The Watchlist Updated – The Midfield

After taking a detailed look at the latest movements among the goalkeepers and defenders in our Watchlist rankings over the past few days, we now consider the options in midfield.

The Watchlist is designed to offer a view on our current mid-term player recommendations, based on the prospects spanning the next four-to-six Gameweeks.

You will find our current Watchlist standings in your right-hand menu on desktop and mobile.

The big movers in our latest update are the in-form Tottenham Hotspur duo Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen.

Eriksen has averaged an impressive 9.25 points per game (ppg) over the last eight Gameweeks, while Alli has spiked more recently, serving up 13.25 ppg over the previous four.

The Dane’s consistency over a longer period gives him the slightest of edges for the time being, as do his set-piece duties, although Alli looks irrepressible at the moment, and offers the greater close-range goal threat.

There is also next to nothing to choose between the pair in terms of price now, with Alli having risen to 8.5 Fantasy Premier League (FPL) this week, 0.1 less than his team-mate.

If you’re deployed a 3-5-2 set-up in Fantasy Premier League, it’s difficult to build a case for not acquiring both and therefore overlooking Harry Kane as an option in attack.

If you have the budget for just four high-priced midfield assets, the choice is more difficult, with Eriksen our preferred option for mid-to-long term output.

However, given Alli’s explosive form and Spurs’ confidence, even with four slots available, they still warrant major consideration as a pair.

Our members can get a more detailed breakdown of both players via our latest Versus article here.

Under pressure from the clamour for the Spurs double-act, Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez and Chelsea’s Eden Hazard are now barely clinging to the top spots in our rankings as our choice heavy-hitters.

Sanchez has failed to register a double-digit haul since his incredible 23-point effort against West Ham United in Gameweek 14, which has certainly raised questions on his current standing.

His drop off in production has coincided with the return of Olivier Giroud to the Gunners starting XI, seeing the former Barcelona player forced back onto the left wing.

While the underlying statistics remain impressive, his 36.5% FPL ownership will need to see that translates into more substantial point hauls in favourable match-ups against Swansea City, Burnley, Watford and Hull City in the next five.

Hazard has also been struggling of late, managing just one double-figure score in his last nine appearances.

Matches against Leicester City and Hull City in the short-term appear ideal to turn things around, but the Belgian does look very vulnerable, with the Spurs duo, along with a returning Philippe Coutinho, all offering strong alternatives at a cheaper price.

We’re sticking with Adam Lallana as our favoured Liverpool option until we see Coutinho back in action, though, with the England international registering an impressive four goals and two assists in his last six outings.

Available at 7.7 in FPL, Lallana still offers fantastic value, although Coutinho – who is now down to 8.2 and back in full training – looks poised for a return to our radars if he can hit the ground running following his ankle injury.

Two budget midfielders in West Bromwich Albion’s Matt Phillips and Bournemouth’s Junior Stanislas both enjoy significant rises to around halfway up our ladder.

Philips has totalled four goals and seven assists over his last 10 appearances and has only blanked in two matches over that period, against Chelsea and Man United.

With the Baggies upcoming schedule very favourable following the Gameweek 21 trip to White Hart Lane (SUN, mid, STO, whm, BOU), the 5.7-priced Phillips looks certain to see 16.9% ownership continue to rise at a rapid rate.

While Stanislas hasn’t reached those levels in recent times, the Bournemouth midfielder did register two double-digit hauls earlier in the season, and has produced assists in each of his last two matches following a spell on the sidelines through injury.

The Cherries face a very enticing run of fixtures (hul, WAT, CPL) in the short term, so Stanislas, who only sets us back 5.1 in FPL, is another viable budget option for us to consider.

Hull City’s Robert Snodgrass also makes a strong case for consideration in the cut-price category and enjoys a slight bump up our standings, having returned to form to register 20 points over the last two Gameweeks.

However, the Tigers face a very difficult upcoming schedule (che, mun, LIV, ars) following the home clash against Bournemouth in Gameweek 21, so there’s every chance the 132,000+ FPL bosses who have drafted the Scot in this week may have to show patience.

Heading in the opposite direction are mid-price options Theo Walcott and Gylfi Sigurdsson.

Walcott has missed Arsenal’s last three matches with a calf injury, but with Arsene Wenger stating the wide man is close to a comeback, he may be fit to return for the Gunners trip to Swansea in Gameweek 21.

The landscape of the Arsenal attack has changed since Walcott picked up his injury, though, with Giroud now leading the line.

That puts a bit of a squeeze on the attacking midfield positions, then, with Alex Iwobi, Lucas Perez, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Aaron Ramsey all capable of playing in Walcott’s usual position on the right wing.

Walcott’s form so far this season, having scored eight goals and registered three assists suggests the Gunners boss will find a spot for him in the starting XI more often than not, though.

Sigurdsson earned plenty of investment heading into the festive period ahead of a hugely inviting schedule. However, the Swansea City midfielder has delivered just a single assist in his last five matches.

While he will be integral to any hopes of survival under new manager Paul Clement, Sigurdsson will have to overcome testing fixtures to produce (ARS, liv, SOT, mci, LEI, che).

In a five-man midfield, there is perhaps room to wait on Clement’s impact before selling on. In a four-man set-up, it’s far more difficult to show that level of patience given the options available elsewhere.

Now the designated penalty taker for Manchester City, Yaya Toure has earned a further revival in our reckoning. With Kevin De Bruyne struggling to justify his lofty price tag and Raheem Sterling showing promise without returns, Toure has now edged his way into our affections.

Priced at just 7.3 and with a paltry 3.6% FPL ownership, it’s a close call with Sterling with the spot-kicks currently weighting the argument in favour of the Ivorian. A burst of form from Sterling would undoubtedly re-address matters, however.

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591 Comments Post a Comment
  1. sunrisewoodson
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    1 year, 3 months ago

    What do you guys see as the difference between Stanislas and Fraser? Will Fraser's minutes continue to increase?

    With that, my main question is Stanislas/Pieters or Fabio or Fraser/Pieters or McAuley?

    Only downside to McAuley potentially, is that I already have Brunt and Phillips.

    I appreciate any input received.

  2. ybalogs
      1 year, 3 months ago

      Learnt Payet is on strike now and will most likely not make Match day squad on Saturday.Any viable alternative?

      1. Netley Lucas
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        1 year, 3 months ago

        Crikey there's loads, what's your team?

    • The Overthinker - Emre Cana…
        1 year, 3 months ago

        Considering Fraser over Stan just to be differential .
        Fingers crossed

      • La Roja
          1 year, 3 months ago

          People in UK, whereabouts are you now and how's the weather?

          1. Netley Lucas
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            1 year, 3 months ago

            Lancaster, beautiful day here, sunny, dry, yeah very nice.

        • ybalogs
            1 year, 3 months ago

            Giroud,Kane and Negredo