The Premier League season this year has been an ever-changing landscape as is evident from the fact that nine different teams topped the table at different points. The uncertainty has also reflected in players’ performances.
Mohamed Salah and Patrick Bamford, two of the most prolific players this season had fallen out of favour of Fantasy Premier League managers in recent weeks due to barren spells in front of goal. The Leeds forward was the second-most sold player in FPL last week while Salah endured a similar fate the week before. In GameWeek 21 though, the duo served a reminder why they remain reliable FPL assets with each returning a 15-point haul.
Their big tallies were perhaps the only reason why GW 21 wasn’t the lowest scoring week in FPL.
So those FPL managers who got rid of the two players would now be chalking out plans to restore them in their respective teams. And with Liverpool and Leeds both at home, there’s even more reason to have them on board.
With less than 48 hours between the GW 21 and 22, FPL managers have very little time to plan their squad.
On paper, West Ham United have the easiest matches in the coming weeks with two games against the bottom two sides. Manchester United, who will be desperate to get back to winning ways, face a goal-shy Southampton at Old Trafford this week before matches against Everton and struggling West Brom.
City face Burnley against whom they have a great record but their fixtures turn thereafter. Liverpool and Tottenham too have hard games in the coming weeks, with Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea having a good run of games after their game against Tottenham this week.
Crystal Palace players can also be considered as they have some good games coming up.
Upcoming fixture difficulty ratings
|Team||*Combined Difficulty rating for GW 22-24||GW22 opponent (Feb 02)||GW23 opponent||GW24 opponent|
|Arsenal||8 (3, 3, 2)||WOL(A)||AVL(A)||LEE(H)|
|Aston Villa||8 (3, 3, 2)||WHU(H)||ARS(H)||BHA(A)|
|Brighton||10 (5, 2, 3)||LIV(A)||BUR(A)||AVL(H)|
|Burnley||9 (4, 2, 3)||MCI(H)||BHA(H)||CRY(A)|
|Chelsea||8 (4, 2, 2)||TOT(A)||SHU(A)||NEW(H)|
|Crystal Palace||8 (3, 3, 2)||NEW(A)||LEE(A)||BUR(H)|
|Everton||9 (3, 4, 2)||LEE(A)||MUN(A)||FUL(H)|
|Fulham||10 (4, 3, 3)||LEI(H)||WHU(H)||EVE(A)|
|Leeds||9 (3, 3, 3)||EVE(H)||CRY(H)||ARS(A)|
|Leicester||9 (2, 3, 4)||FUL(A)||WOL(A)||LIV(H)|
|Liverpool||10 (2, 4, 4)||BHA(H)||MCI(H)||LEI(A)|
|Man City||11 (2, 5, 4)||BUR(A)||LIV(A)||TOT(H)|
|Man Utd||8 (3, 3, 2)||SOU(H)||EVE(H)||WBA(A)|
|Newcastle||10 (3, 3, 4)||CRY(H)||SOU(H)||CHE(A)|
|Sheffield Utd||9 (2, 4, 3)||WBA(H)||CHE(H)||WHU(A)|
|Southampton||10 (4, 3, 3)||MUN(A)||NEW(A)||WOL(H)|
|Spurs||11 (4, 2, 5)||CHE(H)||WBA(H)||MCI(A)|
|West Brom||10 (2, 4, 4)||SHU(A)||TOT(A)||MUN(H)|
|West Ham||7 (3, 2, 2)||AVL(A)||FUL(A)||SHU(H)|
|Wolves||10 (3, 4, 3)||ARS(H)||LEI(H)||SOU(A)|
The big ins and outs
As expected, Salah leads the purchases ahead of GW 22. Callum Wilson, Newcastle’s hero at Goodison Park is close second ahead of Manchester City defender Ruben Dias who has so far been an exception to Pep Guardiola’s frequent rotation. West Ham’s Michail Antonio and Aston Villa’s Jack Greakish continue to attract buyers.
Most transferred (in) players ahead of GW 22
FPL managers are slowly shipping out injured Harry Kane from their teams as he is the most transferred out player for the second week running. With Spurs suffering without him at Brighton, Son Heung-min is also on the way out of teams. Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka, Chelsea’s Ben Chilwell and Southampton’s Eric Walker-Pieters are the other players being offloaded.
Most transferred (out) players ahead of GW 22
Top picks for Gameweek 22
Whether you bring them in through transfers or (luckily enough) have them in your squad already, these are the five hottest selections for GW 22:
Mohamed Salah (Liverpool): The Egyptian has certainly rediscovered his goalscorig touch with a brace each in Liverpool’s matches against Manchester United in the FA Cup and West Ham United in the Premier League. The Reds have struggled to score goals at home against teams that have sat back but with Brighton expected to be slightly more open, expect the Liverpool talisman to fancy his chances in what could be an open game.
Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United): A player who has been struggling of late in the Premier League but one who always responds when questions are raised against him. This is a good game for United who have struggled at home but against a goal-shy Southampton side who usually concede a lot of goals against the big teams. Having starred in the return fixture earlier in the season where United mounted a superb comeback to win, expect Fernandes to be back among the goals and points.
Callum Wilson (Newcastle United): The Magpies got a huge win at Everton at the weekend and would be keen to build on it. In Crystal Palace, they face a team that leaks plenty of goals especially away from home. With Wilson rediscovering his scoring touch, he is a very good option to have in your team for GW 22 especially with the paucity of options among strikers at the moment.
Hector Bellerin (Arsenal): The Gunners have conceded just one goal in their last six matches and facing a Wolves side who have struggled for goals in Raul Jimenez’s absence, Bellerin makes a good pick. Mikel Arteta’s men have the second-best defensive record on the road. Bellerin has three assists to his name this season and is a bonus magnet having earned 13 bonus points so far, the joint best by a defender this season.
Jack Grealish (Aston Villa): The English midfielder has been one of the better players this season and comes into the game against West Ham in fine form. With returns in each of the last three games and Villa finding form on home soil, Grealish is likely to be among the points against West Ham who have conceded goals against quality opposition this season. In current form, it’s hard to overlook Grealish.
Top differential picks for GW 22:
John Fleck (Sheffield United): Sheffield United go into the battle of the league’s bottom two teams as the form side with good performances and results against the division’s top sides. If they are to stay up this season, they need all three points against West Brom who have been leaking goals all season long. Fleck was quite impressive last season and seems to be finding form for the Blades having made two assists in the last three matches. With just 0.1% ownership, he is a good differential pick for GW 22.
Marcos Alonso (Chelsea): Remember him? The Chelsea wingback was brought back from the cold by new manager Tuchel against Burnley and the full-back returned handsomely by scoring a goal and keeping a clean sheet. The Spaniard excels in a wing-back role and has a great record of scoring against Tottenham who have struggled to create chances in Kane’s absence. Owned by only 1.7% FPL managers, Alonso could be a game-changing player for your FPL team especially with Blues taking on Spurs.
Matheus Pereira (West Brom): The Baggies midfielder has been in fine form in recent weeks and is the brightest hope for West Brom’s survival chances. With four goals and an assist in his last four games, Pereria could be a huge asset against Sheffield United who are very vulnerable on set-pieces having conceded ten goals from dead-ball situations. With less than 2% ownership, Pereira can make a real difference to your midfield and save a few millions too.
In GW 22, it’s hard to look beyond the in-form Salah, especially with Liverpool seemingly back at their fluent best. Salah would fancy his chances of keeping his scoring streak going against Brighton and thus there is every reason to captain him.
Fernandes is another top alternative with the Portuguese due a goal in the league. The midfielder is having his worst spell in the Premier League but, like Salah, expect him to make amends against a side not at their best at the moment.
However, between the two, Salah just edges the battle thanks to his current form.
FPL Deadline for GW22: 10.00 pm IST, Tuesday, February 02, 2021.
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