FPL Season 2018/19 – Gameweek 25 Preview

David Silva and Kevin de Bruyne

“Man City are up for the first double gameweek of the season in gameweek 25” (CC by 2.0) by Brad Tutterow

The season’s first double gameweek has arrived, and fate has it that it’s coinciding with the end of the January transfer window. Both events are more than meaningful for FPL managers, so we’ll start off with an overview of the doubles and the most significant Premier League transfers. As far as the doubles are concerned, just Man City and Everton are playing twice this round:

  • Man City: Arsenal (home), Everton (away)
  • Everton: Wolves (home), Man City (home)

When it comes to the incoming transfers of this winter transfer window the UK bookmakers will have kept a close eye on these in case of major signings which could influence the destiny of the title or the relegation positions. Some interesting moves have been made, including on the final day of the window. We won’t include all transfers in this list, instead we’ll mention those we feel might have an impact on FPL in the 2018-19 campaign (positions and prices are those in FPL):

Denis Suarez (loan) Midfielder Arsenal 6.5m
Nathaniel Clyne (loan) Defender Bournemouth 4.5m
Peter Crouch Forward Burnley 4.5m
Leandro Bacuna Defender Cardiff 4.5m
Oumar Niasse (loan) Forward Cardiff 5.0m
Gonzalo Higuain (loan) Forward Chelsea 9.5m
Michy Batshuayi (loan) Forward Crystal Palace 6.5m
Ryan Babel Midfielder Fulham 5.5m
Lazar Markovic Midfielder Fulham 5.0m
Jason Puncheon (loan) Midfielder Huddersfield 4.2m
Karlan Grant Forward Huddersfield 5.0m
Youri Tielemans Midfield Leicester 6.0m
Miguel Almiron Midfield Newcastle 6.0m
Samir Nasri Midfield West Ham 5.5m

Premium Picks:

Of course, seeing as gameweek 25 is this season’s first double gameweek, at least one of our premium picks needs to be from either Man City or Everton. We’ve gone with the former by picking Leroy Sané (£9.7m) this week. The German winger has been impressive over the past weeks and months, scoring 2 goals and providing 2 assists in the last 4 games, with 32 FPL points as a result. That’s an average of 8 points per game for that period. First up this gameweek are Arsenal at the Etihad, who have conceded 22 goals in 11 away games, followed by an away game at Goodison Park, where locals Everton have conceded 16 goals in 12 games. 

The next premium pick of the week is Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen (£9.3m), who is facing Newcastle at home on Saturday. While the Toon come off a fantastic victory over Man City, Spurs only just managed to keep the three points at home against Watford, courtesy of a late Llorente winner. They will nevertheless be boosted by the hard-fought victory and possibly even more by the return of Heung-Min Son. As far as Eriksen is concerned, he’s been instrumental for Spurs since coming back from injury in gameweek, dictating the play and scoring 2 goals in the process. He has also notched 2 assists and is on most set-pieces. With Son back in the team and an opponent who has conceded 14 goals in 11 away games coming to Wembley, more attacking returns may be on the cards for the Danish midfielder.

A differential pick or two

The first differential pick for gameweek 25 is Kevin de Bruyne (£9.7m), for whom this week is a double gameweek. The Belgian midfielder has spent most of this season out injured, but he’s been fully fit since gameweek 22 and Guardiola is easing him back into the starting eleven. In theory, KDB is one of City’s best and most decisive players, and the assist in gameweek 22 should be a sign of more and better things to come. As usual when it comes to Pep and City, rotation will be a worry this week, as De Bruyne competes with David Silva, Bernardo Silva, and Gundogan for two spots besides Fernandinho. He did start both of City’s semi-final encounters in the League Cup against Burton this month, playing around an hour in each, while also starting (and playing 65 minutes) in gameweek 24. He completed the 90 minutes in gameweek 23. Whether all of this should be interpreted as slowly building up his match fitness towards 90-minute performances every week or as a sign of looming absence this weekend, we’ll leave up to you.

The second differential of the week is something of a punt, but with potentially huge rewards. Chelsea’s Gonzalo Higuain (£9.5m) will want to forget his first match as a Blue as soon as he can. He was part of his new club’s complete demolition away to Bournemouth, ending in a 4-0 victory for the Cherries, but what better way for him to make a second first impression (and for Chelsea to wash away some of the shame) than a home game against Huddersfield. The Terriers have conceded 21 goals in 11 away games, while Chelsea have scored 21 in 12 home games. The home team is far from being in good shape and Higuain has definitely not been dropped into a smoothly running, free-flowing footballing machine, but like we said, a home game against Huddersfield could (and maybe should) be a turning point on the way to better things. Count on the Argentinian to start on Saturday and we wouldn’t be surprised if he starts working on his goal tally from that moment onwards.

For more GW25 transfer ideas have a look through this fiso forum topic.

The captaincy

To put it simply, it makes sense to put the armband on a player with a double gameweek this week. True, there are some very good “normal gameweek” options (Salah, Son, etc…), but we’re starting with Man City’s Raheem Sterling (£11.3m). The English winger has had a great season so far, though his attacking returns have diminished a bit since a month or two. Still, he managed to notch a goal and provide 3 assists over the last 5 gameweeks, bringing his owners 28 points in the process. Of all Man City players, Sterling has one of the highest chances to start both games this week, at home to Arsenal and away to Everton. As mentioned earlier, both the Arsenal defence and the Everton defence are far from airtight, and Sterling could have a field day against them. Arsenal at the Etihad looks especially tasty, with Bellerin, Sokratis, Koscielny, and Holding unavailable due to injury. Who’s going to stop Raheem when Sané, Aguero, and the entire midfield are charging as well? Maybe even a candidate for a triple captain card?

Our final suggestion of the week is Everton’s Richarlison (£6.8m). Admittedly, the Brazilian is a bit of a personal FPL favourite, so it was good to see him back on the score sheet again last gameweek, after four consecutive blanks against mid-table opposition. He brought his owners a decent 8 FPL points and the hope is that he has tapped into a vein of goals now, with a double gameweek coming up for Everton. The Toffees are facing Wolves at home before hosting Man City, neither of which are considered easy matches under any circumstance. Wolves have conceded 13 goals in 11 away games, while City have conceded just 9 goals in 12 away games, so Richarlison has his work more than cut out for him. We know the Brazilian is up to any task when in form, though. Putting the armband on him is a considerable punt, but it could pay off big this week. 

This week’s FISO Forum FPL Captain Poll is not surprisingly dominated by Manchester City players.