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Sunday 24th Sep 2017

With Boxing Day matches behind us and with Chelsea’s 12th straight victory in Antonio Conte’s pocket, let’s move on to the English Premier League Gameweek 19. Seven games will be played this coming Saturday, December 31. The matches are:

Burnley - Sunderland
Swansea City – Bournemouth
Southampton - West Brom
Liverpool - Manchester City
Manchester United - Middlesbrough
Chelsea - Stoke City
Leicester City - West Ham

DraftKings will feature all seven games for their daily contests. Our recommendations for your fantasy lineups are below. The standard lineup of each DraftKings contest has one goalkeeper, two defenders, two midfielders, two forwards and one utility player.

In doing the search for a winning fantasy lineup, we are sensitive to the requirements of the dreaded salary cap. Our recommendations include players who have a favorable scheduled match and whose salary will allow you to field a well-balanced team. In addition, our recommendations for your lineup are based in part on the odds set by English bookmakers for each game.

Our recommendations for your GW19 fantasy lineup are:     

Goalkeeper (choose one): Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea), Frazer Forster (Southampton)   

Defenders (choose two): Marcos Alonso (Chelsea), Eric Bailly (Manchester United), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Cedric Soares (Southampton)   

Midfielders (choose two): Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Manchester United, my top choice among midfielders this week), either Salomon Rondon, Darren Fletcher or Matt Phillips from West Bromwich, Adam Lallana (Liverpool)     

Forwards (choose two): Pedro (Chelsea), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Manchester United, he may have found a permanent spot on these pages if he continues to score), Islam Slimani (Leicester City), Michail Antonio (West Ham)     

Utility (choose one): Jay Rodriguez (Southampton), Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City), Cesc Fabregas (Chelsea)

Note that several midfielders and forwards qualify at both positions, as well as utility, on DraftKings. Unfortunately, that may not help your salary cap, as all of these players are quite expensive. Our strategy is to insert in the mix low-salaried defenders.

Follow Pasko on Twitter @varnica123. His essays about sports in ancient Roman times can be found at SportsInAntiquity.com

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