clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

EPL GW-20 FPL Player Picks: Friday Deadline

Round 20 offers derbies and double-gamers!

Cody Gakpo - Liverpool - Emirates FA Cup Third Round
Can Cody Gakpo reinvigorate Liverpool’s attack?
Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images

The Premier League resumes hectic action after the weekend’s FA Cup fixtures, and for this round of league play, our fantasy decisions are going to be a bit interesting.

The champions have a double in GW-20, first facing United in the Manchester Derby before welcoming Spurs. Two tough, high-profile matches so close together means fantasy managers will have to be especially mindful of Pep roulette. Tottenham also plays twice, squaring off with Arsenal in the North London Derby before traveling to the Etihad four days later.

However, in a surprise wrinkle, the GW-7 match between Crystal Palace and Man United that was postponed due to the queen’s death was abruptly rescheduled for 18 January, placing it inside the boundaries of GW-20 to create doubles for both teams (though Palace’s double against Chelsea and United is not for the faint of heart!).

To summarize, then, here are the clubs that play twice in FPL this round:

  • Spurs : v Arsenal (H), Man City (A)
  • Man City : v Man United (A), Spurs (H)
  • Man United : v Man City (H), Crystal Palace (A)
  • Crystal Palace : v Chelsea (A), Man United (H)

Note: Fantrax has a Thursday deadline for the Palace v Chelsea match that concludes FPL’s mini DGW-19, but don’t let that distract you. With that, let’s have a look at some names to consider this week.


David Raya (£4.6m, Brentford v Bournemouth)

Raya is a tremendous asset for the Bees, their 3-1 win over Liverpool showing what they are capable of this season. Raya’s save ratio is tops, and he can aim for his sixth clean sheet of the season this week thanks to Bournemouth’s inability to find the net: The Cherries haven’t scored a single goal since the restart. Brentford’s fixture list from GW-20 to GW-22 is pretty decent too.


Nick Pope (£5.4m, Newcastle v Fulham)

Newcastle’s goal is difficult to breach, and much of the credit belongs to netminder Nick Pope. The England international just got his tenth clean sheet of the campaign against a top Arsenal side, making it four straight.


Honorable mentions:

Kepa Arrizabalaga (£4.6m)

Ederson (£5.4m) who has a double this week.


Luke Shaw (5.1m, Man United v Man City & at Crystal Palace)

Shaw has been playing left-sided center-back for Erik ten Hag’s Red Devils since the restart, and he has done a great job there, keeping three clean sheets in a row and even scoring against Bournemouth. He will start either at the same position or at his normal left fullback position — either way he’ll be a key player in both matches.


Ben White (£4.7m, Spurs v Arsenal)

White has been commendable at right-back for Arsenal, and despite having two difficult opponents coming up in Spurs and then United, White has leadership qualities that will help organize and inspire his teammates. Keeping a clean sheet in either fixture could be tricky, making his selection a bit of a tough call, but frankly there aren’t a ton of likely clean sheets to be found this week.


John Stones (£5.4m, Man United v Man City); (Man City v Spurs)

Among City’s defenders, Stones seems the most immune from Pep roulette, having started the last six in a row before resting during the FA Cup. Neither fixture of the double is easy, but even if he fails to claim a clean sheet, he’ll still hopefully collect four points just for playing. And he is always a threat from set pieces due to his heading ability.


Kieran Trippier (£6.0m, Newcastle v Fulham)

Trippier has been a gem for Newcastle, a true pleasure to watch even for the neutral fan. The top-scoring FPL defender has five assists and plays for the team with the best defense in the league: Newcastle has the most clean sheets and the fewest goals conceded.

Honorable mention: William Saliba (£5.3), Ivan Perisic (£5.5m)


Miguel Almiron (5.9m, Newcastle v Fulham)

Almiron may have not scored in the previous two, but he recorded attacking returns in six straight games before that. He continues to get into threatening positions, so we can expect him to get chances against a Fulham side that spends most of its time on the front foot.


Marcus Rashford (£7.0m, Man United v Man City & at Crystal Palace)

Rashford seems to be in the form of his life, with five goals in his previous five fixtures across all competitions (including a PK goal in the FA Cup while Bruno Fernandes was on the pitch). The Manchester native will be desperate to score against the Citizens in the derby clash, and then he’ll get a second bite at the cherry at Selhurst Park, with Leeds and Leicester to follow in game-weeks after that. Especially at his relatively low price, if you’ve missed out on his returns so far, now might be a good time to jump in.


Wilfried Zaha (£7.3m, Chelsea v Crystal Palace); (Crystal Palace v Man United)

Zaha will soon be out of contract, so this may very well be his last campaign for the Eagles. What better way to land a new deal at a bigger club than to impress against Chelsea and United? The attacking winger is as nailed-on as any Palace player and has been the X-factor in the team for quite a while. I expect him to produce in at least one of these two games.


Cody Gakpo (£8.0m, Brighton v Liverpool)

Liverpool is having a tough campaign, as underscored by the recent league loss to Brentford and then a draw with Wolves in the FA Cup over the weekend. Cody Gakpo made his debut in the FA Cup game and now becomes an option for Klopp either on the left flank or through the middle. The versatile attacker could offer the spark that Liverpool needs so badly right now.


Son Heung-Min (£11.6m, Spurs v Arsenal & at Man City)

After a long drought that began in GW-9, Son finally found his goal in Spurs’ much-needed 4-0 victory over Palace. History tells us that the South Korean tends to pick up form in the second half of the season, and perhaps getting that goal against Palace will be enough to kick-start his engines. At only 6.1% ownership, he’s a good differential play if that happens.


Kevin De Bruyne (£12.5m, Man United v Man City); (Man City v Spurs)

He makes the Citizens’ rhythm tick, and his creativity and service are key to City’s goals. I would give him strong consideration this week, because the Belgian — who already has 10 assists this season — usually turns up for the big games.


Honorable mentions: Mo Salah (£12.9m), Riyad Mahrez (£7.5m), Jack Grealish (£6.8m), Martin Odegaard (£6.7m)


Aleksandar Mitrovic (£7.2m, Newcastle v Fulham)

The #4 goal-scorer in the Prem can be yours for just £7.2m. This week Fulham’s striker faces tough opposition in the tight Newcastle back line, but the Serb seems to specialize in scoring against top sides, already notching against Liverpool, Arsenal, and Tottenham this season. He is suspended in Thursday’s DGW-19 match vs Chelsea, so he should be rested and itching to go in GW-20.


Darwin Nunez (£8.9m, Brighton v Liverpool)

Possibly the only player who looks like he’s putting in 100% effort in a Reds shirt lately, Darwin found the net in the FA Cup draw with Wolves, giving hope to fantasy managers who have been waiting for him to do that in the league. The Uruguayan striker has been notoriously profligate in front of goal, but perhaps he has now found his scoring boots.


Harry Kane (£11.6m, Spurs v Arsenal & at Man City)

With his brace at Crystal Palace, Kane took his tally to 15 goals in 18 league appearances this season. Plus, the striker is famously lethal in North London derbies, netting 14 times in 17 league meetings with the Gunners. Plus, Kane’s next goal will draw him level with Jimmy Greaves for most goals in Spurs history. With all that and a DGW, go without him at your peril.


Erling Haaland (£12.2, Man United v Man City); (Man City v Spurs)

Haaland has scored with such robotic regularity this season that it has become surprising when he doesn’t, as was the case in the 1-0 win over Chelsea. His 21 league goals are enough to win the Golden Boot some years, but we’re just halfway through the season. Pep’s main man will want to have his name on the score sheet in both of these important games, and given what we’ve seen from him this season, are you willing to bet against him in a DGW? I’m not, and I suspect some FPL managers will even triple-captain him this week.


Ivan Toney (£7.4, Brentford v Bournemouth)

Stretchered off in the 2-0 victory over West Ham on 30 December, Toney is expected to return to training today or tomorrow, and should be ready to go for Saturday. With a long suspension possibly looming on the horizon as punishment for betting on his own team, Toney will want to make hay while the sun shines. He could run riot over Bournemouth’s shambolic defense.

Honorable mention: Callum Wilson (£7.2m)


What do you make of our picks this game-week? How many DGW players are you going for, and are you taking hits to bring them in? Are you considering playing a chip? Please register and let us know your thoughts in the comments below!