Nik Argiropoulos

Perfect XI

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AM's Perfect XI - Week 21

Thursday, December 28, 2017


Welcome to AM's Perfect XI - Week 21 player picks. This column focuses on Togga's Perfect XI game which you can play via their IOS and Android app. Download the apps via the link below and make sure you update regularly to take advantage of the constant enhancements:


Download the Togga app

 

Once downloaded, open the app and register an account. Once registered, click the Fantasy tab at the bottom of the app screen. Then from the Fantasy screen, click the arrow at the top of the app screen to select Perfect XI.


We've set up a Rotoworld PL Private League where you can challenge myself and the rest of the RW PL team over the course of the season. To join it download the app and then click the below link from your device, or find us from the Featured Leagues tab:


http://tog.ga/rotoworld

 

Each week I provide a Perfect XI of my own for the upcoming gameweek of Premier League fixtures, recommending 11 players to consider along with some honourable mentions for each position. The main 11 players listed won't necessarily be the exact players selected for my own Perfect XI fantasy side. The point of this column isn't to tell you exactly who to pick; it's to present some ideas to get you thinking. Hopefully you'll find the advice useful, whether you're playing Togga's game or looking at potential transfers for your official Fantasy Premier League team.

 


Follow the Rotoworld.com PL team on Twitter:  Neal | Steve | Andrew | Sean | Stag | Ben | Galin | Nik |


 

Hopefully you all enjoyed the Christmas celebrations. I wasn't able to get a column ready for the Week 20 Boxing Day fixtures due to festive travel and family commitments but I'm back for the final fixtures of 2017. To provide an update on my own progress, Week 19 was bad and dropped me outside the PXI Top 250. At time of writing Week 20 is still in progress but it's been better (178 points). It would be nice to end the year back inside the Top 200 but that will require another strong showing this weekend.


Week 21 begins with a bunch of Saturday 15:00 GMT kick offs before the gameweek concludes on New Years Eve. It's important to have your fantasy team locked in ready for the Saturday 3pm-ers but remember in Perfect XI you can swap out a player from your squad right up to one minute before their match kicks off and bring in an alternative player whose match is also yet to kick off. This wonderful flexibility allows you to avoid the pain of a surprise benching or unreported last minute injury and a big fat ZERO. Just make sure you keep an eye on the starting line-ups as kick off approaches each week by following the Rotoworld PL Twitter account.


Here are your Week 21 fixtures:


Saturday 30 December
Bournemouth v Everton
Chelsea v Stoke
Huddersfield v Burnley
Liverpool v Leicester
Newcastle v Brighton
Watford v Swansea
Man Utd v Southampton


Sunday 31 December
Crystal Palace v Man City
West Brom v Arsenal


The first thing to note is that Tottenham and West Ham do not play in Week 21 (both sides will play twice in Week 22). From the teams that play we should focus on Chelsea at home to Stoke, Liverpool at home to Leicester, Man City away at Crystal Palace, Watford at home to Swansea and Manchester United at home to Southampton.


Here's a run through of my selections ...


KEEPERS
Heurelho Gomes - at home to Swansea. Watford have been up and down but they'll have too much for the league's bottom side and Gomes should be able to record a shut out.


Honourable Mentions: Thibaut Courtois at home to Stoke, Nick Pope away at Huddersfield, David De Gea at home to Southampton


DEFENDERS
Marcos Alonso - at home to Stoke. Alonso is back to last season's form and therefore undroppable at this time. Unless he gets a rest of course. Check pre-game line-ups.
Andrew Robertson - at home to Leicester. Solid in defence and a threat in attack, Robertson has taken full advantage of Alberto Moreno's absence to give himself a shot of becoming Liverpool's first choice left back through the rest of the season. He'll be aware that he needs to keep his current level of performance going over the rest of the festive period.
Phil Jones - at home to Southampton. Jose Mourinho's men have gone three games without a clean sheet but this match up screams one-nil to the home side. I expect Jones to lead the way to return a plethora of defensive points.
Kevin Long - away at Huddersfield. Long didn't have a single minute of football under his belt this season until Ben Mee got injured ahead of Week 16, but he's done an admirable job stepping in for Mee and now the suspended James Tarkowski. His PXI average is ridculous with blocks and clearances galore and he can notch double digits again away at Huddersfield.


Honourable Mentions: Nicolas Otamendi away at Crystal Palace, Shane Duffy away at Newcastle, Laurent Koscielny away at West Brom, Jonjoe Kenny away at Bournemouth, Chris Schindler at home to Burnley


MIDFIELDERS
Eden Hazard - at home to Stoke. Hazard has been playing well in December without big fantasy points, often assisting the assister but failing to score a goal - and with just a solitary assist - in his past five appearances. This has been bad news for both my Official FPL and PXI side but I'm giving the attacker another chance against the Potters and expect better returns.
Philippe Coutinho - at home to Leicester. In the form of his life, it would be a great loss to the Premier League if Coutinho does leave for Barcelona at the end of the season, and an even bigger blow for Liverpool. He's creating chances for himself and his team mates and there is no better striker of a football from outside the area. The Foxes are playing well under Claude Puel but I can't see anything other than a comfortable home win.
Jesse Lingard - at home to Southampton. The Saints had desperate trouble tracking the movement and pacey runs of Heung Son-Min and Dele Alli on Boxing Day and Lingard will provide a similar threat this weekend. The 25-year old has become a vital player for Manchester United this season and can play a key role in a much-needed Old Trafford victory.
Abdoulaye Doucoure - at home to Swansea. Doucoure has been one of the surprises of the season, notching six Premier League goals and an assist from a deep-lying midfield role. As mentioned earlier Watford should dispatch the Swans with ease and the Frenchman is likely to be heavily involved once again.


Honourable Mentions: Kevin De Bruyne away at Crystal Palace, Gylfi Sigurdsson away at Bournemouth, Mesut Ozil away at West Brom, Pascal Gross away at Newcastle, Aaron Mooy at home to Burnley


STRIKERS
Alvaro Morata - at home to Stoke. Morata's best performance in a Chelsea shirt was in the reverse fixture at the bet365 stadium in Week 6, bagging a hattrick and generally looking unstoppable. Mark Hughes has mounting problems in defence and so it could be a similar story at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
Roberto Firmino - at home to Leicester. Only a very brave fantasy manager would leave out Mohamed Salah right now but if you're going to do it then the man to replace him with is the in-form Firmino who has six goals in his last five Premier League starts.


Honourable Mentions: Mo Salah at home to Leicester, Richarlison at home to Swansea, Raheem Sterling away at Crystal Palace, Alexis Sanchez away at West Brom, Romelu Lukaku at home to Southampton


That's it for Week 21. Check out the Rotoworld Features page to access a host of fantastic content to get you ready for the weekend ahead. If you have any questions about the Perfect XI game or general questions about a player or your own team then feel free to post them below or ping me on Twitter (@nikarg) and I promise to get back to you.


Thanks for reading - good luck to all managers this weekend.



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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