‘Tis the season! A goal for Divock Origi, a clean sheet for Fonte and then a massive mistake on Spurs vs United means that Christmas has restored my usual inconsistency. As we know, it’s a prime time of year to forget how often you’ve got teams to pick and a whole gameweek can pass you by while you’re watching the top 100 Christmas dogs of the 90s on Channel 5. For that reason, it’s best to get some stalwarts in case you leave your team past the dreaded deadline (dreadline) and you can still have some semblance of a normal side. Either that or I’m lazy and combining two gameweeks into one.
DEFENDER: MARCOS ALONSO, CHELSEA
One of my golden rules of Christmas is to try and grab defenders playing at home in the quick turnaround gameweeks but I’m breaking all the rules and picking Marcos Alonso. Chelsea have back to back away games but Sunderland and Palace shouldn’t threaten their quest to further their lead at the top. Only 8 weeks ago Chelsea were 12/1 to win the league and I have no idea why (yes, I bet on it). They also boast the joint best defence in the league (Spurs the other) and while people looks at the list of defenders and go on autopilot to add Gary Cahill or Azpilicueta as they are ranked one and two, that’s actually a mistake. Alonso has a few less points than his team mates but given that he didn’t feature for the first 3 matches of the season he actually makes more economical sense than the more fashionable two.
MIDFIELDER: DIMITRI PAYET, WEST HAM
First an honourable mention for Wilf Zaha who has gone from about 3 assists in 4 seasons to nearly double figures for the year already. He is arguably the most in form midfielder in the league and had it not been for Palace’s brutal Xmas double fixture lists, he would definitely be in my team. At 7.5% he doesn’t quite squeeze into the outsider category but he is certainly worth a look. I am instead going back to an old faithful, slippers and socks for Dad if you will and nestling Dimitri Payet back into my plans. He has found fantasy form (5,5,9) in the las few weeks and a trademark free kick vs Liverpool put him back on the many a manager’s radar. Two home games against Burnley and Hull is very very appealing and right before the January transfer window. You watching Barca/PSG/Real/Anyone but West Ham.
FORWARD: JAMIE VARDY, LEICESTER
After weeks and weeks of nothingness Jamie Vardy finally came home to FPL managers with a hat trick and my guess is a lot of you will be throwing back into your squads for Xmas with Bournemouth and Stoke as their opponents and no Champions League for a little while. If you don’t fancy going back to him so easily like Little Mo did to Andy after eating Xmas dinner off the floor then you could always go for my second choice (Yea a second choice, what of it?) Llorente of Swansea. The Spaniard has finally starting producing a return that Swans fans were hoping for with 4 goals in 3 games. More importantly, a good display at last with a crucial 3-0 over Sunderland. He clearly has the experience and caliber for the Premier League and he might be a good outside shout if you don’t fancy letting Jamie off so easy.
CAPTAIN: DIEGO COSTA, CHELSEA
I think I’ve been pretty good at not always picking the absolute obvious choice this year but I’ve got presents to wrap.
Ok I’ve got presents to buy!
Ok, I’ve got friends to find to buy presents for.
Ok I need to get out of bed, give me a break MUM!!
Anyway, he may be 52% picked but I have to tell the other 48% to pick Diego Costa this instant. I know he’s a bell end but he is in formidable form and I do not see a scenario where Sunderland or Palace’s backline can keep him at bay. In fact I don’t even know how he doesn’t score 3 goals over those 2 games. Hopefully for Xmas he gets some moisturiser. Meaow!!
OUTSIDER: STEFANO OKAKA, WATFORD
It can only be one man can’t it? He might look like every Sunday league player you’ve ever played against but Stefano Okaka in only his second start absolutely destroyed Everton’s back for, giving them absolute hell for the 80 minutes he played, before walking off for a standing ovation. His appearance is deceptive though. He’s played for a ridiculous amount of clubs but also has 4 Italy caps to his name. While his goal return is underwhelming, if he plays like he did against Ashley Williams, I don’t see how he doesn’t give the league’s lesser centre halves a headache and ruin more clean sheets than an excitable kid on Xmas Eve. Man City and Sunderland make up his pre-Christmas fixture list but who wouldn’t want to play City right now? John Stones won’t get away with that Cruyff turn all that often and at 0.3% he could be the perfect option for the bottom of the league dweller with nothing to lose.