FPL Season 2018/19 – Gameweek 11 Preview

“Will Eden Hazard have recovered from his back injury by Sunday?” (Source: Wikimedia / Flickr) by Aleksandr Osipov

For a weekend that started off with so much injury and otherwise-related uncertainty regarding rotation and starting line-ups, gameweek 10’s average of 58 points was quite high. With big FPL names like Eden Hazard, Jamie Vardy and Marko Arnautovic missing out on a starting spot for their respective teams due to varying reasons, and with managers like City’s Guardiola and Liverpool’s Klopp not afraid to rotate heavily, picking a starting eleven in FPL was a nightmare for more than a few FPL managers. As a result, some of our differential picks last week performed wonderfully, with Callum Wilson‘s brace and Roberto Pereyra‘s glorious opener for Watford bringing home big hauls for their owners. Let’s see what gameweek 11 has to offer!

Some observations ahead of Gameweek 11

When Chelsea acquired Ross Barkley‘s services in January of this year for £15 million, opinions were divided on how successful he would become at the Bridge with many football fans betting (maybe at Novibet Sports) he’d have been better to stay at Everton where he should start every match. Where some people thought Abramovich was taking a huge gamble, others figured their club might have a huge bargain on their hands. As it stands, the latter group seems to have been correct. Under Maurizio Sarri, the young English midfielder is rapidly approaching his best form of his life and looks to be stronger and fitter than ever. With three goals and three assists in his last three Premier League games, his FPL appeal has risen fast and it could continue to do so for a while. You can see more debate on how Barkley’s value is perceived in FPL on this FISO FPL forum topic.

Brighton, meanwhile, have grown to become one of the most efficient and minimalist teams in the Premier League. Each of their last three games, against West Ham, Newcastle, and Wolves, have ended with the same scoreline: 1-0 to the Seagulls. Two of those three goals were scored by FPL evergreen Glenn Murray, who was the second player to reach 100 goals in Brighton history after netting against Wolves. With the kind schedule continuing for some time to come, it’s wise to start considering (defensive) Brighton assets for your FPL teams.

Back in London, Craven Cottage is the home of what could turn out to be the worst defence the Premier League has ever seen by the end of this season. Fulham spent more than £100 million over the summer in order to prepare for their return to the elite, but the results so far are far below par: 10 games played, 5 points, 11 goals scored, and no less than 28 goals conceded. That’s way, way too many. With visits to Liverpool and Chelsea on the agenda over the coming four gameweeks, Fulham manager Jokanovic needs to come up with a solution for his non-existent defence fast or things could get embarrassing.

Fellow newcomers Wolverhampton Wanderers have had a very different and much more positive start to the season, with their current 10th place as a tangible result. Wolves seem to have lost some of their momentum though, after back-to-back losses to Watford and Brighton without scoring a goal in either game. If you don’t have any Wolves assets, perhaps wait and see how manager Espirito Santo solves this situation, but if you do have some Wolves players, don’t worry. In their last game against Brighton, Wolves showed some free-flowing football, had 60% of the possession, and took 25 shots at goal (of which 7 were on target). The points could start flowing back to Molineux again very soon.

Premium picks

Our first premium FPL pick will be facing Southampton at home on Saturday on the back of keeping an impressive six consecutive clean sheets in the Premier League. City’s Aymeric Laporte (£5.8m) has quietly become one of Pep Guardiola’s carrying players, not having missed a single minute of the 2018-19 Premier League campaign so far in an otherwise heavily-rotated team. His manager has hailed the Frenchman as one of the very best left-footed central defenders in the world and it looks unlikely that he’ll be dropped from the starting eleven anytime soon. Count on a seventh 6-pointer in a row for Laporte this weekend.

More up front, one of Laporte’s team mates has made it into our premium picks for this week as well. Despite scoring four goals, providing three assists, and bringing home a total of 56 FPL points so far, City’s Raheem Sterling (£11.1m) is still part of just 6.7% of teams in the official game. True, his price is steep and the rotation risk for City assets is considerable, but Sterling still deserves to be in more FPL teams. As a matter of fact, the City winger has had 40 touches in the opposition penalty area over the past five gameweeks, which is the most of any player in the Premier League. There are options with more potential than Sterling versus the Saints on Sunday.

Even though manager Espirito Santo stated he was very satisfied with the way his Wolves played against Brighton last weekend, just not with the result (0-1 loss), the Portuguese coach won’t be thrilled by the visit of Harry Kane (£12.4m) and co on Saturday. Wolves have now lost two games in a row in which they failed to score, while Spurs have started welcoming back some of their star players after extended injury periods, including Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli. The London outfit will be looking to capitalise on Wolverhampton’s lesser form after failing to take a point from Man City last weekend and Harry Kane could well re-appear on the score sheet after blanking in the last three games.

Also keep your eye on the FISO FPL topic on Gameweek 11 transfers for further ideas for your FPL team.

A differential or two

With the uncertainty surrounding Eden Hazard’s back injury still persisting, it could be a wise choice to move the spotlight to his team mate Willian (£7.4m). The Brazilian forward has started the past five games for Maurizio Sarri, and he’s scored a goal and assisted another in his last two games for the Blues. He has also taken up considerable set-piece responsibility, often taking corners and free-kicks, especially when Hazard is not on the pitch. He’ll be facing the offensive Palace’s Patrick van Aanholt on Sunday, which promises to be a spectacular duel with considerable goal potential.

The other differential pick for gameweek 11 is West Ham’s talisman Marko Arnautovic (£7.0m). Of course, the Austrian attacker was left out of the match day squad last weekend due to illness, but he’s expected to be back (and came off the bench midweek in their Cup game) and raring to go at home to Burnley coming Saturday. He hasn’t scored for three games now, but not for a lack of trying. The West Ham man has ten attempts at goal over the past two games and with Burnley, he’s facing the defence that has conceded most attempts at target so far this season, at an alarming rate of almost 21 per game. Over the past five weeks, the Clarets allowed for 15 big chances, which is the most of any team over that same period. It looks like the perfect fixture for Arnautovic to add to this total of four goals this season.

The captaincy

It’s not the first time this season that we’re suggesting Sergio Aguero (£11.3m) as a prime candidate for the captaincy, but it is what it is. With City lining up at home versus Southampton on Sunday afternoon at 3pm and with Kun having scored 5 of this season’s 6 goals at the Etihad so far, there’s simply no way around the Argentinian ace. As a matter of fact, Aguero has won 47 of his 60 FPL points this season at home. The Saints have shipped 7 goals in 5 away games, which on itself is not disastrous, but City have scored 18 in 5 at home so far this season. A serious beating is on the cards for Southampton and Kun will be happy to land a punch or two.

Is your team actually doing quite OK and do you have the luxury of making a serious punt? Then consider Huddersfield’s Aaron Mooy (£5.2m). The Terriers have looked like an outfit primed for relegation this season, but we shouldn’t forget that they’ve already faced four of the traditional top six, as well as in-form outfit Watford, Everton, and Leicester. Mooy hasn’t registered an attacking return yet this season, which explains his current season total of 18 FPL points, but if Huddersfield are to create any danger at home to Fulham on Monday, the Dutch-Australian midfielder will be involved. He has the vision to rip apart teams, especially teams that are as chaotically organised as Fulham are at the moment, and he’s on most set-pieces as well. Like we said, it’s a punt, but it could pay off handsomely and might add to the enjoyment of watching the Monday night football match.

If you don’t fancy that gamble then consider a Leicester player for their away match at Cardiff as they will really be motivated to mark the game with a performance deserving of their respect for Leicester’s billionaire owner who was tragically killed in a helicopter accident after last weekend’s match. Also don’t forget to check out the FISO FPL Gameweek 11 Captain Poll for further indications on who to select for your captain this weekend before the 11:30am deadline on Saturday 3rd November. Currently Aguero and Hazard lead the way with 60% and 30% of the vote each respectively.