Hello! Gameweek 24 has barely finished but already it is time to turn attention to gameweek 25. The Premier League had some unusual results in midweek but what does that mean for Fantasy Football? Add the transfer deadline and our first double gameweek of the season into the mix and there’s an awful lot to consider. But first, let’s review last week.
Last week, of course, ended on Wednesday. My score of 45 beat the average of 42 but only just. That means a very small red arrow as our rank slipped by FIVE places to 23,479th. It’s still a lot higher than I could ever have hoped. Captain Salah coming up short was the main reason for our mediocrity. But what does week 25 have in store?
Man City and Everton’s rearranged game means both teams will play twice. It does mean that neither team will play in week 27, so be careful if you’re planning to go all in. Let’s take a look at the fixtures.
First up is Tottenham “no transfers for us” Hotspur hosting Newcastle. Tottenham’s injury woes have been well documented and they were grateful for Son’s early return from the Asia Cup. He scored the equaliser against Watford on Wednesday and remains the outstanding Tottenham FPL asset. His partner Fernando Llorente (£5.6m) is a very cheap striking option but you get a total mixed bag from him. I guess you get what you pay for. Newcastle’s vulnerability from set pieces may make him particularly useful this weekend. The Magpies scored a surprise win over Man City but whether they can repeat that just four days later at Wembley remains to be seen. Deadline Day signing Miguel Almiron enters the FPL game as a £6m midfielder, but he is unavailable this weekend.
Chelsea have had better weeks but they won’t get a better chance to put things right. Huddersfield visit Stamford Bridge and new manager or not, they still lack goals. Chelsea have their own troubles, with Sarri bemoaning his unmotivated players. This is the type of game Eden Hazard thrives in. Performing against weaker opposition is not usually a problem for him and with Higuain now around to play the centre-forward position, it should be a comfortable Saturday for the Blues.
Into Sunday and Leicester are the next team to try and break Ole Solskjaer’s undefeated streak. Leicester have been brilliant against the “top” clubs in recent months, including a draw at Anfield on Wednesday. Generally though, the win over Man City side, Leicester have been better away from home. Man Utd like playing on the counter too so I think it could still be a good week to own Rashford and Pogba. The latter though is a doubt with an injury which we should hear more about in Friday’s press conference.
The big game comes at 4.30pm though where Man City host Arsenal. Arsenal’s defensive injuries should play into Man City’s hands along with the potential to cut the gap to two points. As mentioned, Man City play twice this week. Their involvement in the Carabao Cup final has seen their trip to Everton brought forward to Wednesday night. Two games for Man City will send Pep’s wheel of rotation into overdrive but it’s impossible to predict. As long as the title race is alive you can presume there won’t be wholesale changes but it’s tough to call. Arsenal meanwhile might be good for a goal but I think their defensive injuries will prove costly.
This does, of course, mean Everton also play twice with their other game at home to Wolves on Saturday. Like Man City, they also will have a blank week 27. Do with that information what you will.
The weekend is rounded off with Liverpool’s trip to West Ham. The Hammers look to have been disturbed by the Arnautovic situation whilst Liverpool have shown signs of nerves recently. They are still top though and I think playing away from home suits them. West Ham aren’t the type to shut up shop and if they have a go, they will get picked off. Arnautovic may well be out injured which leaves Pellegrini a little short of options up front, which is ironic with Andy Carroll starting games recently. I’d say Salah & Mane are likely to be in the action here.
Deadline Day additions
There weren’t loads of new signings but some interesting additions nevertheless. We’ve already mentioned Almiron at Newcastle but Denis Suarez at £6.5m could be a bargain depending where he fits into the Arsenal equation. As of this writing, it remains to be seen what Michy Batshuayi’s price will be. Youri Tielemans is an impressive signing for Leicester and the midfielder can be picked up for £6m.
With two games, the likes of Aguero, Sterling and Sane will be favourites for the armband this week. I don’t think any of the three will complete 180 minutes though and a further pickle is that it’s Man City vs Chelsea next weekend. Will that result in further rotation? Like I said, I don’t think Pep can afford to rest players for a game like Everton away so I’m sticking with my two games are better than one ethos.
In terms of single fixtures, Hazard against Huddersfield looks a safe bet or Son against Newcastle.
After making no transfers last week, I have two to play with this week. I’m only planning to use one though and that’s to bring in Aguero for Aubameyang. Digne is banned which means he is only available for the Man City game, so he can be a sub.
Foster, Shaw, Robertson, Wan-Bissaka, Pogba, Salah, Richarlison, Sane, Llorente, Rashford, Aguero. Subs: Fabianski, Digne, Doherty, Camarasa.
That’ll leave me with two transfers for next week but the plan really will be to make sure I have a strong team to cover the absences in week 27. Planning will then begin for the carnage of blank game weeks from week 31 onward.
That’s all I have this week but I’ll be back next week to preview week 26. Good luck and may all your arrows be green. Toodles!