Gameweek 15: Fantasy Preview

Posted by John Culea

David Price/Arsenal FC/Getty ImagesFantasy managers expect Olivier Giroud to be back in the starting XI when Arsenal hosts Everton.

The jam-packed December schedule continues with roster rotations and games over three days for Week 15. There is only one chance to check announced lineups for the week.

Saturday
Manchester United (6-4-4) vs. Newcastle (7-2-5)
Wayne Rooney is suspended with five yellow cards. Robin van Persie is likely to miss his third straight match with injuries. Javier Hernandez will start for David Moyes' team that has conceded 18 goals and is 12 points behind first place Arsenal.
Surprising Newcastle had its four-game winning streak broken on Wednesday and may have been looking past Swansea to their visit to Old Trafford. Loic Remy has eight goals.

Crystal Palace (3-1-10) vs. Cardiff (3-5-6)
The Eagles have a remarkable two clean sheets out of their past three matches, rewarding fantasy managers with low-budget player points. Palace have only scored eight goals, with Maroune Chamakh getting his second on Tuesday. Cardiff have managed only 11 goals and have not scored their last two matches.

Liverpool (8-3-3) vs. West Ham (3-4-7)
Four goals from Luis Suarez more than made up for the absence of Daniel Sturridge. The Uruguayan has 13 in just nine games. Simon Mignolet has only four clean sheets.
Ravel Morrison is suspended with five yellow cards. Big Sam's relegation-threatened Hammers have little to offer on offense.

Southampton (6-4-4) vs. Manchester City (9-1-4)
The Saints have lost three straight for the first time under manager Mauricio Pochettino. Jay Rodriguez has four goals and an assist in his last six games.
Sergio Aguero is the top fantasy point producer for forwards and has 11 of City's 40 goals. City finally played better on the road Wednesday but still has only a 2-1-4 away record. Yaya Toure has three goals and two assists in five games.

Stoke (3-5-6) vs. Chelsea (9-3-2)
Stoke have been dominated by Chelsea and have failed to score in their last four Premier League games with the Blues. Chelsea's Eden Hazard has three goals and two assists in his last four matches. Frank Lampard has three goals and an assist in his last three, but he could be rested.

WBA (3-6-5) vs. Norwich (4-2-8)
Defender Jonas Olsson is suspended with five yellow cards, but Albion should have no trouble with the injury-ravaged Canaries. Six key Norwich players are out and the team comes off a 5-1 defeat at Liverpool.

Sunderland (2-2-10) vs. Tottenham (7-3-4)
Manager Gus Poyet meets his former team for the first time since 2008. The Black Cats have given up 28 goals, but Spurs have only scored 13. Lewis Holtby and Vlad Chiriches got unlikely goals on Wednesday.

Sunday

Fulham (3-1-10) vs. Aston Villa (5-4-5)
There is little to suggest that Fulham can avoid relegation. Dimitar Berbatov returned from illness and managed an assist on Wednesday, but the Cottagers are a mess with only 12 goals scored and 26 conceded.
Aston Villa, now up to 10th, got their first goal from Gabriel Agbonlahor. Villa's Christian Benteke is without a goal since Sept. 14. Brad Guzan has a good shot at his sixth clean sheet.

Arsenal (11-1-2) vs. Everton (7-6-1)
This will be the marquee game of the week. Top-of-the-table Arsenal has the best fantasy midfielder in Aaron Ramsey. Olivier Giroud should be back in the starting XI after being rested on Wednesday. Mesut Ozil has two assists and a goal in his last two games and Wojciech Szczesny has five clean sheets in his last six games. Theo Walcott may start. Nicklas Bendtner's first goal may not be enough to earn him another surprise start.
Everton comes off an emotionally lifting road result at Old Trafford. Tim Howard is the top fantasy goalkeeper and also has five shutouts in six games. Bryan Oviedo, filling in for Leighton Baines, has two goals and one assist since joining the starting XI. Romelu Lukaku has three goals and an assist over the last three games for the fifth-place Toffees.

Monday
Swansea (5-3-6) vs. Hull (5-2-7)
Will this be the return of last season's fantasy sensation Michu? Fantasy managers who have held on to the injured Spaniard hope so.
Hull is awful on the road, having lost six of seven and scoring only five goals while conceding 15.

Recommended Captain picks:
Suarez, Aguero, Hazard

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