Fantasy Focus: Top picks for Premier League Matchweek 12
With the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League group stage completed, English Premier League will take over as the dominant footballing action for the remainder of the month. It kickstarts with the match week 12 on Saturday, December 12.
With PL games coming thick and fast, we bring to you some of the names who could be the standout performers in your fantasy team this weekend.
Player: Patrick Bamford
Match: Leeds United vs West Ham United
The ideal executioner of Marcelo Bielsa's masterplan, England's Patrick Bamford has been a revelation in the Premier League this season. Since his first goal at the Anfield, where Leeds United announced their arrival against defending champions Liverpool, Bamford has led Bielsa's three-pronged attack through the middle scoring eight goals in 11 matches. His hat-trick against Aston Villa exhibited the phenomenal talent that English football has at its disposal. After scoring blanks against Arsenal and Everton, Bamford was Leeds' sole goal-scorer in their loss to Chelsea last week. With a less competitive challenger in West Ham United up next, Bielsa would be hoping his striker can turn on the heat.
Player: Son Heung-min
Match: Crystal Palace vs Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham Hotspur's Son Heung-min is undoubtedly the most popular footballer in North London right now after his screamer against arch-rivals Arsenal. The 28-year-old South Korean has been Jose Mourinho's best player this season so far, partnering alongside England talisman Harry Kane up front - who have been their goal-scoring threat against their PL opponents. Son has tallied a whopping 10 goals in 11 PL encounters so far, with his four-goal cameo against Southampton the best so far. While a conservative Crystal Palace would pose a different challenge for Mourinho’s men, Son remains his best shot at unlocking their rivals defence. And given his current form, Son is a must for any fantasy manager.
Player: Mohamed Salah
Match: Fulham vs Liverpool
Unlike last season, where Mohamed Salah wasn't Liverpool's most potent threat, he has been at his usual best this time around. The Egyptian international has played 10 games for the Reds in the Premier League, scoring 10 goals and assisting twice. And the availability of Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino have hardly mattered for the right-winger who has been at his prolific best. Though Salah was one of the very few Liverpool regulars to feature in their midweek UEFA Champions League clash, where he leapfrogged Steven Gerrard as the club's highest UCL goal-scorer, he is expected to start against Fulham at Craven Cottage. Interestingly, an underperforming Fulham have conceded 21 goals in 16 PL matches this season and Salah will certainly fancy his chances to add to his goal-scoring tally.
Player: Kevin De Bruyne
Match: Manchester United vs Manchester City
If there has been a Manchester City player who is as important to Pep Guardiola, as Lionel Messi was to him in Barcelona, it is Kevin De Bruyne. The Belgium international is the lynchpin at his favourite number 10 position for City, who orchestrates Guardiola's team like a well-oiled machine. After a slow start to the campaign, where De Bruyne didn't feature in the first few games, he is now back to his very best. Playing nine games for the Cityzens, De Bruyne has been directly involved in eight goals. City's next match is against arch-rivals Manchester United, who have just been dumped out of the UEFA Champions League by Bundesliga side RB Leipzig. There will be no better time to go to Manchester derby and earn a legendary status for himself at Old Trafford.
Player: Dominic Calvert-Lewin
Match: Everton vs Chelsea
For Everton to become a giant slayer and a top-four contender, which they have shown the intent of early in the season, Dominic Calvert-Lewin needs to keep his magical form going. The English forward has come of age in the 2020-21 Premier League season with 11 goals to his name in as many games, becoming the perfect number 9 any manager could wish for. With James Rodriguez and Richarlison flanking him, Calvert-Lewin has no dearth of deliveries inside the box and the striker has been brimming with confidence this season. With goals against Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool, Calvert-Lewin will be confident about scoring against a star-studded Chelsea side at Merseyside on Saturday.