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Fantasy Premier League, Gameweek 17

Preview
Another set of enthralling fixtures await us in Gameweek 17, with the pick of them coming at Anfield, where Liverpool host fellow Champions League qualifiers Manchester United. While a home win may be the favourite, the emotion and intensity of Tuesday’s victory over Napoli – not to mention an injury to Joel Matip – might affect a Liverpool team whose opponents will have rested a number of key players in their own Champions League tie.

The banker for the weekend looks set to happen at Wembley, where Tottenham – another team in dramatic midweek action – host a Burnley team still looking well short of where they were a season ago. No surprise, then, that our captain’s pick for the week comes from that fixture.

Home wins will also be expected at Vicarage Road, where Watford host Cardiff, and at the Etihad, where Manchester City look to get back to winning ways against an Everton team now without a win in three. The Toffees were lucky to escape with a point against Watford on Monday night; the Hornets will surely fancy their chances back at home, where they have won four from seven, on Saturday.

Captain’s pick

A home game against Burnley looks like an ideal opportunity for Harry Kane to add to his goal tally for the season. While the fixture between these two sides at Wembley last season ended 1-1, the fixture at Turf Moor – which took place around this time of year – finished 3-0 to Spurs, with Kane bagging a hat-trick.

Burnley registered their first win in more than two months last weekend, at home to Brighton – but even with the fit-again James Tarkowski restored to their back line, they still have a tendency to ball-watch. Kane’s ability to take advantage of that could see the England captain among the goals, and the points, this weekend.

Alternative captain

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang may not have got himself on the scoresheet last week as our captain’s pick, but he did still manage to grab a superb assist as Arsenal struggled past Huddersfield at the Emirates. Aubameyang has been a regular goalscorer away from home this season, though, and he seems to specialise in scoring at the home of teams in and around the lower areas of the table: Cardiff, Crystal Palace and Fulham, for example. A Sunday afternoon trip to struggling Southampton could well prove right up the Gabon striker’s street.

Value selection

At just £4.2m, Watford full-back Kiko Femenia represents a cheap defensive option for this gameweek – the Hornets host a Cardiff City side that has scored just three goals and earned only one point from seven away games in the Premier League so far this season. Femenia is a forward-thinking defender who can often be seen overlapping Will Hughes or Gerard Deulofeu on the right to get into crossing positions. The Spaniard bagged an assist the last time Watford won at home – against Huddersfield in late October.

How we did in Gameweek 16

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Captain’s pick
Arsenal didn’t score the hatful many thought they might against battling Huddersfield on Saturday – and they still haven’t been ahead at half-time in any Premier League game this season. But our captain’s pick, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, did at least pick up an assist for Lucas Torreira’s eventual winner.

Alternative captain
This one, we got right. Felipe Anderson’s increasing influence in an improving West Ham side was again in evidence against Crystal Palace. The Brazilian (above) picked up a goal and an assist in the Hammers’ 3-2 victory, collecting two bonus points on his way to a total haul of 12.

Value selection
Burnley completed a very important home win over Brighton on Saturday, although our pick Johann Berg Gudmundsson was not involved in their single goal on the day. The Icelandic midfielder did pick up a clean-sheet bonus point, however.

Long-term option
Another West Ham win for us, with Robert Snodgrass joining Felipe Anderson on the scoresheet against Crystal Palace. The Scot now has three assists and a goal in his last three games, with a bonus point on Saturday taking his total to eight for the game.

Fantasy Premier League, Gameweek 17

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