Pep Guardiola’s Man City are STILL undefeated with 16 games left of this year’s league, but this weekend comes one of their toughest challenges to date – a trip to Anfield to face free-scoring (but now Coutinho-less) Liverpool. Regardless of the result, this could be a high-scoring affair, which should raise the eyebrows of Fantasy Premier League managers. There are plenty of other juicy fixtures this week too, and here to guide you through them are our friends at Armchair Fancast – the weekly podcast discussing all the latest happenings from the Premier League – with their top five player picks for the weekend. Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes here, and follow them on Twitter here!
- Karl Darlow (NEW, £4.4): Rob Elliot’s thigh injury has meant a second run in the starting line-up for Darlow, and he has taken full advantage of the opportunity so far with consecutive clean sheets against Brighton and Stoke. This week the Magpies host rock-bottom Swansea, who have failed to find the net in over half of their away games so far this season and still have by far the worst scoring record in the league. Look for Darlow to go a third straight game without a blot on his record.
- Phil Jones (MUN, £5.7): A trip to Old Trafford for managerless Stoke seems a prime contender to be another workmanlike victory for United, whose 12 clean sheets remains the best defensive record in the league. Jones has been an important figure in all but one of those shut-outs and he has more bonus points in FPL than any other player in Mourinho’s squad. Nothing is certain in this game, but a United win and a dependable performance from Phil Jones are both pretty good bets.
- Richarlison (WAT, £6.4): Somehow Richarlison has been in the top three midfielders in the whole league for shots inside the area during the past 10 games and yet has failed to score in any of those matches – undoubtedly a contributing factor to his team only getting 7 points out of a possible 30 during that time. Watford’s fortunes seem to mirror those of their young Brazilian, and we’re guessing both will take an upturn when the Hornets host a Southampton side that is struggling even more than they are.
- Manuel Lanzini (WHU, £6.8): You’ll struggle to find a more appealing run of fixtures than West Ham’s over the next few weeks, and the stage is set for Lanzini to play a leading role in David Moyes’ efforts to escape the drop. If it wasn’t for missing the season’s first six games through injury then he would almost certainly be the club’s top FPL scorer – a feat that he may achieve anyway this weekend if things go his way at Huddersfield. Best of all, he’s still only in 2% of teams so if he scores points then the vast majority of your fantasy rivals will miss out.
- Callum Wilson (BOU, £5.7): Might this be the perfect time for Bournemouth to host Arsenal? The Gunners have just been knocked out of the FA Cup and are distracted by the transfer rumours swirling around Sanchez, Ozil and Walcott. All of this makes Bournemouth a smart pick to be this weekend’s surprise package, and if it happens then expect Wilson to be on the scoresheet. His injury woes now apparently behind him, he’s netted in two of the last three games and on 3 out of 4 occasions this season when he has played for the full 90 minutes.
Author: Dave Bradshaw