- Leaders Liverpool travel to St. Mary’s to face Southampton in Fantasy Premier League Gameweek 17
- Resurgent Manchester United face Aston Villa, as Spurs host Leeds
- Games between Chelsea and Manchester City and Burnley and Fulham, remain in doubt due to Covid-19
PREMIER LEAGUE – As football rings in the new year this weekend, who should be in your respective squads for Fantasy Premier League Gameweek 17?
As we kick off our new year selections, Bruno Fernandes (11.2) continues to see a revitalised Manchester United climb the Premier League table.
Less than a month ago well off the pace and with boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer under increasing pressure, the Red Devils suddenly find themselves just three points off leaders Liverpool and with a game in hand.
Fernandes has again been the catalyst for United, and in the last three gameweeks, has an impressive three goals and four assists, to go with his five bonus points.
Far eclipsing almost every player in FPL right now, the Portuguese is now owned by 48.2% of fantasy managers, a must-have asset despite his price-tag for those who did not invest early in United’s talisman.
As Aston Villa roll up to Old Trafford in GW17, the Birmingham side themselves have recaptured their early-season form, reliant however, on their own attacking verve.
That should provide ample opportunity for Fernandes to lead from the front foot this weekend, and already in double figures for the campaign, will be keen to continue his consistent vein of form.
Son Heung-min (c)
After Tottenham Hotspur saw their cross-capital clash with Fulham called off in midweek, Son-Heung-min (9.7) will be keen to burst back onto the fantasy scene in Gameweek 17.
Having netted 11 times in 13 games to start the season, the South Korean has now drawn statistical blanks for the last two outings, as the Lilywhites’ title tilt has again derailed.
But a home clash against a buoyant Leeds could see Son enjoy greater favour.
The visiting Whites roll into north London after successive victories, but that could fall firmly into the hands of Spurs’ livewire forward.
This could be a meeting of two counter-attacking sides, and should that transpire, the hosts will benefit.
Given Leeds’ high line, Son will again be lurking on the shoulder of their back four and Son, given his explosive ability will be eyeing a points haul here. Captaincy material? perhaps.
After a period of extreme anxiety for Arsenal, back-to-back wins has seen their steady climb up the table, and in Gameweek 17, Alexandre Lacazette (8.2) could again be the fuel in the Gunners engine room.
An individual that continues to polarise opinion amongst the club’s fanbase, the Frenchman has netted in his last two games, his first goals after three in as many games to open the season.
In each game, Lacazette has garnered a bonus point and as a trip to the Hawthorns beckons, West Brom will offer up further chances for the in-form striker.
Whilst admittedly still a team the visitors will be wary of in regard to their proximity in the table, the Baggies have not yet responded to the arrival of Sam Allardyce, conceding an astonishing eight goals at home in their last two.
Thrashed by Leeds last time out, West Brom will be keen to avoid another humiilation, but Lacazette – with a meagre ownership of 2.9% – may have other ideas, and can reward his small band of owners.
A perhaps surprising tip given Southampton’s opponents in Liverpool in GW17, but if we look underneath the surface, James Ward-Prowse (6.3) could fit the fantasy bill.
A star in the Saints’ midfield this term, the player is the second-most owned Southampton player behind the consistent Alex McCarthy.
With four goals and three assists, Ward-Prowse continues to improve, and an opportunity to further enhance his credentials against the holders and league leaders, arrives here.
The key could come from set-pieces in GW17, where Southampton have excelled in recent weeks, and where the Reds are down to their bare bones.
In recent years, Southampton have struggled against the Merseysiders but this is a different south coast outfit right now.
With free-kick, and corner duties also, Ward-Prowse’s precision is amongst the best in the league from dead-ball situations, and could impress to start the new calendar year.
Punt of the Week: Nathaniel Clyne
Crystal Palace’s lot has become a good deal more complex in the past few weeks, but as a home clash against Sheffield United approaches, could Nathaniel Clyne (4.5) be a source of fantasy points?
As GW17’s Punt of the Week, we turn to the Eagles’ full-back, who, after a number of seasons of injury frustrations, has somewhat found his feet again in south London.
Whilst goals continue to be a source of trouble for not only Palace, here, that very commodity could be in short supply against the Blades.
The visitors are 11 points from safety already and the task now, will be to claw back crucial points on the road from now onwards.
A tight clash awaits then, and Clyne could be a vital player with crosses into the box for the likes of Christian Benteke and Wilfried Zaha.
At the very least, the chance of a clean sheet here looks good for Palace, and with the addition of Clyne’s delivery from a wide area, a punt on the Eagles’ defender could be a shrewd move for a paltry sum.
Fantasy Premier League Gameweek 17 deadline is New Year’s Day, 16:00 UK time.
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