With the strange situation of both Everton and Arsenal being under caretaker managers for one last match, the early Gameweek 18 kick-off is more so about the players impressing real-life bosses rather than Fantasy ones.
Carlo Ancelotti – announced as Everton’s new boss just before the 11.30am team news – and Mikel Arteta will both assess their soon-to-be squads at Goodison Park this afternoon.
The Toffees welcome back Lucas Digne (£5.7m), Djibril Sidibe (£5.3m), Fabian Delph (£5.3m) and Gylfi Sigurdsson (£7.4m) from a range of injuries and illness.
Richarlison (£7.9m), brought in by nearly 150,000 managers for GW18, is named to start for a wide-left attacking position. If the Brazilian does remain in that berth for 90 minutes, it could be a clue as to how Ancelotti plans to use Everton’s top scorer.
Digne is actually the most-selected FPL asset in Everton’s squad at 11.4%. Owners and potential investors will be looking for the Frenchman to return to the creative ways that saw him become an extremely popular asset last season.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£10.8m) again leads the line for Arsenal, with Alexandre Lacazette (£9.3m) benched for the third league game in a row.
Sead Kolasinac (£5.2m) is set to miss the Christmas period with an ankle problem, while Kieran Tierney (£5.4m) is out until March with a shoulder injury. FPL midfielder Bukayo Saka (£4.5m) looks set to operate at left-back, which will pit him against ex-Arsenal man Alex Iwobi (£5.6m).
More young Gunners in the shape of Reiss Nelson (£5.3m) and Emile Smith-Rowe (unlisted) also start in attacking midfield for Freddie Ljungberg, while budget forward Gabriel Martinelli (£4.5m) could be one to monitor for FPL bosses using a 3-5-2 formation.
Everton XI: Pickford; Digne, Mina, Holgate, Sidibe; Delph, Davies; Richarlison, Sigurdsson, Iwobi; Calvert-Lewin.
Arsenal XI: Leno; Saka, David Luiz, Chambers, Maitland-Niles; Xhaka, Torreira; Martinelli, Smith-Rowe, Nelson; Aubameyang.
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