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Nik Argiropoulos

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AM's Players To Watch: Week 22

Thursday, January 10, 2019


Welcome to the AM's Players To Watch for Gameweek 22. As long-time readers of my columns will know, my advice in seasons gone by had revolved around games that would allow you to make unlimited transfers each gameweek, selecting an entirely new 11 players if you so wished. Unfortunately Yahoo Fantasy Premier League is a glorious but distant memory, while Togga, sadly, was not able to return for this campaign which put an end to the Perfect XI column I'd been penning for the past two years.


This season I'll be a bit more general in my advice. Whether you're playing Official FPL, FPL or Fantrax Draft, Fantrax Salary Cap, Sky Sports, The Sun, The Telegraph or any number of other the fantasy games available to fans each season, I'll be offering my top five picks for the week ahead, mixing "must-haves" with hunch picks and players flying under the radar. Hopefully this will offer something for everyone, whether you're considering captain options, looking to make a transfers or pick up a free agent in draft.


You've probably noticed I've been away over the Christmas period, so I'd like to thank the ever-excellent Chuck Booth for covering this column in my absence.


On to Gameweek 22 ...


Saturday 12 January
West Ham v Arsenal
Brighton v Liverpool
Burnley v Fulham
Cardiff v Huddersfield
Crystal Palace v Watford
Leicester v Southampton
Chelsea v Newcastle


Sunday 13 January
Everton v Bournemouth
Spurs v Man Utd


Monday 14 January
Man City v Wolves


This weekend our focus should be on Chelsea at home to Newcastle, Liverpool away at Brighton and Manchester City hosting Wolves. I also fancy Everton to get out of their slump at home to Bournemouth, and for Spurs to edge out Manchester United at Wembley. With that in mind, here are the players ....


Gylfi Sigurdsson (MF - Everton @ Bournemouth) - When Everton have had a nice looking home fixture this season I've usually turned attention to Richarlison as my Toffees attacker by default, but things have changed over the past month or so. Gylfi Sigurdsson has caught and overtaken the Brazilian in total FPL points and the gap would be even greater if Siggy had converted penalties against Watford and Fulham. It remains to be seen whether the Icelandic star will keep hold of penalty duty moving forward but with Richarlison dropping deeper to accommodate the inclusion of Dominic Calvert-Lewin as the lone forward, I feel Sigurdsson offers the best value for money this weekend as leaky Bournemouth visit Goodison.


Sergio Aguero (FW - Manchester City v Wolves) - Manchester City crushed poor Burton Albion 9-0 in midweek, and all while Sergio Aguero had his feet up as he was given the night off by Pep Guardiola. In his absence Gabriel Jesus hit four goals but the quality of the opposition must be kept in mind and it seems a dead certainty that the Argentinian will lead the line against Wolves on Monday night. Aguero looked close to his very best with an electric display - and fantastic goal - against Liverpool in Gameweek 21 and we're all aware that his goalscoring record at the Etihad is phenomenal.


Ricardo Pereira (DF - Leicester v Southampton) - Claude Puel's decision to move Ricardo Pereira in to a more attacking role is paying dividends for Leicester, with the Portuguese star scoring a goal, claiming an assist, helping his side to two clean sheets and helping himself to five FPL bonus points over the four festive period matches This form makes Pereira the top defensive pick of the Gameweek 22 with inconsistent Southampton visiting the King Power stadium, and he's still terrific value at just £5.3m in FPL.


Heung-min Son (MF - Tottenham v Manchester United) - This is Heung-min Son's final game for Spurs before he departs to the Asian Cup for the best part of three weeks and so he will be keen to leave on a high note with a big performance at home to rivals Manchester United. The South Korean has been in sensational form over the past couple of months, with eight goals and six assists in his last nine Premier League appearances and alongside Harry Kane he will provide the first stern test for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's defensive set up with his pace and direct running.


Roberto Firmino (FW - Liverpool @ Brighton) - It took Roberto Firmino 19 Premier League games to score his first four goals of this season. He's gone and doubled that total in his past two games after hitting at hattrick against Arsenal and the equaliser against Manchester City, and is looking sharp. The Brazilian's three-way partnership with Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane is really starting to click and he remains the cheapest way to get in on Liverpool's key attacking trio in most fantasy formats. I fancy Firmino to bag a brace at Brighton and will be looking for a way to get him in to FPL team.


Captain Choice: Eden Hazard (MF - Chelsea v Newcastle)- It's tempting to hand the honour to Salah for Liverpool's trip to Brighton but something is leading me towards captaining Eden Hazard at home to Newcastle. Having watched Chelsea's performance against Tottenham in midweek the team looked full of energy and were unlucky to lose 1-0, with Hazard unplayable at times. If Maurizio Sarri's side can get an early goal in the Saturday evening clash then it could turn in to a thumping home win, and so I'm taking the leap and handing the armband to the Belgian.


That's it for Gameweek 22. Check out the Rotoworld Features page to access a host of fantastic content to get you ready for the new season. If you have any questions about a specific player or your own fantasy team then feel free to post them in the comments below or hit me on Twitter (@nikarg) and I will 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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