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Dublin: 0 °C Monday 18 November, 2019
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Fantasyland: Same players, different gameweek

Check out our guide on which players to pick this week, as well as our predictions for the upcoming Premier League fixtures.

Shane Long has been in fine form so far this season.
Shane Long has been in fine form so far this season.

LIKE LAST WEEK, the so-called big teams don’t have it easy this time around either.

Man City face a tricky trip to Tottenham, while United face an Arsenal side on the back of their midweek Champions League redemption.

Even Liverpool have a taxing task ahead, as they take on the side who ran Man City close last week – Bolton.

So with that in mind, let the unpredictable FF-related fun commence…

Two players to pick this week:

Anderson - While the Brazilian has at times flattered to deceive at United, he was hugely impressive against Spurs on Monday, epitomising his side’s relentless energy that eventually left the opposition’s midfielders wilting. Anderson unarguably needs to add goals to his locker, but the retirement of Paul Scholes could pave the way for him to step up to the plate. I expect him to grab this opportunity with both hands and if he does, expect his value to soar. However, at his current £6.0m valuation, he represents a bargain.

Shane Long - Scoring twice in two games is no mean feat – especially when the goals come against United and Chelsea. Shane Long is bound to get plenty more against inferior teams, while his pace, strength and unselfish play mean he is likely to make more than a few assists as well. Like Anderson, he is only valued at £6.0m currently, but expect his valuation to rise if he keeps playing to his potential, as he bids to become this season’s equivalent to teammate Peter Odemwingie last season i.e. one of those hugely underrated players who can’t stop scoring.

Two players to avoid this week:

Wojciech Szczęsny - The Arsenal goalkeeper has had a surprisingly assured (not normally a word you’d associate with Arsenal goalkeepers) start to the season, playing well despite conceding twice against Liverpool last week. While Szczęsny may be a decent pick in the long term, it seems wise to ditch him this week, as Arsenal arguably face their toughest game of the season this week – away to Man United. You can expect a few goals in this encounter, especially given Arsenal’s less-than-reliable defence, and United’s attack, which seems to have lost none of its potency, despite the retirement of Paul Scholes.

Jermain Defoe - The Spurs player was once a staple pick of Fantasy Football lovers, however his days in the first team appear to be numbered following the loan signing of Adebayor. His form has become steadily worse in recent months, owing to a succession of injuries. So take him off your team, before Harry does the inevitable, and benches this once-great player.

Predictions for the week:

Aston Villa 2-1 Wolves

Wigan 1-1 QPR

Blackburn 0-2 Everton

Chelsea 3-1 Norwich

Swansea 1-1 Sunderland

Liverpool 3-2 Bolton

Newcastle 2-0 Fulham

Tottenham 1-1 Man City

West Brom 2-2 Stoke

Man Utd 3-1 Arsenal

How my team got on last week: Better than the previous week, but still only just above average with 51 points. With no excuse like the outage to blame this time, I’ll admit that players like Kompany and Terry let me down, while Nani had one of his unusually quiet games, leaving me in a disgraceful 258th place in TheScore.ie’s official FF league.

Who do you think will perform well/badly this week? Let us know in the comments section below.

Read: Rovers set for pre-Christmas showdown with Tottenham in Dublin>

Read: The Departures Lounge: your daily lunchtime transfer round-up>

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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