Nik Argiropoulos

Perfect XI

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AM's Perfect XI - Week 36

Wednesday, May 03, 2017


Welcome to AM's Perfect XI - Week 36 player picks. This column focuses on Togga's Perfect XI game, which you can play via their IOS and Android app. Find the apps here and make sure you update regularly to take advantage of the constant enhancements: https://www.playtogga.com


We've set up a Rotoworld PL Private League which allows you to 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:


http://tog.ga/rotoworld


Each week I provide a Perfect XI of my own for the upcoming gameweek, recommending 11 players to consider along with some honourable mentions. The players listed won't necessarily be the exact 11 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 and get your brain whirring. I'll be listing a combination of the must-haves and slightly riskier options, alongside the odd hunch. Hopefully you'll find this useful whether you're playing Togga's game or looking at potential transfers for your official Fantasy Premier League team.


The past few weeks have been an absolute disaster for my own PXI side. Two work trips and a holiday in April left me with either no Wi-Fi or no time to check line-ups, which has led to too many zeros to count on two hands. I've dropped outside the overall top 100 for the first time this season and face a real battle to end the season on a high.


Week 36 throws us a random Friday night start as West Ham host title-hunting Tottenham at the London Stadium in a 7:45pm GMT kick-off. However, the important thing to note is that it's another double week for just two teams with Arsenal and Southampton playing over the weekend and then facing off against each other next Wednesday evening.


Here are the fixtures in full:


Friday 05 May
West Ham v Spurs


Saturday 06 May
Man City v Crystal Palace
Bournemouth v Stoke
Burnley v West Brom
Hull v Sunderland
Leicester v Watford
Swansea v Everton


Sunday 07 May
Liverpool v Southampton
Arsenal v Man Utd


Monday 08 May
Chelsea v Middlesbrough


Wednesday 10 May
Southampton v Arsenal


Those of you who have followed my columns over the years will know I'm a sucker for a double-game week (DGW). I usually load up my fantasy teams with as many double-gamers as possible, and of course Perfect XI sets no limits. It didn't pay off particularly well in Week 34 but given my current freefall I've decided to go in pretty heavily on Arsenal and Southampton players again, although you'll see a sprinkling of the best single-gamers.


KEEPERS
Petr Cech - The only Arsenal player who could leave White Hart Lane last weekend with his head held high after a string of fine saves kept the score-line down. Cech should pick up plenty of save points again over the two matches and will have a chance of keeping a clean sheet in one of the game if the Gunners keep up their Jekyll & Hyde form.


Honourable Mentions: Fraser Forster (DGW), Thibaut Courtois at home to Middlesbrough, Eldin Jakupovic at home to Sunderland


DEFENDERS
Laurent Koscielny - Arsenal's captain is badly missing his regular partner Mustafi and the defensive frailties have been there for all to see, but given his 10 point-per-game average in the Perfect XI format and his goal threat at set pieces I still feel he's a must-have for the double week.
Ryan Bertrand - It's wise to include a Saints defender in your line-up given the two games and there's no need to look any further than Mr Bertrand. Like Koscielny, the England left-back has been averaging close to 10 PPG in PXI and should offer attacking contributions alongside his defensive returns despite the tricky fixtures.
Nacho Monreal - One of Wenger's most trusted senior players, Monreal won't set the world on fire but he's guaranteed to play both games unless injured or suspended and the Spaniard is capable of popping up with the occasional double-digit fantasy score. File this pick under "Dull But Sensible."
Marcos Alonso - The game's top scoring defender, in form, playing for the Premier League leaders at home to Middlesbrough. A no brainer.


Honourable Mentions: Jan Vertonghen away at West Ham, Christian Fuchs at home to Watford, Charlie Daniels at home to Stoke, Andrea Ranocchia at home to Sunderland, Nicolas Otamendi at home to Crystal Palace


MIDFIELDERS
Mesut Ozil - Even the most ardent of Ozil fans will have to admit that the German star's general play has been poor during the most difficult period of Arsene Wenger's long career but he continues to rack up the fantasy points in most game formats thanks to his set piece delivery. Ozil is averaging 15 PPG over the past six weeks and should comfortably exceed 20 points over the course of his match ups against Manchester United and Southampton.
Dusan Tadic - The only Saints attacker to make the line-up, Tadic was heavily criticised for missing an injury time penalty against Hull in Week 35, but up until that point he had been the best player on the pitch. There is often a fear of rotation but the Serbian international has completed 90 minutes for five weeks in a row, returning more than 10 points in four of those matches. These statisics were enough to convince me to find a spot for him for the double-game week.
Riyad Mahrez - A bit of a curveball selection given the multitude of options on offer for Week 36, but Mahrez has shown clear signs of improvement since Craig Shakespeare entered the fray and a home clash with Watford will present the Algerian with the opportunity to show off his creativity.
Eden Hazard - The game's top scoring midfielder, in form, playing for the Premier League leaders at home to Middlesbrough. A no brainer.


Honourable Mentions: Nathan Redmond (DGW), Dele Alli away at West Ham, Gylfi Sigurdsson at home to Everton, Kamil Grosicki at home to Sunderland, Kevin De Bruyne at home to Crystal Palace


STRIKERS
Alexis Sanchez - Sanchez has done himself few favours over the past month with training ground strops, lacklustre finishing and some embarrassing play-acting, but the facts are the Chilean is a world class player, a hard worker, the Gunners' main goal threat, penalty taker, the top scoring striker in PXI, and he has two games. For all of these reasons only a very brave (or very foolish) fantasy manager will leave him out of their side for Week 36.
Harry Kane - I nearly went for Gabbiadini in this spot but Tottenham's form is just too good to ignore and so this column had to include a Spurs attacker. West Ham have struggled against all of the top 6 sides this season and it should be another comfortable win for Mauricio Pochettino's men, with Kane hunting his 30th goal of the season in all competitions.


Honourable Mentions: Manolo Gabbiadini (DGW), Josh King at home to Stoke, Diego Costa at home to Middlesbrough, Gabriel Jesus at home to Crystal Palace, Jamie Vardy at home to Watford, Romelu Lukaku away at Swansea


That's it for Week 36. Check out the Rotoworld Features page to see a whole bunch of great content to get you ready for the weekend ahead. Feel free to comment below to us know how you're getting on so far. And of course, good luck to all managers this week.



Nik Argiropoulos is a London-based soccer writer for Rotoworld and co-founder of Never Manage Alone. You can find him on Twitter @nikarg.
Email :Nik Argiropoulos





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