Hello again fellow FPL managers. I am here again with my observations from each game of this week’s Premier League fixtures in GW12.
This was the week where all the key midfielders turned up the heat for their respective teams while players like Aguero and Kane disappointed. Some must-own assets have emerged, whilst others are still in the corridor of uncertainty and a new hero was born. Let’s start the round-up.
1. Arsenal turn up the style in the North London derby
The week could not have been off to a more interesting start as Tottenham Hotspur travelled to the Emirates. Harry Kane had scored in each of his previous derbies and so was one of the leading captaincy choices. However, it was an inspired performance from Arsenal which saw Shkodran Mustafi return from injury to score a goal whilst another from Alexis Sanchez saw them win comfortably.Embed from Getty Images
There were other impressive performances from Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey and Hector Bellerin and with Arsenal having the least busy Christmas period, these players could well be a great addition to your FPL teams. Harry Kane looked off the pace and probably hadn’t recovered fully from the knock he received against Palace. Remember I talked about the corridor of uncertainty? Yeah I was talking about you Harry. His performance against West Brom will be all important with them struggling and now manager-less.
2. Callum Wilson is BACK!
Now to the 3pm games. In the first of them Bournemouth welcomed Huddersfield Town to the Vitality Stadium and were comfortable 4-0 winners with the help of a Callum Wilson hat trick and another from Harry Arter. It was a vintage performance and at just 5.9 million, he could be the third striker option you need with Bournemouth having such a great run of fixtures. He is the “New Hero” that was born this week.Embed from Getty Images
3. Burnley keep another clean sheet
Burnley defenders are providing the all-important clean sheets at the back for FPL teams. They are as solid as anyone in defence, have a great run of fixtures, get loads of bonus points, are relatively cheap and provide considerable goal threat as well.
They are in the category of must owns and if you don’t have a Burnley defender in your team then go and get one now. A 2-0 against Swansea was their latest result with Swansea looking relegation bound even at such an early stage with neither their defence or their attack showing any kind of inspiration.
4. All square at Selhurst Park
Crystal Palace welcomed Everton to Selhurst Park with both teams struggling for form. Ruben Loftus Cheek passed a late fitness test to start the game and provided the assist for Palace’s first goal as James McArthur put the eagles in front in 52 seconds, the fastest goal in the Premier League so far.Embed from Getty Images
But they were pegged back by Everton just five minutes later as Oumar Niasse; who has now been charged with diving, won a penalty and Leighton Baines converted it. This lively start was continued as further goals from Wilfried Zaha and Oumar Niasse saw them go all square at the break. Nothing much happened in the second half and it ended. This match saw Loftus Cheek showing yet again how important enabler he could be at just 4.5 million and Oumar Niasse emerges to be another cheap third striker option, after his two-game ban has concluded.
5. Aguero-less city brush past Leicester
League leaders Manchester City travelled to the King Power Stadium to face a Leicester side who hadn’t lost in their last five league games. City were without Sergio Aguero who was rested following his hospitalisation during the international break. This constant rotation puts City strikers Aguero and Jesus in the corridor of uncertainty.Embed from Getty Images
Leicester did hold on for 44 minutes but a lovely team move saw Gabriel Jesus score as City went in ahead at half time. A thunderbolt Kevin De Bruyne goal few minutes after the break saw City comfortably close out the game. Leroy Sane provided the assist to City’s second goal, getting consistent starts and returns. He comes under the must have category.
6. Mo Salah is Liverpool’s main man
Liverpool also won comfortably at home to Southampton as Mo Salah scored another couple of goals to continue his fantastic start to the season. In doing that he broke the curse of the most transferred in player. He is turning out to be the main man for Liverpool this season and turning out to be an absolute must have.Embed from Getty Images
Another to keep an eye on was Philippe Coutinho who scored one and assisted another in the game and at just 5.0% ownership he could be the differential that could shoot you up the leader board. As for the Saints they look another uninspired team with no consistency so they should be avoided at this moment of time.
7. Chelsea batter West Brom away from home
In the last of the 3pm kick-offs, Chelsea travelled to the Hawthorns to face an under pressure Tony Pulis and his West Brom side. It was a commanding display from the champions as Eden Hazard and Alvaro Morata made it an easy 4-0 for Chelsea. There was also a goal for the most expensive defender in the game Marcos Alonso. This performances highlighted few sub points.Embed from Getty Images
Firstly, Alvaro Morata is turning out to be a must own with the great fixtures that Chelsea enjoy in the next month or so. Secondly a Chelsea defender needs to be in your team and thirdly, Eden Hazard could be the main man again. As per West Brom they were as poor as ever and with the owners in the stadium watching the game the inevitable happened as Tony Pulis got the sack. Where now for the Baggies?
8. Pogba returns with a bang
In the late kick off. Manchester United welcomed Newcastle United to Old Trafford. Newcastle took a surprise lead early on becoming the first team to score a goal at Old Trafford in the league this season. But in the end it was an easy win as Manchester United put four past them with Pogba at the centre of it with a goal and assist on his return.Embed from Getty Images
There were other goals from Anthony Martial, Chris Smalling and finally at last for Romelu Lukaku. This game also saw the return of the ‘lion’ Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who miraculously recovered from his potentially career ending injury in just seven months. What does his return mean for Romelu Lukaku’s point potential will still have to be seen but it looks like Pogba could be a new option for our FPL teams again.
9. Watford ease past David Moyes’ West Ham
Now to the Sunday games, more like Sunday “game”. There was only one game to be played on Sunday as Watford welcomed David Moyes’ West Ham in his first game at the club. A goal in each half by Will Hughes and our very own Richarlison along with some stunning saves from Heurelho Gomes saw Watford get an easy 2-0 win.Embed from Getty Images
This game further cement the status of Richarlison as a must have and saw the emergence of Will Hughes who ran the game from midfield getting a goal and an assist. Whether he will be able to carry on such form is still to be seen but he has surely caught the eye of us FPL managers. As for West Ham it is new manager but the same old story. Can’t defend and can’t score goals. Not good signs in FPL terms.
10. Both Gross and Choupo-Moting return points as points shared at the Amex
Pascal Gross returns points yet again as a goal and 3 bonus points meant 10 points for the German as he continues to provide returns to his ever increasing ownership. He shared the 3 bonus points with Eric Maxim Choupo Moting who impressed as well rewarding his 5.8% owners as well with 10 points. Whether they will be able to carry on this form during the Christmas period will have to be seen but they are acting as cheap enablers and having two of them in your team is very important.Embed from Getty Images
It was a disappointing game for Brighton defenders’ owners in Shane Duffy and Lewis Dunk. One player that caught the eye was Jose Izquierdo who has started the last 4 games in a row and scored 2 in that time. Priced at 5.9 million as well and has effectively no ownership so if you are looking for a differential he might be the guy. You know I’ll put him in the emergence of a new hero category for this one. Will be good for his confidence. There was another goal for Kurt Zouma as it ended all square at the Amex.
So this was my round up of the week in which premium midfielders showed their class, there was the return of a lion, another managerial casualty and Callum Wilson of all people was the player of the week with a hat trick. With games coming thick and fast and rotation being a key factor we need a few enablers, a few cheap beasts, solid defence and a mix of balance and explosiveness, and most importantly a playing bench. I had a look at some players that impressed this week, some consistent performers, some that may be on thin ice and some who need to be away from our teams. All the very best to all of you while you try to sort the best team possible to get through the Christmas period. May all your arrows be green. Until next time, this is Varun signing out.
Written by @Varun_esque