By Neil Leverett
- League leaders Liverpool travel to North London to face Tottenham Hotspur in Gameweek 22
- Crystal Palace entertain Arsenal in a London derby, whilst Manchester City make the trip to Villa Park
- AFC Bournemouth and Watford meet in a relegation six-pointer, as Manchester United face Norwich City
PREMIER LEAGUE, UK – As league affairs kick back into gear after the Emirates FA Cup, who do you need in your team to get the edge in Fantasy Premier League Gameweek 22?
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With the news of Harry Kane being ruled out until April, Fantasy Premier League managers will be putting contingency plans into action for Gameweek 22. Despite Tottenham Hotspur beginning a run without their talismanic skipper against league leaders Liverpool, Son Heung-min is our number one pick this weekend.
Kane’s loss to Spurs is seismic, but as we saw during the Lilywhites’ surge toward the UEFA Champions League final – against their opponents here last season – the North Londoners are a more unpredictable commodity – indeed in many ways a more dangerous one – without the Three Lions’ striker in attack.
Likely flanked by Lucas Moura with Dele Alli in support with further options of Giovani Lo Celso and Erik Lamela, the hosts this weekend will look to take advantage of Liverpool’s high line, in particular the penchant for their full-backs to get forward. That is where Son could reap rewards.
Valued at 9.8, the South Korean’s status as midfielder presents the opportunity to score a point more than as a striker, and considering the impact Son made when deputising for Kane when required, his addition to our squads should now be a serious consideration.
West Ham United are beginning to look a little more like their old selves since the departure of Manuel Pellegrini, and as the Hammers travel to Sheffield United to fight Iron with steel on Friday night to begin Gameweek 22, Felipe Anderson has appeared on Britwatch’s radar.
Reduced to something of a wallflower under his fellow South American steward, West Ham’s livewire Brazilian has not come close to recapturing his electric form of last term, but that could be about to change.
When David Moyes stepped into the Hammer’s dugout for his second stint as boss, there were more than a few detractors. However, in the short-term at least the Scot appears to revitalised the East Londoner’s attacking unit.
Taking advantage of an increasingly beleaguered Cherries defence in their first game of the new year, Anderson netted for the first time this season, and having now been moved into a number ten role behind Sebastian Haller, West Ham fans could see the return to form of the former Lazio man.
There remains some debate over whether Anderson’s best position is on the wing or behind the number nine, but there is real cause for optimism now after a difficult campaign for the Irons, and the Brazilian could spear-head those hopes. Sheffield United will be the first real test for Moyes, but we are backing Anderson to shine in Gameweek 22.
Chelsea have become rather unstuck in recent weeks particularly at home. However as Burnley roll up to Stamford Bridge in Gameweek 22, we are backing the Blues to break a two-game losing streak in West London, with Tammy Abraham on hand to fire Frank Lampard’s men.
Whilst still housed within the confines of the league’s top four, Chelsea have rather lost their way on home turf in the last two outings, losing to both AFC Bournemouth and Southampton – without scoring a single goal in 180 minutes of game time.
As the Clarets rolls into the capital aiming to be the third side to take maximum points away from the Kings Road however, Sean Dyche’s men will be keenly aware they shipped five times on their last visit to London against Spurs last month.
Abraham may have only scored goals in the past five weeks, but is still nevertheless hinting at breaking into another run of form, almost in spite of Chelsea considering a move for Lyon striker Moussa Dembele in the January transfer window.
With that in mind, the England international will be keen to show the Chelsea hierarchy they can still rely on him as their main target man, and fantasy managers should be in a similar frame of mind.
Is there a bigger candidate for transformation of the season in the shape of Dominic Calvert-Lewin? With the praises of new boss Carlo Ancelotti still ringing in his ears, the England U-21 striker has been rejuvenated in front of goal for Everton and could again be set for a points haul in Gameweek 22.
Netting just three times in the first 15 games of the league season, Calvert-Lewin has almost trebled his tally in the past six league Gameweeks, with two braces in the last five outings.
The sudden upturn in the fortunes of the Toffees front man is testament to the the positive impact a fresh change in the dugout can make, and as Brighton & Hove Albion make the pilgrimage to Goodison Park, there may be more spoils in wait for the forward, who with a price-tag of just 5.9 represents major value.
Calvert-Lewin has made the most of Everton’s newly-honed attacking set-up with specific reference to not only Djibril Sidibe in attack, but with both Gylfi Sigurdsson and Theo Walcott looking a menace once more, the Merseysider’s attack may be on strong form again this weekend.
Completing our Gameweek 22 picks we turn once more to fleet Foxes Leicester City, and as Southampton make the trip to the King Power looking to erase memories of their record 9-0 trouncing earlier this season, Ricardo Pereira ticks our box.
Whilst the Saints are in finer fettle than when the two last met, Ralph Hasenhuttl’s charges will still be sore from their October night mauling on the South coast. On that night Jame Vardy was undoubtedly at his very best, but as we look for a differential in defence, Ricardo could be the answer.
With eight clean sheets to his name, the Portuguese’s appeal lies in his threat in attack, and despite just a single league assist this term, Pereira has netted twice this season in the Foxes’ fluid system.
Southampton’s game-plan in recent weeks has been almost pitch-perfect but against Brendan Rodgers’ high-fliers, any vein of offense will bring with it a huge number of pitfalls.
The Saints in particular are a team that leave gaps on the left of midfield, where Pereira could benefit in terms of distribution from the flanks. And, should the opportunity present itself, the full-back is more than capable of grabbing a third Premier League goal of the campaign in Gameweek 22.
Premier League Gameweek 22 begins on Friday evening, as Sheffield United host West Ham United, kick-off 20:00 UK time.
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