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Fantasy Premier League Pundit Picks: Gameweek 19

The Premier League's last fixtures of 2016 are upon us, make sure your FPL team is all set!

Prithviraj Dev | New Delhi |

The last English Premier League fixtures of 2016 are upon us and with some choice games to be played on the weekend, football fans are in for some treats.

For Fantasy Premier League (FPL) managers however, it guarantees a headache, as the mad scramble to find the next differential is on.

Each week, The Statesman helps assuage your selection dilemma with a meticulously researched article to get that edge in FPL.

The indicators are:

Teams in BOLD are top 4 contenders.

Prices marked with a (+) indicate an increase in Base Price.

Prices marked with a (-) indicate a decrease in Base Price.

Goalkeepers

David de Gea

Team: Manchester United

Fixtures: Middlesbrough (H), West Ham (A), Liverpool (H), Stoke (A) and Hull (H)

Price: 5.4 (-)

Score: 63

Ownership: 35.4%

Why yes: United are officially on a roll and 15th-ranked Middlesbrough shouldn't cause them too many problems. Apart from the Liverpool clash, United’s fixtures look quite easy on paper, which should enable de Gea to build on his six clean-sheets of the season.

Why no: United still aren't compact at the back despite their impressive form, rarely keeping clean-sheets. Almost one-third of all FPL managers already have the Spaniard, which means he wont be much of a differential.

Defenders

Cedric Soares

Team: Southampton

Fixtures: West Brom (H), Everton (A), Burnley (A), Leicester (H) and Swansea (A)

Price: 4.9 (-)

Score: 40

Ownership: 1.9%

Why yes: The cheapest starter in the Southampton defence, Soares has been quietly impressive. Since the likes of Virgil Van Djik and Ryan Bertrand take most of the plaudits, the Portuguese remains a big differential. The Saints' upcoming fixtures look quite promising as well, making the left-back a must-have.

Why no: If you have Fraser Forster or any Southampton defender in your side already, then it would be best to look elsewhere for your defensive options.

 

Ashley Williams

Team: Everton

Fixtures: Hull (A), Southampton (H), Man City (H), Crystal Palace (A) and Stoke (A)

Price: 4.9 (-)

Score : 54

Ownership: 7.5%

Why yes: Everton have been improving in the last few games and could run riot against bottom-ranked Hull. Upcoming fixtures are quite pleasant, at least on paper. Williams also is known to score the odd goal from a set-piece.

Why no: The Toffees are still horribly inconsistent and almost always concede goals. Leighton Baines and Seamus Coleman are pricier options, but more likely to score points in the attacking third.

 

Midfielders

Roberto Firmino

Team: Liverpool

Fixtures: Man City (H), Sunderland (A), Man Utd (A), Swansea (H) and Chelsea (H)

Price: 8.5

Score: 92

Ownership: 12.6%

Why yes: Back in the goals after a drought of sorts, expect Firmino to build on his goal against Southampton. Manchester City may be a top team, but their defence certainly isn’t, which is very much in the mercurial Brazilian’s favour. Sadio Mane is considerably pricier than Firmino, making him a value for money option.

Why no: Adam Lallana is in good nick at the moment and if you consider his lower price, Firmino does seem a bit expensive. A unique facet of this Liverpool side is while they score plenty of goals in every game, they almost always have a mixed bag of scorers. Which isn't good from a FPL perspective as predicting who will score next for Liverpool is next to impossible.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Team: Manchester United

Fixtures: Middlesbrough (H), West Ham (A), Liverpool (H), Stoke (A) and Hull (H)

Price: 8.9 (-)

Score: 21

Ownership: 2.2%

Why yes: Mkhitaryan scored one of the goals of the season in United’s win over Sunderland and is in line to start against lowly Middlesbrough. With a massive differential, the Armenian midfielder may just be what your FPL team has been lacking as he plays a starring role in a resurgent Red Devils side.

Why no: If you already have Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Mkhitaryan isn't the best bet in midfield as one places a lot of money on one team. While he may start against Middlesbrough, it is likely that in the following games Jose Mourinho might rotate his players to ensure fresh legs.

Forwards

Romelu Lukaku

Team: Everton

Fixtures: Hull (A), Southampton (H), Man City (H), Crystal Palace (A) and Stoke (A)

Price: 9.4 (+)

Score: 97

Ownership: 26.6%

Why yes: The big Belgian scores in patches and as of right now, it would seem a purple patch is very much on. With fixtures that look quite good, Lukaku is set for a goal rush.

Why no: Is expensive and isn't much of a differential. Everton, like Lukaku are notoriously inconsistent, free-scoring in one game, morbidly quiet in the next.

Olivier Giroud

Team: Arsenal

Fixtures: Crystal Palace (H), Bournemouth (A), Swansea (A), Burnley (H) and Watford (H)

Price: 8.5 (-)

Score: 40

Ownership: 1.4%

Why yes: First stat of the season and the burly Frenchman scores a priceless winner. Giroud should start against Crystal Palace, a side that aren't the tightest at the back. With a stellar midfield behind him, the striker can really hit a 

Why no: Palace have signed Sam Allardyce, who is expected to shore up the backline, so Arsenal may not be able to rout the Eagles as expected. Giroud’s spot in the line-up is by no means guaranteed, so he remains a high-risk choice.

PS: The Gameweek deadline is 1900 GMT/12.30 am IST, so make sure all transfers are completed before that!