Gameweek 23

A spate of suspensions and injuries to some of the biggest names in FPL over the past week is exactly why we detest these International and Cup breaks so much. In retrospect, holding on to that precious Winter Wildcard for one more week did prove to be good advice, didn’t it? Well let’s get on to the squad picks for a brand new gameweek then.

Goalkeepers: 

Southampton’s Forster (5.5) and company, were quite unlucky to miss out on a clean sheet last week, due to an unfortunate clearance by Gardos, but will be sure to shut out an out of form Swansea side, who have conceded a whopping 11 goals in their last 4 games. And with QPR on the cards for GW24, we think investing in the Saint’s defence is a safe bet for now.

Alternatives: Judging by the past few weeks, Ospina (4.8) seems to have emerged from the smoke (see what we did there?) to cement his position as Monsieur Wenger’s 1st choice keeper. The Colombian has been in good form at the back, maintaining a 100% record of 2 clean sheets in 2 starts in the Premier League.

Defenders:

Manchester United and Stoke picked up clean sheets last week against relegation zone regulars QPR and Leicester respectively, and will swap opponents this week. No surprise then that Jones (5.3) and Shawcross (5.4) (who missed out last week with injury) both make a return to the team for GW23. On the other hand Chelsea’s Terry (6.5) does make, what might seem like a surprise return to the squad, in spite of the tough fixture against City. However it does make sense if you take into consideration City’s poor form in the absence of the talismanic Toure, and the fact that Chelsea have conceded just 3 goals in all home games this season.

Next up is Arsenal’s Mertesacker (6.0) who has been in good form at the back for the Gunners, having picked up 2 clean sheets in his last 2 games. Arsenal take on Aston Villa at home, and should have no trouble getting a third consecutive clean sheet.

Lastly, like we said before, investing in the Saint’s defence looks like a safe bet, so we have gone with Bertrand (5.8) for the last spot in defence.

Alternatives: Alternative options to consider in defence are Liverpool’s Skrtel (5.8), who will take on West Ham at home, and Crystal Palace’s Dann (4.9) who take on an Everton side, that has scored just once in their last 3 matches.

Midfielders:

With Sanchez out with a hamstring injury, our thoughts immediately turn towards Arsenal’s Cazorla (8.3). The miniature magician had a field day against City last GW, notching up a goal, assist and maximum bonus points for the Gunners. With a home game against Villa this week, we expect Santi to run riot again. On the other side of London, with Fabregas looking to be sidelined with a hamstring concern, and Hazard in a temporary slump of sorts, Oscar (8.3) is our obvious pick this week. The Brazilian has picked up an impressive 32 points in his last 3 games (Avg. 10.66 points / game), courtesy of 3 goals and 2 assists.

Crystal Palace’s Puncheon (5.6) gets his first callup to the FFT squad, after impressive performances in his last 2 games. Looks like Pardew really seems to be getting the best out of him. Coupled with a run of decent fixtures on the cards for Palace, Puncheon could prove to be a real budget friendly long term asset for your team.

Liverpool’s Sterling (8.3) and Manchester United’s Di Maria (9.5) fill up the last 2 slots in midfield. We know Di Maria hasn’t been in the best of form after coming back from injury, but his quality coupled with favourable fixtures, is more than enough to turn the tide.

Alternatives: Spurs’ Eriksen (8.2) and West Ham’s Downing (6.6) have both been in good form off late, and are good alternative options to consider this gameweek.

Forwards:

Diego Costa banned for 3 games!!! We’re sure you must have read it somewhere or the other by now, and must be as heartbroken as us (from a Fantasy manager’s point of view ofcourse). But like all good managers, we must adapt to the situation and move on. Aguero would seem to be the best direct replacement for Costa, but as it turns out, the Argentine doesn’t make it to our squad this week. Instead we have gone with the inform Ings (5.7) and Kane (5.6), who have both been in fantastic form, picking up 26 and 29 points in their last 4 games respectively.

Our third choice, Southampton’s Pelle (7.8), might come as a surprise to some, seeing as to how his form hasn’t been all that impressive off late. But considering the fact that he faces off against a leaky Swansea side, that has conceded 11 goals in their last 4 games alone, we think Pelle is the perfect choice for this gameweek.

Alternatives:  Aguero (12.5) does however get a mention in the alternatives. While a straight swap for Costa will do you well in the long run, we suggest waiting for one more week, before bringing him in to your squad. Crystal Palace’s Gayle (5.0) is another player who looks to be in terrific form under the Pardew reign. Gayle has notched up 3 goals and an assist in his last 2 games, and might just get a spot on the squad next week if his form persists.