This week’s Form Guide articles focus on the big Boxing Day contests involving 16 of the 20 Premier League teams
GW18 Top Picks
Gylfi Sigurdsson (SWA) – v West Ham (h) – £11.1m
Sigurdsson scored 51 and 41.75 points respectively in each of his last two home games which demonstrates just how much potential he has when playing at the Liberty and how much involvement he has in every aspect of Swansea’s game. Against Sunderland and Palace he was afforded space and his perfect delivery reaped rewards. Up against another side struggling for consistency and languishing down at the bottom of the table this week in West Ham, expect Sigurdsson to be at the heart of everything good once again for Swansea. If as expected he starts in the No.10 role behind Llorente, he should have plenty of opportunities to add to his 5 goals and 5 assists so far this year.
Kevin De Bruyne (MCI) – v Hull (a) – £14.1m
Hull were incredibly unlucky to lose at West Ham last week and so those that think City will just turn up at KCOM and turn them over by 4 or 5, might be surprised this week. That said, we still think Pep’s team have more than enough to get the win and if they do, De Bruyne is guaranteed to be at the heart of it.
The assist king has created 50 chances for teammates already this season – only Payet has made more. With Aguero still suspended and Iheanacho seemingly not preferred, De Bruyne has been filling the all important false No9 position recently which of course improves his attacking returns potential. Averaging over 30 points in each of his last 4 games, we fully expect De Bruyne to produce the goods again this week and provide the value for his extremely high cost. Must-pick in our opinion.
Raheem Sterling (MCI) – v Hull (a) – £11.7m
Another City asset that has peaked our interest this week is the man finding some form once again Raheem Sterling. A goal and assist in his last two appearances and seemingly being allowed to share the flexible flase No.9 role with De Bruyne as City change throughout the game, Sterling showed us earlier in the year when he’s on form he scores consistently well on FanDuel and can easily provide good value for his price tag. Even after his injury and drop in form, he is still City’s top goalscorer in the absence of Aguero with 5 to his name in the league this season and second for assists behind De Bruyne with 3.
Paul Pogba (MUN) – v Sunderland (h) – £12.7m
We expect Monday’s game at Old Trafford to be very similar to the Burnley game from GW10 although with a United win as the more likely outcome this time. It was complete one-way traffic that day and if it weren’t for Tom Heaton it could have been a cricket score. As a result the likes of Pogba and Mata scored incredibly well (even without scoring any goals). With Mata having not started the past 4 games we are opting for the slightly more expensive but definite starter Pogba this time around. The amount of possession United will be afforded against Sunderland mixed with the chances and shots on goal likely to be had suggests he could be in for another big points haul and should clear 30+ easily.
Pogba’s had at least 2 shots on target in each of his last three games and is actually responsible for over 10% of all of United’s shots on goal this season – 27 attempts on goal in just 10 appearances.
Dimitri Payet (WHU) – v Swansea (a) – £12.5m
A regular fixture in our weekly top picks, nobody creates more chances in the league than Payet. 63 in total so far in just 17 games this season. With 3 FanDuel points on offer for every chance he creates and 7 for the assist if one of his teammates ever finally gets one in the back of the net, it’s no surprise that Payet has been racking up the points this season so consistently. With 7 goals and 8 assists already he just cannot be ignored and this week up against a poor Swansea defence that cannot handle a good cross in the box, there is no reason to suggest he can’t keep it up. At 12.5m he’s more expensive than normal and really needs to be producing 35-40 points to be good value. Don’t see any reason why he won’t do that this week though.
Ander Herrera (MUN) – v Sunderland (h) – £10.1m
If funds are too tight to secure Pogba, Herrera could be the choice for you. He’s £2.6m cheaper. However, word of warning, Herrera’s big point hauls this season have come against Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Spurs where he has been required to battle and challenge up against a strong attack and midfield. The games where United dominate against the so called ‘lesser’ teams don’t seem to provide the best platform for him to score big this season – but that doesn’t mean he won’t do this week, especially if Mata doesn’t play.
Cesc Fabregas (CHE) – v Bournemouth (h) – £8.6m
One of the reasons Fabregas is not a top pick this week and has been left in the differential column is because he’s just too inconsistent for us at the moment. 22 and 45 points away at Man City and Sunderland were followed by 2.75 and 8.25 points at home to West Brom and Palace. Also with no Costa or Kante this week and the record wins in a row pressure on their heads, we really are not 100% sure how Chelsea will perform. That said, if Chelsea do turn up (as most expect), Fabregas has the potential to score incredibly well and at £8.6m is just about cheap enough to be worth the risk.
Leroy Sane (MCI) – v Hull (a) – £8.2m
After a great performance and goal against Arsenal last week, Sane might have now done enough to make Pep’s ever changing starting lineup on Boxing Day. At 8.2m he’s one of the cheapest routes into the City lineup this week with only Navas the potentially cheaper differential on offer if he starts. If Sane is in from the beginning against Hull, and we think he will be, he’ll be full of confidence and could be in for a big points haul once again adding to his 1 goal and 1 assist from his last 4 appearances. He should be afforded a fair amount of space too as the Hull City back three get given the runaround from De Bruyne, Sterling and co.
Mark Noble (WHU) – v Swansea (a) – £7.9m
Swansea are terrible for conceding penalties this season and with 2 in his last 2 from the spot, at just £7.9m Noble could be good value once again for those willing to take the risk on him. In truth without the goals his underlying stats aren’t that impressive with his chance creation and shot count not especially high, but against a very poor Swansea team and full of confidence from his last two appearances he could be good value this week.
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