#FPL Gameweek 20 Preview
You can also listen to Craig, Tom and Ash on their Fantasy Football Podcast – The Gaffer Tapes
DEFENDER: ASHLEY WILLIAMS, SWANSEA
Happy New Year. That’s get that out of the way. If you follow me on twitter then you will know I’m not the biggest fan of Hogmanay so that’s all I’ve got on that. I faced some stick last week for tipping a West Brom defender but I am on a clean sheet roll and even though WBA didn’t have the best record at the back, they duly delivered another 6 points gift wrapped by me. They did some of the work too in fairness. I flirted with the idea of Swansea and pointed out they were on 2 clean sheets in a row, flying under the defensive radar. They made that 3 against an impressive Palace and now face a lacklustre Man U. So, I’m going full on crazy for 2016 and tipping Ashley Williams for your FPL resolutions. If Swansea keep a clean sheet, Williams gets bonus points. They go hand in hand like New Year’s Day and regret. He has notched up 9 points per game for the last 3 matches and with 2 home games on the bounce coming up, he is well worth a place in your squad.
MIDFIELDER: Marko Arnautović, Stoke
It is becoming impossible to ignore the fact that Stoke play nice football. We might have spent the last decade picturing Stoke like the Hovis advert, largely in black and white but the truth is they have some extremely entertaining players. At the centre of all that is the mercurial Arnautovic, who is fast taking up the Mahrez mantle of mid priced maverick. He is involved in set pieces, loves an assist and isn’t scared of a 30 yard screamer. Stoke have two very winnable games before playing Arsenal and on his current form he could notch up 15 points in that time. At 14.4% picked, a lot of players are clearly still too scared to deviate from the pool of KDB, Toure, Barkley, Ozil & Mahrez and although he is the 7th most picked midfielder in the game, it is still an appealingly low percentage.
FORWARD: CHRISTIAN BENTEKE, LIVERPOOL
With 2 winners in 2 games, Christian Benteke is slowly starting to repay the faith the Kop have paid in him in his time out. Although, injured strikers is somewhat of a forte for the Liverpool faithful. They have a tough string of games to come but CB just managed his first 90 minutes in a few weeks and Sturridge is still a couple weeks away. He might provide a decent alternative if you’re fed up of standing by Aguero and looking for someone other than Ighalo, or God forbid you fancy dropping Vardy.
CAPTAIN: MESUT OZIL, ARSENAL
How can you pick anyone other than Mesut Ozil? As much as 2016 is supposed to be about fresh starts and out with the old, why stop that gravy train. Ozil is picked by over half of the players in the game and you can bet at least half of them will give him the armband, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. Getting points on the board is all that matters with captaincy. Don’t get hung up on differential when you have a guy capable of bringing 30 points to the table on an average day at work. Mesut has goals in his game too, obviously, and Newcastle at home are a pretty good opportunity to remind us of that.
OUTSIDER: Bojan, Stoke
I thought with the lack of differentiation up front, I would tip a striker as my under 5% choice. Bojan was one of the most picked players in the game when he signed for Stoke. He was then the most dropped player about 3 weeks later as he failed to deliver on the hype. With the likes of Arnautovic and Shaqiri around him, he is really starting to flourish and has notched up 25 points in his last 3 games. He is still a meagre 2.5% picked and this free flowing attacking Stoke we currently love could really bag a few goals against West Brom and Norwich and you wouldn’t bet against Bojan being ont he scoresheet.
Craig Hazell is a television professional, writer and Heart of Midlothian fan who makes up one third of the popular FPL podcast The Gaffer Tapes. As a student, Craig won the BBC Sports Broadcaster and Comedy Broadcaster of the year, before going onto to be a regular on the London open mic comedy circuit. He now writes about anything from TV & Movies, to food and of course football, providing he can shoehorn a 90s pop culture reference into just about anything.