An extremely busy fantasy week begins on Friday evening, with FPL managers bracing themselves for three gameweeks in the space of 10 days as midfielders dominate the transfer standings.
Friday 24th November
West Ham vs Leicester (20:00)
Saturday 25th November
Crystal Palace vs Stoke (15:00)
Man Utd vs Brighton (15:00)
Newcastle vs Watford (15:00)
Spurs vs West Brom (15:00)
Swansea vs Bournemouth (15:00)
Liverpool vs Chelsea (17:30)
Sunday 26th November
Southampton vs Everton (13:30)
Burnley vs Arsenal (14:00)
Huddersfield vs Man City (16:00)
Manchester City are way ahead in the team points standings, though rotation will doubtless bite owners of Citizens’ assets over the hectic Christmas schedule. Leroy Sane (£9.0m) was handed the night off on Tuesday as Raheem Sterling (£8.1m) fired Pep Guardiola’s side to a laboured victory over Feyenoord.
A trip to Huddersfield, coupled with a sub appearance at the Etihad, should be good news for those holding Gabriel Jesus (£10.5m); the Brazil forward has started every away league game this season. Sergio Aguero (£11.7m) spurned several chances as the Argentine played the full 90 minutes. Kevin De Bruyne (£10.1m) was the man to make way for Jesus with the score at 0-0, while David Silva (£8.4m) and Fernandinho (£5.2m) were unused subs. That midfield trio have started every league game this season, while Sane has been named in Pep’s starting XI each weekend since GW6. Of City’s explosive attacking options, the German winger looks the most secure. However, one certainty with Guardiola is rotation in the forward positions. Everything else is guesswork!
Manchester United continue to hold second spot in the team points table, with the club’s tally increased by attacking returns this week. The absence of Phil Jones (£5.5m) saw Jose Mourinho’s side concede early to Newcastle before Paul Pogba (£8.0m) announced his FPL return in style with a 12-point haul.
The Frenchman’s display set off a transfer frenzy, with over 280,000 moving for the Man Utd man ahead of GW13. Pogba’s price is currently locked though price rises will be imminent this weekend, particularly if the midfielder posts another big score at home to Brighton. United do face tough fixtures in GW15 and GW16, though the fixture list is otherwise very favourable until a GW25 trip to Spurs.
Following a huge fixture at Anfield on Saturday evening, Chelsea’s schedule is unrivalled. The Blues don’t face any other top-eight side until a trip to Arsenal in GW22. Alvaro Morata (£10.5m) owners will be happy as the Spaniard was limited to a 25-minute Champions League cameo in Azerbaijan, while Eden Hazard (£10.6m) produced a sumptuous backheel assist along with a spot-kick goal to go with his GW12 brace and assist.
David Luiz (£5.9m) started in Baku on Wednesday, meaning the Brazilian is back in Antonio Conte’s good books but Andreas Christensen (£5.4m) should retain his place in the manager’s league XI. If you’re looking for a certain starter, however, Cesar Azpilicueta (£6.8m) is the go-to option.
Chelsea’s GW13 opponents, Liverpool, sit in sixth on the team points table having amassed a total of 601. The Reds have conceded just once at home but Tuesday’s capitulation against Sevilla showcased the defensive frailties of Jurgen Klopp’s team. The Blues, meanwhile, have let in just four goals away from Stamford Bridge so there is the real possibility of a cagey affair at Anfield.
However, Liverpool’s ‘Fab Four’ will doubtless accumulate plenty of FPL points during an excellent five-game run from GW14. FPL top scorer Mohamed Salah (£9.6m) is the undoubted jewel in the Reds’ attacking crown, while all three of Philippe Coutinho (£8.8m), Sadio Mane (£9.3m) and Roberto Firmino (£8.5m) posted attacking returns in Spain on Tuesday.
Arsenal’s excellent display at home to Spurs has failed to spark much FPL investment, as a trip to Burnley this weekend and a GW15 visit from Man Utd overshadow a juicy GW14 tie at home to Huddersfield. Alexis Sanchez (£11.8m) will need to start delivering double-figure returns to become relevant in the uber-competitive midfield bracket, though two big chances missed suggest that the 2.7%-owned Chilean could soon start returning those familiar big hauls.
Harry Kane (£12.8m) continued to frustrate owners and captainers in GW12 as the Spurs striker blanked for a second successive gameweek. The England man hit the target with two of his five shots, one of which was heroically blocked by Shkodran Mustafi (£5.3m). Mauricio Pochettino’s team were poor overall against the Gunners, with Dele Alli (£9.3m) and Christian Eriksen (£9.5m) failing to impose their attacking influence on proceedings.
Kane did score on Tuesday in Dortmund, however, with Alli providing assists for both Spurs goals in a 2-1 victory. West Brom will rock up to Wembley on Saturday without a full-time manager and a clean sheet since GW5. As this piece suggests, the introduction of Heung-Min Son (£7.9m) into the starting XI as part of a front five could be the key to unlocking stubborn visiting defences. Perhaps Kane will banish any doubts over his armband credentials in GW13, though those of us that have been bitten in previous gameweeks may remain shy until further evidence is provided.
Pascal Gross (£5.9m) stands out on the PPM table following a 10-point return in GW12. As mentioned previously, Brighton’s upcoming fixtures might require a rotation option to go with the German playmaker. Trips to Old Trafford and Wembley, along with a visit from Liverpool, are mixed in with fixtures at home to Crystal Palace and away to Huddersfield, before Burnley and Watford both visit the Amex.
Richarlison (£6.5m) also proved his worth in the mid-price midfield bracket as the Brazilian attacker netted his first home goal for Watford, while the aforementioned Azpilicueta is providing bang for his hefty price tag. Likely to soon appear on the PPM table is Callum Wilson (£6.0m), following a GW12 hat-trick against Huddersfield. With Paul Clement rating Tammy Abraham (£6.0m) “50-50” for Swansea’s clash against Bournemouth, and Everton attacker Oumar Niasse (£5.0m) receiving a retrospective two-game ban, the path is paved for the Cherries striker to become the budget forward of choice.
Kane still lurks high up on the above graph, with five blanks in six home games. Sane is beginning to clock up the away returns, having amassed 19 points on the road over the last three gameweeks. The well-rested winger is an intriguing captaincy option for those who either don’t trust or don’t own Kane and Romelu Lukaku (£11.5m). The Man Utd striker has only failed to produce attacking returns once at Old Trafford, a missed penalty in GW6 the cause. The reintroduction of Pogba and Juan Mata (£6.9m) proved effective for Lukaku and United as the Red Devils put four past Newcastle, with the Belgian bagging the final goal. While Lukaku should be primed for returns in the next two gameweeks, poor fixtures in GWs 15, 16 coupled with the return of Zlatan Ibrahimovic (£10.0m) could begin to put a dent in the Belgium forward’s huge 48% ownership.
Following Friday’s 7.00pm deadline, FPL bosses have just four days to tinker with their squads before locking in team selections by 6.45pm on Tuesday. A bench that can cover the inevitable rotation looks essential, with Chelsea and Liverpool primed for favourable fixture runs following GW13 while the effervescent Man City show no signs of slowing down.
Tuesday 28th November
Brighton vs Crystal Palace (19:45)
Leicester vs Spurs (19:45)
Watford vs Man Utd (20:00)
West Brom vs Newcastle (20:00)
Wednesday 29th November
Arsenal vs Huddersfield (19:45)
Bournemouth vs Burnley (19:45)
Chelsea vs Swansea (19:45)
Everton vs West Ham (20:00)
Man City vs Southampton (20:00)
Stoke vs Liverpool (20:00)