Another double-header of Virtual FPL action is almost upon us, with back-to-back 19:00 BST deadlines on Saturday and Sunday.
We look forward to the weekend’s fixtures and reflect on Thursday’s results in our latest round-up below.
READ MORE: How to sign up and play Virtual FPL
SPURS HIT SIX
Dele Alli (£8.3m) top-scored in Gameweek 13 after racking up a 17-point haul in Tottenham Hotspur’s 6-1 demolition of Watford.
Son Heung-min (£9.8m) was also on target and Serge Aurier (£5.0m) grabbed his fifth assist of the season, while Harry Kane (£10.8m) moved to the top of the goalscorers’ charts after a brace against the Hornets.
In putting six goals past Nigel Pearson’s virtual troops, Spurs also leapfrogged Liverpool to become the second-highest scoring team in the division despite having registered 155 fewer attacks than the Reds this season.
The underlying attacking stats are something that we have paid a lot of attention to so far in this simulated campaign but Liverpool’s conversion rate (7.59%) is the seventh-poorest in the division, with Spurs top for the same statistic (12.5%).
As Ragabolly himself has mentioned, Liverpool do have the tendency to waste a lot of the chances they create.
Spurs certainly have the opportunity to extend their fine run, with four of their next five opponents (and six of their next eight) in the bottom nine of the table.
Brighton, who the Lilywhites face next, have conceded more goals than all bar Bournemouth this season.
Despite having hit six goals in his last four appearances, Sergio Aguero (£11.9m) was a no-show as Manchester City beat Aston Villa 2-0.
This was the second time this season that Aguero had failed to appear despite having scored in his previous match.
The benchings from virtual Pep seem to come as out of the blue as they do in real life, although at least the Argentine didn’t emerge as a late substitute for the dreaded one-pointer – especially as he carried the captaincy hopes of almost half of the Fantasy managers who owned him.
With the likes of Kane, Mohamed Salah (£12.7m), and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£10.9m) all ever-present starters so far, Aguero doesn’t boast the complete security of starts that many of the other premium assets do – and he sits behind all of the above for vFPL points partly as a result.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.8m) was at the summit of TopMarx’s ‘Goals/Assists Imminent’ table ahead of Gameweek 13 but, a clean sheet aside, again failed to deliver on his underlying stats.
Owners of the right-back indeed had to watch on as Andrew Robertson (£7.0m) set up both Liverpool goals in the 2-0 win over Wolves.
Alexander-Arnold has been involved in 50 more attacks than any other defender this season and sits seventh overall for that statistic (ahead of the likes of Aguero, Kane and Aubameyang) but has only banked two attacking returns in the last ten Gameweeks.
His conversion rate of 4% is the worst of any Virtual FPL asset priced at £7.0m or above.
Is an explosion on the cards, then, as happened in ‘real-life’ FPL on Boxing Day?
Unfortunately, Liverpool’s fixtures are stiffening in difficulty, with Manchester City up next – so there’ll be a fair number of us who are bailing on the most-owned vFPL defender knowing it could well be a possibility.
WOLVES AT THE DOOR
Racking up the most attacks in Gameweek 13 was, remarkably, Wolves, despite the West Midlands side playing away at Anfield.
The imaginary incarnation of Nuno Espirito Santo’s side created 39 chances on made-up Merseyside but didn’t score with a single one of them.
Wolves’ conversion rate is even worse than Liverpool’s this season but, unlike the Reds, they at least have some appealing games coming up, with all five of their next opponents in the bottom half.
Matt Doherty (£6.3m) particularly caught the eye on Thursday despite emerging from the game with just one point – the Irishman was involved in more attacks (14) than any other vFPL asset in Gameweek 13.
FERNANDES FREES UNITED
Having seen their underlying attacking numbers drop during Bruno Fernandes‘ (£8.5m) four-match absence, Manchester United were on Thursday back up to the sorts of figures we were seeing earlier in the campaign.
United registered 29 attacks against Brighton, the second-highest number (after Wolves) managed by any team in Gameweek 13.
Marcus Rashford (£8.8m) scored both of the Red Devils’ goals, with one assisted by the returning Fernandes.
LEAVING THE PARTY?
Jamie Vardy (£9.6m) was back with a bang on Thursday, scoring twice in Leicester City’s 3-0 home win over Norwich City.
Ayoze Perez (£6.2m) banked an attacking return for the sixth straight match, while the Foxes’ defence kept their third clean sheet in four games.
With a triple-header of away games coming up, though, might we be approaching a time to bail on Leicester assets?
Brendan Rodgers’ virtual side haven’t kept one clean sheet on the road in this simulated 2019/20, while they scored only three goals in their first four away fixtures of the campaign – although did beat Watford 3-1 in their most recent match on their travels.
Their next opponents, Newcastle and Crystal Palace, have kept clean sheets in nine of their 14 combined home matches, meanwhile.
Quietly racking up the points over the last week has been Robert Snodgrass (£5.2m), who has banked an attacking return in each of West Ham United’s last four matches.
The Virtual FPL strugglers now have one of the most favourable fixture runs over the coming half-dozen Gameweeks, too.
Second among sub-£6.0m vFPL assets for points in this simulated season, Snodgrass has scored on six occasions already in 2019/20.
Security of starts maybe a bit of an issue, however, given that he has been benched in four of West Ham’s 13 fixtures to date.
VIRTUAL FPL PREMIER LEAGUE TABLE
TopMarx’s spreadsheet that details team attacks (for and against, home and away) has been updated after Gameweek 13.
The fixture difficulty rating colour (according to Ragabolly’s ticker) is reflected in the relevant Gameweek.
The refreshed standings are below:
TopMarx has also updated his interactive player stats spreadsheet after Thursday’s matches, meanwhile.
The stand-alone spreadsheet can be accessed via this link, with Fantasy managers able to make their own copy by selecting “File>Make a copy”.
INJURIES AND BANS
Josh King (£6.1m), Jan Bednarek (£4.4m) and George Baldock (£5.1m) will all return from injury or suspension in Gameweek 14, while Teemu Pukki (£6.5m), Conor Coady (£5.0m) and Cenk Tosun (£5.7m) will be available on Sunday.
Tosun was one of two players to pick up a “midweek injury” after Thursday’s matches, with the other being back-up West Ham United goalkeeper David Martin (£4.0m).
Norwich City duo Mario Vrancic (£6.2m) and Kenny McLean (£4.8m) were the other two new additions to the injury list after Thursday’s games, while Abdoulaye Doucoure (£5.6m) will miss Watford’s next three matches after being sent off in the 6-1 defeat at Spurs.
Sadio Mane (£12.4m) will serve the final two matches of a three-game ban this weekend, meanwhile.
Eddie Campbell stays at number one in both the overall Virtual FPL standings and in our Fantasy Football Scout mini-league, with Aritravo ten points further back in both.
Five of the top six leading managers above indeed are also signed up to our mini-league, along with tenth-place MCR Reds.
Fábio Borges, third in our Live Hall of Fame, is proving adept at this simulated game, too, moving up to fifth place overall after using his Free Hit chip.
Mr Hindsight played his Bench Boost and returned to the summit of Greyhead’s Great and the Good league, meanwhile.
Legomane remains first in the Mods and Cons mini-league.
You can join the Fantasy Football Scout mini-league by entering the code 9RV4A via the below link.