FPL Season 2018/19 – Gameweek 12 Preview

“Gameweek 11 saw Raheem Sterling score 21 points, the biggest haul for a single player this season” (Source: Wikimedia Commons / Flickr) by Brad Tutterow

Gameweek 11, with an average score of 52, was quite a high-scoring week for many FPL managers. Several players scored well over 12 points, such as Richarlison (15), Sané (14), and of course Raheem Sterling (21), and gameweek 12 is offering us another few very interesting fixtures with a high potential for big hauls. Before previewing gameweek 12, we’ll review the performances of our picks for gameweek 11 below.

Premium pick – Laporte (Man City) – 2 points
Premium pick – Sterling (Man City) – 21 points
Premium pick – Kane (Spurs) – 7 points
Differential – Willian (Chelsea) – 2 points
Differential – Arnautovic (West Ham) – 12 points
Captain – Aguero (Man City) – 13 points
Captain – Mooy (Huddersfield) – 3 points

Some observations ahead of Gameweek 12

While at the start of the season Watford was looking like this season’s surprise package, it’s turning out to be Bournemouth who are continuing to defy the odds. Sure, the Hornets are still performing more than fine with 19 points from 11 games and a current 8th position, but the Cherries can be found still two steps higher up the ladder. With six victories from the season’s first 11 games, in which they scored a total of 20 goals, Bournemouth are currently the Premier League’s “best of the rest”, even before United. As a result, the appeal of several Cherries’ assets, such as Aké, Fraser, and Wilson have been steadily growing over the past weeks. The latter is even mentioned as a serious option for the English national team.

Fortunately Eden Hazard is back to full health and ready to rip Everton apart on Sunday, but the Belgian’s injury caused many an FPL headache for a few weeks in a row. In that time though, Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea have coped wonderfully well with the absence of their star man. This is, of course, thanks to the team’s high work rate, but Willian and Pedro in particular have made considerable contributions in Hazard’s absence. The former has a goal and an assist in his last three games, while the latter scored one and assisted another last weekend. Hazard’s 70 FPL points are still far out either player’s reach, but as budget enablers or a cheaper way into Chelsea’s passing machine, Willian and Pedro have great potential.

Last Sunday we got yet another confirmation that Man City at home is practically a guarantee for goals, usually in favour of the home team. Southampton were blown away by the Cityzens last weekend, with Raheem Sterling, Kun Aguero, and Leroy Sané leading the way to a comfortable 6-1 victory. With United still struggling and in 7th place currently, coming weekend’s Manchester derby could easily become an affair to remember.

Just a day earlier, Rafa Benitez’ Newcastle booked the first victory of the season in a solid match against in-form Watford. The Magpies were neither the best nor the most threatening team on the pitch, with Watford registering 10 attempts at goal and a ball possession of 58%, but they finally got that bit of luck that has been eluding them so far this season. Newcastle haven’t been playing the worst football this season, especially considering their toothless summer transfer window, but they often got the short end of the stick. Just think of their 16 attempts at goal away to Southampton two weeks ago. With a very friendly fixture calendar for the coming weeks, the Magpies could be on their way up.

Premium picks

Our premium picks for this week contain a high amount of Liverpool, considering the Reds are hosting Fulham and what could turn out to be the worst defence ever seen in the Premier League. First off is Roberto Firmino (£9.2m), who in theory is Liverpool’s striker, but who in practice can usually be found all over the final third. The Brazilian was initially rested for Liverpool’s disastrous visit to Red Star Belgrade on Tuesday, but Jurgen Klopp brought him on after 45 minutes. In vain, unfortunately for them. Still, Firmino is expected to start against Fulham on Sunday. It’s absolutely true that his performances and FPL returns have been extremely underwhelming so far this season, with no attacking returns since gameweek 5, but a home match versus Fulham with Liverpool having to make up for their mid-week embarrassment feels too promising to ignore nonetheless.

The premium pick in midfield this week is Firmino’s team mate and fellow member of Liverpool’s lethal three up front, Sadio Mané (£9.8m). The Senegalese forward completed the 90 minutes in Belgrade on Tuesday, but was incapable of getting his team back into the game after conceding two goals in the first half hour. He was one of Liverpool’s more dangerous players, though that’s very relative, as Mané wasn’t up to par either against Red Star. With two goals and 17 FPL points from his last two Premier League games though, we don’t feel his FPL potential has been dented too badly. Only in gameweek 9 Mané didn’t play from the start for Klopp’s pressing machine and he’s expected to start against a more than willing Fulham defence at Anfield coming weekend. What better way to wash away a painful mid-week defeat than scoring a few goals in front of your own fans a few days later?

This week’s final premium pick is Tottenham’s Kieran Trippier (£6.3m), who didn’t start in the Champions League against PSV on Tuesday. He was brought on to replace Aurier after 75 minutes though, to help Spurs to their eventual last-minute comeback and the all-important three points. For this weekend’s away game against Crystal Palace, the young Englishman is expected to be in the starting line-up again, just like he has been without exception since gameweek 2. With a goal and four assists so far this campaign, Trippier is currently FPL’s third-most valuable defender, just behind Robertson (59 points) and Alonso (78 points). Palace, meanwhile, have the league’s worst home record, with zero victories and two draws in 5 games so far, a disappointing run during which the Eagles scored just two goals. A Spurs victory and clean sheet look probable coming Saturday.

A differential or two

This week’s first differential player in the spotlight is West Ham’s Felipe Anderson (£6.8m), who bagged a brace at home to Burnley last weekend. The Brazilian winger, who came over from Lazio last summer for no less than £35 million, has been in fluctuating form this season, but he was one of the best men on the pitch against the Clarets. He’s got just 3 goals and an assist to his name so far this season, but West Ham’s killer opening fixture calender should be taken into account in this regard. With a much kinder set of fixtures coming up, including games against Huddersfield, Newcastle, Cardiff, and Palace over the coming five weeks. Anderson is owned by just 3% of FPL managers, so he could well prove to be a considerable differential in the weeks to come.

Our second differential pick is also a player who stood out in the last game he played, namely Tottenham’s Lucas Moura (£7.2m). The Spurs struggled against PSV at Wembley on Tuesday, but they eventually got the three points at home. Despite Moura not being directly involved in Tottenham’s goals, he was their biggest offensive threat and the man his team mates turned to for attacking solutions. Since gameweek 2, the Brazilian forward has played at least 75 minutes in every Premier League game, scoring 4 goals and providing 1 assist. After this weekend’s away game versus Crystal Palace, Spurs are facing Chelsea at Wembley and Arsenal at the Emirates before hosting Southampton. Moura could be a good choice as third midfielder, or a deluxe option for the position of fourth midfielder in your FPL team.

Need more inspiration then have a look at FISO’s Gameweek 12 transfers topic.

The captaincy

Liverpool are hosting Fulham coming Sunday, Salah has 2 goals and 2 assists in the last 3 Premier League games, and the Reds have to make up with their fans after the Belgrade fiasco. In other words, Momo Salah (£13.0m) is the number one captaincy option this week. Despite hitting the bar in the mid-week Champions League game, Salah was pretty much underperforming like the rest of his Liverpool team mates. Still, at home against the league’s worst away team (1 draw from six games in which the Cottagers conceded a worrying 16 goals), only a very brave or a very ignorant man would bet against Salah. That said, if you don’t have him yet and don’t have the budget to bring him in, Sadio Mané could be an excellent replacement as captain.

This time no punt as our second suggestion for the captaincy, but one of the more reliable top performers this season. Chelsea’s Eden Hazard (£11.3m) missed gameweek 10 and only played for 26 minutes in gameweek 11 (in which he did provide an assist) due to a back injury. The Belgian Blues star seems to have recuperated completely now and he played in most of Chelsea’s Europa League match at Borisov in Belarus. So whilst he might not be completely fresh to start against Everton at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, he’ll be looking to build on his current tally of 7 goals, 4 assists, and a game-high 79 FPL points. The Toffees have conceded 9 goals in just 5 away games this season, while Chelsea have scored 16 in 6 home games. It looks like goals are on the cards for this one and if that’s correct, expect Hazard to be on the scoresheet once again.

The FISO community are voting on who their FPL Gameweek 12 captain will be and currently Salah leads the way with 71% of the vote followed by Mané with 16% and Hazard and Aguero on 3% each.