For the big guns in the Premier League, it was a week to forget as the traditional big six – Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea, Manchester United, Tottenham and Arsenal – all failed to win.
It certainly impacted the points tally for Fantasy Premier League managers as the average came down to 51 from 62 in the previous week. Among the usual suspects, Mohamed Salah, the most popular captaincy choice, delivered a goal, so did the heavily owned Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane. Apart from that, the points came from players in teams outside of the Premier League’s cream.
There’s a quick turnaround ahead of GW 13 that comes just two days after GW 12 ended. The fixture list that pits the top two teams – Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur – against one another, has a few more games where FPL managers would find it hard to pick players.
Manchester City’s home game against West Brom and Manchester United’s trip to Sheffield United are the highlights in a gameweek where a few closely-matched teams are playing one another.
Things are looking good for Manchester City over the coming weeks with a fairly easy run. Aston Villa, Brighton and Fulham are the other teams with the lowest difficulty level in the next three gameweeks. Manchester United and Leeds assets are also worth considering given the difficulty of games they face in the coming weeks.
High-flying Tottenham have a tough run of fixtures while the league’s strugglers West Brom also have a torrid set of games coming up.
|Team||*Combined Difficulty rating for GW 13-15||GW 13 opponent(Nov 27)||GW14 opponent||GW15 opponent|
|Arsenal||10 (3, 3, 4)||SOU(H)||EVE(A)||CHE(H)|
|Aston Villa||7 (2, 2, 3)||BUR(H)||WBA(A)||CRY(H)|
|Brighton||7 (2, 2, 3)||FUL(A)||SHU(H)||WHU(A)|
|Burnley||9 (3, 3, 3)||AVL(A)||WOL(H)||LEE(A)|
|Chelsea||9 (3, 3, 3)||WOL(A)||WHU(H)||ARS(A)|
|Crystal Palace||10 (3, 4, 3)||WHU(A)||LIV(H)||AVL(A)|
|Everton||9 (4, 3, 2)||LEI(A)||ARS(H)||SHU(A)|
|Fulham||7 (2, 3, 3)||BHA(H)||NEW(A)||SOU(H)|
|Leeds||8 (2, 4, 2)||NEW(H)||MUN(A)||BUR(H)|
|Leicester||11 (3, 4, 4)||EVE(A)||TOT(A)||MUN(H)|
|Liverpool||9 (4, 3, 2)||TOT(H)||CRY(A)||WBA(H)|
|Man City||7 (2, 3, 2)||WBA(H)||SOU(A)||NEW(H)|
|Man Utd||8 (2, 2, 4)||SHU(A)||LEE(H)||LEI(A)|
|Newcastle||10 (3, 2, 5)||LEE(A)||FUL(H)||MCI(A)|
|Sheffield Utd||9 (4, 2, 3)||MUN(H)||BHA(A)||EVE(H)|
|Southampton||9 (3, 4, 2)||ARS(A)||MCI(H)||FUL(A)|
|Spurs||12 (5, 4, 3)||LIV(A)||LEI(H)||WOL(A)|
|West Brom||13 (5, 3, 5)||MCI(A)||AVL(H)||LIV(A)|
|West Ham||9 (3, 4, 2)||CRY(H)||CHE(A)||BHA(H)|
|Wolves||9 (4, 2, 4)||CHE(H)||BUR(A)||TOT(H)|
The big ins and outs
Wilfried Zaha, who blanked last week but has otherwise been in fine form, is surprisingly the most purchased player this week despite a tricky run for Crystal Palace. The interest in Kevin de Bruyne and Jack Grealish is on expected lines considering their fixtures.
James Ward-Prowse continues to attract buyers thanks to his set-piece threat, while the same can be said of West Ham’s Thomas Soucek who’s proving to be a real bargain for £5 million.
Most transferred (in) players ahead of GW 13
Diogo Jota’s injury means he is being shipped out in numbers. The fate is similar for Hector Bellerin, Hakim Ziyech and James Rodriguez. Timo Werner, who has disappointed of late, also finds himself on the way out from FPL teams.
Most transferred (out) players ahead of GW 13
Top five picks for Gameweek 13
Whether you bring them in through transfers or (luckily enough) have them in your squad already, these are the five hottest selections for GW 13:
Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City): The City midfielder who provided handsome returns in their last home game is an obvious choice given the opposition he faces and the reputation he has of scoring points in these types of games. Against a struggling West Brom, who are the worst defence in the league, KdB is a must-have.
Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United): The Portuguese midfielder has taken the Premier League by storm since joining in January and no player has more goal contributions than him since then. Up against bottom side Sheffield United and with United chasing a ninth successive away win in the Premier League, enter into GW 13 without Fernandes at your own peril.
Ruben Dias (Manchester City): We stay in Manchester for our third pick and it’s another City player. While Pep Guardiola’s men have struggled to score goals, they have been very good at keeping clean sheets. With five shutouts so far, City have the lowest xGA (Expected Goals Allowed) tally in the division. Against West Brom, that’s unlikely to be damaged. With Dias, expect a threat on set-pieces and few bonus points as well.
Jack Grealish (Aston Villa): Grealish is having a fine season so far and it reflects in the upturn of fortunes for Villa. While Dean Smith’s side have struggled at home apart from that 7-2 thrashing of Liverpool, a visit from Burnley seems a good time to put that right. Burnley have the fourth-worst xGA tally away from home and with Villa likely to score goals, Grealish is the best bet for FPL points.
Bobby-Decordova Reid (Fulham): It seemed unlikely a few weeks ago that a Fulham player would make this list but such has been the upturn in their fortunes, that Reid makes a strong case for inclusion in your FPL teams this season. Up against Brighton whose style of play will suit Scott Parker’s men, Reid – who has scored in each of Fulham’s last three home games – is one to be considered. Owned by 0.6% of teams he has big differential potential and is dirt cheap at £5.3 million.
Three differential picks for Gameweek 12
James Maddison (Leicester City): A hot property at the start of last season, Maddison fell out of favour with FPL managers after an injury last season. But after a 16-point haul in GW 12 that followed an assist in the previous GW, Maddison is back in the reckoning for FPL selection. Owned by just 4.6% of managers, he has great differential potential (but a risky option given the fixture against Everton, hence not a must-have).
Danny Welbeck (Brighton): Welbeck has made the starting spot in Graham Potter’s team his own by returning for three straight gameweeks. He missed a big chance in defeat at Leicester, but with Brighton having a good run of games, expect him to get more chances to score. With just 1.2% ownership, he has can be your team’s difference-maker.
Harry Maguire (Manchester United): Manchester United haven’t been great defensively but will be expected to keep a clean sheet against Sheffield United, who have scored just two goals just five goals all season. Maguire is a threat on set-pieces and could profit further with Sheffield vulnerable in dead-ball situations having conceded six times through that route this season.
With a handful of good fixtures, captaincy isn’t a big conundrum this week with De Bruyne the hot favourite for the armband. Giving him close competition though is Fernandes, who has pretty much run the show for United this season.
Mohamed Salah is also an option given his good scoring record against Tottenham, but being a typically Mourinho team, Spurs are likely to make it a tight affair at Anfield.
So the pick is between De Bruyne and Fernandes this week, with City’s tendency of being really destructive at home against teams from the bottom half giving the Belgian a slight edge.
FPL Deadline for GW13: 10.00 pm IST, Tuesday, December 15, 2020.
(Stats Courtesy: Fantasy Premier League website, WhoScored.com, FBref.com)