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08 Nov 2018 by Colm Hayes

FPL Gameweek 12 – The Fixtures: Liverpool suffer in Serbia, Aguero rests again, Hazard set for UEL minutes & West Ham value

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Ahead of another international break, we assess the top teams’ prospects following another round of Champions League fixtures. Eden Hazard is set to feature for Chelsea in Belarus tonight, West Ham are on the agenda again and Leicester assets are frustrating owners amid a favourable fixture run.

GW12 FIXTURES

Saturday 10th November

Cardiff vs Brighton (12:30)

Huddersfield vs West Ham (15:00)

Leicester vs Burnley (15:00)

Newcastle vs Bournemouth (15:00)

Southampton vs Watford (15:00)

Crystal Palace vs Spurs (17:30)

Sunday 11th November

Liverpool vs Fulham (12:00)

Chelsea vs Everton (14:15)

Arsenal vs Wolves (16:30)

Man City vs Man Utd (16:30)

REDS STARS SUFFER

Liverpool succumbed to a 2-0 defeat away to Red Star Belgrade on Tuesday ahead of a plum home fixture against Fulham this weekend. The Reds now face a pivotal away clash against Paris Saint-Germain following GW13’s trip to Watford.

The final group game against Napoli arrives in the week following an away tie at Bournemouth (GW16) while Liverpool also face Everton at Anfield in GW14 and Burnley away in GW15 (the season’s first midweek gameweek). With such a hectic schedule before the busy Christmas period really kicks into gear, rotation could be rife among teams needing points in their Champions League groups.

Mohamed Salah (£13.0m) and Sadio Mane (£9.8m) both played 90 minutes in Serbia. As was the case in the 1-1 draw against Arsenal last Saturday, the Egyptian was much more involved than his Senegalese counterpart. Salah operated as the striker in Klopp’s 4-3-3 for large parts of the tie. The pair are set to be GW12’s two most-selected captains against the league’s worst defensive side on Sunday.

Trent-Alexander Arnold (£5.0m) retained his weekend start but was hooked at half-time in Belgrade as Joe Gomez (£5.1m) came on at right-back. The Telegraph report that Gomez is carrying an Achilles injury and that TAA was substituted due to a minor injury. Both players could be in contention for Sunday, while Jurgen Klopp will hopefully have some information for owners at his press conference tomorrow.

Joel Matip (£4.9m) partnered Virgil van Dijk (£5.9m) in central defence, with left-back Andy Robertson (£6.4m) almost registering an assist as Daniel Sturridge (£5.8m) blew a big first-half chance. Dejan Lovren (£4.9m) travelled with the squad but was not part of the matchday 18. Stopper Alisson (£5.7m) certainly represents the safest route into Liverpool’s defence for the time being.

Xherdan Shaqiri (£7.0m) was left at home for political reasons, while Naby Keita (£7.2m) was an unused substitute as Adam Lallana (£6.9m) played in midfield. Jordan Henderson (£5.3m) did not travel but is also set to be in contention for GW12. Roberto Firmino (£9.2m) also came on at the interval, in place of Sturridge. Klopp may not have great reason to rest key players this weekend but with the upcoming glut of fixtures, owners may need to consider the possibility of reduced league minutes from GW13.

Harry Kane (£12.4m) bagged a late brace, with the second goal going in via a couple of deflections, as Spurs came from 1-0 down to beat PSV 2-1 at Wembley on Tuesday. Christian Eriksen (£9.2m), Dele Alli (£8.9m), Lucas Moura (£7.2m) and Heung-min Son (£8.3m) all started in an attacking Tottenham line-up as Erik Lamela (£6.4m) was used from the bench. The club now sit three points off Inter Milan in Group C but still face an uphill task to qualify for the UCL knockout stages.

With back-to-back London derbies coming up after Saturday’s trip to Crystal Palace, Spurs assets are set to come into consideration ahead of a GW15 home game against Southampton. However, Kane owners will be encouraged by his showing against PSV as the striker contends for the GW12 armband.

After a 90-minute showing last weekend, Sergio Aguero (£11.4m) was once more an unused substitute in European competition as Manchester City hammered Shakhtar Donetsk 6-0 on Wednesday night. Benjamin Mendy (£6.4m) was given the evening off but allayed any injury fears on Twitter. Raheem Sterling (£11.1m), GW11’s top scorer with 21 points, scored a brilliant individual goal at the Etihad.

Riyad Mahrez (£8.6m) scored once and assisted David Silva (£8.5m) and Gabriel Jesus (£10.1m) strikes in an influential showing. The Brazilian striker grabbed a hat-trick courtesy of two spot-kicks. City are more or less guaranteed a spot in the knockout rounds, sitting six points ahead of third-placed Hoffenheim in Group F.

Ederson (£5.8m), Kyle Walker (£6.6m), John Stones (£5.3m) and Aymeric Laporte (£5.8m) all retained their places from the Southampton rout in GW11, with Oleksandr Zinchenko (£4.8m) deputising for Mendy. Bernardo Silva (£7.6m) again partnered Fernandinho (£5.4m) and namesake David in midfield, while Leroy Sane (£9.2m) remained on the subs bench. Pep Guardiola’s team play West Ham (a), Bournemouth (H), Watford (a), Chelsea (a) and Everton (H) following this weekend’s Manchester derby at the Etihad.

Anthony Martial (£7.5m), who has bagged 47 points in the last four gameweeks, started again for Man United in Turin as Jose Mourinho’s men came away with an improbable 2-1 victory. Red Devils assets may struggle in GW12 away to the league’s meanest defence (four goals conceded) but will be under the radar ahead of GW13.

CLICK BATE

Eden Hazard (£11.3m) is part of Chelsea’s travelling squad for the away tie against BATE Borisov tonight and looks set to play more minutes than the 26 he logged against Palace at Stamford Bridge last Sunday. FPL’s top scorer is undoubtedly a solid captain option for this weekend’s home clash against Everton, but it is possible Maurizio Sarri is aiming to have the Belgian primed for the GW13 London derby at Spurs. The Chelsea boss said: “From our doctor, there is no risk [to select him]. Otherwise he stays at Cobham. In the last match he played 30 minutes, the best for tomorrow is that he plays 45 to 50 minutes.”

After those two fixtures, the Blues face Fulham (H), Wolves (a), Man City (H) and Brighton (a). Hazard (79) and £7.0m Marcos Alonso (78) are FPL’s two highest-scoring players. The attacker registered an assist as a substitute for the third time this season in GW11, while Alonso has set up two goals in the last two gameweeks following a barren period in terms of attacking returns.

David Luiz (£5.5m) and Antonio Rudiger (£6.0m) offer cheaper routes into a settled Blues backline. That pair, along with Alonso and Alvaro Morata (£8.7m), have been rested for the Europa League trip.

The wheels immediately came loose on the Ross Barkley (£5.9m) bandwagon last weekend as the midfielder blanked in a 63-minute showing. However, a start for Mateo Kovacic (£5.9m) in Belarus today will be encouraging for Barkley’s raft of new owners as the Blues prepare to face his former club on Sunday.

HAMMERS & TONGS

West Ham take on Huddersfield (a), Man City (H), Newcastle (a), Cardiff (H), Crystal Palace (H) and Fulham (a) in the next six gameweeks. Apart from that GW13 clash with the league leaders, the schedule looks kind for Manuel Pellegrini’s men. Both the Terriers (21) and the Bluebirds (24) rank in the bottom four for goals conceded, while the Eagles have conceded half of their 16 goals in the last four gameweeks. The Magpies – who also have a decent upcoming schedule – have recorded two clean sheets in a row, but Callum Wilson (£6.7m) and the Bournemouth attack visit St James’ Park on Saturday and may expose a defence that allowed Watford five big chances in GW11.

In the Hammers’ ranks, Marko Arnautovic (£7.1m) continues to represent the standout investment despite having to manage an ongoing knee problem. The Austrian, who has again been called up to his national squad, missed GW10 through illness but returned to bag a 12-point haul in the 4-2 win over Burnley last weekend. That score came courtesy of one goal and one slightly-fortunate assist, though Arnie was heavily involved in most West Ham attacks against a porous Clarets outfit.

Felipe Anderson (£6.8m) put himself on the radar with a brace at the London Stadium, while Grady Diangana (£4.5m) cleverly assisted one of the Brazilian’s goals and has started the last three games in all competitions.

Despite banking just one clean sheet so far this season, in a 0-0 draw at home to Chelsea in GW6, players such as Lukasz Fabianski (£4.5m), Issa Diop (£4.3m) and Fabian Balbuena (£4.4m) could provide budget returns. The latter bagged a first goal of the season away to Leicester in GW10 as a late, deflected Wilfred Ndidi (£4.9m) strike wiped out a probable Irons ‘cleanie’.

MADDENING EXPERIENCE

The Foxes are proving a frustrating team for FPL investment at present, as Jamie Vardy (£9.0m) and particularly James Maddison (£6.9m) wear managers’ patience thin. The latter is the most-sold midfielder so far this week with over 79,000 transfers out, despite Burnley (25 goals conceded) arriving at the King Power stadium on Saturday. Leicester also play Brighton (a), Watford (H) and Fulham (a) from GW13 before a schedule turn in GW16.

Update: Maddison has now been ruled out of GW12

Vardy, who has lost almost 22,000 owners, was unlucky not to return points away to Cardiff in GW11 as Sol Bamba (£4.5m) used his hand to prevent the striker’s close-range effort crossing the line. Ben Chilwell (£5.0m) notched 12 points in that encounter as his cross found Demarai Gray (£5.4m) for the game’s only goal.

That 1-0 win saw Leicester keep just a third clean sheet this campaign, while the left-back might struggle to provide value over players such as Lucas Digne (£4.8m) and Matt Doherty (£4.9m) in the medium term. Harry Maguire (£5.5m) is also a likely absentee in GW12, which may dent the Foxes’ shut-out hopes.

Update: Maguire now definitely ruled out of GW12

Neil Warnock’s Cardiff are unlikely to attract many suitors in defence but midfielders Josh Murphy (£4.8m) and current first-choice striker Callum Paterson (£5.2m) could offer value over a run of games against Brighton (H), Everton (a), Wolves (H), West Ham (a), Southampton (H) and Watford (a) over the next six. Victor Camarasa (£4.5m) rattled the crossbar with a free-kick in GW11 and offers a strong security of starts in the budget bracket.

The Bluebirds’ GW12 opponents Brighton also boast a favourable-looking schedule with ties against Leicester (H), Huddersfield (a), Palace (H) and Burnley (a) after the international break before the fixtures stiffen in GW17. Chris Hughton’s outfit were put to the sword by Richarlison (£6.9m) and the Everton attack in GW11 and have conceded an average of 18.3 shots per game so far this season.

Save points could keep Mat Ryan (£4.6m) ticking over even if the Seagulls are breached in upcoming ties, while Shane Duffy (£4.6m) and Lewis Dunk (£4.4m) – who scored against the Toffees but was at fault for Richarlison’s second – offer the prospect of returns at both ends. Glenn Murray (£6.6m) has netted five of his six goals this season at home.

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