Goal takes a look at the best players to select or avoid, the bargain buys and the top choice for captain's double points ahead of this weekend's Premier League action
|START 'EM - WHICH PLAYERS SHOULD YOU PICK?
With 12 goals in his last 10 appearances for Manchester City, Sergio Aguero (10.5) is one of the Premier League's form players. The visit of Tottenham, despite their excellent defensive record, is unlikely to pose any problems for the Argentine, who has two goals in three appearances against the north Londoners and has always been on the winning side. He also netted twice in his nation's mid-week win over Bosnia, though may be hampered by the absence of David Silva on Sunday.
Although widely selected before the season started, Shinji Kagawa (8.0) is now owned by barely 3 per cent of managers after struggling to the gain the trust of new boss David Moyes. He has returned to favour recently, featuring in Manchester United's last five games (starting four), coinciding with an upturn in the Red Devils' form. The Japan international looks primed to begin showing his undoubted talent, beginning with a favourable tie against Cardiff.
Another player who has failed to live up to his pre-season billing is Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho (8.0). But, after returning to action following a should injury, the Brazilian will be hoping to recapture the form that saw him record a goal or assist every 92 minutes for the Reds last term. Against Fulham, despite not scoring, Coutinho had four efforts on target – the most of any player on the pitch – and could be back among the goals very soon.
Newcastle United had made an unspectacular start to their Premier League campaign, but back-to-back wins over Chelsea and Tottenham have got the Magpies flying again. Yohan Cabaye (6.0), who has two goals and two assists in his last seven appearances, has been at the heart of the Toon's resistance, and looks especially dangerous when releasing countryman Loic Remy. The French midfielder faces a lacklustre Norwich outfit and is buoyed by an excellent display in les Bleus' 3-0 win over Ukraine.
|SIT 'EM - WHICH PLAYERS SHOULD YOU AVOID?
With no goals or assists in his last three outings for club and country, there's a sense that Daniel Sturridge (8.5) is beginning to go off the boil. The 24-year-old has been demoted to more of a wingman role following the return of Luis Suarez – who himself will be drained after midweek exploits for Uruguay – and struggled to affect England's match against Germany after picking up a thigh injury in the build-up. That knock could stifle him against a resolute Everton backline.
Only Lille (four) and Serie A table-toppers Roma (three) have conceded fewer league goals than Southampton (five) in Europe's top five leagues this season, though they will struggle to contain free-flowing league leaders Arsenal on Saturday. The Saints conceded six times on their last visit to the Emirates Stadium, and now seems an appropriate time to ditch Dejan Lovren (4.0) & Co. with the south coast outfit set for a difficult run of fixtures.
After starting the season on fire, Oliver Giroud (7.5) has now scored just once in his last seven league games – a late strike against bottom of the table Crystal Palace. The Frenchman has kept his Fantasy Football score ticking over with plenty of assists, but, with more prolific strikers available to choose from and Theo Walcott's return likely to see him compete for a spot upfront, Giroud may no longer justify his inclusion.
Tottenham have conceded just once on their travels this season, but a trip to the Etihad Stadium will test their defence to the maximum. Spurs captain and centre-back Michael Dawson (5.5) has picked up a massive seven clean sheets this term, but traditionally struggles against Man City and the pace of Aguero in particular. The north London side haven't shut out the Citizens since 2010, conceding 12 goals in the five games since then, and follow up the fixture with an equally troublesome game against reigning champions Manchester United.
|THE BARGAIN BASEMENT
After missing Newcastle's last four games with a groin problem, Fabricio Coloccini (4.5) is fit again and ready to return to the Magpies defence. The side look a more solid prospect when he plays, recording a clean sheet in 37.5 per cent of matches he's played in this term, and he won't break the bank. Meanwhile, former team-mate Steve Harper (4.0), now at Hull, could keep his place in goal despite Allan McGregor's return to fitness and is a good bet to pick up another clean sheet against the managerless and misfiring Crystal Palace.
Stoke City's deadline-day signing Marko Arnautovic (6.0) has quickly established himself as a fans' favourite at the Britannia stadium, bringing uncharacteristic flair and trickery to the Potteries. The Austrian has taken on set-piece duty, scoring a superb effort against Manchester United recently, and will fancy his chances of adding to his tally when Sunderland visit on Saturday.
Having started Manchester United's last four Premier League matches (winning three), Jonny Evans (5.0) appears to have established himself as Moyes' preferred centre-back. The Northern Irishman will be looking to help the Red Devils secure back-to-back clean sheets for the first time this season, having already shut out league leaders Arsenal with relative ease. Only two sides have scored fewer goals than Sunday's opponents Cardiff, while Evans can even pop up with a goal – he netted three times in 23 league appearances last season.
|CAPTAIN'S CHOICE - TOP TIP FOR DOUBLE POINTS
Despite not starting a league game for Newcastle until September, Loic Remy (7.5) is already just one goal shy of the Premier League's leading scorers with seven strikes (all of which came in his last seven games). The Frenchman scored in back-to-back matches against Chelsea and Tottenham with two expertly taken finishes, and Fantasy Football managers will note that he faces a far less fearsome side this weekend.
The Magpies take on struggling Norwich City at St James' Park on Saturday, with the Canaries boasting the worst away defensive record in the Premier League. Chris Hughton's side have conceded 14 times on their travels and conceded seven times on their last away outing against Man City. Remy will be confident of bagging enough goals to overhaul Aguero, Suarez and Sturridge at the top of the scoring leaderboard.
|GAMEWEEK 12 - BEST XI
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