Merry Christmas boys and girls! Boxing day has got to be one of my favorite things in the world: while we are still recovering from stuffing ourselves with turkey, foie gras, chocolate…those EPL boys are working for our enjoyment!! It is also the start of a crazy, messy period of 3-games in one week, that may see some of us make a spectacular come back…or lose it all.
Chelsea-Watford should be an interesting game as it is a test for both teams. On the home side, Chelsea want to prove that they are back to normal (or closer to it at least) now that Jose is gone. As for the visitors, a good result away to Chelsea would cement their position as a team to be taken seriously. I find the Blues too shaky right now and I wouldn’t captain Igahlo in this particular game. He’s always a good option by now though.
A very popular pick this week is Kane as Spurs play Norwich at White Heart Lane. Despite the favorable fixture, I’m not ready to trust him with the armband just yet. One goal and no bonus points in the last 4 isn’t a great record…
The Top 3
1. Riyad Mahrez
Mahrez’ form coupled with Liverpool’s defensive issues (7 goals conceded in the last three) makes the Fox an excellent candidate. 39 points in the last 3 games says it all quite frankly, home or away he’s been a beast. On the Red’s side, Klopp seemed extremely pissed off after the game against Watford, we’ll see if he can turn things around. Skrtel is injured too by the way…One last word on Mahrez: everyone has him and a large chunk of owners are likely to captain him given his recent form. He could therefore be labelled a “safe” option. Up to you to decide if you want to look for a differential or not risk the ranking drop if he goes massive.
The pros: great run of form, explosive midfielder (9 double figure hauls!), central to everything Leicester does, ok fixture
The cons: after Klopp’s wrath, I could see Liverpool trying to tighten at the back in front of their home fans
2. Kevin De Bruyne
The Sky Blues are tempting as they play Sunderland at home. City are very hit or miss this year but I can see them thrashing the Black Cats. After a surprising 3-clean sheet in a row, they are back to normal ie. 7 goals conceded in the last 3 games (although they played Chelsea and Arsenal away to be fair). I am going to back KDB here as he was City’s best attacking player against Arsenal in my opinion. He was just a bit clumsy. Aguero could wreak havoc too but I don’t know what to think of him now in all honesty. He didn’t look dangerous against the Gunners and I’m not sure he’s fit yet. Furthermore, Pellegrini said he wouldn’t play all the games in full…The Argentinian is a good pick if you own him though.
The pros: good form overall when playing at home with Aguero on the team, very good home fixture
The cons: City is being unreliable this year, always a chance that Silva/Yaya Toure/Aguero…or even Sterling are going to steal the show
3. Romelu Lukaku
Everton travels to Newcastle, one of the worst defenses in the league. This is good news for Romelu Lukaku. You know him by now so I won’t give you all his amazing stats again. He’s always a good pick these days. Not necessarily a bonus point magnet but very reliable (home or away, strong or weak opponent).
The pros: great form, lone striker role, very good fixture
The cons: not as explosive as an in form Mahrez say (has scored a brace in 3 occasions this year though)
Arsenal travels to Queen Mary to battle a free falling Southampton outfit, who lost 4 of the last 5 games. The Saints even failed to score in their last 2 games. Ozil will always be a good pick, as he demonstrated again last week but he’s no punt (too safe for that). I’m going to go with Theo here after a good game against the Sky Blues and a great goal! The other main reason is that I like having 3 midfielders in my list! Giroud is a great punt too (and he has demonstrated his consistency lately)!
The pros: explosive midfielder (playing almost as a striker), good fixture away, great differential
The cons: returned recently so it’s hard to assess his consistency
Thanks guys. Hope this has helped!