Gameweek 19 begins on Friday and there are returning players to get back in your lineup along with some new misses to consider for Premier League Fantasy Football managers. The Chelsea train keeps on rolling and it does not show any signs of slowing down with Diego Costa returning and a favorable home matchup. They are quite simply a Draft Fantasy dream right now. But let's also take a look at who else could help you out before the first half of the season comes to a conclusion.
Hull v Everton
Hull gave a somewhat spirited effort vs Man City before falling apart late, and as usual, Snodgrass was the main contributor in attack and that isn't likely to change anytime soon. Everton are coming off of a 2-0 road win so there are quite a few players to consider along with the usually dangerous Lukaku. Mirallas contributed a goal last game and that should keep him starting. The Everton defense is a decent play with Coleman and Baines adding an offensive upside to the clean sheet potential. Robles continues in net for the injured Stekelenburg.
Chelsea v Stoke
Chelsea welcomes back Costa and Kanté from suspension but will be without Pedro as he picked up his 5th yellow during the win over Bournemouth, this should allow Willian to get another start. It goes without saying that your Chelsea defenders and Courtois are must plays as they are clean sheet machines right now and it is another plum home matchup. Who are we kidding, just start all your Blues! And Stoke, just don't...
Burnley v Sunderland
Burnley showed what they can bring at home last game in their 1-0 win over Middlesbrough, clean sheet potential and the return of the Gray goal threat. Treat this one exactly the same. For Sunderland, Defoe and Anichebe continue to hold the attacking potential on their shoulders while van Aanholt is a defender with the potential to pop up with a goal in these types of games. Pickford is looking at a considerable injury layoff so Mannone becomes the starter again.
Leicester v West Ham
Leicester continue to be without Vardy as he serves his suspension and did not generate any goals in his absence versus Everton as Mahrez was on the bench to start too. It would be hard to envision the Algerian not being re-inserted for this one. Slimani is probably also guaranteed a start as Ranieri should be looking to get the most out of him before he heads to the AFCON too. The Hammers are playing better offensively so I see goals for both sides, with Payet, Ayew, Carroll and Antonio all being considered good plays.
Man Utd v Middlesbrough
Another solid home matchup for Utd brings De Gea and their defense to the forefront. Blind got a start and came up with a goal but his spot is still at risk from Darmian. Smalling should see a start over the next two games too. In attack, Zlatan is on fire and that should continue, with Pogba starting to produce also. After his incredible substitute goal, Mkhitaryan should be in line to start with Mata likely to make way. Rooney missed out against Sunderland so monitor that situation as game day approaches. Middlesbrough players are not recommended at Old Trafford unless you are banking on another Borini-type goal.
Southampton v West Brom
I have continually backed Forster and the Southampton backline for any good home games and it is no different here, despite the 4 they gave up to Spurs last game. Van Dijk, Bertrand and Soares also all have the potential to pop up with a goal or assist bonus. With Austin already out and now Redmond suspended, the offensive onus will fall to the likes of Boufal and Rodriguez, plus Ward-Prowse delivers a good ball. Long and Tadic could also see starts with such a short turnaround. If West Brom are going to break down the stubborn Saints D, then it will likely involve Rondón, Phillips or Chadli.
Swansea v Bournemouth
Swansea are in disarray right now, on and off the field, but don't let that scare you off of Sigurdsson and Llorente as both still hold value for this home game. Their D...do you really want to go there after shipping 4 to the Hammers last game? Bournemouth players could hold some value but Stanislas, Wilson and Afobe all started from the bench so there is risk in investing at this point.
Liverpool v Man City
The prime game of Gameweek 19 pits two big offensive fantasy forces against each other as Liverpool hosts Man City. Expect strong lineups from both and no clean sheets. For City, Sterling is returning to his early season form and should start along with Silva and De Bruyne. Agüero returns but will he be thrown right back into mix immediately, or given some sub minutes? Liverpool are on the verge of the return of a talisman of their own in Coutinho but that one is much more uncertain. Origi should lead the line again with Firmino, Lallana and Mané as his source of service. Sturridge continues to come off the bench, but is contributing regardless.
Watford v Tottenham
Watford host Tottenham but despite being at home, it does not look like a great fantasy spot for them as Spurs have one of the tougher defenses in the league. Deeney finally broke his goalless streak but it was courtesy of pk. Spurs always have the potential to break out with the likes of Kane, Alli, and Eriksen. Walker picked up his 5th yellow and will miss this one so Trippier is likely to get a game finally and don't be surprised if Davies gives Rose a break too. Vertonghen also misses through suspension so Spurs will be hoping Alderweireld is ready to return. Son should start after coming off the bench and scoring on Wednesday but rotation in the midfield is a possibility in general with a clash with Chelsea looming.
Arsenal v Crystal Palace
Walcott missed the last game with an injury so the door was opened for Giroud, and he took advantage scoring the winning goal. If he gets an extended run in the team then it will probably decrease Sanchez's value a bit and provide an uptick in Ozil's. Home to Palace is another solid matchup so many Gunners could have a good fantasy day on defense. Monreal was benched last game but I imagine he returns to the fold. For Palace, Townsend and Cabaye both seem like they are going to benefit from the change in manager but this is not a great spot for them regardless. Benteke and Zaha are still the best bets if you choose to go the Palace route.
So that's how things look with a plethora of games coming up in succession. There will certainly be plenty of action to watch for Premier League Fantasy Football enthusiasts. Good luck, and see you back here in 2017!
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