FPL Gameweek 12 & Beyond – The Christmas Fixtures

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Gameweek 11 saw many FPL big-hitters strike home runs for their respective owners in what turned out be a high scoring gameweek for many. The good news began with the first match of the weekend on Saturday lunchtime between Burnley and Everton, with Premier League top scorer Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£8.0m) netting an equaliser for the Toffees in their 1-1 draw with Burnley. It got even better in the afternoon, when both Kevin De Bruyne (£11.8m) and Raheem Sterling (£11.4m) registered both a goal and an assist for Man City as they brushed aside Fulham 2-0, leading to De Bruyne accruing 14 FPL points and Sterling 13 points. The evening was looking decidedly less promising when influential Man Utd midfielder Bruno Fernandes (£10.9m) was left on the bench. However, with the Red Devils proving incapable of performing well on the football pitch without him, Fernandes found himself thrust on at half time with his side 1-0 down to West Ham. An assist and two bonus points later, the Portuguese international ended the match with six FPL points and United a 1-3 victory. Not the ideal points return, but one that any owner would have taken with him starting on the bench.

The premium big hitters really delivered on Sunday, starting to the deadly duo at Spurs of Heung-Min Son(£9.6m) and Harry Kane (£10.9m). With a goal and an assist each in their 2-0 win over Arsenal in the North London derby, it was a perfect outcome for those FPL managers who stuck with the two Spurs men despite a difficult fixture list on paper. They remain the two highest scoring FPL players this season, with Son becoming the first man to break the magic 100-point barrier and Kane right behind him on 98. Later, it was the turn of Mohamed Salah (£12.3m) to take the spotlight as the Egyptian welcomed Liverpool fans back to Anfield in style, scoring a goal and providing an assist in his side’s 4-0 victory against Wolves, acquiring 14 FPL points in the process. Gameweek 11 really hammered home the fact that with so many premium assets are performing strongly this season, it is impossible to own them all. Which means the upcoming fixtures over the Christmas period will be crucial in deciding which players are the most important to own going forward.

GAMEWEEK 12 FIXTURES

Friday 11th December

Leeds v West Ham (20:00)

Saturday 12th December

Wolves v Aston Villa (12:30)

Newcastle v West Brom (15:00)

Man Utd v Man City (17:30)

Everton v Chelsea (20:00)

Sunday 13th December

Southampton v Sheffield Utd (12:00)

Crystal Palace v Spurs (14:15)

Fulham v Liverpool (16:30)

Arsenal v Burnley (19:15)

Leicester v Brighton (19:15)

MO MO MO!

The ever-reliable Mohamed Salah (£12.3m) can’t not be in the forefront of every FPL manager’s mind heading into the Christmas period. Liverpool’s star attacking midfielder has nine Premier League goals to his name already this season alongside three assists. Taking penalties has proven a huge weapon in Salah’s arsenal this campaign, having already scored four goals from the spot. With 87 FPL points to his name, Salah is the third highest scoring player this season and at this rate, could be on course to beat his personal record of 303 FPL points that he racked up in the 2017/18 season, which included 32 goals and 12 assists.

Liverpool’s fixtures over Christmas are decidedly friendly. A Gameweek 12 meeting with lowly Fulham (a) is followed by huge fixture against league leaders Spurs (H) in Gameweek 13, but this is a match Salah has performed well in previously, having scored three goals in his last three home league games against the North Londoners. The busy Christmas period sees fixtures against Crystal Palace (a), West Brom (H) and Newcastle (a) with no blank gameweeks pencilled in. This time last season saw Liverpool and Salah head across the world to take part in the Club World Cup. With that not a factor this time around, Salah looks set to take advantage with lots of Christmas presents for any FPL owners looking to pay the big money to bring him for those festive fixtures.

JOLLY OLD ST. PEP!

Instead of focusing on an individual player, we thought we’d cast a light over a number of Man City assets heading into Christmas, due to manager Pep Guardiola’s uncontrollable habit of tinkering for the sake of it! Following the Manchester derby in Gameweek 12, City’s fixtures are certainly good enough to get FPL managers excited heading forward. The visit of West Brom (H) on Gameweek 13 will have many expecting an avalanche of Man City goals. That is followed up by a tougher test vs Southampton (a), before Newcastle (H) visit the Etihad Stadium on Boxing Day. Everton (a) rounds off their 2020 and with the Toffees having conceded 18 goals already this season, owners of City attacking assets will once again be expecting big things! Speaking of those attacking assets, none appear more vital to own than Kevin De Bruyne (£11.8m). The Belgian is now starting to show serious signs of the form that saw him as the most must own player of last season, with a goal and three assists in his last two league games, accumulating 24 FPL points in the process.

Despite a miss earlier in the season against Liverpool, De Bruyne remains on penalties which could also prove crucial. Another midfielder possibly returning to form is Raheem Sterling (£11.4m) whose goal and assist against Fulham in Gameweek 11 were his first attacking returns since Gameweek 5. Notoriously streaky from an FPL perspective, bringing Sterling in now could be worth its weight in gold if the England international was to go on a Christmas scoring run similar to last season following the Premier League’s resumption in June. Don’t forget to take the forwards into account. Gabriel Jesus could be in line for an extended run of starts should Sergio Aguero’s injury troubles continue, opening the door for the Brazilian to become a shrewd differential pick within the Man City frontline.


DOUBLE GAMEWEEK HAMMERED DOWN!

After weeks of waiting, we’re finally starting to glean some news regarding the potential of double gameweeks heading into the 2021. All clubs who competed in the latter stages of any European competition last season did not compete in Gameweek 1, alongside their scheduled opponents for that gameweeks. Those teams were Man City, Man Utd, Aston Villa and Burnley. We are still awaiting news on when Man City vs Aston Villa and Burnley vs Man Utd will take place, however we do have the latest regarding the first double gameweek announcement of the season. The Gameweek 18 fixture between West Ham and West Brom at the London Stadium had been pushed back one week, meaning that as it stands our first double gameweek of the season will take place on Gameweek 19, with West Ham facing Burnley (H) and West Brom (H), whilst the Baggies take on Wolves (a) and West Ham (a).

West Ham in particular have proven one of the surprise packages this season, with the Hammers currently sitting eighth in the table. David Moyes to his credit has made his side difficult to beat and has invested shrewdly in his squad. Midfielder Tomas Soucek (£4.9m) has proven an excellent permanent signing after the Czech international impressed on loan last season. Deployed as a Marouane Fellaini type midfielder, with the license to make late runs into the opposition box, Soucek’s height in particular has proven a nightmare for defenders to deal with and he has two goals to his name this season. He’s not the only cheap FPL enabler in the West Ham side, with defender Vladimir Coufal (£4.6m) bringing in points at both ends of the field. With two assists and three clean sheets to his name, Coufal alongside Soucek could prove the ideal cheap double gameweek combination. For more of a goal threat, consider a fully fit Michail Antonio (£6.2m), with his current injury likely to see him available at a cheap price with a low ownership.

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