Fantasy Premier League 2013 Week 18: Defenders, Midfielders and Strikers to Sign

Christopher Atkins@@chris_elasticoContributor IDecember 22, 2013

CARDIFF, WALES - NOVEMBER 30:  Aaron Ramsey of Arsenal doesn't celebrate scoring their first goal in respect for Cardiff his old team during the Barclays Premier League match between Cardiff City and Arsenal at Cardiff City Stadium on November 30, 2013 in Cardiff, Wales.  (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)
Christopher Lee/Getty Images

The festive season is upon us and, in fantasy football terms, that means frequent fixtures and the chance to make quick points with the right transfers and team selections.

While Round 17 of fixtures continue until Monday night, a full slate of fixtures will take place on Thursday on the traditional Boxing Day calendar.

But on a day of celebration for many around the globe, which defenders, midfielders and strikers are set to bring fantasy football joy to their respective managers?


Dejan Lovren (Southampton, £5.7 million)

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 07:  Dejan Lovren of Southampton is challenged by Edin Dzeko of Manchester City during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Manchester City at St Mary's Stadium on December 7, 2013 in Southampton, Engla
Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Southampton have an astonishingly good defensive record this season, matching Everton on 15 goals conceded as the best in the Premier League.

Per, their Boxing Day meeting with Cardiff will see the Saints, who concede the second-fewest shooting opportunities of any side in the league, take on the side who create the second fewest. The odds are in favour of a clean sheet for the away side.

Lovren is already the sixth-highest point-scorer in the game, according to the official site's statistics, owing mainly to his team's defensive excellence.

Against the crisis-hit Bluebirds, it would be a major surprise to see the club's defensive fortunes greatly alter.

Seamus Coleman (Everton, £6.3 million)

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 14:  Seamus Coleman of Everton celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Fulham at Goodison Park on December 14, 2013 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Paul T
Paul Thomas/Getty Images

The top-scoring defender in the game this season, Coleman has a further opportunity to add to his impressive haul of 90 points against bottom-of-the-table Sunderland.

Gus Poyet's side haven't won in six league games and have drawn a blank on four of those occasions. Travelling to an Everton side with the best defensive record in the division, it is hard to envisage them greatly troubling Roberto Martinez's side.

Where Coleman is a particularly good buy is that he earns points for his attacking contributions, as well as the team's exceptional defensive record. Per, he has already amassed three goals and an assist in the opening months of the current campaign.

At Goodison Park, the Toffees will expect to dominate proceedings against Sunderland, and Coleman could be rewarded with fantasy points at both ends of the pitch if the game proceeds as the form book would suggest.


Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal, £7.6 million)

Still cheaper in fantasy football than the likes of Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla and Theo Walcott, Ramsey is the highest point-scorer of any Arsenal player this season. Against a West Ham side with one point in four games, he has the chance rapidly to improve his already impressive tally.

With eight goals and six assists in his 15 starts thus far this campaign, the 2013-14 season is easily the best of Ramsey's career with Arsenal to date.

Arsenal face Chelsea on Monday evening in an important top-of-the-table clash, with the encounter against West Ham a significant chance to add three points whatever the outcome.

Ramsey has consistently come up with important contributions this season and should earn points at both ends of the pitch, given West Ham's lacklustre goalscoring record of 14 goals in 17 games. The fourth-highest scorer overall, he is a steal at under £8 million.


Javier Hernandez (Manchester United, £7.2 million)

With Robin van Persie injured and Danny Welbeck having picked up a knock in the club's victory over West Ham on Saturday, per the Independent, Manchester United manager David Moyes is going to have to look elsewhere for a centre-forward to face Hull on Thursday.

While there is the option of bringing Shinji Kagawa into the line-up and pushing Wayne Rooney into a more advanced role, it is likely that the former Everton manager will choose not to disrupt the balance of a side gaining momentum.

That, in turn, will offer the opportunity to use Mexican forward Chicharito, who has managed just three league starts this campaign. Hernandez, though, is a proven goalscorer who will be keen to prove himself worthy of more playing time ahead of next summer's World Cup.

Per, Hull are the third-worst side in the league for possession and concede an average of 14 shots a game. Should Hernandez play, he is bound to get chances and has shown over the past few seasons to be lethal when handed opportunities. 

*All transfer fees and statistics taken from the official game of the Barclays Premier League.


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