And it’s on again! After the final international break of this calendar year, we have a solid few months of Fantasy Premier League to look forward to, starting with gameweek 13 this weekend. The clash of the week is obviously Manchester City hosting Frank Lampard’s Chelsea on Saturday evening, but there is more. What to think of season surprise package and current 5th placed Sheffield United welcoming a hot-and-cold Manchester United, West Ham hosting a Spurs side without Mauricio Pocchetino at the helm for the first time in more than five years, or current leaders Liverpool trying to bring back three points to Anfield from Selhurst Park, for example? These games and plenty more are a guarantee for at least a few FPL-related upsets, so good luck and let’s move on to our picks for the upcoming 13th gameweek.
Finally, don’t forget that the deadline for gameweek 13 is set at 11h30 (GMT+0) on Saturday, November 23rd..
How did our picks for the previous gameweek fare?
|Premium||Jamie Vardy||Arsenal (a)||12|
|Premium||Sadio Mané||Manchester City (H)||7|
|Non-premium||Raul Jimenez||Aston Villa (H)||9|
|Non-premium||Tammy Abraham||Crystal Palace (H)||8|
|Differential||Callum Hudson-Odoi||Crystal Palace (H)||1|
|Differential||Anthony Martial||Brighton (H)||10|
|Captain||Jamie Vardy||Arsenal (a)||24|
We’re starting our overview of player picks with a bit of a controversial one, namely Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.0m). The controversy isn’t a result of his qualities as a goalscorer, which are undeniable, but more of the fact that he has been underperforming lately (16 FPL points from the last five gameweeks) while carrying a heavy price tag. He’s Arsenal’s star man, and probably their best player and FPL asset, but his team as a whole has underperformed so far this season, which is eventually reflected in the stats and returns of their Gabonese striker. So you have a world-class striker who starts every game for his team, but whose team is a punt in the FPL universe. With several much cheaper alternatives (Vardy, Jimenez, Abaraham, just to name a few) available, can you even justify having Aubameyang on your team any more? With a home game against Southampton this weekend followed by a game at Carrow Road in Norwich and a home game versus Brighton after that before visiting struggling London rivals West Ham in gameweek 16, you probably can. If you don’t have PEA on your team, you might go for an alternative option in attack, but if you have him (and almost 25% of FPL managers do), he’s captain material against the Saints this Saturday. His season totals stand at 8 goals, 1 assist, 12 bonus points and 69 FPL points, and Southampton have conceded 8 goals in 6 away games this season. Admittedly, it’s a bit of a punt to go for Auba and Arsenal might just waste points this weekend, but all you want is him to appear on the score sheet and that could very well happen this weekend.
Considering the relative volatility of our first premium pick, we’re going for the other extreme with our second pick. Man City’s Kevin de Bruyne (£10.2m) is probably one of the most consistent performers in the Premier League this season, something which has been noticed by 40% of FPL managers, which also explains his quick rise in price from £9.5m to £10.2m since the start of the season. The Belgian playmaker has been directly involved in 12 goals from 11 games (2 goals, 10 assists), his 76 FPL points making him the second-best midfielder in the official game (only behind Mané with 83 points) and the fifth-best player overall. On Saturday evening, Frank Lampard and his Chelsea boys are rolling up to the Etihad, and even though we don’t necessarily see the Blues taking anything from this game, we do expect a bunch of goals. In 12 games so far, City have scored 35 goals (most in the league) and Chelsea have netted 27 times (only less than City, Liverpool’s 28 goals and Leicester’s 29 goals). City scored 19 of those 35 goals at home, while Chelsea scored an impressive 18 of their 27 goals away from Stamford Bridge. Defensively, Guardiola’s men have conceded just 5 goals in six home games, while the Blues have been a lot leakier away from home (12 goals conceded in 6 games). Make of it what you will, but we’re expecting goals here, and after his 2 goals and 3 assists for the Belgian national team against Russia and Cyprus during the international break, we count on De Bruyne to continue in his rich vein of form.
Speaking of rich veins of form, Leicester City calmly brushed Arsenal aside just before the international break and are now up for a visit to the AmEx in Brighton and Hove. With just over half an hour of game time against Montenegro on November 14th, it was a calm break for James Maddison (£7.5m) and that’s music to our FPL-oriented ears. The Foxes playmaker has been in great form of late, bringing home 26 FPL points over the last three gameweeks, or 35 points over the past five gameweeks or 45 points over the past seven gameweeks, taking into account that he didn’t play in gameweek 7. From whatever angle you look at it, Maddison looks like a hot FPL asset, especially at his current price. Over the last six Premier League games he featured in (he started all of them, by the way), the young Englishman has scored 4 goals and provided 1 assist. Saturday afternoon’s opponents Brighton have conceded 7 goals over the past four gameweeks (only five teams have fared worse over that same period), though we should mention that only two of those were conceded at home. More worrying is the fact that the Seagulls have also allowed for 11 big chances over those weeks (again the sixth-worst in the league). It’s not going to be a walk-over for Leicester, but we see the Foxes adding another victory to their belt here with Maddison at the centre of it.
We know that Everton can hardly be called reliable so far this season, both from an FPL point of view and in real life, but a home game against Norwich grabs our attention. The Canaries are rapidly turning into this year’s Fulham, with 28 goals conceded and just 11 goals scored in the first 12 games of the 2019-20 campaign. The Toffees have still managed to keep their nets empty on three occasions and all of those occasions took place at home (Watford, Wolves and Spurs). Add to that 3 assists and 4 bonus points, and Lucas Digne (£5.9m) doesn’t look bad as an FPL pick. His 40 FPL points actually make him the second-best performing Everton player, only behind Richarlison (56 points), and the match-up with Norwich is an opportunity for points at both ends of the pitch. Daniel Farke’s men have only scored a single goal away from home this season, while Everton have scored 8 goals at home in 6 games. Of those eight goals, three were prepared by Digne. Over the last four gameweeks, the French left-back made 14 key passes, more than any other player in the official fantasy game. In other words, a clean sheet and an assist plus some bonus points for Digne this weekend against red lantern Norwich, why not?
A differential pick or two
With our first differential pick for gameweek 13, we’re sticking with Everton. Sticking with Everton? Yes, sticking with the Toffees who seem to be on the way back from a bad start to the season, but the main reason, as stated before, is their opponent, Norwich. Richarlison (£7.9m) has been one of the few more or less decent performers for Everton this season. His 3 goals and 3 assists may seem a bit on the light side for an all-out attacker surrounded by quality players, but take into account that these six direct goal involvements give the Brazilian forward an important hand in just under half of all of Everton’s goals this season. He scored a goal and 10 FPL points in gameweek 12 at Saint Mary’s, and Norwich concede an average of 2 goals per away game (12 goals conceded in 6 away games). Combine this last stat with the one about Richarlison being directly involved in about half of Everton’s goals, and statistically, he should be scoring coming Saturday. Doesn’t that sound scientific? Maybe, maybe not, but we feel that the Brazilian could be heavily involved at Goodison Park this weekend.
Our final pick for the upcoming weekend is one that we honestly didn’t really see coming until very recent. Arsenal’s Mesut Özil (£7.2m) has looked to be on the way out of the Emirates since pretty much the first official game of the season, but the German technician seems to be back in Unai Emery’s good books. To start with, his 0.8% ownership places him in the category of absolute differentials, but the big question for FPL managers is whether he is starting and returning regularly. Well, Özil has started and completed the games in gameweeks 11 (Wolves home) and 12 (Leicester away), before that the only minutes he got in the Premier League were 70 minutes back in gameweek 5 at Vicarage Road. Since his return to the Gunners’ starting eleven though, he has created more chances (4) than any other teammate and he has also been responsible for 9 of the 11 corners his team were awarded over that same period. Arsenal have scored 11 goals in 6 home games so far this season, and with their immediate need to book results in order not to lose connection with the top four, they are likely to go all out against the Saints on Saturday.
Looking at the latest FPL GW Transfers In/out Stats:
Attackers – Managers are mainly selling Pukki (still), Aguero, Aubameyang (could be a mistake) & Kane (how will he react under TSO?) and buying Vardy (ownership now 36%), Abraham (ownership now 56%), Jimenez (14%) and Rashford (14%).
Midfielders – Sterling and Mount are the big sellers then Cantwell and Salah (injury doubt) followed by the Man City midfield and the money instead is being used on buying Maddison, Mane, Pulisic, Tielemans & Martial.
Defenders – van Dijk, Dunk (suspended), Pieters and Alonso are being sold with the proceeds then spent on Soyuncu, Lundstram, Chilwell, Robertson (injured?) & Baldock who’s just gone up in price.
Goalkeepers – Ederson’s injury (but he could be back soon) means he leads the sales followed by Henderson (who can’t play against Man Utd who own him). Schmeichel, Ramsdale, Alisson & Ryan are the most bought.
Before starting this piece, we had a Leicester assets in mind for the captain’s armband, but as we started writing, our preference has shifted to Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang more and more. The home game against Southampton just looks too juicy to pass up. Sure, the Gunners are hard to trust right now, but PEA is one of those players who can rise above those doubts, something he has often done in the past. We’ll have to wait and see with which tricks and rotation heartaches Emery is going to turn up this time, but we trust Aubameyang is starting. With the likes of Lacazette, Pépé and Özil around him, he could haul big against the Saints.
The FISO Forum Captain poll for GW13 puts the armband firmly on Vardy followed by Sterling and then PEA and Mane.
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