|2 (2)||Wild Things||1155|
|3 (3)||Brisbane City FC||1090|
Saturday December 9
West Ham United v Chelsea
12.30pm GMT, London Stadium, London
West Ham led at City last week and they nearly held on for a point, but the 2-1 defeat leaves them only one point off the foot of the table. Only Swansea have taken less points at home and they have conceded eight goals in their last three home games. They have only won two of their 15 games and have conceded more goals than any other team while they haven't won in eight games and they conceded 19 goals in those games.
I still don't see any West Ham players who might interest fantasy managers.
Chelsea came from behind to win 3-1 at home to Newcastle last week, but they can't make up any ground on City as long as City keep winning. Only City have taken more points and conceded less goals away from home while only Liverpool and City have scored more away goals. They have taken 19 points from their last seven games and they kept clean sheets in four of those games.
Eden Hazard and Alvaro Morata are the stand out fantasy performers in the Chelsea team with Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcus Alonso doing very well too while Andreas Christensen is a better priced defensive option.
I think Chelsea will be too good for West Ham and should win with at least a couple of goals to spare.
Burnley v Watford
3pm GMT, Turf Moor, Burnley
Burnley lost 1-0 away to Leicester last week and that defeat dropped them out of the top six on goal difference. They have only lost two of their seven home games with with only Swansea scoring less goals at home and only United and Liverpool conceding less. They have lost two of their last three games, but only the two Manchester teams have conceded less goals so far.
Burnley's defenders and keeper have all been very good choices for fantasy managers so far this season.
Watford led at home to Spurs last week and they're only three points behind Burnley going into this game. They have won four of their seven away games with only Liverpool and City scoring more goals on the road. They're comfortably in the top half of the table even though only three teams have conceded more goals while only five teams have scored more.
Richarlison is still the outstanding fantasy option in the Watford team with Abdoulaye Doucoure doing quite well too.
I think this will be a very close game and the chances are the spoils will be shared.
Crystal Palace v Bournemouth
3pm GMT, Selhurst Park, London
Palace got their second away point of the season in a 0-0 draw at West Brom last week. Only Swansea and West Brom have won less home games than Palace while only Watford and Stoke have conceded more goals at home, but they have taken eight points from their last four home games. All 10 of their points have come in their last eight games and they have failed to score in 11 of their 15 games.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek is a very reasonably priced option in the Palace team for fantasy managers while Wilfried Zaha is worth considering too.
Bournemouth drew 1-1 at home to Southampton last week and they're now five points above the bottom three. Only seven teams have taken more away points than Bournemouth and they have taken all of their away points in their last three away games while keeping clean sheets in the last two. Only five teams have conceded less goals than Bournemouth, but they have failed to score in six of their 15 games.
I'm not too sure there are too many Bournemouth players to interest fantasy managers, but Andrew Surman has impressed in recent weeks and he's available at a very good price too.
I think Palace's good run at home will continue with a narrow win in this game.
Huddersfield Town v Brighton and Hove Albion
3pm GMT, John Smith's Stadium, Huddersfield
Huddersfield lost 2-0 at Everton last week and their away form is becoming a real concern for them. They have taken 11 points from their seven home games though, but only Swansea and Burnley have scored less goals at home. They have lost their last four games and conceded 13 goals in the process while they have failed to score in nine of their 15 games with only Palace and Swansea scoring less goals.
I can't see any Huddersfield players to recommend to fantasy managers at the moment.
Brighton lost 5-1 at home to Liverpool last week, but it was the first time this season any team put more than two goals past them. They have taken seven points from their seven away games with two wins and two assists from their last three games on the road. They haven't won in their last four games and they failed to score in two of their last three and in six of their 15 games with five clean sheets in those games.
Pascal Gross is the still by far the best fantasy option in the Brighton team even if he has gone off the boil in recent weeks and their defenders could profit from this game.
I can see this game being another very close one and the chances it will end all square too.
Tottenham Hotspur v Stoke City
3pm GMT, Wembley Stadium, London
Spurs woes continued last week when they could only draw 1-1 at Watford, but that point at least moved them back up to sixth in the league. They have only won three of their seven home games and have struggled for goals at home compared to rest of the "big six". They have only won once in their last six games and they only scored four goals in those games, but only four teams have conceded less goals so far.
Harry Kane is still the outstanding candidate in the Spurs team for fantasy managers while others such as Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen and their defenders have dropped off in recent weeks, but could be due a revival starting in this game.
Stoke came from behind to win 2-1 at home to Swansea last week and that win put them six points above the bottom three. They have only won once in seven away games with only four other teams conceding more goals away from home. They have only won once in their last five games and they only have two clean sheets in their 15 games with only West Ham conceding more goals.
Xherdan Shaqiri is in a great run of form at the moment and should be a serious consideration for fantasy managers.
Surely Spurs will get back on track by taking the three points with a few goals to spare in this game.
Swansea City v West Bromwich Albion
3pm GMT, Liberty Stadium, Swansea
Swansea led at Stoke last week, but ended up losing 2-1 and they're propping up the rest of the table. They have taken less points and scored less goals at home than any other team and they have failed to score in four of their seven home games. They have only taken one point in their last seven games and have failed to score in 10 of their 15 games with no other team losing more games or scoring less goals.
Despite their poor form Lukasz Fabianski is still a fairly good reasonably priced goalkeeper for fantasy managers.
West Brom could only draw 0-0 at home to Palace last week as their long search for a win continued. They have only won once in seven away games with only Palace and Huddersfield scoring less goals away from home. They haven't won in 13 games with only three teams scoring less goals and they have failed to score in six of their last 11 games.
I can't see any West Brom players who might make a difference for fantasy managers.
I can't see this game being a high scoring classic and the chances are it will end in a scoreless draw.
Newcastle United v Leicester City
5.30pm GMT, St. James's Park, Newcastle
Newcastle led at Chelsea last week, but they lost again and they're now only five points above the relegation zone. They have lost their last two home games without scoring a goal with only three teams scoring less goals at home. They have only taken one point in their last six games and have only kept one clean sheet in their last 11 games.
I can't see any Newcastle players to recommend to fantasy managers at the moment.
Leicester won 1-0 at home to Burnley last week and they're only five points off the top six now. They have only won once in seven away games, but no other team has drawn more away games and they are unbeaten in their last five on the road. They have only lost once in their last nine games and they have only failed to score in three of their 15 games.
Riyad Mahrez is the best fantasy option in the Leicester team while Harry Maguire can have his good monents too.
I think Leicester's good run will continue in this game while Newcastle will continue to head in the wrong direction.
Sunday December 10
Southampton v Arsenal
12.00 GMT, St. Mary's Stadium, Southampton
Southampton drew 1-1 away to Bournemouth last week, but that draw saw them drop into the bottom half of the table. They have won as many games as they have lost at home and they have failed to score in four of their eight home games. They have only won once in their last six games and have only kept one clean sheet in their last 10 games.
Fraser Forster is probably the best fantasy option in the Southampton team
Arsenal's good run came chrashing to an end last week when they lost 3-1 at home to United and dropped out of the top four. They have lost four of their seven away games, but they have won two of their last three on the road. They have won five of their last seven games and have kept clean sheets in three of their last four with only three other teams scoring more goals.
Aaron Ramsey is the form player in the Arsenal team for fantasy managers while Alexandre Lacazette isn't doing too badly either.
This looks like it could be a very close game and I think Arsenal will just about get the better of proceedings.
Liverpool v Everton
2.15om GMT, Anfield, Liverpool
Liverpool won 5-1 at Brighton last week and that win moved them above Arsenal into the top four. They are one of three teams unbeaten at home with only United conceding less goals at home, but they have drawn three of their seven home games. They have taken 16 points from their last six games and they scored 19 goals in those games whilst keeping three clean sheets.
Every fantasy manager should have either Mohamed Salah or Phillippe Coutinho in their team while Sadio Mane is coming back to his best after his recent injury.
Everton won 2-0 at home to Huddersfield last week to continue their progress away from the wrong end of the table. Only Palace have taken less points away from home with only three teams conceding more goals on their travels. They have taken 10 points from their last five games and they scored 12 goals in those games, but only West Ham and Stoke have conceded more goals.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin could be a very reasonably priced third striker for fantasy managers.
I think Liverpool will be strong at home and should take the local bragging rights with at least a couple of goals to spare.
Manchester United v Manchester City
4.30pm GMT, Old Trafford, Manchester
United won 3-1 at Arsenal last week to stay eight points behind City at the top of the table and they have a chance to cut that lead in this game. They're the only team with a 100% record at home with only City and Arsenal scoring more goals at home and no other team conceding less. They have won their last four games and they scored 12 goals in those games, but they have only kept two clean sheets in their last seven games and no other team has conceded less goals with only City scoring more.
With Paul Pogba suspended and Romelu Lukaku firing blanks it's not easy to know which United players to pick for fantasy managers as the clean sheets have dried up recently, but David de Gea is almost a must have at this stage.
City left it late yet again last week and their 2-1 win at home to West Ham kept them eight points ahead of United before this crucial local derby. They have a 100% record away from home with only Liverpool scoring more away goals and no other team conceding less. They have won their last 13 league games and they're the top scorers in the league with only United conceding less goals so far.
There are so many great options in the City team for fantasy managers and I still think you can't look much further than Leroy Sane, Raheem Sterling, Kevin de Bruyne and David Silva with Nicolas Otamendi in defence an option too.
This is a huge game for United in particular, but I think City might just have too much for them.
That's it for this week.
See you next week.