FPL Season 2019/2020 – Gameweek 24 Preview

“Is Jamie Vardy (here pictured playing for England against Belgium) going to outscore the DGW Liverpool assets in GW24?” (CC by 3.0). Image by soccer.ru.

As if Liverpool haven’t been dominating the talk ’round Premier League town already this season, the seemingly unstoppable Reds will also be the main topic of conversation in the Fantasy Premier League universe in the build-up to gameweek 24. That is, as you of course know already, because this mid-week round represents the first double gameweek of the 2019-2020 Premier League campaign. It’s a small double gameweek much to the delight of the membes of our FPL discussion forum, with just Liverpool and West Ham playing twice, with the latter’s appeal as a source for double points severely limited due to the fact that their games are Leicester away and Liverpool home. At a glance, and despite the return of Moyes leading to some careful renewed optimism in East London, that looks like the Hammers will be doing a lot more conceding than scoring.

Still, a punt on a potential differential like Felipe Anderson (if fit) or Haller, or on a cheap starting defender like Cresswell, could pay off handsomely. As you will very obviously notice in this piece though, we have not gone that way with our fantasy picks for this gameweek. Instead, our focus is on Liverpool and the appeal of tripling up big for their two games against Wolves and West Ham (both away). We definitely do not recommend to break up your entire team to accommodate crazy transfers, seeing as there are still 14 rounds of FPL to go after this round, but do keep in mind that many managers will be going all out on Reds assets in GW24. Not joining the herd in this sense might hurt your rankings in a bad way, though enormous green arrows will be coming your way if Liverpool mess up this DGW. The risk assessment of either scenario is up to you.

Finally, don’t forget that the deadline for gameweek 24 is set at 18h30 (GMT+0) on Tuesday, January 21st, 2020.

How did our fantasy picks for the previous gameweek fare?

Premium Mo Salah Manchester United (H) 7
Premium Sergio Aguero Crystal Palace (H) 13
Non-premium Danny Ings Wolves (H) 2
Non-premium Todd Cantwell Bournemouth (H) 3
Differential Neal Maupay Aston Villa (H) 4
Differential Alexandere Lacazette Sheffield United (H) 2
Captain Kevin de Bruyne Crystal Palace (H) 4

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per January 20th, 2020)

GK Schmeichel (Lei), Ryan (Bri), Patricio (Wol) Alisson (Liv), Foster (Wat), Gazzaniga (Tot) Managers freeing up budget for Liverpool’s DGW and some upcoming swings in fixture calendars.
DEF Söyüncü (Lei), Pereira (Lei), Rico (Bou) Van Dijk (Liv), Alexander-Arnold (Liv), Robertson (Liv) Liverpool’s double gameweek and Leicester drop in form.
MID Richarlison (Eve), De Bruyne (City), Maddison (Lei) Grealish (Ast), Salah (Liv), Traoré (Wol) Managers preparing for Liverpool’s double gameweek with a focus on bringing in the Reds’ star midfielders and more budget-efficient picks from other clubs.
FOR Rashford (Utd), Abraham (Che), Vardy (Lei) Aguero (City), Firmino (Liv), Ings (Sou) A combination of managers making budget space for Liverpool’s DGW, Aguero rocketing to form, and Rashford’s injury.

Premium fantasy picks

Generally, we try to spread our fantasy picks a little bit, so as to cover several promising options for each gameweek. This also helps us to somewhat counter the Premier League’s high level of unpredictability in terms of results, or at least it helps us to feel like it does. For gameweek 24, we’re going all in on Liverpool, though. The Reds are one of two teams to enjoy a double gameweek this round and in their current form, that’s just too good to pass on, even if the two games were Real Madrid and Man City away. They’re not though, Liverpool are playing Wolves and West Ham away from home (on the 23rd and the 29th of January, respectively), so our two premium fantasy picks for GW24 are Mo Salah (£12.4m) and Sadio Mané (£12.4m).

Doubling up on these two is probably not going to be the most common strategy for the DGW, due to the huge impact this would have on budget availability and distribution, but it’s highly recommendable to own at least one of the two. Not just now, by the way, but in general as well. Salah and Mané are remarkably similar in many aspects, from their general positioning on the pitch and their goal involvement this season to their FPL price tag, and we feel that any of the two (or even both) could haul big in gameweek 24. If you’re one of the undoubtedly many FPL managers who needs to decide between these two, it’ll probably come down to a combination of studying the stats of each player and your gut feeling. In order to help you on your way a bit already, we’ll place a simple comparison of some of their key stats here below:

  Minutes Goals Assists Bonus Total points Goals away Assists away Bonus away Tot. pts. away
MANÉ 1745 11 8 18 146 4 3 8 58
SALAH 1619 11 5 15 133 1 4 2 41

Non-premium fantasy picks

When people are talking about Liverpool though, the Reds’ offense is often referred to as the front three, not the front two. Roberto Firmino (£9.4m) is the third member of the Liverpool attack and seeing as his price tag classifies him as a non-premium FPL asset (i.e. under £10m), he fits in nicely as our first non-premium fantasy asset for gameweek 24. The Brazilian is a bit overshadowed by his two partners in crime in attack, which explains his relatively low current ownership of 13.3%, but we expect that percentage to rise a bit still before the GW24. Firmino has already scored 7 goals and provided 5 assists this season, and what’s particularly interesting in regard to the upcoming DGW is that 7 of those goals and 1 of those assists were recorded away from Anfield. In other words, the Liverpool striker doesn’t seem to phased about playing in front of hostile crowds, on the contrary, from the stats it looks like he enjoys it. Liverpool’s opponents this round, Wolves and West Ham, have been defensively decent so far, but they have still conceded 15 goals in 12 away games and 14 goals in 11 away games, respectively. If recent history counts for anything, Firmino could be in for a big one in gameweek 24.

It’s tempting to focus this entire article on Liverpool players, but we shouldn’t forget that there are other games on as well, some of which with a lot of potential for FPL hauls. That’s why our second non-premium fantasy pick for this round is Manchester United’s Anthony Martial (£7.9m). United were beaten by Liverpool last weekend and the Red Devils lost their star man Marcus Rashford to an injury, so we’re hoping that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sees the upcoming home game against Burnley as the perfect opportunity to wash away the weekend’s disappointments with a comfortable victory. The Clarets are having another relatively careless Premier League season, but their away form has been below par. They have taken 9 points from 11 away games and in those 11 games, they conceded 20 goals. Martial is United’s starting striker and in the absence of Rashford he will, more than ever, be the focal points of their attacks. He has scored 4 goals in his last Premier League games and for what it’s worth, one of those goals came in the game at Turf Moor in gameweek 20.

A differential fantasy pick or two

We were not planning to include another Liverpool player in this article and we were not really expecting to be able to include one as a differential pick, but we were kind of surprised by the current ownership of Joe Gomez (£5.2m, owned by 3.9%). As a result, he is our first differential fantasy pick for gameweek 24. Basically, the only downside to owning Gomez at this moment is the imminent return to fitness of both Matip and Lovren, who shared his central defensive spot before they both got injured. For the rest, he provides great value, especially this week. Before he came into the team to partner Van Dijk at the back in gameweek 16, Liverpool had recorded 2 clean sheets in 15 gameweeks. Since GW16, the Reds have not conceded a single goal, courtesy of an ongoing streak of seven consecutive games without conceding. There are a lot of factors at play surely, but looking at these results, one might conclude that Gomez is the ideal partner for Van Dijk in the Pool defence. His potential for attacking returns is much lower than that of his fellow defenders, but his price lies well below theirs as well, which makes him an excellent option for the double gameweek 24.

Besides the Liverpool DGW, one of the games that stands out from an FPL perspective is Tottenham at home versus Norwich. Spurs are certainly playing a kind of football under Mourinho, but it’s certainly not the smooth, free-flowing kind. The long-term absence of star man Harry Kane doesn’t help either, of course. These are not ideal conditions for an attacking Spurs asset to shine, but it does create a few interesting differential options. One of those is Lucas Moura (£7.1m), who in the absence of Kane fills in the number-nine spot together with Son and Alli. The Brazilian dribbler has not been in red hot (FPL) form lately, which is illustrated by his 2 goals and 1 assist in his last eight Premier League games, but he does seem to be one of the most threatening Spurs players on a consistent basis. What we are hoping, is that this weekend sees him convert that threat into returns against Norwich at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The Canaries are the worst-performing team on the road this season, with just 5 points taken from 11 away games, a run over which they conceded 20 goals. Spurs, on the other hand, are fifth in the table when it comes to home games only and they have scored a decent 21 goals in 11 home games. Hopefully, Moura can add to that total on Wednesday.

For further GW24 transfer ideas look at this fiso FPL forum topic.

The captaincy

As you probably guessed by now, we’re captaining a Liverpool player, as we expect most FPL managers around the world will do. The question is: which Liverpool player? It’s between Salah and Mané, with Firmino a serious consideration as a differential captaincy pick for gameweek 24. Mané has performed better in away games than Salah this season, but the Senegalese international has blanked in two consecutive games for the first time since gameweeks 6 and 7. Salah, on the other hand, has been in good form of late with 2 goals and 1 assist in his last three games (against Sheffield United at home, Spurs away and United at home). The Egyptian is also on penalties, so in the end we’ve gone with him as our captain for GW24, but Mané would be an equally promising pick.

The FISO Forum Captain poll for GW24 shows Salah with the most votes and many using their Triple Captain chip for him.

Finally if you like FPL but want to have a go at a weekly Fantasy Premier League type competition for prizes then have a look at FanTeam’s 50,000 euro Weekly Monster. FISO members could win free ‘Weekly Monster’ entries (worth 20 euros) via the FISO FanTeam forum. There are freerolls for new entrants if registered within the last 8 weeks. Read all about a fiso member who won 30,000 euros on FanTeam from just a 2 euro entry fee. FanTeam have also just launched a 500,000 euro Fantasy Premier League game.