As the Premier League calendar heads into the festive frenzy, the upcoming Christmas schedule is set to test every team's mettle. The stakes couldn't be higher as the leaderboard presents a tantalizingly close race at every level. Arsenal sits precariously at the summit but with a single point separating them from chasers Liverpool and Aston Villa, who in turn have carved out a four-point gap over Manchester City. Tottenham Hotspur lurks just a point behind City, ready to pounce and break into the top four. Mid-table battles are equally gripping, with teams from 6th to 9th positions separated by mere single points, jostling fiercely for superiority. Down at the basement, the relegation zone is a nail-biter; Luton Town at 18th is just a point away from 19th and 20th-placed Burnley and Sheffield United, who are differentiated only by goal difference. With Nottingham comfortably ahead by five points, the struggle for survival intensifies for the bottom teams, each vying to climb out of the drop zone and secure their Premier League status.

Key Takeaways from Gameweek 17

Man City vs Crystal Palace highlights and reaction as Blues surrender  two-goal lead in draw - Manchester Evening News

Michael Olise converts a last-gasp penalty to earn Crystal Palace a point against Man City. Source:

In a gripping Gameweek 17, the Premier League title race intensified as Liverpool and Manchester United battled a goalless stalemate at Anfield. Arsenal seized the opportunity, extending their lead at the top with a convincing 2-0 home victory over Brighton. Aston Villa continued their ascent up the table, securing a critical 2-1 away win against Brentford. The results leave Liverpool and Brighton neck-and-neck, only separated by goal difference and just a point behind leaders Arsenal. In another headline fixture, last season's champions, Manchester City were unexpectedly held to a 2-2 draw by Crystal Palace at the Etihad Stadium.

Elsewhere, Newcastle United delivered a dominant 3-0 win over Fulham, mirroring West Ham United's identical triumph against Wolverhampton Wanderers. Chelsea maintained their form with a 2-0 victory against the struggling Sheffield United. Tottenham Hotspur also claimed three points on the road, besting Nottingham Forest with a 2-0 scoreline.

Players to watch out for Gameweek 18

With the Premier League season escalating in excitement and intensity, we turn our attention to the players who are expected to make a significant impact in the upcoming gameweek. However, before delving into these potential game-changers, it’s crucial to be aware of the notable absences that could affect team strategies and fantasy football decisions.

Notable Absences

Aston Villa's Boubacar Kamara is suspended until January 14th due to violent conduct, posing a challenge for the team's midfield. Fulham will feel the absence of Raul Jimenez, who's suspended until December 31st for a direct red card. Manchester United's defense will be under strain without Diogo Dalot, serving a suspension for yellow card accumulation. Newcastle United's Fabian Schar is doubtful with a glute injury, putting a question mark on their defensive lineup. Yves Bissouma of Tottenham faces a four-game suspension, which could affect the team's midfield dynamics. Manchester City's match against Brentford is postponed, providing a brief respite but also adding to the scheduling complexities.


Simon Adinga.
Richarlison (Tottenham Hotspurs) Emerging as Tottenham’s goal-scoring hero in recent matches, Richarlison has netted three crucial goals in his last two games. His newfound form promises to be pivotal as Tottenham faces Everton, suggesting he might continue his scoring spree.

Michael Olise (Crystal Palace) After converting a vital penalty and equalizing against City, Olise’s role becomes more critical for Palace, especially in their upcoming match against Brighton. His performance could be the key to Palace’s ascent on the leaderboard.

Tip: Keep an eye on Simon Adingra (Brighton) at 11.6 credits. As Brighton prepares to face Crystal Palace at home, Adingra’s inclusion could be a strategic move.


Ghana star Kudus Mohammed awarded West Ham United's first goal ...

Mohammed Kudus. Source:

Kai Havertz (Arsenal) Demonstrating his knack for crucial goals, Havertz has been a consistent performer for Arsenal, particularly noticeable in the last three games. His continued form will be vital for Arsenal in their challenging away game against Liverpool.

Cole Palmer (Chelsea) Since his transfer from Manchester City, Palmer has been a revelation for Chelsea, showing his versatility in scoring and assisting against both top-tier and lower-ranked teams. His contributions will be key in Chelsea’s upcoming away game against Wolves.

Tip: Consider Mohammed Kudus (West Ham) at 9.9 credits. His recent brace and the home advantage against Manchester United make him a promising gamble.


Antonee Robinson Fulham 2022-23
Fulham defender Antonee Robinson. Source:

Luke Shaw (Manchester United) Shaw has been the standout performer in Manchester United's otherwise struggling defense. His recent return to form after injury is a much-needed boost for United as they navigate the upcoming fixtures.

James Tarkowski (Everton) Tarkowski’s defensive prowess has been crucial in Everton’s recent run of clean sheets. His consistency will be essential as Everton faces tougher opponents in the upcoming games.

Tip: Antonee Robinson (Fulham), valued at 6.6 credits, is worth considering. Despite conceding three goals in his last outing, his previous performances with clean sheets and assists make him a potential asset.


James Trafford has spoken on his exit from Manchester City after joining Burnley on a permanent transfer. (Image: Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)

Emiliano Martinez's (Aston Villa) performance between the posts has been a cornerstone of Aston Villa's impressive run, which has seen them climb to the 3rd spot on the leaderboard. His ability to make crucial saves could be a game-changer in the upcoming fixtures, making him a potential high scorer for fantasy teams.

Despite Sheffield United languishing at the bottom of the table, Wes Foderingham (Sheffield United) has stood out as one of the top goalkeepers in the Premier League. His shot-stopping prowess will be critical in their attempt to thwart Aston Villa's attack, potentially earning valuable points for fantasy managers.

Tip: James Trafford (Burnley) displayed an exceptional performance even in a losing effort against Everton. With Sheffield United's next game against an unpredictable Fulham side, Trafford's inclusion could be a strategic decision for fantasy managers looking to capitalize on Burnley's potential to upset the odds.

What Next?

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