2015-2016 Fantasy Football Premiership Gameweek 12 Preview
We’ll start this week with a look at a man in the form of his life; Jamie Vardy has notched in 8 successive Premier League games, and is still available for your strikeforce at just £7.3m. Granted he did start the season at £6.0m, but the current price is still a bargain for the league’s top scorer. No striker has amassed more Fantasy Football points this season than Vardy, and he has Ruud Van Nistelrooy’s record of scoring in 10 consecutive league games firmly in his sights. This week he comes up against a Watford side who have kept just one clean sheet away from home in all competitions this season, so it would be a surprise if they are the team that manage to stop his incredible feat. Leicester as a team have only failed to score in 1 match from their last 29 in all competitions, with this run stretching back to March. In that time only Chelsea and Arsenal have come away from the King Power Stadium with a win, so Vardy and Mahrez (who is even cheaper at £6.6m and has more points this season than Vardy) look like absolute must-haves for this weekend.
Moving onto a team who could do with a striker of Vardy’s class, Manchester United have failed to score in 4 of their last 7 games in all competitions, and are really struggling for creativity. Of their striking options, Anthony Martial (£8.1m) has failed to score in his last 5 Premier League appearances, James Wilson (£4.7m) has played just 9 minutes in the league all season and Wayne Rooney (£10.1m) is having well-documented problems in front of goal. Caution is advised if you’re looking to captain any United attackers this week, even if a home game against West Brom looks enticing on paper. Albion have actually won on their last two visits to Old Trafford and kept a clean sheet there last season, so goals for the home side are not a foregone conclusion by any means. In the defensive third United are having no problems though, with only 1 goal conceded in their last 6 games in all competitions, and 11 clean sheets in 19 games so far this campaign. David De Gea (£5.5m), Chris Smalling (£6.5m) and Marcos Rojo (£5.4m) are certainly worth consideration this week for this reason.
In the late kick-off, Stoke City will be looking to heap more misery on José Mourinho, with his Chelsea side lying in 15th place in the Premier League table. Stoke have lost just once in their last 6 league games, and have kept clean sheets in three of their last four. It will be tough for a Chelsea side low on confidence to breach the home defence, and a raucous crowd could help to condemn them to another setback here. Glen Johnson (£5.0m) is one to look out for in defence for the Potters. He already has a couple of assists to his name this season, is a certain starter at right back and has scored in all but 2 of his 9 previous Premier League campaigns so there’s potential for attacking points as well as defensive ones.
On Sunday Remi Garde will take charge of Aston Villa for the first time, but his opening assignment could hardly be a tougher one. Manchester City travel to Villa Park with a record in their last 8 games of 7 wins, 0 defeats and 25 goals scored. They’ll relish a match against the league’s bottom club, and it would be a major shock to see anything other than an away win here. With Agüero and Silva still out there’s chance for other players to shine, and Kevin De Bruyne is the man who’s proving to be the most consistent. He has 3 goals and 4 assists from his 7 Premier League matches so far, and although he’s not cheap at £10.7m he is one of the most exciting players in the league at the moment.
The big game of the weekend is the North London Derby between Arsenal and Tottenham. The Emirates faithful will be hoping that the Gunners can bounce back from their 5-1 mauling at the hands of Bayern Munich in the Champions League this week, but domestically there’s nothing wrong with Arsenal’s form – they’ve won 5 games on the bounce in the league and have suffered only 1 defeat since the opening day. Spurs are in superb form too though; they haven’t tasted defeat in the league since their opening day trip to Old Trafford and have won 5 of their last 7. Historically this fixture has produced plenty of goals, and both teams will be confident of finding the net on Sunday, therefore it would be wise to look to the attacking talent on display. For the home side, there’s a lot of players out through injury; Walcott, Ramsey, Chamberlain, Arteta, Rosicky, Wilshere and Welbeck would all have claims for a first team spot but will miss this game. Joel Campbell (£5.0m) made his first Premier League start last week and impressed in the win at Swansea, scoring a goal and securing bonus points, so he could be an interesting option. Olivier Giroud (£8.7m) will surely start in the central striking spot, and despite the criticism he regularly gets he has 6 goals from 532 Premier League minutes this season, which is a goal every 89 minutes on average. He should get 90 minutes at the weekend, so a goal could be on the cards! For Spurs, Harry Kane (£9.3m) has 4 goals from his last 2 league matches and will be looking to build on this form in a match that means so much to all Spurs fans, himself included.