Fantasy Premier League: Plenty of turbulence just before the Christmas madness


Fantasy Premier League: Plenty of turbulence just before the Christmas madness

How many points do you expect in the next FPL round?
How many points do you expect in the next FPL round?Flashscore
The Fantasy Premier League has given us plenty of turbulence in recent days. The upcoming round will certainly not be an easy one with its last match between Wolves and Chelsea to be played on December 24th. Christmas is coming, however, so there's nothing to complain about but don't forget the deadline today!

The first issue, of course, revolves around Manchester City and the injury status of Erling Haaland (13.9). In the previous round, the City striker did not play against Crystal Palace, even though he was obviously in many line-ups in FPL. This weekend, no one will be wondering if he will play, as Manchester City are in Saudi Arabia participating in the Club World Cup. So how do you cope without Haaland?

Who to captain?

I am very curious to see who, in the absence of the Norwegian, FPL players will decide to give the captain's armband to. It won't be an easy decision, because, of course, as luck would have it, Mohamed Salah (13.2) has an incredibly tough match against Premier League table-toppers Arsenal. It is, incidentally, another point of turbulence this round.

In such circumstances, the two main candidates for the role of captain emerge as Son Heung-Min (9.8), whose Tottenham will face an in-form Everton at home, and Ollie Watkins (8.7), who takes on Sheffield United at home. 

There will probably be no shortage of riskier options, however, and some players will not be discouraged by Liverpool's difficult match and will simply trust Salah, who has regularly delivered points at home. However, he did disappoint against Manchester United last weekend, which puts another question mark on his candidacy.

Liverpool vs Arsenal

This promises to be an excellent clash to watch just before Christmas, but it won't necessarily translate into many points in the FPL. Especially since, after all, Manchester City and Brentford are not playing this round, so we are forced to put players from those teams on the bench.

Given that more than half of the players in the game have Salah in the squad, and Bukayo Saka (9.0) also has a possession rate of over 50%, we can count on both of these players to score. However, this would mean that neither team will keep a clean sheet, yet many of us have William Saliba (5.5), Gabriel (4.9), Kostas Tsimikas (4.9) or Trent Alexander-Arnold (8.2) in our line-ups.

Many players will have two, three or even more players from this match in their line-up and it is hard to expect good scores from all of them, as often the points of one player, will affect someone else. So it does not promise to be great.

Postponed encounter

The most turbulent match of the previous round was of course the one that was abandoned. In the 65th minute, the Bournemouth vs Luton match was called off due to Tom Lockyer (4.3) of Luton suffering a cardiac arrest. Thankfully, he received proper medical attention and his condition was quickly announced as stable and he was taken directly from the stadium to the hospital.

Despite this, the match, completely understandably, did not continue. With the score at 1-1, it was officially called off. For several days we have been waiting for an official announcement from the Premier League, as well as the FPL, explaining what would take place next concerning this match. Would they continue from where the match stopped or would it be completely replayed? And (least importantly in the circumstances) what about the points of the players involved?

It has since emerged that the appearances of all players from that match have been removed and both teams will play each other from the start, from 0:0, at a completely different time. This is a blow, especially for Dominic Solanke (6.8) owners. The striker scored a goal and for a moment had a total of nine points with bonuses. Now it has emerged that he did not participate in the last round and all players who had him in the first eleven were replaced by someone on the bench.

Who to buy?

Let's move on to transfers. Who is worth leaning on ahead of the 18th round and the start of the Christmas madness?

Djordje Petrovic (4.5) - Who could have predicted that Chelsea's Serbian goalkeeper would be recommended for purchase before Gameweek 18? Robert Sanchez (4.7) has suffered an injury that will rule him out for several weeks. The Blues won't be bringing in a new goalkeeper, and with Alphonse Areola (4.2) currently struggling to get back into West Ham's team, buying the Serbian looks sensible. Chelsea will play against Wolves, Crystal Palace and Luton before the end of the year.

Ezri Konsa (4.5) - Aston Villa's only certainty in defence, and someone who can play anywhere in the back line. Matty Cash (4.7) is not assured of a place in the team and Lucas Digne (4.7) is fighting for his spot with Alex Moreno (5.0). The fitness of Pau Torres (4.7), on the other hand, is in doubt. Konsa should have a guaranteed place in the team and will play two of their next three fixtures at home against Sheffield and Burnley. A clean sheet can be expected from Unai Emery's team.

Dejan Kulusevski (7.2) - The Swede has popped up with two big scoring appearances in the last four rounds. He has a secure place in the team regardless of rotation on the other wing and with Son soon set to departure for the Asian Cup, he will be trusted even more. Kulusevski is second on the team in terms of shots taken, and he has been clinical in front of goal, with the xG indicator showing that he should have two fewer goals. He will next play against Everton, Brighton and Bournemouth and his regular appearances could be valuable over the Christmas-New Year period.

Radim Horák (one of the best Czechs playing in FPL)

Ezri Konsa (4.5) - I would focus on Aston Villa, who have won all eight home games this season and have only conceded five goals in them. Ideally, I would invest in full-backs who play offensively, but Lucas Digne and Matty Cash are not certain to play in the starting eleven. This has narrowed the circle of interest to Pau Torres and Ezri Konsa. With the former picking up an injury and, despite having already trained on Wednesday, he is not certain to play either. I'm putting my money on Konsa, who at 4.5 million, represents a good transfer. Sheffield United come to Villa Park on Friday.

Richarlison (6.7) - The Brazilian has had a resurgence after returning from injury. In the games against Newcastle and Nottingham Forest, he scored three goals and contributed significantly to his team's two victories. Importantly, he now plays in the centre-forward position, something FPL players always appreciate in midfielders. Spurs will play against Everton, Brighton and Bournemouth in the coming rounds, and after the game against the Cherries, Son will travel to the Asian Cup. It is very likely that Richarlison will replace him as Spurs' focal point for that time, and that means he will be one of the most popular options in FPL in January.

Ollie Watkins (8.7) - He scored his ninth goal of the Premier League season last week, bagging against Brentford. Since Manchester City won't play this round and Haaland is still nursing an injury, the England striker is, for me, the leading candidate for the captaincy role this round. Villa's opponents will be Sheffield United, and although I expect a new look to this team under Chris Wilder, Watkins is still top of the league in terms of shots and xG.


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