Here we go again — Just when I was beginning to enjoy the mini-FPL breather after two back-to-back game-weeks, an email pops up, telling me I have less than 48 hours to fix my FPL team.
There’s also the issue of easy captain choice Erling Haaland being a doubt for this weekend’s round of fixtures after picking up a knock in the Champions League against Borussia Dortmund. Just like Haaland, there are many other injuries and suspensions that we will look at in this GW-14 preview.
Leicester won back-to-back victories for the first time this season when the Foxes made light work of Wolves 0-4 at the Molineaux last week. The decision to stick with under-fire boss Brendan Rodgers finally seems to be paying off as that result saw Leicester climb out of the relegation zone for the first time this season.
Pep Guardiola’s Man City returned to winning ways by dispatching Brighton 3-1 at the Etihad. The victory saw the Citizens reduce the gap behind leaders Arsenal to two points. This should be an open game, which should work in Man City’s favor. However, the early fixture curse might just work magic for Leicester.
UNAVAILABLE: Ricardo Pereira, Ryan Bertrand
QUESTIONABLE: Jonny Evans
UNAVAILABLE: Kalvin Philips, Kyle Walker
QUESTIONABLE: Erling Haaland, Joao Cancelo
Bournemouth v Tottenham
Gary O’Neil is eager to get Bournemouth out of a recent slump that has seen the Cherries lose the last two after a four game unbeaten run. They have their work cut out for them in the potential absence of striker Solanke who is central to the team’s attack. A match against a Tottenham side reeling from the effect of a last-minute goal cancellation decision in the Champions League might not be easiest match to return to winning ways for the Cherries. Tottenham has lost the last two games in the Premier League.
UNAVAILABLE: David Brooks, Lloyd Kelly, Neto
QUESTIONABLE: Dominic Solanke
UNAVAILABLE: Dejan Kulusevski, Richarlison
QUESTIONABLE: Cristian Romero (fatigue)
Brentford v Wolves
Brentford is eager to return to winning ways, welcoming relegation-fodder Wolves who have won only twice this season. The Bees have struggled in recent weeks, winning just one of their last five fixtures. Striker Ivan Toney is particularly anxious to impress as the race to make the Three Lions squad reaches the finish line. Wolves currently sit in 19th place, winning one and losing four of their last five fixtures.
UNAVAILABLE: Pontus Jansson, Thomas Strakosha, Aaron Hickey
QUESTIONABLE: Christian Norgaard
UNAVAILABLE: Francisco Oliveira, Raul Jiminez, Sasa Kalajdzic, Pedro Neto
QUESTIONABLE: Tote Gomes
Brighton v Chelsea
Four games with only one goal scored and no victory shows that Brighton lost its edge when Graham Potter went to Chelsea. The Seagulls have been a mere shadow of their surgical we saw at the beginning of the season. They have since returned to the mediocre Brighton we have known in seasons past, controlling games but being wasteful in front of goal. The match against Nottingham Forest was particularly frustrating as the Seagulls seemed hell bent on passing the ball into a net that wasn’t open.
Graham Potter, now at Chelsea, is eager to see his side become more efficient in front of goal after managing only draws in the last two league games. Despite having several attacking options, the Blues have seemed devoid of ideas going forward. A trip to the Amex to face a declining Brighton side might be just the tonic to restore attacking verve and goalscoring touch lacking in recent matches. Potter is also motivated to put one over his former employers.
UNAVAILABLE: Jakub Moder, Enock Mwepu, Levi Colwill (ineligible)
QUESTIONABLE: Adam Lallana, Joel Veltman, Kaoru Mitoma
UNAVAILABLE: N’Golo Kante, Wesley Fofana, Reece James, Kalidou Koulibaly
QUESTIONABLE: Mateo Kovacic
Crystal Palace v Southampton
The Eagles epitomized the unpredictability of Premier League when they fell to Everton in an unexpected 3-nil defeat last week. They produced arguably their worst performance of the season in what was expected to be a straightforward victory against a struggling Everton side. The Eagles will need to cut out errors at the back while becoming more sharp in front if they are to get a result in this fixture.
Southampton picked up an impressive draw while hosting league leading Arsenal last week. The Saints were aggressive and showed hunger, which helped cage the free-flowing Gunners’ attack.
UNAVAILABLE: Nathaniel Clyne, Christopher Richards, Jack Butland, James McArthur, Ferguson
UNAVAILABLE: Valentino Livramento, Armel Bella-Kotchap, Kyle Walker-Peters
QUESTIONABLE: Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Romeo Lavia
Play like Almiron? I know Jack Grealish wishes he was banging in goals like Almiron at the moment. Almiron has spearheaded a Newcastle attack that has produced 12 goals in the last five games, winning four of them. Recent results have seen the Magpies rise to fourth while reducing the gap behind Arsenal to just seven points.
Last week brought three goals scored in 15 minutes and a first win in five games for Villa. After seeing the swagger and finesse in the absence of their former boss, I’m sure many Villans wish Steven Gerrard had been sacked weeks ago.
Unai Emery has been announced as the club’s new manager, but he is not expected to begin work until next week while his work permit issues are being sorted out. The players are eager to leave a positive first impression on the new manger watching from the stands.
UNAVAILABLE: Alexander Isak, Karl Darlow, Matt Richie, Emil Kraft, Paul Dummett
QUESTIONABLE: Allan Saint-Maximin
UNAVAILABLE: Boubacar Kamara, Ludwig Augustinsson, Diego Carlos
Fulham v Everton
Fulham seems to have finally learned from the errors of previous seasons that saw them return to the lower division at the end of each first season in the Premier League. The Cottagers currently find themselves in the upper half of the table, having won their last two matches. The Cottagers are led by veterans like Mitrovic and Perriera while experienced heads like Willian, Shane Duffy and Bernd Leno have been signed to provide support.
The Toffees grabbed their biggest and most impressive win of the season when they dispatched Patrick Veira’s Crystal Palace last week. The win was just their first in four games. The return of Calvert Lewin is an extra boost for a Toffees attack that has looked short of ideas on multiple occasions this season.
UNAVAILABLE: Layvin Kurzawa, Manor Solomon
QUESTIONABLE: Daniel James
UNAVAILABLE: Ben Godfrey, Andros Townsend, Yerry Mina
We are 13 weeks in the new league season and Liverpool are still rooted to ninth place, even octopus Paul wouldn't have predicted this outcome. Jurgen Klopp injury ravaged side have struggled for consistency all season and a defeat to Nottingham Forest last week showed the enormity of the problems at Merseyside. Klopp will hope the away victory against Ajax will be enough to give his side the needed push going into this weekend’s fixture.
Under-fire Leeds manager Jesse Marsch will hope his side can reduce the pressure on him by winning his first match in six games. The Whites have struggled to get going since losing playmaker Raphinha in the summer (and replacement Rodrigo to injury). Familiar issues in defense have also compounded their woes as they can't seem to stop giving up cheap chances.
UNAVAILABLE: Luis Diaz, Joel Matip, Naby Keita, Arthur Melo, Diogo Jota
QUESTIONABLE: Thiago Alcantara
UNAVAILABLE: Stuart Dallas, Adam Forshaw, Leo Fuhr,
QUESTIONABLE: Tyler Adams, Archie Gray, Liam Cooper, Sinisterra, Rodrigo, Leo Hjelde, Joe Gelhart
Arsenal v Nottingham Forest
Are the Gunners in crisis? Two games without a win and it would be unsurprising to find tension among fans as their heroes prepare to take on a recently stingy Nottingham Forest this weekend. Arsenal was lucky to escape with a draw after what was a tepid second half against Southampton last week. The Gunners weren’t as lucky in the Europa League as they were put to the sword by Ruud Van Nisterooy’s PSV.
Can Forest win two consecutive games for the first time this season? The Tricky Trees produced arguably their most disciplined performance of the season in their morale-boosting one-nil victory over Liverpool last week. They will need to be at least as disciplined to get a result against league leaders reeling from two off-the-boil results.
UNAVAILABLE: Emile Smith Rowe, Mohamed Elneny
QUESTIONABLE: Alexandr Zinchenko, Vinicius Oliveira, Matt Turner
UNAVAILABLE: Omar Richards, Jack Colback, Lewis O’Brien, Moussa Niakhate, Harry Toffolo
Man United sealed passage to the latter stages of the Europa League with a routine 3-nil victory over Sheriff on Thursday. That was the Red Devils’ fifth consecutive game without defeat, a run they will be eager to protect when they welcome a recently-improved West Ham to Old Trafford on Sunday. Ten Hag will also have the luxury of calling back Cristiano Ronaldo who returned to the squad and redeemed himself by scoring on Thursday.
UNAVAILABLE: Raphael Varane, Brandon Williams, Anthony Martial
QUESTIONABLE: Donny Van de Beek, Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka
UNAVAILABLE: Lucas Paqueta
QUESTIONABLE: Maxwel Cornet, Craig Dawson, Nayef Aguerd, Jarrod Bowen
What are your predictions for this game-week? Whom are you planning to captain? Any player you think will shine during GW-14? What late news have you seen? Are you still in the Blog Cup and doing anything you wouldn’t do normally? Please take our poll and add your thoughts to the comment section below!