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Must-have pick – Sergio Aguero
After scoring a hat-trick against a beleaguered Newcastle United team last weekend, it’s hard to look beyond Sergio Aguero as an essential pick for the next round of Premier League games. As things stand, he is now the third highest scorer in the league this season, surpassing teammate Raheem Sterling.
With Jesus still unavailable for the foreseeable future there’s nothing stopping Aguero from adding to his tally or even being rotated at this moment in time. After all, he is averaging a goal every 95 minutes played and four shots per game.
Despite their large lead at the top, the Citizens haven’t adopted a safer, more defensive style, which serves as a big plus for Aguero’s goal threat. Manchester City, have the best home record in the Premier League with 34 goals scored and now they face a West Brom team on Wednesday with the second worst away record, having conceded 30 goals. This sets the scene nicely for Aguero to continue his goal scoring run.
Comeback pick – Henrikh Mkhitaryan
He may not have played, scored or assisted much this season but don’t let that put you off Arsenal’s new signing. Put simply, it just didn’t work out for him at Old Trafford and he was heavily under-used during the last year and a half.
Five goals in 39 Premier League appearances is not a true reflection of his proven prowess. He’s far from being a player past his peak In fact, I think he may be due a revival under Arsene Wenger’s tutelage. Despite featuring as a bit part player this season, the Red Devils only lost twice in the 15 league matches that he appeared in, during which he registered 15 shots on goal.
He’s a completely different player to Alexis Sanchez and it’s unfair to compare them like for like. However, in Mkhitaryan, you have a player that is looking to get off the ground running at the Emirates and prove to his critics that he is more than capable of delivering in England’s top tier. Arsenal face Swansea in their next league game, who recently defeated Liverpool, but are still positioned at the lower end of the table and could be just the type of match that he needs.
Differential pick – Mame Diouf
With Mark Hughes no longer in charge, Stoke seem to have turned a corner almost instantly. Questions were raised when Paul Lambert was hired as his replacement, but against Huddersfield they posed an attacking threat and secured a comprehensive win. This wouldn’t have been possible had it not been for the match winning goal scored by Mame Diouf.
For all intents and purposes, he is a striker but for large parts of this season he has been deployed in numerous other roles, such as a right-sided midfielder, winger and even a quasi-wing back. What’s telling is that in Paul Lambert’s first game in charge he was deployed as a de-facto forward.
I would be surprised if he didn’t play in an advance role again, having scored the goal that took Stoke out of the relegation zone. The Potters next game will be a head to head with the crisis-ridden Hornets, who have failed to keep a clean sheet since November. This should be ideal for Diouf to cause havoc and again pose as a goal scoring threat.