The re-emergence of Tottenham Hotspur assets continues to grab headlines, as they won 5-0 against Burnley, with Heung-Min Son, Harry Kane and Dele Alli all plundering the points. This combined with Manchester City's slump has seen Kevin De Bruyne sold by almost 200,000 managers, with most switching the Belgian for one of Spurs' midfielders.
The move makes sense given the upcoming fixture congestion and De Bruyne's lack of returns recently but given the immediate fixture against a leaky Arsenal side, it might be a good idea to delay the move by a week. Wolves love a game against the 'top six' and seem to have rediscovered their mojo after a poor start to the campaign.
Liverpool and West Ham do not have a fixture in gameweek 18 due to the Reds' involvement in the Club World Cup, so if it's possible, try to bank a transfer this week so that you can strengthen your bench next week.
3 Players to Pick
1. Jamie Vardy (NOR)
Jamie Vardy has scored 16 goals this season in as many matches, only Ciro Immobile has scored more league goals across Europe's top five leagues (17). He is top amongst Premier League strikers for shots on target (SoT) (25) and ‘big chances’ (22) and trails only Tammy Abraham, Roberto Firmino, Neal Maupay (all 40) and Raul Jiménez (41) for shots in the box (SiB).
Leicester City have scored 39 goals, the third-highest in the league. Their total of 240 shots is bettered only by Liverpool (258), Chelsea (274), Manchester City (337). They are also ranked third for ‘big chances’ with 47. Only Southampton (35) have conceded more goals than Norwich City’s 34 this season and they are also second-worst for ‘big chances’ conceded (43).
No team has allowed opponents more SoT than their 96. The most owned player in the game, Vardy is likely to be the most captained as well.
2. Mohamed Salah (WAT)
Mohamed Salah got back on the goal trail as Liverpool defeated Bournemouth 3-0 in gameweek 16. The Egyptian also chipped in with an assist to make it 13 points for the week. The Liverpool winger looks to be fully over the ankle problem that has been troubling him in recent weeks and only Raheem Sterling (eight) and Sadio Mané (nine) have scored more goals than his seven amongst midfielders this season.
He is top for shots (47) and shots on target (SoT) (23) amongst midfielders and only Mané (15) and Sterling (16) have been presented more ‘big chances’ than his 12. Liverpool have scored 40 goals this season, only Manchester City (44) have been more prolific. The Reds only trail Manchester City for both SoT (101 to 111) and ‘big chances’ (52 to 66).
Watford have conceded 30 goals this season, only Norwich (34) and Southampton (35) have conceded more. They have allowed opponents 39 ‘big chances’ and only Brighton (40), Southampton (42), Norwich (43) and West Ham (54) have been more obliging.
3. Danny Ings (WHU)
Danny Ings has scored five goals in the last six gameweeks, only Vardy (seven) has scored more. Although he is ranked only sixth amongst forwards over the aforementioned period for SoT (seven), he has the highest goal conversion rate amongst strikers in that timeframe, scoring with 38.5% of his 13 shots.
He is also ranked seventh for 'big chances' (four). Only eight teams have scored more than the Saints' nine goals over the last six gameweeks and they are ranked 10th for shots (72) and ninth for 'big chances' (13).
West Ham's defensive statistics are horrific. No team has conceded more goals (14) over the last six matches than the Hammers and they are also bottom for SoT conceded (43) and 'big chances' conceded. (24)
3 Players to Dr
1. Nathan Ake (CHE)
Bournemouth are in a wretched run of form, losing their last five league matches, conceding 11 goals. They have injuries to their entire first-choice back-four. Steve Cook, Charlie Daniels and Adam Smith have all been ruled out at the time of writing and Ake is considered a doubt as well, with a hamstring problem that caused him to be substituted against Liverpool.
To add to their woes, Callum Wilson also picked up an injury in the last match and with Josh King ruled out as well, that leaves Dominic Solanke as their only fit striker. They play Chelsea and Arsenal in two of their next three matches, so the chances of the Cherries picking up points look slim.
2. John Stones (ARS)
John Stones missed Manchester City's midweek Champions League game, with Pep Guardiola ruling out the defender for a 'few weeks'. Man. City's defensive form has been dodgy ever since the injury to Aymeric Laporte. They have failed to keep a clean sheet in the last six matches, conceding 10 goals.
Only five teams conceded more. With more and more teams looking to exploit their defensive frailty on the counter-attack, investment in premium Manchester City defensive assets does not make sense with the cheap defenders available to FPL managers such as Martin Kelly.
3. Fikayo Tomori (BOU)
After establishing himself as first choice under Lampard, Tomori now looks to be behind Andreas Christensen and Kurt Zouma in the pecking order. Rudiger is also now fit and is easily the first choice, so that leaves three players competing for the role alongside him.
Tomori has also been carrying an injury which caused him to miss the midweek game against Lille, so there is a high probability of him missing more games in the busy festive period. Chelsea have also kept just one clean sheet in the last six matches, conceding eight goals, so it's not like the Blues' defence is a must-invest anyway.Published 13 Dec 2019, 13:28 IST