The Christmas Shop

Team 33's Fantasy Football Host Eoin Sheahan devises his list ahead of a busy festive period

The Christmas Shop

Joe Giddens / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Maybe this should have been written on Black Friday if we were going to go uber-topical but forget that, the fantasy football christmas list should only really be compiled around now.

We’re five games out from the famous ‘FA Cup weekend’ which is the general endpoint of the festive schedule.

So, here are the outlets you should be visiting over the next five weeks if you don’t want to end up with the fantasy equivalent of a pair of socks and a dramatic family break-up over the Christmas period.

Man United

Next 5 fixtures:

  • Bournemouth (A)

  • Norwich (H)

  • Stoke (A)

  • Chelsea (H)

  • Swansea (H)

It has got to the stage now where it’s a shame that United’s attack is second only to Donald Trump in the bluntness stakes.

If you want to get on board this fine run of fixtures, you’ve got to be looking at the defence but do watch out for Chris Smalling’s niggle if you’re planning on getting cover immediately.

West Brom

Next 5 fixtures:

  • Liverpool (A)

  • Bournemouth (H)

  • Swansea (A)

  • Newcastle (H)

  • Stoke (H)

West Brom haven’t kept a clean sheet since October 24. Their defensive form is key to their fantasy prospects has been turgid but they’ve had a terrible run of fixtures.

The great thing about Tony Pulis sides is that they win (and generally garner a few shut-outs) in the games that they should be doing so. Expect the likes of Boaz Myhill, Johnny Evans and Craig Dawson to come roaring back during this festive spell.

Crystal Palace

Next 5 fixtures:

  • Southampton (H)

  • Stoke (A)

  • Bournemouth (A)

  • Swansea (H)

  • Chelsea (H)

Three home fixtures is good news for Yannick Bolasie who has only returned double-figure scores at Selhurst Park so far this season.

The forgiving road trips stand him and his team-mates in good stead, too, which is pretty timely. Bolasie seems the attacking option of choice, with Scott Dann head and shoulders above the rest at the back. The decision is easy if you want some of their schedule.

Spurs

Next 5 fixtures:

  • Newcastle (H)

  • Southampton (A)

  • Norwich (H)

  • Watford (A)

  • Everton (A)

That trip to Goodison sours a cheerful Christmas fixture list at White Hart Lane, but the preceding four games make Spurs the side with, arguably, the fourth-most appealing matches on show.

Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Toby Alderweireld - do not let them leave your radar if you don’t already own them

Honourable mentions here for West Ham, Stoke and Villa, too. Their schedules all look pretty sweet, which bodes well for in-form Stoke in particular who may make cold, dark nights at the Britannia and thing of beauty this Christmas.

Gameweek 16

Spurs, Liverpool, Arsenal, City and Everton all look good this weekend so we could be in store for a high-scoring week.

The captain discussion will be dominated by Harry Kane, Romelu Lukaku and Kevin de Bruyne who all bring decent prospects to the table, but Kane looks the best from that bunch as Newcastle come to White Hart Lane on Sunday.

Outside of the usual suspects, here’s who could make a difference this week.

David Silva (10.0), assist machine-in-chief, is back and even scoring goals as we saw this week. He will clock you up attacking points on a consistent basis but, if an explosion of points is on the cards at home to Swansea this weekend (not improbable), you’ll want to get him now. He’s owned by only 5.5% of managers.

Aaron Ramsey (8.0) is back in the Arsenal double-pivot and looks like he’ll sweep up the points left over from the injured Santi Cazorla. It’s a dream come true. No coincidence, then, that he chalked his first double-figure showing of the season. An even bigger differential than Silva at just 2.9% ownership, his trip to Villa this weekend could yield the beginning of a healthy bandwagon.

Philippe Coutinho (8.4) is back in the Liverpool squad and therefore ripe for selection once again. The downside? Well, he’s now got competition on the fantasy rising stock (see: previous two paragraphs). We’re also not entirely sure if he’ll start at home to West Brom this weekend and maybe Liverpool and Coutinho would just rather play Man City or Chelsea every week? Jury still out but remains a phenomenal fantasy prospect.

Dele Alli (5.0) continues to look a steal. Playing in an attacking midfield role is a massive bonus to all potential owners as we witnessed last week when he notched his third goal of the season. Ownership? Just 3.6%. A perfect midfield enabler, if you need the cash.

Alderweireld / Moreno. I’ve put these in the same slot because you know all about them already. Both have excellent fixtures this weekend but, on a wider point, they are the two best fantasy defenders right now. Having both over the next few weeks will improve your team, it really is as simple as that.

Patrick van Aanholt (4.6),free-kick wizard, is part of a Sam Allardyce side that welcomes Watford to the Stadium of Light this weekend. What’s not like about that? That being said, Watford defenders are equally appealing this weekend. Give us a 0-0 and we’ll be happy.

Wait, what? No striker tips?

That’s right. If you don’t have three of Vardy, Lukaku, Kane and Ighalo (and maybe Aguero on standby), you’re playing this wrong. The position has never been more condensed when it comes to the best options.

Good luck with the captain choices, though.