The Premier League continues to surprise and entertain every single week; it just never disappoints. The Manchester United sits atop the table after Christmas for the first time in seven years, which makes Sunday’s clash against rivals Liverpool just more and more fascinating to be excited for. It can really be anybody’s title race, Manchester City, Everton and Leicester still hungry, but you can’t write off Spurs or Chelsea either.
In the world of fantasy, we are about to enjoy our first double game-week as action-packed top-flight football will continue (nearly) every day through 23 January just as it has since GW-18 started on the 11th. Along the way, some teams play more matches than the others, which is why it is extremely important to have their nailed-on starters in your squad. Let’s have a look:
Nick Pope - £5.4 – West Ham United (A), Liverpool (A)
Pope displayed strong character when Burnley faced Manchester United in his previous game, the English keeper making some important saves. Sean Dyche’s men at the back are compact and aggressive when needed, which puts Pope in an ideal spot to make an impact. That can happen against West Ham and even Liverpool’s recently quiet scoring form.
Ederson - £6.0 – Crystal Palace (H), Aston Villa (H)
Pep Guardiola’s up-coming fixtures are against teams who sit deep and aim for to counter. However, the Citizens have recently looked to have rediscovered their usual best, so Ederson won’t have much to do during such matches where they have most of the possession. In addition, their defensive line has been working wonders lately.
Kieran Tierney - £5.4 – Crystal Palace (H), Newcastle (H)
Tierney has become a regular starter for Arsenal, playing 90 minutes the entire season except for one game, so he’s not a bad call; he guarantees a start and is a threat forward. Arteta’s side may have found some traction, and this new momentum should carry forward against dull Palace and Newcastle sides.
Ruben Dias - £5.8 – Crystal Palace (H), Aston Villa (H)
Dias has been phenomenal for Manchester City, having kept seven clean sheets already while playing 90 minutes every time save the 69 against Burnley in GW 10. His partnership with John Stones has been remarkable lately, and with the form Guardiola’s team is in, you may expect a dominant performance in both games of DGW-19.
Ben Chilwell - £6.1 – Fulham (A), Leicester (A)
At the left-back position, there is no better player for Chelsea than Chilwell. In fact, he looks impressive going forward in every game, which is why when Tammy Abraham or Olivier Giroud march near the goal-post, the English full-back will look to deliver dangerous crosses against Fulham and his former club.
Bukayo Saka — £5.3 — Crystal Palace (H), Newcastle (H)
Saka has been the player behind most of Arsenal’s impressive moves towards goal; he is the play-maker running the show for Arteta’s men. With Martinelli out injured, Saka looks likely to be on the team sheet for both DGW fixtures to deliver service to either Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang or Alexandre Lacazette. Plus, his price tag is a bargain too.
Bruno Fernandes - £11.3 – Liverpool (A), Fulham (A)
Since GW-7’s defeat to Arsenal, the Red Devils have accumulated 29 points from a possible 33 with seven wins out of eight in an unbeaten campaign on the road. Since the signing of Fernandes last year, Solskjaer’s team has finally found the quality needed to challenge and look like a dangerous team. The Portuguese play-maker will likely be involved in both the fixtures, especially in the marquee match against Liverpool.
Sadio Mané - £11.9 – Manchester United (H), Burnley (H)
It’s strange to see both a United and a Liverpool player in a list when they meet, but in a DGW, it has to be. Out-of-form Mohamed Salah has had difficulty scoring against the Red Devils in their previous matches, so Mane has been the primary hope among the front three lately. The winger looks like the only threat in their recent fixtures, which is why having him on the squad is not a bad call.
Patrick Bamford — £6.6 – Brighton (H),
Bamford has 10 goals and five assists to his name already, and given that Leeds United usually play on the front-foot only, the Englishmen can find opportunities to deliver points to his fantasy managers like he has done this term so far. The Brighton
and Southampton fixture will give the forward enough chances to make his mark, and given his price-tag still in the bargain category, he can fit into many FPL budgets. [ Leeds’ match against Southampton has been postponed so that a previously postponed Cup tie can be played instead. ]
Anthony Martial — £8.8 — Liverpool (A), Fulham (A)
Despite Martial not having the best finishing in the league, the Frenchmen is involved during build-up play. It’s not likely for him to score goals in both matches, but with the form his fellow players are in right now, this is the time for him to step forward.
Jamie Vardy — £10.2 – Southampton (H), Chelsea (H)
Leicester City’s play making has centered on star striker Jamie Vardy. With his pace and precision, he just keeps running behind defenders and putting the ball into the net with lethal finishing. Brendon Rodgers’ excellent coaching has trained his players to find the gaps to provide the English striker with the ball and score goals. That has been the formula for years with Vardy around the team, and it usually works.
[Scheduling note: Aston Villa vs Newcastle has been added to Saturday Jan 23; check official FPL to see if that falls into GW-19 or GW-20.]
What do you think of our picks this week? Which player(s) are you chancing? Whom do you think will grab three points between Man United v Liverpool? Which player will shine in the spotlight? Please let us know in the comments section below!