Fantasy football: Tips for picking your Premier League team

Filbert the Fox
Leicester mascot Filbert Fox is one of those getting into the festive spirit

Making a list and checking it twice, gonna find out who’s getting nought and who’s playing nice.

Never mind ticking off the present buying. With a blizzard of games over the festive period, ’tis the season when fantasy football managers get busy making the really important selections.

So what changes should you make this week? Here are five tips to help guide you to a bumper bonanza of points. Hopefully.

Gunners with Huddersfield in their sights

Pierre Emerick Aubameyang
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored 10 goals in 17 games for Arsenal last season after signing from Borussia Dortmund in January

Last November, Arsenal walloped Huddersfield 5-0 at Emirates Stadium in the Premier League.

This season’s Gunners, sights straightened by the new broom of Unai Emery, had scored four more goals after the same number of games.

Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez, who scored three of Arsenal’s five goals in last season’s win over the Terriers, are now at Chelsea and Manchester United respectively.

Mesut Ozil, who scored one of the other two, has not played for his club since 11 November and appears to be falling out of favour fast.

Your pick to do the damage this weekend has to be Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The Gabon international is the league’s top scorer, with 10 goals at a rate of one every 113 minutes.

Huddersfield have conceded 10 goals on their past four league visits to London. Aubameyang has scored with 10 of his last 12 shots on target. Get him in.

Wolves to keep the Toon from the door?

Willy Boly
Willy Boly was on loan at Molineux during Wolves’ Championship-winning season before making a permanent £10m move from Porto in the summer

Wolves’ victory over Chelsea in midweek ended a miserable run.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s side had lost five of their previous six matches, but after downing the Blues they will be high on confidence heading to Newcastle.

Wolves have conceded 18 goals this season, fewer than Arsenal, Manchester United and Bournemouth. Newcastle have scored only six in eight home league games. Do you see where we are going with this?

Why not got for 6ft 5in centre-back Willy Boly?

The Frenchman bundled in a free-kick in the draw with Manchester City in August and Newcastle have conceded 10 goals from set-pieces, more than any other team in the league this season.

Maybe Boly could make an impression in front of goal again.

Sane on the brain

Leroy Sane
Leroy Sane benefited from a summer away from international football after being left out of Germany’s World Cup squad

We don’t do guarantees. But Manchester City’s Leroy Sane is a man deep in his goalscoring groove.

After scoring one goal in his first 10 appearances for the defending Premier League champions this season, the 22-year-old Germany international has returned five in his next eight.

If his name appears among City’s starting XI on Sunday, it is time for Chelsea fans to get especially worried.

Sane has not failed to score or assist a goal in any of his eight league starts this season, scoring six and assisting five.

And on, and on, Andone

Florin Andone
Florin Andone cost a reported £5.25m from Deportivo La Coruna in the summer

The omens are not good for entertainment at Turf Moor.

Last season Burnley and Brighton played out two goalless draws and this season the two sides have registered the fewest shots on target in the league with 40 and 44 respectively.

If you need a cut-price striking option, though, Brighton’s Florin Andone could be the man to break the deadlock.

He has scored on his past two league appearances and would become only the third Romanian, after former Chelsea players Dan Petrescu and Adrian Mutu, to register in three straight Premier League games.

One to dump

Roberto Pereyra
Roberto Pereyra came off the bench to play in the 2015 Champions League final for club Juventus

Roberto Pereyra started the season strongly with five goals in his first 11 league outings for Watford.

The Argentine, 27, remains the Hornets’ top scorer, but things have slowed down considerably since.

He has not been involved in a single goal in the six hours 33 minutes of game time he has clocked up over his past five appearances.

Monday evenings on the road have not been fruitful for Watford either. They head to Goodison Park to face Everton without a win in their past nine away league matches.

You have to trawl back to a 2-1 success over Scunthorpe in the Championship almost eight years ago for their most recent Monday evening away win in the league.

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