Tom Heaton (£4.6m): This column hates riffing on Premier League teams’ pain (who is it kidding, that is its sweet, sweet nectar), but when you’ve lost three of your last four and have finally got rid of an unwanted manager only to be turned down by Steves McClaren and Bruce, the visit of Burnley doesn’t quite have the allure it might once have done.
James Chester (£4.4m): Hull (15th on the form table) v Everton (17th), on New Year’s Day, is going to be 0-0. West Brom (18th) v Hull, on 10 January, is also going to be 0-0. There will, at some point in the future, be a game involving Hull which features a goal – trust this column’s handy copy of Gray’s Sports Almanac – but it is not these games.
Gaël Clichy (£5.7m): Sorry, Gus. You’re a lovely chap, and we can’t wait for your miraculous late season turnaround. But going up against Manchester City at The Etihad with a strike force of Steven Fletcher (four goals in 16) and Connor Wickham (2 goals in 18)? We’ve got to follow the numbers here, man. But what’s that you say? You’ve got Jozy Altidore in reserve?
Jordan Henderson (£6.0m): A healthy helping of goals and assists from the former Sunderland man in the first half of this season, during which period he has missed just one game. A chuff of a lot cheaper than his more illustrious (and mostly lower-scoring) team-mates, too. Oh, and Liverpool are playing Leicester.
Wilfried Zaha (£5.1m): If Pard-iola is capable of anything at Crystal Palace (and in case you were wondering, yes, he is), he can get one-time wonder-boy Wilf up and running again. Manchester United weren’t completely barking up the wrong tree, you know.
Mame Biram Diouf (£6.1m): For all their recent upturn in form and the third place they occupy in the Premier League table as 2015 hoves into view, Manchester United have won but two games this season away from Old Trafford, against which background two goals last time out for Diouf is good enough for this column.
Saido Berahino (£5.4m): It’s 133.8 miles to Upton Park, he’s got no goals and no assists in ten games, they’ve lost three out of four away, and here comes Tony Pulis. Hit it, Saido.
Jordan Henderson’s middle name is Brian. If that’s not reason enough to pick him, just to reiterate: Liverpool are playing Leicester.
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