Fantasy Premier League, Gameweek 17 tips: Choice of captain critical in potentially high-scoring week; bank on Londoners
Here are the top tips for Fantasy Premier League (FPL) Gameweek 17
It's a gameweek we've been waiting for. GW 16 would have warmed you up with an average tally of 55 points, but GW 17 has the potential to be even bigger. If you are a believer of packing your team with big guns, gameweek 17 will have you licking your lips as a potentially high-scoring week could be in the offing.
Struggling Southampton welcome in-form Arsenal. Fresh from an excellent result at the Nou Camp, Tottenham are showing the form and belief of breaking Liverpool and Manchester City's duopoly over the title race so far. A home game against Burnley is perhaps the best way to start the ascent. Chelsea are on the cusp of a tasty run of games and that win against City sets them up perfectly to launch their own assault at the top spots.
City have some positive news after a difficult week as Sergio Aguero and Kevin de Bruyne are both nearing a return. Manchester United go into the game against Liverpool as clear underdogs, but Jose Mourinho will relish the opportunity to leave a blemish on what's been a near-perfect campaign for Liverpool. The last two meetings at Anfield between the two sides ended in goalless stalemates, but United's leaky defence doesn't really offer that option to Mourinho, who will need to have a right go at the Premier League leaders.
So it's a week where the big guns could take home double-digit tallies and that makes choosing the captain quite difficult, but equally critical. Your man with the armband could well decide your fate this week as it did for those who captained Mohamed Salah last week.
There's a host of players that you could think are worth putting your money on. Let's explore them one by one.
Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang: The Arsenal forward is the second-most-purchased forward this week. He is also the second-most-owned striker. The Gunners travel to Southampton who are without a home win all season and their solitary victory this season came 12 weeks ago. Their last clean sheet was eight weeks ago against Newcastle United at home. Aubameyang is due for some goals after going two games without scoring. The only thing that could work against Arsenal is Southampton's eagerness to give their new manager a positive start at home. With Saints desperate for points, expect them to make the most of the honeymoon period under their new manager. Aubameyang is a fine option, but the game might not as easy as some expect.
Harry Kane: It's hard to bet against Kane wherever or whoever he's facing. Up against a Burnley side that has found clean sheets hard to come by, Kane could profit big time. Spurs are in a rich vein of form and that result against Nou Camp is sure to boost their confidence. However, midweek exertions could have taken a lot out of Spurs and they may not be as prolific as expected even against a struggling Burnley side.
Raheem Sterling: Sterling is always a top option when City play at home. Everton have made life difficult for the top teams before this season, but doing so at the Etihad might be an altogether different proposition. The concern for City is their dipping form. Hoffenheim gave City a proper game in midweek and City may not be at their best with the likes of David Silva, Aguero, De Bruyne missing. Sterling is City's best bet to score though and it may not need City to rack up a cricket score for Sterling to score big points.
Mohamed Salah: Liverpool's hattrick hero continued his goalscoring form by netting the decisive strike against Napoli in the Champions League. However, it might be harder for the Egyptian against Mourinho's United who would have a number of different plans to stop Salah from impacting the game. Despite his stunning form, Salah might not be the best bet for captaincy this week.
Eden Hazard: Chelsea's talismanic midfielder Hazard has been quite in the last few weeks. The Belgian hasn't scored for eight games in the league and FPL managers are losing patience with him. But a fairly easy run of games could reignite Hazard's scoring touch. With Alvaro Morata out with an injury for few weeks, Olivier Giroud is expected to play up top for the Blues. All of Hazard's goals have come with the Frenchman leading the line. Brighton are no pushovers, but it's about time that the Belgian ends his goal drought. With Hazard unlikely to be the most popular captain this those putting faith in the Belgian might just give you big gains over your rivals. So not the worse option at all.
Deciding the captain is a tedious job this week, but it's certain to have a big impact on your score. After assessing all the candidates, I feel Aubameyang and Kane are the best bets for captaincy this week.
Londoners' time to shine
Apart from Spurs and Chelsea, who have form and fixtures on their side, Arsenal too have a very encouraging games coming up at least in the next three weeks. West Ham United who have won three consecutive top-flight matches whilst scoring 3+ goals in each game for the first time since October 1982.
FPL managers have taken note of their form by making midfielder Felipe Anderson and Chicharito the most purchased players this week in their respective categories.
West Ham like their fellow Londoners have an easy run of games that begin at Craven Cottage this weekend. Fulham have a poor defensive record this season and Anderson and Chicharito could be in for big gains this week.
Chelsea, Arsenal, Spurs and West Ham have a great chance of excelling during a busy December and it's advisable you pack your team with players from these teams.
Apart from the usual suspects, the likes of Pedro Rodrigues, David Luiz, Lucas Moura, Kyle Walker-Pieters, Lucas Torreira and Robert Snodgrass are some of the other players from these sides you could look at picking.
Fulham's Aboubakar Kamara has scored in the last two games for the west-Londoners. He could force himself into Claudio Ranieri's thinking ahead of a busy festive period. At a price of just £4.3m, the Fulham striker could be a real steal.
Liverpool's injury woes that are likely to see none of Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Trent Alexander-Arnold feature this weekend makes way for Dejan Lovren to be a regular start for the Reds. It also puts the chances of any rotations to rest as the Reds are left with just two recognised centre-backs. At a price of £4.9m, the Croat is an excellent option.
Zinedine Zidane has been strongly linked with succeeding Pochettino in the dugout at the Parc des Princes.
Sadio Mane's arrival means Bayern Munich have a ready-made replacement for wantaway striker Robert Lewandowski
Both broadcaster Sky and top selling daily Bild say the clubs have agreed a transfer fee of 32 million euros ($33.5 million) plus up to nine million in bonuses.