Welcome back, FPL managers, after a brief hiatus due to FA Cup action in the mid-week. Most Premier League teams are back in action as the winter transfer window rolls to a close.
Gameweek 24 was a mixed bag as some old favourites came roaring back into form. Chief among them were Chelsea talisman Eden Hazard, who bagged 16 points while Sergio ‘Kun’ Aguero seems to be making the most of Gabriel Jesus’ form and scored 17 points.
What will Alexis Sanchez do to Manchester United’s line-up?
Barring impending deals for Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Athletic Bilbao’s Aymeric Laporte, it is safe to say that the Alexis Sanchez-Henrikh Mkhitaryan swap is pretty much the biggest piece of business to have occurred in this window.
Jose Mourinho, during his stint in the Premier League, has always depended on a certain section of star men, ‘the undroppables’ as some would label it. It’s safe to say that for a reported half-a-million pounds per week, the Chilean will fall into that classification.
That leaves FPL managers with another conundrum. What will this do for the United line-up? With a front four of Romelu Lukaku, Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial and Juan Mata, it seems likely the Spanish playmaker will drop out.
Sanchez’s inclusion adds extra bite to this United attack but proceed with caution as United face a difficult run of fixtures up ahead. With a point every 10 minutes, Martial is only second to Mo’ Salah in the seasonal charts and is top of the form charts with 33 points from his last 3.
If you are a risk taker or a sentimental United fan, we suggest you pick Sanchez, Martial or Paul Pogba in that order and definitely not Lukaku as Harry Kane, Aguero and Roberto Firmino offer more value as forwards.
Nacho Monreal is good value for money
In the stakes for good defending options, this season has been one where there have been plenty to choose from, including Marcos Alonso, Cesar Azpilicueta and Antonio Valencia, each with a score higher than 110 points.
One player who doesn’t get mentioned in the same breath and priced at only 5.6, yet owned by only 5.8% of all FPL managers is Nacho Monreal. Having missed the previous four gameweeks through injury, Monreal is easily on his way to his best FPL season yet, having bagged 101 points so far.
His 16-point return courtesy of a goal and two assists against Crystal Palace saw him jump to fifth in the seasonal tallies for defenders and the Spaniard is at least one point cheaper than the four men ahead of him.
Monreal also seems to accumulate a ridiculous number of Bonus Points, accumulating 502 points in the BPS, which meant he has earned the same number (13) as Alonso and a higher number than Valencia.
Leroy Sane’s injury could pave way for Bernardo Silva
Manchester City’s 2-0 FA Cup win over Cardiff City came at a huge cost as Joe Bennett’s horror tackle left Leroy Sane limping and eventually hobbling as the German had to be taken off.
Pep Guardiola estimated that the injury could take a month or more to heal as City have now lost the services of one of their most trusted lieutenants this season.
Waiting in the wings to grab his chances could be Bernardo Silva, the Portuguese having been sparingly used by his manager so far. He has bagged 54 points so far, and averages a goal or an assist every 112 minutes, so this could be his time to shine.
Walcott, Abdoulaye Doucoure, City defenders: The differentials
Theo Walcott made an immediate impact at Everton as his assist earned the Toffees a point against West Brom. Along with returning defender Seamus Coleman, Walcott could form a potentially tricky combination along the right.
Watford’s slump claimed its victim as manager Marco Silva got the boot at Vicarage Road. Javi Garcia was named as the Portuguese’s replacement and if it’s one man who’s consistently produced the goods this season, it’s Abdoluaye Doucoure. His seven goals this season have arrived at a cost of 5.3, so it’s interesting to see if the new manager bounce can help the midfielder and his team.
City haven’t been in the best form defensively in the Premier League, but West Brom are the Premier League’s big strugglers at the moment and seem to be lacking in firepower up front. Good chance of a clean sheet here and an assist for either full-back.
Aguero, Salah good choices for captaincy
Aguero is the division’s in-form forward with a hat-trick against Newcastle all but underlining his importance to the team. A return of 16 goals and five assists puts him second only to Harry Kane in the list of forwards.
Salah’s great season took a mini-dip at Swansea City as the winger could not register a goal or an assist. But there has been only one instance of two consecutive gameweeks, 7 and 8, in which the Egyptian has failed to do so. Expect him to tear Huddersfield to shreds.
The argument against Kane this gameweek? His record against Manchester United reads one goal in six games. Also, Jose Mourinho’s default big game tendency is to shut shop, so a goal could prove notoriously difficult even for the mercurial Englishman.
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Updated Date: Jan 30, 2018 12:30:49 IST