Sunday, 22 January 2017

Gameweek 22 Review: Chris Brunt- FPL Gold

Chris Brunt (5.0) bagged his third goal of the season this weekend in his side's 2-0 win v Sunderland. The Irishman missed the first 7 games of the season due to a long-term injury that kept him out of Northern Ireland's Euro campaign, but now is back to his best playing out of his FPL position of defence as a left winger. Brunt is renowned for his sweet left foot and eye for goal, having scored 22 goals in 6 and a half seasons, along with 43 assists. The Baggies have a favourable run of fixtures coming up, so coverage of their ever-solid defence and able goalscorers from defence seems essential.

Ones To Watch Over The FA Cup Fixtures

This weekend brought new players to our attention again but should be tracked over the FA Cup break next weekend. Tom Davies again performed to a standard well above his 18 years, with the assist for Seamus Coleman's goal. Everton looked to have improved and will only get better this year with the signings of Morgan Schneiderlin and Ademola Lookman to replace the ageing Gareth Barry. Nacer Chadli is back to full fitness and the provider for WBA on Saturday. Swansea's dynamic duo Gylfi Sigurdsson and Llorente are to be reconsidered under the new management at the Liberty and Saido Berahino could be the missing piece of the Stoke City jigsaw.

Don't Dwell On Winter Blues

If you didn't fair too well this gameweek, don't worry. The average points were the lowest of the season so far and the 'big-hitters' failed to hit big scores, so you have not lost too much ground. Consistent performers were key to a good score this gameweek though, as the likes of Sanchez, Alli and the returning Diego Costa were all on target yet again, as the Chelsea and West Brom defences did not disappoint.

Written by Kyle Norbury

Stoke fan, football fan, fantasy football nerd

Follow on Twitter: @SCFCNerd

Friday, 20 January 2017

The week in Fantasy Premier League: Heaton the hero, defenders as midfielders, and the game’s most unlikely differential

There are matches that can define an entire Fantasy Premier League season, and we certainly saw one last week.
Sure, Harry Kane scored a hat-trick, but then points from his Tottenham teammates and other big-name players dampened its impact.
It was 8.4% selected Marcos Alonso (CHE, 6.6), making a mockery of injury rumours with two goals in an eye-watering 21-point return, who changed everything.
Scores of 90 or even 100+ saw his owners rocket up the rankings, leaving rivals in their wake.
Soon, the FPL community was neatly divided between those who owned the Spaniard ...

For the full article, click here

Off Field Drama Affecting FPL - Diego Costa

Diego Costa is an extremely emotional and impulsive player and enigmatic personality in the footballing world. This is what makes him a dynamite striker at whatever club he is at, however this impulsive and volatile behaviour leads to misconduct and rash decision making.

In recent weeks (since the January transfer window opened) Costa has expressed very brash behaviour. This came about after being approached for transfer by mega-money club Tianjin Quanjian from the Chinese Super League who have been reported to be willing to pay £80million for Costa’s signature. Due to this speculation Costa has demanded that Chelsea “pay him what he is worth” for him to remain at the club, thus meaning a reopening of his contract negotiations which were reported to be settled. However, Costa wants his wage to be increased from £185,000 per week to around £300,000 per week, which almost doubles what he is being paid at the current time. The question Roman Abramovich must answer is “Is Costa worth it?” having already seen first team players Ramires and Oscar leave the club after being tempted by the Chinese football market.

At the start of the 2014/15 season Abramovich forked out £32million to bring the Spanish international to Stamford Bridge from Atletico Madrid after he had a scintillating season scoring 28 goals in 35 games. This free scoring hasn’t eased up since the switch to London, seeing Costa score 46 goals in 73 league appearances with a 0.63 goal/game ratio, only bettered by Robert Lewandowski 0.79, Luis Suárez 0.88, Gonzalo Higuaín 0.73 and Zlatan Ibrahimović 0.94 over the same period for the number 9 striker role. This is what has prompted the demands made by Costa for a pay rise, as he is one of the top performers in the world for his position. With this goal scoring record, Chelsea can’t afford to lose a player that has been one of the lynch-pins in their recent success, averaging double figure goal tallies in every season so far since moving to Chelsea and also breaking the 20 goal barrier in his first season helping clinch the Premier League title along the way. Costa is number one for shots per game this season in the Chelsea squad (3.1 per game), which also ranks him in the top 4 for shots per game amongst all forwards.

However, having made wage demands, Costa was dropped from the Chelsea squad for their GW21 encounter against Leicester City after refusing to train with the first team squad in the week leading up to the game. The absence of Costa surprisingly didn’t diminish Chelsea’s dominance one bit recording a 3-0 win over the Foxes with Eden Hazard filling in the striking role registering 3 shot assists, 1 goal assist and 33 touches of the ball in the attacking third of the field. This rings to FPL managers ears hearing that Hazard is playing striker having already found the back of the net 11 times to go with 7 assists this season in all competitions from a wide midfield role. With 2.6 shots per 90mins from his regular midfield position, if Hazard were to permanently transition to the highest player up the field, his goal scoring and FPL point hauls could skyrocket even further.

Alternatively, Antonio Conte could and should bring in another striker in the transfer window if Costa were to move for big money. With Michy Batshuayi as the only recognised striker replacement at the club, Conte could opt to bid for either of Real Madrid’s potent front men, Karim Benzema or Álvaro Morata, along with an attempt to re-sign former Chelsea unwanted striker Romelu Lukaku. At the present time, Benzema appears to be the number 1 target to fill in in the role of Costa should a move materialism. With 10 goals in 22 appearances, 2.7 shots per game this season, deceptive speed, great strength with the ball at his feet and an aerial presence, Benzema is a similarly constructed player as Diego Costa and would seamlessly fit into Chelsea’s starting squad and style of play. This could see him flourish in the Premier League, however, a move the England mid-season in unlikely given Madrid’s form this season and his current role at the club.

For the remainder of the Premier league season, look for Diego Costa to remain put at Chelsea and force a move away at seasons end if he doesn’t get the wages he has asked for. However, there could be some emotionally driven matches by Costa until then. This could result in his performances becoming lethargic and his demeanour uninterested, therefore dropping his level of involvement and general playing quality.

As a result, FPL managers may become frustrated with Costa, due to the possibility of being left out of the match day squad again, and also card/suspension trouble. These factors could equate to a decrease in his FPL potency and attacking returns, which may make it hard for FPL managers to justify his £10million+ price tag.

By Luke Scali - (Twitter @LS_Potzi)

A Journey into Fantasy A-League

Fantasy Premier League may be the most well known fantasy game around the world but it should not be the only fantasy game to be considered. Fantasy A-League is an amazing alternative to FPL. Fantasy A-League? Yes Fantasy A-League, it is the fantasy game that encompasses the beauty of the Australian League. The game presents many differences from the main FPL game which would bring joy to avid fantasy players. Before I get into the differences which separates it from FPL, I will get into how I did in the passing gameweek and how the A-League season has shaped out.

Gameweek and Season Recount
The season is just over it’s halfway point with Round 15 concluding less than 24 hours ago. Round 15 was the first and probably last double gameweek of the season that was comprised by Melbourne Victory and Wellington Phoenix.

At the end of the DGW, I was at 132 overall round points and a round rank of 23. This great result caused an increase in rank from 232nd to 121st. It was an all round good week for all FAL managers as the average was 69 and the highest points was 148. It was a great week for anyone who had Tratt in their backline, he amassed 27 points over the 2 games, scoring a goal and keeping 2 clean sheets. My round score is shown below.

In regards to the entire season, it has been an interesting season for me with many ups and downs but the ups overshadow the downs. Many players have shone throughout the season, which have helped me soar up the ranks and get great results. The overall dream team below shows a bunch of those players. Rojas, Ninkovic and Troisi have shown themselves to be must haves along with Sydney FC defence.

Differences from FPL

1.    Bonus Point Distribution
The bonus point distribution in FPL has come with strong criticism as bonus points are determined by the BPS system. Unlike FPL, where players lose bonus points because they’ve been tackled twice and missed one chance (how ridiculous), players in Fantasy A-League are given bonuses based on their influence in the game. Players don’t always have to register a goal, assist or clean sheet to be consider for any bonus, however they are rewarded for their performance. Rarely ever do the bonus points get distributed to players undeserving of them.

2.    Extra Points Potential
A huge criticism of the FPL game is that it doesn’t reward players for an all round performance. This issue is not a problem in Fantasy A-League as points are distributed for actions, which occur during the game. For example, 1 point is given for 8 recoveries, 2 shot assists result in a point, each shot on target is a point gained and defenders earn clearances, blocks and interceptions points. This system allows for there to be potential to gain more points and it also makes players more attractive, while in FPL they’d be a joke to own. The picture below shows this system in work.

3.    Price Changes
Price changes in FPL are a constant problem as player rise and drop at a rapid rate between gameweek. This results in managers being forced into early transfers in order to beat the price changes, which could backfire with training injuries not being uncommon. In Fantasy A-League, the prices of players are expressed in a 1000k currency, e.g. 275k. Further, players only rise and fall by around 10k maximum per gameweek, which would be equivalent to a 0.1m change in FPL and these changes are determined by past gameweek performance, not a random formula. 

Seb's GW22 Preview (Part 2)

Top Captain Picks

1. Alexis Sánchez vs Burnley (home) - £11.9 (TSB 37.0%)

With the potential of returning to striker this GW, the explosive Alexis Sánchez is my number 1 captain pick in GW22. In his 3 matches against Burnley, he has registered 2 goals and 1 assist, with 17 shots and 11 chances created. These statistics are excellent, and Sánchez should be able to punish a Burnley side that has conceded over 2 goals per game away from home this season.

2. Eden Hazard vs Hull (home) - £10.4 (TSB 33.3%)

Another midfielder who will probably start OOP at striker in GW22 is Eden Hazard. Hazard will face Hull, who has scored 3 goals and provided 1 assist against, in his last 4 games against them. Also, he is currently in solid form, with 1 goal and 2 assists in his past 4 games, so he will be feeling confident of building on this form against a leaky Tigers defence this GW.

3. Harry Kane vs Manchester City (away) - £11.1 (TSB 19.1%)

Kane comes into this game off the back of a 6 goals and 1 assist in his past 4 league games. Facing Manchester City, who will still be recovering from their 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Everton, Spurs and Kane have another great opportunity to prove that they are title contenders. Furthermore, his history vs City (2 goals in past 2 games and 12 shots in past 3 games) highlights that he definitely has the potential to be amongst the points again this GW.

4. Junior Stanislas vs Watford (home) - £5.2 (TSB 3.3%)

With 1 goal and 2 assists in his past 3 league games, Stanislas is providing a steady stream of returns for FPL managers. Coming up against Watford in GW22, who are without an away clean sheet since GW9, Stanislas' directness and set piece threat could see him add to his 4 goals and 6 assists already this season. 

Punt/Differential Picks

1. Henrikh Mkhitaryan vs Stoke (away) - £9.0 (TSB 2.5%)

After a very slow start to his Manchester United career, Mkhitaryan is finally beginning to show his worth. Over the past 4 matches, his creative skills have been evident, as he has created 13 chances. As a result, his masterful passing and vision will be key to unlocking a resilient Stoke rear guard at Stadium, and he will be central to all of United's attack.

2. Pedro vs Hull (home) - £7.0 (TSB 5.1%)

Pedro has been excellent for Chelsea this season, and he has consistently threatened opposition defences. Over his last 3 starts, he has registered 8 shots, as well as 2 goals and 1 assist. In GW22, Pedro will clearly have the chance to continue this form, as he will face a Hull side who have conceded 7 goals in their last 3 away games.

3. Marcos Alonso vs Hull (home) - £6.5 (TSB 10.4%)

Although it is unlikely that Alonso will return another 21 point haul in GW22, he still has the potential to greatly reward his owners. On the clean sheet front, it is a great possibility that Chelsea will shut out the Tigers, who have the equal second worst attacking record away from home this season. Additionally, the attacking threat Alonso carries, heightens his appeal. Over the past 5 GWs, he has taken 9 shots, scored 2 goals, created 5 chances and picked up 1 assist. Therefore, given the opposition and his form, Alonso has the potential to return another large haul this GW.

4. Salomón Rondón vs Sunderland (home) - £6.8 (TSB 9.0%)

Despite his sides 4-0 mauling by Tottenham last GW, I'm backing Rondón to be back amongst the points in GW21. The reason for this is that they are playing at home to Sunderland. The reason why this is so pertinent is two-fold. Firstly, at home this season, the Baggies have excelled scoring 19 goals, which is equal with Manchester United and more than Manchester City at their respective home grounds. As a result, Rondón too has been excellent when playing in front of his own fans. Over his last 2 appearances at the Hawthorns (not including top 6 teams), he returned with 22 points, and over his last 5 home games, registered a shot frequency of 1 every 26.6 minutes. Secondly, Sunderland have conceded on average 2 goals per game away from home this season, so Rondón should have numerous chances to get on the scoresheet in GW22.

GW22 Star Picks XI

By Sebastian Candido

(Twitter: @_FFM_Seb)

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Seb's GW22 Preview (Part 1)

Liverpool vs Swansea

Predicted Line Ups:

Match Info:

Neither team are currently in blistering form, but Liverpool are clearly still poised to take the 3 points. Over the past 9 GWs, Swansea have averaged 3 goals conceded per game, and Liverpool, who are averaging over 2 goals scored per game over this period, should add to this poor defensive record. Despite the return to fitness of Philippe Coutinho (£8.3 – TSB 17.2%), it is unlikely that he will start this weekend after playing 65 minutes in the FA Cup on Wednesday. This should see Adam Lallana (£7.7 – TSB 27.2%) granted a more advanced role once again and if he can link up with Roberto Firmino (£8.4 – TSB 10.6%) and possibly Daniel Sturridge (£9.7 –TSB 0.9%), Swansea could be in for a torrid match.

Score Prediction:

Liverpool 2 (Sturridge, Lallana) | Swansea 0

Bournemouth vs Watford

Predicted Line Ups:

Match Info:

With only 1 win in their past 9 games, Watford have been very poor recently. In comparison, Bournemouth’s form has been up and down over this period, with 3 wins and 1 draw. The last 3 times these sides have met, each match has ended in a draw, however, this game could break that streak. Despite the inconsistent results, Bournemouth’s attack has looked threatening in each game. In particular, Junior Stanislas (£5.2 – TSB 3.1%) has been in top form recently, with 4 assists and 1 goal in his last 5 matches where he has played 60+ minutes. Also, Ryan Fraser (£4.8 – TSB 1.5%) who has 3 goals and 4 assists over his past 6 games and Benik Afobe (£5.6 – TSB 0.7%) who has registered a shot every 28.8 minutes over his past 2 appearances, will be important attacking players for the Cherries. Even though attacking options from Bournemouth seem excellent options this GW, their defenders could be less secure. The signing of Tom Cleverley (£5.1 – TSB 0.1%) will add a much needed spark to Watford’s attack and he could be one player capable of breaching the Bournemouth defence.

Score Prediction:

Bournemouth 3 (Afobe x2, Stanislas) | Watford 1 (Cleverley)

Crystal Palace vs Everton

Predicted Line Ups:

Match Info:

After a comprehensive 4-0 victory over Manchester City last GW, Everton will roll up to Selhurst Park full of confidence. The performances of Romelu Lukaku (£9.6 – TSB 26.2%) who has 4 goals in his past 5 games against the Eagles, as well as Kevin Mirallas (£6.0 – TSB 2.3%), 2 goals and 2 assists in his past 4 league games, will be central to Everton’s attacking play. However, looking at the history of this match-up, the past 3 games have ended in draws, and Crystal Palace have only lost once in their past 7 games against Everton. As a result, Everton may have a harder time defeating Palace than Manchester City. New signing Jeff Schlupp (£4.8 – TSB 0.2%) will bring much needed defensive qualities as well an attacking threat to the Palace backline, and may be afforded an advanced role in GW22, thus heightening his appeal as an out of position (OOP) option. Jason Puncheon (£5.2 – TSB 0.7%) put in two outstanding performances against Everton last season (5 shots, 13 chances created and 1 assist) so he may also be one to look out for this GW.

Score Prediction:

Crystal Palace 1 (Schlupp) | EVE 2 (Lukaku, Mirallas)

Middlesbrough vs West Ham

Predicted Line Up:

Match Info:

Without the toxic Payet, West Ham put in arguably their best performance of the season last GW. After shifting to a 4-2-3-1 in the second half, the Hammers were clinical in front of goal and put Crystal Palace to the sword, which will give them lots of confidence. In particular, Michail Antonio (£6.8 – TSB 10.6%) stood out in GW21, picking up 3 assists, and he will be a big threat to the Middlesbrough defence, as will Andy Carroll (£6.2 – TSB 2.9%),who has registered a shot every 22.1 minutes over his last 5 starts. Middlesbrough will be heading into this game with 3 clean sheets in their past 5 games, so they too will be confident of achieving a positive result in this match. However, another clean sheet looks unlikely for Middlesbrough, as indicated by the history of this match up, where they have only kept 1 clean sheet in their past 10 matches against the Hammers. As a result, they will be looking to Alvaro Negredo (£6.4 – TSB 15.3%), who has 2 goals in his last 2 home games, to fire their way to victory.

 Score Prediction:

Middlesbrough 2 (Negredo, Stuani) | West Ham 2 (Carroll, Lanzini)

Stoke vs Manchester United

Predicted Line Ups:

Match Info:

After back to back wins, Stoke will be hoping to continue this form in GW22. However, this will not be easy for them, as they will face a Manchester United side who look to be finally hitting their straps. Nevertheless, Stoke will gain confidence from their history against the Red Devils at bet365 Stadium. The Potters are undefeated in their last 3 home games against United, winning 2 games and scoring 5 goals. This brings Stoke attacking players Peter Crouch (£4.8 – TSB 3.1%), who has 3 goals and 2 assists in his past 2 games, and Marko Arnautovic (£7.1 TSB - 0.7%), 2 goals and 4 shots inside the box last GW, into consideration. Despite attacking options from Stoke in this match being viable options, defensive options are not. United have only failed to score once in the last 21 matches against Stoke. Therefore, Zlatan Ibrahimovic (£11.6 – TSB 42.6%), who has 7 goals in his past 5 away games and also Henrikh Mkhitaryan (£9.0 – TSB 2.5%) are options for FPL managers in GW22.

Score Prediction:

Stoke 1 (Arnautovic) | Manchester United 1 (Ibrahimovic)   

West Brom vs Sunderland

Predicted Line Ups:

Match Info:

After a big defeat last GW, West Brom will be looking to bounce back against Sunderland in GW22. Formwise, the Baggies are clear favourites. Currently sitting 8th on the table, they have not lost to a team placed below them since GW4. This brings Saloman Rondon (£6.8 – TSB 8.9%), who has 3 goals and 1 assist in his last 2 home games and lower placed teams, and also Matt Phillips (£5.8 – TSB 20.1%), who has only blanked once against a lower placed team since GW4, into contention for our FPL squads. Also, Sunderland have conceded 10 goals in their last 3 away games, so this heightens the appeal of attacking players from West Brom. On the defensive front, returns for West Brom defenders also seem highly likely. Over the past 4 games against Sunderland, West Brom have kept 3 clean sheets. Furthermore, Sunderland have only scored 6 goals in 10 games away from home this season, which is the equal second worst record in the league. Therefore, due to this, Chris Brunt (£5.0 – TSB 2.3%) seems a standout option this GW.

Score Predictions:

West Brom 3 (Rondon x2, Chadli) | Sunderland 0

Manchester City vs Tottenham

Predicted Line Ups:

Match Info:

This match involves two teams in completely different situations. On one hand, Man City look like they are lacking confidence and seem devoid of ideas. On the other hand, Spurs seems indestructible at the moment, and are crushing every team they face. As a result, this game poses an interesting prospect. If City can come out and defend compactly, this will put them in a good position. This will give them a solid foundation to attack, and David Silva (£8.7 – TSB 2.2%) could be a key player for the Citizens due to his ability to find a seemingly impossible pass and weave in and out of tight areas. However, based on what we have seen recently, this doesn’t appear to be the most likely scenario. Instead, Spurs could come out again and play City off the park, just as they have done to West Brom, Chelsea, Watford and Southampton recently. Such a scenario is evidenced by the previous meeting between these sides, where Tottenham have beaten City in their last 3 matches, scoring 8 goals. As a result, Harry Kane (£11.1 – TSB 18.9%) will be central to Tottenham’s push for victory, as will Christian Eriksen (£8.7 – TSB 15.9%) and Danny Rose (£6.0 – TSB 9.6%).

Score Prediction:

Manchester City 0 | Tottenham 2 (Kane, Eriksen)

Southampton vs Leicester

Predicted Line Ups:

Match Info:

It seems very hard to pick a winner in this game. Both sides come into GW22 in poor form. Southampton have lost 4 in a row, conceding 13 goals, and Leicester only have 1 win in their last 6 games. Each side will also not have their strongest starting team available. Southampton have Austin and Boufal ruled out, Bertrand, Van Dijk and Davis carry knocks and Jay Rodriguez and James Ward-Prowse  may be suffering fatigue after starting in the FA Cup mid-week. For Leicester, they will again be missing their AFCON stars Armartey, Mahrez and Slimani. Nevertheless, each team has players that have the potential to win the game for their team. Southampton’s Dusan Tadic (£7.0 – TSB 1.3%) registered 7 shots last GW, including 5 in the box, and picked up an assist last time he played at St Mary’s. For Leicester, Jamie Vardy (£9.6 – TSB 7.7%) has the potential to stand out this GW. Last season against Southampton, he registered 2 goals, 11 shots and 4 chances created in 2 matches, so this could be the game where he finds form again.

Score Predictions:

Southampton 2 (Tadic, Redmond) | Leicester 2 (Vardy, Musa)

Arsenal vs Burnley

Predicted Line Ups:

Match Info:

Both sides come into this game on the back of impressive victories in GW21. However, away from home, Burnley’s determination and fight may not be enough to pick up any points against an Arsenal side with the second best attack and fourth best defence in the league. Arsenal are undefeated in their last 7 games against the Clarets, scoring 14 goals and keeping 4 clean sheets. In fact, in Arsenal’s past 5 games at home to Burnley, they have netted 12 goals and kept 3 clean sheets. As a result, Alexis Sanchez (£11.9 – TSB 37.0%) and Mesut Ozil (£9.5 – TSB 7.2%) are likely to be amongst the points this GW. For Burnley, they will be relying on shot stopping king Tom Heaton (£4.9 – TSB 17.2%) to keep them in the game, just as he has done against Liverpool, Man Utd and Southampton this season.         

Score Prediction:

Arsenal 3 (Sanchez x2, Ozil) | Burnley 0

Chelsea vs Hull

Predicted Line Ups:

Match Info:

Despite a confidence building win against Bournemouth last GW, Hull’s best performance in GW22 may not even be enough to overcome league leaders Chelsea. The Blues have won 9 out of their 10 home games this season, and have scored 28 goals at Stamford Bridge. The history of this match is a strong indication of how this the game will pan out - Hull have never beaten Chelsea. As a result, practically all of Chelsea’s players have the potential to greatly reward their managers in GW22.

Score Prediction:

Chelsea 5 (Hazard, Pedro, Willian, Alonso, Batshuayi) | Hull 0

Here, I will discuss my top captain picks for GW22 and reveal the GW22 Start Picks XI

By Sebastian Candido

(Twitter: @_FFM_Seb)

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Gameweek 21 Review: New Year's Resolutions

Keep The Faith in Golden Oldies

As Jermain Defoe has pointed out this season, goalscoring, much like goalkeeping, is a timeless art. In the same game that Peter Crouch scored and assisted, Defoe rolled back the years by scoring the typical striker's goal. How many times have we seen him control a long through pass, race onto goal past the defender and shoot in the corner? Enough to know Defoe is scoring machine. He continues to score prolifically in the Premier League even at 34. Although 94 short of Defoe's Premier League tally, Crouch is also still a proven goalscorer who can provide the odd goal as the big man approaches 100 PL goals two weeks before his 35th birthday.

Need I mention Zlatan Ibrahimovic? The Swede is still going very strong at the top level and is older than both. Stay fit and Zlatan is well on course to be the league's top scorer now current top marksman Costa's form has crashed following the defeat to Spurs and a suspected back injury/bust up with Antonio Conte.

New Year, New Everton

We are all aware of Romelu Lukaku's peaks and troughs, but as mentioned in this blog before the FA Cup fixtures, striking technique is permanent. Lukaku's form can be very good then dip dramatically. The good news is that's two in two Premier League games for the big Belgian, which means he and Everton are a force to be reckoned with.

Not just Lukaku came good against Guardiola's broken Man City as the Toffees ran out 4-0 winners. It was a man of the match performance from 18 year-old prospect Tom Davies, with help from goals and assists from other form players Mirallas and Barkley. A good tip to FPL this year, like any year, is not to make any assumptions as the Premier League continues to keep us fantasy managers on our toes.

Written by Kyle Norbury,

Stoke fan,

Football fan,

Fantasy football fan.

Follow on twitter: @SCFCNerd

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Seb's GW21 Preview (Part 2)

Top Captain Picks

1. Christian Eriksen vs West Brom (home) - £8.6 (TSB 14.5%)

Christian Eriksen has been quite simply exceptional over the past 8 games. Since GW13, he has registered on average 1 shot every 17.37 mins (5 per game) and created a chance every 24.55 mins (4 per game). He has also registered 5 goals and 6 assists during this period. In GW21, Eriksen will face West Brom, who have only kept 1 clean sheet in their past 17 league games. Looking at Erisken’s history against the Baggies, he has registered 12 shots, 6 shots assists and 2 assists in his past 2 games against them. This illustrates how West Brom are a side that Eriksen usually excels against, and given both his form and the form of his side (10 goals in past 3 games), he no doubt has what it takes to be one of, if not the top FPL captain pick this GW.        

2. Junior Stanislas vs Hull (away) - £5.2 (TSB 1.8%)

Despite the low price and ownership, Stanislas definitely has the potential to be one of the top point scorers this GW. Since his return to the starting XI in GW19, he has provided back to back assists in addition to 8 shots (1 every 20.25 mins) and creating 5 chances (1 every 32.5 mins). Furthermore, last time these sides met, Stanislas returned a 21 point haul, where he bagged a brace (5 shots) and an assist (3 chances created). His appeal is further heightened by the leaky Hull defence he will face, as the Tigers have conceded 8 goals in their past 3 games. 

3. Alexis Sanchez vs Swansea (away) - £11.9 (TSB 36.5%)

Although Sànchez does not seem happy at Arsenal at the moment, he still has been providing regular returns to his owners. Shifted back onto the wing to accommodate Giroud up front in GW18, Sànchez has still managed on average just under 7 shots per game from this position, which is extraordinary! Furthermore, Sànchez has been particularly potent away from home, with 6 goals, 2 assists and 42 points coming in his last 4 away games. In GW21, he should definitely be able to punish a Swansea side who have conceded 7 goals in their last 2 home games.

 Punt/Differential Picks

1. Aaron Ramsey vs Swansea (away) - £7.6 (TSB 0.9%)

After an injury hampered first half of the season, Ramsey returned to the Arsenal starting XI in GW20 against Bournemouth and impressed. In this game, he started in his favourite number 10 position instead of the wing, but was forced a little deeper due to the injury to Coquelin. Nevertheless, he was still effective, registering 4 shots, and completing an impressive 89% of his passes in the attacking third. He followed up this performance with another impressive outing in the FA Cup, where he netted 1 goal (3 shots) and completed 102 passes. Given that he is a nailed on starter due to the absences of Cazorla, Xhaxa, Coqeulin and Elneny, Ramsey now clearly has the chance to cement a starting spot and rediscover the form he showed for Wales during the Euros. Arsenal's GW21 match against Swansea will provide the perfect chance for him to do this, and his late runs into the box and intricate passing could see him reward those FPL managers willing to take a punt on him.

2. Michail Antonio vs Crystal Palace (home) - £6.8 (TSB 10.4%)

Despite the poor form of his side, Michail Antonio has recently shown signs that he may be about to rediscover his early season form. Since being removed from right back/wing back in GW18, Antonio has rotated between playing on the right wing or centre forward. This has seen him average 1 shot every 22.3 mins in all completions since then. This bodes well for FPL managers, as Crystal Palace have conceded 33 shots in the past 2 GWs, and if Antonio can build on his promising stats, he may well be in line for a big haul this GW.

3. Andre Gray vs Southampton (home) - £6.2 (TSB 4.7%)

After a spell out of Burnley’s first team due to suspension and poor form, Gray has now cemented his place up front after a string of superb performances. Over the past 3 GWs, he has scored 4 goals (1 shot every 28.6 mins and 3.2 per game), including an outstanding hat-trick against Sunderland. Furthermore, Gray excels when playing at home. This is clearly evident as in his 6 home appearances this season, he has only blanked twice, picking up 5 goals, 2 assists, 6 bonus points and an average 7 points per game. In GW21, he again plays at home, and is up against a Southampton side in poor form, having conceded 9 goals in their last 3 games, and Gray will be looking to take advantage of this fact and continue with his terrific form.

Score Predictions

TOT 1 (Eriksen) | WBA 0

BUR 2 (Gray, Boyd) | SOU 0

HUL 1 (Snodgrass) | BOU 4 (Stanislas x2, Arter, King)

SUN 1 (Van Aanholt) | STK 1 (Crouch)

SWA 0 | ARS 3 (Giroud, Sànchez, Ramsey)

WAT 0 | MID 0

WHU 2 (Antonio, Carroll) | CRY 2 (Townsend, Puncheon)

LEI 1 (Musa) | CHE 2 (Pedro, Costa)

EVE 2 (Mirallas, Lukaku) | MCI 1 (Yaya Toure)

MUN 1 (Ibrahimovic) | LIV 1 (Sturridge)

Star Picks XI

For all the latest team news and predicted line ups, please visit:

For all the latest injury news and player availabilities, please visit:

By Sebastian Candido
(Twitter: @sebcandido)