After a brief hiatus, the Premier League is back and brings with it two potentially sumptuous fixtures in Liverpool's clash against Manchester City, while fellow Merseysiders Everton taking on Tottenham Hotspur away from home.
A Spurs double gameweek last time around saw many opt for multiple men from the North London team but with difficult fixtures ahead, that could be set to change.
Tottenham’s difficult fixture list
Those who captained Harry Kane in the previous gameweek were in for a rude shock as the Englishman scored only 3 points, not starting against Swansea City due to illness and failing to score against West Ham.
Another favourite is South Korean Son Heung-Min, who has bagged 62 points over the last 7 gameweeks, courtesy of five goals and four assists in that time. He is selected by over 13% of FPL managers, and could be in line for a home start against Everton.
However, Spurs’ upcoming fixture list is anything but kind and it could be time to leave some of those players out of your team, especially if you have defenders Ben Davies or Jan Vertonghen. Matches against Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal follow fixtures against Everton and Southampton and Spurs are likely to concede a few in those matches.
Watch out for the winter transfers
Philippe Coutinho is gone and in comes Virgil Van Dijk. The former Southampton man came in and made an instant impact, scoring the winner against Everton as the Reds’ are now in possession of the world’s most expensive defender.
Do remember to take Coutinho out of your team as the Brazilian starts his Barcelona journey. Another two names who could make a move in this window are Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez and Leicester’s Riyad Mahrez.
Winter transfers have the ability to transform teams and mess up the best-laid plans of FPL owners. While Liverpool’s defence is more compact thanks to Van Dijk, Coutinho’s departure means that Mo’ Salah and Roberto Firmino have more responsibility bestowed on them and this could go either way, resulting in more goals or a drought stemming from the lack of creativity that
Coutinho brought to the team.
Alonso’s extraordinary form
At 7.3, Marcos Alonso keeps bringing immense joy to owners as the ex-Bolton man now has 123 points to his name, and is also top of the form charts. Owned by a quarter of FPL owners, Alonso lies above Raheem Sterling, Salah, Kevin de Bruyne and Mahrez for his recent returns.
Three goals and four clean sheets in his last six games give the Chelsea defender 53 points in his last six games, as his set-piece taking and driving runs up front give the wing-back an advantage over conventional defenders.
Having scored 177 points over the entire season last time around, Alonso’s on course to shatter that total this season, having already equalled the number of goals scored (6) and the bonus points earned (11) from the entirety of 2016-17.
Love him or hate him, Alonso’s a must-have in your backline. Available at a price point lower than most quality midfielders but with a rate of return almost as impressive or even better, get him now.
Paul Pogba, Wilfred Zaha and Shane Duffy: The differentials
With Crystal Palace having overcome a difficult start to the season under Ronald de Boer, they’re experiencing a resurgence under Roy Hodgson. Wilfred Zaha has been very much the face of this resurgence as the winger’s stock has never been higher.
Pogba pulled the strings beautifully against Everton, landing up with 12 points. Against a Stoke side having fired their manager, the Frenchman could once again be the catalyst for an United victory at home.
For Duffy and Lewis Dunk, solidity at the back has come naturally and they go up against a West Brom team in all sorts of trouble and winless in their last 20. A clean sheet could be on the cards as could be a punt for the under-rated Pascal Gross.
The choice becomes difficult with Salah’s fitness deeming him likely (but not a certainty) to start this game.
Kane is therefore the most obvious choice for this weekend’s captain as after a two-game mini drought, he could once again explode into life against the Toffees.
Jesse Lingard’s form refuses to die out, as the Englishman enjoys a 17.2% ownership, his highest ever. At 6.3, he is the cheapest of the 10 in-form players in the league. With Romelu Lukaku misfiring in the league, Lingard could bag more points against Stoke.
There’s no saying what could happen in the Pool-City match but Firmino, De Bruyne, Sterling and Kun Aguero could be worth a shout.
Updated Date: Jan 12, 2018 21:23 PM