Welcome to AM's Perfect XI - Week 23 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.
The festive period was kind to my own PXI side as I scored 191 points in Week 20, 131 points in a tricky Week 21 and 203 points in the Spurs-West Ham double-week to move back up to 168th in the overall rankings. The aim of a top 100 finish is definitely still on!
Week 23 doesn't offer us an early Saturday game; instead our weekend begins with six matches kicking off at 3pm GMT on Saturday afternoon here in the UK. It's important to have your fantasy team locked in ready for these matches 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 23 fixtures:
Saturday 13 January
Chelsea v Leicester
Crystal Palace v Burnley
Huddersfield v West Ham
Newcastle v Swansea
Watford v Southampton
West Brom v Brighton
Spurs v Everton
Sunday 14 January
Bournemouth v Arsenal
Liverpool v Man City
Monday 15 January
Man Utd v Stoke
As always we want to focus on the players from teams with the "most winnable" match ups and the two obvious ones this week are Manchester United at home to Stoke and Tottenham at home to Everton. Watford are a difficult side to predict but they should be able to overcome Southampton, while Arsenal will rightly be the favourites to beat Bournemouth away. Chelsea should beat Leicester, improving West Ham should have too much for Huddersfield and I fancy Crystal Palace to edge out Burnley at home. There should also be goals goal goals between Liverpool and Manchester City, and not a lot of goals between West Brom and Brighton, nor Newcastle and Swansea.
With that in mind, here are your picks ...
David De Gea - A simple choice to start 2018. Manager-less Stoke don't offer a huge threat in attack and so this looks like a class Mourinho 2-0 Old Trafford win. If I'm right then De Gea should return double digits, which is what we're always looking for from our PXI keeper.
Phil Jones - You've seen my reasoning for the De Gea pick. Apply the same logic to the selection of Jones, although the England defender would do well to avoid using his hands in the area.
Ben Davies - Our early season superstar had his momentum scuppered by the return of Danny Rose but a reoccurrence of Rose's knee injury means Davies should get a run in the side in to February and he has an attractive fixture at home to Everton.
Craig Dawson - I can't remember the last time a West Brom player made it in to this column but Dawson's return from injury should help reinforce the Baggies' defence and help them to a clean sheet this weekend against Brighton. He also offers a goals threat at set pieces.
Marcos Alonso - Yes, yes, an obvious and boring pick. But you simply can't afford to be without Alonso now he's reverted to last season's form. The improvement in his free-kick taking this year is an added bonus and he should enjoy another good week at home to Leicester.
Jesse Lingard - Hands up who rated Lingard before this season started? My arm is not raised. But the 25-year old is enjoying a magnificent campaign for Manchester United, offering creativity, superb movement, endless running and a real eye for goal - all on a consistent basis. Paul Pogba is the usual go-to choice in PXI but Jesse has pipped him in to my line up for the Stoke clash.
Wilfried Zaha - Zaha had a quiet festive period, failing to score in four matches and notching just one assist, but he remains the Eagles' talisman and can do the business against Burnley this weekend in front of the Selhurst Park faithful.
Heung-min Son - Son has had to fight to earn a spot in Mauricio Pochettino's strongest starting XI and now he's in he's clearly not willing to let it go. The South Korean attacker has been the catalyst behind many of Tottenham's best performances recently and he rescued a point with a stunning late strike against West Ham last Thursday. I think he'll score again against Everton.
Manuel Lanzini - West Ham's most important player missed the opening six weeks of the season through injury but has returned in fine form, creating the majority of the Hammers' chances and controlling the team's tempo. One goal and six assists is decent at this stage of the season for a side battling the drop and he's returned double digits in PXI in eight of his 14 starts, including three 20+ point performances. He can be the match-winner against Huddersfield this weekend.
Harry Kane - Since triple captaining Kane in FPL in Week 22 I haven't slept well at all. He owes me big time and the payback can begin this weekend at home to Everton, with Spurs sure to dominate possesion and chances against Big Sam's typically defensive set up.
Richarlison - I don't get to watch many Watford matches in their entirety but whenever I see highlights of Richarlison he seems to have an awful lot of bad luck in front of goal. The Brazilian has totted up an impressive eight assists but his five goals should be closer to ten based on the number of chances he gets. I'm tipping him to improve that conversion rate against struggling Southampton.
That's it for Week 23. 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, and good luck to all fantasy managers this weekend.