Fantasy Premier League managers would have been confident entering Gameweek 24 after an impressive GW23 that saw an average score of 58 but injuries to some key, highly-owned players have certainly disrupted plans.
James Justin, Leicester City’s full-back owned by almost 28% of FPL managers was all but ruled out for the season after a nasty knee injury. He was the second-highest scoring defender in the game and available at a fairly low price of £5.2 million. Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin, the second-most owned forward (43.2%) in the game is also set to miss the Fulham game at least. Moreover, there are doubts over the fitness of Manchester City’s Ruben Dias, Everton’s Lucas Digne and West Ham’s Michail Antonio.
Most of these players are from Everton and Manchester City, teams that will be playing twice this week. So with a lot of FPL managers banking on these players for GW24, the injuries have been an unwelcome development.
Four teams – Manchester City, Everton, Fulham and Burnley – play twice this gameweek while Leeds United and Southampton have two games in Gameweek 25. So at least 50% of your starting eleven should ideally comprise players from these teams.
According to Premier League fixture expert, Ben Crellin, Gameweek 26 is expected to be a huge double gameweek with as many as 11 teams have two fixtures. It hasn’t yet been made official but the chart in the tweet below would help you plan your team not just for GW24 but also till GW 26.
As far as the fixture difficulty index is concerned, Crystal Palace have the easiest game in the coming weeks on paper. Brighton, Burnley and Manchester United, also have good matches in the coming weeks and FPL managers could consider assets from these sides.
West Ham, who have been quite popular among FPL managers, are now facing a tough run of fixtures and you may consider moving on a few Hammers assets.
|Team||*Combined Difficulty rating for GW 24-26||GW24 opponent (Feb 13)||GW25 opponent||*GW26 opponent|
|Arsenal||10 (2, 4, 4)||LEE(H)||MCI(H)||LEI(A)|
|Aston Villa||9 (2, 4, 3)||BHA(A)||LEI(H)||LEE(A)|
|Brighton||8 (3, 3, 2)||AVL(H)||CRY(H)||WBA(A)|
|Burnley||8 (3,2, 2, 4)||CRY(A), FUL(H)||WBA(H)||TOT(A)|
|Chelsea||9 (2, 3, 4)||NEW(H)||SOU(A)||MUN(H)|
|Crystal Palace||6 (2, 2, 2)||BUR(H)||BHA(A)||FUL(H)|
|Everton||10 (2,4, 5, 3)||FUL(H), MCI(A)||LIV(A)||SOU(H)|
|Fulham||8 (3,2, 2, 3)||EVE(A), BUR(A)||SHU(H)||CRY(A)|
|Leeds||9 (3, 3, 3,3)||ARS(A)||WOL(A), SOU(H)||AVL(H)|
|Leicester||10 (4, 3, 3)||LIV(H)||AVL(A)||ARS(H)|
|Liverpool||9 (4, 3, 2)||LEI(A)||EVE(H)||SHU(A)|
|Man City||10 (4,3, 3, 3)||TOT(H), EVE(A)||ARS(A)||WHU(H)|
|Man Utd||8 (2, 2, 4)||WBA(A)||NEW(H)||CHE(A)|
|Newcastle||11 (4, 4, 3)||CHE(A)||MUN(A)||WOL(H)|
|Sheffield Utd||9 (3, 2, 4)||WHU(A)||FUL(A)||LIV(H)|
|Southampton||10 (3, 4, 3,3)||WOL(H)||CHE(H), LEE(A)||EVE(A)|
|Spurs||10 (5, 3, 2)||MCI(A)||WHU(A)||BUR(H)|
|West Brom||8 (4, 2, 2)||MUN(H)||BUR(A)||BHA(H)|
|West Ham||11 (2, 4, 5)||SHU(H)||TOT(H)||MCI(A)|
|Wolves||9 (3, 2, 3)||SOU(A)||LEE(H)||NEW(A)|
The big ins and outs
Man City’s heroes last week Ilkay Gundogan and Phil Foden find themselves high on demand this week especially with City playing twice. Everton’s Calvert-Lewin finds himself in top five among both ins and outs. He is back in favour among FPL bosses for his return of form but a 50% injury doubt hangs over him as things stand. Harry Kane and Ollie Watkins, two in-form strikers complete the top five most purchased players this week.
Most transferred (in) players ahead of GW24
Injured Callum Wilson is heading out of FPL teams so is Justin for the same reason. Tomas Soucek, who was red carded last week before it was overturned, saw a lot of sales making him the second most sold player. Injury doubt over Antonio is not helping him sustain his ownership while a slight dip in form has cost Son Heung-min a place in FPL managers’ plans but Calvert Lewin pushed him out of top five.
Most transferred (out) players ahead of GW24
Top picks for Gameweek 24
Whether you bring them in through transfers or (luckily enough) have them in your squad already, these are the five hottest selections for GW 24:
Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City): When Kevin de Bruyne got injured City needed someone to step up and make up for his goals and assists. Gundogan has done just that and is now City’s chief goal threat. A brace at Anfield last week took his tally to nine for the season. Even though he missed a penalty, a lack of other options could mean he retains the penalty duties for Pep Guardiola’s side (who has hinted maybe his goalkeeper could do it). For GW24 and perhaps beyond, he is a must-have.
Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United): The Manchester United talisman has scored in back to back games and even though his attacking influence has reduced in the last few matches, he simply can’t be ignored for the game against West Brom who concede goals for fun. Fernandes is the safest bet among United players and it’s very unlikely that he will blank against a team as generous as the Baggies.
Nick Pope (Burnley): This is certainly not goalkeeper territory, but such has been Nick Pope’s consistency in FPL that you can’t ignore him when Burnley play twice in a gameweek. Up against Palace and Fulham, Burnley have a pretty good chance of keeping a clean sheet (or two). Palace have not scored in the league when Wilfried Zaha has not started and with the Ivorian out of the game, there is even greater case for Pope. Fulham have also not been scoring many off late. The Burnley goalkeeper is second on the Saves charts and tops the Bonus points list this season.
Richarlison (Everton): In Calvert-Lewin’s absence at least for the first game, Richarlison is a great replacement. He has hit form, scoring a brace in the Toffees’ 5-4 victory over Spurs in the FA Cup. Everton would fancy their chances of scoring not just against Fulham but also against Manchester City at Goodison Park. With eight goals against top opposition in their last two matches, Carlo Ancelotti’s men are looking good.
Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal): by far the brightest forward player for Arsenal, Lacazette has netted eight times this season. Up against a Leeds side that have the worst defensive record on the road, he will fancy his chances of adding to that tally. Leeds play very open even on the road and it will suit the Frenchman.
Top differential picks for GW 24:
Marcos Alonso (Chelsea): The Blues have been solid under Thomas Tuchel and an opposition player is yet to score against them under the German. Up against a Newcastle side without Callum Wilson, the Blues have a great chance of keeping a clean sheet. For Alonso, there is a decent chance of an attacking return especially at home against a side that will give him plenty of chances to push forward. With just over 3% ownership, he has great differential potential.
Edinson Cavani (Manchester United): The Uruguayan forward has scored in Manchester United’s last two league games and earned his rest in the FA Cup. He will be licking his lips at the prospect of going against a weak West Brom defence. With just 5.4% ownership, he is a top pick for GW 24.
Gylfi Sigurdsson (Everton): The Everton midfielder has scored two goals in Everton’s last three games and is on penalty duty for the Toffees. With a double gameweek coming up, Sigurdsson, who has a knack of scoring against big teams, could be a smart choice for GW 24. With less than 2% ownership, he could be the difference-maker your team needs.
There are quite a few candidates for captaincy this week and it’s going to be a bit of a headache to decide on who to give the armband this week. The likes of Gundogan, Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden who play twice this week are among the leading candidates but City’s fixtures against Tottenham at home and at Everton aren’t the easiest of games.
On the other hand, Fernandes who faces an out of sorts West Brom side could rack up the points if United go berserk against the Baggies just as they did against Southampton.
Everton’s Richarlison is also a decent bet but it would take a brave man to back him to do well against City’s defence.
Burnley’s Pope also may not be the worst of options and could end up giving you a great return if the team’s defence lives up to its potential.
However, among the options, United’s Fernandes seems the best choice with United in goalscoring form. There is a case for the armband to be given to a City player, but Fernandes just about trumps them despite having a game less to play in GW 24.
FPL Deadline for GW24: 4.30 pm IST, Saturday, February 13, 2021.