Picking up the pace of the Premier League after the sliding winter break brings renewed excitement for FPL managers. However, the landscape is not without challenges — Key players like Mo Salah and Son Heung-min face fitness concerns and international duties.
FPL managers also find themselves navigating through the FA Cup fourth-round fixtures before we complete the substantial two-and-a-half-week gap between deadlines. GW-22 kicks off on Tuesday (January 30) at 18:00 GMT.
By then we should have learned something about upcoming blank and double game-weeks, plus more progress / return of AfCON and Asian Cup players.
So please note: GW-26 has blanks for Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham. Chelsea secured a spot in the EFL Cup final with a 6-2 aggregate victory over Middlesbrough, while Liverpool advanced with a 3-2 aggregate win over Fulham.
As FPL managers gear up for GW-22, strategic transfer decisions become crucial. Let’s check out the player picks that could possibly elevate your fantasy squad this week.
Tuesday, 30 January
- Nott’m Forest vs Arsenal
- Fulham vs Everton
- Luton Town vs Brighton
- Crystal Palace vs Sheffield United
- Villa vs Newcastle
Wednesday, 31 January
Thursday, 1 February
- West Ham vs Bournemouth
- Wolves vs Man United
Sam Johnstone (£4.5m, Crystal Palace vs Sheffield United)
Johnstone has only five clean sheets, and Palace has lately been all over the place, upfront and at the back. However, Sheffield lacks attacking threat, giving Sam the opportunity to aim for the clean sheet he’s been looking for.
David Raya (£4.9m, Nott’m Forest vs Arsenal)
Raya has had a difficult run, and it looked like Arsenal needed the much-needed break. Now it seems the Gunners have freshened up, demolishing Palace 5-0. Another cleanie could be in the cards against Forest.
Antonee Robinson (£4.4m, Fulham vs Everton)
With upcoming favorable fixtures, including Everton at home, a visit to Burnley, and hosting Bournemouth, Robinson is an enticing option to strengthen a squad at just £4.4m. While he is due a clean sheet after five games without one, he’s also showing signs of breaking a seven-game goal involvement drought, having provided assists in three consecutive matches.
Gabriel Magalhaes (£5.m, Nott’m Forest vs Arsenal)
Gabriel hauled for his GW21 fantasy owners, earning 17 points against Palace thanks to his goal plus an assist and a clean sheet. Next up is Forest, who don’t really have a great attacking threat moving forward, giving Gabriel chances to grab another clean sheet.
Kyle Walker (£5.4m, Man City vs Burnley)
Walker has started every game this season and has a double GW to come, which makes him a great option despite his high price tag. He may offer less attacking threat moving forward, but out of all City defenders, he stands out with the most minutes as a safer option.
Pedro Porro (£5.9m, Tottenham vs Brentford)
Over the season, Porro has moved top in expected goals with 6.63. Brentford has been really poor defensively this season, so Porro should get more chances to bomb down the pitch on Wednesday.
Eberechi Eze (£6.0m, Crystal Palace vs Sheffield United)
Eze, with three goals plus two assists this season, is back in form for Crystal Palace. The Eagles face Sheffield United at home, the weakest defense in the league, making this a promising fixture for Palace to gain three points.
Richarlison (£6.9m, Tottenham vs Brentford)
Richarlison has excelled in the number nine role for Spurs, scoring six goals in his last six games, making him the top scorer since GW-16 with 49 FPL points. With a favorable GW-22 fixture hosting struggling Brentford who have conceded 14 goals in their last six games, Tottenham’s attacking corps is expected to deliver more goals.
Diogo Jota (£7.9m, Liverpool vs Chelsea)
It’s always this time of the season with Salah gone when Jota appears to be the magical key Liverpool player to push them further. He tallied 19 points from two goals plus an assist last time, and he is the top contender to lead the Reds this week against Chelsea at Anfield. In the wake of Klopp’s shock retirement announcement, expect the Reds and Anfield to be energized.
Bukayo Saka (£9.1m, Nott’m Forest vs Arsenal)
Despite Bukayo Saka not delivering as much in FPL this season as we may have expected, he has actually been a consistent contributor, with six goals plus eight assists while creating many “big chances” that just weren’t converted. Although he has scored only once in the last six games, his underlying statistics suggest he has been unlucky not to have more goals. The upcoming fixture against Forest, who’ve conceded 35 goals (sixteenth), could see Saka’s return to productivity.
Kevin de Bruyne (£10.5m, Man City vs Burnley)
His return from injury showcased his world-class talent and his determination to propel Man City’s title challenge. Favorable upcoming fixtures, featuring four home games in the next five, further enhance his appeal. With Mo Salah occupied by AfCON and now nursing an injury, De Bruyne stands out as the premium midfield pick. However, managers should exercise caution regarding his minutes, as they are likely to be carefully managed following his lengthy lay-off. That didn’t seem to matter much in GW-21 though, did it?
Julian Alvarez (£7.0m, Man City vs Burnley)
Alvarez has been a key contributor this season, notching six goals plus eight assists with an xG of 7.3 and an xA of 4.8. He faces a favorable fixture at the Etihad against Burnley, who have conceded the second most goals (42) with an xGC of 35.8 (fifteenth). With Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne still working towards full fitness, Alvarez is likely to continue getting significant minutes. Keep an eye on fitness updates before the FPL deadline, especially after City’s FA Cup clash against Spurs.
Darwin Nunez (£7.4m, Liverpool vs Chelsea)
For FPL managers wanting a Liverpool forward during Mo Salah’s absence, Nunez is emerging as a viable option. Previously questioned for inconsistency in front of goal, the striker scored twice in the recent 4-0 win over Bournemouth, and he contributed a goal plus an assist in his two previous outings. Nunez’s recent form suggests he can be trusted to deliver more consistently.
Ivan Toney (£8.0m, Spurs vs Brentford)
In his first game after an eight-month suspension, Toney demonstrated his goal-scoring prowess with a cheeky free-kick in a 3-2 win over Forest. Priced at £8.0m, Toney’s return to form makes him a compelling choice for FPL managers over alternatives like Ollie Watkins and Gabriel Jesus, priced at £8.9m and £8.0m, respectively.
What are your plans for GW-22? Whom are you adding and removing? Whom will you captain? Any team news or injury updates? Any differentials catching your eye? Any wildcard thoughts? And how are schedule changes affecting your long-term planning? Please log in and let us know in the comment section below!