Nik Argiropoulos

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AM's Week 16 Player Picks

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Week 15 was littered with unexpected results as Stoke beat Chelsea, Newcastle beat Manchester United, Norwich beat West Brom and Crystal Palace beat Cardiff, while Manchester City drawing at Southampton was also a bit of a surprise given both sides' recent form.

The Premier League is proving unpredictable and therefore incredibly entertaining this season, but these unexpected results can often lead to disappointing fantasy scores and this was the case for AM FC, as a below average 120 points saw me sink back down to 3000th overall. It's frustrating, but if you stay focused there will be opportunities to make up ground very quickly over the holiday period as the matches come thick and fast.


Let's look at the week ahead ...


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Week 16 Fixtures
Aston Villa v Man Utd
Cardiff City v West Brom
Chelsea v Crystal Palace
Everton v Fulham
Hull City v Stoke
Man City v Arsenal
Newcastle v Southampton
Norwich v Swansea
Tottenham v Liverpool
West Ham v Sunderland


Another week involving plenty of evenly matched fixtures, but there are a few that stand-out. Chelsea at home to Crystal Palace and impressive Everton at home to Fulham both look like banker home wins despite the away sides showing improvement in recent games, so I recommend including a couple of Chelsea and Everton players in your team for Week 16. One major concern here is the risk of rotation for Chelsea after a Champions League game on Wednesday (where the likes of Terry, Lampard & Hazard played 90 minutes), but hopefully Jose Mourinho will give us some clues in his press conference on Friday to aid our final decisions.

Like Week 15, we have a couple of big clashes between teams battling it out towards the top of the table. Manchester City v Arsenal and Tottenham v Liverpool should both be great games, but predicting the outcomes of either is extremely difficult, so aside from discounts held I would advise against bringing in any new faces from these four sides. The likes of Sergio Aguero, Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey and Luis Suarez will be more than enough. It's worth noting that City v Arsenal is the early kick-off on Saturday so we'll get line-ups before the Yahoo deadline.

Newcastle v Southampton could be an interesting game, with both teams doing better than expected and therefore likely to adopt a "nothing to lose" approach here, so I can see this ending as a score draw (2-2 if you were wondering). Manchester United will be able to pair Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie together for the first time in four weeks and I believe this will be enough for them to edge past Aston Villa and their struggling talisman Christian Benteke.

Aside from those games I don't see any obvious winners this weekend. Norwich v Swansea, Hull v Stoke and Cardiff v West Brom all look like draws to me, and low scoring draws at that, so there may be some value in the odd defender or creative midfielder, but West Ham v Sunderland is probably one to avoid for fantasy purposes.

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The Week 16 player recommendations follow on the next page ...


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Nik Argiropoulos is a London-based soccer writer for Rotoworld and co-founder of Never Manage Alone. You can find him on Twitter @nikarg.
Email :Nik Argiropoulos

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