FPL Season 2020-21 – Gameweek 11 Preview

“The encounter between Aston Villa and Newcastle at Villa Park has been postponed” (CC by 3.0). Image by Radi1981

Jamie Vardy’s last-minute assist in the surprising 2-1 loss at Craven Cottage might have softened the blow that was gameweek 10 a little bit for many managers, but overall, last weekend was once again a big one for the differentials. Six players in the FPL team of the week were owned by less than 2% of fantasy managers, with the likes of Edinson Cavani (15 FPL points), Benjamin Mendy (14 points) and West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone (11 points) all recording double-digit hauls. At the same time, popular assets such as Spurs duo Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son and Chelsea forward Timo Werner all blanked.

In the build-up to gameweek 11, it’s important to take the European competitions into account. Both the Champions League and the Europa League have now reached the final stages of the group phase. Some English clubs, like Man City and Chelsea, have already secured a spot in the knock-out stages, while the likes of Manchester United and Tottenham can still be eliminated. What we’re trying to say is, keep an eye on the European games as they will very likely reveal some information regarding starting lineups for this weekend.

Remember that the game between Aston Villa and Newcastle has been postponed indefinitely due to virus infections in the Newcastle team.

Don’t forget: the deadline for gameweek 11 is set for 11h00 (UK time) on Saturday, December 5th. Do check out the Predicted Line-Ups for the Premier League clubs as well as the latest injury news (click on ‘Team’ to sort per club rather than the default ‘date’) before finalising your transfer(s).

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per December 2nd, 2020)

GKMartinez (AST), Pope (BUR), De Gea (UTD)Mendy (CHE), McCarthy (SOU), Fabianski (WHU) 
DEFDigne (EVE), Saïss (WOL), Alexander-Arnold (LIV)Chilwell (CHE), James (CHE), Walker (CIT)Injured premium-priced defenders being replaced by in-form premium defenders.
MIDZaha (CRY), Rodriguez (EVE), Mané (LIV)Jota (LIV), Mahrez (CIT), Ward-Prowse (SOU)In-form and budget midfielders replacing non-performing and injured midfielders.
FORJimenez (WOL), Bamford (LEE), Kane (TOT)Wilson (NEW), Cavani (UTD), Calvert-Lewin (EVE)Jimenez injured, Kane injury doubt, and Wilson (whose game has been postponed) and Cavani had a good GW10.

Premium pick

Of all non-defensive players on the Manchester City roster, midfield maestro Kevin de Bruyne (£11.7m) is the most nailed-on starter for Pep Guardiola’s outfit. The Belgian played an excellent game against Burnley in gameweek 10 and rewarded his owners with 10 FPL points, courtesy of 2 assists and a bonus point. He was subsequently rested for City’s mid-week game versus Porto in the Champions League, which made us pick him as our premium fantasy pick for coming weekend. The away game against Fulham looks juicy on paper (though Leicester must have thought along similar lines last weekend) and with KDB at the wheel, there will be chances. Like the rest of the Cityzens, he has had a bit of a slow start to the season with just a goal and 5 assists, but we’re confident he’ll get chances to work on those tallies on Saturday. De Bruyne is also our captaincy pick for this week, more on that later.

Non-premium picks

Over the past few weeks, Chelsea playmaker Hakim Ziyech (£8.3m) has been steadily rising in price, thanks to his good performances in Blue. He was injured at the start of the campaign, but since returning to fitness in gameweek 5, he has recorded 1 goal and 3 assists. It should be noted that he did blank in the past two weeks, but not for a lack of trying. The Dutch Moroccan is rapidly becoming a crucial part of Chelsea’s attack and the next game against Leeds at Stamford Bridge looks like a good moment for his next attacking returns. Despite booking two consecutive clean sheets, the Whites do not exactly boast excellent underlying stats when it comes to defending. They are ranked amongst the bottom three clubs when it comes to goals conceded, shots conceded in the box and big chances conceded. Against a team as in form as Chelsea, such stats could very well get translated into goals.

With a home game against an utterly toothless Arsenal and an away game against Crystal Palace up next, Spurs defensive assets looks like a sounds short-term investment. With both Sergio Reguilón and Toby Alderweireld marked as injury doubts in the official fantasy game, we have gone with a slightly outfield pick in the person of Eric Dier (£4.9m). The Englishman has rather quietly become Tottenham’s highest-scoring defender with 34 FPL points so far, courtesy of 4 clean sheets. Three of those shut-outs were booked in the last three games. This weekend’s opponent Arsenal have scored just 2 goals in their last six (!) Premier League games, so an impressive fourth clean sheet in a row is definitely on the cards for Spurs and Dier. As a very welcome extra, the defender’s price tag is very reasonable.

The budget enabler

One of the cool things about this crazy, congested, corona-ridden season is that many very good budget options have emerged over the first ten weeks. With 3 goals and 4 assists from ten starts, Southampton forward Che Adams (£5.9m) is one of them. Soton are one of the teams passing the important eye test with flying colors at the moment, even with Danny Ings out injured, and Adams has been a revelation for the Saints. In the three games that Ingsy has been missing, no Southampton player has recorded more FPL points than Adams (16). What’s more, he is actually amongst the three highest-scoring forwards in the entire game over that period. With away games against Brighton, Arsenal and Fulham, and home games versus Man City and Sheffield United over the next five gameweeks, Southampton’s calender is a bit of a mixed bag, but they are one of the teams in form and the powerfully-built Che Adams could be a handy budget enabler as third striker in your squad.

A differential pick or two

For our first differential pick of the week, we’re going with last weekend’s FPL topscorer Riyad Mahrez (£8.3m). The winger, who is classified as a relatively budget-friendly midfielder in the game, scored a hattrick in City’s 5-0 victory over Burnley and brought his owners a lovely 21-point haul. Seeing as Pep Guardiola’s men have already qualified for the knock-out stages of the Champions League, the Algerian dribbler was rested for the away game at Porto this week, which only increases his chances of once again being in the starting lineup for the away game at Craven Cottage coming Saturday. On top of that, Mahrez is owned by just 5.1% of FPL managers at the moment of writing. This makes the man with most shots on target this season for Man City this season a serious differential pick for the Cityzens’ upcoming run of favourable fixtures.

Brighton striker Danny Welbeck (£5.5m) is another player with huge potential differential value. The former Manchester United and Arsenal forward got his first minutes for the Seagulls back in gameweek 7 and his first start a week later. Since then, the 0.3%-owned striker recorded a more than decent 16 FPL points, courtesy of a goal in GW9 at Villa Park and an assist last weekend at home to Liverpool. Brighton are now hosting Southampton in gameweek 11, which is by no means an easy fixture. The Saints have not been amazing on the road so far, though. No team in the league has conceded more shots in the box and more shots on target than Ralph Hasenhüttl’s men away from home. Welbeck might be up for his third return in a row next Monday.

The captaincy

The stand-out candidates for the GW11 captaincy can be found in the skyblue part of Manchester this weekend, as City travel to Craven Cottage after thrashing Burnley at the Etihad last weekend. We have gone with Kevin de Bruyne as our Cityzen of choice, but the likes of Riyad Mahrez and Gabriel Jesus (should he be declared fit over the coming days) could haul as well. The interesting thing is that, apart from KDB, practically all of Man City’s captaincy candidates carry a differential status as well in terms of their ownership.

In case you don’t have any City assets in your squad or are not entirely sure you should trust rotation master Pep Guardiola, there are a few other good picks for the armband as well. Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech and even Tammy Abraham could have a good weekend at home against Leeds, while offensive Everton assets such as Dominic Calvert-Lewin and James Rodriguez could return to point-scoring ways when they visit Turf Moor on Saturday. Of course, FPL classics such as Jamie Vardy (away versus Sheffield United) and Mo Salah (at Anfield against Wolves) are fixture-proof and could see you rise in the rankings this weekend.