Fantasy Premier League tips: Gameweek 18
This tip has as much to do with Harry Kane as it does Alexis Sanchez. Bear with us.
Kane, the most expensive player in the game, follows this weekend’s trip to Manchester City with Burnley (A), Southampton (H), no fixtures in gameweek 21 and then two fixtures – Swansea City (A) and West Ham United (H) – in gameweek 22.
Sanchez, the second most expensive player in the game, has an out-of-sorts Newcastle United at the Emirates this weekend, with Liverpool (H), Crystal Palace (A), West Bromwich Albion (A) to follow.
An elaborate switcheroo involving Kane and a budget midfielder for Sanchez and a budget forward is therefore possible and could be profitable over the next four rounds of fixtures if there are not other, more pressing issues in your squad.
The Riyad Mahrez revival tour is in full swing. The highest-scoring player of the 2015/16 season has returned 32 points in his last four, with three goals and an assist rewarding the 7.5 per cent of managers who own him.
Claude Puel seems to be quietly guiding Leicester City back up the league table and is extracting the best out of his Algerian playmaker while doing so.
Crystal Palace visit the King Power Stadium this weekend, though beware Leicester’s difficult and congested Christmas schedule to come. Manchester United and Liverpool are both on the horizon.
West Ham’s new-found solidity under David Moyes has led bargain hunters to turn to their defence and one Arthur Masuaku may be of interest.
Listed as a defender in Fantasy Premier League, Masuaku has generally started and completed the full 90 minutes as a wing-back under Moyes.
Even so, he picks up maximum clean sheet points from the shutouts against Chelsea and Arsenal. This weekend sees West Ham travel to play a poor Stoke side and though Moyes’ game plan may change, Masuaku still carries attacking and defensive potential.
For those who try to make a saving in the goalkeeper slots, Burnley’s Nick Pope has been a blessing and his season-high 11 points against Stoke City on Tuesday was very welcome.
Pope’s fixtures turn soon though, which will tempt some to look elsewhere and now may be the time to return to one of last season’s favourite budget ‘keepers, Jordan Pickford.
Shot-shy Swansea City arrive at Goodison Park this weekend and Everton look much tighter since Sam Allardyce took the reigns, conceding just once in his three game so far.
Another week, another top-end forward to consider. It has been another season of poor-quality striking options and the current dearth leads us to Alexandre Lacazette’s door.
As mentioned with Sanchez earlier, Rafael Benitez’s ramshackle Newcastle visit Arsenal this weekend – a fixture that carries all the hallmarks of a hammering.
Lacazette could well fill his boots and is by far the most attractive option up front for gameweek 18, especially if Alvaro Morata is ruled out through injury.
Do not count on keeping him long-term, though. ‘Consistency’ seems to be an alien concept to most Premier League strikers this season.
It may sound right but i’m are keeping faith in Watford’s defence and tipping one of their backline for the third gameweek running.
Marco Silva’s side have kept no clean sheets in that time and collapsed to defeat at Selhurst Park on Tuesday after leading 1-0 until the 89th minute.
Surely, though, Christian Kabasele and friends will be able to shut out a Huddersfield Town attack that has not scored away from home since the opening day of the season?
If not, it may be time to look elsewhere, even with favourable fixtures against Brighton (A), Leicester City (A) and Swansea City