Weekly FPL article with all the key stats as you plan for Gameweek 24. We also invite an FPL expert in every week to help identify any areas where historical stats may not tell the full story.
In previous years, I haven’t taken FPL too seriously until last year when I started competing with my brother. I decided to start looking at stats more rather than just going by my gut feeling and finished up with an overall rank of around 400k. This season I have delved deeper into football stats due to my involvement with Football Index, have been focused on FPL every week and I am sitting 2,743rd in the overall standings after Gameweek 23.
Arsenal vs Cardiff City (19:45)
Fulham vs Brighton and Hove Albion (19:45)
Huddersfield Town vs Everton (19:45)
Wolverhampton Wanderers vs West Ham United (19:45)
Manchester United vs Burnley (20:00)
Newcastle United vs Manchester City (20:00)
Bournemouth vs Chelsea (19:45)
Southampton vs Crystal Palace (19:45)
Liverpool vs Leicester City (20:00)
Tottenham Hotspur vs Watford (20:00)
You can filter how many gameweeks you want to plan ahead on the Fixture Planner Dashboard.
Looking at the top of the fixture planner, there are quite a few of the teams fighting to avoid relegation with Brighton and Crystal Palace, whilst Newcastle’s fixtures brighten up after Man City at home this week before they travel to Wembley to face Spurs next weekend. Out of these three teams, I would really be looking to bring in players from Crystal Palace. Their only ‘orange’ fixture in their next six is Manchester United at home and Roy Hodgson’s side have put in some competitive performances of late - Palace were the first side to score more than once at Anfield since February 2018 in Gameweek 23. Personally, I have Luka Milivojevic in my team, who takes all set pieces for the Eagles and Aaron Wan-Bissaka who has been in my squad since the first gameweek as a £4.2m defender. Wolves also have an extremely attractive next six fixtures - they have been very purposeful going forward recently and their two upcoming ‘orange’ fixtures are against Everton and Bournemouth who have both been struggling defensively recently.
You can read more about the FPL Points Estimator and play with the filters to view your team here.
Q. Which two goalkeepers do you currently own and why?
Since my first wildcard, I have had a top-tier goalkeeper in Alisson and my back-up ‘keeper Lukasz Fabianski has been very useful in the gameweeks when Liverpool have had tough fixtures and this strategy has mostly paid off. Alisson was an easy pick for me - I was looking to bring in another Liverpool defensive player alongside Andrew Robertson. At the time, Trent Alexander-Arnold was trying to secure a starting berth at right-back and I thought Virgil Van Dijk was a tad too expensive with limited attacking returns. Fabianski has been in since the start of the season as he is a great shot stopper and I felt West Ham would improve on last season.
Q. Are there any other goalkeepers you have an eye on?
At the minute, I am happy but the urge to replace Alisson for another Liverpool outfield player is always there. If I were to do that, I think I would have to choose between two strategies – I could either transfer in a player with similar clean sheet potential such as Ederson or David De Gea or buy another cheaper keeper to use in rotation with Fabianski. Someone like Etheridge at Cardiff has always been appealing to me with the chance for those save bonus points (yes I was a Nick Pope backer last year).
Q. Which defenders stand out to you for the next few weeks?
As I mentioned in the fixtures section earlier, it is hard to look past Matt Doherty, who has surprised many this season bombing up and down Wolves’ right-hand flank. Hopefully Wolves can make the necessary changes to hold on to a few more clean sheets but his attacking returns have been fantastic. Meanwhile, Kolasinac seems a good choice if you look at his expected returns - apart from in Gameweek 25, when Arsenal travel to the champions. Also, with Hector Bellerin’s season-ending injury, Emery may opt to attack more often down the left, giving the German more opportunity for attacking returns.
Q. Would you bring in a Chelsea defender?
As a current Rüdiger owner, this is a tough one to answer as for me, he is one of the players that I would possibly look to transfer out. Chelsea have only kept two clean sheets in their last seven and Rüdiger has only had one game this season in which he has brought in attacking returns. If I owned Luiz or Alonso, I would be more likely to hold as there is always the possibility that Alonso could chip in with a goal or an assist. In fact, the Spaniard has hit the woodwork more than any other player in the Premier League this season. It could be a differential risk that pays off.
Q. Which midfielders stand out to you for the next few weeks?
The top-end midfielders are the obvious choices for a top FPL side currently so I will just look past those. I see a lot of value in Luka Milivojevic of Crystal Palace at £6.1m, with some great fixtures coming up - he also takes Crystal Palace’s set pieces including penalties and corners.
Q. Is there any value in the Manchester United midfield outside of Paul Pogba?
At the minute for me, Pogba is an essential hold in his new free-roam attacking role in Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side. Pogba has had an attacking return in five of his last six games and with a strong set of fixtures coming up, he is key. Looking at the other United midfielders, a case could be made for bringing in the likes of Anthony Martial, but he is yet to complete a full 90 minutes under the Norwegian and he has only scored more than six points in a gameweek once since Gameweek 16. I think, therefore, that Pogba should be the main target from Manchester United.
Q. Which forwards stand out to you for the next few weeks?
The forward positions have been where many FPL managers have struggled this season and the table above doesn’t offer a great deal of sympathy outside the main few. The best value at the top of the average points chart is Callum Wilson, who unfortunately only has a 75% chance of playing - it could be worth bringing in the 26-year-old next week if he can get back to full fitness in time. Moving away from Wilson, I would look at some differential picks, such as Roberto Firmino, who has improved his form recently for Liverpool since his hat-trick against Arsenal. Also, if Aubameyang is out of your price bracket, it could be worth looking at Alexandre Lacazette, who outscored the Gabon forward last time out, despite being substituted after 67 minutes.
Q. Are there any premium forwards worth having or do you currently see more value in the premium midfielders?
Currently, I do not have any premium forwards – instead I have three mid-price players in Raul Jimenez (£6.5m), Callum Wilson (£6.5m) and Marcus Rashford (£7.7m). This strategy has fared well for me, with all three picking up attacking returns last week whilst at least two have scored or assisted in three of the last four gameweeks. For me, there is much more value in the high-end attacking midfielders such as Salah, Sterling and Hazard, who all rank above Kane and Aubameyang in terms of total points. These players are helped out by the fact that they gain an extra point per goal scored and they have the opportunity of getting an extra point if their team keeps a clean sheet.
This is a very difficult week for me to choose as someone who owns three out of the four players at the top of the estimated points chart above. Salah has had great returns for me when I’ve given him the armband in the past few weeks and his high ownership means that if he scores and my captain blanks, I will fall down the rankings fast. Pogba is also highly owned but I don’t think he is as common a captaincy pick as the Egyptian. Therefore, the Frenchman could be a slight captaincy differential and a home fixture against Burnley is very tempting. Sterling is my other option but he has the added difficulty of being in a City side where he could easily be rotated and St James’ Park is the kind of place where City could struggle for a high goal return. For pure safety factor, I think I will follow the crowd and keep Salah as my captain as a home game against Leicester could be the place where Salah brings in another big return.
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