In the run up to the busy festive period, the EPL hasn’t showed any signs of slowing down, Liverpool recording a mammoth 0-7 victory at Crystal Palace last game-week. Mo Salah initially saddened many FPL Managers by being announced on the bench, but he turned that into joy with a stunning 30min run-out, grabbing a brace. Elsewhere, owners of Bruno Fernandes were left beaming after his equally impressive haul.
Game-week 15 will squeeze into the weekend proper (Saturday and Sunday), setting up an unbelievably tight turnaround with game-week 16 starting on Monday and concluding on Wednesday! Also start planning now for FPL’s mid-January blank-then-double whipsaw coming in game-weeks 18 & 19.
Here are our picks for game-week 15:
Emiliano Martínez - £4.9Mil - Crystal Palace (H)
Martínez is becoming a somewhat regular feature in our player picks, but that’s justified by seven clean-sheets already this season. He’s currently on three clean-sheets in a row going into this fixture, and Crystal Palace themselves blanked last time out. Martinez looks assured when called into action and has totaled eight bonus points so far.
Édouard Mendy - £5.2Mil - Arsenal (A)
Chelsea crosses town for this London derby as firm favorites following their convincing 3-0 win against West Ham last weekend. The Gunners have struggled, especially in front of goal, netting only once from open-play in their last four league games. Chelsea kept a clean-sheet last time out, and Mendy has a great opportunity to do so again.
Andrew Robertson - £7.2Mil - West Brom (H)
Robertson is certainly the best premium defensive pick this season, massively outperforming his counterpart TAA. Robertson currently has a goal plus five assists in the league, two in his last two outings. Liverpool made a huge statement in the 7-0 drubbing of Crystal Palace and now faces strugglers visiting from West Brom. This is a great time to own Robertson.
Stuart Dallas - £4.6Mil - Burnley (H)
Dallas is a player who very much epitomizes Leeds’ attacking style of play. Leeds may not be keeping clean-sheets anytime soon, but Dallas is still thriving. He now has three goals in the league, two in his last two fixtures. He’s a winning combination of a budget pick plus an eye for goal.
Vladimír Coufal - £4.6Mil - Brighton (H)
Coufal and West Ham may have struggled in their 3-0 London derby loss at Chelsea, but an appealing home fixture against Brighton could give Coufal a chance to bag points at both ends of the pitch. The Seagulls have scored only once in their last three fixtures, a goal that came late against a 10 man Sheffield United side.
Mo Salah - £12.5Mil - West Brom (H)
Salah is undoubtedly the first name on our player picks this week. As mentioned earlier, many of us were frustrated to hear that Salah began on the bench against Crystal Palace; however his stellar late appearance turned our frowns upside down. Salah looked as though he had a point to prove, and he bagged a brace as well as providing an assist. The bonus is that Salah played only 30 minutes, so he has had his festive rest and should be locked in against relegation fodder West Brom, not to mention further upcoming match-ups (at Newcastle then at Southampton).
Anwar El Ghazi - £5.7Mil - Crystal Palace (H)
El Ghazi was one of the great performers last week, helping himself to a brace in the victory over West Brom. El Ghazi struggled with injury during the earlier part of the season, but he’s now fully fit, firing 3 goals this month and registering back-to-back 90 min appearances for the Villains. His ownership is fantastically low at 0.4%, and now he faces a Crystal Palace team that just shipped seven goals to Liverpool.
Bruno Fernandes - £11.0Mil - Leicester (A)
Fernandes built up an impressive form away from Old Trafford this season, with most of his attacking returns coming on the road. He has now replicated this at home with an outstanding contribution in the 6-2 victory over Leeds on the weekend. He now has nine goals and six assists and doesn’t look to be slowing down any time soon. The Red Devils face a tricky trip to 2nd-place Leicester, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore Fernandes’ form.
Raheem Sterling - £11.4Mil - Newcastle (H)
Sterling has been something of a forgotten man this season, his dips in form aligned with the Citizen’s struggle for consistency. Results have been looking brighter for Sterling in recent weeks, with two goals and two assists in his last four league outings. He may be a premium pick, but at 4.3% ownership he is a key differential. Sterling scored in both fixtures against Newcastle last season.
Tammy Abraham - £7.2Mil - Arsenal (A)
Abraham is on our radar this week after his impressive brace in Chelsea’s 3-0 victory over West Ham, raising his total to five goals for the season. Abraham offers a good differential pick at 2.4% ownership and should warrant a start in the derby fixture against Arsenal. Abraham bagged late in the same fixture against the Gunners last season and is well-placed to cause them problems this time around. Caveat: His teammate Giroud rested last week and has also been in fine form, so we should read Frank Lampard’s tea leaves before saving.
Roberto Firmino - £9.2Mil - West Brom (H)
Fellow attacker Diogo Jota’s injury has given Roberto Firmino a chance to shine and justify his position in the Liverpool line-up. He certainly seized that opportunity in the 7-0 thrashing of Crystal Palace. His fluid and slick play impressed throughout, and he helped himself to a brace while also providing an assist. He’s a differential at less than 4% ownership who faces strugglers from West Brom.
Jamie Vardy - £10.2Mil - Man Utd (H)
The Vardy party was very much on last game-week with Vardy bagging a goal and assist in Leicester convincing display against an in-form Spurs side. Vardy now has three goals plus a like number of assists over his last four matches. The Foxes’ Talisman can score against any manner of opposition. Caveat: Vardy left that Spurs match at 88’ because of soreness in his hip, but manager Brendan Rogers said he expects him to be ready by this weekend; watch for updates to be sure.
What do you think of our picks this week? Any tips for differentials? How are you preparing for January’s Blank and Double whipsaw? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments!