With another quick turnaround between GWs let’s get motoring with the GW21 article …
Short version also attached for people who struggle with the longer version for whatever reason…language barriers , boredom , laziness , don’t want to understand the reasoning behind decisions , actually have a life outside of FPL etc etc
Anyway, let’s start off with the rankings . However you’re doing, keep your heads basically …as there’s a very long way to go and it’s easy to forget that we’re actually only just now at the half way mark in terms of matches played . There’s currently just point 86pts between the person ranked 1m and the person ranked 50k
Check out the Live FPL website (it’s not an App ) for details about where exactly you are in the rank tiers and how many points you are from key milestones / targets .
Chip Usage also remains very interesting …
28.9% of the overall game have used their Free Hit
32.25% of the overall game have used their Triple Captain
16.76% of the overall game have already used their Bench Boost
5.5% of the overall game have incredibly already used their 2nd Wildcard
For my detailed thoughts (and Chip strategy ideas) about using the 2nd Wildcard…please see the pinned article which can be found in the Featured / Announcements section of the group .
When making your transfer decisions it’s wise to take into account the upcoming fixture schedule…
I’d also say it’s wise to STRONGLY consider rolling a transfer this GW if you can…so that you’ve got the power of free transfers to use in either GW22 or in a GW in the near future .
There’s a day gap between GW21 finishing and GW22 starting…caused by the FA Cup 4th Round weekend and both legs of the Caraboa Cup semis taking place. We will have a much clearer picture of the confirmed and likely blanks and doubles after that…i.e. BEFORE the GW22 deadline. Having the power of free transfers will be very very significant.
Please do note that the whole scheduling situation is fluid …it’s constantly updating as a result of Cup results , TV company discussions and PL consultations with the clubs and with the police etc. If you want to gain an edge in FPL you need to keep abreast of developments as they occur. I had someone tell me this week that the info I provided 2 weeks ago is now out of date…no shit Sherlock Keep up mate
GW22 – Several teams could have a DGW here. The exact combos depend on FA Cup 4th Round results. It’s possible that Man United get a really tasty one v Palace (H) and Leeds (H)
GW23 is a confirmed DGW for Man City (VILLA + arsenal) & Arsenal (BRENTFORD + MAN CITY)
GW25 will be a Small Blank GW caused by the Caraboa Cup Final . It’s very possible that teams will blank. Whoever wins their 2 leg semi finals will definitely not play in GW25…the semis are Man United v Forest…or Newcastle v Southampton. Their scheduled GW25 opponents will Blank in GW25 too unless they have an outstanding fixture against someone else that can be slotted in. We will know who is in the final BEFORE the GW22 deadline arrives.
E.G. If Newcastle and Man United reach the Caraboa Final then it’s possible that all 4 of Man United, Brentford, Brighton and Newcastle will blank in GW25.
Note that there is a chance that GW25 could be both a DGW and a BGW GW25 is a good reason in its own right to try and roll a transfer ahead of GW21. There are several other reasons too .
Also note… Brighton are currently the most likely team to get the most number of DGWs in the FINAL 10 GWs of the season (source: Ben Crellin) as they have x postponed games to reschedule and they’re more likely than any other club to get MORE postponements / BGWs…in GW25 / GW28 / GW32.
GW28 will be a Big Blank GW due to the FA Cup scheduling. Expect teams to blank. But we also already know that the following teams definitely won’t blank though as they’ve been knocked out of the FA Cup …Forest, Newcastle, Villa, Chelsea, Everton, Wolves and Bournemouth. Keep that in mind for your bench fodder picks .
GW29 will be a Medium / Large Double GW.
GW32 will be a Medium sized Blank GW. Expect teams to blank.
GW34 will be a Medium / Large Double GW
GW37 will be a Medium / Large Double GW.
*How big those doubles are will partly be is dictated by how many very small DGWs also emerge. At least 2 of DGW29, DGW34 and DGW37 will be very large DGWs though…far bigger than anything we’ve seen this season so far.
Potential Chip Strategies are set out in my pinned Wildcard article
Keep abreast of scheduling news by following the likes of Ben Crellin, Mikkel Tokvam and Legomane on Twitter…and of course us guys here Ben is the go to fixtures guru IMO but Mikkel and Legomane have a really slick way of providing graphics that encapsulate all of the detail.
Anyone not following at least @BenCrellin on Twitter really is missing a massive trick basically.
Absences, Suspensions or walking the tightrope …
10 players remain at risk of an imminent suspension due to being on yellow cards and because their teams haven’t yet played their 19th match of the season. of them are from Arsenal (Saka, Jesus, Saliba & Gabriel) + Mac Allister + Schlupp & Ward from Crystal Palace + Kristensen, Roca & Koch from Leeds.
Casemiro stupidly picked up his 5th yellow card of the season in the cut off ‘19th game’ for Man Utd so the Brazilian now misses the crucial GW21 fixture v Arsenal at the weekend .
Search up my separate article(s) about how the yellow card totting up process works if you don’t fully understand it. You can find it in the pinned articles section of this group. Just hit the ‘Featured’ / ‘Announcements’ button near the top of the group and you’ll find a veritable treasure trove of information that’ll make you a better FPL manager
The Ivan Toney situation is an interesting one …he’s facing a mountain of charges & allegations due to his betting misdemeanours. If found guilty I’d personally expect a minimum month ban given the previous case precedents. He had until 4th Jan 2023 to respond to the allegations made. We are still expecting that a suspension is imminent but for now he remains available and also continues to bang the goals in . He’s clearly a hold if you already own him and he’s a risky buy if you don’t .
Continue to listento those press conferences. Valuable information comes out of them each week which should help inform your GW decisions. Yes, some managers frustrate and give nothing away, but plenty do. It makes sense to take note of what’s said .
GW21 Stat Attack
GW21 Clean Sheet (CS) %…MCI 52%, WHU 33%, NEW 32%, LIV 27%, BRI 27%, ARS 27%, TOT 24%, AVI 22%, BOU 21%, FOR 20%, LEE 20%, SOU 19%, BRE 17%, FUL 15%, LEI 14%, PAL 13%, MUN 13%, CHE 12%, EVE 12%, WOL 3%
GW21 Anytime Scorer odds…Haaland 1/3, Alvarez 11/10, Mitrovic 11/10, Kane 11/10, Isak 11/10, Toney11/10, Wilson 13/8, Nunez 13/8, Salah 13/8, Ferguson 7/4, Odergaard 2/1, Rashford 2/1, Martial 9/4, Almiron 9/4Nketiah 5/2, Martinelli 5/2, KDB 5/2, Saka 11/4, Mac Allister 11/4, Mudryk 3/1, Mitoma 3/1, Bruno F 5/1, March 5/1.
GW21 Brace odds…Haaland 13/8, Alvarez 6/1, Toney 6/1, Mitrovic 6/1, Kane 6/1, Isak 8/1, Wilson 11/1, Nunez 11/1, Salah 11/1, Ferguson 12/1, Odergaard 14/1, Almiron 14/1, Rashford 14/1, KDB 18/1, Nketiah 18/1, Martial 18/1, Mac Allister 20/1, Mitoma 22/1, Mudryk 22/1, Saka 22/1, Bruno F 40/1, March 40/1.
GW21 Hat-trick odds: Haaland 6/1, Alvarez 28/1, Toney 28/1, Kane 28/1, Mitrovic 33/1, Isak 40/1, Nunez 66/1, Wilson 66/1, Salah 66/1, Ferguson 66/1, Odergaard 80/1, Rashford 80/1, Almiron 80/1, Martial 100/1Mudryk 125/1, Mac Allister 125/1, KDB 125/1, Nketiah 125/1, Saka 125/1, Mitoma 150/1, Bruno F 250/1, March 250/1.
Over 2.5 goals % – MCI 55%, LIV 29%, ARS 27%, WHU 25%, BRI 25%, TOT 25%, NEW 22%, LEE 22%.
Enhance your research by also looking at XG (expected goals) and XGC (expected goals conceded) data . You can access these data sets by going to the type of sites that I mention in the pinned ‘FPL Resources’ article which you can find in the Featured / Announcements section of this group .
GW21 Captaincy Thoughts …
Haaland at home to Wolves for me. He’s just 6/1 with the bookies to score a hatrick That’s shorter odds than it is for most players to score a single goal He’s rated as being 4 times more likely than any other player to score a hat-trick He’s got a 67% probability of getting 1 goal in GW21 compared with Alvarez & Kane (39%) and Toney (34%). Wolves are by far the most likely team to concede across all of the fixtures. Man City are by far the most likely to score 3 or more goals. They only turned up for the 2nd half v Spurs and still scored .
No standout alternatives this GW IMO albeit I know a case can be made for some. Kane would be my next best pick.
I would’ve strongly considered going elsewhere from Haaland if I thought that there were good upside opportunities to do so. Fixtures for the in-form alternatives are somewhat prohibitive though IMO.
Random other thoughts & stats…
Kieran Trippier continues to be an absolute FPL points robot …he’s already on 133pts from the first 19 games…Andy Roberston is the record holder as the highest scoring defender in a FPL season (213pts in 2018/19) and he was ‘only’ on 115pts after his first 19 games.
GW10-GW20 ~ Haaland has scored 56 FPL pts and Trippier has scored 91 FPL pts
Newcastle continue to look awesome defensively…having asset is probably no longer enough due to the EO impact. Having none is a bit bonkers . They have 11 cleans sheets this season which makes them the best defence in the league. They’ve also only conceded 11 goals which ranks them 1st too. Schar took a free kick that hit the post in DGW20 and which appeared to be in prime Trippier territory. That’s noteworthy . Schar does cost more than Botman but does also have more goal threat.
A lot of people seem to be moving off Almiron. Not sure I’d do that given their immediate fixtures. For me it’s doubtful that Almiron is your priority transfer out in GW21. Some of his stats have dipped though. For example…Shots in the Box since GW17…Rodrigo 10, Mitoma 10, Bailey 8, March 7 and Almiron 3.
Isak and Wilson could be a conundrum for FPL managers. Isak’s return to fitness perhaps makes neither one of them very attractive as assets. I won’t be going there personally. Too much of a chance that they eat into each other’s minutes .
GW25 needs serious consideration if you’re looking at adding to your Newcastle numbers. See the scheduling section of this article for more details on that . They’re another reason to wait a week and roll your free transfer if you can.
Liverpool thoughts …
They continue be pretty terrible all over the pitch. Just re-read my thoughts from the DGW20 article for all of the reasons why they’re an avoid for me . They have been by and large since GW7 truth be known. Gakpo might attract some followers who are obsessed with buying the shiny new toy but the majority of good FPL managers won’t go there until we see a proper uptick in the form . BTW, a 0-1 win at Wolves in the Cup (with an XG of just 0.15) doesn’t constitute a relevant uptick in form .
Interestingly their underlying stats in the league aren’t terrible at all …59 goal attempts since GW17 (ranks them joint 3rd) + they’ve scored 6 goals (ranks them 5th) + they’re averaging a chance every 6.5 mins (ranks them 2nd…only Arsenal are better). Not worthy of investment in FPL right now though.
Man City thoughts …
They continued to struggle in that match against Man United and for the 1st half v Spurs. I still can’t get my head around why Pep has tinkered with so many system and personnel changes from a point in GW9 when they were absolutely flying . Whatever the reason it’s not working particularly well and their numbers in the last 10 games continue to be worse than in the first 10 of the season. Nearly 3 times as many goals scored in GW1-GW9 as there have been in the period thereafter. Even when not playing well thy can still score 3+ which kinda says it all. if you own KDB (like I do) then you’d have been disappointed by his benching v Spurs. I’d expect him back v Wolves though (who he scored 4 against last season) and he also has a DGW23. He’s a hold for now IMO.
Brighton – see the separate article that I wrote , pinned and posted on Monday about their scheduling and assets. There ARE some players to consider (Mitoma and March particularly) but you really should read that article to understand what you’d be getting into schedule wise + sample size wise for the data + details on why only 2 cleansheets under De Zerbi could be a concern + knowing that they’ve only scored 2 goals from their last 5 league visits to Leicester etc. It’s in the pinned articles section of the Featured / Announcements if you want to take a proper look .
Chelsea thoughts …Kepa aside they remain a FPL avoid for me. I’ve been saying for weeks don’t buy FPL dross like Cucurella types. Similarly with my Gakpo comments above, we’ll see some people go for Mudryk and have already seen 30,000 crazy fools buy Joao Felix before he was even able to feature in their FPL team…and he’s now banned for 3 games Potter is highly unpredictable anyway with his line ups + their form is overall terrible + they’re amongst the 7 lowest scorers in the PL = just watch them for now and I’d they start to click then consider them then . James and Chilwell are now back in training. Both great players. Both superb FPL assets if only they could keep fit. They can’t. So they’re not .
Southampton’s impressive Cup wins and then their victory over a hapless Everton side will provide Saints fans with some hope. I’m sticking to my view that they’re a poor team with a very poor manager.
JWP did JWP things in DGW20 with a lovely brace . He’s a funny one in the sense that at his price point he does pretty much guarantee you 150 FPL pts per season (that’s very good value btw) but the problem is that to realise the value from him you need to buy him in GW1 and then simply leave him there until GW38. Very few managers are willing to do that . He goes on very long blanking runs and then suddenly hauls big in the odd GW. His end of season total will be very respectable but very few FPL managers find playing the game that way fun…or indeed effective. 58,000 FPL managers have decided to chase last week’s points and buy him ahead of GW21.
Everton really are bad. They’re a team to target in the sense of whoever they are playing should do well. There is toxic stench at the club . Lampard is surviving as the fans vitriol is directed more at the Board of Directors. Odd situation and especially with a new ground being built and funded by the fella (Farhad Moshiri) that most of the fans want out
Wolves thoughts …I do like what Julen Lopetgui is doing at Wolves. They remain what they always have been for FPL purposes though (i.e. don’t concede many but don’t score many either). The direction of travel looks to be progressive though . Bueno is a handy pick (for your bench most weeks) if you already have him. Not much of interest FPL wise anywhere else with them though.
Leicester thoughts …It’s not just offensively that James Maddison’s absence is hurting Leicester…when he’s not in the team they seem to lose all semblance of balance. They look like a team to avoid right now. Many of us obviously have Ward as a goalie…absolutely fine to leave him but just stick him on the bench each GW right now and not in your 11…irrespective of fixtures. Celebrate him for what he is…a good bench goalie who you only ever need in a dire emergency (BGW or an unexpected absence from your proper goalie). Many will be on Kepa & Ward. I’d play Kepa over him every GW. Liverpool (a) clearly isn’t easy but he tends to do well for save and bonus points. He averages c. >4pts per GW since GW9 this season. That’s very good value.
Spurs thoughts …no real surprise to see Arsenal outclass and out gun them. They’ve looked poor for a while apart from that 2nd half v Palace as per the details provided in this article last GW. Their next confirmed fixtures are: fulham MAN CITY leicester WEST HAM CHELSEA wolves FOREST southampton. Kane is the obvious asset to hold. He’s FPL gold even in a struggling team. Having more touches in his own half than Arsenal’s in that DGW20 match wasn’t ideal mind you
Man Utd thoughts …their continued improvement is there for all to see . They’re simply on a brilliant run that now stretches back almost 20 games. Be aware though of their likely Blank GW25 as per the details above in the scheduling section. Martial and Weghorst will likely now eat into each others mins and render each other FPL sub-optimals. Weghorst looked about as mobile as a lamppost v Palace and I wouldn’t personally go anywhere near either of them. Will Rashford’s 2pt FPL points average in away games this season encourage anyone to move him to their bench for the game at the Emirates The balance of his FPL returns is massively weighted towards the home fixtures. Very poor record away from home. Just look at it if you don’t believe me .
Arsenal thoughts …they’re simply smashing it and look to be a proper team. Odergaard is running the show in midfield. They look strong all over the park. Most of the team are good FPL options tbf. I wouldn’t touch the likes of Zinchencko or Tierney though given their minutes risks. It sounds as though Trossard may be a transfer target. If that goes through then I’d say his arrival detracts from Martinelli’s appeal somewhat. ESR being back fit also doesn’t help the Brazilian. It’ll be a big boost to them that Casemiro is now ruled out through suspension for their GW21 clash with Man United .
If you’ve already got Arsenal + already own Trossard + if he does move to Arsenal then you’d have Arsenal players in your FPL squad. In this scenario what happens is that you are required to remove one of those players the next time you make a transfer. You are unable to make any other transfers until you’ve done this . So in theory you CAN have more than players in your squad from the same team if you choose to carry them all and not make any other transfers for the rest of the season
Leeds thoughts …Bamford being back fit (and on pens when playing) detracts slightly from the Rodrigo appeal. Likely mins erosion there . Certainly wouldn’t go for Bamford. Rodrigo remains an option but with this caveat. Wilfried Gnonto looks to be in great form and will be an alternative 3rd striker option to Ferguson for some managers…especially if Leeds get a DGW in GW22.
Villa selling Danny Ings to West Ham increases the appeal of a player like Leon Bailey as he becomes even more nailed in that Villa attack. Ings will no doubt help West Ham’s goal output…he sure does need improving…just 15 goals in 19 league games for WHU…woeful He’s a quality finisher and should help them.
GW21 is not a GW to be Wildcarding in for 99.99% of managers. Have a read of the pinned article that I posted on Tuesday about when the 2nd Wildcard is likely best played.
If I WAS Wildcarding this GW (I’m not as I think it’s a really terrible idea ) the squad would be something like this:
Ward, Kepa / DDG
Trippier, White, Botman/Schar, Shaw, Bueno
Rashford, Odergaard, Saka, Mitoma, KDB
Haaland, Kane, Ferguson
GW21 score predictions:
Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea
Bournemouth 1-0 Forest
Leicester 1-2 Brighton
Southampton 1-2 Villa
West Ham 1-0 Everton
Palace 0-1 Newcastle
Leeds 2-1 Brentford
Man City 2-0 Wolves
Arsenal 1-1 Man United
Fulham 1-2 Spurs
Highly likely that we’ll get some team leak info at approx 10.45am on Saturday morning (ie 15 mins before the FPL deadline). Liverpool and Chelsea assets are hardly business critical in our FPL teams right now though so my advice is to get your teams locked in either late Friday or first thing Saturday morning UK time .
Credit to a range of sources for the stats included in this post…most notably: Live FPL, Sky Sports, Opta, Fantasy Football Scout, FF Hub.
Good luck for GW21 everyone…the deadline is Saturday 21st January 11am UK time…don’t miss it
<Admin #Chindle13 >