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AM's Players to Watch: Week 20

Friday, December 28, 2018


Welcome to AM’s Players to Watch for Game week 20. I’m back filling in for Nik after an absolutely bonkers boxing day. 32 goals were scored across the 10 matches highlighted by Spurs, Liverpool and Everton all scoring four-plus goals. That’s a lot as the festive period means tired legs for defenses. Combined with the favorable matchups for top teams, it was a recipe for goals. Will it continue this weekend? This time of year, your guess is as good as mine, to be honest.

 

Rotation season is firmly upon us and with each team playing their third game in 7-8 days and it could lead to some interesting lineups during the weekend. Due to that, this piece will look at a few nailed on assets as well as a few fliers who may start/ be useful in draft leagues.

 

Here are the fixtures for Gameweek 20…

 

Sat 29 December

Watford v Newcastle

Brighton v Everton

Fulham v Huddersfield

Leicester v Cardiff

Liverpool v Arsenal

 

Sun 30 December

Crystal Palace v Chelsea

Southampton v Man City

Burnley v West Ham

Man United v Bournemouth

 

 


 

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Liverpool and Arsenal have the marquee matchup of the weekend as the Reds are flying high six points clear of Tottenham atop The table. Pierre Emerick Aubameyang will try to break Liverpool's defense with his unreal strike rate while Arsenal's defense will need to hold up against an in form Mo Salah. Fulham v Huddersfield will have large implications on the relegation race but the most exciting game of the weekend should be Bournemouth facing Manchester United. The biggest test to come in front of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side yet, Bournemouth will be looking to bounce back after a humbling against Tottenham.

 

Let’s get to this week's picks

 

Paul Pogba: (MF - Man United v Bournemouth)

 

Few things are certain in life except death, taxes and Paul Pogba's inclusion in Manchester United lineups post Jose Mourinho. Pogba is the key to unlocking this team and his vision and shooting ability could see him end the season with double-digit goals and assists. That makes him very important to FPL sides even with his price breaking 8.0m. Facing a Bournemouth side that was just turned over by Tottenham, Pogba should find space to run and operate behind a front three that can put the ball in the back of the net. I'm seeing another crooked number on the scoreboard and double-digit points for Pogba in the future.

 

Jamie Vardy: (FW - Leicester City v Cardiff)

 

Two games versus top six sides were just what the doctor ordered for Jamie Vardy. Leicester's dangerman has scored in back to back games as his injury issues seem to be behind him. But Vardy hasn't had a breakout game that he's capable of but facing a cardiff side in a rut, the opportunity to break out is there. I told myself that I was done tipping Vardy but here we are, he's a habit that I can't quit.

 

Jose Holebas: (DF - Watford v Newcastle)

 

Holebas is one of the most annoying fantasy assets to own. But after four straight weeks without any returns, Holebas is back with a goal, a clean sheet and an assist in his last three matches. He can likely get a clean sheet versus a weak Newcastle side and it wouldn’t be shocking to see him make it two assists on the bounce either. We want early season Holebas back but considering the price, we’ll settle for something in between that and week 5-16 Holebas. Please let Watford be back.

 

Ryan Sessegnon: (MF Fulham v Huddersfield)

 

After an underwhelming start to the Premier League season, Sessegnon has been revitalized under Claudio Ranieri. Taking up a role that Ranieri used Marc Albrighton in at Leicester City, Sessegnon has picked it up netting a goal and two assists in his last four matches. Scoring in the midweek fixture versus Wolves, Sessegnon should be in line to start versus a Huddersfield defense with the quite the penchant to give up goals.

 

Ben Chilwell: (DF Leicester City v Cardiff)

 

It was Ricardo Pereira that stole the show versus Manchester City but Chilwell has been quietly solid all season. Ripping off key passes with regularity, he should link up with Jamie Vardy this weekend to sink Cardiff City. Combine that with Cardiff’s lack of firepower going forward and it’s a recipe for an 11 point day from Chilwell.

 

Captaincy Choice Gylfi Sigurdsson: (MF Everton @ Brighton)

 

I must admit that Richarlison is the Everton player with the biggest upside. But the upside isn’t the only thing that should be looked at when deciding a captain. Richarlison has netted nine goals to Sigurdsson’s eight but it’s Sigurdsson’s three assists to Richarlison’s one that move the needle. Sigurdsson is more likely to have a good captain's performance with seven games of seven or more points than Richarlison’s six. A 6.5 percent ownership for Siggy also makes him a great differential choice even if he is slightly more expensive. Both are likely to score versus Brighton but I expect Siggy to bring home the points.

 

For more mainstream captaincy choices, see Eden Hazard, Paul Pogba, Mo Salah and Harry Kane (preferably in that order).

 

Honorable Mentions: Lucas Digne, Callum Wilson, Matt Doherty, Heung-Min Son, Willian, Arthur Masuaku




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