By Neil Leverett
- Manchester rivals City and United locks horns once more, as the Manchester Derby takes centre-stage in Gameweek 16
- Leaders Liverpool travel to AFC Bournemouth, as West Ham United and Arsenal meet in a battle of struggling capitalists
- Everton begin life without Marco Silva versus Chelsea, as Watford also embark on new era at home to Crystal Palace
PREMIER LEAGUE, UK – As the games come thick and fast this December period with Saturday’s Manchester derby, who should be next on your radar for Fantasy Premier League Gameweek 16?
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In line with the Manchester derby it is only fitting to include one of the participants on show at the Etihad Stadium this Saturday, however we are plumping for one of the Red Devils in Marcus Rashford to continue in his goal-scoring ways of late to trouble Pep Guardiola’s side.
With a currently insurmountable-looking 11-point deficit to Liverpool, City simply must win here, however as United roll into Eastlands this weekend fresh from inflicting the first defeat of the Spurs-Jose Mourinho Era, the in-form Rashford is set to cause further problems for the Citizens’ back line.
As Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has finally seen some progress from his charges, Rashford in particular has been a focal point for United and his brace against the Lilywhites at Old Trafford saw the England forward notch his third league goal in four games – with a handful of assists also.
With Guardiola continuing to rotate both Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus in attack, it would be hard to pin down either City forward for a place in our fantasy squads and therefore with City looking at their poorest defensively under the Spaniard’s tutelage, Rashford is the man who can capitalise in Gameweek 16.
Another player on a hot streak of form in our next Gameweek 16 pick, with Jonjo Shelvey‘s return to the Newcastle United having indirectly led to the Magpies move away from the Premier League bottom three, with the midfielder contributing with all facets of his still underrated game.
Since the former Liverpool man’s first outings since absence Shelvey have scored in his last two league games on the bounce, with his presence in the centre of the park also able to pick a pass as not only one of the best in a Steve Bruce’s side, but in the English top flight alone remains.
With Allan Saint-Maximin scoring his first league goal for Newcastle in Thursday night’s impressive win against Sheffield United, Shelvey is now finding greater space to operate centrally where simply his games thrives.
At St. James’ Park in their last six games, Newcastle have taken ten points in front of the Gallowgate – a still relatively modest tally – however with his team in good moment, the visiting Southampton could make the perfect allowance for Shelvey to fully showcase his talents and grab a points haul.
Tipping Dele Alli to fully hit his stride in Gameweek 14, the Spurs man is now coming close to his former best and his goal in midweek portrayed to class and belief that is beginning to ooze back into the midfielder’s game under Mourinho.
Exploiting both United and Bournemouth defences in successive games, the visiting Burnley are the latest to try their hand at the Tottenham constitution and whilst their is no doubt that defensive issue remain in vast quantities, Spurs’ attack is looking at it most potent in quite some time.
The Clarets are the sort of side could frustrate the hosts, which gives Alli the greater onus to be the spark in midfield but most pertinently in front of goal. Which given his current vein of form and growing confidence, the Spurs man usually thrives on and can deliver again this weekend.
As Monday night football completes Gameweek 16, West Ham host Arsenal with both in desperate need of some Christmas cheer at the London Stadium Stadium. With both sides struggling to not only create opening but to find the target, we are backing Michail Antonio in his first appearance in our Gameweek picks.
The Hammers are perhaps the only side currently with a more alarming league record this season than Freddie Ljungberg’s beleaguered Gunners, having lost five of their six games.
Arsenal themselves are hardly in glowing form, indeed another damaging loss to Brighton on Thursday night has merely underlined how many problems the North Londoners have. with Ljungberg unlikely to be the answer.
Any contest involving the visitors this season has been laden with goals and chances, however the stakes here are pretty high which could see a tight contest to round off the weekend, which is where Antonio comes into his own.
Having found the target against the other side in North London a few weeks ago, Antonio’s physicality should be able to further exploit the Gunners’ powder-puff back line, and as still something of a cult hero in the Irons’ fanbase, the versatile forward could brings some much-needed cheer and plunge the Gunners into a winter of discontent.
A risky pick no doubt, but a potential huge differential that could reap handsome rewards, Wilfried Zaha is Gameweek 16’s outsider pick and despite still not having reached anywhere near his best form, the Crystal Palace remainer could be in line to hit early festive form this weekend.
Having scored in two of his last three league games, Zaha is again slowly becoming the fulcrum of the Palace threat for Roy Hodgson, and considering the Eagles away form, this could be the time to move for the Ivorian international.
The South Londoners have not lost away from home in the league in almost three months, and as Watford look to make positive steps before new boss Nigel Pearson takes the reins, Zaha would be looking send the former Leicester steward a stark reality check at Vicarage Road.
Scoring at Anfield a fortnight ago, Zaha does not currently suffer stage fright, and with Watford still propping up the Premier League standings, Gameweek 16 could be fruitful for the Eagles’ forward.
Premier League Gameweek 16 begins on Saturday lunchtime as Everton host Chelsea, kick off 12:30 UK time.
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