The commencement of Premier League action was highlighted by battling wins for Liverpool and Man City, alongside a winning return to management for Jose Mourinho. His new Spurs side raced into a 3-0 lead at West Ham which was nervously pulled back to 3-2. Still, there was enough encouragement for FPL assets such as 13-pointer Heung-Min Son (£9.7m), a seemingly rejuvenated Dele Alli (£8.4m) and focal point Harry Kane (£10.8m). At Selhurst Park, VAR overruled James Tomkins’ (£5.0m) goal to the relief of Jurgen Klopp’s men, prompting them to wake up via Sadio Mane (£12.2m) and Roberto Firmino (£9.4m).
Man City fell behind to an N’Golo Kante (£5.0m) strike but quickly overturned it through Kevin De Bruyne’s (£10.2m) heavily-deflected attempt and a solo Riyad Mahrez (£8.3m) goal. Incredibly, for two consecutive weeks the top scorer has been James Tarkowski (£5.0m). The Burnley centre-back delivered 12 points in Gameweek 12 and bettered that with 17 this time around, thanks to a goal, assist and clean sheet. Leicester made it four clean sheets from four and Jamie Vardy (£9.7m) continued his own streak of scoring in the last five games, during their 2-0 win at Brighton. Sunday’s only game saw a thrilling 3-3 draw at Bramall Lane between Sheffield Utd and Man Utd.
GAMEWEEK 14 FIXTURES
Saturday 30th November
Newcastle v Man City (12:30)
Burnley v Crystal Palace (15:00)
Chelsea v West Ham (15:00)
Liverpool v Brighton (15:00)
Spurs v Bournemouth (15:00)
Southampton v Watford (17:30)
Sunday 1st December
Norwich v Arsenal (14:00)
Wolves v Sheffield Utd (14:00)
Leicester v Everton (16:30)
Man Utd v Aston Villa (16:30)
Defeat at the Etihad Stadium ended Chelsea’s run of six league wins but they came out of it with plenty of credit, ahead of two enticing home fixtures against West Ham and Aston Villa. Following that is a trip to struggling Everton, with games against Bournemouth and Southampton sandwiching a visit to Spurs. Mason Mount (£6.7m) is one of FPL’s most-owned players but two blanks and a benching at Man City have seen him lose over 400,000 managers since Gameweek 11. The return of Kante beside Jorginho (£5.1m) leaves just one spot for Mount and Mateo Kovacic (£5.3m), with the Croat impressing in recent weeks.
Chelsea midfielders are a bit of a nightmare now, no? Rotation abound over Christmas... just too many people competing for too few spots. Unless you are Willian... he might actually be the best one to go for! 🙄🤪— AZ (@ffscout_az) 24 November 2019
Some sellers have made the sideways switch to midfield colleague Christian Pulisic (£7.5m), the man who preceded Saturday’s match with five goals in three games. Yet even he could be a victim of rotation once Callum Hudson-Odoi (£5.7m) returns from a hamstring problem. Chelsea haven’t lost at home to West Ham since 2002 and, after seeing the way they’ve crumbled since Roberto (£4.4m) has replaced the injured Lukasz Fabianski (£4.9m) in goal, won’t be expecting defeat this time either. Aston Villa’s speciality is conceding shots, making Tammy Abraham (£8.0m) a strong captain choice for both matches.
Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side were denied a 2-1 win at Arsenal by Alexandre Lacazette’s (£9.3m) late equaliser but their gradual recovery from the 0-9 massacre of Gameweek 10 is about to see five winnable games for Southampton. You couldn’t handpick a better pair of matches than Watford (H) and Norwich (H), opponents that join the Saints in the relegation spots, before more promising meetings with Newcastle (a), West Ham (H) and Aston Villa (a).
Before yesterday Southampton had managed just 13 shots in their last three games in total 6 v Leicester (h) 3 v Man City (a) 4 v Everton (h) 21 v Arsenal (a)— Orbinho (@Orbinho) 24 November 2019
After that, the fixture list flips to set up an uncomfortable festive period, so it’s imperative that they gain enough points before then to prevent being cut adrift. Considering his team’s struggles, Danny Ings (£6.0m) has impressed of late. He scored in Gameweeks 7, 8 and 9, before resuming duties in his last two games to become the highest scoring striker under £6.5m. Defensively poor, they do provide a second attacking option in James Ward-Prowse (£5.8m). The three sides who have conceded the most penalties are Arsenal, Norwich and Watford; Ward-Prowse converted Saturday’s spot-kick at the Emirates and will hope the latter two continue their fouling ways.
The hierarchy at Spurs set a winter trend by firing Mauricio Pochettino. Now there are several managers determined to follow this craze and win the sack race, namely Manuel Pellegrini, Unai Emery and Marco Silva. The Everton man will have to save his job the hard way, facing Leicester (a), Liverpool (a), Chelsea (H), Man Utd (a) and Arsenal (H) in consecutive matches. After a supposedly kind start was gifted to them by the fixture computer, the Toffees have emerged from this in 16th place. Saturday’s 0-2 home defeat to Norwich brought deafening boos from supporters, making Silva’s position look untenable.
They are grossly underachieving and are about to face three sides who, between them, have won 18 of their last 21 league games. £25m signing Moise Kean (£6.5m) is still without a goal and hasn’t even played in the last four matches, losing his place to Cenk Tosun (£5.7m). Lucas Digne (£5.9m) started the season as a template player in FPL but has returned very little, whilst Seamus Coleman (£5.3m) has been shunted to the bench by Djibril Sidibe (£5.3m). Combining form and fixtures, it’s safe to say that Everton assets should be avoided right now.