In the business end of the season, one would think that upsets would not be the order of the day in the Premier League but the English top-flight continues to surprise like no other, sparking mass pandemonium in its virtual counterpart— Fantasy Premier League (FPL).
With so many top stars struggling with injuries and lack of form, it can be akin to finding a needle in a haystack when trying to find the perfect permutation and combination for your FPL team.
Fortunately for all the aspiring Jurgen Klopps, The Statesman is at hand to deliver a concise 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.
Team: Swansea City
Fixtures: Burnley (H), Brighton (A), West Ham (H), Huddersfield (A) and Southampton (H)
Why yes: After back-to-back upsets of Arsenal and Liverpool, the Swans continued their excellent form with a hard-fought draw at Leicester and should be able to edge a tottering Burnley side in Gameweek 27. The Clarets, in free-fall, haven’t won in forever and Fabianski is leading the league in terms of most saves made. Overall, the Welsh outfit have ideal games ahead and don’t be surprised if they shoot up the table.
Why no: The Swans may be pretty solid defensively, but they have been struggling to keep clean-sheets of late as they haven’t registered a shutout in their last five games. Sean Dyche’s side are bound to snap out of their funk sooner, rather than later.
Fixtures: Huddersfield (A), Newcastle (H), Leicester (A), Spurs (H) and West Brom (H)
Why yes: Considering the Cherries’ stupendous form of late, having a several of their bargain buys in your squad seems like a sensible idea. Huddersfield are in worse shape than Burnley right now and Eddie Howe’s men should be able to beat them without much fuss. Daniels can hit the odd screamer (remember his strike against Man City earlier this season?) too.
Why no: Clean-sheets in the Premier League are hard to come by and the fact that Bournemouth play away from home may put off many FPL managers. Nathan Ake (£5.0 m) may be more expensive, but the former Chelsea starlet is far more of a goal-threat than Daniels.
Fixtures: Crystal Palace (H), Watford (A), Burnley (A), Brighton (H) and Stoke (A)
Why yes: Back in the side after a long-term injury, Coleman hasn’t shown any signs of rustiness and could be a massive differential with his buccaneering displays. Considering Everton are just focusing on the Premier League now, expect them to go on a solid run, especially with the kind of fixtures that lie ahead for them.
Why no: Getting back to his best will take time and morale will be low in the Blue half of Merseyside after their hammering at the hands of Arsenal. Extremely expensive and might struggle to justify his price tags with Everton not having much apart from pride to play for.
Fixtures: Liverpool (H), Burnley (A), Stoke (H), Newcastle (A) and Swansea (A)
Why yes: The first wildcard pick of the gameweek is the Saints’ very own set-piece specialist. Liverpool’s defence doesn’t exactly inspire confidence and it wouldn’t be a stretch to predict that Ward-Prowse bags an assist or two. The Southampton Academy graduate has been in fine fettle of late and is an excellent FPL buy for those looking for a thrifty option in the middle.
Why no: Liverpool will be desperate to remain above Chelsea in the race for the top-four and are unlikely to give Southampton, who have had a sup-par season so far, any quarter.
Fixtures: West Ham (A), Everton (H), West Brom (H), Arsenal (A) and Liverpool (A)
Why yes: After ultimately flattering to deceive in his first stint in the Premier League, Deulofeu is back and judging by his outing against Chelsea, is in a hurry to set the record straight. West Ham have been leaky at the back of late and expect the on-loan Barcelona winger to sprinkle some magic.
Why no: Watford, prior to their surprise smashing of the champions, weren’t in great form and it remains to be seen if the on-loan Deulofeu can churn out consistent performances. Fellow Hornets midfielders Abdolaye Doucoure (£5.4 m) and Richarlison (£6.2 m) are worth a dekho.
Team: Tottenham Hotspur
Fixtures: Arsenal (H), Crystal Palace (A), Huddersfield (H), Bournemouth (A) and Newcastle (H)
Why yes: Arsenal may be feeling euphoric after their battering of Everton, but their defence (and midfield) has some obvious holes, which the likes of Harry Kane will exploit with glee. After reaching his milestone (100 Premier League goals) in the chaotic 2-2 draw with Liverpool, expect Kane to continue unfettered against Spurs’ crosstown rivals. Fixtures after the North London Derby are pretty routine.
Why no: Derbies are never easy games and often the underdog triumphs. Spurs haven’t been particularly impressive at Wembley this season and with a certain video doing the rounds, some of Kane’s teammates may be a little distracted. Considering he’s the most expensive player in FPL, doubts over whether he’s worth the moolah will dog managers as they assign a considerable chunk of their budget to accommodate the Spurs hitman.
Team: Leicester City
Fixtures: Man City (A), Stoke (H), Bournemouth (H), West Brom (A) and Arsenal (H)
Why yes: The Foxes may be playing at the home of the runaway leaders, but there can be no doubt that Jamie Vardy is among the most in-form players in the Premier League. With three goals in as many matches, the Leicester City frontman is clearly having a party and against City’s suspect defence, expect the rapid forward to cause Pep Guardiola’s men a few problems. The Sky Blues’s possession-first style will come in handy as Vardy will look to run behind their defence on the counter at every opportunity.
Why no: Fixtures are tough and Vardy isn’t exactly cheap, with many forwards in a lower price bracket available who will appeal to most FPL tacticians.
PS: The Gameweek deadline is 11.30 am GMT/5 pm IST.
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