With eight teams idle in the Premier League this weekend, the best starting lineup for the week is minus many possibilities. For those teams playing, here is Sir John’s best Fantasy XI:
Simon Mignolet, Sunderland (vs. QPR): Mignolet is the second highest point-producing GK in the PL. Although his last clean sheet was Jan. 29, he has had 15 saves in his last four matches. Also a factor is that the Black Cats will be in road defense mode against QPR, who has scored only 21 goals in 28 games.
Sebastian Bassong, Norwich City (vs. Southampton): Bassong will be out to get the Canaries defense back in form after a string of clean sheets was shattered at Old Trafford.
Ben Davies, Swansea City (vs. WBA): Davies bulked the line in the clean sheet over Newcastle but will have his hands full with Romelu Lukaku.
Christopher Samba, QPR (vs. Sunderland): Samba is due for a goal and a clean sheet is possible against a weak-scoring Sunderland team that has only 31 goals in 28 matches.
Gareth Bale, Tottenham (vs. Liverpool): Why not? Bale has scored 7 PL goals in his last five matches.
Michu, Swansea City (vs. WBA): Fifteen goals so far and a brace two PL games ago give reason for scores against the Baggies.
Steven Gerrard, Liverpool (vs. Tottenham): The Captain is due for a PK and with Luis Suarez hot and newcomer Philippe Coutinho, this could be a high-scoring match.
Philippe Coutinho, Liverpool (vs. Tottenham): The Brazilian has been a revelation in midfield and once fully fit, promises great distribution, goals, and assists.
Christian Benteke, Aston Villa (vs. Reading): With six goals in his last eight matches, Benteke will find the range against Reading for Villa in a game each team desperately needs to win to avoid the drop.
Luis Suarez, Liverpool (vs. Tottenham): A hat trick in his last game and four goals in two matches, Suarez is bolstered by Coutinho’s deliveries and should have Daniel Sturridge with him to draw defenders away.
Romelu Lukaku, WBA (vs. Swansea City): Unable to play against his loaned club Chelsea last week, Lukaku will return in scoring form, have had three goals in two games and 12 for the season.
Goalkeeper: Michel Vorm, Swansea City
Defender: Glen Johnson, Liverpool
Midfielder: Moussa Sissoko, Newcastle
Forward: Rickie Lambert, Southampton
Last week’s “Best” XI combined for 61 points. Not very impressive, although it turned out to be the Best X when Sergio Aguero did not play because of an injury. I have included three bench players this week.