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Premier League: Team of Round 20

Round 20 of the Premier League was a bit of a nightmare for many of you in our predictor game and as is usually the case, the average score achieved in our fantasy games also took a hit as a result of some upsets. That said, there are still plenty of 'big club' players in the Team of Round 20 following comfortable wins for Manchester United and Liverpool and a solid away win for Chelsea at Crystal Palace. Here are the R20 stats along with this round's TOTR.

Community average score in Round 20: 51.1
Community best in Round 20: 106
TOTR score: 136
Theoretical best legal score: 135



Defence

Rather impressively, Neil Etheridge has retained his place in the TOTR after following up his clean sheet at Selhurst Park in Round 19 with a clean sheet and penalty save against Leicester in this round! Though other key Premier League players such as Brighton's Mat Ryan have departed for the Asian Cup, Cardiff have been fortunate that a certain Sven-Göran Eriksson who is now manager of the Phillipines national team allowed Etheridge to stay in the PL and miss the Asian tournament.

There's a back three in front of Etheridge for the Team of Round 20 and that backline is headed by Chelsea's David Luiz who not only kept a clean sheet at Crystal Palace but created the winning goal with an inch perfect ball to N'Golo Kante who scored a goal that has earned him a place in this TOTR too. The defenders either side of Luiz are fare more of a surprise given the opposition they were up against, as Willy Boly's Wolves won away at Tottenham at Phil Bardsley's Burnley defeated West Ham at home. Bardsley's points were largely down to the clean sheet kept by his team - it's worth noting goalkeeper Tom Heaton returned to the XI as Joe Hart dropped to the bench - whilst Boly helped his team to a 3-1 win with a goal to make up for the Harry Kane strike that ruined his clean sheet.

As we enter 2019 just over halfway through the Premier League season, it's Liverpool and Chelsea players that top the defender points charts but it will be interesting to see how many brus stick with Liverpool defenders in R21 given their away fixture at Manchester City.

Midfield

Yet another very impressive round for Paul Pogba and Manchester United has seen the Frenchman retain his TOTR place as the highest scoring midfielder for a second week in a row. Now playing in a far more advanced role under OGS, Pogba looks a near must-pick (fixture depending) in each of our fantasy games due to the relentless attacking style of play the Red Devils have now adopted.

A team that has been attacking just as well throughout the entirety of this season is Liverpool and given the weak defence Arsenal are known to have, it's little surprise to see both Salah and Mane in this TOTR as they both scored against the Gunners in a resounding 5-1 win at Anfield.

The final member of this midfield (along with the aforementioned Kanté) is Burnley's Dwight McNeil who like Kyle Walker-Peters last week is a rather unknown player who has only made three PL appearances for Burnley this season. No player in the Burnley squad is especially popular with fantasy players given their poor season so far and therefore an up and coming youngster who will be short on game time for the Clarets does of course remain a bad long-term pick. However, McNeil could well have a bright future and shows us that any player can prove to be a good pick in certain rounds!

Strikers

Finally, each of the Team of Round 20 strikers put in very impressive performances as we have Roberto Firmino and Marcus Rashford leading the line. Firmino was the man to make the most of Arsenal's poor defence at Anfield with an impressive hat-trick to respond to critics regarding his number of direct goal involvements this season. Though it does feel as if the Brazilian has been a little off the boil throughout this season, his constant involvement and this hat-trick have kept his fantasy points flowing at Superbru and there are now only four strikers in our game that have as many or more points than Firmino - Wilson, Aguero, Aubameyang and Kane.

Rashford, like Pogba, appears to be a better pick than ever before in Premier League fantasy under OGS and his goal and incredible assist for Pogba handed him 11 points in this round. United's fixture difficulty does increase for upcoming fixtures but we can expect Solskjaer's attacking philosophy to ensure attacking fantasy points continue to come for United's forwards.

Premier League ideal 5-a-side teams by round this weekend:

Saturday: Etheridge, Boly/other 7pt players, Doucoure, Salah, Firmino (54 points)
Wednesday: Heaton, Luiz, Pogba, Brooks/Martial, Rashford (48 points)

We now have one more round of Premier League games to prepare for with short notice as Round 21 will begin on New Year's Day and run through until the 3rd of January. Make sure you have your picks made in time for not only a surprise New Year's Day round but an early KO on that Tuesday as Everton take on Leicester at 12:30 UK time. A good opportunity for some additional points over pool rivals as plenty will forget!

We'll then have the FA Cup third round weekend to rest before the Premier League resumes a week later. An FA Cup predictor game will be launching again this year at Superbru but as was the case last year, this will begin with the fourth round which takes place towards the end of January.

Click here to play Premier League Fantasy at Superbru

Click here to play Premier League 5-a-side Fantasy at Superbru

Happy New Year everyone!
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