With the international break (qualifiers) coming to an end and Premier League back at the weekend, let’s review GW11 before we look forward to GW12.
GW11 kicked off with less glamorous fixtures as Super Sunday had the big boys lining up. Stoke hosted Leicester which turned out to be an entertaining affair; Mahrez continues to look like the #FPL phenom he was 2 seasons ago, scored a goal while Shaqiri (£5.9) bagged a goal and assist wracking up 13 points. Huddersfield bounced back with a win at home versus WBA; Jonas Lossl (£4.6) was in inspired form pulling off some amazing saves. Bournemouth pulled off a smash and grab versus Newcastle, Steve Cook with the stoppage-time winner (highest GW points – 15). Burnley and Brighten also recorded vital away victories over Southampton and Swansea respectively.
The late kick-off saw West Ham host Liverpool; under pressure manager Slaven Bilic needed a good result to ease the pressure. Liverpool bolstered their attack with the somewhat surprising inclusion of Sadio Mane (£9.3). The Senegalese hitman assisted 2 goals as the Reds ran riot, while Mo Salah once again proved to be one of the signings of the season with 2 goals on the day (15 FPL points). Bilic has since been sacked with David Moyes stepping in. 😱
Super Sunday saw some massive clashes as City hosted Arsenal and Chelsea took on United at the Bridge. Before the big clashes, another London derby took place as Spurs played Palace. The team news before the game was that Hugo Lloris and a surprise Dele Alli would not feature in the match due to injury. Many managers would’ve pinned their hopes on Harry Kane (27.6% captained) for GW11 but it was his strike partner (Son) who scored the only goal of the game.
League leaders Man City hosted Arsenal looking to secure their 9th straight Premier league victory. City dominated the match creating numerous chances; Kevin De Bruyne slotted the opener. Aguero doubled the citizens lead from the penalty spot while Lacazette pulled one back 9 mins after coming on. Gabriel Jesus (another substitute) secured the win scoring in the 74th min (D.Silva assist). FPL Assets Leroy Sane and Sterling both started but were unlucky not to chip in with points. Man City have now won 15 consecutive games in all competitions; the longest run for any English club in top flight.
Then came the main event as Jose Mourinho returned to his old stomping ground along with Matic and Lukaku. There was some bad blood after this fixture last season, but both teams knew they needed to keep the pressure on City at the top. It was a cagey affair as both teams had their chances early on; the game ultimately came down to one chance which Alvaro Morata duly converted (Azpilicueta (£6.7) assist). No handshakes post-match, Chelsea move within 1 point of United in 2nd.
Here are the top scorers for GW11
Let’s look at some assets to consider and pray don’t get injured during the break.
David De Gae (£5.7) still leads the way but Jonas Lossl has been in great form over the last 3 GWs. Selected by only 9.1% of teams and at only (£4.6), he could be that secondary keeper to be rotated while saving some cash. Huddersfield do have Bournemouth (a), City (h) and Arsenal (a) in their next 3 games; so tread cautiously when picking fixtures.
It seems defensive FPL assets usually come from Chelsea; with Alonso off the boil since GW3, he’s defensive colleague Caesar Azpilicueta (£6.7) has quickly become the next “Must Own” defender. “Dave” Azpilicueta has struck up a good relationship with Chelsea frontman Alvaro Morata; he’s 5 assists for the season have all been scored by Morata. His ownership has gone up to 16.8% with WBA (a), Liverpool (a) and Swansea (h) he’s next 3 games. Not the ideal set of fixtures but he’s the man to own in defense at the moment.
While the usual suspects failed to deliver it was the return of a familiar face in Riyad Mahrez (£8.4) with a goal against Stoke. His price is still quite lofty but he has been on a hot streak of late with form sitting at (7.8 – 31 points in the last 4 games). Only owned by 5% of teams he would be a brilliant differential if he maintains this form. Leicester do have a tough run of fixtures (City (h), West Ham (a), Spurs (a)); let’s see if his quality shines through.
Liverpool are expecting Lallana (£7.3) and Coutinho (£8.9) to be back after the international break. Sadio Mane (£9.3) however has had a re-occurrence of the hamstring injury he recovered from in GW11; he will undergo an assessment before the weekend. With Mane and Salah in devastating form against West Ham, you’d have to consider one if not both of the speedsters. Liverpool have 2 home games coming up versus Southampton and Chelsea which haven’t been the most fruitful in past seasons, but the duo of Mane and Salah could potentially light up both games. At this stage of the season loading up on the Midfield appears to be the more favorable approach. A 3-5-2 or 4-4-2 formation would be beneficial if Liverpool bag 2 wins and the African player of the year nominees perform.
Strikers, for the most part, have been hit or miss this season; a BIG week is usually followed by a lacklustre one. With the likes of Lukaku, Kane and Aguero the most obvious choices (or some variation of those 3), let’s look at a few differentials or potential up and comings target men. Oumar Niasse (£4.9) has 4 goals this season with very limited playing time; the new manager has put his faith in Niasse and looks to be the best-attacking option for Everton.
Looking at fixtures, the North London derby stands out and Harry Kane has taken a particular liking to Arsenal in recent seasons. Another factor is that Kane has always hit back after a blank week (at least this season) usually with a brace. Going into Gw12, if you have Kane it’s the sensible option to captain him. Niasse as the 3rd striker while you bolster the midfield.
There you have it folks; keep an eye out for returning players after their international duty. Good luck in GW12, as always check out the Anfield Index Fantasy podcast.