If you’ve been patient enough to hold out on you’re fantasy football transfer until now, we have somewhat of a bargain bonanza tipped for glory this weekend. In an XI strongly influenced by our statistical match forecasts there are a number of money saving options that may be worth punt this time around, not least from Reading and Sunderland who both play twice in gameweek 16. So let’s get straight to it!
Starting in goal, we opt for Swansea's stand-in keeper Gerhard Tremmel, who has performed admirably in the absence of Michel Vorm. The German has the best saves to shots ratio (88%) in the Premier League this season, conceding just 4 goals from the 32 shots on target he has faced. The Swans haven't conceded more than once in a game in their last 9 in all competitions, with just 7 goals against them in that time, and face a Norwich side that haven't scored more than once in a game in their 8-match unbeaten run.
Our three-man backline is strongly influenced by the fact that Reading play twice in this gameweek, with Nicky Shorey the first Royal to make the teamsheet. Against a Southampton defence that has been hemorrhaging goals, McDermott's side are tipped to net from a set-piece situation both on Saturday and when they make the trip to play Sunderland next Tuesday. With the left-back taking all of Reading's set-plays, and to great effect of late, Shorey could add to an impressive tally of 4 assists.
Chosen for the same reasons in terms of the method of scoring that the match forecasts' suggest, we've picked Shorey's young teammate Sean Morrison. The centre-back has looked like scoring whenever he is in the opponent’s box for set-pieces, and despite showing some naivety at the back he may be able to add to a tally of 2 goals from just 6 starts. Of players to appear more than twice this season Morrison has averaged more attempts from set-piece situations per game than any other Premier League player (0.67).
Our defence is completed by an in-form Spaniard who may well be a great shout having been moved into an advanced role on the wing for Liverpool of late. It is fair to say that Jose Enrique is enjoying his best spell since moving from Newcastle last summer with a goal and to assists in his last 6 league games - none of which the team have lost. Up against West Ham this weekend, a clean sheet may not be assured but involvement further up the field could bring more joy and he may be worth signing should he stay in that position in the long run.
Chelsea's Juan Mata was superb in the first half against West Ham last weekend, despite the fact that he should have scored, and carried on that form into the midweek game in the Champions League, where he did find the net. Making the trip to Sunderland this weekend, Benitez is seeking his first league win in charge and could rely on more Mata magic with the visitors touted as ‘extremely likely’ to score from a direct free-kick in our match forecast.
On the opposite flank we have plumped for Adel Taarabt again as QPR face a severely depleted Wigan side, with 4 centre-backs out for the Latics. The Moroccan could have a field day against a makeshift backline and inspire the Hoops to their first win of the season, and the first under the reign of Harry Redknapp. The away side are tipped to score a long shot and only two players (Cazorla and Bale) have tested the keeper more times from range this season than Taarabt (8).
We're backing James Morrison to make an impact as he is set to return to the West Brom side against Arsenal. In what should be an open game the Scotland international could add to a tally of 3 goals for the season and may have room to create too, having only averaged fewer key passers per game (2) than Santi Cazorla of players likely to be on the pitch.
Having mentioned the miniature Arsenal-man twice now, his inclusion here should come as no surprise. The Gunners are backed to score from a direct free-kick in the forecast, with Cazorla certain to stand over any opportunities he gets from outside the box. Although the Spaniard has gone off the boil a little of late he still seems likely to be the man to end Arsenal's recent slump having had a well earned rest in midweek.
Completing what is a 5-man midfield we have chosen Tottenham's Mousa Dembélé, whose mere presence in the side usually leads to success for Spurs - as highlighted in this player focus on the Belgian earlier this week. The former Fulham man has 3 assists and a goal in just 6 league starts under Villas-Boas and with Tottenham likely to score from a through ball situation, and Jermain Defoe on top form, Dembele could pull the strings once again for the away side.
Up front we have a couple of cost effective options for you, with many likely to put their faith in Steven Fletcher this week despite the Scot netting just once in 8 league games. The fact of the matter is that if Sunderland are going to score in a gameweek in which they have two fixtures to play out, the most likely source is still undoubtedly Fletcher, with only 4 other players scoring for the Black Cats thus far this season.
Completing our line-up, and partnering Fletcher in attack, is Wigan striker Arouna Kone, who has had a hand in almost half of Martinez's side's goals this season - 7 of 15 (4 goals, 3 assists). Wigan are deemed 'very likely' to score from a fast break situation against fellow relegation battlers QPR this weekend, having done so twice already this season, and the Ivorian could be their best hope of maintaining an 8-point gap over their visitors on Saturday.