FPL Season 2020-21 – Gameweek 12 Preview

“This Saturday, it’s time for the first Manchester derby of the season at Old Trafford” (CC by 4.0). Image by HonorTheKing.

Where gameweek 10 was all about the differentials, gameweek 11 saw some of the most-owned fantasy assets in the official FPL game deliver. The likes of Mo Salah (14 FPL points), Heung-Min Son (13 points) and Harry Kane (12 points all recorded double-figure hauls, while the 17%-owned Wilfried Zaha got a week-high 18 FPL points, courtesy of 2 goals and 1 assist at the Hawthornes. This had a 62 weekend average as a result and caused considerable investment in some highly owned players in the build-up to gameweek 12.

This weekend, the clash in the spotlights is obviously the Manchester derby on Saturday, when Man City roll up to a Man United side just coming off a disappointing Champions League group stage elimination, but there is more. From a fantasy football perspective, Liverpool’s visit to Craven Cottage, Leicester’s home game versus Brighton and Southampton at home to Sheffield United look appealing. On top of that, Everton will be hosting Chelsea on Saturday, Spurs are travelling to Selhurst Park and form teams Leeds and Ham kick off the gameweek this Friday, just to name a few games that could go either way. Also, keep the European mid-week games in mind when working on your squad for GW12.

Don’t forget: the deadline for gameweek 12 is set for 18h30 (UK time) on Friday, December 11th. 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 9th, 2020)

GKMartinez (AST), Alisson (LIV), Pickford (EVE)Lloris (TOT), Meslier (LEE), Mendy (CHE) 
DEFCastagne (LEI), Walker (CIT), Digne (EVE)Zouma (CHE), James (CHE), Vestergaard (SOU)Injuries for Castagne and Digne, Chelsea’s good defensive performances, Vestergaard’s goal threat.
MIDZiyech (CHE), Rodriguez (EVE), Jota (LIV)Grealish (AST), Salah (LIV), Zaha (CRY)Players in good form and/or with good fixtures coming in for injured/non-performing assets.
FORWerner (CHE), Calvert-Lewin (EVE), Jimenez (WOL)Bamford (LEE), Wilson (NEW), Kane (TOT)Jimenez injury, Kane ongoing form, Leeds and Newcastle fixtures.

Premium pick

Coming off a 14-point haul and an impressive 4-0 victory over Wolves, and with an away game against Fulham on the agenda for this weekend, it was hard to ignore Mo Salah (£12.3m) as a premium pick for gameweek 12. It looks like form and fixture are converging for the Egyptian talisman on Sunday afternoon, which should have FPL managers everywhere on high alert. He already has 9 goals and 3 assists to his name this season, and with 87 FPL points only Spurs stars Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son have scored more points. On top of that, only West Brom have conceded more goals than Fulham’s 21 in 11 games. Salah looks like a no-brainer for this weekend and he is our preferred GW12 captaincy pick as well, but more about that later.

Non-premium picks

We already briefly mentioned him above and with an away game against Crystal Palace coming up, we are repeating his name as our first non-premium fantasy pick for gameweek 12. Spurs forward Heung-Min Son (£9.6m) is currently in the form of his life, something he underlined with a fantastic strike against Arsenal last weekend. The Korean later got an assist as well and was rewarded with 2 bonus points for a total of 13 FPL points. Those returns brought his tallies to an incredible 10 goals and 3 assists from 11 games already. Opponents Palace have conceded 17 goals this season and they sit amongst the bottom five in the league when it comes to shots conceded in the box. Against an attacker in a form as clinical as Son’s, this doesn’t bode well. Especially not when taking into account that they will also be facing a Harry Kane in red-hot form.

Only six teams have been less prolific in front of goal than Newcastle United, but Callum Wilson (£6.6m) has been directly involved in an unbelievable 83% of them. With 7 goals and 3 assists from nine games, he basically represents the complete Magpie attack, which is usually very appealing from an FPL point of view. The fact that gameweek 12 sees the England striker face the league’s worst defence only adds to that appeal. Opponents West Brom rank bottom for some of the important defensive statistics, including shots on target and big chances conceded, and are just coming off a 1-5 thrashing at the hands of Crystal Palace in front of their own fans. Wilson has already recorded three double-digit hauls this campaign and number four could be on the way on Saturday.

The budget enabler

Our budget-enabler for gameweek 12 plays for Southampton and won the penalty kick that gave Danny Ings the chance to return to his scoring ways immediately (see our next pick). Saints right-back Kyle Walker-Peters (£4.6m) has not yet missed a single minute of the current Premier League campaign, which in itself already has big appeal with a hectic December schedule coming up for the clubs in the English top flight. On top of that, KWP is part of a team in form that has already booked 4 clean sheets this season, a total only beaten by Chelsea and Spurs, and he gets plenty of freedom to bomb forward. For his teammate below, we will highlight some of Sheffield United’s defensive weaknesses, but for Walker-Peters, the offensive stats look promising as well. The Blades have scored just 5 goals in 11 games so far and we wouldn’t be surprised to see a Saints shut-out on Sunday at Saint Mary’s.

A differential pick or two

Striker Danny Ings (£8.3m) had a very good start to the season with 5 goals in seven games before injury troubles stopped him in his tracks. His ownership dropped sharply to 6.2%, but the Saints forward is back to fitness again and he did not take very long to mark the occasion in style. He came on against Brighton at the start of the second half on Monday and put one of his specialities to work just 35 minutes later. Penalty to Southampton; goal Ings. Up next is red lantern Sheffield United who have collected just a single point so far this season and who boast some of the worst defensive stats in the league. For total shots conceded, shots on target and goals conceded, just to name a few variables, the Blades rank amongst the three worst performers. Looks like the perfect opportunity for Ings to get back to the kind of purple patch we’ve gotten used to from him over the past year and a half.

For our second differential fantasy pick, we have gone with Christian Pulisic (£8.2m), who currently sits in just 2.2% of all teams. This is mainly due ongoing injury issues since the start of the season, but the American forward is now back to fitness and immediately in contention for a starting spot at Goodison Park on Saturday night. Hakim Ziyech is currently injured, which could see Pulisic slot right into the starting eleven. Last weekend, he replaced the Moroccan with about 60 minutes to go and ended up scoring for the Blues. Against Everton, he could very well give his 8-point performance a fitting continuation as both first-choice full-backs Seamus Coleman and Lucas Digne are out injured. We feel goals coming for this one and Pulisic represents some serious differential value in that case.

The captaincy

As we wrote earlier when recommending Momo Salah as premium fantasy pick for gameweek 12, he is also our captaincy pick for this weekend. After a very good showing against Wolves in GW11, the Egyptian looks like a great prospect for the away game against Fulham. We expect Salah, who is currently owned by 32.5% of managers and the second-most transferred-in player overall this week, to be the number-one candidate for the armband this weekend.

He is also the most expensive player in the official game though, so chances are you don’t own him and can’t bring him in (or simply don’t want to). There are plenty of other good GW12 FPL Captain choices available too, though. Timo Werner and Olivier Giroud could deliver big against a leaky Everton defence, and Spurs duo Kane and Son should definitely not be discarded for their visit to Crystal Palace. Vardy at the King Power against Brighton is always a good bet, while Ings at Saint Mary’s against Sheffield United, Callum Wilson at home versus WBA and Bamford at Elland Road against West Ham have serious differential potential.