The Player Picks for our weekly Fantasy Football game are brought to you this Tuesday lunchtime as we prepare for 10 fixtures over New Year’s Day. With prime home games for Arsenal and Liverpool against Cardiff and Hull respectively, Theo Walcott and Luis Suarez are on our radars. We scour the PlayON Player Price List for potential bargains in order to save cash for our premium priced pair:
If you’re new to PlayON, read this season’s introduction article for more information. If you’re already a PlayON player, read on for our selection of this week’s targets…
Goalkeeper – David Stockdale
Yes, he may have conceded six goals away to Hull but the Fulham stopper will set you back a mere 6.6m for a home game against West Ham. With Maarten Stekelenburg still sidelined through injury, Stockdale will face a Hammers side with just two goals in their last three road trips and enables us to free up funds to be spent elsewhere. Coming in at 6.2m, Stoke’s Tomas Sorenson is even easier on the budget if you reckon he can keep Everton at bay at the Britannia but if but if you’re willing to splash the cash, Joe Hart is still relatively inexpensive at 8.7m as City roll up to Swansea.
Defence – Leighton Baines
Having recovered from a toe injury, the Everton defender ousted Bryan Oviedo from the left-back berth at home to Southampton last weekend. Baines will set you back a bargain 7.3m for the Toffees visit to injury-hit Stoke on Wednesday – given that Seamus Coleman is 11.5m, Baines’ value catches the eye, with set-pieces and spot-kicks bolstering his appeal at the Britannia. Daniel Agger looks the likeliest to benefit from Mamadou Sakho’s hamstring problem and comes in at just 8.0m for Liverpool’s home encounter against a Hull side that have scored twice in their last three on the road. With Wes Brown suspended and John O’Shea likely to miss out again with a shoulder complaint, Sunderland’s Samba Diakite (8.5m) affords us a kindly-priced route into a defence with three clean sheets in the last four fixtures – the Black Cats entertain an Aston Villa side that have only scored twice in the previous five league matches.
Midfield – Santi Cazorla
With Mesut Ozil sidelined due to a shoulder complaint, the little Spaniard seems poised for a third consecutive start as Arsenal welcome Cardiff to the Emirates. If you don’t have the budget for 10.2m priced Walcott (who is set for a late fitness test) or even if you fancy loading up on the league leaders, Cazorla comes in at 8.7m for tomorrow’s showdown, with his eye for a long range effort benefitting from the PlayON scoring matrix. If you’re on the lookout for a punt, Steve Gerrard could return from a hamstring problem against Hull, according to Brendan Rodgers and is available for 8.6m, whilst Manchester United’s Michael Carrick is, like Stockdale, another budget “enabler”. Priced at 6.6m, Carrick’s tackles and interceptions will keep his tally ticking over and helps save the pennies ahead of a home clash with former club Spurs.
Forward – Steven Fletcher
The catalyst for Sunderland’s late comeback draw at Cardiff last weekend, Fletcher is expected to return to the starting XI for a vital home game with Villa. Bearing in mind the visitors have injury and suspension concerns in defence ahead of their trip to the Stadium of Light, the Black Cats frontman – who comes in at 10.6m – will be confident of breaching a backline that has conceded twice in each of their last four road trips. Palace’s Marouane Chamakh is also listed in the sub 11.0m price bracket this week. The 10.8m priced Moroccan welcomes Norwich to Selhurst Park and has scored in two of his last three home appearances, whilst Arsenal’s Lukas Podolski looks a real option after Olivier Giroud was ruled out earlier this morning. With a number of doubts in midfield, though, the German could still be fielded on the left flank but at a mere 8.9m, he has the potential to pay off considerably.
How To Play
PlayON is weekly Fantasy Football for free or for cash, so you can dip in and out of playing throughout the season. Once your starting XI is built (you can keep changing your team right up to two hours before the first kick-off – 10.45 on New Year’s Day), you can compete for cash. Entering a multiplayer game for a set stake, you’ll have a chance of winning your share of the pot should you finish high enough in the rankings.
Similarly, you can challenge other players to one-on-one games, selecting the amount at stake. The likes of Robbie Fowler, Les Ferdinand and OptaJoe are all playing the game and are there to be challenged for free or for £1. The Fantasy Football Scout team is also available to be challenged and has a 53% win rate up to this point.
New Year’s Day Bounty – £25 FREE
PlayON has a special bounty offer in place for the New Year’s Day games. One person who beats OptaJoe in a £1 one-on-one game will win £25 of free credit so challenge OptaJoe now to be in with a chance of winning the free £25.
The Fantasy Football Scout Game
We’ve also got a £2 multiplayer game, dedicated to our community, which is now open and the prize pot is building.
Challenge Your Mates
You can also set up your own multiplayer games with your mates to play for bragging rights only or for cash. Create your own game at www.playon.co.uk.
Finally, a reminder that we have published a strategy guide, offering some tips for getting the most from your PlayON lineup, right here.
You have to be over 18 to enter cash games at PlayON. If you do wager some cash, please remember to gamble responsibly. PlayON is licensed and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission.