It’s fantasy football o’clock and the good news for you FPL fans is that you’re getting twice as much bang for your buck this week. It is irrelevant that this article costs you nothing. Anyway, those fine people at the Premier League have decided the already busy December schedule definitely needs a round of midweek games. I’m not capable of turning round two previews in 3 days so you’re getting a jolly combination here. But first, do you want to hear how I dropped 50,000 places?
Gameweek 13 was an absolute nightmare. I scored 32 points, many points less than the average of 50. That saw a massive red arrow against my name as we dropped to 93,433rd. If I want to maintain that top 100k place, we need a response. To panic or not to panic?
With it being a doubler the format of the preview is slightly different. Don’t worry, it’s still well above the required nonsense percentage.
The Likely Lads
Let’s get the Man City conundrum out of the way first. Man City are at home to Bournemouth in GW14 so obviously it’s all eyes on the City attacking assets. Sergio Aguero failed last weekend but he should at least play whilst there are question marks over Gabriel Jesus’ fitness, who missed the Champions League tie in Lyon. Wing wizards Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling are cleaning up at the moment and the temptation is very high to bring them in but you just know at least one of them is going to sit one of these games out. GW15 sees Man City off to Watford but with Chelsea away to come next weekend, there’ll be rotation about. Tread carefully and keep an eye on the minutes (and team news).
Speaking of Chelsea, they should be well positioned to bounce back from last week’s horror show as they host Fulham. Eden Hazard sat out European duty on Thursday but is hopeful of being fit to face the Cottagers. I wish he’d just be ruled in or out so I can decide whether to switch him out for Sterling or Sane but if he’s going to play you wouldn’t sell him against “worst defence ever” Fulham. It’s Wolves away in GW15 ahead of that Man City game but Wolves were dreadful last weekend so it’s maybe not the banana skin it once looked.
Arsenal and Tottenham clash in the North London derby on Sunday which will be a good game for the neutral but quite what to expect in terms of FPL is a lot tougher to say. The Gunners are off to Man Utd in GW15 so I’d probably leave them alone until GW16 when their fixtures look a lot nicer, whilst Tottenham are at home to Southampton in midweek. That might be the official dawn of Harry Kane season, he so rarely gets a rest but Pochettino has promised rotation this Christmas. I don’t like that.
It would be remiss not to mention Liverpool. They too are in derby action against much improved Everton before heading off to struggling Burnley in midweek. You can pretty much guarantee they will be as full strength as possible for Everton but we might see some rotation for the Burnley clash. That said next weekend’s trip to Bournemouth will be just days before the Champions League clash with Napoli so surely that would be the time to rest players? No rest for anybody, I say.
There are some teams who can boast a lovely pair of fixtures. West Ham in fact are about to embark on a run of 8 winnable games, some more than others. Of course we don’t particularly care if they win or not but it makes Marko Arnautovic look a vital purchase. They’re away at Newcastle on Saturday, who may have won 3 in a row but have managed one clean sheet at home all season, then home to Cardiff on Tuesday. That’s more like it.
Crystal Palace haven’t been great but a home game with Burnley offers some encouragement followed up by their big clash with Brighton. James Maddison is back from his ban which is good news for Leicester who host Watford and then head to Fulham. Jamie Vardy is also apparently fully recovered if you want to spend a little bit more.
Based on form you really want to put the armband on Sane or Sterling this weekend but as I always say, Pep’s wheel of rotation could stop at any given moment. I’m banking on Aguero starting thanks to Jesus’ injury but Pep could say in Friday’s press conference that everybody is fine and then I’ll just go for a lie down in a dark room. If Hazard is declared fit in time he could have a great time against Fulham but minutes may be an issue.
For GW15 Harry Kane against Southampton looks like a good route to go but as I mentioned in the main section, I like the look of Arnautovic against Cardiff. Failing that just stick it on a Man City player and hope. Like I said, more bang for your buck here.
Last week was a fiasco but there was always a chance that the players who had got me into a great position would have an off week. Chelsea and Wolves having a terrible week didn’t help my cause but this is what I’ve gone for for GW14:
Fabianski, Alonso, Robertson, Wan-Bissaka, Duffy, Doherty, Salah, Hazard, Richarlison, Jimenez, Aguero. Subs: Wilson, Neves, Hughes, Begovic.
That’s with no changes. Then I’ll have two for GW15, where it’ll be Arnautovic for Jimenez (there’s £1.6m in the bank at present) and one more change up my sleeve if I need to use it. There’s a plan in there somewhere.
Any other business?
Cardiff vs Wolves is on Friday night so the deadline for GW14 is 7pm on Friday whilst the GW15 deadline is 6.45pm on Tuesday. Now you see why I doubled up?
After a deep breath, that’s all I have for this week. Whatever you decide to do, I wish you luck and may all your arrows be green. See you next Friday for a full debrief.