Fantasy Premier League managers should keep a keen eye on the upcoming swing of fixtures in Gameweek 10.
This is where advanced planning becomes so important. Looking ahead is always vital for a Fantasy manager but it is difficult when those plans involve getting rid of in-form premium players.
That’s the dilemma that I’m facing over the next couple of weeks with Harry Kane (£10.9m) and Son Heung-min (£9.6m).
Without potential bad news around Neal Maupay (£6.5m) and Tariq Lamptey (£4.7m) starting, I’m happy with my team for this week.
But going forward there’s big decisions to be made with some key fixture swings. This is what Tottenham Hotspur fixtures look like after the West Brom game:
Until Gameweek 16 I don’t see a single fixture where I’d look to captain a Spurs player. Even when they play Crystal Palace (away) in Gameweek 12, there’s the option of Mohamed Salah (£12.4m) against Fulham (away).
No-one can doubt that the pair have been in form, with 142 FPL points between them so far this season. But that has coincided with a relatively easy fixture run, and as shown above it’s about to get a bit more difficult.
I don’t always buy into the common FPL thought process that if you’re not captaining an expensive player they shouldn’t be in your team, but in this case they are blocking me investing into other teams with great fixtures, predominantly Manchester City. It may be worth considering a plan to get them in.
Manchester City Attack
I am a little bit worried about the Man City attack. They’ve averaged 1.31xG per match so far this season. You can see how low this is compared to their usual high standards from previous seasons:
- 2019/20 – 2.48
- 2018/19 – 2.24
- 2017/18 – 2.11
We are looking at a much smaller sample size so far this season, and it’s worth noting they’ve played some tougher games in Wolves, Leicester, Leeds, and Arsenal. But something isn’t quite right.
The fixtures from Gameweek 10 look appealing though, and are perfect to start increasing the number of goals they’re scoring. Not many people would bet against City doing extremely well and it’s worth thinking now about how you might get them in.
In fact if you couple a Raheem Sterling (£11.6m) or Kevin De Bruyne (£11.5m) with Salah or Sadio Mané (12.0m) you get this captaincy rotation:
- GW10 Man City vs Burnley (home)
- GW11 Man City vs Fulham (home)
- GW12 Liverpool vs Fulham (away)
- GW13 Man City vs West Brom (home)
- GW14 Man City vs Southampton (away)
- GW15 Liverpool vs West Brom (home)
- GW16 Liverpool vs Newcastle (away)
- GW17 Liverpool vs Southampton (away)
- GW18 Man City vs Brighton (home)
- GW19 Man City vs Crystal Palace (home)
- GW20 Man City vs West Brom (away)
In Gameweek 16 you might want to consider Spurs players again, but we can probably re-assess that closer to the time. Either way I know I want to give De Bruyne or Sterling a chance, and I don’t think many people would argue against them turning on the style during this fixture run.
Man City Defence
With the most clean sheets last season, City still aren’t usually a team we often consider when buying a defender. But when a lot of FPL managers (including myself) are looking to keep Salah, it becomes difficult to triple up on attack, and with the above fixtures there is a lot of clean sheet potential.
Looking at the defender attacking potential over the season so far one defender in particular stands out – João Cancelo (£5.4m).
Only four defenders have created more chances so far this season, and when you consider he’s played just three matches it’s impressive to have created on average three chances per game already.
As always rotation will be a concern, especially when Cancelo has been playing left back. City have Oleksandr Zinchenko (£5.5m) who can play there as well as Benjamin Mendy (£5.9m) when he’s back from injury.
Given Cancelo’s performance levels he deserves to keep this spot, but we know that’s not how it necessarily works under Pep.
If you wanted to go a little safer there’s Rúben Dias who’s just a little more expensive at £5.5m and Kyle Walker (£6.0m) who has also been playing really well this season. I’m not sure how much of my savings I would put on them being completely nailed, but they feel a safer bet than Cancelo.
However, if you want to take a risk and go for the big points then Cancelo could be the one.
For a lot of people who might be looking to move cash from Kane into midfield with Sterling or De Bruyne it will be worth looking at the abundance of cheap forwards we have the option of choosing from.
For now my main strategy is not to change this position too often. They’re all performing well and will likely continue to tick over during the medium to long term and there’s probably bigger transfers to priortise. Here’s how they’ve gotten on so far:
Patrick Bamford (£6.0m) is the one that sticks out to me so far, Leeds are creating plenty of chances for him. None of the forwards listed have taken more shots in the box.
He has blanked three times in the last four Gameweeks however, because of trickier fixtures against Man City, Wolves and Leicester. The upcoming fixtures don’t get much easier either and I think for me I’d be looking at bringing him in closer to Gameweek 12.
If I had to bring one in now (taking into account I already own Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.7m) then it would probably be Callum Wilson (£6.5m) who has the short to medium term fixtures to keep up his current points scoring.
I still look at the cheap forwards at £6.5m or less and prefer them to the midfielders at the same price. That’s why my long term strategy is to go with two of them up front alongside Calvert-Lewin and to pump more money into midfield. At least until I realise I should never have sold Kane.
LESSONS LEARNED FROM FPL GAMEWEEK 7
- Wolves 2-0 Crystal Palace
- Sheffield United 0-1 Manchester City
- Burnley 0-3 Chelsea
- Liverpool 2-1 West Ham United
- Aston Villa 3-4 Southampton
- Newcastle United 2-1 Everton
- Manchester United 0-1 Arsenal
- Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Brighton and Hove Albion
- Fulham 2-0 West Bromwich Albion
- Leeds United 1-4 Leicester City
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