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It's been a scintillating feast of festive action so far this Christmas, but the fun hasn't stopped just yet. Another dose of action awaits this weekend as 2018 draws to a close, with the glut of Premier League games causing shockwaves in the land of fantasy football.
All 20 sides take to the field for one last time this year, with Liverpool fans in dreamland after opening up a six point gap at the top of the Premier League table on Boxing Day. The Reds host Arsenal at Anfield in the standout game of this weekend, while nearest challengers Tottenham entertain Wolves at Wembley.
Elsewhere, Manchester City look to bounce back from back-to-back defeats at Southampton and resurgent Manchester United host Bournemouth at Old Trafford. The action on the pitch may be intense, but there is plenty to worry about it off as well - in the world of fantasy football that is. With that in mind, here's this week's rundown of who's hot and who's not ahead of gameweek 20.
Alisson: It's official. Liverpool just don't concede goals anymore. And even though Arsenal await this weekend at Anfield, there have been no indications that the Reds are ready to open the floodgates any time soon. Rated at £5.9m, the Brazilian already has 98 points to his name and 12 clean sheets. Quite simply, he's the banker option.
Hugo Lloris: We predicted a few weeks ago that Spurs would come good after looking at their festive fixtures. And so it has proved, with the Lilywhites charging into second place after keeping three clean sheets in their last four outings. More favourable fixtures lie in wait, so Lloris should be high on your fantasy football shopping list.
Kepa: It would be harsh to say that Chelsea's number one goalkeeper is out of form, because he isn't. But the fact remains that the Blues have stumbled over the past month or so, and conceding goals is becoming a bit of a habit. That's not a trait you need in your fantasy goalkeeper, so it's perhaps wise to give the Spanish stopper some breathing room from your team, for now.
Ricardo Pereira: After following up a clean sheet at Chelsea with a screaming winner against Premier League champions Manchester City, you'll do well to find a defender with more confidence than Pereira. The Portugal international is flooding into fantasy squads as a result, and at just £5.1m he represents good value given the kind run of fixtures Leicester have coming up.
Luke Shaw: Back fit, back in the side and back to winning ways - quite a nice good festive period for Shaw you'd imagine. The marauding full-back is operating higher up the pitch since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's appointment at United, so it's surely a matter of time before the assists, as well as the odd clean sheet, start flowing. Costing just £4.9m, Shaw should be viewed as a long-term investment - with a trip to Spurs in a few games time the only significant test ahead of him.
Aymeric Laporte: Manchester City would appear to be in title meltdown mode, and their nervy defending has an awful lot to do with their current predicament. The Citizens have always looked edgy in defence, but the absence of Fernandinho has highlighted just how vulnerable their back four is. A mainstay of that defence this has been Laporte, but the Frenchman can't do it all on his own. Six games without a clean sheet means it's time to ship out the £6m man.
Son Heung-min: Red hot, red hot, red hot. Those are the only fitting adjectives to describe the form of Spurs' South Korean superstar. Son has seven goals in his last seven Premier League outings and, despite finishing the full 90 minutes just once this season, has to be regarded as one of Mauricio Pochettino's finest assets. His price is rising though, so get the £8.7m-rated winger in your side quickly.
Paul Pogba: Another man who has struggled to string 90 minutes together this season on a regular basis is World Cup winner Pogba. Unable, astonishingly, to command a regular place in Jose Mourinho's team, he found himself on the fringes of the first-team after several highly publicised spats. Those issues are in the past now though, as United look forward under the guidance of the aforementioned Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Pogba seems to be reaping the benefits already, scoring twice against Huddersfield - and there is surely more to come.
Raheem Sterling: He was the hottest player on the fantasy football planet just a couple of weeks ago, but that bubble has well and truly burst for Sterling. Back-to-back defeats for Manchester City have come at the worst possible time, and the £11.4m-rated midfielder's confidence is bound to be knocked. That doesn't bode well for fantasy managers across the world, and the mass exodus has already begun. Over 150,000 players have turfed out Sterling - will you be next?
Jamie Vardy: Any success that Leicester may have this season will no doubt be influenced by the fitness of Vardy. The former England hitman has had time out of the team recently due to injury, but his return has helped inspire the Foxes to consecutive league wins over Chelsea and Manchester City. A goal and an assist in that time shows that Vardy, rated £8.8m, still has the goods to deliver for your fantasy teams.
Harry Kane: It's the Christmas period, so of course Kane is hot. He always is at this time of year, isn't he? It sure feels that way, and this year has proved to be no exception. Spurs are racking up the wins and the goals, and Kane is racking up the fantasy points - bit of a no brainer here really.
Roberto Firmino: His team may be winning every week, but things really aren't going to plan for Firmino this season. On a personal level at least. The Brazilian only has four Premier League goals to his name, predominantly because he has shifted into a deeper role this season behind lead goal threat Mohamed Salah. As a result, he is failing to rack up the points despite his team's good form. 15.7% of players have stuck with him, but it may be time for you to look elsewhere.[/color=brown]
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