It’s the week before the last international break of the year, and I honestly can’t tell you how much I already dread the boredom to come. Just like I stated in my last article, we might really need to petition FIFA to reduce the number of International breaks we have each year.
Away from what’s to come after this week, let’s pay more attention to how we FPL managers can go into the international break with smiles on our faces. We are past the League’s first quarter, and standings are beginning to take shape in most FPL mini leagues. Let’s just say it’s getting real.
The last time I wrote a player picks article (GW-9), I talked about trying to make my way into the top one million managers in the world. Well news flash: I’m currently among the top 400,000. My next aim is to get into the top 100,000. I had a really good October, and I’m hoping November follows suit. Let’s take a look at some of the players who might help us begin November with a bang.
Aaron Ramsdale (£4.6m Arsenal v Watford)
Is there a better goalkeeper for the Three Lions right now? Many won’t argue against Ramsdale being England’s first choice goalminder due to his stunning form since moving to Arsenal. The former Sheffield keeper was at his best in the Gunners’ last match against Leicester where he made an EPL record eight saves in an away match. Ramsdale’s free-kick save against James Maddison was heralded by Man United legend Peter Schmeichel as the best he has ever seen. Arsenal welcomes Watford to the Emirates this week, and Ramsdale is eager to add another clean sheet to the four he already has this season.
Alvaro Fernandez (£4.5m Brentford v Norwich)
Brentford welcomes Norwich to the Brentford Community Stadium, and Fernandez will be in goal due to the expected long-term (five months+) absence of first choice David Raya. Although Fernandez didn’t have the best of Premier League debuts (conceding three against Burnley), he will hope to find the going much easier against a Norwich team that has scored only three times in ten games this season.
Priced at just 4.2m, Livramento has proved to be a very reliable option for points this season. Livramento’s good form is backed up by the fact that a massive 20.3% of FPL managers have him in their teams, and he has continuously repaid the faith shown in him. Livramento is part of an improved Saints back line that has already recorded four shutouts this season, and in attack he has also chipped in with a goal and an assist.
Benjamin Chilwell & Reece James (£6.0m & £5.7m Chelsea v Burnley)
Should I still be telling you about the fantastic form these Chelsea fullbacks are in? A combined 70 points in the last three games from both players shows the awesome level they are currently playing.
Despite what was a very slow start to the season, Chilwell has celebrated his return to the Blues starting line-up by scoring three goals in Chelsea’s last four games. The Blues left-back has usurped Marcos Alonso in the pecking order, so if he maintains form, there is little risk of him going back to being number two. [Note: Alonso started against minnows Malmo in midweek, so Chilwell is even rested :)]
Reece James was the star player of the last game-week as he helped Chelsea overcome a stubborn Newcastle. Two goals in that fixture took James’ tally up to four goals plus one assist in seven games this season. Not bad for a defender.
Shane Duffy (£4.4m Brighton v Newcastle)
Priced at just £4.4m, Duffy is another budget friendly defender that has been a wise investment for managers this season. The Republic of Ireland defender has featured in nine out of ten fixtures for the Seagulls this season, helping them to garner four clean sheets. Brighton welcomes a Newcastle team that has failed to find the going easy this season.
Emile Smith Rowe (£5.6m Arsenal v Watford)
Two goals plus one assist for Smith Rowe in his last two matches for Arsenal makes a mockery of the allegation that he had gone missing in the final third. The young midfielder has advanced leaps and bounds this season, becoming not just more involved but decisive in the final third for the Gunners. The England under-21 international has featured in every league match and should continue his goalscoring form when the Gunners welcome Watford to the Emirates Stadium this weekend.
Mason Mount (£7.6m Chelsea v Burnley)
Last week’s most transferred in player Mount fell ill (non-Covid) and failed to feature (he left Chelsea’s hotel on the eve of the match, and he also missed the midweek CL match). After scoring a hattrick last time out against Norwich, Mount will be eager to repay managers who placed faith in him last week by raking in the points when the Blues welcome Burnley to Stamford Bridge this weekend. Still without the services of strikers Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner, Tuchel will depend on other players like Mount, Havertz, Chilwell and James to supply the goals in this fixture.
Jarrod Bowen has overcome a slow start to become one of the first names on David Moyes’ West Ham team list. Bowen’s importance to the Hammers is highlighted by the fact that he has failed to deliver an attacking return only once in West Ham’s last six matches. The Hammers welcome a Liverpool team that has shown that it’s no longer as solid at the back as at the start of the season. The Reds conceded twice last time out against Brighton, and if West Ham are to score in this fixture, there’s a huge likelihood Bowen will be involved.
Mo Salah (£12.7m West Ham v Liverpool)
Is there anyone in the world performing better than Salah right now? He has been awesome this season, and the Liverpool talisman doesn’t look like stopping anytime soon. Salah has failed to deliver an attacking return only once in all of this season’s 10 game-weeks. Despite a subdued goalscoring performance last time out, Salah still ended up with the Man of the Match award, which shows you his level of involvement in the Reds general play.
Conor Gallagher (£5.6m Crystal Palace v Wolves)
Priced at just £5.6m, Gallagher looks like a reasonable investment to be one of your budget-friendly midfielders. Gallagher is central to manager Patrick Viera’s pressing and ball-control plan. He has also earned double digits twice this season.
Cristiano Ronaldo (£12.4m Man United v Man City)
Has the world ever seen a better goal scorer than Cristiano Ronaldo? The Portuguese forward has shown time and again that he isn’t one to be ruled out. When it looked like the end was in sight for United Manager Ole Gunner Solskjear, Ronaldo came to his rescue to scoring a stunning volley and add an assist against Tottenham. You can accuse him of not running or pressing enough, but one thing you can’t accuse Ronaldo of is not finishing. Following last week’s performance, Ronaldo will be highly motivated to help put Pep Guardiola’s Man City to the sword this weekend.
Ivan Toney (£6.6m Brentford v Norwich)
Ivan Toney makes the cut this week due to his friendly fixture. Brentford welcomes a Norwich team that has conceded 25 goals in just ten games. The Canaries, with the division’s worst defense, have failed to concede only twice this season. Their record of only three goals scored also places them as the team with the least number of goals scored.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£10.0m Arsenal v Watford)
Aubameyang’s return to form has also coincided with the Gunners’ resurgence. The Gabon striker has bounced back to contribute four goals plus an assist in his last six games. Alexander Lacazzete’s return to the starting line-up has also seen the Gunners’ captain become more involved. With Arsenal FC welcoming a Watford team that is yet to keep a clean sheet this season, it would be wrong to bet against him adding to his goals tally.
Jamie Vardy (£10.7m Leeds v Leicester)
Jamie Vardy is expected to lead the line when Leicester travels to face Leeds this weekend. The 34 year-old striker has shown he isn’t done yet, scoring seven goals in ten games this season. Vardy will hope to take advantage of a porous Leeds defense that has kept only one clean sheet in ten 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!