FPL Season 2021/22: Gameweek 15 preview

Gameweek 14 was a tale of two halves, so to say. Up until the Merseyside Derby at Goodison Park on Wednesday evening, it had been a relatively low-scoring week. Amongst the reasons were West Ham’s 1-1 draw at Brighton, but also the fact that neither Chelsea (away against Watford) nor Man City (away at Villa) managed to keep the clean sheets that, let’s be honest, many of us expected. In all fairness, Liverpool didn’t keep a clean sheet on Wednesday night either, but the 72.8%-owned Salah bagged a brace to boost the gameweek’s average score, as per usual this season.

At that point, the round’s average was around 40 FPL points, so with just two more games to go on Thursday, it looked like it was going to be an average gameweek in terms of points. Spurs and Manchester United in particular had other ideas, though. By the time the final whistle was blown late last night, the 20-something percent-owned Heung-Min Son had scored a goal, his team mate Sergio Reguilón (15.6% ownership) boasted a clean sheet plus an assist, Cristiano Ronaldo netted a brace, and Bruno Fernandes (who is still in 16.5% of all teams) scored as well, while Emile Smith Rowe bagged the opener against United. The end result? A week average of 58 FPL points. Not bad for a regular Thursday night.

Don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 15 is set at 11h00 (UK time) on Saturday, December 4th.

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per December 3rd, 2021)

GKFoster (WAT), Schmeichel (LEI), Mendy (CHE)Ramsdale (ARS), De Gea (MUN), Mendy (CHE)
DEFJames (CHE), Cresswell (WHU), Chilwell (CHE)Reguilón (TOT), Cancelo (MCI), Rüdiger (CHE)Chilwell serious injury, James and Cresswell injury doubts
MIDGallagher (CRY), Benrahma (WHU), Foden (MCI)Jota (LIV), Bernardo (MCI), Smith Rowe (ARS)Form of transferred-in players, Benrahma lack of returns
FORAntonio (WHU), Jimenez (WOL), Hwang (WOL)Dennis (WAT), Ronaldo (MUN), Watkins (AST)Antonio lack of returns, Wolves fixtures, Ronaldo brace v Arsenal

Premium pick

Mo Salah (£13.0m), 14 gameweeks into the 2021/22 Premier League season:

Mo Salah 1st 14 GWs FPL scores!

Captain. Next.

Non-premium pick

Prior to the injury that has kept him out of Premier League action since the last international break a few weeks ago, Phil Foden (£8.1m) was one of the FPL’s hottest commodities. He recorded 3 goals, 2 assists and a total of 40 FPL points from seven consecutive league starts, which is not bad at all. Perhaps even more significant than his returns though, is the fact that Foden looked like he had all but nailed down a berth in Pep Guardiola’s starting eleven, which is no small feat under any circumstance. Add to that his affordable price tag and it becomes a bit baffling that his ownership sits at just 7.1%, despite his recent injury niggles. Out of sight, out of mind has never been more applicable to the community, and that creates opportunity for the attentive few. Foden was an unused substitute for the Cityzens against Aston Villa earlier this week, so we’re expecting him completely fit and ready for Saturday evening’s game at Vicarage Road, especially with Kevin de Bruyne, Ferran Torres and Ilkay Gundogan currently flagged in the official game. Don’t let a few weeks of absence fool or dishearten you, City’s wonder boy is the real deal.

The budget enabler

The top three midfielders so far this season consists exclusively of Liverpool players, with Salah leading the pack, followed by Sadio Mané and Diogo Jota. That’s not so surprising, considering Liverpool are the most attacking team in the league. What is surprising though, is the fact that the top five midfielders are completed by two incredible budget enablers, Connor Gallagher and Arsenal’s Emile Smith Rowe (£6.0m). Both are excellent options for your squad, but we’ve chosen to highlight ESR this time. The young Gunner recorded a very decent 8 FPL points during the visit to Old Trafford in gameweek 14, courtesy of scoring the game’s opening goal, bringing him to a total of 5 goals and 2 assists this season. Those are impressive numbers for a budget midfielder who is nailed-on as part of his manager’s starting eleven and with five of those attacking returns coming over the last six league games, ESR clearly has form on his side. As Arsenal now embark on a relatively good run of fixtures, maybe you shouldn’t risk missing out on the official game’s golden budget-enabler.

The differential

If your squad is one of the roughly 900.000 squads that contains Harry Kane (£12.3m) right now, then this is probably the moment you have been waiting for. The England forward has been utterly disappointing so far this season with just a single goal and a single assist to his name from eleven league starts, so the most likely scenario, if you own him at the moment, is that you brought him in a few gameweeks ago to take advantage of Tottenham’s kind run of fixtures. That plan has all but backfired by now, as games against Everton (away), Leeds and Brentford (both at home) resulted in nothing, while this week’s visit to Turf Moor was postponed by Mother Nature. In other words, this coming Sunday’s home game against Norwich is looking like a last chance for Tottenham’s Very Own to salvage something and avoid massive sales of his virtual FPL alter ego. The Canaries have shown definite signs of improvement of late under new coach Dean Smith, but they also boast the league’s worst defensive record with 28 goals conceded. The ball’s in your court, Harold.

The (vice-)captaincy

We already revealed our captain of choice for gameweek 15 in our premium fantasy pick segment and it’s no surprise. Salah is not up against the easiest or leakiest of opponents when Liverpool roll up to Molineux on Saturday afternoon, but there’s no going around the Egyptian Golden Ball candidate at the moment.

Still, you can try and gameweek 15 offers a few interesting alternatives if you’re willing to. Fixture-wise, Heung-Min Son and Harry Kane stand out for their home game against Norwich, as do Manchester City’s assets as they prepare for a visit to Watford. Manchester United hosting Crystal Palace could see a few managers take a punt on Ronaldo after his two goals against Arsenal yesterday, while the real risk-takers might opt for Raphinha at home to Brentford or even Burnley’s Maxwell Cornet away against Newcastle.