Premier League Fantasy Football enters Gameweek 14 and kicks off with the matchup of a couple of big clubs when Man City and Chelsea collide. Quite a few of Draft Fantasy's leading scorers will be in this game and the result could impact many fantasy managers. The gameweek also ends with the opportunity to potentially benefit from some seldom used players from Middlesbrough as they host Hull in the feature Monday game. Keep reading to see who is worth a spot start...
Man City v Chelsea
Agüero v Costa, Hazard v De Bruyne...this game is full of stars and I expect both teams to play their best lineups. Chelsea's is easy to pick, it should be the same one that continued their winning streak over Spurs last game. For City, expect their midfield to look a lot different to the one that faced Burnley with De Bruyne, Silva and Gündogan returning. These big games can lead to each team playing a tight game and the occasional 0-0 stalemate but I don't see that here. City's defense tend to allow a goal and City's offense at home, more often than not, score so I would stick with the attack for this one unless you feel your Chelsea defender could pop up with a goal.
Stoke v Burnley
A great home matchup has Stoke players on our radar this week, including both defensively and offensively. Their attack has not been firing recently but West Brom beat this Burnley team at home 4-0 so it is worth giving them a shot. Bony and Bojan were benched for the win over Watford with Diouf and Walters coming in so all are a risk for rotation, so Shaqiri, Arnautovic and the returning Allen are the safest bets. Grant is still the keeper right now, but Butland gets closer every week to coming back so keep an eye on that situation. On defense Johnson, Pieters, and Martens Indi are locked in while Shawcross (injury) or Muniesa will join them. Burnley players on the road are not recommended until they can show some value.
Tottenham v Swansea
Despite Swansea picking up that victory over Palace and scoring 5 goals you have to see this as a bad matchup for them. After this one though, they have a positive schedule over the holidays and you won't have to worry about rotation with Sigurdsson and Fer, plus Llorente should have won himself a starting role. For Spurs, Lloris is a prime goalie for this week along with the back line of Rose, Walker, Vertonghen and Alderweireld if he returns, otherwise Wimmer will continue to cover. Kane is a top option, and should be joined by Son, Alli and Eriksen in attack. It is worth mentioning that the last couple of article cover photo occupants have blanked, so Harry and his fantasy owners will be praying (see photo) that the curse doesn't continue...
West Brom v Watford
Watford looked pretty bad at home to Stoke so fantasy managers will be looking to back West Brom at home once again so Foster, McAuley, Dawson, Evans and Nyom are all good picks along with Phillips, Rondón and Chadli now that he is back. Watford are too unpredictable right now to suggest any returns are imminent but Deeney is always a lock to start and on pk duty so he would be the best choice. Britos is suspended after his red card if you do happen to own him.
Crystal Palace v Southampton
Palace are in a rut but Zaha has still been productive while Benteke always holds a threat, but note Wickham has been lost for the season. Southampton are a solid defensive team so don't expect the 5-4 craziness we saw last time with Palace. Austin continues to score and is aided by Redmond and hopefully Tadic will be back in action. Southampton offer an abundance of fantasy talent on defense with Van Dijk, Bertrand, Soares and Fonte looking very solid lately, but it is a road game so be wary that a clean sheet may not be in the cards but they are still worth the offensive potential they bring against a poor Palace defense.
Sunderland v Leicester
Sunderland will see this as a chance at 3 pts as Leicester have not been anywhere near as mighty as last season, especially away from home. This brings Defoe, Anichebe, Watmore, van Aanholt and Pickford into our thinking, while the preferred options for Leicester continue to be Mahrez and Slimani, plus Vardy to a degree. This game could have goals in it as the both teams should go for the win.
West Ham v Arsenal
With Giroud picking up a minor injury, it clears things up a bit as Sánchez should continue up front which means Walcott will be safe on the right side once again. Özil is due for a breakout game, this could be the one. All these players were rested for the midweek EFL Cup loss so rotation shouldn't be an issue just yet. The defense will be in tough to keep the Hammers off the board as Payet's deliveries are dangerous week in and week out. Antonio is the likeliest to benefit and the returning Carroll is always a handful. Sakho was just becoming relevant again, but is out with a short term injury. Yet another game I see goals on the horizon in though.
Bournemouth v Liverpool
Premier League Fantasy Football managers alike will be mourning the loss of productive Liverpool midfielder Coutinho, but Firmino is expected to shake off his minor injury and Lallana could return also. Mané will be asked to step up even more but he has not been as good away from home. Bournemouth are decent at home and I expect them to give Liverpool a tough game led by Wilson and Stanislas. Feels like a low scoring game to me, but don't expect either team to keep a clean sheet.
Everton v Man Utd
Everton host Utd in a big game, as both teams are on the outside looking in. Utd are playing pretty well right now, just their finishing is letting them down. Ibrahimovic and Pogba are sure-things as starters go but there are some question marks elsewhere as Mata, Rashford, Lingard, Martial and now Mkhitaryan are vying to play in the attacking midfield spots. Rooney is suspended for this one after picking up his 5th yellow midweek in the EFL Cup win. Speaking of that game, Martial and Mkhitaryan both looked good and may have earned another start. Lukaku, Bolasie and Barkley are the danger men for Everton. This is another game in which I think both teams will score so the attacking defenders are your best bet with Valencia and Coleman being the pick of the bunch.
Middlesbrough v Hull
At home to Hull is one of the rare opportunities to expect some fantasy rewards from Middlebrough players, and after his double last game v. Leicester, Negredo is looking like a solid play, joined by Ramírez and Traoré. Valdes is a decent pick in net and the defense in front of him is also serviceable. Gibson and Barragán are locked in while Chambers will be tough for Ayala to usurp. Fabio started last game but if Friend is ready, don't be surprised if he takes his starting spot back. For Hull, as usual, Snodgrass is the main man, but Diomande gave them a spark when he came off the bench last game and should start now that Mbokani is suspended. Dawson leads from defense and has a knack in the box from set pieces.
I know, I'm like a broken record but make sure you check the team news on Friday for any surprise announcements, and enjoy your Premier League Fantasy Football weekend.
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