The Premier League resumes for the annual Boxing Day fixtures with 18 clubs in action (Arsenal-West Ham match is cancelled). You don’t have time to read a Gameweek 18 review with the holidays here, so here is a quick-hitting ranks list.
- Tim Howard, Everton, 5.5m, vs. Wigan
- Mark Schwarzer, Fulham, 5.1m, vs. Southampton
- Hugo Lloris, Tottenham, 5.9m, at Aston Villa
- Asmir Begovic, Stoke City, 5.6m, vs. Liverpool
- David de Gea, Man United, 5.5m, vs. Newcastle
- Leighton Baines, Everton, 7.5m, vs. Wigan
- Phil Jones, Man United, 5.6m, vs. Newcastle
- Pablo Zabaleta, Man City, 5.8m, at Sunderland
- Glen Johnson, Liverpool, 6.3m, at Stoke City
- Phil Jagielka, Everton, 6.0m, vs. Wigan
- John Arne Riise, Fulham, 5.6m, vs. Southampton
- Kyle Walker, Tottenham, 6.1m, at Aston Villa
- David Luiz, Chelsea, 6.5m, at Norwich
- Patrice Evra, Man United, 6.8m, vs. Newcastle
- Jose Enrqiue, Liverpool, 6.0m, at Stoke City
- Michu, Swansea, 8.1m, at Reading
- Adel Taarabt, QPR, 5.7m, vs. West Brom
- Juan Mata, Chelsea, 9.6m, at Norwich
- Yaya Toure, Man City, 8.1m, at Sunderland
- Steven Pienaar, Everton, 6.5m, vs. Wigan
- Robert Snodgrass, Norwich, 6.0m, vs. Chelsea
- David Silva, Man City, 9.4m, at Sunderland
- Steve Sidwell, Fulham, 5.1m, vs. Fulham
- Eden Hazard, Chelsea, 9.5m, at Norwich
- Steven Gerrard, Liverpool, 9.3m, at Stoke City
- Robin van Persie, Man United, 13.8m, vs. Newcastle
- Wayne Rooney, Manchester United, 12.0m, vs. Newcastle
- Fernando Torres, Chelsea, 9.6m, at Norwich
- Dimitar Berbatov, Fulham, 7.1m, vs. Southampton
- Sergio Aguero, Man City, 11.0m, at Sunderland
- Luis Suarez, Liverpool, 10.2m, at Stoke City
- Demba Ba, Newcastle, 8.3m, at Man United
- Carlos Tevez, Man City, 9.5m, at Sunderland
- Jermaine Defoe, Tottenham, 8.4m, at Aston Villa
- Christian Benteke, Aston Villa, 6.7m, vs. Tottenham
YOU’RE THE CAPTAIN
- Robin van Persie/Wayne Rooney, Man United
- Michu, Swansea
- Adel Taarabt, QPR
- Fernando Torres, Chelsea
- Leighton Baines, Everton
The main thing to do before this week is keep your eye on rosters. Obviously, that’s not the easiest thing as the day before this gameweek is Christmas. Nevertheless, RVP and Rooney are this week’s top options to captain against a Newcastle defense that’s been struggling.
Michu is on the road, but that doesn’t really matter. He’ll get plenty of action against Reading in what should be one of the higher scoring matches of the weekend. Expect Swansea to push for the win.
My third option may be a bit of a surprise, but he’s been playing really well lately. Taarabt gets plenty of shots per game and West Brom hasn’t been great at keeping clean sheets this season.
Torres is scoring and in bit of a form which leaves him above other forwards from Man City and Liverpool that have tougher road matchups. Chelsea is playing better lately and should get a goal or two at Norwich.
For all of you non-risky players, Baines is my final option. Everton has the best shot at a clean sheet this week at home against Wigan and Baines is always a possibility for a goal or assist.
*Stats up-to-date as of Dec. 23