Fantasy Football Preview: Gameweek 21

Juan Mata

Another gameweek and another midfield hat trick, this time from Theo Walcott. The hectic festive schedule has thrown up plenty of points, and if you pick wisely, this gameweek could give a final hurrah before the FA cup break.

Fixtures Analysis: Arsenal head to Southampton on the back of their seven goal haul against Newcastle. Manchester City host a Stoke team who have lost a little of their defensive steel over Christmas. Swansea host the hapless Aston Villa, who are 15-0 down over their past three matches. In form Tottenham Hotspur should be able to see off Reading even without Gareth Bale, and West Brom are a good bet against Fulham. It's also worth looking at Manchester United at Wigan, and Chelsea at home to the seemingly doomed QPR.

Transfers In: With so many good looking matches, picking out your transfers will take plenty of consideration. Theo Walcott (8.8) looks like a must have playing at the head of Arsenal's formation, and Kieran Gibbs (5.5) is offering a good chance of attacking returns raiding down his flank.

Manchester City will be as hard to call as ever, but Edin Dzeko (7.3) and David Silva (9.4) should be safe enough to pick, with the former unlikely to be dropped after his hat trick. At the back Matija Nastasic (5.6) is well priced, but could be rotated. From Swansea, Michu (8.2) might be fit to play against Villa, but there are other good choices available in Hernandez (5.9) or De Guzman (5.7) going forward, and Ashley Williams (4.8) is a safe pair of hands at the back.

With Bale out, Lennon (7.1) and Dempsey look the best picks from Spurs' midfield, with every chance that one of the strikers will drop out to accommodate the American. At the back, Jan Vertonghen (6.4) gives a chance of goals from set pieces, and Hugo Lloris (5.9) is well priced for a keeper with plenty of recent clean sheets.

West Brom are not in scintillating form any more, but the visit of freefalling Fulham could give their players a chance to score well. Clarke likes to rotate, so whoever you pick is risky, but James Morrison (6.1) and Shane Long (6.3) should see some minutes on the pitch.

Alex Ferguson's reputation as a fantasy football nightmare was confirmed at the weekend when he started neither Robin van Persie (14.0) nor Javier Hernandez against West Brom. The Dutchman came on to score, and is still clearly a good choice, but be prepared for rotation.

Finally, Chelsea are in great form, and host rivals QPR in a match they will be keen to score plenty in. Juan Mata (9.8) is almost unplayable at times, and worth picking despite the rotation risk, and Torres (9.8) is still worth keeping faith in. At the back, Luiz (6.6) is worth choosing as he might retain his place in midfield despite an iffy showing at Everton.

Captain Choice: Robin van Persie and Theo Walcott are once again decent choices, but I'm going to plump for Juan Matathis gameweek, with the Spaniard integral to in-form Chelsea's attacking play.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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