Gameweek 17 preview

December 18, 2015

19 Dec 15:00 Chelsea v Sunderland
19 Dec 15:00 Everton v Leicester
19 Dec 15:00 Man Utd v Norwich
19 Dec 15:00 Southampton v Spurs
19 Dec 15:00 Stoke v Crystal Palace
19 Dec 15:00 West Brom v Bournemouth
19 Dec 17:30 Newcastle v Aston Villa
20 Dec 13:30 Watford v Liverpool
20 Dec 16:00 Swansea v West Ham
21 Dec 20:00 Arsenal v Man City


It amazes me that 14% of managers across the whole game still think that the £10.9 million pounds they’re shelling out on Eden Hazard is a good idea. That 14% are probably largely made up of people who gave up in September after a couple of bad weeks. You have to sink as low as 17th and SS3FC to find the highest place team in our league with last years outstanding player still in their team. Admittedly, SS3FC have had a couple of manager of the week awards of late, but looking at their line ups from weeks 10 and 14, you can see that Eden Hazard had very little to do with their success. A quick perusal of the top 20 Buckets teams, and among them are three with Kurt Zouma in their squad, two with Cesar Azpilicueta, two with Willian and two with Hazard. Zouma is their highest scoring player, and actually represents fairly good value, given his price. He and Asmir Begovic are the only two not to have seen their price decrease since the start of the season. But to pit things into perspective, he also only ranks as the 24th best defender in the game. Our leaders, Golden Boys, have had Willian in their team since gameweek 12. He’s contributed 11 points. In that time Riyad Mahrez and Mesut Ozil have picked up 47 and 38 points respectively. And Golden Boys have been on the slide – 30,000 places dropped worldwide in the last three weeks. Sunderland at home this weekend. Worth hanging on one more week?

Goalfest of the weekend will hopefully come at Goodison. None of us seem too interested in Leicester or Everton defenders, but nearly all of us love a bit of Mahrez/Vardy Lukaku/Barkley action. That’s the attack sorted. Re your defence – at time of writing it’s not clear whether Matteo Darmian or Chris Smaling will return from their injuries to face Norwich. If they do this should increase the chances of United playing out their regular 0-0 draw. To fill in the gaps, and for the first time this season, it could even be worth taking a punt on Newcastle. They’ve produced two consecutive victories against superior opposition, and now face Villa at home.



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