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 the weekend's Premier League action
|START 'EM - WHICH PLAYERS SHOULD YOU PICK?
In a run which has seen him creep into the top 20 points-scorers in Goal's Fantasy Football, Adam Johnson (6.5) has scored six goals in four Premier League games and was at his tricky best against Newcastle in the Tyne-Wear derby victory last Saturday. The winger has found confidence under Gus Poyet and will be looking to terrorise Hull City this weekend.
Southampton midfielder Adam Lallana (6) is also among the highest earners this season and was involved in the action in a 3-0 victory over Fulham last Saturday. Lallana makes Saints tick and has scored in three of his last four league outings. The World Cup hopeful could run the show at St Mary's Stadium against Stoke City on Saturday afternoon.
Chelsea full-back Branislav Ivanovic (6.5) was the hero for the Blues against Manchester City, scoring the only goal in a 1-0 victory at the Etihad Stadium. Back at Stamford Bridge this weekend for the visit of Newcastle, the Serbian and John Terry (5.5) are good value for a couple of clean sheets and are both capable of finding the back of the net, while Eden Hazard (9.5) continues to rack up the points.
After that defeat and failure to score, City will could well be on the rampage at Carrow Road against Norwich City. Sergio Aguero is injured but Alvaro Negredo (8) has struck nine times in the Premier League and could move into double figures this weekend.
|SIT 'EM - WHICH PLAYERS SHOULD YOU AVOID?
Liverpool face Arsenal on Saturday afternoon and it might be time to consider dropping Luis Suarez (10) for one week. The Uruguayan is the leading points-scorer in the game but has netted once in his last four outings in all competitions and is facing a Gunners defence who have conceded a miserly 21 goals all season.
Alternatively, if you are backing the partnership of Suarez and Daniel Sturridge at Anfield, it might be worth omitting Per Mertesacker (5) or Wojciech Szczesny (5). The German centre-back is among the highest scoring defenders in Goal's Fantasy Football game, while no goalkeeper has accumulated as many points as the Pole, but, if Liverpool are firing, the Arsenal defensive unit is likely to suffer.
Newcastle are still adjusting to the loss of Yohan Cabaye to Paris Saint-Germain and suffered a heavy defeat to rivals Sunderland last time out. Hatem Ben Arfa (6.5) is back in the reckoning and has started the last two games but is yet to make an impact and is unlikely to do so against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, where the Blues are near-unbeatable.
Chelsea were able to shut out Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Monday but Norwich City are unlikely to replicate that feat. John Ruddy (4.5) is the Canaries' highest-scoring player but could face a barrage at Carrow Road against a side who have scored a whopping 68 goals already this season.
|THE BARGAIN BASEMENT
Good news, Fantasy Football fans; your favourite bargain player, Seamus Coleman (4.5), is available for selection. Everton manager Roberto Martinez has confirmed that the attacking full-back will be fit to face Tottenham at White Hart Lane on Sunday and, with Spurs struggling to keep teams off the scoresheet, the Republic of Ireland international could be among the goals and assists.
Sunderland continue to climb the table under Gus Poyet and are now level on points in the Premier League with Saturday's opponents, Hull. Phil Bardsley (4) was one of the top-scoring defenders last weekend following a 3-0 win over Newcastle and, with the Tigers having only found the net 23 times this season, the full-back could be on for another clean sheet - and possibly a fifth goal in all competitions.
West Ham goalkeeper Adrian (3.5) followed up his heroics at Chelsea with another clean sheet, this time against Swansea City at Upton Park. Aston Villa are next to face Sam Allardyce's side and, at such a low price, the 27-year-old represents a good opportunity to spend in other areas while still picking up points.
In attack, Jay Rodriguez (5.5) continues to impress. Southampton beat Fulham 3-0 at Craven Cottage in their last outing and the striker bagged his 10th league goal of the season in a comfortable win. Seven of those strikes have been registered since the start of December so the former Burnley man is in good form and could be back among the goals against Stoke.
|CAPTAIN'S CHOICE - TOP TIP FOR DOUBLE POINTS
With Manchester United facing bottom-of-the-table Fulham, Robin van Persie (13) could be a good bet to bag you plenty of points this weekend. The Dutchman is fully fit and back among the goals, scoring in the shock defeat to Stoke.
Fulham travel to Old Trafford having been knocked out of the FA Cup by Sheffield United, with manager Rene Meulensteen conceding that his side are low on confidence. No other team have conceded anywhere near as many goals as the Cottagers (53), so making room for the expensive Van Persie could well prove worth your while.
|GAMEWEEK 24 - BEST XI
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