Ho Ho Ho! Welcome to AM's Perfect XI - Week 19 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:
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:
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.
It was another good week for my own PXI side as I totalled 180 points to move in to the Overall Top 150 for the first time this season - Cech, Monreal, Alonso, Hazard, Ozil and Salah being the main contributors.
Week 19 begins with a rare Friday night 8pm GMT kick off and it's a Christmas cracker as Arsenal host Liverpool at the Emirates, before the remaining nine games all take place on Saturday. It's important to have your fantasy team locked in ready for Friday 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 19 fixtures:
Friday 22 December
Arsenal v Liverpool
Saturday 23 December
Everton v Chelsea
Brighton v Watford
Man City v Bournemouth
Southampton v Huddersfield
Stoke v West Brom
Swansea v Crystal Palace
West Ham v Newcastle
Burnley v Spurs
Leicester v Man Utd
As always we want to focus on the players from teams with the "most winnable" match ups and there is one clear stand-out fixture as Manchester City host Bournemouth. Spurs away at Burnley, Chelsea away at Everton, Manchester United away at Leicester, Southampton at home to Huddersfield, Crystal Palace away at Swansea and West Ham at home to Newcastle could all offer some value and so we'll look for opt but I would recommend a Man City bias this weekend.
Adrian - at home to Newcastle. David Moyes has gone back basics with West Ham and the team now look a far more solid and cohesive unit. They also look far safer in the hands of Adrian since he replaced the error-prone Joe Hart and we should see more points for the keeper in a home win to nil against the struggling Magpies.
Honourable Mentions: Ederson at home to Bournemouth, Fraser Forster at home to Huddersfield, Mat Ryan at home to Watford
Nicolas Otamendi - at home to Bournemouth. With Vincent Kompany’s struggling with injury once again and John Stones still short of fitness, Otamendi will continue to hold the Manchester City defence together this weekend after a rest in midweek. He'll have a chance of a another clean sheet and we know he now offers a genuine goal threat at set pieces.
Virgil van Dijk - at home to Huddersfield. Van Dijk hasn't been at his best since returning from exile but the Dutchman can still help his side to a win and clean sheet in Week 19. He's also due a goal, having failed to score in 12 appearances so far this season. In fact he hasn't even had an attempt on target which is ludicrous for a player so effective in the air.
Ben Davies - away at Burnley. Dropped for the defeat at Man City in favour of Danny Rose's pace, Davies will be restored to the line-up and knows he'll need to get back to his early season form to remain first choice left back. He should get plenty of chances to get forward at Turf Moor as the Clarets let Spurs have possession.
Kyle Walker - at home to Bournemouth. Doubling up on Man City defenders seems sensible given their fixture and the only real option alongside Otamendi is Walker. Or Eliaquim Mangala (...LOL!)
Honourable Mentions: Marcos Alonso away at Everton, Phil Jones away at Leicester, Ryan Shawcross at home to West Brom, Ben Mee at home to Tottenham, Scott Dann away at Swansea, Chris Schindler away at Southampton
Wilfried Zaha - away at Swansea. There are two key reasons for Crystal Palace's remarkable recovery from that horrific start to the season. The first is the sensible stewardship of Roy Hodgson. The second - and most important - is the form of Zaha. The winger-turned-forward has been simply sensational over the past six weeks, combining pace, power and skill to create and score a number of vital goals for the Eagles to drag his team up to 14th. A win at the league's bottom side seems inevitable and Zaha should lead the line in the absence of the suspended Christian Benteke. My top pick this weekend.
Kevin De Bruyne - at home to Bournemouth. The Premier League's best player right now, De Bruyne will be well rested after he sat out the Carabao Cup and is a must-have for the game against The Cherries when you consider he's the only man with an average of over 20 points per game in the PXI format.
Michail Antonio - at home to Newcastle. A differential hunch pick. Antonio has been playing as the lone striker for West Ham in the past few weeks and has run himself in to the ground without much reward. However, with Manuel Lanzini suspended Moyes may be tempted to move him back in to an attacking midfield role and that's where he thrives. I'm expecting him to perform well and return double-digits.
Leroy Sane - at home to Bournemouth. As with the defence we're doubling up on Man City midfielders and with David Silva currently back in Spain dealing with a "serious personal issue" according to the club, Sane is the best option to partner KDB in our Perfect XI.
Honourable Mentions: Dusan Tadic at home to Huddersfield, Philippe Coutinho away at Arsenal, Eden Hazard away at Everton, Xherdan Shaqiri at home to West Brom, Son Heung-Min away at Burnley, Paul Pogba away at Leicester
Raheem Sterling - at home to Bournemouth. It's always tough to pick between Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus because we're never sure who'll start. This weekend we can pretty sure Aguero gets the nod after Jesus played 120 minutes in midweek. But right now I have Sterling in my PXI line-up. He's in unbelievable form and is consistently getting himself in positions to pop up with vital goals. With better finishing against Spurs he could've had four and I don't see Eddie Howe's men being able to cope with him.
Charlie Austin - at home to Huddersfield. Southampton have a few striking options but the only one who appears capable of converting chances this season is Mr Austin. The ex-QPR man has only started four league games and yet has five league goals to put him top of the Saints' scoring charts. I'm backing him to bag a brace against the visiting Terriers.
Honourable Mentions: Sergio Aguero at home to Bournemouth, Harry Kane away at Burnley, Alvaro Morata away at Everton, Romelu Lukaku away at Leicester, Marko Arnautovic at home to Newcastle, Mo Salah away at Arsenal
That's it for Week 19. 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.
Merry Christmas to all our readers, and good luck to all fantasy managers over the festive period!!!