Gameweek 20 Preview: Fantasy Premier League #FPL
Written by John Wallin @FantasyGaffer
While all the elves that manually manipulate Pep’s rotation machine like some sort of FPL Snowpiercer are certainty furiously working to cost your side at least a handful of points, it’s worth pointing out that City don’t play Boxing Day – getting an extra day of rest.
After the 27th they again do not play for four days, with the Palace match Sunday the 31st. All that is to say, it’s possible rotation doesn’t come until the trip to Palace or the visit from Watford on 2 Jan.
Our esteemed editor-in-chief cryptically sent notice over Twitter that Bernardo S. is the man to hand a differential armband, but we’ve gone slightly less spy-thriller and a lot more ‘terrible pun and/or holiday reference’ in our selections.
Defender – HoHo Kenny, Everton
Over the past six weeks, Big Sam’s belly has been shaking like a bowlful of jelly. Likely a bowl of jelly gifted him by third-party ownership groups seeking to extract an unseemly amount from a Premier League club desperate to make a splash. Of the handful of Toffees which Sam has helped to increase in FPL value, Kenny sits at the top of the list. Four clean sheets and two assists in his last six have Kenny scoring 34 of his 38 points this season in that span. He’s played in eleven on the trot and is close to rotation-proof.
Midfielder – We Three Midfielders, Liverpool
Get out your stockings and get them stuffed full of Swansea misery. What better way to celebrate Boxing Day than watching the Reds rampant attack put Leon Britton’s side to the sword? It’s anyone’s guess if it will be Mane, Coutinho or Salah that takes the plaudits from this one, but based on recent form it won’t be Mane.
After costing his side for failing to squad a simply ball against Everton to trying a thoroughly unnecessary bicycle in the Arsenal box when covered by naught but his own ghost of opportunities past, last season’s midfield revelation hasn’t hit stride yet. This could well be the turning point.
Forward – Gabriel Jesus, Manchester City
Frankly, I don’t think Aguero gets rested in this one after a dominant 2goal, 1assist outing against Bournemouth. But Pep may elect to hand Jesus a start here, or at least get him 30′ with an eye towards using him at Palace. Spurs will not play in the GW 21 fixtures, while they do get the DGW22, but you’ll be hard-pressed to sell Kane vs the Saints so it’s unlikely you’ll have Kun + Jesus. Knowing full-well he like a birthday goal, Gabby J may turn the other cheek when dealt the slight of a start from the bench and turn in a substitutes performance.
Did he get picked almost exclusively because of his name? Yes.
Captain – Candy Kane, Tottenham
Coming off a hattrick, needing a brace to put himself top of the 2017 charts, facing the Saints who are undoubtedly fatigued after all their additional holiday effort. Harold, the human embodiment of a spindly, fragile, barber’s pole of a Christmas treat, will be looking to pip Messi, Ronaldo and Cavani to the imaginary title of ‘Europe’s Top 5 Leagues Highest Scorer for the Calendar Year 2017 for Club and Country’.
It’s a title that makes for an impressive sash.
Outsider – Eric-Maxim-Dasher-Dancer-Prancer-Vixen Comet-Cupid-Donner-Blitzen-Chupo-Moting, Stoke
For just £5.4m, the 3.7% selected midfielder is hit or miss; having recorded 10+ three times, but 2pts or fewer in 12 (including six on the spin before GW19). Huddersfield are typically compact at the back, but Boxing Day matches are prime time for outlier matches according to selective memories I’ve probably invented. Stoke actually get fewer shots on target (3.11) per match than Huddersfield allow (4.11), and they sit 20th in the away table (1-2-6 9GF, 21GA).
So why EMCM? Because this is a theme column and he worked in perfectly. If you want someone who’s name doesn’t work as well, Aaron Mooy is a great shout.
Draft (or DAFT! or Sing-A-Long-With-Ryan!) – Laurent Depoitre, Huddersfield
The fiddle at its most faddel – or is it faddle? – is the man with a goal in three straight for the Terriers. Depoitre has three goals, an assist and 53 points over the past three weeks in Togga’s FPL Draft format. It’s true that in the seven matches which preceeded that stretch he had 0 goals. 0 assists. 26pts. 1 Shot on Target. But now is not the time to look the past, or at least the recent distant past. No!
Instead look to the immediate past where Depoirtre has unseated Steve Mounie and captured the imagination of FPL Draft owners everywhere. The 29-year-old Belgian is owned in just 39% of draft leagues and is well worth adding, and starting, when David Wagner’s side play host to the Potters. Plus they’ve got a skiing penguin trying to kick a football on their children’s jumper.
Practically screams goals for Laurent, that.