Team News

Lineup Lessons – Gameweek 17 – Part Two

Raheem Sterling drops to the City bench as Manuel Pellegrini starts with a 4-3-3 at the Emirates. Sam Allardyce continues to tinker with Sunderland’s formation, whilst Alan Curtis trials a midfield diamond for Swansea’s clash with West Ham.

After rolling out Part One yesterday, we now turn our attentions to the remaining ten Premier League sides to review the personal, formations and changes made, whilst speculating on the likely Gameweek 18 lineups…

Arsenal

Starting XI: Cech; Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal; Ramsey, Flamini; Campbell (Gibbs 70), Ozil (Oxlade-Chamberlain 76), Walcott (Chambers 88); Giroud.

  • Arsene Wenger named an unchanged starting XI for the home clash against Man City from the side that beat Aston Villa 2-0 last time out.
  • Wenger stuck with his favoured 4-2-3-1 formation, with Theo Walcott once again stationed on the left of the three attacking midfield positions. Joel Campbell continued on the opposite flank.
  • Campbell was replaced by Kieran Gibbs in a straight swap. Ozil had been suffering with illness during the week, and was given a breather with 15 minutes to go, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain taking his place. Calum Chambers was once again brought on to help see out the match, taking the place of Walcott.
  • Oxlade-Chamberlain offers an alternative out wide but, given the impressive nature of the victory, Wenger could well name an unchanged side once again when the Gunners travel to Southampton on Boxing Day. Rotating the in-form Olivier Giroud also seems unlikely if he is fully fit following a physical clash against City.

Current Status: Fairly Settled
Risk Areas: Flanks, Central Striker

 

Man City

Starting XI: Hart; Sagna, Otamendi, Mangala, Kolarov; Fernandinho, Toure; Delph (Sterling 46), Silva (Jesus Navas 73), de Bruyne; Aguero (Bony 63).

  • Manuel Pellegrini made four changes from the side that beat Swansea 2-1 for the trip to the Emirates, with Aleksandar Kolarov, Fabian Delph, Kevin de Bruyne and Sergio Aguero coming in for Gael Clichy, Jesus Navas, Raheem Sterling and Wilfried Bony.
  • Pellegrini opted for a 4-3-3 formation, with Delph starting alongside Fernandinho and Yaya Toure in midfield. David Silva (left) and De Bruyne (right) flanked central striker Aguero. Kolarov slotted in at left-back for the Citizens.
  • Delph was taken off after half-time following an ineffective performance, with Sterling taking his place. That meant a return to the 4-2-3-1 formation, with Sterling on the left and Silva in the number ten role. Aguero lasted just over an hour on his return to first-team action, with Bony coming on in a straight swap. Pellegrini’s final change saw Navas replace Silva, with De Bruyne switching to the left to accommodate the former Sevilla winger on the right.
  • Having got an hour under his belt, Aguero appears likely to lead the line against Sunderland on Boxing Day. Sterling should earn a recall to the starting XI, with Delph the obvious candidate to make way, with a return to the 4-2-3-1 formation expected. Clichy could come in at the expense of Kolarov at left-back, while Martin Demichelis offers another option at centre-back.

Current Status: Very Unsettled
Risk Areas: Left-Back, Central Defence, Flanks

 

Southampton

Starting XI: Gazzaniga; Bertrand, van Dijk, Fonte, Soares; Clasie (Ward-Prowse 79), Wanyama; Tadic (Juanmi, 64), Davis (Long 64) Mane; Pelle.

  • Ronald Koeman made three alterations from the side that lost 1-0 to Crystal Palace, with Jordy Clasie, Dusan Tadic and Graziano Pelle coming in for Maya Yoshida, Oriol Romeu and Shane Long.
  • Having played with a 3-4-1-2 system against Palace, Koeman reverted back to the 4-2-3-1 formation for the home clash against Tottenham. Clasie slotted in next to Victor Wanyama in the double-pivot, while Tadic was stationed on the left of the three attacking midfield players. Pelle started as the lone striker.
  • With the Saints trailing 2-0, the Dutch boss introduced Juanmi and Long for Tadic and Davis in an attempt to get back into the match. His final change saw James Ward-Prowse come on for Clasie in a straight swap.
  • Soares got the nod at right-back this time, but after another poor performance, that position remains a huge problem for Koeman, with Yoshida having also been at fault for a couple of goals this season. Clasie earned a recall against Spurs, but doesn’t look sure of holding down that position, with Ward-Prowse, Romeu and Davis all offering alternatives. Long and Juanmi provide different options in the front four. Maarten Stekelenburg has recovered from a toe injury and should return in goal against Arsenal on Boxing Day.

Current Status: Unsettled
Risk Areas: Right-Back, Central Midfield, Flanks

 

Stoke

Starting XI: Butland; Johnson, Shawcross, Wollscheid, Pieters; Van Ginkel (Adam 75), Whelan (Walters 65); Shaqiri, Afellay, Arnautovic; Bojan.

  • Mark Hughes only made one change for the home clash against Crystal Palace, with Xherdan Shaqiri returning to the starting XI in place of the injured Geoff Cameron.
  • The Welsh boss reverted back to the 4-2-3-1 formation against the Eagles, with Shaqiri slotting in on the right of the three attacking midfield positions. Ibrahim Afellay operated in the central attacking midfield position, with Marko Arnautovic on the left. Bojan was the lone striker for the Potters.
  • Hughes’ first change saw Jon Walters replace Glenn Whelan, with the Republic of Ireland international taking over the lone striker position from Bojan, who dropped back into the number ten role. That meant Afellay dropped in alongside Marco van Ginkel in the double-pivot. The Chelsea loanee was replaced shortly after, though, with Charlie Adam coming on in a straight swap.
  • Cameron is set to miss out against United due to his hamstring problem and although Whelan and Van Ginkel look the favoured pair to start, Adam may yet earn a recall. Bojan could perhaps start in the number ten role, with Walters earning a recall in attack, with Afellay perhaps at risk of being dropped.

Current Status: Fairly Settled
Risk Areas: Central Midfield, Attacking Midfield, Central Striker

Sunderland

Starting XI: Pantilimon; Coates (Johnson 23), O’Shea, Kaboul; Jones, M’Vila, Rodwell, Van Aanholt; Toivonen (Borini 46); Watmore (Graham 79), Defoe.

  • Sam Allardyce made three alterations for the trip to Stamford Bridge, with Younes Kaboul, Jack Rodwell and Jermain Defoe coming in for DeAndre Yedlin, Fabio Borini and Steven Fletcher.
  • Big Sam went with a 3-5-2 formation against the champions, with Yann M’Vila, Rodwell and Ola Toivonen starting in central midfield. Billy Jones and Patrick van Aanholt occupied the wing-back positions, with Sebastian Coates, John O’Shea and Kaboul forming the back three. Duncan Watmore partnered Defoe in attack.
  • Coates was replaced after just 23 minutes in a tactical change with the Black Cats already 2-0 down. Adam Johnson entered the fray, with the England international stationed in a central attacking midfield role, meaning a shift to more of a 4-3-1-2 formation. Allardyce’s second change saw Borini come on for Toivonen at half-time, leading to another shift in formation to a 4-2-3-1 system, with the Italian stationed out wide on the left, with Watmore on the opposite flank. The final substitution saw Danny Graham come on for Watmore with 10 minutes remaining.
  • With Allardyce continuing to make major tactical changes during matches, there is little certainty over how is side will line up when they take on Man City on Saturday. Borini could come back into the starting XI after finding the back of the net. Rodwell will miss the clash against his former club due to suspension, so that does free up a spot in midfield. Yedlin, Jordi Gomez and Fletcher could also all come back into contention.

Current Status: Very Unsettled
Risk Areas: Right-Back, Central Midfield, Flanks, Strikers

 

Swansea

Starting XI: Fabianski; Rangel (Naughton 69), Fernandez, Williams, Taylor; Cork (Shelvey 73), Britton, Ki Sung-yeung; Sigurdsson, Gomis, Ayew (Barrow 82).

  • Caretaker manager Alan Curtis only made one adjustment from the starting XI that lost 2-1 to Man City, with Bafetimbi Gomis recalled in place of the injured Wayne Routledge.
  • Curtis opted for a slight change in formation from the 4-3-3 system used at the Etihad, deciding upon a midfield diamond. Leon Britton played at the base of the diamond, with Ki (left) and Jack Cork (right) on either side and Gylfi Sigurdsson at the tip. Andre Ayew partnered Gomis in attack.
  • Angel Rangel pulled up in the second-half with what looked to be a hamstring injury, and was replaced by Kyle Naughton. Jonjo Shelvey then returned to action following a recent calf injury in place of Cork, with Curtis throwing on Modou Barrow in hope of that elusive winning goal, with Ayew making way.
  • With the Swans still continuing their search for a new manager, there’s still some uncertainty over how the side will line up against West Brom. It’s looking more likely that Curtis will be in charge once again, in which case changes could be at a minimum. Rangel is a doubt, so Naughton appears likely to come back into the starting XI, while Shelvey could earn a recall in place of Cork or Ki as a more attacking option in midfield. Should Wayne Routledge recover from a minor knee problem, he or Jefferson Montero could come into the equation if Curtis opts for a change in formation.

Current Status: Very Unsettled
Risk Areas: All Positions

 

Tottenham

Starting XI: Lloris; Davies, Vertonghen, Alderweireld, Walker; Dembele, Dier; Eriksen (Chadli 86), Alli (Carroll, 79), Lamela; Kane (Heung-Min Son 89).

  • Mauricio Pochettino only made two changes from the team that drew 0-0 against Chelsea, with the fit-again Mousa Dembele replacing Tom Carroll, while Ben Davies came in for the ill Danny Rose.
  • Spurs lined up in their usual 4-2-3-1 formation, with Dembele slotting in alongside Eric Dier in the double-pivot. Davies started at left-back in Rose’s absence.
  • Having picked up a yellow card and with a healthy 2-0 lead, Pochettino decided to take off Dele Alli, with Carroll taking his place with 10 minutes remaining. Nacer Chadli and Heung-Min Son also entered the fray late on, with Harry Kane coming off as a precaution at St Mary’s.
  • Should Rose fail to recover from illness to take on Norwich on Boxing Day, Davies should keep his place at left-back. Chadli and Heung-Min Son provide alternatives out wide, but after an impressive team display, they may perhaps be utilised in other fixtures during the Christmas period.

Current Status: Settled
Risk Areas: Left-Back, Flanks

 

Watford

Starting XI: Gomes; Nyom, Britos, Cathcart, Ake; Abdi (Behrami 79), Watson, Capoue, Jurado (Anya 76); Deeney, Ighalo (Guedioura 88).

  • Quique Sanchez Flores unsurprisingly named an unchanged side from the one that beat Sunderland 1-0.
  • With the Hornets on the front foot for much of the match, Troy Deeney played right up alongside Odion Ighalo, with the Watford formation more of a rigid 4-4-2 than the usual 4-2-3-1 formation this week.
  • All three of Flores’ substitutions were more about introducing fresh legs, with Ikechi Anya, Valon Behrami and Adlene Guedioura taking the places of Jurado, Almen Abdi and Ighalo respectively.
  • Flores has admitted he will rotate over the festive period, but with six days between matches, and after such an emphatic victory, that may come in fixtures further down the line. Behrami offers an alternative to Ben Watson in central midfield, while Anya could challenge Abdi and Jurado for a place out wide. Ake cannot play against parent club Chelsea this weekend due to the conditions of his loan deal.

Current Status: Settled
Risk Areas: Flanks

 

West Brom

Starting XI: Myhill; Dawson, McAuley, Olsson, Brunt (Lambert 74); Evans, Fletcher (Berahino 90); Gardner, Morrison (Sessegnon 46), McClean; Rondon.

  • Tony Pulis named an unchanged side from the one that drew 2-2 against Liverpool at Anfield.
  • With Claudio Yacob again unavailable due to personal reasons, Pulis kept faith in the 4-1-4-1 formation, with Jonny Evans sat in front of the back four.
  • Following James McClean’s sending off after 34 minutes, Pulis made a change at the break, with Stephane Sessegnon coming on for James Morrison. The formation resembled something of a 3-5-1 system, with Evans dropping back to central defence alongside Gareth McAuley and Jonas Olsson, while Craig Dawson and Chris Brunt were playing as wing-backs. Sessegnon, Craig Gardner and Darren Fletcher operated in central midfield. Rickie Lambert was sent on for Brunt with 15 minutes remaining in a bold attacking move, while Saido Berahino was called upon in the dying moment in place of Fletcher.
  • With both McClean and Salomon Rondon now serving three-match bans following their dismissals, at least two changes will be made for the trip to Swansea on Boxing Day. Sessegnon could earn a recall out wide, while Berahino, Callum McManaman and Serge Gnabry offer alternative options. Berahino will also compete with Lambert and Victor Anichebe for the lone striker role for the Baggies. Yacob may still not be available, so Evans could continue in the defensive midfield role, meaning the back four may remain unchanged.

Current Status: Unsettled
Risk Areas: Central Defence, Central Midfield, Flanks, Central Striker

 

West Ham

Starting XI: Adrian; Tomkins, Collins, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Song (Obiang 72); Antonio (Jenkinson 85), Noble, Kouyate, Zarate (Valencia 60); Jelavic.

  • Slaven Bilic was forced into making one change for the trip to Swansea, with Nikica Jelavic coming in for the injured Andy Carroll.
  • Bilic went for a slightly different formation, deciding upon a 4-1-4-1 system. Alex Song was the defensive midfielder, with Mark Noble and Cheikhou Kouyate stationed just in front of the Cameroon international in central midfield. Michail Antonio (right) and Mauro Zarate (left) started on the flanks, with Jelavic the lone striker.
  • Zarate was the first man to be replaced, with Enner Valencia coming on in a straight swap. Pedro Obiang entered the fray with under 20 minutes left for Song, while Carl Jenkinson was brought on in the latter stages to ensure the Hammers held on for a point.
  • On the back of three successive clean sheets, changes at the back appear unlikely, particularly with Winston Reid not expected to return from his hamstring injury in time for the trip to Aston Villa on Boxing Day. Bilic also has few options further forward if he has the same squad available, with only Valencia perhaps a chance to start out wide in place of Zarate or Antonio, though he could also lead the line if Carroll misses out again.

Current Status: Fairly Settled
Risk Areas: Flanks, Central Striker

 

1,318 Comments Post a Comment
  1. LABILLETHEGOAT
    • 8 Years
    5 years, 8 months ago

    Guys I need some help. Who should I take benteke out for?
    A. Ighalo
    B. Kane
    C. Giroud

    Really don't know what to do, thanks.

    1. Pirlø's Pen
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      5 years, 8 months ago

      Giro

    2. Every Dog Has Its Day
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      5 years, 8 months ago

      A.

    3. Sylas
      • 5 Years
      5 years, 8 months ago

      B.

    4. Evasivo
      • 11 Years
      5 years, 8 months ago

      C

    5. Worzel Gummidge
      5 years, 8 months ago

      Not Ighalo until he proves it next 3.

    6. SLB_1904
      • 5 Years
      5 years, 8 months ago

      Ighalo's fixtures are mre complicated now, despite his good form. Go for Giroud

    7. Ben White saved my life
      • 7 Years
      5 years, 8 months ago

      C. Olivier on penos with goals handed on a plate by Mesut.

  2. Every Dog Has Its Day
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    5 years, 8 months ago

    I have Ivanovic so would it be logical to bench Ighalo and play Alli instead?

    1. Epic Fail ⚽ 墅
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      5 years, 8 months ago

      No

    2. Doosra - ☭A Noble Grape…
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      5 years, 8 months ago

      No.

    3. Evasivo
      • 11 Years
      5 years, 8 months ago

      Nooo

    4. Cpt Crunch Scott talent
      • 7 Years
      5 years, 8 months ago

      Nah, but I would not have Ivan for his defensive abilitys.

      1. AK ⭐
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        5 years, 8 months ago

        He has been decent now after his injury.

    5. AK ⭐
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      5 years, 8 months ago

      It doesn't matter who you own or not. That would have absolutely no impact on the actual game.

      Just play the ones you think will get points.

      1. TorresMagic™ - 6dcode
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • Has Moderation Rights
        • 12 Years
        5 years, 8 months ago

        Common sense isn't common.

    6. Ben White saved my life
      • 7 Years
      5 years, 8 months ago

      No imho, given Ighalos performance. If he wad Kun we'd all captain him. Rotations might save you the headache.

    7. Özilla Firefox
      • 5 Years
      5 years, 8 months ago

      I honestly think chelsea will tighten up Chelsea 0 Watford im playing alli benching iggy

  3. Tronity
    • 8 Years
    5 years, 8 months ago

    Last on last page!
    Do I bring in Dann or Kolarov for Darmian with a FT?

    1. Sylas
      • 5 Years
      5 years, 8 months ago

      Dann

    2. Evasivo
      • 11 Years
      5 years, 8 months ago

      Dann

    3. Swan - Villa Proud
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      5 years, 8 months ago

      Dann the man

  4. Dr Dream
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    5 years, 8 months ago

    Watford have just signed a new Argentinian striker on loan with a view to a 16 mill move next summer (SSN)....mmmmm....Interesting.

    1. Sjaugen
      • 6 Years
      5 years, 8 months ago

      Quick, have Bournemouth poach him. They need him more

    2. I Member
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      5 years, 8 months ago

      Not that interesting. Don't see how Iturbe gets into the team.

      1. Doosra - ☭A Noble Grape…
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        5 years, 8 months ago

        Pearl, the winger ... 😉

      2. Dr Dream
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        5 years, 8 months ago

        Well he can't can he unless...mmmm....Surely not

        1. Hakchak
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          5 years, 8 months ago

          He's gone to Bournemouth

        2. Doosra - ☭A Noble Grape…
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          5 years, 8 months ago

          He's a winger. Iturbe, that is.

          1. Ayew Serious
            • 6 Years
            5 years, 8 months ago

            He gets it ^^

    3. Ayew Serious
      • 6 Years
      5 years, 8 months ago

      He's a winger

  5. SLB_1904
    • 5 Years
    5 years, 8 months ago

    Cissokho back at Villa

    1. internal error
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      5 years, 8 months ago

      Sums up the situation when villa are so desperate to bring Cissokho back

  6. Flynny
    • 6 Years
    5 years, 8 months ago

    Hi all...2fts and 6m itb......Thoughts on vvd and Delofeou to dier and Ramsey?

    Team is below....what do u think...thanks
    Ddg
    Vvd kolarov Dawson Moreno oshea
    Ozil mahrez kdb Delofeou drinkwater
    Kane ighalo lukaku

    1. TorresMagic™ - 6dcode
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 12 Years
      5 years, 8 months ago

      2 good upgrades.

    2. SLB_1904
      • 5 Years
      5 years, 8 months ago

      Go for it

      1. Flynny
        • 6 Years
        5 years, 8 months ago

        Cheers....Will do it...

  7. FFS Ultras are for Kinnear
    • 8 Years
    5 years, 8 months ago

    My cup opponent has made 70 something transfers so far this season. Last week his transfers were to bring in Vardy and Mahrez. Unless he takes about 5 hits his squad is looking good for this week. Eek

    1. TorresMagic™ - 6dcode
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 12 Years
      5 years, 8 months ago

      If you win this GW, next GW your opponent will use bench boost.

  8. DA Minnion (Legendary manag…
    • 9 Years
    5 years, 8 months ago

    Exact money to do
    Hazard and kane to barkley and aguero for free
    Yes or no

    Would give me
    De gea
    Azpi kolarov Toby
    Sterling barkley ozil mahrez
    Aguero(c ) vardy lukaku

    Moreno Dawson Westwood

    1. Ben White saved my life
      • 7 Years
      5 years, 8 months ago

      No, good team. Just bin Haz for someone.

    2. Evasivo
      • 11 Years
      5 years, 8 months ago

      I prefer Barkley and giroud tbh

  9. Grounderz
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    5 years, 8 months ago

    Piers Morgan ‏@piersmorgan 15m15 minutes ago
    Damn.
    Looks like Louis van Gaal's getting sacked tonight.

  10. New Post
  11. Greenbackbøøg…
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    5 years, 8 months ago

    From a 20 million euro move to Roma to going on loan to Bournemouth, things haven't really worked out for poor Iturbe

  12. Artorias
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    5 years, 8 months ago

    Mane to

    A. Ramsey
    B. Yaya
    C. Walcott
    D.Bolasie

    Front 8
    Mane Ozil Wijnaldum Alli Mahrez
    Lukaku Aguero Kane

  13. onetowatch
    • 10 Years
    5 years, 8 months ago

    Ddg
    Bellarin Dawson Francis dier Moreno
    KDB ozil mane mahrez hazard
    Vardy ighalo lukalu

    No FTs

    a) do nothing
    B) mane to alli
    C) hazard to alli
    D) something else.

  14. There's Always One!
    • 11 Years
    5 years, 8 months ago

    Walker or Dier?

    1. OLB
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      5 years, 8 months ago

      Walker