EPL Season 2019/2020 – Gameweek 17 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 17 goes, we will take a look at confirmed starting lineups for the top-10 teams in gameweek 16, compare those to our predictions for that gameweek, and then predict their lineups for gameweek 17.

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 GW17

Liverpool Champions League group stage vs. RB Salzburg (a) on 10/12: 0-2
Leicester City None
Manchester City Champions League group stage vs. Dinamo Zagreb (a) on 11/12: 1-4

The Premier League at the start of gameweek 17 (positions 1 to 5)

1 Liverpool 46 pts
2 Leicester City 38 pts
3 Manchester City 32 pts
4 Chelsea 29 pts
5 Manchester United 24 pts

Lineups for gameweek 16: Predicted vs. confirmed

LIVERPOOL (away vs. Bournemouth, 0-3)

Form. 4 – 3 – 3   4 – 3 – 3
FOR Mané, Firmino, Salah   O.-Chamberlain, Firmino, Salah
MID O.-Chamberlain, Keita, Henderson   Keita, Henderson, Milner
DEF Robertson, Van Dijk, Lovren, A.-Arnold   Robertson, Van Dijk, Lovren, Gomez
GK Alisson   Alisson
Subs ///   (1st half) A.-Arnold > Lovren (2nd half) Jones > Robertson, Shaqiri > O.-Chamberlain
Goals ///   O.-Chamberlain (Henderson), Keita (Salah), Salah (Keita)

LEICESTER CITY (away vs Aston Villa, 1-4)

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

MANCHESTER CITY (home vs. Manchester United, 1-2)

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

Predicted lineups for gameweek 17

LIVERPOOL (home vs. Watford)

Form. 4 – 3 – 3
FOR Mané, Firmino, Salah
MID Wijnaldum, Keita, Milner
DEF Robertson, Van Dijk, Gomez, Alexander-Arnold
GK Alisson
Ruled out Fabinho, Clyne, Matip, Lovren
Doubtful Lallana
Notes After Lovren had to come off early for a second consecutive time due to the same minor discomfort, manager Klopp has confirmed he will sit this one out. Replacement Gomez joins Robertson, Van Dijk and A.-Arnold in defence. After being rested last gameweek and playing the full 90 minutes against Salzburg mid-week, Wijnaldum should retain his spot in the middle. Keita has been a main replacement for Fabinho and is expected to feature from the start as well. The third midfield spot could be Milner’s after Henderson completed the mid-week game. Mané was rested in gameweek 16, so we expect him to start against the Hornets. Firmino was replaced by Milner after 75 minutes versus Salzburg, which should indicate the Brazilian starting this weekend as well. Salah seems to be getting back to form and should fill in the last spot, but considering the opposition, the upcoming fixture calendar and the quality of the bench players, we think the Egyptian is the most likely one to be replaced by Oxlade-Chamberlain or Origi.

LEICESTER CITY (home vs. Norwich)

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 None
Notes Manager Brendan Rodgers has no urgent injuries to deal with, but he did surprise us in gameweek 16 by mixing up his starting lineup a bit after maintaining the same lineup for many weeks. Praet and the in-form Iheanacho came in for H. Barnes and Ayoze. In terms of our expectation for the game against Norwich, we’re leaning towards Rodgers picking the usual starting eleven again, including H. Barnes and Ayoze, but this could be considered harsh on Iheanacho. Knowing that a cup game is coming up soon after this encounter, Rodgers will probably revert to his preferred 4 – 1 – 4 – 1  with H. Barnes and Ayoze on the wings.

MANCHESTER CITY (away vs. Arsenal)

Form. 4 – 3 – 3
FOR Sterling, Gabriel Jesus, B. Silva
MID D. Silva, Rodri, De Bruyne
DEF Angeliño, Fernandinho, Otamendi, Walker
GK Ederson
Ruled out Sané, Laporte, Stones
Doubtful Aguero, D. Silva, Ederson
Notes Ederson missed the mid-week clash with Zagreb due to illness, but is expected to return in goal against Arsenal. Stones is out injured, making a central defensive pair of Fernandinho and Otamendi very likely. Mendy and Cancelo completed the 90 minutes mid-week, so we can see Angeliño (left) and Walker (right) return to the starting lineup. De Bruyne was rested for the Champions League game on Wednesday and will return against the Gunners. Foden and Gundogan got a 90-minute run against Zagreb, so we expect them to be replaced. D. Silva has missed the last 2 training sessions and is a doubt due to pain in his leg but will have a very late fitness test to see if he’s recovered in time to take Foden’s place against Arsenal, while Rodri should fill in the third midfield spot. Up front, Gabriel Jesus continues to lead the line, flanked by Sterling and B. Silva. If D. Silva doesn’t make it in time, we could see a mixed-up midfield with De Bruyne, Rodri and B. Silva, and with Mahrez starting on the right wing.

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