EPL Season 2019/2020 – Gameweek 21 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 21 goes, we will take a look at confirmed starting lineups for the top-10 teams in gameweek 20, compare those to our predictions for that gameweek, and then predict their lineups for gameweek 21.

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 GW21

Liverpool None
Leicester City None
Manchester City None

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

1 Liverpool 55 pts
2 Leicester City 42 pts
3 Manchester City 41 pts
4 Chelsea 35 pts
5 Manchester United 31 pts

Lineups for gameweek 20: Predicted vs. confirmed

LIVERPOOL (home vs. Wolves, 1-0)

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

LEICESTER CITY (away vs. West Ham, 1-2)

Form. 4 – 1 – 4 – 1   4 – 2 – 3 – 1
FOR Vardy   Iheanacho
MID H. Barnes, Maddison, Tielemans, Ayoze   D. Gray, Ayoze, Albrighton
DEF MID Ndidi   Choudhury, N. Mendy
DEF Chilwell, Söyüncü, Evans, Ricardo Pereira   Fuchs, Evans, Morgan, Justin
GK Schmeichel   Schmeichel
Subs ///   (2nd half) Maddison > Ayoze, Ndidi > N. Mendy, H. Barnes > D. Gray
Goals ///   Iheanacho (Ayoze), D. Gray (Ayoze)

MANCHESTER CITY (home vs. Sheffield United, 2-0)

Form. 4 – 3 – 3   4 – 3 – 3
FOR Jesus, Aguero, Mahrez   Sterling, Aguero, Mahrez
MID Gundogan, Rodri, De Bruyne   B. Silva, Rodri, De Bruyne
DEF Angeliño, Fernandinho, Otamendi, Cancelo   Zinchenko, Fernandinho, Garcia, Walker
GK Bravo   Bravo
Subs ///   (2nd half) Gundogan > B. Silva, Foden > Aguero, Jesus > Sterling
Goals ///   Aguero (De Bruyne), De Bruyne (Mahrez)

Predicted lineups for gameweek 21

LIVERPOOL (home vs. Sheffield United)

Form. 4 – 3 – 3
FOR Mané, Firmino, Salah
MID Wijnaldum, Keita, Henderson
DEF Robertson, Van Dijk, Gomez, Milner
GK Alisson
Ruled out Matip, Fabinho, Lovren, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Shaqiri, Brewster, Clyne
Doubtful None
Notes Manager Jurgen Klopp will be choosing his starting lineup with the FA Cup Merseyside derby on January 5th in mind. Rotation was limited in GW20, so we expect some nailed-on starters to be rested in GW21 against Sheffield United. Alisson will start in goal, with the usual four in front of him, but possibly bar A.-Arnold, who has played the full 90 minutes in the last three games. Milner could replace him. In the midfield, Lallana should make way for Keita, while we expect both Henderson and Wijnaldum to keep their spots. Up front, we can see Origi starting, but the question is, for who? Salah was taken off early in GW19, so we think he’ll start. Our money is on Firmino to be rested and the tireless Mané to start on Thursday.

LEICESTER CITY (away vs. Newcastle)

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 After the Great Rotation Trick of Brendan Rodgers in GW20, we count on most of the usual suspects to return to the starting lineup for the away game against Newcastle. Schmeichel, Evans and Ayoze were the only regular starters to start in the last round, and  Ayoze was subbed off after 64 minutes and 2 assists. There might be some rotation this week as well, but we’re expecting Leicester to turn up in their usual set-up to start the second half of the season in style.

MANCHESTER CITY (home vs. Everton)

Form. 4 – 3 – 3
FOR B. Silva, Aguero, Mahrez
MID Gundogan, Rodri, De Bruyne
DEF Zinchenko, Fernandinho, Otamendi, Cancelo
GK Ederson
Ruled out Laporte, Sané
Doubtful D. Silva, Stones
Notes Ederson is back from suspension and will start in goal. Centrally in the back, we expect Fernandinho to start again, this time alongside Otamendi. On the right, we feel Cancelo might relieve Walker this time, while the left-back position might be filled by Angeliño or Zinchenko (who played 90 minutes in GW20) after Mendy’s enormous and crucial mistake against Wolves in GW19. In the middle, the in-form De Bruyne should start, joined by Rodri and Gundogan. We feel Sterling might be rested for this one and replaced by B. Silva on the flank, while Mahrez starts on the opposite side (instead of in the midfield like last week). Aguero is fit and scoring again, and we can see Pep starting him again for this one, although Jesus has overcome his illness and will be rested.