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Wayne Rooney and Philippe Coutinho to produce the goods this weekend

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Football News

Leicester's Premier League triumph may be the story of the season, but it has far from ended the competition in the top four.

As Spurs crashed out of the title race by losing a two-goal lead at Chelsea, they unwittingly reopened the battle for 2nd place, which could now be snatched from under their noses by rivals Arsenal.

That would be a huge achievement for the Gunners now, but they must also be looking behind them at Manchester City, who in turn will be considering the faint possibility that Manchester United can grab fourth.

As those races go down to the wire, the selections for this week's fantasy football get that bit more difficult, particularly the big decisions:

Philippe Coutinho ($6,100) v Wayne Rooney ($6,300)

On paper, Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho has edged Wayne Rooney this season, but that doesn't mean the Manchester United star should be written off just yet.


The England forward is adapting more and more to his new role just behind the centre forward, and while Coutinho seems to have made more of an impact on his team's fortunes, Rooney follows him closely when it comes to stats. Rooney has 11 goals and four assists to Coutinho's 12 and six, and he may well add to that against Norwich.

30-year-old Rooney will be key because of his ability in the air, which will allow him to compete with Norwich's physical threat. His crosses will be worth +1 fantasy point each, while his graceful layoffs could see him earn +6 for an assist. It hardly needs to be said that he is still a world-class finisher on his day, with goals earning +10 points.

Coutinho, meanwhile, will be facing a Watford side who had to fight hard to beat Aston Villa, and prior to that had won two out of their last 10 games in all competitions. The Brazilian enjoys shooting from range, which at worst will guarantee him +1 points, and at best, could see him with a +10 point goal or a +6 assist. The latter is especially likely as he has played a lot of highly-effective through balls lately.

However, it is Rooney's overall contribution that makes him the perfect choice this week.

Aaron Ramsey ($5,200) v Raheem Sterling ($5,300)

Both Aaron Ramsey and Raheem Sterling have gone off the boil this season, but both undoubtedly have the potential to get back on track.

Manuel Pellegrini refused to comment on Sterling's underperformance in the 4-2 defeat by Southampton, but he needs to do something drastic to get the 21-year-old back to the kind of form that earned him a move from Liverpool in the first place.

Sterling has 11 goals and four assists this term, but the problem is that they were nearly all before Christmas. Nonetheless, his ability to cut inside means he can still be a threat against Arsenal, particularly if he uses his pace against Per Mertesacker. He needs to show more intent than he did against Southampton, but he can do that quite easily with a few shots on goal, earning +1 points, and feeding chances into Sergio Aguero for an assist (+6 points).

Unlike Sterling for England, Aaron Ramsey is in the more fortunate position where he can almost guarantee a starting place for Wales at Euro 2016. The 25-year-old should really be hitting his peak, but he has managed just six goals over the course of the campaign.

It is his crosses, though, that will not only earn him plenty of points (+1 per cross), but can also be the key to unlocking Manchester City, whose confidence was clearly dented by the Southampton result. Ramsey has not been at his best, but Sterling's attitude looks all wrong, which makes the Arsenal man the better choice this time around.

Jamie Vardy ($7,000) v Romelu Lukaku ($6,500)

Jamie Vardy and Romelu Lukaku came into this season with very different ambitions, but both wanted to continue to prove a point in the Premier League.
Lukaku knew that continuing his fine form at Everton would make Jose Mourinho look foolish for kicking him out of Chelsea, and he has certainly done just that with 18 Premier League goals and six assists.

Of course, he will be coming up against a title-winning defence in Robert Huth and Wes Morgan, but the big Belgian is one of the few strikers who can make a physical impact on them. If he gets on the scoresheet, it will be worth +10 points, but he may actually pick up his fair share of points by drawing fouls (worth +1) from Leicester's bolshy defence.

Meanwhile, Vardy has surprised everyone with his record-breaking season. He may just miss out on the Golden Boot, but there is a reason he has found the back of the net 22 times. The England striker is also excellent at getting stuck in further back, and each tackle he wins will see him rack up +1 point.

Leicester's football may be direct, but there is more to Vardy's game than goals. Despite his own fantastic tally, he has also created six assists for his Foxes team-mates.

Vardy may be the man-of-the-moment, but given the week that Leicester have had, Lukaku might just have that extra bit of focus as he looks to put himself in the shop window ahead of the summer transfer window.

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Leicester City
Wayne Rooney
Premier League
Manchester United
Philippe Coutinho

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