EPL Season 2019/2020 – Gameweek 20 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 20 goes, we will take a look at confirmed starting lineups for the top-10 teams in gameweek 19, compare those to our predictions for that gameweek, and then predict their lineups for gameweek 20.

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 GW20

Liverpool Less than 48 hours between GW19 and GW20.
Leicester City Less than 48 hours between GW19 and GW20.
Manchester City Less than 48 hours between GW19 and GW20.

The Premier League at the start of gameweek 20 (positions 1 to 5)

1 Liverpool 52 pts
2 Leicester City 39 pts
3 Manchester City 38 pts
4 Chelsea 32 pts
5 Wolves 30 pts

Lineups for gameweek 19: Predicted vs. confirmed

LIVERPOOL (away vs. Leicester, 0-4)

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

LEICESTER CITY (home vs. Liverpool, 0-4)

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

MANCHESTER CITY (away vs. Wolves, to be played on Friday evening)

Form. 4 – 3 – 3   4-3-3
FOR Sterling, Gabriel Jesus, Mahrez   Sterling, Aguero, Mahrez
MID De Bruyne, Rodri, B. Silva.   De Bruyne, Rodri, B. Silva.
DEF Mendy, Fernandinho, Otamendi, Walker   Mendy, Fernandinho, Otamendi, Walker
GK Ederson   Ederson
Subs ///   (1st half) Bravo > Aguero (Half-time) Garcia > Marhez (2nd half) Gundogan > KDB
Goals ///   Sterling (Marhez), Sterling (KDB)

Predicted lineups for gameweek 20

LIVERPOOL (home vs. Liverpool)

Form. 4 – 3 – 3
FOR Mané (or Origi), Firmino, Salah
MID Milner, Keita, Henderson
DEF Robertson, Van Dijk, Gomez, Alexander-Arnold
GK Alisson
Ruled out Fabinho, Matip, Lovren, Clyne, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Brewster
Doubtful None
Notes We don’t have a lot of information on manager Jurgen Klopp’s plans for the Wolves game so soon after the Leicester game, but we feel this game is just tricky enough for him not to overhaul his squad too much. There might be more rotation against Sheffield United at Anfield in a few days time, though this is speculation more than anything else. In the back we expect the same four as in GW19, with Gomez still filling in for Matip/Lovren. Both Keita (in the 70th minute for Milner) and Henderson (in the 82nd minute for Lallana) were taken off against Leicester, so we expect both to feature this weekend although Lallana could start instead of Henderson. The third midfield spot could be filled by Milner, as Wijnaldum completed the 90 minutes in GW19. Up front, we expect Salah to start after being subbed off in the 70th minute for Origi in GW19. Firmino looks hard to drop after his brace against the Foxes. Of the three musketeers in attack, we feel Mané is most likely to sit this one out, but we’ve gone with him anyway in our predicted lineup although don’t be surprised if Origi starts instead of him (or Firmino).

LEICESTER CITY (away vs. West Ham)

Form. 4 – 1 – 4 – 1
FOR Vardy
MID H. Barnes, Maddison, Tielemans, Ayoze
DEF Chilwell, Söyüncü, Evans, Ricardo Pereira
GK Schmeichel
Ruled out None
Doubtful None
Notes Manager Brendan Rodgers has stated this week that several players in his team could do with some rest, including Vardy, but after two consecutive losses against Liverpool and City, we can see him postponing his rotation ideas one more gameweek in order to get back on the winning track against West Ham. The away game versus Newcastle in GW21 might be more suitable for this. For this week, we can see Ayoze return to the starting eleven instead of Praet, with the rest of the team staying the same. Rodgers has no relevant injury concerns to deal with, but keep a close eye on team news nonetheless.

MANCHESTER CITY (home vs. Sheffield United)

Form. 4-3-3
FOR Jesus, Aguero, Marhez
MID Gundogan, Rodrigo, KDB
DEF Angelino, Fernandinho, Otamendi, Cancelo
GK Bravo
Ruled out Ederson (red card), Sané, Laporte
Doubtful D. Silva, Stones
Notes Bravo will replace Ederson after his red card for a professional foul early on in tonight’s Wolves’ match. Expect the wing-backs against Wolves to be rested but not the centre-backs who cover less ground. Jesus may have recovered from illness. Aguero only lasted about 15 minutes before his sacrificial sub to bring on Bravo but is not 100% fit yet so don’t expect him to play the full 90 minutes. Marhez was subbed at half time v Wolves so expect him to start along with KDB who played 67 minutes. Bilva and Sterling (despite his 2 goals) will probably be rested after playing 90 minutes with only 9 team-mates which may mean both Jesus & Aguero start or possibly Foden comes in.