Goal takes a look at the best players to select or avoid, the bargain buys and the top choice for captain’s double points ahead of the Premier League action this gameweek
|START ‘EM – WHICH PLAYERS SHOULD YOU PICK?
Alvaro Negredo (8) heads into Sunday’s fixture against Newcastle on the back of a hat-trick against West Ham in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday evening. With Sergio Aguero (10.5) only returning to training this week, the 28-year-old is set to lead the line for Manuel Pellegrini’s side and we are backing him to continue his scoring run as City have the chance to finish Sunday at the top of the Premier League.
Tottenham are unbeaten in the league since Tim Sherwood replaced Andre Villas-Boas and Christian Eriksen (7.5) has been one of the side’s key figures since the managerial change. The Denmark international has registered 21 points in the last four gameweeks and, in such an advanced role which enables him to link up with Emmanuel Adebayor, the midfielder is favourite to be involved in the chances created against Crystal Palace this Saturday.
With Theo Walcott’s season over, Mesut Ozil (10) possesses the quality to step forward once again and drive Arsenal’s title charge until the end of the season. The German missed two gameweeks due to a shoulder injury and only made a 15-minute cameo in the club’s FA Cup third-round win over Tottenham last Saturday. Since he’s been sufficiently rested, Ozil may have a high-scoring gameweek since he is facing a Aston Villa side who have the second-worst record at home in the Premier League this term.
Romelu Lukaku (7.5) has netted only once in seven Premier League outings and could face competition from Nikica Jelavic, who scored twice in the 4-0 win over QPR in the FA Cup on Saturday. But, given the fact that Everton need to keep pace with the top-four contenders and Norwich City, their opponents on Saturday, have conceded 22 goals in 10 away games, the Belgium international should be given plenty of chances to bolster his tally this gameweek.
|SIT ‘EM – WHICH PLAYERS SHOULD YOU AVOID?
Theo Walcott (9) has been ruled out for the season with a knee ligament injury and so needs to be shipped out of your side as soon as possible.
Daniel Agger (5.5) has suffered a calf injury and has been has been ruled out for around four weeks.
Branislav Ivanovic (6.5) continues to be sidelined with a knee injury. The Chelsea defender is not expected back until the end of January.
West Ham have not won in the Premier League since November 30 and their performances have been getting progressively worse. From Jussi Jaaskelainen (5) to Mohamed Diame (5) and Modibo Maiga (4.5), it is not worth having any of Sam Allardyce’s charges in your side at the moment.
Gary Hooper (6) has recorded 27 points from his last six gameweeks and may have slipped under the radar as a viable budget option. The forward’s form is worth keeping an eye on as Norwich face only one side (Manchester City) who are currently in the top four over the next 14 gameweeks.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer takes charge of his first Premier League game as Cardiff City manager this Saturday as his side host West Ham. With Sam Allardyce’s side struggling to find cohesion in attack, a clean sheet for Cardiff could be on the cards. David Marshall (4) and Steven Caulker (4.5) both offer good value as rotation options as their next two games after the West Ham fixture are away to Manchester City and Manchester United.
Danny Rose (4) looks set to become a regular fixture at left-back for Tim Sherwood and Tottenham after recovering from injury and offers a cheap defensive pick for those who are looking at sides competing for a top-four place.
|CAPTAIN’S CHOICE – TOP TIP FOR DOUBLE POINTS
Negredo (8) has been handed the armband this week since he heads into Sunday’s fixture after hitting a hat-trick against West Ham.
Newcastle should pose more of a defensive test than Allardyce’s charges but the Spaniard looked sharp on Wednesday evening and Alan Pardew’s men have failed to keep a clean sheet at home in their last five matches.
Luis Suarez (10), Eden Hazard (9.5) and Ozil (10) also offer tempting captain choices this gameweek.
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