We were treated to quite a brilliant week of Premier League action over the weekend. On his managerial debut as a Toffee, Sean Dyche engineered a shock victory for then joint-bottom Everton over table-toppers Arsenal. Spurs defeated second-place Manchester City to keep their Champions League hopes alive. Liverpool was shellacked by Wolves, leaving the Reds just a single point above the bottom half now. And Nottingham Forest continued its remarkable turnaround, downing a flailing Leeds side to drive the final nail into Jesse Marsch’s coffin.
Although at the time of writing we still have one more fixture to play in GW-22, we are already quickly approaching the next FPL deadline. GW-23 brings us a mini-double for the top two sides in the Prem, with Arsenal and Manchester City squaring off in the week’s 11th match. Depending on what happens in each team’s first fixture, a win for City could see them leapfrog the Gunners into first place.
- Manchester City
Aston Villa (H)
Manchester City (H)
As we do ahead of every gameweek, let’s have a look at the players that can be potential point-grabbers for FPL managers in round 23.
Be sure to keep an eye on the horizon too. The Champions League will resume next week, so we’ll soon need to contend with the specter of rotation for those Premier League teams that are still involved. BTW, if you think you might be interested in joining Never Manage Alone’s UCL staff, please see here.
Nick Pope (£5.5m, Bournemouth v Newcastle)
Many call Pope the best signing of the summer transfer window, and it’s hard to argue with them. Although he conceded a goal to West Ham over the weekend, Pope had recorded six clean sheets in a row since GW-15 and has 12 clean sheets so far in the campaign. This week Pope and Newcastle’s stingy defense face a Bournemouth side had has managed only a single goal over its last six Premier League fixtures.
With Erik ten Hag settled in and the Ronaldo saga over, Manchester United has found its groove. David de Gea and United’s back line have been key components of the club’s resurgence. The story has been the opposite at Elland Road, where the Whites haven’t won a league match since 5 November. With Jesse Marsch now gone and no replacement named as of the time of writing, we can’t be sure what to expect from Leeds this weekend. If history is any guide, however, we should not expect goals; they’ve scored just four over their last six.
Nathan Ake (£5.0m, Manchester City v Aston Villa); (Arsenal v Manchester City)
After the surprise exit of Joao Cancelo, Nathan Ake is most likely to start at the left-back position (and he can also play at center back). He’s a relatively safe from Pep roulette, then, and should get two bites of the cherry this week. Pep seems to be a big fan of Rico Lewis too, and at just £3.9m he offers exceptional value for the double.
Gabriel Magalhaes (£5.2m, Arsenal v Brentford); (Arsenal v Manchester City)
Arsenal are a different beast at the Emirates this season and Gabriel Magalhaes has been a big reason for that. A favorite of Mikel Arteta, he has the most minutes played (1800) and is always a threat from set pieces.
Luke Shaw (£5.3m, Leeds v Manchester United)
Shaw’s improvement has played a massive role in United’s turnaround, with the 27 year-old Englishman making contributions at both ends of the pitch. Against a Leeds side in disarray, United could pick up its seventh clean sheet of the season this weekend, and Shaw could layer attacking returns on top of that too.
Kieran Trippier (£6.1m, Bournemouth v Newcastle)
After Erling Haaland and Harry Kane, Trippier is the #3 point-scorer in FPL. His ability to provide defensive as well as attacking returns makes him well-poised to haul against a relegation-embattled Bournemouth.
Kaoru Mitoma (£5.2m, Crystal Palace v Brighton)
Mitoma has been one of this campaign’s biggest revelations. The master dribbler now has five attacking returns and 42 points since GW 18. As manager Roberto De Zerbi said, “Mitoma can never be substituted” based on the form he is in.
Martin Odegaard (£7.0m, Arsenal v Brentford); (Arsenal v Manchester City)
The Gunners’ captain and creative midfielder has been top class this season. His eight goals and five assists make him Arsenal’s top-scoring FPL asset this season, and he’ll play twice this week provided he stays fit.
Marcus Rashford (£7.2, Leeds v Manchester United)
Marcus Rashford has been in the form of his life, convincing many to play the Triple Captain chip on him for United’s double in GW-22. The Manchester native is the club’s leading scorer since the restart, and he looks positioned to add to his tally against a poor Leeds side that is in turmoil.
Riyad Mahrez (£7.7m, Manchester City v Aston Villa); (Arsenal v Manchester City)
Recently Mahrez has made that right-wing spot his own, producing returns in five of the Citizens’ PL matches since the season resumed. In fact, he has registered just two points fewer than Haaland over that time. With a TSB of 9.1%, the winger can be considered a decent differential for City’s DGW this round.
Bukayo Saka (£8.3m, Arsenal v Brentford); (Arsenal v Manchester City)
Perhaps the best young player of the season, Saka has been critical for the Gunners’ title tilt. The youngster has blanked just twice in the past six gameweeks, having scored three goals plus one assist. This week’s double fixture makes him an even more compelling candidate.
Eddie Nketiah (£6.7m, Arsenal v Brentford); (Arsenal v Manchester City)
Since GW17, Eddie Nketiah has played more minutes than first-choice Arsenal starters such as Saka, Odegaard and Martinelli. His ability to position himself in the right place at the right time has led to four goals in his last six appearances, and he should find opportunities for more during Arsenal’s double-feature.
Kane became Tottenham’s all-time record scorer when his 267th goal sealed a huge 1-0 win over Manchester City. His landmark moment also made him only the third player to score 200 Premier League goals after Alan Shearer (260) and Wayne Rooney (208). Erling Haaland’s brilliance has cast something of a shadow on the remarkable campaign Kane is having, even if Spurs have struggled a bit. A match against a Leicester side that won its first match in its last seven over the weekend presents Kane with an opportunity to continue his steady production.
Erling Haaland (£12.2m, Manchester City v Aston Villa); (Arsenal v Manchester City)
For the first time this season, Haaland failed to register a single attempt on goal in the defeat to Spurs on Sunday. But he has otherwise been in a class of his own for pretty much the entire season. He boasts an astonishing 25 goals already, averaging 1.37 per game with a 40% conversion rate. The Norwegian striker is the brightest star in the FPL universe, and many are lining up the triple captaincy for him for the DGW.
What are your top picks for GW-23? Whom are you dropping? How many DGW players are you going for, and are you taking hits to bring them in? Are you considering playing a chip? Please log in and let us know your thoughts in the comments below!