

      1. *lukaku/negredo, or long and then januzaj to silva for -4

  14. Ah Zaba you got to be kidding me! How long do hammy injuries usually keep a player out?

    I've had him nearly all season...

    1. Guess it depens, Chester was out like 12 gameweeks? Commentator said it looked like it could be a while, i have no clue myself..

  15. New Article Posted
  16. Strange one this as they are a bit rubbish but I could do with some advise for the next two game weeks for my draft team. Say you can't change them, would you rather do....

    A) Krul & Bony

    B) Mignolet & Chamakh

    I know they are rubbish options but if you had to choose!....

    1. B Every time

  17. Aguero > Rooney

    or

    Aguero & RavMo / Barkley > Negredo / Lukaku & Walcott (4pt hit)

  18. Pellegrini "Edin has taken his opportunity tonight"

  19. waddya reckon about Aguero and Lampard out and Wellbeck and YYT in?

  20. AJG

    Guys, thinking of shipping terry out for a cheaper option. Chelsea's defense has been shaky recently with ARS coming up next. Whadaya think?

  21. Used this site for years. First ever post.

    That's all.

  22. Is the Tottenham match on tv anywhere In the uk?

  23. Rate my team please:

    Mignolet
    Coleman Terry Shaw
    Januzaj Ramsey Barkley Yaya Lallana
    Rooney Suarez

    Subs: Long Dawson Riether

    Any advice or suggestions are welcome.
    I have 2.0 ITB

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Fixture Ticker

“My team this year has been the Fantasy Premier League equivalent of a Morecambe & Wise sketch. I've played all the right players . . . but not necessarily in the right order.”

Fantacity on his 2013/14 season