Gameweek 13 was a bittersweet one for Fantasy Premier League (FPL) managers. Those who performed well broke the roof, but those who didn't, endured a weekend of pain and agony.
Gameweek 14 isn't expected to make the ride any easier for FPL managers with three derby clashes scheduled for Sunday. Arsenal and Tottenham will renew their age-old bitter rivalry at the Emirates stadium before Liverpool and Everton square off in the Merseyside derby. Sunday's action, however, kicks off at Stamford Bridge where Chelsea entertain neighbours Fulham. Derby games are great to watch, but its unpredictability makes it very hard for FPL managers to make assured choices.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang became the joint-highest scorer in the Premier League this season last week when he scored Arsenal's winner at Bournemouth. But his record in games against the top-six doesn't make an impressive reading and hence his prospects against a high-flying Tottenham don't look great. Similarly, Harry Kane's inconsistency this season has made FPL managers reluctant to purchase the pricey Spurs hitman.
Liverpool should do fine against Everton at Anfield if history is anything to go by, but the midweek Champions League clash at Paris Saint-Germain that ended in defeat would have taken a lot of the Reds players. A resurgent Everton is certainly not the kind of opponent Jurgen Klopp would have liked to face after their European exertions. The Reds' rather subdued attack this season means, the Merseyside derby is likely to be a tight affair. It's good news if you have defenders from both teams, but owners of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Richarlison may not be smiling at the end of the weekend.
Chelsea's game against Fulham looks a relatively easy one on paper for Maurizio Sarri's men, but their recent wobbles would encourage Fulham, who are now under the management of former Blues boss Claudio Ranieri. There's a doubt over Eden Hazard's availability although Sarri revealed on Wednesday that the Belgian was on schedule to make it for the visit of Fulham. However, the Italian did point out that Hazard won't feature in all of Chelsea's games over the festive period, prompting many FPL managers to get rid of the forward. With just one assist in his last five appearances and doubts over his participation in matches to come, it is advisable for FPL managers to let the Belgian go and use the funds to strengthen the squad.
Manchester City players remain high on FPL owners' shopping list. Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane and David Silva are the most purchased midfielders this week and that comes with little surprise considering the way City have put teams to the sword at the Etihad. Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling are the obvious favourites for the captain's armband this week and only a few would look elsewhere.
However, there's always a risk with choosing the right City players as Pep Guardiola has far too often invited the wrath of FPL managers by pulling off a surprise with his team selection. While you are never quite sure what's going on in the mind of the Spaniard, there are a few untouchables in that City squad. Aguero and Sterling seem to be ones who are less prone to rotation. David Silva who has been on a scoring spree of late has also more or less cemented his place. In defence, Aymeric Laporte seems to be a constant along with Kyle Walker. Benjamin Mendy's injury means Fabian Delph might have Guardiola's backing in that position. Mendy's absence also means City will need someone to provide them width down that left flank. His injury has thus coincided with Sane's rise on that left wing. Guardiola prefers the German in that role in the absence of his adventurous full-back, but again, you never know what City boss has up his sleeve.
Top picks and bargain buys
Wilfred Zaha (Crystal Palace): Zaha hasn't been the player he was last season, but so have Palace. Roy Hodgson's team have failed to scale the promised heights. Palace are struggling in 16th place in the table, but their recent run of fixtures have been very harsh on the south London side. With performances improving, and a fairly easy run of games to follow, expect Palace to pick up some points and Zaha to get on the score sheet much more often.
Federico Fernandez (Newcastle United): Newcastle are the form side in the league with three straight wins lifting them to 13th place in the table. The Toons have kept just three clean sheets all season, but two of them have come in the last four games. Having found form, expect Rafael Bentitez's team to shut out a few teams especially with a fairly easy run of games in the near future. Fernandez who also has two assists could prove to be a very handy purchase.
Olivier Giroud (Chelsea): Giroud is finally finding the back of the net. He has scored three of Chelsea's last five goals in all competitions. The Chelsea frontman also makes his teammates click. All 7 of Hazard's goals this season have come when Giroud is on the pitch. With an impressive brace in midweek, Giroud is all set to start against Fulham at the weekend over Alvaro Morata. Fulham's defence has been leaky all season and the Frenchman may well continue his scoring free against Chelsea's neighbours. At £7.7m, Giroud might be the buy of the week.
Anthony Martial (Manchester United): Manchester United's form would prevent FPL managers from picking their players, but their form away from Old Trafford, especially against lesser teams, has been quite good. Southampton can't buy a win at the moment and Martial will relish the prospect of having a go at their fragile defence. The Frenchman is a must this week despite United's indifferent form this season.
Don't miss the early deadline!
The deadline for FPL GW 14 is at 12:30 AM IST on Saturday as Cardiff play Wolves on Friday evening in England. So make sure you don't wait until Saturday afternoon to make changes as it will be too early to make changes for the next gameweek.
Firstpost is now on WhatsApp. For the latest analysis, commentary and news updates, sign up for our WhatsApp services. Just go to Firstpost.com/Whatsapp and hit the Subscribe button.
Updated Date: Nov 30, 2018 14:50:11 IST