After midweek League Cup action for a few clubs, Gameweek 17 awaits Fantasy Premier League managers this weekend. After serving suspensions the likes of Fabregas, Chambers, Austin and Fabianski all return. Changes for Gameweek 17 need to be finalized by 11:30am (GTM) on the 20th of December. Lets analyse the top picks for Gameweek 17 of the Fantasy Premier League managers:
1) Olivier Giroud £8.2m (Arsenal)
Giroud really announced his return to Arsenal’s starting eleven with two goals against Newcastle at home in gameweek 16. It was interesting to see how Wenger used Giroud as well as summer arrival Danny Welbeck who had been leading the like during Giroud’s absence cause by injury. Welbeck was deployed in a wider position, leaving Olivier Giroud to the central duties at the point of the arrow. The impressive Alexis Sanchez was operating of the other flank. Giroud had a hugely impressive season last year, accumulating 16 goals and 9 assists in the Fantasy Premier League. He was actually the 4th highest scoring Striker in the Fantasy Premier League last year, beaten only by Suárez, Sturridge and Rooney. He often lacks a little quality at crucial times, but his persistent and physical presence in the final third means he finds plenty of opportunities. From the 300 odd minutes he has played in the Premier League this season, he’s already bagged 4 goals, one more than Welbeck’s 3 goals. Arsenal head to Liverpool for Gameweek 17, who have been underachievers this season and coming off a 3-0 loss to Manchester United. Their upcoming fixture list includes: Liverpool (Away), QPR (Home), West Ham (Away) and on new years day Southampton (Away). With the quality that Sanchez brings to Arsenal’s attacking play, Giroud is a good chance of kicking on in 2015 and amassing an impressive goal tally.
2) Gaël Clichy £5.6m (Manchester City)
For those Fantasy Premier League managers looking to tighten things up at the back (and jettison any remaining Southampton defenders), Manchester City defenders look like a safe option for the holiday season. Manchester City have 3 of their 4 games at home, and all against teams in the lower half of the table. Those fixtures include Crystal Palace (Home), West Brom (A), Burnley (H), Sunderland (H). All of which they will be expecting to win. Clichy offers not only a clean sheet chance at LB, but an attacking option when getting forward too, as he showed with his goal against Southampton. He’s considerably cheeper that City’s regular right back Zabaleta. Clichy has been preferred at left back in the Premier League this season by manager Manuel Pellegrini (over Kolarov), but with a hectic fixture list, don’t be surprised if Kolarov rotates in for one of those matches. So having some active subs will be handy over christmas for any unexpected rotations.
3) Charlie Austin £6.0m (QPR)
After sitting Gameweek 16 out due to suspension, the fresh Charlie Austin return for QPR’s home match against West Brom this weekend. We’ve previously plugged the attaching threat that Austin brings to QPR. But one key factor that makes Austin a good pick for the festive fixtures is his record at home for QPR. In Austin’s last 5 home games for QPR, he’s scored 5 goals and managed 3 assists. There is something about the home support at Loftus Road that brings the best out of him. QPR’s upcoming fixtures are; West Brom (Home), Arsenal (Away), Crystal Palace (Home), and Swansea (Home). That’s 3 out of the next 4 matches at home for QPR, and with a fresh Charlie Austin returning, he’s a good mid-value option up front for fantasy premier league managers.
Top 10 Transfers In for Gameweek 17
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Top 10 Form Players
View our Fixture Analysis for Gameweeks 11-20 Here.