Liverpool brought Arsenal down to earth with a damaging 4-nil victory that headlined last weekend’s exciting Premier League action. Arsenal wasn’t the only team brought down to earth, as high-flying West Ham was also beaten by Wolves. And of course, Watford sealed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s fate by defeating Manchester United 4-1.
In FPL, GW-13 was was another week that highlighted the importance of investing in one’s defense. Premium FPL defenders TAA, Joao Cancelo, Reece James and Ben Chilwell all rewarded managers handsomely while high-end strikers Cristiano Ronaldo, Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy and Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang all left fantasy managers downcast.
This season, better value has been found in spending “big” on defenders and relying on budget friendly strikers to produce the goods up front from time the time. This statement is backed up by the fact that two of the top three FPL earners are defenders.
Aaron Ramsdale (£4.8m Arsenal vs Newcastle)
Arsenal’s recent improvement in defense is in no small part thanks to the promotion of Ramsdale to first choice goalkeeper. Despite conceding four against Liverpool, Ramsdale kept the Gunners in the game for long periods by making numerous saves. The England international has also helped the Gunners to five clean sheets in nine games.
Ederson Moraes (£6.0m Man City vs West Ham)
Brazilian goal-minder Ederson lags only Mendy and Alisson as the third most productive goalkeeper in FPL this season. Ederson has helped Man City’s back line accumulate eight clean sheets in just twelve Premier League games. Up next for Man City is a West Ham team that failed to find the back of the net in against Wolves last week.
Joao Cancelo (£6.6 Man City vs West Ham)
Cancelo’s outside of the boot pass to create City’s first goal for Raheem Sterling was a sight to behold. The attacking ability of the defender sometimes makes one forget he is primarily a defender. One of my biggest FPL regrets up till this moment is not having Joao Cancelo in my team. Cancelo has been nothing short of phenomenal this season. The left-back has shown his versatility by helping the Citizens fill the left back spot when necessary. He is part of a Man City defense that boasts eight clean sheets in twelve games. Going forward, the Portugal international also has five assists to his name.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.8 Liverpool vs Southampton)
Does anyone still think TAA is too expensive for a defender? I really hope not. He was the joint top-scoring player in GW-12 alongside Aston Villa’s Tyrone Mings (15). The England international helped the Reds pick apart Arsenal by providing assists for the first and fourth goals. His haul of two assists plus a clean sheet saw him move joint top with Man City’s Cancelo as the top scoring FPL defenders on 79 points.
Sergio Reguilon (£5.1 Burnley vs Tottenham)
Antonio Conte’s dual-wing-back formation makes Reguilon an interesting FPL option. Reguilon scored his first Premier League goal of the season against Leeds and has an excellent run of fixtures coming up. Spurs are scheduled to face Burnley, Brentford and Norwich in the next three game-weeks.
Reece James (£6.1 Chelsea vs Man United)
Chelsea wing-back James is beginning to stake his claim as a must-haves for FPL managers this season. Over the last four game-weeks, he’s combined with Ben Chilwell to produce a staggering total of 100 points. Each provided an assist in Chelsea’s last match against Leicester. The competition between the full backs is reminiscent of the healthy competition between Liverpool’s Arnold and Robertson two seasons ago, a race that goaded both to higher standards. Unfortunately, Chilwell suffered a serious knee injury last night that could see him miss the rest of the season, so between the two James is now the obvious choice.
Up next for the Blues is a home fixture against an out of sorts Manchester United team embarrassed by a 4-1 defeat against Watford last weekend but bouyed by Champions League success under caretaker Carrick in midweek. If the Red Devils back line without suspended Maguire produces the kind of abysmal performance it did last time out, James has a good chance of adding to his goals and assists tally.
Also, if you can predict who will start in place of Chilwell, that man could be a good option too. Chilwell’s natural deputy is Marcos Alonso, but last night Cesar Azpilicueta subbed in for him.
Shane Duffy (£4.3 Brighton vs Leeds)
Priced at just 4.4m, Duffy is a budget defender who has proved to be a wise investment this season. The center-back has featured in eleven of Brighton’s twelve Premier League fixtures this season. The Seagulls back line can also boast of four clean sheets.
Maxwel Cornet (£6.1 Burnley vs Tottenham)
Four goals in his last four Premier League games tells you all you need to know about Cornet. The former Lyon winger has added something new to a Burnley front previously reliant on set pieces for goals. His trickiness and ability to keep hold of the ball has made him an instant fan favorite for the Clarets. Priced at just 6.1m, Cornet is a budget friendly midfielder that might prove to be a profitable investment in the long run.
Emile Smith-Rowe (£5.9 Arsenal vs Newcastle)
Just 365 days ago, Emile Smith Rowe was a member of Arsenal under-21 team, but within a year he has risen to become one of the first names on Arsenal’s team sheet. The England international has taken his game one step further by adding the only ingredient missing from his play: goals. After recording two goals plus four assists in 20 matches last season, the Hale-end graduate has already contributed four goals plus two assists in the league this season.
Conor Gallagher (£6.0 Crystal Palace vs Aston Villa)
FPL’s third highest earning midfielder Gallagher made it three straight game-weeks with at least one goal contribution by providing the assist for the Eagles second goal against Burnley. Priced at just 6.0, the Chelsea loanee has been one of the biggest revelations of the season. The Eagles now welcome an Aston Villa side still in the transition period after appointing Steven Gerrard as their new manager.
Sadio Mane & Mo Salah (£12.0 & £13.0 Liverpool vs Southampton)
What a really good time to invest in Liverpool assets. Salah and Mane are the two top earning FPL midfielders with 125 and 71 points respectively. Salah’s outrageous 125 points accumulated in twelve game-weeks shouldn’t make us think any less of Mane’s numbers as Salah is freak in a world of his own.
Mane has improved from below par last season to contribute seven goals plus two assists in just twelve Premier League games. Mane’s under five percent ownership is a clear indication of how undervalued he is among FPL managers.
Salah bounced back from his mini goal drought to score Liverpool’s third goal against Arsenal. Salah was captained by over four million FPL managers in game-week twelve, and he is also the most owned FPL player at over 72%. Salah’s excellent record of seven goals in his last eight games against Southampton makes for good reading for FPL managers looking to once again trust him with the captain’s armband.
Raul Jimenez (£7.8 Norwich vs Wolves)
Jimenez is slowly beginning to show signs of returning to the form he was in before his unfortunate head injury against Arsenal last season. Jimenez has overcome an early season wobble in front of goal to garner three goals plus three assists in Wolves’ last six games. A friendly next two fixtures against Norwich and Burnley also increase his purchase appeal. The Wolves’ striker is also the fifth highest scoring striker in the game.
Jamie Vardy (£10.6 Leicester vs Watford)
Despite failing to score in the Foxes’ last four games, a favorable schedule keeps alive the appeal of Vardy for upcoming game-weeks. Leicester is scheduled to face Watford, Southampton, Aston Villa and Newcastle. Watford is the only team yet to keep a clean sheet this season. Despite this recent barren run in front of goal, Vardy is still placed joint second on seven goals with Sadio Mane in the race for Premier League golden boot.
Christian Benteke (£6.3 Crystal Palace vs Aston Villa)
Four goals in the Eagles last five games shows you the form Benteke is currently enjoying. After going on a barren run of seven games without a goal at the beginning of the season, the Belgian striker has bounced back to help a rejuvenated Crystal Palace grab two wins and three draws in their last five matches.
What do you make of our FPL picks this game-week? How many do you have? Whom do think will surprise us this weekend? Will you use a chip? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments!