Don’t move from the sofa! Before the dust has had a chance to settle on Gameweek 19, Gameweek 20 is upon us. And with most teams having less than 48-hours rest between matches, Fantasy Premier League managers prepare themselves for rotation and unfamiliar starting XIs.
Gameweek 20 also marks the halfway point in the season. And in what has been a topsy-turvy year for many, ranks remain tightly packed – less than a hundred points separates the top 100k from the top million, and there’s 135 points between the top 1million and the top 10,000. With 19 Gameweeks to go there’s all to play for.
The tight turnaround presents an opportunity for FPL bosses. Predicted Line-Ups will be of particular interest, while Fantasy Football Scout’s Captain Sensible and Scout Picks will help with the all-important armband and transfer decisions.
What’s more, managers have just been handed their first Double Gameweek of the season. Liverpool and West Ham’s postponed Gameweek 18 encounter has been rearranged for Gameweek 24, giving both teams two matches instead of one in that particular round of fixtures.
Typing faster than a seven-year-old unwraps Christmas presents, Neale examined the implications for Fantasy bosses. He noted that it’s the first-ever Double Gameweek for Mohamed Salah and perhaps an opportunity to deploy the Triple Captain chip. That 135-point gap will be bridged in no time.
The Egypt international currently leads the captain poll for Gameweek 20. Ahead of Sunday’s match at Anfield, Liverpool have been afforded 24 hours more rest than their opponents Wolves. And how will last night’s dramatic second-half comeback against Manchester City affect Nuno Espírito Santo’s men?
Earlier this month the Wolves boss described his team’s schedule as “crazy”, “absurd” and “not human”. So despite very little rotation so far, changes would seem likely. Meanwhile counterpart Jurgen Klopp had this to say following his side’s comprehensive win over Leicester City:
Fresh legs always helped us now since we changed a little bit more frequently. Like in the Everton game in the league, for example, we made five changes and they were absolutely necessary on one side but really impressive performance-wise. So, we will do that as well now, of course, we have to and we will. That’s how it is. We have four more adult players [to rotate]… for the others it will still take a while, so that’s our squad and we have to deal with it as good as possible.– Jurgen Klopp
The good news for Salah owners is that he was withdrawn early on Thursday and could therefore be less at risk of rotation. The Egyptian was also very unlucky to blank at the King Power.
Kevin De Bruyne performs well in a number of categories and, like Salah, was withdrawn early in Gameweek 19. With Guardiola confirming after the game that his substitution was made with Gameweek 20 in mind. Manchester City top the latest DS stats, fixtures and clean sheet odds provided by G-Whizz.
As Andy noted in his Gameweek 20 Q&A video, players rested in Gameweek 19 would seem more assured of a start this weekend. Danny Ings is one such player, and the in-form Southampton forward is expected to return to the starting XI for this afternoon’s match against Crystal Palace.
He also fancies Christian Pulisic to return to the Chelsea side and urges managers to keep faith with Tammy Abraham. He reasons that new Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta won’t have had enough time to improve their defence significantly. Only three teams this season have conceded more goals at home than the Gunners.
Manchester United fan Andy offered his thoughts on Paul Pogba. An injury to Scott McTominay could see the Frenchman occupy a deeper role and with Marcus Rashford seemingly on penalties, Andy feels Anthony Martial is the midfielder of choice.
Elsewhere an injury concern for Dele Alli means the Spurs midfielder is a doubt for the trip to Norwich. He’s not included in Neale’s predicted line-up and is replaced by Lucas Moura in the Scout Picks.
Jamie Vardy does, however, make the Scout selection despite not being included in the predicted starting XI. He has form and an enticing fixture in his favour although, as Pro Pundit Holly points out in her hot topic, manager Brendan Rodgers confirmed there will be rotation for West Ham.
Finally, following his impressive 24-point haul in Gameweek 19, Andy asked whether we should bring Trent Alexander-Arnold straight back in. However the Liverpool full-back is still at risk of suspension – currently on four yellow cards, a booking against Wolves would see him miss Gameweek 21.
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Best of luck for Gameweek 20!
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