Saturday, 31 December 2016

FPL Gold prospects from January transfer speculation

The January transfer window is almost upon the world of football and with it brings wide speculation about who might be snapped up by each fans respective club. This article will review three possible acquisitions that the Premier league could find in their ranks once the window closes and the potential they bring to the table for FPL managers.
Manolo Gabbiadini (Napoli) – Gabbiadini has become a very sought after attacking player over the past few seasons with Southampton and Everton watching him closely and Stoke City showing serious interest in bringing the talented 25 year old Italian to their club in the January transfer window (on a loan deal). This move to the Premier League could give FPL managers another very good forward option. Gabbiadini has only started 9 games for Napoli in all competitions this season (three of them being the full 90 minutes) with a further 8 off the bench managing 3 goals and 0 assists. However, a loan move to Stoke could see him starting regularly, with Wilfried Bony out of favour with Mark Hughes. This would allow him to link up with the likes of Joe Allen, Xherdan Shaqiri and Marko Arnautovic which should see both goals and assists rise for all players. In his limited minutes for Napoli this season, Gabbiadini has still managed 3.7 shots per game equating to 8.8 shots for every 90mins he has played. A regular starting spot at could see Gabbiadini flourish meaning good news for FPL managers.

Potential Team Influence rating: 8/10 Predicted FPL Price: £7.0-7.5

James Rodriguez (Real Madrid) – James has been touted to exit Real Madrid almost every transfer window since the end of his first season at the club. However, this could finally come to fruition with Chelsea being the front runners from the Premier League to claim his signature. For FPL managers it is a no-brainer that if James plays he should be in your squad. Having made 13 appearances (7 starts) for Real Madrid in the 2016/17 season so far, he has managed a decent return of 1 goal and 4 assists with an 87% pass accuracy. A move to Chelsea would give James even more freedom to roam and link up with other players providing chances, shots, goals and assists. With a chance created for Real Madrid every 25.3 minutes last season (4.67mins faster than second placed Neymar) a move to Stamford Bridge could also see an explosion by Diego Costa in the golden boot race with this sort of service.

Potential Team Influence rating: 7/10 Predicted FPL Price: £10

Keisuke Honda (AC Milan) – Sunderland are yet again in the hunt to sign Milan forward Honda. After a reported failed attempt to sign the Japanese international in the summer transfer window, the Black Cats could lure him to the Premier league mid-season giving them a much needed attacking spark. With only 4 players registering goals for Sunderland this season (Defoe, Van Aanholt, Anichebe and Borini), Honda could provide both a goal and assist threat upon his arrival meaning FPL points. Honda has been out of favour at AC Milan with only 96 minutes of time on the pitch across 5 first team appearances this season. That’s not much to go on for FPL managers. Nevertheless, Honda is historically a proven performer with 8 goals and 9 assists in his 78 total Milan caps and an impressive 63% success rate in take on’s in the 2015/16 season from the number 10 midfield position, which is a return to take note of. If a move to Sunderland does manifest, it is likely that Honda, with his wizard left foot, will be on set piece and penalty duty which should entice FPL managers for a possible squad inclusion.

Potential Team Influence rating: 9/10 Predicted FPL Price: £6.5-7.0

Written by: Luke Scali

Friday, 30 December 2016

Seb's GW19 Preview

Top Captain Picks

1. Alexis Sànchez vs Crystal Palace (home) - £11.9 (TSB 36.9%)

Although he blanked at home to West Brom in GW18, Sanchez registered 9 shots, with 6 inside the box. If he can replicate this in GW19 against a Crystal Palace side who have conceded the 3rd most goals in the league, Sànchez clearly has the potential to provide a massive haul to his owners.

2. Eden Hazard vs Stoke (home) - £10.4 (TSB 35.9%)

Having returned to form last GW with a goal (5 shots & 4 chances created), Hazard would like to continue this form in GW19. This is a real possibility, as he will come up against a Stoke side who have conceded 7 goal in their last 2 away games. This bodes well for Hazard owners, as 7 of his 9 goals this season have come at home. 

3. Romelu Lukaku vs Hull (away) - £9.4 (TSB 26.6%)

After a relatively dry spell, Lukaku has re-found his goal scoring touch as of late, especially away from home. In his past 2 away games, he has netted 3 goals and picked up 4 bonus points. In GW19, he will come up against Hull who have conceded 31 shots in the past 2 away games and Lukaku is definitely capable of capitalising on this obliging Tigers defence. Furthermore, Lukaku has scored 2 goals in his past 2 starts against Hull, which heightens his appeal.

4. Zlatan Ibrahimovic vs Middlesbrough (home) - £11.6 (TSB 42.9%)

Zlatan is pretty much unstoppable at the moment. He has 8 goals and 3 assists in his last 7 games, and has returned 4 double figure hauls in this period. Last GW was arguably his best performance, with 1 goal (4 shots) and 2 assists (5 chances created) and GW19 provides him with similar conditions to continue this form. However, Middlesbrough have the equal 5th best defence in the league, and thus have a very tight backline, which prevents the Bug Swede from being in the top 3 captain picks this GW.

Differential Captain Picks

1. Olivier Giroud vs Crystal Palace (home) - £8.5 (TSB 1.5%)

Having returned to the starting line up last GW, Giroud again rescued Arsenal and claimed all 3 points for his side. This GW, he will again lead the line for the Gunners due to the absence of Theo Walcott. In addition to his goal in GW18, he registered 5 shots, 4 of which came from inside the box. Also, with the mercurial Mesut Ozil, who created 7 chances last GW, playing behind him, it is likely that Giroud will have plenty of chances to score against a porous Eagles defence in GW19.

2. Kevin Mirallas vs Hull (away) - £6.0 (TSB 1.7%)

Another player who returned to his respective side’s starting XI in GW18, Mirallas showcased his talent and took his opportunity well, netting the first goal in Everton’s 2-0 win over Leicester at the King Power. In fact, both of his goals this season have come away for Goodison Park, and he has averaged just over 2 shots per game away from home. This GW, Mirallas will face the second worst defence in the league, and should he continue in a more advanced role as a second striker, he may well be amongst the points again.

3. Andy Carroll vs Leicester (away) - £6.2 (TSB 3.0%)

Since returning from injury, Andy Carroll has played himself into solid form. Over the last 3 games, he has netted 1 goal and managed a shot frequency of 1 every 23.8 minutes, which is excellent. In GW19, he will face a Leicester side who have conceded 8 goals in their past 4 home games, and have not kept a clean sheet since GW7. Carroll should be able to take advantage of this leaky defence, especially due to the service he will receive from Dimitri Payet. Both sides in this game will be desperate for a win, so the Hammers will be pushing hard to score, and Carroll is the focal point of their attacking play.

4. Jermain Defoe vs Burnely (away) - £7.7 (TSB 24.1%)

It was a tough call between Defoe and Jay Rodriguez (who plays West Brom at St Mary’s this GW) for this spot, but due to the Baggies’ defensive style of play, in particular that employed when playing away from home, coupled J Rod’s rotation risk, I have opted for Jermain Defoe. Although owned by over 24% of FPL managers, Defoe seems to be flying under the radar as a captain pick this GW. However, he could exceed expectation this GW. Playing Burnley, who are averaging 19 shots conceded per game, Defoe should be able to capitalise on this loose defending.  He himself is averaging almost three shots a game, which is quite good for the striker of a relegation battling side, and if he can continue to do this, he may well come away with a goal or two this GW.

Score Predictions

HUL 0 | EVE 3 (Lukaku, Mirallas Funes Mori)

BUR 2 (Vokes, Gray) | SUN 3 (Defoe x2, Anichebe)

CHE 2 (Hazard, Moses) | STK 0

LEI 2 (Amartey, Mahrez) | WHU 4 (Carroll x2, Ayew, Antonio)

MUN 2 (Ibrahimovic x2) | MID 1 (Negredo)

SOU 1 (Rodriguez) | WBA 0

SWA 4 (Llorente, Siggy x2, Routledge) | BOU 1 (Stanislas)

LIV 0 | MCI 0

WAT 0 | TOT 2 (Alli, Son)

ARS 4 (Sànchez x2, Giroud, Ozil) | CRY 0

                                                     So, here is the GW19 Star Picks XI


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

For all the latest injury news and updates, please visit:

By Sebastian Candido

(Twitter: @sebcandido)

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Gameweek 18 Review: The Best Mid-Priced Mids on the Market

Half the season is nearly up and Pogba is still a one-to-watch at Man United as the mercurial Frenchman continues to show glimpses of what made him the most expensive player in world football in the summer. This is despite failing to deliver regular points thus far. This may put FPL managers off. The box-to-box midfielder is now at an ownership as low as 9.9% despite being the marque summer signing

However, as Jamie Carragher pointed out on Monday Night Football earlier in the month, Pogba is one to look out for as he is still adapting to a new league. His underlying attacking stats are positive as he has freedom to get forward vs weaker opposition. Against Sunderland on Boxing Day he took the most shots, joint most shots on target with Ibrahimovic and had the joint most passes in the attacking third. It may be only a matter of time before he racks up big points. Coupled with suspected improvement, his price has dropped down to 8.3 from a base-price of 8.5, making him a cut-price alternative to the erratic Eriksen, and of course Mane, who flies to AFCON on 2nd January.

'Failmino' Goes From Zero to Hero

Firmino could be the perfect like-for-like replacement for Mane in FPL and in real life, as the Senegalese winger's absence will make room for Firmino to play in a more creative role in the space in and around the defence, where he can have greater influence on the game and more touches on the ball. Firmino was back against Stoke, which was both disappointing and good news for your writer. A 10-point haul was not expected after blanks in each of the previous 6 games. Firmino could soon be back to earlier consistency and was a must-have at this point last season.

Lallana Lauded For Continued Improvement

Another Liverpool midfielder who scored in the same game was Adam Lallana, who has already bettered his tally of 4 goals from last season and has equalled his assists tally. It is clear that Klopp is urging his midfielders to push on higher up the pitch than last season, which also explains Coutinho's increased returns. Lallana seemed to take on the goals burden while Coutinho was out injured and Firmino out of form and presumably fitness, hitting 4 goals in 4 games. This trend may continue as Coutinho is not expected to be rushed back from his ankle injury.

And then there's always Walcott. Theo was the hero for Arsenal until his calf seized up prior to the game against West Brom, on target 8 times this season at a price of just 7.9. Choose your mid-priced midfielder.

Written by Kyle Norbury

Stoke fan, football fan, fantasy football fan

Follow on Twitter: @SCFCNerd

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Monday, 19 December 2016

Gameweek 17 Review: Lesson- Bank on Form Players

Diego Costa (6 points), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (13 points) and Alexis Sanchez (5 points) were all strong captain options this week. In contrast, Harry Kane (2 points), Roberto Firmino (3 points), Mesut Ozil (2 points), Dimitri Payet (3 points) and Jamie Vardy (-2) were all poor captains.

The difference between each list is the former are all in-form players and the latter are either not in form or have been in and out of form in recent weeks. Costa's goalscoring exploits have so far been continuous, which is part of why he was the most popular captain pick for this gameweek. Zlatan's form has been erratic though he has showed brief scoring form, mainly during the opening gambits and the past three gameweeks after his rest during the international break. Alexis Sanchez' form has been explosive, and can still offer points when his team plays poorly, as shown on Sunday with an assist for Walcott's early strike. The choice between captaining Costa, Ibra and Sanchez over Christmas is a difficult one, but by using experienced FPL players' principles, the choice becomes easy.

The best thing to do when deciding on a captain for your FPL team may not be to choose a recently transferred in player who you think will come into form, but who is in the best form playing highest on confidence and has the highest ownership. The rewards will therefore be less but the risk of slipping down in the rankings is also reduced considerably. This is known in the FPL community as a 'shield captain'.

Supermane The Saviour Again (for now)

Mane's late strike earned Liverpool a win in the first Merseyside derby of the season. It topped off a great first half-season for the speedy attacker at Liverpool.

Sadio Mane has hit the kind of sustained run of scoring form that seasoned FPL players have been accustomed to over his time with Southampton. Mane was a hidden gem towards the end of last season when he scored for fun and has been over the past few months, with an average of 8.75 points per game in the last 8 gameweeks.

However, hold fire or be prepared to fire sale! Mane as he is off to the African Cup of Nations to play for Senegal in January. Along with many other African players, he will be out of FPL action over the next month.

The other absent players include:

L. Kone

Written by Kyle Norbury,

Stoke fan, football fan, fantasy football fan

Follow on Twitter: @SCFCNerd

Friday, 16 December 2016

New Survivor League | JOIN NOW | Boxing Day START

Logo central

It's like Fantasy Football, but much easier!


The rules are simple


Choose 1 team from the Premier League you think will win each week.


Each player starts with 10 lives


If your chosen team...




You keep all your lives!



Team Draws?


You lose 1 life


Team Loses?


You lose 2 lives!


The catch?


You can only pick each team once!




The last player alive in  FPLHINTS' Survivor League will win a copy of FIFA 17!

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Gameweek 16 Review: The Boring Yawnfest

I hold my hands up as your blogging FPL advisor. Gameweek 16 was the opposite to what I thought it would be. At the same time though, it didn't make me think anything different to what I've been talking about throughout this 2016/17 series.

Bournemouth and Leicester are unpredictable clubs with unpredictable players and unpredictable managers.

Arsenal, Liverpool and Spurs are good, but too inconsistent to challenge for the title.

Sanchez scores when he wants.

Ibrahimovic scores when we wants.

Southampton and Stoke are just as good/bad/average as one another.

Chelsea keep winning under Conte's new system.

Calling how many goals and clean sheets there will be in a gameweek is nion impossible as ever.

The Premier League can be really straightforward or shockingly surprising from week to week.

But there is one thing that's kind of new...

West Brom are really good now

As a proud admirer of Tony Pulis (now he doesn't manage my football team anymore), it gives me immense pleasure in saying how flipping fantastic Tony Pulis is at managing small football clubs.

They are not just surviving either- they are the second best form team in the entire league! West Brom have scored 13 goals in 6 games in the Premier League. It's unheard of! They've won 4 out of 6 and lost just once in their last 6 games! And even that was against the team way out in first place in the form table! And they could've drawn the game on another day! Just 1-0 against in-form Chelsea away from the Hawthorns! Get West Brom players in your teams!

Thanks for reading.

Written by Kyle Norbury

Stoke fan, football fan, fantasy football fan

Follow on Twitter: @SCFCNerd

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Seb's GW16 Preview

The festive period is now upon us. Fixtures will become congested and FPL managers will rapidly face GW after GW. Due to the short turnaround between matches, rotation, which we dread so much, is now a reality. This may result in an increased number of hits being taken to get our teams right and ensure all our players are ‘nailed on.’ As a result, to counteract these hits and situations where not all of our players start, it is of paramount importance that we choose the correct captain and vice-captain.

Here are some of the top captain picks for GW16, and also some sneaky differentials for those chasing points.

Potential Stand out Players

Harry Kane vs Hull (home) - £11.3 (TSB 19.3%)

This one seems an easy decision. With 5 goals in 5 games since his return from injury, Kane is a man in form. In particular, his home form has been spectacular. He has played 3 home games in all competitions since his return, and has netted 5 goals, with a shot frequency of 1 every 14.39 minutes. His team’s home form has also been excellent, having scored 11 goals in these 3 matches. In addition to form, Kane also has the fixture this week to thrive. Hull have the worst defence in the league, conceding 32 goals so far, and averaging 20 shots conceded per away game. This poor defensive record is in contrast to the attacking dominance of Spurs, who have averaged 22 shots per home game since Kane’s return. Hull have also conceded 7 penalties this season, that’s almost 1 every 2 games. As Kane is Tottenham’s penalty taker, his appeal is thus heightened.

Diego Costa vs Sunderland (away) - £10.9 (TSB 52.1%)

Both Costa and Hazard are great picks for captain this GW, but I have gone for Costa. Obviously, Costa is in great form, and he has been all season, with only 2 blanks in 15 GWs. However, the more compelling reason for captaining Costa is his history against Sunderland. In this fixture last season, Costa really troubled the Black Cats’ defence and dominated the match. He netted a goal, and had 3 shots on target, all of which were big chances. Therefore, due to this fact, I am confident that Costa can carry his form into GW16 and reward his owners.

Zlatan Ibrahimović vs Crystal Palace (away) - £11.2 (TSB 27.5%)

Zlatan himself would be surprised if he found out that he is not one of the top captain picks each week, but this GW, he definitely is. Over the last 7 GWs, The Eagles have conceded 20 goals. This is nearly 3 goals per game, and if anyone can continue to breach this defence, Zlatan is the man. Over November, Ibra found his form again and he has carried this form into December, with 7 goals in 7 games. In addition, over this period, he has registered an attacking involvement (shot or chance created) every 13.7 minutes, which demonstrates how central he is to the offensive play of The Red Devils

Punt Picks

Nolito vs Watford (home) - £8.6 (TSB 1.3%)

Noltio hasn’t played a lot of minutes recently, having seemingly fallen out of favour since his GW5 red card. However, when given the opportunity, he has shown the attacking threat he poses. In his last 3 league starts, none of which he has played more than 77 minutes, he has managed a shot every 26.25 minutes and created a chance every 35 minutes. This is reasonable for a player without regular game time who has not been given an opportunity to find form. However, although the loss to Leicester was a disaster for Manchester City, it may have been positive for Nolito. After replacing Sergio Agüero up front in this match, Kelechi Iheanacho did not impress his manager, and was replaced by Sterling after 57 minutes. Then, with 23 minutes remaining, Nolito came on, playing in a ‘false 9’ position. In this short time, he really threatened the Foxes’ defence, registering 4 shots (all inside the box) and netting a consolation goal in the 90th minute. However, this goal and performance might have broader implications for Nolito, who has probably earned himself a start this GW, either at ‘false 9’ or on the wing. This will see the tricky Spaniard face a Watford rear-guard who have conceded 9 goals in their past 2 away games. Subsequently, although a large risk, I think that captaining Nolito could pay off brilliantly for those courageous enough.   

Islam Slimani vs Bournemouth (away) - £8.3 (TSB 0.9%)

Currently overshadowed by Jamie Vardy after his hat-trick vs Manchester City, Islam Slimani himself has been in good form. Despite registering 2 goals and 3 assists in his last 5 PL starts, Slimani has been somewhat forgotten by FPL managers. However, I think that this GW will be the one where he shows his quality. Regardless of the fact that he hasn’t netted in his past two games, Slimani really started to hit his straps in these matches, managing 7 shots and really troubling both defences. In particular, his performance against Manchester City was very promising. He had 4 shots, two of which were big chances, and also got 2 assists. As a result, Slimani clearly has the potential to build on this form and punish a Bournemouth backline who have shipped 3 goals in each of their last 3 games.

Dele Alli vs Hull (home) - £8.1 (TSB 5.1%)

In the same way as Kane, this home fixture promises well for Alli and the Tottenham team. Despite a struggle to decide between Alli and Eriksen, I have opted for Alli due to his more direct threat. In Tottenham’s last PL home game, which was a 5-0 drubbing of Swansea, Alli excelled. Although not netting a goal, he did register 5 shots (3 inside the box), 2 of which were clear cuts chances that were well saved by Fabianski. In addition, he provided 2 assists, setting up 5 chances. Furthermore, in the last Champions League group game against CSKA Moscow, Alli also showcased his immense threat at home. In this match, he pulled off 7 shots (all inside the box), 2 of which were clear cut chances, and he netted a goal. He also created 5 chances (2 clear cut). In comparison, the majority of Eriksen’s shots come from outside the box or from free kicks. Therefore, although Eriksen is an excellent option and player in his own right, I think that Dele Alli will exceed him this GW and provide a solid captaincy option for those looking for a differential.

Score Predictions

BOU 1 (Wilson) | LEI 3 (Slimani, Vardy, Mahrez)

EVE 0 | ARS 1 (Walcott)

MID 1 (Rhodes) | LIV 2 (Firmino, Origi)

SUN 0 | CHE 2 (Hazard, Costa)

WHU 1 (Antonio) | BUR 1 (Boyd)

CRY 0 | MUN 5 (Ibrahimović x2, Martial, Darmian, Lingard)

MCI 3 (Nolito x2, De Bruyne) | WAT 2 (Okaka, Pereyra)

TOT 4 (Kane x2, Alli, Alderweireld) | HUL 0

STK 0 | SOU 1 (Long)

WBA 2 (Rondón, Brunt) | SWA 1 (Sigurdsson)

So, here is the Star Picks XI for GW16

 If you have any questions about GW16 or need some advice on your team, please don’t hesitate to contact me on twitter – I’m happy to help.

For all the latest injury news, visit:

For all the latest team news, visit:

Enjoy this week’s Premier League action and good luck to all FPL managers for GW16.

By Sebastian Candido
(Twitter: @sebcandido)

Monday, 12 December 2016

Gameweek 15 Review: Is The Vardy Party Back On?

We miss Leicester City, don't we? Last season Jamie Vardy was the FPL striker to have. He scored 24 goals and laid on 6 assists. These are probably well-known facts to you Fantasy Avids out there, but can he return to the kind of form reached in his record-breaking 11-game goalscoring run? So far he has notched just 5 goals and 3 assists, including an uncharacteristic barren run of 10 games without a goal. He ended it on Saturday with a hattrick against Manchester City though.

Leicester City have already made the worst defence of a Premier League crown, losing 7 out of 15 games. This begs the question of whether we saw the best of Leicester and their prize assets last season. Riyad Mahrez stole the show. His 17 goals and 11 assists brought home 240 points over the season, the highest scorer in the game. Similar to Vardy, he has failed to get going, with 3 goals and 3 assists, so fantasy managers have learnt to avoided them.

The Foxes defence was of the meanest in the league last season. Wes Morgan and Robert Huth formed a solid partnership that kept 15 clean sheets, with Fuchs being their best FPL option in defence when he started to be deployed and their defence tightened and had a greater attacking influence from the left wing. So far they have only kept just three clean sheets.

It is not that that bad. At this stage last season Ranieri's men has also kept just 3 clean sheets and conceded 22 goals, just 3 less than they've conceded in the first 15 gameweeks of 2016/17. The issue has been goals. There is a huge difference in the number of goals scored, almost half the 32 they reached at this point.

Leicester won't win the league again, but they will give you a lot to think about over the proceeding Christmas period at much reduced prices than at the start of the season. The Christmas sale is on at the King Power!

Chelsea- The New Leicester

As mentioned last week, Diego Costa is outperforming Ibrahimovic and Aguero and every other striker in the Premier League. His consistency of returns has been scintillating, and with minimal misdemeanours. If he is not this season's Aguero, maybe he is this season's Vardy, as Chelsea have gone on a 9-game unbeaten run and have bulldozed into the early title ascendances with Costa's finishing and Hazard's creativity, along with other polished diamonds.

Eden Hazard has been brilliant without yet reaching his best, now back at his pre-season value of 10.5. FPL managers have a tough decision with Chelsea and Hazard. Is Costa enough Chelsea attacking coverage? Is Hazard just as worthy of signing? Will Hazard go on a Mahrez-esque run of double-figure hauls? Will he go back to an earlier draught of points? Are Pedro, Willian, Fabregas or even Alonso and Moses just as good in terms of FPL? It's enough to give you a heachache.

Written by Kyle Norbury

Stoke fan, football fan, fantasy football nerd

Follow on twitter: @SCFCNerd

Friday, 9 December 2016

Seb's GW15 Preview

Teams, Games and Players to Look Out For


Clearly, the most in form team in the Premier League is Chelsea. The table toppers have won eight matches on the trot, and there have been no signs that this form will change. In this eight game period, Chelsea have netted 22 goals, and conceded only 2, keeping 6 clean sheets. On the attacking front, Chelsea players have excelled over this eight game period. Diego Costa (6 goals & 4 assists), Eden Hazard (6 goals & 2 assists) and Pedro (3 goals & 4 assists) have all provided consistent hauls to their owners. For those looking for a budget option, wing back Victor Moses could be a viable option. Although listed as a midfielder, Moses still has the potential to bring home points despite his more defensive role. In this period, Moses has managed 13 shots (2 goals) and 8 shot assists (1 assist), which is actually more than attacking midfielders such as Pedro (12 shots), Mahrez (11 shots). Defensively, all Chelsea defenders offer exceptional clean sheet potential. However, the clear in form stand out option is Marcos Alonso. Alonso is arguably the most valuable FPL asset from the Chelsea team, and his introduction to the starting team coincided with the start of Chelsea’s current eight match unbeaten run. During this period, he has had 13 shots (1 goal) and 11 shot assists (2 assists). Although, his shot frequency (1 every 55.38 mins) is inferior to Moses’ 53.07, his superior creativity as well as the fact that he is classified as a defender makes him a near essential FPL asset. Furthermore, Chelsea’s next five fixtures (WBA, sun, cry, BOU, STK) are highly favourable, which heightens the appeal of all Chelsea players. Ideally, all FPL managers would love to have Alonso, Hazard and Costa in their teams. However, this may not be possible due to the form of other players such as the red hot Alexis Sanchez and Harry Kane. As a result, turning to players such as Moses and Pedro or Willian may become more common. Nevertheless, due to form, it is necessary to own at least one Chelsea player over their coming run of fixtures.


The history of matches can tell us a great deal of information. This is applicable to Arsenal vs Stoke this GW. Arsenal have won each of their last 14 home games against Stoke, keeping eight clean sheets along the way. Also, Stoke’s last away win at The Emirates came in the 1981/82 season, which highlights Arsenal dominance in this fixture. In fact, Arsenal have kept clean sheets in their past three meeting against Stoke. As a result, Laurent Koscielny, who has had three shots on target and 1 goal in his last two home games vs Stoke is a standout option this GW. On the attacking front, Arsenal players are also top options in GW15. In this fixture last season, Mesut Ozil created 8 chances (1 assist) and had a clear cut opportunity saved. Theo Walcott also excelled in this fixture last season, taking 8 shots (all inside the box) in which 5 were clear cut chances, and netting a goal. However, the main man in this fixture has been the currently in form Alexis Sanchez. In his past two home matches against Stoke, Sanchez has scored 2 goals and provided 1 assist, with a shot frequency of 1 every 14.5 minutes and a rate of 1 chance created every 34.8 minutes. Therefore, history suggest that Arsenal should beat Stoke comfortably, keeping a shut out in the process, which brings both defensive and attacking options from Arsenal into play.

Injuries and Player Availability

 Manchester City are the team that has been the hardest hit by injures and suspensions recently. Guardiola’s first choice centre back pairing of Kompany and Otadmendi has been torn apart, with Kompany (knee ligament injury – 02/01/2017) and Otamendi (5 yellow cards) both ruled out. Fernandinho, who has shielded the City back four so well this season, is also ruled out, having been handed a three game ban. Again, Sergio Aguero has been suspended, this time for four games for his horror tackle on David Luiz. Additionally, just to compound all these losses, Raheem Sterling is doubtful for the weekend, having picked up a knock against Burnely. Therefore, injuries to main players in key areas have weakened the already leaky City defence, and potentially lessened the potency of their attack.

Everton have been struck hard by injuries this week. First, Seamus Coleman was substituted with a shoulder injury and is now doubtful for the weekend. Then a minute later, Yannick Bolasie sustained a season ending injury, rupturing his ACL. These two right sided players are key to the Everton side, especially the attacking play. Four of Romelu Lukaku’s seven goals this season have been assisted by Bolasie, so the injury to the Congolese flyer will significantly reduce the appeal of Lukaku. Also, the appeal of Everton’s defence is also reduced without Coleman, who is ranked 11th amongst all players for average tackles per game.

Another team which has been impacted by injuries and suspensions is Watford. Like City, two of their key centre backs are injured, with Cathart ruled out and Kaboul doubtful. Additionally, right wing back Daryl Janmaat is also higly doubtful. This lessens the appeal of Watford defenders as they are now less likely to keep a clean sheet. Furthermore, Roberto Pereyra has been handed a one match ban after receiving a red card against West Brom. This diminishes the appeal of Troy Deeney, as he will not have a player with the creative skills such as Pereyra to provide him chances.

Finally, Liverpool have also been impacted by injuries. Philippe Coutinho is an obvious loss due to his form and talent. However, Liverpool do have other attacking players to fill the gap left by Coutinho. Despite a calf injury ruling Daniel Sturridge out, Klopp already has fit attacking players, Firmino, Origi, Lallana, Wijnaldum and Mané (recently passed fit after knock sustained vs Bournemouth) at his disposal. The biggest concern for Liverpool is the absence of Joel Matip, who has returned to training following his injury but may not be ready to start this weekend. In the three league games where Matip has not started this season, Liverpool have conceded 9 goals. In comparison, in the eleven games he has started, The Reds have conceded 9 goals. This indicates his immense importance to Liverpool and highlights how key a player he is to them. With Matip playing, the Liverpool defence is still not the tightest and doesn’t offer great clean sheet potential, but Lovren and Clyne are still viable options due to their price and attacking output. However, when Matip does not start, the Liverpool defence becomes diabolical. Despite the attacking talent Klopp’s side possesses, he cannot rely on outscoring the opposition to win every game, and a time will come when his side must defend to stay in the game. If this cannot be done, Liverpool may find themselves lower on the table than expected and not dominating games as they would like. Therefore, without Matip, the appeal of all Liverpool players is greatly reduced.

Potential Stand out Players

Alexis Sanchez vs Stoke (home) - £11.6 (TSB 31.4%)

To be fair to Stoke, their form has been quite solid as of late. However, I can’t look past Alexis Sanchez this week as one of the top captain picks. With 5 goals, 1 assist and 37 points in his last two matches, Sanchez is pretty much untouchable at the moment. Compound this with his history against Stoke (2 goals and 1 assist in his past two matches with a shot frequency of 1 every 14.5mins) and Arsenal’s record when taking on the Potters, Sanchez clearly has the potential to be a standout player this GW.

Eden Hazard vs West Brom (home) - £10.4 (TSB 36.9%)

I know that Hazard is an obvious pick, but there are few players with greater potential to stand out this GW. In his seven home appearances this season, Hazard has netted 6 of his 8 goals, and recorded a shot frequency of 1 every 23.6 minutes. Chelsea’s superb form boosts Hazard’s appeal this GW, as The Blues have scored 14 goals in their last 4 home games. Also, Chelsea have scored 5 goals in their past 2 games against West Brom, and 6 in their past 3 home clashes with The Baggies. Moreover, West Brom have not kept an away clean sheet since GW1, which further increases Hazard’s potential for points this GW.

Gylfi Sigurdsson vs Sunderland (home) - £7.4 (TSB 7.6%)

Although a differential, I believe that Sigurdsson has the potential to outperform some of the heavy hitters this GW. In Swansea’s last home game, they put 5 goals past Palace, and Sigurdsson netted a goal and provided an assist in this game. He also registered 7 shots. More broadly, 25/43 of Siggy’s shots have come at The Liberty this season, with a rate of 1 every 25.15 minutes. Now looking at his opposition in GW15, Sunderland have not kept an away clean sheet this season. Delving in Swansea’s history against The Black Cats, Swansea have scored 9 goals in their last 4 home games against Sunderland. Furthermore, in his two matches against Sunderland last season, Siggy managed 8 shots (1 every 22.5mins) and 6 shot assists. Therefore, Sigurdsson clearly has the potential to reward his owners greatly this GW.

Punt Picks

Victor Anichebe vs Swansea (away) - £4.7 (TSB 4.3%)

Despite Defoe’s record against Swansea (5 goals in past 3), I’m backing Victor Anichebe to score more points this GW. This is due to his exceptional underlying stats. Taking Sunderland’s 2-0 loss to Liverpool at Anfield where Moyes instructed his side to “park the bus” out of the picture, Anichebe has excelled since being instated into the first team four games ago. Of his 15 shots in these three games (1 every 24mins), 11 of them have come inside the box. He has also netted 2 goals and registered an assist. This highlights the clear attacking threat Anichebe possesses, and he should be able to exploit a Swansea defence which has conceded a league high 31 goals, including 9 in their past two games.

Christian Benteke vs Hull (away) - £7.6 (TSB 7.8%)

With 4 goals and 1 assist in his last 4 games, Christian Benteke has the potential to excel this GW. In addition to his goal scoring form in his last 4 games, his overall form is evidenced in his underlying stats, where he has registered 13 shots (1 every 26.9mins), 12 of which came from inside the box. Although Hull are not in the worst form, they still have a leaky defence, and expect Benteke to get the better of them this GW.

Divock Origi vs West Ham (home) - £6.6 (TSB 3.0%)

Despite the limited statistical data available backing this selection due to Origi’s limited game time, I believe that he could be a solid sneaky differential captain pick this GW. In his two league games this season where he has had enough time to make an impact, he has done so, netting 2 goals and picking up 2 bonus points. He has also scored 2 goals in his 3 starts for The Reds in the EFL Cup this season. Origi’s appeal is heightened by the creative players around him, with Firmino, Lallana, Wijnaldum and Henderson all capable of finding a pass to unlock a defence, in which Origi is capable of capitalising on due to his pace and finishing. Furthermore, Origi is also a solid captain pick due to the opposition he will face. West Ham have an extremely leaky defence, who have shipped 9 goals in their past two games in all competitions. However, this Origi option does have a slight element of risk. With Lallana sitting on the bench, he will want to force his way back into the starting side, and if this occurs, Origi may be the one to miss out, with Wijnaldum shifting to the left wing and Firmino moving back to centre forward. Nevertheless, Origi’s potential outweighs this risk, and he will definitely be wanting to make it three goals in three games this GW.  

Score Predictions

WAT 1 (Amrabat) | EVE 0

ARS 3 (Walcott x2, Sanchez) | STK 0

BUR 1 (Gray) | BOU 1 (Wilson)

HUL 1 (Snodgrass) | CRY 2 (Townsend, Benteke)

SWA 2 (Sigurdsson, Barrow) | SUN 4 (Anichebe x2, Defoe x2)

LEI 1 (Slimani) | MCI 1 (De Bruyne)

CHE 4 (Costa, Hazard, Pedro, Moses) | WBA 0

MUN 1 (Ibrahimovic) | TOT 1 (Alli)

SOU 2 (Redmond, Van Dijk) | MID 2 (Fischer x2)

LIV 3 (Mane, Origi, Firmino) | WHU 1 (Carroll)

So, with all this being said, here is the Star Picks XI for GW15

 If you have any questions about GW15 or need some advice on your team, please don’t hesitate to contact me on twitter – I’m happy to help.

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Enjoy this week’s Premier League action and good luck to all FPL managers for GW15.

By Sebastian Candido
(Twitter: @sebcandido)