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EPL GW-17 Pre-Deadline & Live Chat

One fixture already postponed and more in doubt due to Covid-19

Conor Gallagher - Crystal Palace - Premier League Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

Our hearts go out to players and staff tested positive for Covid-19. As many as five matches are at risk. There are also rumors of a two week break to give clubs time to clear confirmed cases and prepare for future engagements. Despite these uncertainties, fantasy managers must still prepare for the game-week before us.

Tuesday December 14

Brentford vs Man United


Brentford returned to winning ways last weekend after a run of three games without victory. The manner of their come from behind victory is the exact motivation for a task as daunting as welcoming the Red devils to Brentford Community Stadium in game-week 17 opening match.

Man United made it two wins in two for new manager Ralf Ragnick when Cristiano Ronaldo fired home a well taken penalty against Norwich. The Red Devils will however need to be much more coordinated in attack if they are to get the better of a more compact Brentford side.

Outs and doubts

Sergi Canos is expected to return for Brentford after serving a one match suspension while Toney remains out due to Covid. Lindelof is expected to be out after suffering breathing problems in united win over Norwich while question mark remains over the availability of Nemanja Matic and Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

Prediction: 0-2


Norwich vs Aston Villa

Norwich seems to have returned to Championship ways under new manager Dean Smith after failing to build on their first win of the season against Southampton. The Canaries failed to win any of their next four matches after the 2-1 victory over Southampton. They’re bottom of the table, with only ten points accrued from a possible 48.

Aston Villa suffered its first loss under Steven Gerrard when the Villans visited Anfield last weekend. Despite the loss, Gerrard impressed with his team’s cohesiveness and coordination that made the Reds work hard for the victory.

Outs and doubts

Nothing major or new to report.



Man City vs Leeds

[ With the early match scuppered and this one following close on the heals of Norwich vs Villa, Fantrax managers can now expect Manchester City and Leeds lineups to be confirmed ~30 minutes before the revised Fantrax deadline. Usually unreliable assets such as Stones and Mahrez could be on offer, and all Pep roulette can be defeated, so come back in the countdown hour to see all the latest news and panic-discussion! ]

Man City welcomes Marcelo Bielsa’s depleted Leeds squad to the Etihad on Tuesday without the services of influential defender Joao Cancelo due to suspension. The right-back picked up his fifth booking of the season against Wolves, which rules him out of this fixture. Pep Guardiola’s side will be hoping to make it seven wins out of seven by the time the referee signals for the final whistle.

Leeds needs to recover quickly after falling to Chelsea on a controversial last-minute penalty converted by Jorginho. The Peacocks are gradually returning to the form that secured a top half finish last season, but much more consistency is required if they are to reach those same heights this season.

Outs and doubts

Cancelo is out due to yellow card accumulation, and question marks remain on IIkay Gundogan due to a back injury. Strikers Bamford and Rodrigo remain out for Leeds.

Prediction: 2-0

Wednesday December 15

Brighton vs Wolves

A well-rested Brighton side is eager to put an end to a run of ten games without victory as they welcome Bruno Lage’s Wolves to the Amex Stadium. Brighton’s last match was postponed by a Covid outbreak at Tottenham. Brighton has drawn eight and lost two of the last ten games.

Bruno Lage will need to fix Wolves’ attacking issues if they are to take anything from this fixture. They’ve failed to score a single goal in the last four matches, scoring more than only Norwich in the Premier League this season, twelve goals in 16 games.

Outs and doubts

Raul Jiminez is out for of this fixture after picking up two yellow cards in the match against Man City over the weekend.

Prediction: 0-0


Burnley vs Watford

Watford travels to fellow relegation contender Burnley on Wednesday. The Hornets’ inability to maintain discipline came back to haunt them against Brentford as they conceded two late goals after going ahead through red hot Emmanuel Dennis. Watford is the only side yet to register a clean sheet, behind only bottom-placed Norwich for most goals conceded (31).

Burnley shut out West Ham last week to continue an unbeaten run over the last four games. The Clarets will be buoyed after they were able to tame the prolific attacks of both Chelsea and West Ham in recent weeks.

Outs and doubts

Cornet is a doubt for Burnley while Watford has no new injury problems

Prediction: 1-2


Crystal Palace vs Southampton

Conor Gallagher once again proved to be the difference as Crystal Palace got the better of Rafa Benitez’s Everton on Sunday. Gallagher curled in a last-minute goal-of-the-season contender to record his third FPL double-digit game-week this season. The victory ended a run of three straight defeats for the Eagles and moved them up to 12th in the table.

Southampton fell meekly at the Emirates to a rampant Arsenal side bouncing back from consecutive defeats. In recent weeks, the Saints have been a shadow of the disciplined and resilient team that began the season in impressive form. They’re currently on a run of five games without victory and need to improve to have any chance of stealing points at Selhurst Park.

Outs and doubts

James McArthur and Joachim Andersen will both face late fitness test for Crystal Palace. Mohamed Salisu and Oriol Romeu both return after serving one-match suspensions; the availability Adam Armstrong is unknown.

Prediction: 3-1


Arsenal vs West Ham

The Gunners snapped back to their impressive best when they dispatched Southampton with ease over the weekend. Their first goal was particularly impressive as one touch football from back to front beat the press to carve open Southampton’s defense. A win in that fixture leapfrogged the gunners over idle rivals Spurs into sixth.

West Ham could not beat Nick Pope in Burnley goal, the Hammers held to a goalless draw over the weekend. They were favorites going into that fixture, but a lack of cutting edge and precision in finishing cost them the win. They’ll need to provide a better attacking display if they’re to have any chance of grabbing a result in this London derby.

Outs and doubts

Bernd Leno is ruled out for Arsenal while Aubameyang is expected back after missing the last match due to internal disciplinary issues. For West Ham, Cresswell remains a doubt after missing last week’s action, while Benjamin Johnson, Kurt Zouma, Ryan Fredericks and Angelo Ogbonna remain out.

Prediction: 2-2

Thursday December 16

Leicester vs Tottenham

Leicester returned to winning ways by making light work of Newcastle. Starting Zambian striker Patson Daka in place of Jamie Vardy proved to be inspired, Daka grabbing a goal and providing an assist. Youri Tielemans’ return from injury added extra bite and creativity to the Foxes’ attack.

The availability of Spurs players for the fixture is still unknown due to Covid. The players who tested positive are unknown to the general public, which makes it imperative for FPL managers to avoid Spurs assets for now. Tottenham however impressively dispatched Norwich in their last match before the outbreak.

Outs and doubts

The whole match is in doubt because of Spurs’ Covid issues. Leicester will have to reshuffle their back line in the absence of Jonny Evans due to a thigh injury.

Prediction: 1-1


Chelsea vs Everton

Chelsea needed a last-minute penalty to nick the win against Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds over the weekend. Chelsea has looked uncharacteristically shaky at the back in recent weeks, the Blues conceding eight goals in their last four games. However, they’ll be buoyed by Everton’s recent struggles that have seen them win just one of their last ten games.

Under-threat manager Rafa Benitez must be disappointed by his players’ inability to follow-up on their victory over Arsenal, falling meekly to Crystal Palace on Sunday. The former Liverpool manager has endured a tepid time worsened by injuries to key players like Calvert Lewin and Richarlison. Everything points to a victory for the Blues in this fixture.

Outs and doubts

Chelsea has no new problems; Richarlison is a doubt for Everton due to a calf injury.

Prediction: 3-0


Liverpool vs Newcastle

Liverpool has five wins from five after getting the better of Steven Gerrard’s Villans over the weekend. Jurgen Klopp’s side showed its ability to grind out wins against sides playing with a low block despite not attacking at its best. The win also saw Salah extend his lead at the top of Premier League goalscorers list.

The Magpies failed to build on a first win of the season when they squared off against Leicester at King Power last week. They fell to an embarrassing four-nil defeat that left them adrift in 19th. A win looks likely for the Reds in this fixture.

Outs and doubts

Nothing major or new to report.

Prediction: 4-0

What are your predictions for this game-week? Whom are you backing in the Leicester vs Tottenham and Arsenal vs West Ham fixtures? Please join us in our FPL & Fantrax virtual pub (comments below) as we face our deadlines, post the lineups and share late-breaking news.


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