Sport360's fantasy football tips: 5 top picks

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Midfield maestro: David Silva has a huge role to play for Manchester City over the Christmas period.

Each week, Sport360 will bring you tips for the English Premier League's official fantasy football game. Fancy pitting your wits against us? Join the newly established "Sport360 Fans'" league using code 47463-715903.

Here are our five picks of the week for any managers that are unsure who the best options are over a hectic Christmas period: 

MF – David Silva (Manchester City) – 8.9m.

Without any strikers fit for City’s trip to the struggling West Brom, Manuel Pellegrini will be relying on his silky Spanish playmaker to provide the magic, just as he did last week against Crystal Palace. He scored an incredible 16 points last week, expect him to score highly again on Boxing Day and in the next fixture against Burnley at home.

DEF – Mathieu Debuchy (Arsenal) – 5.2m.

Debuchy is back! He netted against Liverpool and is guaranteed a long run of games in the side as Laurent Koscielny is out and Arsene Wenger prefers him over Calum Chambers. Also, with Olivier Giroud returning to action, the chance of him earning points for assists has enhanced. Expect them to get a clean sheet at home to QPR on Boxing Day. After all, QPR have lost their last five successive Premier League London derbies and are winless in their last seven (L5 D2).

MF – James Milner (Manchester City) – 5.4m

Manuel Pellegrini used his versatile Yorkshireman in a forward role against Crystal Palace and he got into dangerous positions on numerous occasions. He is sure to repeat this ploy against West Brom on Boxing Day. At 5.4m, Milner can’t be ignored and is only selected by a mere 2.1% of players. City will be hoping to maintain their excellent record against the Baggies. They have won eight and lost none of their last nine Premier League matches against them (D1). Nevertheless, Milner has become a legend for his Christmas video. Check it out in case you have missed 'Mr. Personality of the Year' unwrapping his presents:

FWD  – Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) – 8.3m.

The French striker has been sublime since he has returned from injury scoring three goals in his last two games. Many expected him to not play a starring role after Danny Welbeck’s impact leading the line. However, Giroud has showed that he is still the top dog for the Gunners.  West Ham may be on impressive form but they will struggle to get anything against Arsenal who are unbeaten in their last 11 Premier League London derbies at the Emirates Stadium.

DEF – Andrew Robertson (Hull City) – 4.4m

You may think this is a bizarre choice but Hull City will be aiming for four points from their next two winnable fixtures. They play Sunderland away on Friday, then Leicester at home on December 28. Former centre-back, Steve Bruce, needs to tighten up for these games as he knows his side are finding it difficult to score, so a 1-0 result might be the best he can hope for. With Robertson bombing down the left flank, there’s a chance he could provide the all-important chance for the Tigers.

Dream Team: If you fancy using your wildcard…

Let us know your view on these selections by commenting below or by using #360Fans on Twitter

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Liverpool’s style doesn’t suit Mario Balotelli, says Brendan Rodgers

fahad 24/12/2014
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Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers previews the Premier League match at Burnley on Boxing Day, when Reds forward Mario Balotelli is set to return from suspension.









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#360view: Chelsea fully equipped to deal with serious test of their title credentials

Alam Khan 24/12/2014
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Greatest-ever: Chelsea enter the festive period on top of the Premier League and with eyes on a historic quadruple.

Being lauded as possibly the greatest-ever Chelsea side without lifting a trophy seems a little premature even for the most bullish of football teams.

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But you can understand the hype, and the hope, within their ranks as they enter the festive period on top of the Premier League and with eyes on a historic quadruple.

That would mark the finest season of any English club side and legendary status.

Ambition is one thing, though, and achievement another. Others have set their sights on doing the same, but failed.

Newcastle ended optimism of an undefeated campaign and unless the Blues maintain momentum in their three festive games then their plans for glory and greatness could yet be scuppered.

A home clash with West Ham on Boxing Day will not be as predictable as it once was. As well as being a derby, their fourth-placed rivals from London’s East End have four wins in five games and failed to score in just two of their 17 games.

Then follows two tough trips, the first to Southampton, now fifth after a poor run of their own, and on to North London for another derby with Tottenham.

These will be true tests of Chelsea’s character as well as quality and go a long way to determining whether the league title will be among their prized possessions in May.

Four times in the last five seasons – starting with Chelsea in 2009/10 – the team that has finished top on Christmas Day has gone on to win the title. Liverpool were the exception as they capitulated under pressure in the previous campaign.

Manchester City took advantage then and, in the words of keeper Joe Hart, are ready to go “toe-to-toe” with Chelsea this time.

Fighting talk indeed.

But just like boss Jose Mourinho, his men don’t look the type to take hits without showing their own force.

As much as people are excited about the prospect of Floyd Mayweather Jnr against Manny Pacquiao in May, a no-holds barred battle between Chelsea and City at the same time could be just as tight and tremendous – and similarly settled by the difference of a few points.

With eight straight wins and a joint-club record ninth expected at West Brom on Friday, City are on a roll.

A trip to Everton, and home games with Arsenal and Newcastle, are likely to provide their biggest problems before they head to Stamford Bridge on January 31 for their massive meeting.

So far, Chelsea have stood up to the challenges laid before them. They know how to scrap, they have been stylish with their attacking flair and they have a spirit that every team should envy.

While Thibaut Courtois, John Terry and Diego Costa provide a solid spine, their midfield has been magnificent – and perhaps be key to who will eventually be crowned champions.

In Nemanja Matic, Chelsea possess a calm and combative player who will surely receive the same repute and respect of a Paul Pogba.

Eden Hazard is one of those rare wingers able to graft and defy bullying defenders on a cold night at Stoke, as well as provide the guile to be a matchwinner. Brazilian Willian could be just as influential if he follows the example of the brilliant Belgian.

And then there is Cesc Fabregas, who seems to have matured during his frustrating spell at Barcelona and become stronger – physically and mentally.

Dictating play in simplistic style and with 12 assists in 16 league games already, it is still baffling why Arsenal refused to take up their first option on the Spaniard in the summer.

This is a top-class quartet and could well stand proudly alongside the league’s all-time best, such as Manchester United when Roy Keane, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and David Beckham ruled the roost, or when Patrick Vieira, Gilberto Silva, Freddie Ljungberg and Robert Pires were in their pomp at Arsenal.

These were great sides. To match them, Chelsea must have medals.

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