It’s Christmas time and we have 10 exciting fixtures on the cards on the Boxing Day, as the Barclays Premier League moves into its 18th gameweek.
We are back again amidst the festive splendour all around, with news and suggestions for all the Fantasy managers out there for Fantasy Premier League Gameweek 18.
Last week, we had a couple of upsets as relegation threatened Norwich City beat Manchester United 2-1 away at Old Trafford, while Watford scripted a convincing 3-0 thrashing of Liverpool to move within one point of the top 4 spot.
Crystal Palace needed a stunner from substitute Lee Chung Yong to defeat Stoke City 2-1, to go level with Spurs and United, who lie fourth and fifth respectively. Bournemouth won their third game in a row against 9-men West Brom and stay at 14th spot, 4 points clear off the drop zone. A rejuvenated Chelsea side, who saw their manager Jose Mourinho sacked earlier that week, won 3-1 at home against Sunderland.
Leicester still lead the pack as nothing seems to be able to stop them from winning right now. Claudio Ranieri’s side have now collected 38 points from 17 games, two short of what had been Ranieri’s aim at the start of the season. Riyad Mahrez scored from 2 penalties, while Shinji Okazaki scored the other as the Foxes overcame a late fight from the Toffees at Goodison Park to win the match at 3-2.
Spurs move upto fourth as two goals within three minutes saw them defeat Southampton side 2-0. Arsenal saw off a late flourish from City to win the game 2-1, as they moved four points clear off City and remain on the heels of Leicester. In other games, Swansea and West Ham drew 0-0, while Newcastle and Aston Villa drew 1-1.
Manchester City welcome Sunderland at home, which should be an easy game for the hosts. Injury struck Liverpool face league leaders Leicester at home, while Everton travel to St.James’ Park with a hope to return to winning ways. Swansea face West Brom, who had two players sent off in the last gameweek, while West Ham face bottom placed Aston Villa. Chelsea after their brilliant performance last week are up against a confident Watford side who seem to be in fine form. A struggling Manchester United side face Stoke away from home, while Bournemouth would look to make it four wins in a row as they welcome in form Palace at home. Spurs face Norwich at home while Arsenal travel to St.Mary’s to play Southampton in the last fixture of the Boxing Day.
Injuries and Suspensions :
Joshua King : Suffered a hamstring injury in training prior to the clash against West Brom. Likely to miss the game against Palace.
Junior Stanislas : Was forced off the field due to a hamstring injury against West Brom.
Yannick Bolasie : Has a knock. Likely to assessed befor being being fielded for the match against Bournemouth.
Martin Skrtel : Limped off the field in the first half against Watford with a hamstring injury. Likely to be sidelined for six weeks.
Papiss Demba Cisse : Suffered a groin injury against Aston Villa and had to be substituted. Likely to miss this week’s fixture.
Younes Kaboul : Ruled out for several weeks due to a hamstring injury.
Jack Rodwell : Set for one-match ban after earning his fifth yellow card of the season. Will miss the game against Man City.
Angel Rangel : Forced off the field due to a knock against West Ham. Not a sure starter against West Brom.
Nathan Ake : Cannot play against parent club Chelsea due to conditions of loan deal.
James McClean : Dismissed for violent conduct against Bournemouth. Will serve a three-match ban and miss games against Swansea, Newcastle and Stoke.
Salomon Rondon : Dismissed for violent conduct against Bournemouth. Will serve a three-match ban and miss games against Swansea, Newcastle and Stoke.
Important Tips :
Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez, Romelu Lukaku, Odion Ighalo, Mesut Ozil are a must for any team. In goalkeeper one should have either one of Jack Butland, Heurelho Gomes or Petr Cech as these three has been the best keepers in the league as of now.
Stoke will play United at home, and having Marko Arnautovic or Xherdan Shaqiri in your team might be a big boost given the Red Devils’ defensive display in the last few games. Chelsea was brilliant in their last week match against Sunderland and it might be well worth a risk to keep Willian in your team this week as they play Watford at home.
Romelu Lukaku has now scored in 7 consecutive Premier League games, and will look for more as they play against Newcastle. Gerard Deulofeu’s partnership with Lukaku has caught attention and one can buy the little Spaniard into his/her team.
Manchester City will look to bounce back from their defeat at Emirates and they face Sunderland. Sergio Aguero and Kevin de Bruyne are likely to give a lot of points as Sunderland are stuttering at back and is likely to be a high scoring encounter. Spurs are in good form as they face Norwich who beat United last week. Harry Kane is likely to score again as defence has been a major concern for the Canaries this season.
Mesut Ozil can’t stop assisting at the moment. The German playmaker now has 15 assists to his name, and is the most assist maker in Europe since 2008. Arsenal face Southampton, who has not won in their last 6 games, and having Ozil and Giroud won’t hurt any team.
Bournemouth are on a roll and it might well worth keeping Matt Ritchie, Charlie Daniels or Adam Smith among your ranks. The Cherries face Palace this weekend who are going to miss Yohan Cabaye yet again.
Jamie Vardy suffered an injury last weekend and he has a 50/50 chance of playing against Liverpool so it might be worth a risk to bench him for this weekend, but that might not turn out to be a wise decision.
Gameweek Captain :
Riyad Mahrez, Kevin de Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku, Odion Ighalo, Mesut Ozil are possible candidates for being the captains in your Fantasy teams. It won’t be wise to keep Vardy as your captain as he isn’t a sure entry into the first team this week. Harry Kane might well be a risky choice for a captain as Spurs face Norwich. Sergio Aguero hasn’t been in goals of late but he couldn’t have asked for a more apt opponent than Sunderland to return back to scoring ways.
Our suggestion would be to go with either Lukaku or De Bruyne as your captain. Riyad Mahrez too can be a choice. However if someone may like taking a risk, Aguero or Kane will be a very good bet.
Do you have any more Fantasy Premier League related question? Let us know in the comments below.