Welcome to AM's Perfect XI - Week 18 player picks. This column focuses on Togga's Perfect XI game which you can play via their IOS and Android app. Download the apps via the link below and make sure you update regularly to take advantage of the constant enhancements:
Once downloaded, open the app and register an account. Once registered, click the Fantasy tab at the bottom of the app screen. Then from the Fantasy screen, click the arrow at the top of the app screen to select Perfect XI.
We've set up a Rotoworld PL Private League where you can challenge myself and the rest of the RW PL team over the course of the season. To join it download the app and then click the below link from your device, or find us from the Featured Leagues tab:
Each week I provide a Perfect XI of my own for the upcoming gameweek of Premier League fixtures, recommending 11 players to consider along with some honourable mentions for each position. The main 11 players listed won't necessarily be the exact players selected for my own Perfect XI fantasy side. The point of this column isn't to tell you exactly who to pick; it's to present some ideas to get you thinking. Hopefully you'll find the advice useful, whether you're playing Togga's game or looking at potential transfers for your official Fantasy Premier League team.
Week 17 was a decent one for my own PXI team, scoring 138 points to stay around 170th in the overall standings.
Week 18 is a standard weekend round of fixtures with the first game kicking off at 12:30 GMT on Saturday between Leicester and Crystal Palace. It's important to have your fantasy team locked in ready for this game but remember in Perfect XI you can swap out a player from your squad right up to one minute before their match kicks off and bring in an alternative player whose match is also yet to kick off. This wonderful flexibility allows you to avoid the pain of a surprise benching or unreported last minute injury and a big fat ZERO. Just make sure you keep an eye on the starting line-ups as kick off approaches each week by following the Rotoworld PL Twitter account.
Here are your Week 18 fixtures:
Saturday 16 December
Leicester v Crystal Palace
Arsenal v Newcastle
Brighton v Burnley
Chelsea v Southampton
Stoke v West Ham
Watford v Huddersfield
Man City v Spurs
Sunday 17 December
West Brom v Man Utd
Bournemouth v Liverpool
Monday 18 December
Everton v Swansea
As always we want to focus on the players from teams with the most winnable match ups and there are plenty on offer this weekend. Arsenal at home to Newcastle is the stand-out fixture, with Chelsea at home to Southampton, Leicester at home to Crystal Palace, Everton at home to Swansea and Watford at home to Huddersfield all worth a look. Liverpool away at Bournemouth and Manchester United away at West Brom will also come in to play, while Manchester City v Spurs could be a cracker with plenty of goals.
Here are the picks ...
Petr Cech - at home to Newcastle. Can't see anything other than a comfortable Arsenal win to nil.
Sead Kolasinac - at home to Newcastle. The Serbian is enjoying an outstanding debut season in England and will offer his usual mix of defensive solidity and attacking bravado.
Jonjoe Kenny - at home to Swansea. Sam Allardyce wasted no time sorting out Everton's defence and so there should be a clean sheet on offer for the impressive Kenny against the toothless Swans.
Marcos Alonso - at home to Southampton. The wing-back has returned double-figures in six of his last eight appearances in the PXI format and it should be seven in nine by Saturday evening.
Harry Maguire - at home to Crystal Palace. The Foxes are in fine form and Maguire has been a key contributor, marshalling the defence well and offering a huge aerial threat at set pieces. Palace beware.
Riyad Mahrez - at home to Crystal Palace. We're finally seeing the Mahrez of Leicester's title-winning season and the credit for that must go to Claude Puel. The rejuvenated attacker was first name on my PXI team-sheet this week for the clash with the Eagles.
Mesut Ozil - at home to Newcastle. With Aaron Ramsey expected to miss out there was only one alternative midfield option for the Gunners. Ozil hasn't scored assisted in his last three games so is due a performance in front of the home fans.
Eden Hazard - at home to Southampton. Magnificent against Huddersfield on Tuesday night but walked away without much to show for it in terms of fantasy points. He'll put that right against the Saints.
Gylfi Sigurdsson - at home to Swansea. Are we seeing the start of a Siggy renaissance? Two goals and two assists in his last six appearances certainly suggests so and I'm tipping him to lead Everton to victory over his former side.
Honourable Mentions: Kevin De Bruyne at home to Tottenham, Sadio Mane away at Bournemouth, Xherdan Shaqiri at home to West Ham, Abdoulaye Doucoure at home to Huddersfield, Pascal Gross at home to Burnley, Manuel Lanzini away at Stoke
Alexandre Lacazette - at home to Newcastle. The Frenchman's home goal-scoring form has been excellent and should continue against the struggling Magpies.
Mohamed Salah - away at Bournemouth. Salah missed a glorious chance to win the game in midweek but that's been a rare occurance since joining Liverpool. He's red hot and will be the main threat down on the South Coast.
That's it for Week 18. Check out our Rotoworld Features page to access a host of fantastic content to get you ready for the weekend ahead. If you have any questions about the Perfect XI game or general questions about a player or your own team then feel free to post them below or ping me on Twitter (@nikarg) and I promise to get back to you.
Thanks for reading - good luck to all managers this weekend.