Happy festive season Fantasy Premier League managers! Your favorite players will be back in action for Gameweek 18 on boxing day, after a few roast turkey dinners I’m sure. Chelsea continued their charge at the top of the table, maintaining their 6 point lead over Liverpool, who won their Mersey side derby. Manchester City have steadied the ship with a fine win against Arsenal to move up to 3rd on the table. While Sunderland managed their 4th win of the season to move off the bottom of the table. 2 goals to Southampton’s Jay Rodriguez and a goal plus clean sheet for Sunderland’s Patrick van Aanholt made them joint top points scorers for gameweek 17 with 15 points. Diego Costa picked up his 5th yellow card of the season, so 46.7% of teams will be without him for this coming gameweek. Sergio Aguero will be eligible to play on new years eve. The deadline for changes to your teams for Gameweek 18 is 11:30am GMT December 26th, ensure you have all your transfers, wildcards and captain nominations locked in before hand.
Without further ado, lets look at our top 3 player picks for gameweek 18:
Top Player Tips
1) Zlatan Ibrahimovic £11.4 (Manchester United)
Our first player pick is one that also featured in our gameweek 17 tips, it’s Swedish super start Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Ibrahimovic scored United’s two goals in their win against West Bromwich Albion last Saturday. That takes him to 11 league goals for the season, including 7 goals from the last 7 gameweeks. With Diego Costa suspended for the round and Harry Kane failing to score in his last three, expect a few managers to bring in Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Manchester United finish the year with two home fixtures, taking on Sunderland (Home) and Middlesbrough (Home). Both of those look like great fixtures that Jose Mourinho will be expecting to win in order to keep in touch with the top of the table. As he’ll be a hot item this gameweek, you might want to get in early to beat any incoming price rise.
2) Theo Walcott £7.8 (Arsenal)
Arsenal have the most favorable next 5 fixtures of any team in the league, so it makes sense then that our second tip is an Arsenal player. While Alexis Sanchez leads the way in points for the Fantasy Premier League this season, it’s their English winger Theo Walcott that has got our attention this week. At just £7.8 he comes in £4 million cheaper than Sanchez, but still has 90 points which makes him the 7th top scorer in the FPL this season. Arsenal’s loss to Manchester City on Monday puts added pressure on the players to perform after Christmas. Their fixture run is mouth watering for Arsenal fans, facing West Bromwich Albion (Home), Crystal Palace (Home), AFC Bournemouth (Away), Swansea City (Away), Burnley (Home) and Watford (Home). No sign of any title rivals on the horizon, so it’s time to double down on Arsenal attack and look at a Walcott/Sanchez combo. An injury doubt over Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also means he’s a certain starter. walcott has 8 goals and 3 assists so far this season, closing in on his best haul of 13 goals in the 2012/13 season.
3) Divock Origi £6.8 (Liverpool)
Our last pick for boxing day is Liverpool’s in-form youngster Divock Origi. Origi burst into the starting eleven after an injury to Philippe Coutinho and his stellar form has manged to keep the likes of Daniel Sturridge out of the starting lineup. Origi now has 4 goals and an assist in his last 5 league matches, fitting in well to Jurgen Klopp’s system. Liverpool are the league top goal scorers after all, so there are always chances for him to score a goal each week. Sadio Mané departure for the African Cup of Nations in January means Origi should continue to hold down a place in the starting 11 for the next 4 weeks or so too. Liverpool’s opponents for gameweek 18 are Stoke City, who travel to Anfield. Origi’s ownership has jumped up to 9.1% in the past couple of weeks, thanks to his good form. At just £6.8 Origi comes in much cheaper than Liverpool’s other attacking options like Mane, Lallana or Firmino. One to watch over the coming weeks.