After an extended period of domestic league action and doubles for Chelsea and Fulham (of which, at the time of writing this piece, the clash between Fulham and Chelsea still needs to be played), it’s time for gameweek 20 and what a gameweek it has become. Over the past few days, no less than four teams were given a second fixture, including traditional top-six sides Manchester City, Manchester United and Spurs. Their doubles are far from the easiest though, as you can see in the table below, with the United double standing out for us. You could basically consider it a tough gameweek with a home game against rivals City, with a visit to Selhurst as a bonus. Nevertheless, double gameweek picks are dominating our GW20 recommendations. The start of GW20 is also the start of FanTeam’s 2nd Half Season Fantasy Premier League Football game with a minimum £20,000 of prizes for the £5 game (max 3 entries per person) and £100,000 for the £20 game (max 25 entries per person).
|FIXTURE 1||FIXTURE 2|
|Crystal Palace||Chelsea (away)||Man United (home)|
|Manchester City||Man United (away)||Spurs (home)|
|Manchester United||Man City (home)||Crystal Palace (away)|
|Tottenham Hotspur||Arsenal (home)||Man City (away)|
Don’t forget, the FPL deadline for gameweek 20 is set at 18h30 (UK time) on Friday January 13th, 2023.
Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per January 11th, 2023)
|TRANSFERS OUT||TRANSFERS IN||POSSIBLE REASONS|
|GK||Alisson (LIV), Ward (LEI), De Gea (MUN)||Pope (NEW), Raya (BRE), De Gea (MUN)|
|DEF||Cancelo (MCI), Van Dijk (LIV), Castagne (LEI)||Shaw (MUN), Perisic (TOT), Schär (NEW)||Shaw double, Perisic double, Cancelo benchings|
|MID||Trossard (BRI), Salah (LIV), Mount (CHE)||Rashford (MUN), Odegaard (ARS), De Bruyne (MCI)||Rashford double + form, Odegaard form, KDB double|
|FOR||Toney (BRE), Darwin (LIV), Jesus (ARS)||Kane (TOT), Mitrovic (FUL), Mbeumo (BRE)||Spurs double, Toney injury doubt, Jesus injury|
Erling Haaland (£12.2m) and Manchester City have a double gameweek in GW20, ‘nuff said. If you are an active fantasy manager who somehow has not included the Norwegian in your side, we’re not quite sure what to say. At the time of writing, he sits in 85% of all sides in the official game and with very good reason. In 16 league appearances, Haaland has recorded 21 goals and 3 assists. His blank at Stamford Bridge in GW19 was only the second time he did not bring his owners an attacking return and now he’s got a double gameweek coming up. Sure, a visit to Old Trafford followed by a home game against Spurs is far from easy, but what we’re trying to say here is that he is the absolute stand-out premium fantasy pick for double gameweek 20. Just start him and captain him. Oh, and take into account that more than a few managers are considering activating the Triple Captain chip for Haaland this round.
Erling Haaland is synonym to red-hot form this season, but he’s not the only one. Sure, Marcus Rashford (£7.0m) has some catching up to do when it comes to the Norwegians attacking returns, mainly due to the fact that the Man United star has only really started getting into his groove in the past few gameweeks. Rashford has returned 27 FPL points over his last three league outings, courtesy of 3 goals, 1 assist and 1 clean sheet (he’s registered as a midfielder in FPL), nicely spread out over the fixtures: 14 points in GW17 at home to Forest, 5 points in GW18 away at Wolves and 8 points at home to Bournemouth in GW19. The Red Devils now have a double coming up, starting with a home game against arch-rivals City and followed by an away game versus Crystal Palace. Nothing easy breezy by any stretch of the imagination, but we see potential for the Rashy here. United will likely be forced to counter a lot against City, which might just fit the English international like a glove, while Palace have conceded 25 goals in 17 games so far. At home, it’s 15 conceded goals in nine for the Eagles. At just £7.0m, Rashford looks like a steal for the upcoming double.
The budget enabler
We’re entering serious punting territory with our budget enabler of the week this week, but then again, maybe we’re not. Maybe we’re just too traumatised by Pep Roulette and not overwhelmed enough by Rico Lewis’ (£3.9m) meteoric rise through the City ranks this season. The City Academy graduate started at right-back in gameweeks 17 and 18, and did more than well, and then came on at half-time in GW19 to replace a disappointing Joao Cancelo.
“When he came in Rodri played better, Kevin played better, Riyad played better, he has the talent to do this”, said City manager Guardiola after the GW20 game against Chelsea, “Since we came back he is playing and right now he is fundamental to us, he’s a key player for us the way we’re playing right now. The dynamic for Rico – tac-tac, move, right, left, inside – helped everyone have that rhythm, that’s why he changed the game. He changed the game with his dynamic from minute one”.
We’ll leave the interpretation of the above up to you, especially as picking an 18-year-old defender with little PL experience for a City double means going all in on Pep Roulette, but the upside is bringing in a potential £3.9m starter for one of the best defences in the league right before their double gameweek.
Our differential fantasy pick for gameweek 20, like the preceding three picks, also has a double gameweek coming up. Bruno Fernandes (£9.8m), while not returning like he did throughout extended periods in the past, has been rather quietly ticking along in recent gameweeks. He’s got three assists in his last four games, with only the home game against Nottingham Forest in GW17 resulting in a blank for him. He is expensive, it’s true, even more so for a differential pick, but consistency is worth a lot as well in the official fantasy game. The Portuguese playmaker now has a double coming up, starting with a home game against Man City and ending with a visit to Selhurst Park. Not an easy double, but is it so out there to hope for a return or two from Bruno? We don’t think so, especially not with the current good form Manchester United are displaying of late. If you want to catch up in your mini-league and are willing to take a chance, Bruno could be an excellent differential this gameweek.
The captain’s armband is for Erling Haaland this weekend as the Norwegian goal machine is preparing for a double against Man United (away) and Spurs (home). Our advice is not to overthink and just do it, he’s the stand-out captaincy candidate in any Man City double gameweek.
The only real downside of captaining Haaland is the fact that more or less every manager in the game will be doing the same, thus rendering the armband kind of worthless this gameweek. We’re saying “kind of”, because he really isn’t worthless as a captain. Just ask the few rebels who went against him after GW20 is over. Nevertheless, there are a few very good captaincy alternatives available this week as well. Marcus Rashford comes to mind, as does Haaland’s teammate Kevin de Bruyne. There is always the inevitable Harry Kane, who has a hell of a double coming up against Arsenal (home) and City (away), as well. For the real risk-takers, Bruno Fernandes could be a shrewd captain and for the real REAL risk-takers there is always the current King of xG Darwin Nuñez for Liverpool’s visit to leaky Brighton.