Friday, December 10
Brentford vs Watford
Brentford is all over the place. The Bees beat Everton, lost to Spurs, and drew Leeds. All of this after a bad stretch of games. They haven’t had great successes against teams at the bottom of the table, and they are missing key players.
The Hornets have lost three in a row and five of their last six. To be fair, they’ve had a stretch of tough opposition (Man City, Chelsea, Leicester, Man United, Arsenal). More concerning is that they have yet to keep a clean sheet this season, though they have scored in each of the last four.
Bees hosting Hornets — Is this a new vespine derby?
Outs & doubts: For Brentford — David Raya Martin is still out. Sergi Canos picked up his 5th yellow card and is out. Ivan Toney is out for COVID.
Watford has no new injuries.
Saturday December 11
Man City vs Wolves
Man City has now won five straight to claim top of league. In those five games, seven different Citizens have scored goals. But they also have been scored on in their last four, which won’t make Pep happy. City did have a midweek UCL game, so there’s always rotation risks.
Wolves on the other hand have scored only once in their last five, but they conceded only one in their last four. So they have sorted the back while the front has moments, but enough of them.
Outs & doubts: Philip Foden, Jesus & Aymeric Laporte are all doubts for City. Wing-backs Fernando Marcal and Rayan Ait Nouri are both questions for Wolves.
The Gunners have now lost two straight. Fortunately, they return home to the Emirates where they haven’t lost since their opening home game vs Chelsea. They are getting goals from their midfield but need forwards to start chipping in if they’re going to move back up the table.
It has been four without a win now for the Saints. Their three wins on the season have all been 1-0 score lines. Willy Caballero has been signed to fill in with other top keepers out.
Outs & doubts: Emile Smith Rowe is a bit a of doubt, and Gabriel Martinelli again finds himself with an injury. For Southampton Stuart Armstrong plus goalies Alex McCarthy and Fraser Foster are out. Jan Bednarek is a doubt too.
A third of all goals conceded by Chelsea were given up last game in Chelsea’s loss to West Ham. ANd after Tuchel watched his defense ship an additional three goals to Zenit in midweek, I expect defensive lapses to be corrected this weekend. That midweek match produced attack too, with both Werner and Lukaku starting and scoring. I’m not sure if that means they’re ready and will start or that they played and won’t be rushed back. So watch news — YMMV.
Remember when Leeds used to score lots of goals? I do; Sort of. Leeds is still attacking, but the goals aren’t coming as often. The return of Patrick Bamford gave them hope, but he pulled another muscle. That’s another tough break for Leeds, as is the injury to Kalvin Phillips. They aren’t conceding at a high level, but they aren’t keeping it clean either, and being without their midfield general and other players won’t help.
Outs & doubts: N’Golo Kante and Ben Chilwell are long term injuries. Ruben Loftus-Cheek is a doubt, as is Jorginho. Patrick Bamford, Kalvin Phillips, Robin Koch, and Rodrigo are all out.
Last weekend, Liverpool was held to just one goal for only the second time this season (the other was by Chelsea in a 1-1 draw on August 28!). That’s a lot of goals. The Reds have also kept three clean sheets in their last four. In other words, you’ve got high probablility bets in both attack and defense.
Aston Villa sans Jack Grealish is one of those teams I shy away from... except when I don’t. They have won three of four, but I just am not sure yet who they are becoming. Goals come from everywhere and no where. Good luck if you’re picking from Villa.
Outs & doubts:
Danny Ings is a major doubt, as is Matt Targett, although maybe not as bad. Nothing new for Liverpool.
Norwich vs Man United
Norwich remains in last place. A negative-23 goal difference means that you’re always looking to pick opposing players, especially against their defense. Not sure what else you need to know about them.
Does a new coach matter that much? It hasn’t hurt. United hasn’t lost since Ole’ left. I’m not convinced yet about where United stands, so I’m not yet spending big.
Outs & doubts:
Paul Pogba, Cavani, Raphael Varane are out. Aaron Wan-Bissaka is a question. Nothing new for Norwich, in case you were curious.
Sunday, December 12
Brighton vs Tottenham
POSTPONED because of the Covid-19 outbreak at Tottenham.
Burnley vs West Ham
Burnley is in the drop zone with just one win. I’m not interested right now. But the Clarets have surprised before, so this isn’t as easy a fixture for West Ham as it may seem.
The Hammers must be flying high after their win last week. And they deserve that. But getting a point against teams you should get points from is part of the equation of success. They beat Chelsea, but will they get three points against Burnley too?
Outs & doubts:
Nothing major and new to report.
Leicester vs Newcastle
When your top scorer has scored in only one of the last seven games, you know you’re in trouble. James Maddison has come back and created a spark. But there’s no consistency for Leicester now. The Foxes are 4th worst at conceding goals.
Newcastle won (finally)! That game was against fellow bottom dwellers Burnley. It also was the Magpies only clean sheet. So let’s not get too excited.
Outs & doubts:
There are a lot question marks for Leicester, but they aren’t Vardy or Maddison. Ryan Fraser is injured?! Just a normal report for Newcastle.
Crystal Palace vs Everton
Crystal Palace has scored only once in the last three games, which were all losses. During their positive streak, the Eagles were getting goals from different places, but now they’re struggling to get them at all.
The Toffees’ win against Arsenal might have given fans hope. It was their first win since September 25th (against Norwich). They have been in a tail spin. I’m not sure how much longer they can sustain, even this level with the players who are able to play.
Outs & doubts: Joel Ward is out for accumulating five yellows. James McArthur is probably out too. Lucas Digne and Dominic Calvert-Lewin are out.
Note: Fantrax managers should get Friday’s confirmed lineups (Bees vs Hornets) before the Fantrax deadline. Be here to see them.
Alert: Our next game-week comes mid-week with a Tuesday deadline — Don’t miss it!
How are your teams affected by the postponement heaped on top of the usual injuries and suspensions? Have you heard any more news to add to our woes? Are any FPL managers playing a chip this week? Do you have a question to ask the community? Please log-in and share in the comments!