GW25 TOP PERFORMANCES
If, like Crystal Palace, you’re suffering from Mid Table Syndrome, this is the week you’ve been waiting for to transform your FPL prospects and make a giant leap up the table. With a few astute transfers, your season can turn around rapidly. There’s no better example than the newly-minted Newcastle, who are now four points clear of the relegation zone after stringing together three wins in a row. With the grand total of eight teams all due for a double gameweek (comprising Arsenal, Burnley, Crystal Palace, Leeds, Liverpool, Spurs, Watford & Wolves), now is a good time to make some bold changes to your squad.
The race for the top 4 will take centre-stage, with the aforementioned Newcastle kicking things off with a fixture away to West Ham. Jarrod Bowen will be looking to maintain his outrageous form. With 5 goals and 5 assists from his last 7 games, he is arguably the most in-form player in the Premier League and at £7.1M is still an absolute steal. If, like me, you feel you’re too late to the Bowen Brigade (already owned by 32.7% of players), then you will need an alternative, preferably someone who’s flown under the radar.
The newly-crowned world champions Chelsea are back in action this weekend, and although the floundering front 3 remains a familiar point of contention, one man who looks to have hit his stride is Hakim Ziyech, a bargain at £7.3M and owned by only 1% of players. You wouldn’t think Coutinho is still settling in to Aston Villa with the way he is performing, and a home tie against an abysmal Watford is a great opportunity for him to display what a threat he still is in the final third. If you have the budget for it, you can’t go wrong with Raheem Sterling. Fresh off a hattrick last weekend and a screamer in the Champions League in midweek, he’s full of confidence and with Antonio Conte’s New Manager Bounce already running out of battery, I can see Spurs falling victim to a thrashing at the Etihad.
If we really want to go under the radar however, my number one pick is Liverpool’s exciting new signing Luis Díaz. With Diogo Jota carrying an injury, Díaz is in a good position to rack up plenty of game-time. It’s a matter of time before he delivers a moment that makes everyone sit up and take notice. He looks tailor-made for Jurgen Klopp’s electrifying front 3 and if you were to choose two sides to break your duck against then you’d say Norwich & Leeds with no hesitation. They’ve conceded a combined 96 goals, more than anyone else in the division. It goes without saying that Salah & Alexander-Arnold should also be in your team and I wouldn’t be surprised to see all 3 players amass 15+ points each in this double gameweek.
Switching our attention to the defence, Arsenal will be keen to avenge their humiliating opening-day loss to Brentford, who bullied them into submission in a classic Arsenal performance. To Arsenal’s credit however, they have rebounded from their dismal early season form and now look a very different side. Although they’re clear favourites, winning it convincingly would be an enormous psychological boost coming into the business end of the season and I expect Bukayo Saka to come up with the goods.
It will be Wolves on the other hand looking for revenge (not quite served cold) at the Emirates in midweek. I expect this to be an extremely cagey affair, much like the previous encounter, probably decided by a solitary goal. Aaron Ramsdale is a great option between the sticks and any one of Kieran Tierney, Gabriel or Ben White may be relied upon (I say that loosely, it is Arsenal..) to nab you a clean sheet or two. With Tierney also regularly bombing forward to get crosses in, he’d be my first choice.
The same point applies for the Wolves defence. Although they don’t have a Cancelo or an Alexander-Arnold racking up tons of assists, the likes of Rayan Ait Nouri, Max Kilman and Nelson Semedo are a cheap and dependable source of regular clean sheets. Whether it’s a goalless draw or a narrow victory for either of them, you sense that at least one team will emerge from their rematch with the Gunners with a clean sheet.
Another player I have my eye on this week is Cristiano Ronaldo. Utd put five past Leeds on the opening day of the season, and after ending his drought with a stunning goal in midweek Ronaldo will be eager as always to maintain goalscoring momentum. Harry Kane on the other hand will be desperate to find some. He will no doubt be wondering what could’ve been when he faces a far superior City at the Etihad. I’d steer clear of him because I can already foresee the viral images of the Sky Sports cameras panning to his exasperated expression, hands on hips, as City put a fifth past them, and I wouldn’t be overly confident that he will put one past Burnley in midweek either, who remain one of the most organised, disciplined and resilient outfits in the Prem despite being rock-bottom.
You’d be better off saving your money on Kane and opting for Palace’s Odsonne Edouard or Burnley new man Wout Weghorst. With none of the most-picked strikers consistently hitting the back of the net, this position represents a worthwhile area to experiment in the hope of gaining the upper hand over your rivals. Last but not least, there’s a £100M Chelsea striker who has an easy run of games coming…
Saturday 19th February
West Ham vs Newcastle
Arsenal vs Brentford
Aston Villa vs Watford
Brighton vs Burnley
Crystal Palace vs Chelsea
Liverpool vs Norwich
Southampton vs Everton
Manchester City vs Spurs
Sunday 20th February
Leeds vs Man United
Wolves vs Leicester
Wednesday 23rd February
Burnley vs Spurs
Watford vs Crystal Palace
Liverpool vs Leeds
Thursday 24th February
Arsenal vs Wolves
De Bruyne £12.0
In a double gameweek I’d try not to be too clever or you could lose serious ground. Not only would I be captaining Mo Salah this week, but if you still have the Triple Captain chip then I can’t imagine there’ll be a better opportunity to use one all season. Knowing how obsessed he is with numbers, I can imagine that Salah has been salivating for weeks looking at the fixture list. Going back to the Luis Suarez days, Liverpool traditionally hammer Norwich and I see no other outcome at Anfield. Salah’s form has slipped somewhat in the past couple of months by his own unparalleled standards, but a double-points gameweek is always only around the corner. Don’t be surprised to see him hit 20 league goals for the season by the beginning of Gameweek 27..
Gameweek 26 deadline:
Saturday 19th february @ 11:00pm!
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