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Fantasy Premier League, Gameweek 13

Preview
The return of José Mourinho to the Premier League with Tottenham will largely dominate the coming round of fixtures, which comes after the conclusion of the latest international football window. Manuel Pellegrini’s struggling West Ham are the potentially unlucky team who will host Spurs in the Portuguese’s first fixture, in Saturday’s early kick-off.

At 3pm, Arsenal, Bournemouth, Brighton, Crystal Palace, Everton and Watford will respectively be visited by Southampton, Wolves, Leicester, league leaders Liverpool, Norwich, and Burnley. The most intriguing fixture of the weekend that doesn’t involve Mourinho then follows on Saturday evening; reigning champions Manchester City are at home, against in-form, improving Chelsea.

Perhaps harshly, Mauricio Pochettino’s departure from Spurs has again intensified the focus on Ole Gunnar Solskjær and Manchester United, who visit Sheffield United on Sunday afternoon. Gameweek 13 then concludes on Monday evening, when Aston Villa host Newcastle.

Captain’s pick

Fixtures between Arsenal and Southampton have, in recent years, largely been high-scoring affairs. Both are struggling in defence this season – Southampton have the division’s worst defensive record – and, within that context, the £11m Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is likely to excel. Saturday’s visitors to the Emirates Stadium are also vulnerable against attacks from wide areas, where the Gabonese can prove so potent.

He often needs only a single step to create the space he requires to finish from (above). Arsenal’s use of advancing full-backs and wide attackers should also lead to opportunities to create two-on-ones in wide areas, and therefore to send deliveries into the penalty area.

Value pick

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Watford have been showing further signs of improvement following a damaging start to the season, and in Burnley they next host a team that is winless away from home during 2019/20. Perhaps as relevant is the fact that Sean Dyche’s team has recently appeared vulnerable in central areas, where they can concede possession and then neglect to follow midfield runners into the penalty area.

Abdoulaye Doucouré is expected to be joined in central midfield by Étienne Capoue; both are adept at regaining the ball and then starting counter-attacks, from which they can potentially provide assists. Doucouré, at £5.7m, is also the likelier of the two to make the late forward runs (above) that Burnley have struggled against, so may even be presented with the chance to score his second goal of the season.

Mourinho’s magic

Spurs possess multiple players who are likely to thrive in the system Mourinho encourages, which contributed to his appointment there. The £9.6m Son Heung-min is one of those. His work-rate, both with and without possession, will be valued by the Portuguese, as will the threat he poses during transitions (below).

A significant feature of Mourinho’s most successful teams has been a strong central defence. There were also once suggestions that he had hoped to bring Toby Alderweireld to United. Alderweireld is almost certain to be one of the figures he relies upon at Spurs, and the £5.4m defender may even be rejuvenated by his presence.

Similarly, Mourinho has long favoured a striker capable of playing with his back to goal and creating his own goalscoring chances, and the £10.8m Harry Kane is one such striker. His link play and finishing ability will be crucial if Mourinho and Spurs are to succeed.

Fantasy Premier League, Gameweek 13

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