Premier League Fantasy Football Tips Who To Pick And Who To Avoid On New Years Day
What”s the most stressful thing about the festive season? The last-minute shopping? The fake smiling at the pair of socks your granny”s bought you? The Boxing Day cheese sweats? New Years plans?
None of the above. It”s the constant tinkering you need to do to your fantasy football team, of course.
The games have been coming thick and fast over the last week and if you drop the ball then some smart alec in your league will make you pay.
Luckily, we”ve got your backs, so let”s get cracking with our tips for Gameweek 20.
Despite Wayne Rooney”s claim that the festive period is an injury time-bomb waiting to happen, we”ve not seen any major injuries over the last couple of game weeks. In terms of busy treatment rooms, Manchester City lead the way, with strikers Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko missing out.
There”s a full list of who”s in and who”s out below.
MORE: 6 things to watch out for during New Year”s Day”s Premier League action
Favourable match-ups of the week
There”s a couple of tasty looking match-ups on Thursday”s slate, but owing to the relentless onslaught of matches there”s a big caveat in the way of managers rotating their tiring squads.
Liverpool were impressive against Swansea on Monday night, which would usually leave you feeling very good about their Anfield clash with bottom-of-the-pile Leicester, but a lack of recovery time means changes are likely.
After throwing away a couple of points against Burnley, expect Manchester City to get back on track against Sunderland – although fans of historical precedents will know that City vs Sunderland clashes this time of year don”t always go to plan.
Gallery: Liverpool see off Swansea
Big names/bandwagons to avoid
As mentioned above, the XI men wearing Liverpool shirts on Monday night did a passable impression of the team the challenged for the title back in May, but
Manchester United faded dramatically in the second half at White Hart Lane on Sunday, as Louis van Gaal named an unchanged side for the first time this season. Logic therefore dictates that he”ll make some changes for the trip to Stoke – or they”ll tire again, so be careful building your team around the likes of Rooney, Di Maria or Falcao.
LIVE: All the latest transfer rumours, gossip and done deals
You know who”s an under-rated player? Leicester winger Riyad Mahrez. The Algerian winger impressed during the Championship run-in last season and is appearing to be finding his feet in the top flight. Facing a weary Liverpool team that are still getting to grips with a new formation and without suspended Martin Skrtel, Mahrez is a steal.
GettySign him up: Riyad Mahrez netted against Hull
Who should I captain?
The rotation that comes with the current fixture glut makes selection your captain particularly perilous this time of year.
With Alexis Sanchez looking knackered and Diego Costa on perma-hamstring watch there”s a school of thought that says back a player who”s not racked up as many Premier League minutes this season.
Step forward David Silva, who has returned from injury without missing a beat for the champions. Manuel Pellegrini”s men have been struggling for firepower with Dzeko and Aguero injured, so the silky Spaniard remains a good bet to repeat his goalscoring exploits from the weekend.
On a similar train of thought, Adam Lallana has missed a chunk of the season and looks to be rediscovering the form that saw him break into the England first-team last season, so could be a good man to hand the armband to.
It could be a good time to stock up on Liverpool players. After they face Leicester on New Year”s Day, their next three fixtures – Sunderland (A), Villa (A) and West Ham (H) are fairly kind, with Brendan Rodgers looking like he”s beginning to dig his way out of the hole the Reds have been in recently. The afore mentioned Lallana seems to be getting into a groove, while Philippe Coutinho is quickly rediscovering his form. Be weary of Raheem Sterling though – he”s been working his little cotton socks off recently and is surely due for a rest soon.
Clive BrunskillIn La-la land: Adam Lallana bagged a brace last time out
Injuries, doubts, suspensions, etc
Here”s a full rundown of those that either won”t be playing on New Year”s Day or are facing those tricky last-minutes fitness tests.
Out: Bellerin, Ramsey, Ozil, Wilshere, Arteta, Gnabry, Diaby, Giroud
Out: Senderos, Westwood, Delph, Johnson, Gardner, Bent, Kozak
Doubts: Clark, Baker, Cleverley, Cole
Out: Duff, Ward, Taylor
Gallery: Chelsea held at Southampton
Out: Hunt, Williams, McCarthy, Jedinak, Guedioura, Williams, Chamakh, Murray
Out: Howard, Hibbert, Osman, Gibson
Doubts: Jagielka, Stones, McCarthy, Atsu
Out: Dawson, Dudgeon, Diame, Huddlestone, Quinn, Snodgrass
Doubts: Robertson, McShane, Ramirez
Out: Schmeichel, Konchesky, Upson, King
Out: Skrtel, Johnson, Flanagan, Allen, Suso, Sturridge
Doubts: Jones, Lovren
Out: Nastasic, Fernando, Aguero, Dzeko
Doubts: Kompany, Yaya Toure, Pozo
Out: Rojo, James, Fellaini, Blind, Januzaj, Lingard
Doubts: Di Maria, Valencia, Herrera
Out: Krul, Elliot, Ryan Taylor, Santon, Obertan, Aarons, Abeid, de Jong, Gutierrez, Cisse,Campbell
Out: Yun, Sandro, Faurlin, Taarabt
Out: Boruc, Schneiderlin, Cork, Hesketh, Mayuka, Rodriguez, Gallagher
Out: Teixeira, Wilkinson, Moses, Sidwell, Odemwingie, Ness, Shea
Doubts: Bardsley, Ireland, Bojan
Out: Reveillere, van Aanholt, Bridcutt, Graham
Out: Tate, Montero
Out: Olsson, Daniels
Doubts: Myhill, Pocognoli, Sessegnon, Morrison, Anichebe, Samaras
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