Gameweek 16: Fantasy Preview

Posted by John Culea

Matthew Peters/Getty ImagesManchester United forward Wayne Rooney, back from suspension, will carry the offensive load with Robin van Persie out injured.

There is only one game to check announced lineups, the early meeting between Manchester City and Arsenal.

Saturday

Manchester City (9-2-4) vs. Arsenal (11-2-2)
City are an unbelievable 7-0-0 at home with 29 goals scored and only two conceded. Sergio Aguero has 14 goals and is the top fantasy producer at his position. David Silva returns. City’s comeback 3-2 UCL victory over Bayern Munich gives them more swagger. . . .Top-of-the-table Arsenal have the stingiest defense, conceding just 11 goals while scoring 30. Mesut Ozil has two goals and two assists in his last two matches. The Gunners were blanked in Italy but advanced to the final UCL 16.

Cardiff (3-5-7) vs. WBA (3-6-6)
Both teams have relegation jitters. Cardiff have only scored 11 goals in 15 matches while surrendering 22. The Baggies have lost three straight while Cardiff are without a goal in the past three matches.

Chelsea (9-3-3) vs. Crystal Palace (4-1-10)
Chelsea got a goal from Demba Ba in their UCL result. Oscar was back and had an assist. Ashley Cole and David Luiz played 90 minutes. Roster rotation will happen against Palace, with Cole out. The Eagles, buried in the drop zone, have risen closer to safety with four clean sheets out of the last five games. Marouane Chamakh has scored a goal in his last two games.

Everton (7-7-1) vs. Fulham (4-1-10)
Everton have a league-high seven draws. Romelu Lukaku has three goals and two assists in his last four matches. After six straight losses, Fulham looked good in a home win over Aston Villa but are bad on the road. Dimitar Berbatov has a goal and an assist in his last two games.

Newcastle (8-2-5) vs. Southampton (6-5-4)
The seventh-place Magpies and their French connection are the surprise team of the season. Yohan Cabaye scored to beat Manchester United but is suspended with five yellow cards. Loic Remy (eight goals) has not scored in two games. Tim Krul’s clean sheet at Old Trafford was impressive.

West Ham (3-4-8) vs. Sunderland (2-2-11)
Ravel Morrison comes off suspension but the Hammers are in sad shape. Kevin Nolan is suspended three games following his straight red card against Liverpool. Little offensive threat and a deteriorating defense spell relegation danger and a possible pink slip for Big Sam Allardyce. . . .The Black Cats are dead last and come off two home losses and have bled a league-high,30 goals.

Hull (5-3-7) vs. Stoke (4-5-6)
Hull got a rare road point and Danny Graham scored his first goal since January. Mark Hughes’ Potters have conceded 20 goals, but managed three against Chelsea. Leading Stoke scorer Charlie Adam is injured. Jonathan Walters is suspended.

Sunday

Aston Villa (5-4-6) vs. Manchester United (6-4-5)
Villa rolled over at terrible Fulham. Christian Benteke has not scored since Sept. 14. Manchester United gets Wayne Rooney back, and do they ever need him because Robin van Persie, injured in the UCL victory, is out one month. Shinji Kagawa should be available. Phil Jones scored in the UCL home result. Patrice Evra has a late fitness test.

Norwich (5-2-8) vs. Swansea (5-4-6)
Five goals conceded one week and none the next is part of the Norwich season story. . . .Swansea looked dead for the first half against Hull. Chico, who scored for the Swans, is suspended with five yellow cards. Jonjo Shelvey has two goals and two assists in five matches. Wilfried Bony played in Thursday’s Europa loss, Michu was on the bench but did not appear.

Tottenham (8-3-4) vs. Liverpool (9-3-3)
Spurs average just one goal a game. Paulinho scored last Saturday. Roberto Soldado, in a scoring slump, was benched Saturday but had a hat trick in Thursday’s Europa win. Lewis Holtby also scored. Jermaine Defoe was active and took six shots Sunday but was not on the team sheet Thursday. Defender Jan Vertonghen is still out injured but Danny Rose is back. . . .Liverpool are a bad road team, giving up more goals (13) than they have scored (12). Luis Suarez leads the league with 15 goals in 10 games. The Dubious Goals Committee adjudged Joey O”Brien’s own goal was scored by Suarez. The second-place Reds are without Daniel Sturridge and Steven Gerrard is out long-term with a hamstring injury.

Recommended captain picks:
Rooney, Hazard, Coleman, Suarez

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