Before we get into the top 11 midfielders for Week 22, let me axe y’all a question. Who would you rather have Eden Hazard or Alexis Sánchez? You can’t answer both, even if you own both. It’s a tough call. On one hand you have Hazard, one of the top five maybe even three players in the world. A player who takes his team’s penalties, plays every match, and who’s dribbles are unrivaled. Hazard can create something from nothing. On the other hand you have the more experienced Alexis, a player who’s taken England by storm since joining up with the Gunners during the summer. He’s involved in everything and is head and shoulders the most dynamic player on the pitch for Arsenal in every match. Alexis is the better goal scorer of the two with 12 to the Belgian’s 8. And though Hazard is slightly more consistent, Alexis is more capable of blow up’s. Exemplified by his weeks of 16, 16, and 19, Hazard’s biggest week is 14 and his next biggest week after that is 11. I don’t think there’s any right or wrong answer here, it’s a matter of preference like boxers or briefs. Then again you can always take the “boxer brief” approach and just own both. I do…Midfielder Rankings for Week 22, read on.
1. Eden Hazard, Chelsea £10.7 (@Swansea) – Coke or Pepsi, Magic or Bird, Brady or Manning, ketchup or catsup, Hazard or Sánchez. These are the debates that define our time. This week I’m going Hazard due to matchup. If you like Sánchez better congrats, here’s a cookie.
2. Alexis Sánchez, Arsenal £11.5 (@Man City) – Blew up in week 21, if you were as smart as my colleague Smokey was last week then you captained Alexis. The rest of us are happy with our 19 point player. I doubt he blows up this week but he’s completely matchup proof. Start him every week with confidence.
3. Cesc Fàbregas, Chelsea £9.7 (@Swansea) – Cesc is a top midfield option without the goal scoring flair of the previous two. At 114 he’s the third ranked midfielder and overall scorer in the game. He’s also quite possibly FPL’s most consistent option. In 16 weeks he’s returned more than the minimum 2, and 11 of those have been 6 or more points. Imagine what his totals would look like with 2 or 3 more goals. This week he faces a Swansea squad sans Sung-yueng Ki, which means even more space for Cesc Masterclass.
4.Philippe Coutinho, Liverpool £7.6 (@Aston Villa) – Liverpool hasn’t signed a striker yet, right? Exactly why Coutinho and Sterling have so much value. Playing the false 9 during Liverpool’s recent run of good form has led to excellent returns from the Brazilian. He presently has the same form rating (6) as Fàbregas yet is criminally underowned at 3.5%. Just to compare Aaron Ramsey‘s ownership % is 3 times that at 11%. Gets a great matchup against Villa this week with Raheem once again by his side.
4. Nacer Chadli, Spurs £6.5 (vs. Sunderland) – Had an assist again last week and has scored 5 points or above in 4 of the last 5. His only blip was a 3 point round score in the 0-0 tie with Man United. He seems to be Christian Eriksen’s kryptonite, because when Chadli is in the starting 11 the Dane is just ordinary. Sorry Christian but savvy FPL managers like myself prefer the cheaper more consistent Chadli…. And those abs tho. Right Smokey?
5. David Silva, Manchester City £9.4 (vs. Arsenal) – Another great return from Merlin last week as he assisted on City’s lone goal in their draw with Everton. He’s been a beast since returning in week 16 and despite Alexis’ blow up last week is still head and shoulders ahead of everyone else in Form rating at 9. I’m very excited to see his returns with Sergio back in the mix this week.
6. Stewart Downing, West Ham £6.5 (vs. Hull City) – Broke out of a mini-three game slump of deuces and scored 7 off an assist and two bonus points. Speaking of which Stewie has been a hoarder of bonus points taking the full 3 on four different occasions and 2 in another four. He gets a very favorable fixture this week in a home clash with Hull City.
7. Raheem Sterling, Liverpool £8.4 (@Aston Villa) – He’s back from his Siesta in Jamaica hopefully rested and ready to play. I wonder what he did? I hope he smoked a little grass, drove through Kingston in a Benz, and acted like DMX in Belly. Because that’s what I’d do if I were him. Oh yeah Footie! Well he should team up with Coutinho to wreak havoc on a beat up Villa backline. The best part about a matchup with Villa is the potential to get the additional clean sheet point from your midfielder. It’s not much but it can be the cherry on top of a goal/assist week.
8. Stéphane Sessègnon, West Brom £5.7 (@Everton) – I like Sessègnon going forward in the new look West Brom under Tony Pulis. He’s a good play this week as no one is scared of Everton. At £5.7 he’s a worthwhile player to target as a first man off the bench option in your redecorated wild card lineup.
9. Angel Di María, Manchester United £9.5 (@QPR) – After only playing 30 minutes in the month of December AdM returned to action last week, putting in 70 minutes in United’s 1-0 loss to Southampton. Let’s not forget the 3 goals and 6 assists in his first 10 games this season. Those days will return soon.
10. George Boyd, Burnley £4.7 (vs. Crystal Palace) – Didn’t do much in last week’s 2-1 win over QPR only dropping a deuce. But he gets another plush home fixture this week. Plus he’s got headband swag.
11. James Ward-Prowse, Southampton £4.8 (@Newcastle) – I suppose this one is a bit of a Wildcard but when a player is in the top 10 of his position in form rating I pay attention. Then again form rating wouldn’t really matter if you’re paying attention. 4 assists in his last five and he’s great in the set pieces. I have a feeling a goal is coming. Another product of the Southampton system who’s going to have his chance with Saint’s midfield looking thin at the moment.
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