The end of the 2022 FIFA World Cup sees the Premier League return, just a week after Kylian Mbappé and Lionel Messi served up an epic as Argentina lifted the Jules Rimet trophy for the third time ever.
In Fantasy Premier League, there have been unlimited transfers ahead of the Premier League’s resumption with a traditional Boxing Day schedule. Pertinently, Carabao Cup action in midweek has helped managers to get up to speed with domestic action.
FootballCastle discusses some of the best picks for FPL game week 17 to get your squad firing for the second half of a compelling season. All changes must be made ahead of the deadline on Monday, December 26 at 11:00 GMT.
David Raya (£4.6m)
The fourth-highest scoring goalkeeper so far this season is accumulating save points even when conceding, that means the Spaniard will continue to secure FPL points as his 64 saves across 15 appearances are the highest in the Premier League.
Aaron Ramsdale (£4.9m)
Arsenal’s shot-stopper has the joint-highest number of clean sheets (seven) having kept four clean sheets in their last five matches, averaging six points per game.
Ramsdale will be looking forward to GW17 opponents West Ham who have struggled for goals with only three away from home this season.
Fabian Schar (£4.9m)
The Swiss defender has been in a good vein of form in FPL and he offers a fantastic bargain price in one of the most solid backlines this season.
Kieran Trippier (£5.9m)
Trippier is the highest-scoring defender in the game after combining a goal, four assists and nine clean sheets with 17 bonus points this season.
The England international sat out the World Cup knockout games so will be raring to go when the season restarts.
Luke Shaw (£4.8m)
The left-back only has one blank in the last six games and a home encounter with Nottingham Forest gives him the chance to continue his consistent FPL form, with Wolves and Bournemouth coming right after.
Reece James (£5.8m)
The Chelsea right-back has returned to full training and his ability to deliver huge FPL hauls makes him an immediate option.
James is likely to secure points regardless of his minutes and with Bournemouth, Nottingham Forest, Fulham and Crystal Palace in four of the next five games, it is smart to get him in as a free transfer.
Bruno Fernandes (£9.8m)
Bruno provided an assist in the last pre-World Cup game at Fulham and was magnificent in Qatar. The GW17 meeting with Nottingham Forest is a good way to resume a good run of fixtures as the newly-promoted side have conceded the fourth most attempts from set pieces.
Leandro Trossard (£7.1m)
The Belgian has been one of the gems of the 2022-23 Fantasy Premier League season as he gained 80 points in the first part of the season. Pertinently, 48 of those points have come under Roberto De Zerbi and he has decent fixtures at the restart.
Andreas Pereira (4.6m)
The Brazilian has proved a reliable option in midfield having accumulated 61 points following two goals, five assists and three clean sheets this season.
Andreas has decent fixtures to keep producing and his price makes him a useful bench option.
Miguel Almiron (£5.8m)
The Newcastle man enjoyed a brilliant first half of the season and returned 46 points from four goals and two assists in his last five games.
Almiron retains only 36.6% ownership and as the highest-scoring midfielder in FPL, he is currently outperforming his modest price.
Dejan Kulusevski (£8.0m)
Despite a six-game week absence, the Swede delivered two assists for nine FPL points in two games before the break.
Kulusevski is a guaranteed starter as he is Tottenham’s best creative asset and he is well worth the outlay in free transfer season.
Martin Odegaard (£6.4m)
The Arsenal captain has been one of the best FPL midfielders this season with 77 points so far. Odegaard is cheaper than Gunners midfield colleagues Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka who have not recorded more points than the Norwegian.
Kevin De Bruyne (£12.6m)
The Belgian is selected in 37.6% of teams and only Almiron (93) has more points among FPL midfielders. De Bruyne has three goals and nine assists across 14 appearances so far and he served a reminder of his fiendish connection with Erling Haaland in midweek against Liverpool.
Erling Haaland (£12.2m)
This season’s top scorer with 18 goals and three assists has been the most essential FPL asset and he is well rested after missing out on the World Cup.
Game week 17 sees Manchester City take on Leeds United who have been one of the worst defences having conceded 26 goals, and with De Bruyne also ready to supply passes, Haaland will be the most captained player in this game week. He has averaged 9.5 points per game and is now owned by over 83 per cent of managers.
Harry Kane (£11.6m)
The Spurs striker has registered 12 goals and three assists for 102 points which make him second to only Haaland in the game. Kane is now owned by 27.3% of managers and he would have some demons to exorcise after his penalty miss at the World Cup.
Darwin Nunez (£9.0m)
The Uruguayan delivered 20 FPL points in his last two league games and he looks fit and ready to go against Aston Villa after a 32-minute brace in a friendly against AC Milan and an assist in the cup defeat to City.
Darwin is now a key target in GW17 as he is also the third most-bought player.