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It’s been a wild and quick past couple of gameweeks as fixtures have come and gone with a couple of matches cancelled over the last several days due to an increased numbers in positive coronavirus tests. Both Everton vs Man City and Tottenham vs Fulham have been postponed to later dates and will most certainly be rescheduled with potential double gameweek opportunities. Liverpool drew both their matches against West Brom and Newcastle and squandered their chances to increase their lead in the tables against weaker opposition. Meanwhile Man United have quietly climbed to second place and trail by only 3 points with a match in hand. It’s all very close at this stage of the season with the top half of the table all within 7 points!
No clarity yet on when the postponed matches will take place, although league officials have confirmed that they have no intention to take a pause for the season. Liverpool continue to be dealt major blows in defence as Joel Matip seemed to suffer a groin injury against West Brom. Several clubs have also provided major rotation and rest over the holidays for key players including Leicester and West Ham who may be back to full force with their first 11 ready to start again in the new year. Not rest for Sheffield United though, as the Blades find themselves bottom of the league with just 2 points from 16 matches so far and now facing a must-win situation or a managerial change may be the only solution. Finally, it seems that postponed matches from earlier this season have been rescheduled for the next couple of weeks, with Burnley vs Man United in BGW18 while Man City vs Aston Villa will take place in DGW19.
GKs – Not much change again to the goalkeeper tables although Sam Johnstone climbs to the top despite conceding 5 goals to Leeds. Lukasz Fabianski enjoys a favorable run of fixtures for West Ham, same for young Leeds shot-stopper Illan Meslier. Although just dropping out again of the top of the table, Nick Pope should certainly remain under consideration as Burnley will now feature in BGW18 with their rescheduled match against Man United followed by a double in GW19.
Defenders – No changes at the top of the defender tables with Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold presenting key point potential for Liverpool at both ends of the pitch. Chelsea assets are interesting once again, as Reece James and Ben Chiwell seem to have put their injury and fitness concerns behind them, along with Thiago Silva orchestrating the backline. Although benched for the last match against Southampton, Vladimir Coufal provides a budget-friendly option for West Ham with major attacking threat.
Midfielders – Another week, another attacking return for Bruno Fernandes who climbs to the top of the midfielder tables, meanwhile Marcus Rashford seems to have found his dazzling form with a goal in each of the last 2 matches for Man United. Mo Salah has been a bit of a disappointment over the last couple of fixtures as the Egyptian midfielder failed to register any returns against West Brom and Newcastle, same for Heung-Min Son as Tottenham dropped points against Wolverhampton and had their match against Fulham postponed. As FPL Managers look to build deeper squads to deal with rotation and match cancelations, Ademola Lookman and Tomas Soucek provide budget-friendly options for Fulham and West Ham, respectively.
Forwards – Now having had his rest, Jamie Vardy moves back up to the top of the forward tables and will look to find his goal-scoring form again for Leicester. Chris Wood continues to present a budget-friendly option although Burnley’s attack may not inspire much, meanwhile Patrick Bamford remains a key option up-front as the young Leeds striker provided a pair of assists. Danny Ings’ return to fitness provides a much-needed boost to strike partner Che Adams at Southampton, but Dominic Calvert-Lewin will face some tough opposition over the next several fixtures for Everton.
After a disappointing past couple of armband selections with Mo Salah, we now turn our attention to the reliable Bruno Fernandes as the Portuguese international faces Aston Villa at Old Trafford. While not a given, especially with the return of Tyrone Mings from red card suspension, Man United will certainly be taking every opportunity to keep the pressure on Liverpool at the top of the table. Other viable captaincy options include Tottenham assets Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son who will now have had some rest after their match against Fulham was cancelled and face Leeds in London. FPL Managers are advised to continue saving and holding their transfers until the last possible second given the recent match cancellations and changes to the fixture schedule.
Alex “The Analyst” Potier
On behalf of The Transfer Algorithm
Javin Garg’s JG0024 leads the way after making Bruno Fernandes his captain in the last round.
Full standings available here.
The UPTV Transfer Guru is Mikkel Tokvam, developer of the Transfer Algorithm.
About Mikkel: Fantasy football is full of noise. Too much information slamming around about statistics like players being “big-game”, “fixture-proof”, “better away than at home” or “needs this or that player to deliver returns” (like the Kane – Dembele conspiracy a few years ago).
Motivated by this nonsense, I have let the machine load the data. Tonnes of data. And compute what matters in predicting the future by observing the past.
Since its inception in 2014, the Transfer Algorithm has produced exceptional results and helped propel FPL Managers to new heights, including some of the most talented and successful competitors around the world. With dozens of key statistics considered for each player and data sets spanning many years of historical performance, the Transfer Algorithm is set up to provide a close to perfect point-expectation for future returns, comparing one with other available players, and responding with simple value metrics for choosing the optimal players for future returns on a limited budget.
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