For Fantasy Premier League managers, gameweek 13 was that one weekend where all plans went out of the window. The build-up to the match day was all about the potential big returns for Manchester City and Manchester United assets. While the latter didn’t entirely disappoint, City’s 1-1 draw with West Brom left the FPL faithful frustrated.
Even for United, Bruno Fernandes, the player with the highest ownership from the team and one who never fails on the road, decided to have his one blip against Sheffield United. Elsewhere, Chelsea and Leicester City lost and the average points tally of 42 was the lowest of the season so far.
The Liverpool-Spurs game, that most FPL managers stayed away from, produced returns for the usual suspects – Mohamed Salah and Son-Heung-min.
But there’s little time to dwell on what might have been as gameweek 14 is here staring at our faces. Here’s what the weekend has in store for us.
In terms of the fixture difficulty, Sheffield United have the best games in the coming week but few FPL managers would be banking on their assets given poor form this season.
Liverpool and Manchester City, on paper the league’s best two teams, have relatively easier games in the coming week and it’s no surprise that their players have been in demand.
Burnley who have kept back-to-back clean sheets going into GW 14 also have a favourable run of fixtures. Brighton with a fixture difficulty index of 8 can also be considered by FPL managers.
Crystal Palace have the toughest games in coming weeks, followed by Leicester City who have been slightly inconsistent in recent weeks. Fulham, Southampton, and West Brom will also find it hard in the coming weeks, while Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham also have some hard matches on the horizon.
|Team||*Combined Difficulty rating for GW 14-16||GW 14 opponent(Dec 19)||GW15 opponent||GW16 opponent|
|Arsenal||9 (3, 4, 2)||EVE(A)||CHE(H)||BHA(A)|
|Aston Villa||9 (2, 3, 4)||WBA(A)||CRY(H)||CHE(A)|
|Brighton||8 (2, 3, 3)||SHU(H)||WHU(A)||ARS(H)|
|Burnley||8 (3, 3, 2)||WOL(H)||LEE(A)||SHU(H)|
|Chelsea||9 (3, 3, 3)||WHU(H)||ARS(A)||AVL(H)|
|Crystal Palace||11 (4, 3, 4)||LIV(H)||AVL(A)||LEI(H)|
|Everton||9 (2, 3, 4)||ARS(H)||SHU(A)||MCI(H)|
|Fulham||10 (3, 3, 4)||NEW(A)||SOU(H)||TOT(A)|
|Leeds||8 (4, 2, 2)||MUN(A)||BUR(H)||WBA(A)|
|Leicester||11 (4, 4, 3)||TOT(A)||MUN(H)||CRY(A)|
|Liverpool||8 (3, 2, 3)||CRY(A)||WBA(H)||NEW(A)|
|Man City||8 (3, 2, 3)||SOU(A)||NEW(H)||EVE(A)|
|Man Utd||9 (2, 4, 3)||LEE(H)||LEI(A)||WOL(H)|
|Newcastle||11 (2, 5, 4)||FUL(H)||MCI(A)||LIV(H)|
|Sheffield Utd||7 (2, 3, 2)||BHA(A)||EVE(H)||BUR(A)|
|Southampton||10 (4, 2, 3)||MCI(H)||FUL(A)||WHU(H)|
|Spurs||9 (4, 3, 2)||LEI(H)||WOL(A)||FUL(H)|
|West Brom||10 (3, 5, 2)||AVL(H)||LIV(A)||LEE(H)|
|West Ham||9 (4, 2, 3)||CHE(A)||BHA(H)||SOU(A)|
|Wolves||10 (2, 4, 4)||BUR(A)||TOT(H)||MUN(A)|
The big ins and outs
Pedro Neto, who scored a stunning stoppage-time winner and has been ticking over the points in the last few weeks, seems to have finally caught the eyes of the FPL managers. Son and Salah, who were the sacrificial lamb to facilitate the entry of De Bruyne or Fernandes, are being brought in again after the duo returned last week.
Patrick Bamford is once again in demand despite scoring just once in Leeds’ 5-2 win over Newcastle, while Harry Kane completes the top five despite a big miss against Liverpool.
Most transferred (in) players ahead of GW 14
Diogo Jota continues to lose ownership as his injury is not the one that will heal quickly. Arsenal defender Gabriel, who was brought in for the fixture against Burnley and got red carded against Southampton, is being shipped out after the Gunners disappointed again.
FPL managers are also quickly losing patience with Timo Werner who had another poor outing against Wolves. Surprisingly, Jamie Vardy finds himself on the list. A blank in GW 13 and a tough run of games for the Foxes might have prompted FPL managers.
Most transferred (out) players ahead of GW 14
Top five picks for Gameweek 14
Whether you bring them in through transfers or (luckily enough) have them in your squad already, these are the five hottest selections for GW 14:
Marcus Rashford (Manchester United): The United forward helped himself to a 14-point haul in GW 13 netting twice against Sheffield United. Rashford has returned in every away game this season for United and even though they are at home this week, up against Leeds United who like to take the game to their opponents, it will pretty much be like an away game for the Red Devils who will enjoy plenty of space behind the Leeds defence to exploit. With his pace, Rashford is the man to go for.
Son Heung-min (Tottenham Hotspur): Spurs may have a hard game on paper with Leicester also have a good record on the road, but Son seems quite unstoppable so far this season. Jose Mourinho is a master of the big games especially at home and Son has been the team’s go-to man in these type of games having scored against Manchester United, Manchester City, and Liverpool. Leicester who like to hold a high line may have a lot of problems dealing with Son.
Tariq Lamptey (Brighton and Hove Albion): Sheffield United are struggling and it’s a good game for Brighton, who kept a clean sheet in their last match against Fulham. Lamptey is a massive threat going forward and also someone who can get bonus points. Against Sheffield, who have scored just thrice away from home all season, Lamptey has a decent chance of a big haul.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton): The purple patch has continued for DCL who is getting returns with great consistency. Many FPL managers decided to do away with him in the last few weeks but he and his team have responded brilliantly. Up against an Arsenal side who are struggling to keep their full quota of eleven players on the pitch of late, Calvert-Lewin will fancy himself to get on the scoresheet.
Jack Grealish (Aston Villa): Grealish, just like his team, has blown hot and cold this season. But with his ability, he can’t be kept out for too long. West Brom have conceded 26 goals this season and even though there might be a response after Sam Allardyce’s arrival, he will find it hard to fix their defence. The right side of West Brom’s defence is most vulnerable and Grealish, who often operates on that flank for Villa, could exploit it. He may have tested the patience of FPL managers but Grealish deserves every bit of it.
Top three differential picks for GW 14
Anthony Martial (Manchester United): Poor form, suspension, and injury has hampered Martial’s season so far, but he seemed in fine touch midweek against Sheffield United. Against Leeds who have the worst xGA (Expected Goals Allowed) away from home, Martial is likely to get more chances. A player who scored 17 goals last season is owned by just 3.5% FPL managers and having him this week could be a great gamble.
Richarlison (Everton): A player who was heavily owned at the start of the season, he too has been hampered by suspension and injury. But the Brazilian got back on the scoresheet in midweek and up against Arsenal in GW 14, he could be among the points again. Owned by 4.4% of FPL managers, he has great differential potential and can be a long-term option too.
Olivier Giroud (Chelsea): Another striker who was immense during Project Restart is finding his feet in the new season. Giroud has now scored in two out of his last three Premier League matches for Chelsea and has been in great touch in the Champions League. He seems to have moved ahead of Tammy Abraham in the pecking order and with Chelsea having plenty of time between their games, he could start in them all over the busy period. Owned by just 1.6% of FPL managers, he could be a real steal at £6.7 million.
The captain’s armband has a few takers this week. Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes and Rashford are among the leading candidates given the fixture and form. Perennial captaincy candidate Salah is also in the mix, although Liverpool’s poor away record and a strong Palace defence could put few FPL managers off.
Not the most popular choice, but the best captain candidate this week could be Son, who has been extremely consistent this season. The South Korean has been directly involved in 15 out of Tottenham’s 25 goals and his record in big games stands out.
FPL Deadline for GW14: 4.30 pm IST, Saturday, December 19, 2020.
(Stats Courtesy: Fantasy Premier League website, WhoScored.com, FBref.com. Percentage stats as of Friday.)
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