Fantasy football tips for gameweek 12: Diogo Jota, Harry Kane, Son Heung-min, Mohamed Salah


Alistair Bruce-Ball

It is a classic ‘form versus fixtures’ debate in fantasy football as Tottenham start a run of appetising games by playing host to Leeds on Sunday, then it’s a trip to Burnley, followed by two more home games against Brentford and Norwich.

In recent seasons, there would have been no hesitation in getting one or both of Harry Kane and Son Heung-min in your team, sitting back and watching them make hay.

But this Tottenham team have scored just nine goals in 11 Premier League games this season – only Norwich have scored fewer – and they haven’t managed a shot on target in their past 225 minutes of league football.

Now clearly that is going to change under Antonio Conte, although creating chances still looked a struggle in the goalless draw at Everton in gameweek 11, so the questions are: do you want to trust in that expected improvement and get on board at the start, do you want to wait and see how it plays out under Conte, or are you just going to go looking for your goals elsewhere?

You will also want to factor into the equation how many times you might captain your Tottenham assets in the coming weeks, particularly if you’re also a Mohamed Salah owner – which most of us are.

If you’re not planning to give them the armband, then are they worth the big investment?

I know lots of you have already taken the plunge – almost 20% of managers own Son, who’s been a popular pick since the start of the season, although Kane’s ownership at the time of writing is still below 10%.

He costs a lot more at £12.2m, so it might need a few transfers for some of you to make that move happen, but rest assured managers will pile in if Conte’s team allow him to demonstrate some of the finishing skills he showed in an England shirt recently.

Diogo Jota (right) looks a certain starter for Liverpool, with Roberto Firmino injured, so is he worth a punt?
Diogo Jota (right) looks a certain starter for Liverpool, with Roberto Firmino injured, so is he worth a punt?

All of which leads me to say that I think I’m going to ignore both of them and then anxiously commentate on the game against Leeds as part of our double bill on BBC Radio 5 Live’s Premier League Sunday.

I’m in the form-over-fixtures camp. I still can’t trust Tottenham to fire and it’s why I’m targeting Diogo Jota as my one transfer this week, much to the chagrin of Chris Sutton, who has issued a hands-off warning, as you can hear in this week’s episode of Fantasy 606.

The move is an obvious one – Roberto Firmino is injured so Jota is the main man for the centre-forward role in the most potent team in the division and he costs just £7.5m. He’s a good long-term buy as well, with Salah and Sadio Mane set to head off to the Africa Cup of Nations in January.

The other name Statman Dave chucked into the mix on the podcast this week was Phil Foden, who costs £8.3m and has played almost every minute of Manchester City’s past six Premier League games, contributing 39 points along the way.

His ownership has climbed to more than 15%, though, so if you want some differential in the City squad then have a look at Bernardo Silva – he’s £1.2m cheaper than Foden, he’s owned by just 6.5% of managers and has been immune to Pep roulette this season, starting the past 10 league games while providing 25 points in the past four of those.

I’ve also got my eye on Gabriel Jesus, with so many of the strikers going through a barren patch at the moment.

Michail Antonio and Jamie Vardy are the only two forwards who’ve got more points than the Brazilian this season, despite him playing wide on the right for City rather than through the middle, and he comes in at the relatively bargain price of £8.7m. The picture will change in that price bracket though when Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Patrick Bamford and Danny Ings are all fit again.

Callum Wilson might also be worth a look at £7.3m, playing under his old boss Eddie Howe. Three of Newcastle’s next four games are at home – to Brentford, Norwich and Burnley.

I think I’m sticking with Salah as my captain for the home game against Arsenal on Saturday as he’s still only blanked once this season, but given the Gunners’ improvement under Mikel Arteta and Liverpool’s injury list, this might be one week to bet against the Egyptian King.

Leading alternatives would be Cristiano Ronaldo, with Manchester United away to Watford, and Son or Kane at home to Leeds, which could cost me dearly as Chris Sutton owns them both!

Alistair Bruce-Ball presents the Fantasy 606 podcast alongside former Premier League winner Chris Sutton and Statman Dave. The latest episode previewing gameweek 11 is available on the 606 feed on the BBC Sounds App.

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