For those of a superstitious nature, week 13 must be a real nightmare. The writing is on the wall. For the rest of us, every FPL week is a nightmare. Take week 12 for example. I scored 65, which beat the average of 56. Good, right? Nope, that was only enough to see me drop over 20,000 places to 82,440th. Brilliant. After all of captain Salah’s good work. So how do we overcome this? Well, I’m writing this preview on Wednesday night, which probably isn’t a good start…
The main event this weekend is definitely Liverpool vs Chelsea. I’m hoping the main man Mo Salah has a point to prove against a team who barely utilised him, but as the evidence of Wednesday showed once again that Liverpool just can’t defend, which has got to be good news for Hazard, Morata and anyone else in blue. Earlier on Saturday, we have Man Utd vs Brighton. Paul Pogba returned with aplomb last weekend and is valued at just £8m, and of course Romelu Lukaku ended his goal drought. With Ibrahimovic slowly approaching fitness it’ll be interesting to see how his minutes are managed, with the Belgian getting the full 90 on Wednesday night whilst Ibrahimovic got another 15 minutes under his belt. One to keep an eye on. Spurs meanwhile welcome Gary Megson’s West Brom to Wembley. I’m sick of Harry Kane blanking at Wembley but surely he’ll score against Megson’s forlorn side? Right? I don’t know if I have the stomach to go through another Kane blank.
Into Sunday and Arsenal travel to the impressive Burnley. It’s a real watershed match for Burnley, who have been an excellent source of clean sheets all season, whereas Arsenal enjoyed a return to form against Tottenham last weekend. Sean Dyche has had Burnley extremely well organised but that will come under extreme scrutiny against Ozil, Sanchez and Lacazette. Speaking of extreme scrutiny, the final game of the weekend will see Huddersfield host Man City. It hardly seems fair given their respective budgets and a few weeks ago this might have been more of a game but dare I say it, it seems Huddersfield have been figured out and I expect Man City to rack up a heavy win. As usual though, the questions will be over Pep’s team sheet. Leroy Sane and David Silva had the night off, so they are near certainties, as is De Bruyne after his withdrawal on 64 minutes. Sergio Aguero played the full 90 whereas Gabriel Jesus got the last 25 – there’s another round of league matches next midweek so I think Jesus will start this one with Aguero coming in on Wednesday.
Crystal Palace continue to have a decent run of fixtures, with Stoke visiting Selhurst this weekend. Zaha once again showed his value at just £6.8m but I already beat the Palace drum last week and my position is unchanged. Bournemouth are coming into a bit of form, and Callum Wilson is in great form after his hat-trick last week. He’s only £6m, whilst Andrew Surman at £4.7m has been an unlikely source of points if you want some bargain entrants to your midfield. West Brom and Everton are under caretaker management now, but after this weekend they have back to back home games which could offer a nice start for any new manager who takes charge.
The dreaded Friday Night Football is back and once again we’re off to the London stadium, this time for Leicester’s visit. More importantly, that means the FPL deadline is 7pm on Friday, so get those changes locked in before then. As mentioned earlier, there’s another round of Premier League fixtures on Tuesday and Wednesday next week, so look out for any rotation issues that may crop up. The schedule between now and the new year is hideous, unless you’re a fan of course in which case it’s awesome.
With Man Utd & Spurs having decent looking home games, you’d have to consider Lukaku and Kane as leading contenders. You can add Pogba and Eriksen to that list if you’re looking at a differential, though Eriksen’s club form has dipped slightly in recent weeks. It’s also impossible to ignore Man City’s credentials away at Huddersfield, but you’re basically rolling the dice as to who will play with fixtures in such close proximity. I’d say Sane is a definite unless he’s picked up an injury, he’s probably as good a pick as anyone. If you want a more random pick, I’d be tempted to go with Zaha. He seems to score everytime he’s on the pitch and I can’t see Stoke stopping him.
My team is looking ok, I’m actually looking at playing my bench boost but Mbemba hasn’t played for weeks, so I’d ahve to replace him to make it worthwhile. He’s really cheap too. So many of my players are at home though, I feel it’s a risk leaving out say Mee or Brady as I’m just not sure how Burnley are going to do against Arsenal. We’ll figure it out.
De Gea, Fernandez, Monreal, Cedric, Salah, Eriksen, Brady, McArthur, Vardy, Lukaku, Kane. Subs: Elliot, Mee, Milivojevic, Mbemba
As ever, I wish you luck with your gameweek and may all your arrows be green. Toodles!