There is no time for a breather for Fantasy managers as we move into the second Gameweek of the festive period. It’s time to take a look at the top captain picks again.
1. Harry Kane (vs SOT H)
With his stunning hat-trick against Burnley, Kane’s showed us that he’s in his typical red hot form again. With 3 goals in his last 3 at Wembley, there’s no signs of the ‘curse’ either. Spurs seem to have shrugged off the home woes too, having scored 7 in their last 2 games. With that in mind, it’s hard to look past Kane for this week if you own him.
The one thing Kane offers, which some other in-form players like Mohamed Salah or Raheem Sterling can’t, is the guarantee he’ll start. With no Jurgen Klopp or Pep Guardiola here with their rotation antics, and Spurs having no fixture in GW21, the striker will have enough rest to look forward to over the next week before his Double Gameweek in GW22. Moreover, Kane has personal milestones to gun for. The England international needs a goal to beat Alan Shearer’s record of most Premier League goals in a calendar year. In the post-match conference after Burnley, he even stated how he was looking forward to beating it against Southampton, and it’ll certainly be on his mind. He also needs a goal to equal Edinson Cavani and Lionel Messi’s tallies as the top scorer in 2017. It is this certainty alone that makes him the top pick.
He’ll be up against a Southampton side stretched to the brim with injuries and suspensions. In defense, first choice fullbacks Cedric Soares and Ryan Bertrand have both been ruled out, while Virgil van Dijk was benched last game with speculation around his future at St. Mary’s. Their defensive shield, Oriol Romeu, is also a doubt, whereas leading goalscorer Charlie Austin is serving a 3-game ban. The Saints have not kept a clean sheet in 10 Gameweeks, and concede 17.6 shots per game away from home, only second to Burnley. They’ll certainly find it hard to break that against a resurgent Spurs side.
It’s time to ride the Kane train again.
2. Mohamed Salah (vs SWA H)
If you don’t own Kane, it’s perhaps safest to roll a dice the Klopp rotation wheel, and hope to get lucky. Just last week, Klopp described Salah as a ‘naturally fit’ player, one who doesn’t have any niggling issues. The German also said that it’s hard to leave Salah out given his form. And indeed, his form is unmatched. Somehow, he manages to score just about every week. With his goal and assist against Arsenal, he has now brought up his tally to 11 goals and 3 assists in the last 11 games. His consistency is almost scary – he’s only blanked once in these 11 games. And so is his explosiveness – last week was his 5th double digit haul in this period.
He’ll be up against a managerless Swansea, a side that sit firmly rooted at the bottom of the league table. Their defense, which proved solid in the earlier parts of the season, has also been letting them down lately. The Swans have now conceded 8 goals in their last 3 games. It’ll prove to be tough containing a free-scoring Liverpool side, who have scored a remarkable 48 goals in their last 15 games in all competitions. The Reds also take 20.7 shots per game at home – a tied league highest, while Swansea concede 17.4 shots per game away from home – 3rd most in the league. And Salah doesn’t seem to be missing many shots lately.
With a massive 58.7% ownership, Salah’s a safe choice for the armband every week.
3. Alvaro Morata (vs BHA H) – Differential Punt
For the differential punt this week, I go for a seemingly forgotten man – Alvaro Morata. Now only owned by 16.7% – down from 34.4% 2 weeks ago – the Spaniard has become an enticing differential. Although he hasn’t started any of the last 3 league games, due to injury and then suspension, going back, Morata’s still in decent touch. The striker does still have 3 goals and 2 assists in his last 6 league games. He showed no signs of his injury troubling him either – he made an instant impact off the bench in the Carabao Cup against Bournemouth, scoring the late winner. With Eden Hazard possibly rested for this one, he’ll be the main man – and unlike most of the defenders he’ll take on, well rested too.
Although Brighton have done decent defensively this season – a trip to Stamford Bridge in a congested period might be too much for a thin squad, stretched by fatigue. Despite their defensive solidity, they’ve let in 12 goals in their 5 encounters against the top 6 sides, underlining the gulf in class. The most scathing exploitation of their defense came very recently against Liverpool, as they lost 5-1 on their own patch. Against an in-form Chelsea, they might have one eye on the weekend’s 6 pointer against Newcastle already.
A punt, but in a week that’ll be full of rotation, someone who’ll certainly start.