EPL

Premier League Fantasy Picks: Man City attacking players a must, Villa duo thriving under Gerrard

By Sports Desk December 17, 2021

Though several matches have been postponed due to COVID-19, there is still plenty of Premier League action to look forward to this weekend.

Circumstances permitting, there will be lots of points for fantasy football managers to play for during the festive period.

The in-form Manchester City and Liverpool are well-represented among our picks for this weekend, along with a resurgent Aston Villa under Steven Gerrard.

Here, we take an in-depth look into why these players should be on your priority list for inclusion.

JOSE SA (Wolves v Chelsea)

Wolves may be underdogs when they welcome Chelsea to Molineux, but they have looked solid defensively in recent weeks; keeping four clean sheets in their last six matches.

It would have been five but for Liverpool's stoppage-time winner a fortnight ago, while they were only breached once by reigning champions Manchester City last weekend.

Much of the credit goes to Sa. The Portugal international has prevented more goals (4.2) than any other player in his position this season, while only four keepers have let in fewer goals so far (14).

TRENT ALEXANDER-ARNOLD (Tottenham v Liverpool)

Liverpool head to north London full of momentum, having won each of their last eight matches in all competitions.

The Reds have also prevailed in the seven most recent encounters between the sides.

Alexander-Arnold grabbed a goal and assist in the 3-1 win at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in January and, averaging a higher expected goal involvement per 90 minutes played than any other Premier League defender this season, the England international will be confident of making another positive contribution here.

ASHLEY YOUNG (Aston Villa v Burnley)

Villa have enjoyed a resurgence under Gerrard; winning four of his six matches in charge, with the two defeats coming against Manchester City and Liverpool.

Indeed, the midweek win at Norwich City moved them into the top half of the Premier League table.

Young has certainly been one of the players rejuvenated under his former England team-mate. The ex-Manchester United skipper has registered two assists since, with only four players managing more during that period.

RIYAD MAHREZ (Newcastle United v Manchester City)

Leaders Manchester City will hope to remain at the summit when they travel to 19th-placed Newcastle United.

Pep Guardiola's City have won their last seven Premier League matches – as well as each of their four most recent meetings with the Magpies.

Riyad Mahrez was on target in the 7-0 rout of helpless Leeds United in midweek. That was the Algerian's 49th Premier League goal for City, with only Raheem Sterling (76), Gabriel Jesus (63) and Sergio Aguero (61) netting more since August 2018.

BERNARDO SILVA (Newcastle United v Manchester City)

Indeed, City's envious list of attacking options have all been firing on all cylinders in recent weeks.

Kevin De Bruyne scored twice in midweek and Sterling is back among the goals, but Bernardo Silva has been their star performer on the road.

Indeed, the Portugal international has been on target in each of his side's last three away games, including a brace in the 3-1 win at Watford.

MOHAMED SALAH (Tottenham v Liverpool)

Along with Alexander-Arnold, Liverpool's impressive recent form and record against Tottenham also bodes well for Salah.

The Premier League's top scorer, Egypt international Salah has netted 15 times already this season; six more than his nearest challenger Jamie Vardy.

He has scored four goals in as many English top-flight matches, and six in Liverpool's nine meetings with Tottenham since he arrived from Roma in 2017.

OLLIE WATKINS (Aston Villa v Burnley)

The departure of talisman Jack Grealish undoubtedly proved a major factor behind Villa's tricky start to the season.

Nevertheless, Ollie Watkins is one of their more influential performers who can potentially fill the void.

After a goal and assist during the 2-0 win at Norwich, the England international has been directly involved in 25 goals (16 goals, nine assists) since arriving from Brentford – almost twice as many as any other player currently at the club.

He will be confident of adding to that tally against a Burnley side without a win in five.

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