Our Premier League team of week 16 has four debutants, and three of them play for Manchester United. See what happens when you try to attack, Jose? Playing the side with the worst defensive record in the division clearly helps, in fairness.
And so to fantasy football week 16. Our main hero from last week’s team was Shane Duffy, as he scored and picked up a total of 16 points. He often features in our team of the week, so it wasn’t really a surprise. Leroy Sané and Wayne Hennessey did okay too, but our other quintet largely sunk without trace.
Here’s our leader board for the last six match weeks, from which we’ll select our Draft Kings team. Before we look at who the Twelve algorithm has opted for this week, here are the matches which are included in the game on Saturday.
Manchester United and Arsenal played out an entertaining 2-2 draw in Wednesday’s Premier League clash at Old Trafford. United’s guests from North London twice led through goals from Shkodran Mustafi and Alexandre Lacazette, but Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard earned a share of the spoils for the home side.
Jose Mourinho’s side have now gone four games without a win and remain in eighth place in the standings, while Arsenal are down to fifth despite having extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to an amazing 20 matches.
Which manager will be happier with this result? It could easily be Unai Emery. Old Trafford seemed like an impossible puzzle for Arsenal for many years, so to go and maybe deserve to win is testament to what the Basque manager is doing this season. He’s doing a great job in transforming Arsenal into a more organized and serious side than was seen in the later years of Arsene Wenger’s reign. Read More
Is it really a ‘week’ when it all takes place midweek? It’s the key question of our confused times, I’m sure you’ll agree. Here’s our Premier League Team of Week 15.
Goalkeeper: Ben Foster. Watford 1-2 Manchester City.
The Watford stopper was second in the defensive chart to Newcastle’s Martin Dubravka, but he chipped in with a couple of high value long passes (as we can see here) to take the goalkeeper slot. Read More
Bournemouth vs Liverpool sees this season’s surprise package host Manchester City’s main title challengers. I foolishly predicted that the Cherries would struggle this season, so it should surprise nobody that they’re flying.
However, appearances can be deceptive. Despite their fine start to 2018/19, Eddie Howe’s side have actually taken three points fewer than they won in the corresponding fixtures last season. Has their impressive start been borne out of a relatively kind fixture list?
Bournemouth fans will answer “so what if it has?”, and there’s nothing wrong with that. With Liverpool heading to town, though, the Cherries’ record of 16 defeats from their last 18 matches against the big six sides has to be of some concern. Read More
“English football has an exceptional holding midfielder,” said Pep Guardiola in August. If he had got his way, that outstanding anchorman would be a Manchester City player. Instead a player Guardiola was confident of signing will face them. Jorginho was reunited instead with Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea. Rather than building a side around the Italy international, the Catalan will instead attempt to stop him constructing attacks in Chelsea vs Manchester City on Saturday.
Guardiola’s argument that Jorginho is outstanding is indisputable in one respect: the former Napoli man stands out in the statistics, topping the charts for touches and passes this season. He broke the Premier League record for most passes attempted against West Ham, attempting 180 in a performance that earned him 3,086 points on Twelve’s system. Look at Twelve’s diagram of his display that day (and untick ‘only important actions’ to see everything he did) and it indicates how pivotal he was. Read More
North London is red now, and Tottenham’s Mauricio Pocchetino has some work to do. At the end of the clash against Arsenal, Spurs’ manager considered the 4-2 defeat a consequence of a tough week, in which Chelsea and Internazionale tasted White Hart Lane’s steel.
This seems to be a very generous response to an anthology of individual mistakes seen at the Emirates, protecting his pupils from the awful truth before meeting Barcelona in the next Champions League fixture.
One shall remember that, some days before the derby, the Argentinian manager admitted fifth placed Tottenham are not aiming for the Premier League title. Therefore, the next match at Wembley can provide all relief needed, against a stumbling and acephalous Southampton. Read More
As City travel to Watford on Tuesday, it’s getting busy in the Premier League. A mid-week fixture is the perfect time to ponder the potential limits of two squads who have been successful relative to their goals so far, but who may have some difficulties with fixture congestion.
Despite a loss to Leicester at the weekend, Watford have to be pretty happy with their performances so far this season. Per Twelve’s xG timeline, through 13 games they’ve had less xG in a game than their opponents just five times this season, and that was to Spurs, Liverpool, Manchester United, Fulham (shockingly), and Bournemouth (courtesy of an early red card to Christian Kabasele).
Manchester United put in yet another disappointing performance at the weekend, this time against Premier League strugglers Southampton, as their bid to finish in the top four looks less likely with every week.
Before the two recent draws, José Mourinho claimed that United would be in one of the Champions League places by the end of December, but having dropped four points in the last two games, they are now left needing a win against Arsenal on Wednesday night.
Mourinho oversaw two victories over Arsenal last season but now that they are recharged under Unai Emery, thrashing rivals Tottenham Hostpur on Sunday afternoon. United will have their work cut out to get a result against them this time around. Read More
Burnley vs Liverpool is fixture which has gone in two very different directions over the past two seasons. In 2016/17, it was the Clarets’ second match back in the big time. They didn’t have a single shot in the box, Liverpool had 26 attempts in total but few of little real value, and Burnley won 2-0. Kopites were noting after their recent defeat to Crvena Zvezda that it felt very similar to that infamous Turf Moor loss.
It was a happier visit on New Year’s Day 2018, as Ragnar Klavan scored in the 94th minute in front of the away fans to give Liverpool a 2-1 win. From the agony of a stodgy defeat, to the ecstasy of an injury-time winner. But what can we expect to see on Wednesday night?