Nik Argiropoulos

Weekly Picks

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AM's Week 16 Player Picks

Thursday, December 12, 2013


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KEEPERS
Petr Cech - There's little doubt Cech has looked shaky in the past couple of games having conceded six goal against Sunderland and Stoke, but it's impossible to ignore the fact Chelsea face Palace at home and their keeper's price is below £10million. He'll be in net for my team this weekend.
Tim Howard - The Everton stopper is actually a slightly safer pick given Fulham's road form and Chelsea's recent issues at the back, but I'm unable to fund the £14million+ cost for the home game against Fulham. If you can then I'd be leaning towards Howard over Cech.
Jussi Jaaskelainen - I know I said to avoid West Ham v Sunderland, but it could easily end 0-0 and if one team does win it then you'd expect it to be the Hammers in front of their home fans. Jaaskelainen is the gambler's choice.


DEFENDERS
Bryan Ovideo - As mentioned in previous columns, I missed Ovideo at his cheap price after some confusion over his starting status, so I'm paying full price for the home game against Fulham. This is slightly frustrating, but make no mistake, he must be in your team.
John Terry - The former England captain is having his best season for some time and despite the fact he played the full 90 minutes against Steua Bucherst on Wednesday I expect him to line-up from the start against Crystal Palace, with David Luiz unlikely to play twice in 4 days after a long spell out. Terry offers the possibility of a clean sheet and a goal threat from set pieces, so he's in my team.
Mathieu Debuchy - Another 20 points for Debuchy at Old Trafford, and this was despite him limping off the pitch injured in the 80th minute. We'll need to check team news tomorrow but if he's recovered then as usual he must be considered for Newcastle's home game against Southampton.
Phil Bardsley - It's been a real turnaround for Bardsley, who appeared to be heading for the exit door at Sunderland just six weeks ago. Since then he's played eight games, scoring twice and generally performing very well despite his team's struggles, averaging 9 Yahoo fantasy points per game. Many of us have him on our bench but it could be worth moving him in to your starting XI for the trip to West Ham.
Stephen Caulker - Expensive but proving to be worth every penny, as explained by Football365.com "Caulker's one-man defensive display v Palace featured five tackles, five interceptions, 19 clearances and two blocked shots". Well worth considering if you've got the money, facing West Brom at home.
Curtis Davies - Returning excellent points all season, Davies' price has dropped to £10million and is at home to Stoke. If Debuchy is injured then he could be a worthy replacement for your fantasy team.
Phil Jones - Manchester United manager David Moyes has been using him in the heart of midfield for most of the season, to the point that it seems he's close to being Manchester United's first choice. Jones scored 10 points without a clean sheet against Newcastle, grabbed a goal in the Champions League on Tuesday and should do well at Villa in Week 16.
Marc Muniesa - Currently covering for Robert Huth in the heart of the Stoke defence, Munisea faces Hull and is well priced at £5.4million.
George McCartney - A very cheap way to cover the potential West Ham clean sheet against Sunderland if team news suggests McCartney starts, with Razvan Rat continuing to struggle with injury.

 

MIDFIELDERS
Frank Lampard - If team news suggests Lampard will start against Crystal Palace then Chelsea's penalty taker will be in my team, but having played 90 minutes against Steua there is a decent chance he'll be rested. Hopefully Mourinho will give us more information on Friday, but the doubts may lead me to make the switch to ...
Oscar - The Brazilian midfield is back from injury and played 60 minutes last night, so I'd expect him to start against Palace in the role just behind the striker.
Ross Barkley - Hugely impressive against Arsenal in Week 15, Barkley has probably done enough to guarantee a regular starting spot in Everton's midfield for the foreseeable future and I'm expecting decent returns against Fulham. His price is so low that at the very least he should be your midfield substitute, but he's actually in my starting XI at the moment.
Philippe Coutinho - The pressure is on little man to be Liverpool's midfield creator over the festive period as Steven Gerrard twiddles his thumbs on the treatment table, and he's more than capable of stepping up. Spurs away is a tough one but Lloris and co have been leaky in recent matches and Coutinho could prosper.
Aaron Ramsey - Finally given a rest in the Champions League, Ramsey should be refreshed and ready to continue his all action displays for Arsenal's toughest test of the season at the Etihad.
Mesut Ozil - Expect a big performance from a big game player. Ozil had a bit of a dip in form in early November but he's peaking again now and, barring injury, should be close to your team every week.
Michu - The Spaniard looked rusty against Hull but the 90 minutes would've done Michu the world of good and after a run-out in the Europa League tonight he should be approaching full match-fitness for Swansea's trip to Norwich. His selection comes with the added bonus that he may be playing the lone striker role if Bony remains sidelined.
Ravel Morrison - The England hopeful has found his opportunities limited in recent weeks but with Kevin Nolan rightly suspended for three matches (for an atrocious challenge on Jordan Henderson) it will be down to Morrison to provide the Hammers' midfield goal threat against Sunderland.
Nathan Redmond - He's been in and out of the Norwich team this season but has done a good job when given a chance and has three assists in his last four games. With Robert Snodgrass still out injured, Redman will start against Swansea and should get his fair share of set pieces.
Hatem Ben Arfa - The skillful midfielder has been something of a forgotten man as Newcastle have charged up the Premier League table without him, but with Yohan Cabaye suspend it leaves a creative void in midfield. I have a hunch that Alan Pardew could give Ben Arfa a game on the wing and if we get news confirming such fanciful thoughts then he could be worth considering at less than £8million.

 

STRIKERS
Romelu Lukaku - The powerful Belgium striker is capable of filling his boots this weekend, as he looks to stretch further ahead of Christian Benteke in the race to lead the line for Belgium in next year's World Cup. Lukaku is currently in my team and I'm expecting at least one goal against a brittle Fulham defence.
Luis Suarez - You obviously need him in your team; the only question is whether you hand him the captain's armband for a trip to Tottenham (who will be missing their best defender in Jan Vertonghen). With Gerrard out injured, Suarez will be on penalty duty so that boosts his stock even higher than usual.
Sergio Aguero - He has a home fixture, a difficult games against Arsenal, but it should also be an open game so he'll get his chances. Unless Aguero or Suarez pick up an injury or suddenly show a dramatic loss of form then I'm planning on fielding them both for the rest of the season, alternating the captaincy as required.
Eden Hazard - Yet another Chelsea player who played 90 minutes in midweek, but I'd still expect Hazard to start against Crystal Palace given his recent sparkling form.
Wayne Rooney - The England forward was sorely missed by Manchester United as they lost to Newcastle but he's back for the trip to Villa Park. Rooney has a decent career record against Aston Villa, scoring a brace against them on no fewer than four occasions, so I wouldn't blame anyone for slotting him in to their fantasy forward line for Week 16.
Andre Shurrle - Scored twice against Stoke in Week 15 before injury ended his game early, but the attacking midfielder recovered to take his place on the bench in the Champions League and I reckon he'll be handed another start at home to Palace. Shurrle could be a good option if you want a Chelsea attacker but you're concerned about the starting status of Hazard, Torres and Eto'o, although admittedly he's a bit risky himself.
Gerard Deulofeu - The on-loan Barcelona star has shown flashes of real quality since arriving in England but he really announced himself by coming off the bench to equalise at the Emirates. You can expect Deulofeu to start Everton's home game against Fulham and he could be a terrific alternative to the heavily-backed Lukaku.
Loic Remy - As mentioned in my fixture analysis, there should be goals in Newcastle v Southampton and Remy is due one for Newcastle after drawing a blank in his last three Premier league matches.

 

Follow the RotoWorld_PL team on Twitter: Galin | Jeremy | Neal | Nik | Steve

 

So those are the players I'm considering for my Week 16 Yahoo team. For now I have the following saved on my own team page:

 

Starting XI: Cech, Debuchy, Oviedo, Terry, Ramsey, Barkley, Ozil, Lampard, Aguero, Lukaku, Suarez (C)
Subs: Morrison, Bardsley, Spence, Harper

 

I'm happy with it so would like to keep it like this provided there are no reported injuries, but I'm likely to make the Lampard to Oscar switch just to be safe and will monitor team news regarding Terry. The armband will go Suarez or Aguero, to be decided on Saturday morning.

 

Check back here on Rotoworld on Friday for all the team and injury news coming out of the manager's press conferences to assist you with your final decisions. There will be a lot of info to process after a full Champions League and Europa League schedule in mid-week, so we'll make sure we've got you covered.

 

How's your Week 16 team looking? Who's your captain choice?



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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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