GW-15 kicks off after a rest of just 48 hours. The festive period of fixtures is now in full flow, and fantasy managers will have little to no time to make adjustments to their squads till the new year. Keeping a close eye on our endless stream of FPL & Fantrax content will stand you in good stead during this rush, ensuring that you’re a step ahead of your peers.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the preview and prediction of each fixture.
Wolves v Burnley
This is the lone early match that should confirm lineups before the Fantrax deadline. Be here in the countdown hour to discuss those.
Wolves put on a spirited display despite a slender 2-1 defeat to league leading Arsenal. Gary O’Niel’s men have been fearless in their approach to games all season and will be confident of getting a result against struggling Burnley.
A 5-0 victory over woeful Sheffield United saw Burnley pick up just a second win of the season. The result moved the Clarets level on points with 18th-place Everton, two short of 17th-place Luton Town.
Jonny Otto is ruled out for Wolves due to an injury picked up in training this week. Mario Lemina and Joao Gomes will return from one-match suspensions for yellow card accumulation. Rayan Ait Nouri and Jose Pedro also have a chance of returning to the match-day squad after recovering from injuries.
For Burnley, Arijanet Muric and Josh Cullen are in with a chance of being available for this fixture, but Jordan Beyer is ruled out for yellow card accumulation.
Luton v Arsenal
Possible bonus: Because of tight scheduling, there’s a teeny tiny chance that Luton and/or Arsenal could tip a confirmed lineup just before the Fantrax deadline. If you’re refreshing the BBC live feed or the like at that time, then you might just nick Arteta’s rotation or Tomiyasu’s availability.
Arsenal travels to Luton knowing that a win will hold the top of the league for at least another few days. The Gunners have won their last three, while Luton has a win and two losses.
Mikel Arteta said “we’ll decide tomorrow” when asked about Tomiyasu’s availability. The Japan international was forced off with a knock in the 2-1 victory over Wolves last week.
Sambi Lokonga is back in training for Luton but won’t be able to face his parent club. Marvelous Nakamba, Thomas Lockyer and Teden Mengi are all doubts due to injuries. However, the Hatters will have Alfie Doughty available, having recovered from a hip injury.
Brighton v Brentford
Brighton surprisingly lost at Stamford Bridge despite playing against a ten-man Chelsea side for most of the game. Injuries and suspensions have dealt the Seagulls huge blows in recent weeks. Brentford returned to winning ways by getting the better of Luton last week to rise to 11th.
Brighton’s Lewis Dunk and Mahmoud Dahoud remain ruled out due to suspensions.
For Brentford, Mikkel Damsgaard, Mathias Jensen, and Kristoffer Ajer are late fitness tests.
Crystal Palace v Bournemouth
A second-half Odsonne Edouard goal against West Ham last week was enough to salvage a draw for the Eagles. They’ve now won only the once in their last five games, dropping to 12th. A stoppage-time goal from Ollie Watkins denied the Cherries what would have been a huge victory against high-flying Villa. Bournemouth has been in good form of late, winning two and drawing one of the last three.
News broke of an injury to Cheick Doucoure just before the match against West Ham — The midfielder is now expected to be out for quite some time. The availability of Jeffrey Schlupp is unknown due to personal reasons.
Bournemouth has no new injury problems.
Fulham v Nott’m Forest
Fulham suffered late heartbreak despite going 3-2 up against the Reds in the 80th minute. The defeat means they have only one win in the last five. Forest also surprisingly succumbed to a home defeat against Everton last week.
Fulham has no new injury issue. Forest has a slight chance of welcoming back Willy Boly from a muscular injury.
Sheffield United v Liverpool
Bottom-placed Sheffield United lost to fellow newly-promoted side Burnley last week to make it a run of just one win in five. The Blades have just five points from a possible 42. A late victory over Fulham saw Liverpool leapfrog Man City into second place to remain within two points of table-topping Arsenal.
Oliver McBurnie will be a huge miss for the Blades due to a red card against Burnley last week. Joel Matip also remains unavailable for the visiting Reds.
Unai Emery knows that a statement win against title holding Man City would do Villa a world of good. The Villans could only draw against Bournemouth but have been buoyed by news of suspensions for Grealish and Rodri, now unavailable for the midweek fixture. There’s also uncertainty concerning the availability of Doku who was forced off early with an injury last week.
Pep Guardiola’s side made it three consecutive draws when Kulusevski scored a late goal for Spurs to draw 3-3 last week. Three games without a win have seen the Citizens slip from first to third, three points behind first-place Arsenal.
Boubacar Kamara will return after missing (suspended) against Bournemouth.
Man United welcomes Chelsea to Old Trafford in this week’s marquee encounter. While both clubs have fallen short of their standard in recent seasons, the collision of hopefuls still promises to be a blockbuster.
The Red Devils succumbed to another away defeat to a big side as Newcastle ended their run of three straight wins. On the other hand, Chelsea secured an inspired 3-2 win over Brighton despite playing most of the game with ten men.
Mason Mount is the closest to returning to the match-day squad among the Red Devils lengthy injury list. He has returned to training but still needs to prove match-fitness.
Conor Gallagher is suspended for Chelsea due to a red card picked up against Brighton last week. Romeo Lavia and Christopher Nkunku have a chance of making the matchday squad for the first time this season. On a brighter side, the Blues will welcome back the duo of Reece James and Marc Cucurella after both players were suspended against Brighton.
Everton v Newcastle
Against Forest last week, the Toffees picked up their first win since their point deduction. They’ve lost only one of their last five, winning three and drawing one. Newcastle shrugged off the disappointment of a controversial Champions League penalty decision against PSG to get the better of Man United last week.
Amadou Onana and Calvert-Lewin are in with a chance of making a return against Newcastle. Nick Pope was forced off with a shoulder injury against United and is expected to be out 4-5 months. Anthony Gordon also picked up a slight knock in the same fixture but should be ready.
Tottenham v West Ham
Spurs snapped a run of three consecutive losses by earning a respectable draw against Man City at the Etihad last week. Injuries to key players James Maddison and Micky Van De Ven have seen the North Londoners struggle in recent weeks, but they looked back to their best against the title holders.
Tottenham welcomes back Cristian Romero from suspension, while the duo of Pape Sarr and Eric Dier also have a chance of making the match-day squad.
For West Ham, Kurt Zouma is a doubt due to personal reasons.
How are your fantasy squads holding up? Whom are you dropping? Whom are you looking to buy (or are watching)? Have any questions for the NMA staff (or our community of readers)? Please log in, hoist a beer and join in the chat as we prep for and the watch EPL GW-15!