Gameweek 17 saw the Chelsea juggernaut continue its dominance in the top division of English football with a comfortable 1-0 win against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur continued their surge to the top with wins over West Brom Albion and Burnley respectively.
After suffering their first defeat since the opening day of the season, Arsenal came away empty-handed for
Now the league enters a phase that it is celebrated for. The festive period will see 30 games being played in a matter of just 8 days and it could prove to be a make or break for everyone. Diego Costa, finally, picked up his fifth yellow card of the season that would render him unavailable for the Bournemouth game at the Bridge, while Manchester City's match against Hull City will be the end of Sergio Aguero's suspension.
While by the look of things, it appears that it should be an easy ride for all the "big teams", anyone who has followed the Premier League regularly will attest to the fact that literally anything is possible in the league. With games coming thick and fast, FPL managers need to be on their toes as they can gain on their rivals or extend a lead easily.
Fixtures Gameweek 18
Watford vs Crystal Palace
Arsenal vs West Bromwich Albion
Burnley vs Middlesbrough
Chelsea vs AFC Bournemouth
Leicester City vs Everton
Manchester United vs Sunderland
Swansea City vs West Ham United
Hull City vs Manchester City
Liverpool vs Stoke City
Southampton vs Tottenham Hotspur
Picks for Gameweek 18
1. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (11.5): After suffering a dip in form in the middle part of the season, the Manchester United forward has regained his goal-scoring touch again with six goals in seven Premier League appearances. The suspension of Diego Costa and the continued absence of Sergio Aguero along with
2. Harry Kane (11.2): The "Hurricane" has been off color so far this season scoring just seven goals. However, Spurs now have their full squad of players available and that could only mean more chances for the Englishman. He needs a couple of goals to get his confidence going before he starts smashing them in
3. Adam Lallana (7.4):Philippe Coutinho's injury has really hit Liverpool hard as they have lost that early-season momentum since his injury. After a couple of winless games, Liverpool
4. Kevin De Bruyne (10.7): After three games of no impact on the game, KDB has created two goals in the last two games - the latter the winner against Arsenal. The absence of Aguero, which should have inspired him to be the main player in the team has failed to materialize but with the Argentine just one game away from making a return, the Belgian will surely regain the form that he showed in the early part of the season. As an added incentive for you, Hull, their next opponents, have conceded the second highest goals in the league this season.
5. Theo Walcott (7.7): The Englishman has already scored eight goals this season, which is three more than he got in the whole of last season. He scored Arsenal's opener in the match against
6. Paul Pogba (8.3): The world-record signing is yet to prove his worth for the money that United spent on him, but the Frenchman has shown glimpses of what he is capable of doing over the last few weeks. A goal and an assist in his last two games and the fact that the Manchester club has two easy home games coming up could see him play a part in the busy period for United. Being in less than 10% of the teams, Pogba could act as a differential in your team as well.
7. Eden Hazard (10.4): Diego Costa's one-game suspension for picking up his fifth booking of the season will allow Hazard to take up the role of star player again. After scoring 5 goals in 4 matches, the Belgian has gone on a bit of a dry spell recently, but against Bournemouth, all eyes would be on him. He has carried Chelsea in some games in the past, and it would not surprise anyone if he did it again against the Dorset-based team.
8. Jan Vertonghen (5.7): The Spurs centre-back has had an on-off season accumulating just 7
9. Phil Jones (4.9): The Manchester United fans have called him a Franco Baresi reincarnation. While I cannot condone such behavior, I would highly recommend opting for the defender
10. Virgil van Dijk (5.7): Southampton have kept the most
11. Thibaut Courtois (5.8): When your team has kept 10
Wilfried Zaha (5.8): After a mini recovery, Crystal Palace
Gylfi Sigurdsson (7.5): The Icelandic international is the heart and soul of the Welsh club. Not only has he accumulated 5 goals and 5 assists this season but if Swansea
Patrick van Aanholt(5.0): The Sunderland fullback is one of the sound bets to have this season. After a brilliant display last season where he earned his managers 127 points, he has already scored 56 points so far scoring 3 goals - just one short of his tally for last season. With David Moyes finally getting results out of his team, van Aanholt could just be what your team needs.
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