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07 Nov 2018 by Marc Jobling

FPL Gameweek 12 – Projections

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As Man City pulled two points ahead of Liverpool at the top of the table, Raheem Sterling (£11.1m) grabbed the FPL headlines in their 6-1 mauling of Southampton. His brace and two assists ensured a 21-point haul, overshadowing impressive displays by teammates Leroy Sane (£9.2m, 14pts) and the most-captained player, Sergio Aguero (£11.4m, 13pts).

It was a mixed bag for other big-name midfielders, as Mohamed Salah (£13m) and Sadio Mane (£9.8m) blanked against Arsenal whilst Eden Hazard (£11.3m) was restricted to a bench appearance for Chelsea. The Belgian still managed an assist in his cameo, but owners had to settle for four points. The highly-popular Richarlison (£6.8m) scored twice up front for Everton, with forward Marko Arnautovic (£7.1m) repaying his many transfers in by scoring 12 points. Those who brought him in for Aleksandar Mitrovic (£6.7m) were delighted, with the Serbian’s blank at Huddersfield making it five consecutive failures and a mass exodus of owners.

His trip to Liverpool with Fulham is one of two enticing games for the FPL community this week. All eyes will be on Anfield, as Jurgen Klopp’s side are expected to deliver against the Premier League’s new basement-dwellers. The other headline act is Sunday’s Manchester derby – will City avenge the United comeback victory which delayed their title celebrations last April?

OPTIMUM SQUAD

Last week’s projected XI continued an impressive scoring record with a total of 84, although exactly half of this came from captaining Sterling. It’s a high score that still managed to deliver seven blanks, largely thanks to three Everton defenders conceding against Brighton. There was a slice of bad luck, though, as Harry Maguire (£5.5m) limped out of Leicester’s clean sheet before the half-hour mark.

There is a similar reliance on Tottenham’s defence in Gameweek 12, as they travel to Selhurst Park to play Crystal Palace. Unscathed from Tuesday’s Champions League tie, the trio of Hugo Lloris (£5.4m), Kieran Trippier (£6.3m) and Davinson Sanchez (£5.8m) will be confident of holding off a side who are overly reliant on Wilfried Zaha (£6.8m).

Only three clean sheets occurred last week, with Benjamin Mendy (£6.4m) owners annoyed at the Southampton consolation goal that ended City’s streak of six shut-outs. He hasn’t made this week’s squad, creating room for two Liverpool contributions in Andrew Robertson (£6.4m) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (£5.0m). They have both experienced recent rotation but are expected to start for Fulham’s visit, despite the latter being substituted at half-time during Tuesday’s shock defeat to Red Star Belgrade. Not only is a clean sheet expected, these full-backs are known for their attacking contributions and assist potential. The same can be said for Leicester’s Ricardo Pereira (£5.0m), who hosts an off-form Burnley.

Needless to say, Liverpool are expected to score plenty against a Fulham side who, if they continue to concede goals at this rate, will match the Premier League’s all-time seasonal record of 100 (Swindon, 1993/94). If the Anfield floodgates do open, expect Salah to be central to this. He’ll surely be this week’s most-selected captain and has a projected score of 11.38 points.

On 10.70 points is Raheem Sterling (£11.1m), whose price actually dropped before the Southampton match. He’ll rise at least once before GW12 though, as managers scramble to rearrange their sides to bring in a player who, with an 8% ownership, could still be considered a differential yet has an impeccable track record.

It’s not always fixtures over form, though – just ask Callum Wilson (£6.7m). Originally priced at just £6.0m, the striker has been a pivotal part of Bournemouth’s rise to sixth place by contributing six goals and seven assists. Even when the fixture list turned to a tricky-looking sequence of Man Utd, a strong Newcastle defence, Arsenal and Man City, managers kept faith in the 26-year-old and were repaid with the opener on Saturday.

Therefore, even though Newcastle have kept two consecutive clean sheets, there is no reason to doubt Wilson. Alongside him is Aguero, who is very much a home striker (average of 10ppg at home vs 2.6ppg away). It makes him a top target for this weekend’s derby. He has eight goals in nine matches against the Red Devils and will hope to capitalise on a defence that has only kept one clean sheet in the league.

THE REST – GOALKEEPERS/DEFENDERS

The only teams projected to keep a clean sheet are Liverpool and Spurs, hence the 6+ points prediction for Alisson (£5.7m), Toby Alderweireld (£5.9m), Ben Davies (£5.6m), Joe Gomez (£5.1m) and Virgil Van Dijk (£5.9m). Due to Jan Vertonghen’s (£5.9m) injury, Sanchez should be a guaranteed starter although the same can’t be said for full backs Trippier and Davies. Elsewhere, Joe Hart (£4.6m), David De Gea (£5.8m) and Jordan Pickford (£4.9m) are expected to gather save points during tricky away fixtures, whilst Mendy is an attacking threat no matter what the opponent.

THE REST – MIDFIELDERS/FORWARDS

Sadio Mane played all 90 minutes on Tuesday and, considering Xherdan Shaqiri (£7.0m) was left at home for safety reasons, has a projection that reflects this possible rotation. Chelsea duo Hazard and Pedro (£6.3m) have a promising home game against Everton, with the latter registering a goal and assist against Crystal Palace. However, his minutes have been restricted due to Willian (£7.4m), who has created the most Premier League chances this season.

The slow integration of Christian Eriksen (£9.2m) and Dele Alli (£8.9m) means Tottenham are relying on Lucas Moura (£7.2m) and Harry Kane (£12.4m) for attacking threat. Just like Maddison, Jamie Vardy (£9.0m) has an irresistible opponent in Burnley while Arnautovic can say the same as he travels to Huddersfield. A surprise goalscorer in recent weeks has been Alvaro Morata (£8.7m), who plays in a fantastic attacking side but admitted he had huge confidence issues due to his complete loss of form in the second half of last season. That’s four goals in four games for the Spaniard.

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