Assessing the chances of Man City, Arsenal, Man Utd and other top 6 Clubs in December
Assessing the chances of Man City, Arsenal, Man Utd and the other top 6 clubs in December?
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December is a crucial month in the world of Fantasy Premier League as the crucial half way point looms and managers look to lay down a marker to the rest of their mini-league rivals in a bid to either pull away or claw back lost ground. The Premier League has so far seen one of it’s most unpredictable seasons since it’s inception in 1992 with most fans still unable to fathom any kind of reasoning for Chelsea and Leicester performing to extreme opposites of expectations – perhaps there is an alternative universe somewhere where Chelsea are 2nd and Leicester are 14th in the Premier League. With the exception of Leicester and Chelsea however, the top six is starting to look a little more familiar with Man City, Man Utd, Arsenal, Spurs and Liverpool all currently occupying those positions.
The big question for most of us is which teams will perform in December and (with 5 game weeks in the month) more importantly, which players will perform well in FPL?
Top 6 (+1) Premier League December Fixtures:
Man City: Stoke (a), Swansea (h), Arsenal (a), Sunderland (h), Leicester (a)
Leicester: Swansea (a), Chelsea (h), Everton (a), Liverpool (a), Man City (h)
Man Utd: West Ham (h), Bournemouth (a), Norwich (h), Stoke (a), Chelsea (h)
Arsenal: Sunderland (h), Aston Villa (a), Man City (h), Southampton (a), Bournemouth (h)
Spurs: West Brom (a), Newcastle (h), Southampton (a), Norwich (h), Watford (a)
Liverpool: Newcastle (a), West Brom (h), Watford (a), Leicester (h), Sunderland (a)
Chelsea: Bournemouth (h), Leicester (a), Sunderland (h), Watford (h), Man Utd (a)
Apart from anything else, the fixture list above makes me even more excited about the month of December than usual, but where are the easy pickings – if there are indeed any at all?
Man City: A mixed bag of fixtures for the current league leaders with a top 6 side to play away from home against Arsenal which could be a tricky encounter. The games against Stoke, Swansea and Sunderland should all be 3 pointers for City with the home games in particular potentially being the most fruitful. KDB is the man to go for on current form and of course there is the question of Aguero. For me, stay away from Sergio until you use your January wildcard and keep faith in Kevin De Bruyne who would find himself top of the points right now had he started the season from game week 1. One thing to note with Man City is to steer clear of their defenders as they don’t look confident at the back with Vincent Kompany.
Leicester City: The verdict on Leicester is still out right now, but despite Vardy breaking the Premier League goal record for scoring in consecutive games last week, things are about to become a lot tougher for him. Leicester have the toughest fixtures of all the top 6 sides and they may not find themselves there come January. Mahrez and Vardy are of course the players to own as far as The Foxes are concerned but their time could well be up – check out our article on Leicester’s fortunes here.
Man Utd: Somehow finding themselves in third position in the Premier League, Manchester United have hardly been a force going forwards and have relied heavily on their defence. Injuries and some squad rotation has made picking players from their backline more difficult than a game of roulette and the only two players that you should choose with any certainty are De Gea and Chris Smalling. The December fixtures are fairly kind to United and they should manager a few clean sheets whilst you would hope to see some goals against Bournemouth, Norwich and West Ham – but for now, stick with defenders as the style of play is not bringing anywhere near enough chances for the Red Devils.
Arsenal: Arsene Wenger’s men have found themselves in a bit of a rut of late and the injury to Alexis won’t help, but Mesut Ozil and co have enough quality to have a good final month of the year. Ozil is a must have player – we cannot be any more clear on that. If you have space for Bellerin or Monreal then they should also be making your team with slight preference for Monreal.
Spurs: Tottenham have one of the easier fixture lists for December and I fully expect them to make a Champions League push this season and this month will be crucial to this cause. With Harry Kane in form right now and Christian Eriksen looking at his threatening best it is suggested that you have at least one of those two in your team for December. Defensively, Eric Dier is a good buy but we also like the way Kyle Walker has been playing of late and against the likes of Newcastle, Watford and Norwich he should have plenty of license to get forward.
Liverpool: Perhaps the easiest run of fixtures for the entire month has to go to Liverpool. Looking rejuvenated under Klopp, the Merseyside club will have the opportunity to mount a serious Premier League bid in December with 5 winnable games. The issue with Liverpool is certainty over starting places and it seems that the manager is still trying to find his strongest 11. Firmino looks like a good option if he continues to start, but preference has to go to Coutinho who was in brilliant form before sustaining a hamstring injury. Keep an eye out on his progress this week – if he is back then has massive potential this month and is almost guaranteed to start all of the games if he stays fit.
Chelsea: We have had to add Chelsea to this list as they are likely to end as a top 6 side by the end of the season. They have slowly started to turn things around and although their performances have still hardly been blistering, they are starting to grind results out. Two clean sheets in their last two games also points to better times for their defenders and with three easier home fixtures in December we could well see a few more clean sheets and hopefully a few more goals. A few people are talking of swapping Sanzhez for Hazard – I find this difficult to justify right now, but a defender and another midfielder such as Willian might reap some rewards.
If you found this useful then you might want to check out our other game week 15 articles. All this week we are offering our membership package at 25% off – just use promo code: CYBER