Gameweek 21 must be the easiest deadline of the season to miss. Coming, as it does, after the biggest party of the year. For those of you nursing New Year’s Eve hangovers, congratulations if you are reading this before the 11:30 GMT deadline. You’ve done your FPL team proud.
For others stumbling in a little later you may want to skip the insightful debate and compelling statistics contained within, and head straight to David Wardale’s Fantasy Premier League assets of the decade.
In his entertaining review, the author of “Wasting Your Wildcard” looks back on the achievements of FPL luminaries Aguero, Baines, and Suarez as well as some less fondly-remembered players. Find out which forward reminded us to “never trust a man whose first name sounds like a cinema”.
The big debate ahead of the new decade has revolved around which Liverpool players to own. Double Gameweek 24 was recently announced and the question facing many is whether to double-up in defence or attack?
Joe and Andy tackled the subject on the Scoutcast this week, while Pro Pundit Zophar examined the candidates for our teams in his aptly titled – Which Liverpool assets should we buy for Double Gameweek 24?
The six-time top 5,000 manager has made his bed early, taking a -8 to include Trent Alexander-Arnold and Mohamed Salah alongside Sadio Mane. Fellow Pro Pundit and five-time top 1,000 manager, Tom Freeman, added the same trio on his Gameweek 20 Wildcard.
Owning all three of the premium-priced players is a combination favoured by just 4.17% of the current top 10,000.
Conversely, Joe and Andy prefer going with two defenders. They reason that the sacrifices required elsewhere make it difficult to justify buying two players costing over £12m. Joe commented:
In terms of squad structure for the rest of my fifteen, and the eleven I want to play each week, I think I’m in danger of actually losing points, bizarrely, if I get Mané in.– Joe
The dilemma facing him is which defender to pair with Alexander-Arnold.
Andy noted that Robertson and van Dijk have the same points-per-match averages this season of 4.5. Could the Dutchman, at £0.6m cheaper, be the better option?
While there are valid reasons for getting either Salah or Mane, an under-the-radar option not being considered as heavily is Roberto Firmino. Priced at an appealing £9.2m Andy reported on the Scoutcast that in nine away matches this season the Brazillian has six goals. Both Liverpool’s matches in Double Gameweek 24 are on the road.
However the captaincy will surely come down to either Salah or Mane. The Senegal international has been afforded more big chances than his Egyptian counterpart in recent Gameweeks, but Salah’s position against Wolverhampton Wanderers caught Neale’s attention:
While Salah blanked on Sunday, there was at least encouragement in that he was again playing as the centre-forward in a 4-2-3-1. It was in this formation that Salah had his purple patch last season, while his 16-point haul against Watford in Gameweek 17 also came when stationed centrally.– Neale
West Ham fan G-Whizz brought us the news that his beloved Hammers had parted company with Manuel Pellegrini. Although he seemed less impressed with the re-appointment of David Moyes. Like Liverpool, West Ham also have two matches in Gameweek 24.
Looking at this site’s fixture ticker the Hammers top the table for attack over the next four Gameweeks. Should we be considering the likes of Michail Antonio for our fantasy teams?
Rotation Boost for Captain Pick
Jamie Vardy is the popular choice for the armband in the first Gameweek of 2020.
And with good reason too – he’s rested after missing the trip to East London to attend the birth of his child. He now looks set to resume his place spearheading the Leicester attack as they travel to the North East.
Newcastle’s defensive numbers were scrutinised by David in his Captain Sensible article, offering hope to those favouring the Foxes forward. Many are anticipating the rocking-a-baby celebration this afternoon.
Vardy is one of three Leicester City players to feature in this week’s Scout Picks.
As ever, there are other contenders vying for the captaincy. Liverpool’s Salah and Mane feature prominently as does Man City’s Kevin De Bruyne. The Citizens top the latest DS stats, fixtures and clean sheet odds provided by G-Whizz.
Squad rotation could be a factor when considering your captain and starting XI.
In addition to Vardy several key players were afforded rests in Gameweek 20 – Soyuncu, Jimenez and Traore among them. All three are expected to return to action later today. In his Pro Pundit article, Andy revealed that he is contemplating adding the Wolves speed-merchant to his side.
There was positive news on the injury front concerning John Lundstram, as Neale reported in his Team News summary. The out-of-position defender missed the encounter against Man City after turning his ankle but is predicted to feature against Liverpool.
There was also welcome news regarding another defender, Aymeric Laporte, who according to Guardiola is on course to return to full training in a week to ten days.
Having played the entire 270 minutes over the festive period, rotation may affect the minutes of Dele Alli, Serge Aurier, and Harry Kane in the Spurs ranks. Although Joe feels, Kane in particular, that they are too integral to be afforded a rest.
Other players possibly at risk include Calvert-Lewin, Deulofeu, Grealish, Zaha, Willian, and Abraham.
Everton striker Calvert-Lewin is near the top of Tom Freeman’s watchlist. Following today’s trip to the Etihad, the Toffees enjoy a kind run of fixtures from Gameweek 22. At £5.8m and with impressive underlying stats, he’s one to consider.
Finally, if you’ve not enjoyed the best 2019 remember, as Greyhead reminded us in bumper edition of The Great and The Good, “Ings can only get better in 2020.”
If you’re a member and are yet to get to grips with the custom statistics tables, you can view this movie for an explanation of how they work. Also, remember to tag them so that people can find the tables with ease.
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Join a new Mini-League for 2020?
Track your progress in the New Year by joining RedLightning’s January to May League. Scoring will start in Gameweek 21. So far 270 managers have entered, to join them the league code you need is aafkpq.
For an update on all FFS Mini-Leagues and Community Competitions, please click here to read the latest round-up.
For those interested in the Head-to-Head Leagues, the main page can be linked to here. The fixtures for Gameweek 21 can be found below:
Use the drop-down menus to show your league and division. To find out which league and division you are in, follow the instructions on the main Head-to-Head page.
Once the Gameweek starts, if you click on your opponent’s name you will be linked to their team on the FPL website.
Best of luck for 2020!