EPL Season 2019/2020 – Gameweek 16 Predicted Lineups – Clubs in 1st to 3rd

Every week this new series will take a look at the predicted starting line-ups for clubs in the English Premier League. Knowing which players are expected to play each weekend is a crucial element for every active Fantasy Football manager. The starting XIs for the EPL clubs is increasingly hard to predict, due to congested fixture calendars and the quality of squad depths as a result of the vast amounts of money the EPL clubs generate.

For the moment, we will consider the lineups of the top-10 teams in the Premier League as it stands by the start of the upcoming gameweek, divided over three articles. This part 1 covers the teams in positions 1 to 3, part 2 covers the lineups for positions 4 to 6, and part 3 looks at the formations for positions 7 to 10. We might analyse the lineups of all teams at a later stage, based on the interest shown in this series. As far as gameweek 16 goes, we will take a look at confirmed starting lineups for the top-10 teams in gameweek 15, compare those to our predictions for that gameweek, and then predict their lineups for gameweek 16.

For much of the injury news mentioned in these pieces, we consult, among other club-specific sources, the excellent Twitter account and website of Ben Dinnery (@BenDinnery). Lineups are written down from left to right, as seen from the goalkeeper’s perspective (so in defence, for example, from left-back to right-back).

Factors potentially affecting lineups per team in the build-up to GW16

Liverpool Gameweek 15 taking place mid-week
Leicester City Gameweek 15 taking place mid-week
Manchester City Gameweek 15 taking place mid-week

The Premier League at the start of gameweek 16 (positions 1 to 5)

1 Liverpool 43 pts
2 Leicester City 35 pts
3 Manchester City 32 pts
4 Chelsea 29 pts
5 Wolves 23 pts

Lineups for gameweek 15: Predicted vs. confirmed

LIVERPOOL (home vs. Everton, 5-2)

Form. 4 – 3 – 3   4 – 3 – 3
FOR Mané, Firmino, Salah   Origi, Mané, Shaqiri
MID O.-Chamberlain, Wijnaldum, Henderson   Milner, Lallana, Wijnaldum
DEF Robertson, Van Dijk, Lovren, A.-Arnold   Robertson, Van Dijk, Lovren, A.-Arnold
GK Adrian   Adrian
Subs ///   (2nd half) Henderson > Lallana, Firmino > Origi, Gomez > A.-Arnold
Goals ///   Origi (Mané), Shaqiri (Mané), Origi (Lovren), Mané (A.-Arnold), Wijnaldum (Firmino)

LEICESTER CITY (home vs. Watford, 2-0)

Form. 4 – 1 – 4 – 1   4 – 1 – 4 – 1
FOR Vardy   Vardy
MID H. Barnes, Maddison, Tielemans, Ayoze   H. Barnes, Maddison, Tielemans, Ayoze
DEF MID Ndidi   Ndidi
DEF Chilwell, Söyüncü, Evans, Ricardo Pereira   Fuchs, Söyüncü, Evans, Ricardo Pereira
GK Schmeichel   Schmeichel
Subs ///   (2nd half) Praet > Ayoze, Choudhury > Tielemans, J. Justin > H. Barnes
Goals ///   Vardy (pen, Evans), Maddison (J. Justin)

MANCHESTER CITY (away vs. Burnley, 1-4)

Form. 4 – 3 – 3   4 – 3 – 3
FOR Sterling, Gabriel Jesus, B Silva   Sterling, Gabriel Jesus, B. Silva
MID Foden, Rodri, De Bruyne   D. Silva, Rodri, De Bruyne
DEF Angeliño, Fernandinho, Stones, Cancelo   Angeliño, Otamendi, Fernandinho, Walker
GK Ederson   Ederson
Subs ///   (2nd half) Mahrez > Sterling, Foden > De Bruyne, Garcia > Fernandinho
Goals ///   G. Jesus (D. Silva), G. Jesus (B. Silva), Rodri (D. Silva), Mahrez (B. Silva)

Predicted lineups for gameweek 16

LIVERPOOL (away vs. Bournemouth)

Form. 4 – 3 – 3
FOR Mané, Firmino, Salah
MID Oxlade-Chamberlain, Keita, Henderson
DEF Robertson, Van Dijk, Lovren, Alexander-Arnold
GK Alisson
Ruled out Fabinho, Clyne, Matip
Doubtful None
Notes Last round, manager Jurgen Klopp mixed it up, bringing in Origi, Shaqiri, Milner and Lallana in from the start, instead of the rested Firmino (entered in minute 73), Salah, Henderson (came on in the 72nd minute) and Ox. Alisson is back from his suspension, while we expect the four in front of him to remain intact. Most likely to be rested at some point are Robertson and TAA, but they seem safe for now as Gomez hasn’t exactly been brilliant and Matip still out injured. Up front, Firmino and Salah can be expected to return, while Mané seems immune to congested fixture calenders. Should he be next in line for a rest though, Origi could come on. It’s a bit of a guessing game in the middle, but there seems to be a lot of talk about an Oxlade-Keita-Henderson midfield in the run-up to the weekend, so Wijnaldum can be rested as he’s not had 2 matches in a row. Injury-wise, the situation for the Reds is quite clear, but rotation-wise, keep an eye on last-minute team news.

LEICESTER CITY (away vs. Aston Villa)

Form. 4 – 1 – 4 – 1
FOR Vardy
MID H. Barnes, Maddison, Tielemans, Ayoze Perez
DEF Chilwell, Söyüncü, Evans, Ricardo Pereira
GK Schmeichel
Ruled out None
Doubtful D. Gray, Chilwell
Notes Manager Brendan Rodgers had to tinker with his starting lineup for the first time in a long time last round, as left-back Chilwell needed a last-minute replacement. For the rest, the team remained intact. Rodgers is hoping for his return this weekend, which would mean the bench again for Fuchs. Rotation is always a risk in December, but seeing as the Foxes do not play in Europe, they have a lot less need to rotate. We expect Rodgers to pick a starting lineup that is largely if not completely identical to the one he picked last gameweek, bar Fuchs at left-back. Iheanacho is pushing Perez for his starting place.

MANCHESTER CITY (home vs. Manchester United)

Form. 4 – 3 – 3
FOR Sterling, Gabriel Jesus, Mahrez
MID D. Silva, Rodri, De Bruyne
DEF Mendy, Fernandinho, Stones, Walker
GK Ederson
Ruled out Sané, Laporte, Aguero
Doubtful Zinchenko
Notes Ederson starts in goal. In front of him, Pep should revert to the central duo consisting of Fernandinho and Stones, flanked by Mendy on the left and maybe Walker, whose experience with Manchester derbies might be welcome, on the right even though he has had 2 matches in a row and otherwise you’d expect Cancelo to take his place. In the middle, two spots are expected to be taken up by De Bruyne and Rodri. We’d say that the third spot is between D. Silva, Gundogan and Foden, with Silva being our guess, despite his 90 minutes on Tuesday versus Burnley which was his 2nd match in a few days. Up front, we expect Jesus to be accompanied by Sterling on the left and Mahrez on the right, as the Algerian winger has now scored 2 goals in 3 gameweeks, including the 18 minutes he got on Tuesday. Bernardo Silva started that game, played very well and is naturally in contention for this one as well, but we’ve gone with Mahrez for now.

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