By Neil Leverett
- Newcastle United host Manchester City in Premier League Gameweek 14
- Chelsea meet beleaguered West Ham United in a capital derby, whilst Spurs entertain Bournemouth
- Leaders Liverpool face Brighton, Leicester welcome struggling Everton, as Arsenal travel to East Anglia to play Norwich City
PREMIER LEAGUE, UK – With the festive period fast approaching, which five players do you need in your Fantasy Premier League squads for Gameweek 14?
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As game three of the Jose Mourinho era arrives at Spurs, just exactly how much of a revolution the Portuguese will bring is yet to be determined, however as Bournemouth arrive in North London to test that movement, one player who has firmly moved onto the radar is Dele Alli.
Whilst Son Heung-min took little time to settle into the Mourinho regime – scoring the Lilywhites’ opener against West Ham last weekend – differentials are proving again to be vital commodities in the Fantasy Premier League season, with Alli 1.3 cheaper than his South Korean teammate.
There is little sign of Spurs’ defensive issues settling in spite of the arrival of a new steward, however after netting three and four-goal games respectively in a new managerial era, it seems offense is not likely to suffer as a consequence.
Forgotten in some circles, the former England international will be looking to catapult himself back into the reckoning for next summer’s Euro 2020, and the rather travel sick Cherries may provide both Spurs and Alli with favour here.
Scoring earlier this month against Everton at Goodison Park, Alli also netted in midweek in the Champions League and has hinted at a run of scoring in recent games. This may be the time Alli’s run of goals begin.
Jamie Vardy may be the Premier League’s most in-from striker right now, but following on his coat-tails is Raul Jimenez, and for Gameweek 14 Wolves’ Mexican hitman strikes up a rather appealing chord.
Scoring once more in the Europa League, Jimenez also set up both other goals for Nuno Espirito Santo’s men in Braga, and has now scored in the last five games on the bounce in all competitions.
Sheffield United are set to pose a test to the Black Country men at Molineux on Sunday, but as Tammy Abraham begins a spell on the sidelines, Jimenez at just 7.5 is one man who can ably replace the Chelsea’s striker’s void in our fantasy teams.
Despite mirroring Wolves’ early struggles this season, like his side, Jimenez has spurred his side back to their form of last season, and with another home clash on the menu this weekend, we are backing Jimenez to find the target for the fourth league game in a row.
The sacking of Unai Emery on Friday brings up a quandry for fantasy league managers over whether to stick or twist with regard to Arsenal recruits. Coming up against a Norwich City side that still have many problems in defence – but who won their first game in over two months last time out – we are sticking by our guns however and particular Alexandre Lacazette.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang may be the obvious choice to go with, however a full 1.6 cheaper than his teammate and playing the striking role with Aubameyang’s wider berth, the Frenchman’s double last weekend could be a sign of things to come.
The Canaries would have been buoyed by a surprise win against the Toffees in Gameweek 13, however the visit of a Gunners side with a new direction and with former player and youth side manager Freddie Ljungberg at the helm, those considering Arsenal’s recent run of seven games without a win should reconsider.
Lacazette himself has battled to return to full fitness this term, and now having broken something of a drought, the Arsenal striker who is regarded by many as the North Londoners’ number two could now step up to the plate.
We have already touched on Vardy’s red-hot streak in front of goal, but for those looking elsewhere for points and with the visiting sticky Toffees rolling up to the King Power Stadium this weekend, James Maddison is an alternative to give real thought to.
A tally of three goals in the last eight may not be explosive statistically, but Maddison was denied a rebound goal from Vardy’s penalty miss last weekend via VAR, but scored against Arsenal in Leicester’s last home clash.
Everton’s defence is surely in a worse state than the Gunners – by only a small margin, perhaps – but with Vardy taking up his strongest position of just off the shoulder of the opposing back line, Maddison will find the space to operate in centrally as he has in Leicester’s winning run of games.
Roared on by a Foxes faithful that find their side in second place in the league standings, a trip to the East Midlands is becoming more ominous by the week. Indeed the hosts will be looking to go on the goal hunt again, and potentially nail the final coffin in Marco Silva’s tenure. Its could be a case of ‘happy’ Maddison on Sunday – and for his owners.
Gameweek 14’s final choice moves north to Lancashire and a goalkeeper who having regained his position as Burnley number one is again proving his worth between the sticks. With Crystal Palace making the trip to Turf Moor, Nick Pope is our man this weekend.
The former Charlton keeper and now England international is the third highest points scorer from a goalkeeping perspective, and last time out picked up two bonus points away to Watford, in Burnley’s 3-0 win at Vicarage Road.
In a repeat of Gameweek 12’s haul before the international break – making four saves in total – Pope’s stops are becoming a strong part of his playing make-up, and gathering a steady flow of fantasy points.
The Eagles are a decent side on the road, but Turf Moor is returning to its’ former self as something of fortress and as Burnley look to pick up a third clean sheet on the bounce, Pope is in good stead to deliver again.
Premier League Gameweek 14 begins on Saturday lunchtime, as Newcastle United host Manchester City, kick-off 12:30 UK time.
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