Gameweek 20 was a low-scoring affair especially after the high returns in GW 19 with an average score of 42.
It was a week of the low-priced midfielders as Tomas Soucek, Ilkay Gundogan, Bukayo Saka and Raphinha all priced below £6 million racked up the points with all four players scoring ten-plus points in GW 20.
With big guns like Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy, Kevin de Bruyne injured and Mohamed Salah and Bruno Fernandes not returning as expected, FPL managers might be tempted by some of these cheaper players who have been producing handsome returns of late.
League leaders Manchester City who have been in fine form have the easiest game on paper in gameweek 21 but as Sheffield United proved against Manchester United, no game in the Premier League can be taken for granted.
Leicester City, Everton, Chelsea, Tottenham and West Brom are the other teams to look at from the fixtures perspective.
Liverpool also have good next two matches before a game against Manchester City.
Leeds, Sheffield United, Southampton and Wolves are the teams to avoid
|Team||*Combined Difficulty rating for GW 21-23||GW21 opponent (Jan 30)||GW22 opponent||GW23 opponent|
|Arsenal||10 (4, 3, 3)||MUN(H)||WOL(A)||AVL(A)|
|Aston Villa||9 (3, 3, 3)||SOU(A)||WHU(H)||ARS(H)|
|Brighton||11 (4, 5, 2)||TOT(H)||LIV(A)||BUR(A)|
|Burnley||10 (4, 4, 2)||CHE(A)||MCI(H)||BHA(H)|
|Chelsea||8 (2, 4, 2)||BUR(H)||TOT(A)||SHU(A)|
|Crystal Palace||9 (3, 3, 3)||WOL(H)||NEW(A)||LEE(A)|
|Everton||9 (2, 3, 4)||NEW(H)||NEW(H)||WHU(H)|
|Fulham||9 (2, 4, 3)||WBA(A)||LEI(H)||WHU(H)|
|Leeds||10 (4, 3, 3)||LEI(A)||EVE(A)||CRY(H)|
|Leicester||7 (2, 2, 3)||LEE(H)||FUL(A)||WOL(A)|
|Liverpool||9 (3, 2, 4)||WHU(A)||BHA(H)||MCI(H)|
|Man City||9 (2, 2, 5)||SHU(H)||BUR(A)||LIV(A)|
|Man Utd||9 (3, 3, 3)||ARS(A)||SOU(H)||EVE(H)|
|Newcastle||9 (3, 3, 3)||EVE(A)||CRY(H)||SOU(H)|
|Sheffield Utd||11 (5, 2, 4)||MCI(A)||WBA(H)||CHE(H)|
|Southampton||10 (3, 4, 3)||AVL(H)||MUN(A)||NEW(A)|
|Spurs||8 (2, 4, 2)||BHA(A)||CHE(H)||WBA(H)|
|West Brom||8 (2, 2, 4)||FUL(H)||SHU(A)||TOT(A)|
|West Ham||9 (4, 3, 2)||LIV(H)||AVL(A)||FUL(A)|
|Wolves||10 (3, 3, 4)||CRY(A)||ARS(H)||LEI(H)|
The big ins and outs
Three Manchester City players in the top five most purchased players this week and it’s no surprise considering their form and the games ahead of them. Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Aston Villa’s in-form striker Ollie Watkins make up the rest of the top five.
Most transferred (in) players ahead of GW 21
Apart from Kane, Vardy and De Bruyne who are injured, Leeds forward Patrick Bamford finds himself on the way out of teams along with Kurt Zouma who has lost his starting place. Leeds and Bamford have struggled in recent weeks and it may be forcing FPL managers’ hands
Most transferred (out) players ahead of GW 21
Top picks for Gameweek 21
Whether you bring them in through transfers or (luckily enough) have them in your squad already, these are the five hottest selections for GW 21:
James Maddison (Leicester City): The Foxes midfielder has been in sublime form since returning to the team after his injury. With three goals in his last four matches, he is Leicester’s greatest goal threat at the moment and against Leeds United, who are one of the league’s worst defensive sides, he can be quite explosive. At just £7.2 million, he is a very affordable option.
Lucas Digne (Everton): The Toffees left-back is one of the most potent defenders in the Premier League and already has six assists to his name this season. Up against a Newcastle United side that have the second-worst xG (Expected Goals) away from home, the French full-back is a great option for GW 21. Everton have scored nine goals from set-pieces and with Digne on it, he makes a very attractive option for the coming games.
Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City): The German midfielder has been flying in the Premier League and took his tally for the season to seven goals with a brace against West Brom. In Pep Guardiola’s new system, he is getting into really attacking positions and that is evident from his sudden upturn in goal tally. Also on penalty duties in De Bruyne’s absence, Gundogan falls in the must-have category.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton): The Everton forward maybe on a long spree without a goal in the league, but he was on target in team’s recent FA Cup win. With Everton’s injury woes easing, and James Rodriguez, Richarlison and Digne returning to the team, Calvert-Lewin could have a strong supply line once again.
Joao Cancelo (Manchester City): The Manchester City full-back has almost been playing as an auxiliary midfielder in City’s new system and picked up a goal and an assist in the last game. These returns were a long time due as he was playing in a much-advanced role. Sheffield United have scored just six goals away from home while City have almost been perfect defensively off late. Cancelo is thus a player with great potential for GW 21.
Top differential picks for GW 21:
Antonio Rudiger (Chelsea): The Chelsea defender has regained his place in the starting eleven and the Blues have kept two clean sheets in the last three games with him starting. With a fixture against Burnley, the league’s lowest scorers on the road, Rudiger is a great differential option with an ownership of just 0.8%.
Sadio Mane (Liverpool): After four games without a goal, Mane returned to the scoresheet against Tottenham. The Reds forward has been hugely unlucky not to have a bigger goal tally this season. Mane is third on the list of non-penalty xG this season and eighth in overall xG. Having starred against Spurs, Mane might be the man to trust again. With just 7.7% ownership, he can make your team stand out.
Harvey Barnes (Leicester City): The Leicester City midfielder has been outstanding this season and in recent games, his efforts are being translated into FPL points. With returns in five out of the last six matches, Barnes like Maddison is the man in form for the Foxer. With a 6% ownership, he has great differential potential.
The captaincy is a tricky matter this week with no clear favourites. The City assets like Gundogan and Raheem Sterling are frontrunners given the team’s form. Against goal-shy Sheffield United, putting the armband on the likes of John Stones or Cancelo might also be a pretty safe bet.
Elsewhere, Calvert-Lewin and Maddison are also good options as they face favourable fixtures. Liverpool’s Mane and Mohamed Salah also can’t be discounted but it won’t be very easy for them against an in-form West Ham.
There is too much uncertainty surrounding Chelsea’s line-up and it would be tough to pick out a standout player from their side who have a fairly easy game against Burnley while usual suspect Bruno Fernandes faces a tough trip to Arsenal.
Son Heung-min may fancy his chances against Brighton, but it remains to be seen if he will be as effective without Harry Kane.
The best option thus is a City player and it’s pretty much a toss of a coin between Sterling, Gundogan and one the City defenders.
FPL Deadline for GW21: 4.30 pm IST, Saturday, January 30, 2021.