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Fantasy Premier League Pundit Picks: Gameweek 19

The half-way mark of the Premier League is nearly upon us, is your FPL team set?

Prithviraj Dev | New Delhi |

The Premier League may have its detractors, but none can deny the English top-flight is unmatched in sheer entertainment value and its virtual counterpart, Fantasy Premier League (FPL), doesn’t lag behind either.

With the year nearing an end, the stakes have never been higher.

Don’t miss: Carabao Cup complete semi-final draw revealed

For all the FPL managers trying to channel their inner Jose Mourinho, however, the flurry of fixtures brings upon a dilemma as it’s near-impossible to predict the outcome of the games.

And while The Statesman doesn’t have a crystal ball, we can do the next big thing by providing a comprehensive article ahead of every gameweek.

The indicators are:

Teams in BOLD are top 4 contenders.

Prices (in £ million) marked in Green indicates a rise in Base Price.
Prices (in £ million) marked in Red indicates fall in Base Price.


Fraser Forster

Team: Southampton
Fixtures: Huddersfield (H), Spurs (A), Man United (A), Crystal Palace (H) and Watford (A)
Price: 5.0
Score: 71
Ownership: 7.0%

Why yes: Barring their heavy loss against Leicester, the Saints have been pretty tidy at the back in recent weeks. Their 6’7 shot stopper is hard man to beat and against Huddersfield, who are poor travellers, the Saints should be able to register a shutout.

Why no: The Terriers will be in high spirits after spanking Watford away and arguably the form team between the two. Southampton fullbacks Ryan Bertrand (£5.4m) and Cedric Soares (£4.8m) are decent options but it would be unwise to sign a defender and keeper both. The Saints play Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United away back-to-back after Huddersfield and are likely to concede several goals.

Fraser Forster, Fantasy Premier League, Premier League, Southampton F.C.
Forster is among the front-runners to replace Joe Hart as England’s No.1! (Photo: AFP)


Kyle Walker

Team: Manchester City
Fixtures: Bournemouth (H), Newcastle (A), Crystal Palace (A), Watford (H) and Liverpool (A)
Price: 6.6
Score: 66
Ownership: 13.6%

Why yes: Walker only got onto the pitch in mid-week because of Mangala’s injury and with their defence barebones as it is, the speedy fullback is guaranteed to start against a Bournemouth side that have been struggling of late. Walker already has four assists for the season and considering the Cherries played on Wednesday could prove telling as City will have had an extra day’s rest.

Why no: Alongside centre-back Nicolas Otamendi (£6.2m), who has been finding the back of the net at a remarkable rate, and Danilo (£5.0m), Walker is the only fit defender City have. And since their defence isn’t the most reliable even when they have everyone available, Walker’s high price will put off many FPL managers who would rather buy a United or Chelsea defender.

Kyle Walker, Fantasy Premier League, Premier League, Manchester City F.C.
Walker (R) is due a goal too! (Photo: AFP)


Aaron Cresswell

Team: West Ham United
Fixtures: Newcastle (H), Bournemouth (A), N/A, West Brom (H)-Spurs (A) and Huddersfield (A)
Price: 5.0
Score: 57
Ownership: 1.5%

Why yes: The Hammers may have lost to Arsenal in the Carabao Cup in mid-week, but they’ve been pretty decent under David Moyes and Creswell is a player who could wreak havoc in FPL with his excellent crosses from the left flank. West Ham have kept three clean-sheets back-to-back, which suggests Cresswell is likely to make points on both ends of the pitch, especially against an stuttering Newcastle United side.

Why no: Hammers don’t have a match in Gameweek 21. Cheaper alternatives from Swansea and Watford will appeal to most FPL managers.

Aaron Cresswell, West Ham United F.C., Premier League, Fantasy Premier League
Cresswell is a dark horse to make the England squad for the World Cup! (Photo: West Ham United F.C.)



Philippe Coutinho

Team: Liverpool
Fixtures: Arsenal (A), Swansea (H), Leicester (H), Burnley (A) and Man City (H)
Price: 9.0
Score: 80
Ownership: 11.3%

Why yes: Mo Salah’s (£10.0m) ridiculous goalscoring streak may be continuing unabated but Liverpool’s resident magician is arguably more cost-effective than the flying Egyptian and definitely has a better differential. Arsenal may be playing well of late, but the Gunners did play a Carabao Cup tie in mid-week while Liverpool got a week-long break effectively. Arsene Wenger’s men have a few injuries and look unlikely to beat the Reds on Friday, despite playing at the Emirates. Four of Coutinho’s five goals this season have come in away games.

Why no: If there’s one thing Liverpool can guarantee, it’s that they can be wildly unpredictable and to be honest, the favourites tag rarely suits them. Having Salah and Coutinho both isn’t the worst strategy, but it’s a risky one for sure. Even on paper, Liverpool’s fixtures don’t look routine.

Philippe Coutinho, Liverpool F.C., Premier League, Fantasy Premier League, Liverpool F.C.
Coutinho is enjoying his football at the moment! (Photo: AFP)


Paul Pogba

Team: Manchester United
Fixtures: Leicester (A), Burnley (H), Southampton (H), Everton (A) and Stoke (H)
Price: 7.9
Score: 56
Ownership: 10.6%

Why yes: Back from a three-game suspension, Pogba is primed to explode. The flashy Frenchman greatly improves United when he’s playing and with Romelu Lukaku (£11.3m) back in form as well, expect the duo to reprise their early-season form. The Red Devils have relatively routine fixtures ahead and after getting knocked out of the Carabao Cup, will be desperate to bounce back.

Why no: Lukaku is worth a dekho as well if you’re looking for a safe bet up top while Jesse Lingard (£6.0m) is a bargain buy in midfield. Having multiple United attackers/midfielders is appealing, especially if one considers their fixtures, but it remains to be seen if Jose Mourinho’s men can recover their swagger.

Paul Pogba, Manchester United F.C., Premier League, Fantasy Premier League
Pogba (R) and co will look to get back to winning ways without much delay! (Photo: AFP)



Sergio Aguero

Team: Manchester City
Fixtures: Bournemouth (H), Newcastle (A), Crystal Palace (A), Watford (H) and Liverpool (A)
Price: 11.5
Score: 86
Ownership: 16.0%

Why yes: Considering Aguero was rested for the mid-week Carabao Cup tie against Leicester, it’s safe to say the Argentine will start against the struggling Cherries. Once a FPL favourite, Aguero’s stock will rise if only given enough playing time. Ideal one gameweek replacement for the suspended Alvaro Morata.

Why no: Considering Pep Guardiola’s affinity towards rotation, Aguero, who is quite expensive, may not be the ideal FPL forward for most. Having various City attackers/midfielders is an intriguing proposition but an extremely high-priced one too.

Sergio Aguero, Manchester City F.C., Premier League, Fantasy Premier League
When Aguero’s in the mood, he’s unplayable! (Photo: AFP)


Tammy Abraham

Team: Swansea City
Fixtures: Crystal Palace (H), Liverpool (A), Watford (A), Spurs (H), Newcastle (A)
Price: 5.8
Score: 60
Ownership: 8.8%

Why yes: With Wilfried Bony injured, Abraham is set to start against a Crystal Palace that don’t have the best of defences. With Swansea in dire need of a win, especially considering they are bottom and have sacked their manager, Abraham and co will be fired up. A solid third-choice forward, if nothing else.

Why no: Palace have looked like a different side of late and will come hard at the manager-less Swans. Overall, the Welsh club have tough games ahead.

Tammy Abraham, Swansea City A.F.C., Premier League, Fantasy Premier League
Abraham (R) has been impressive during his loan stint with the Swans! (Photo: AFP)


PS: The Gameweek deadline is Friday, 18.45 GMT/Saturday, 00.15 IST.

Previous articles in the series:

Fantasy Premier League Pundit Picks: Gameweek 18

Fantasy Premier League Pundit Picks: Gameweek 17

Fantasy Premier League Pundit Picks: Gameweek 16

Fantasy Premier League Pundit Picks: Gameweek 15