By Neil Leverett
- Leaders Liverpool and Manchester City clash at Anfield in a potential early title decider on Sunday in Premier League Gameweek 12
- Leicester City host troubled Arsenal, whilst Chelsea and Crystal Palace meet in a London derby
- Norwich and Watford meet in a basement duel, Spurs host buoyant Blades, as Wolves and Aston Villa meet in West Midlands clash
PREMIER LEAGUE, UK – As Liverpool and Manchester City go to-to-toe this weekend, who are the five must-have Fantasy Premier League selections for Gameweek 12?
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Friday night sees a basement battle of the Premier League’s bottom two to begin Gameweek 12. Norwich City’s lot has taken on a dramatically different complex after the their relative strong start to the season, but as Watford make the trip to Carrow Road, we are backing the Canaries to return to the goals in the form of Teemu Pukki.
Daniel Farke‘s men have lost five of their last six league outings, and it has been the Finn’s lack of goals that have contributed to the host’s concerning form. However, against the Hornets the onus will be very much on Norwich and to change their fortunes before the international break.
Whilst the Hornets have improved since the return of Quique Sanchez Flores, their soft underbelly remains and under the lights and with a prime time Friday evening slot, Norwich must do what it takes to get back in the goal-scoring vein.
Pukki is without a goal in ten weeks of league action, but records like that are meant to broken and Watford stands as the best hope for the Canaries to make a statement ahead of the fortnight hiatus.
Sunday’s titanic clash between the Premier League holders and champions elect throws up a plethora of names to consider, but after despite Liverpool having not kept a clean sheet at home this season, we are in particular backing the potential attacking exploits of Trent Alexander-Arnold against Manchester City.
As the two best sides in the land lock horns again, the stakes are high with the Reds retaining a six-point advantage and could go nine clear with a win – a result which may take some reversing on resumption for Pep Guardiola‘s men.
In the corresponding fixture last season, the two sides played out a perhaps unlikely goalless draw on Merseyside, and with City in particular keen desperate to avoid a defeat, we could see a similar scenario here.
That makes the full-back option appealing. With Alexander-Arnold holding four assists and goal this term, the consideration of the England defender’s contribution from set-pieces takes centre stage.
As the prime source of corner kicks, the Reds’s full-back is a major threat – as he is from open play – whilst also keeping free-kick responsibilities from the edge of the area. Should a tight game ensue this weekend, Alexander-Arnold will be front and centre of involvement.
Gameweek 12’s other mouth-watering clash sees Leicester City host Arsenal at the King Power Stadium, in a game that promises much and that could bring a hat-full of goals to boot. Having netted in his last two league outings, Jamie Vardy is our man in the Midlands this weekend.
Not least because the Foxes hit-man faces an Gunners side who still remain ramshackle in defence. and against whom Vardy simply loves scoring against.
In fact, the Leicester striker has scored against Arsenal in five out of eight games against the North Londoners, and can take his league goal tally against Unai Emery‘s men into double figures this Saturday evening – sitting already on nine.
Add to that the struggles Arsenal continue to find themselves in, Vardy could pile further misery of the Gunners’ Spanish steward, and another mauling of a top flight side could push Emery out the Emirates Stadium door. Vardy’s prospective owners however, will not care one jot.
After Chelsea’s midweek Stamford Bridge roller-coaster against Ajax, the Blues show no sign in letting up the intensity after Tammy Abraham sealed another Premier League win against Watford last weekend. For Gameweek 12 however, a man who continues to appear on the radar in Christian Pulisic is in our sights again.
Having netted a hat-trick versus Burnley, the reactors knee-jerk amongst us would have perhaps jumped to bring the American international into the fold but after scoring in successive game last weekend also, now is the time to go for Pulisic.
Housed on the right wing opposite Willian and Mason Mount, Chelsea now look capable of sustaining a top four challenge, and their creativity will be vital to those ambitions until May.
With the visit of Crystal Palace on Saturday lunchtime, Pulisic will be looking to profit from the returning Emerson’s offensive forays behind the Eagles’ back line, and even with the visitors making the short trip from South of the capital, Chelsea could make the returning journey to Croydon quite the lengthy one for Roy Hodgson’s men.
With Abraham also continuing to provide a consistent goal threat up front, Pulisic could be the man to make the difference in Gameweek 12’s London derby.
After our Gameweek 11 John Lundstram tip paid off handsomely with a 21-point haul, this weekend’s outsider tip comes in the form of Newcastle United’s raiding right-back Jetro Willems.
Since the Dutchman’s arrival on Tyneside in the summer, Willems has had to battle with Paul Dummett for the left-back role, and for now at least has successfully won out, with last weekend’s assist in Newcastle impressive 3-2 win over West Ham United the highlight.
Willems was central to Steve Bruce’s first win against Manchester United last month, and also set up debutante Matthew Longstaff for the winner against the Red Devils – earning maximum bonus points – as he did last time out at the London Stadium.
Having netted against Liverpool at Anfield in Gameweek 5, Willems’ threat is there for all to see and as Newcastle face a Bournemouth side who have scored just one goal in four league games on Saturday, the Dutch full-back will fancy increasing his points tally against the Cherries.
Premier League Gameweek 12 begins on Friday evening, as Norwich City host Watford at Carrow Road, kick-off 20:00 UK time.
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