We’re back for another round up of the FPL stock market just ahead of the Christmas football bonanza! With 3 gameweeks to come over the next week, get your squads prepared. Here are the game changers from GW17…
On the Rise
Watford – It’s been all about Leicester so far this season, but Watford are starting to make a name for themselves. Ighalo and Deeney are growing in confidence each week, and their returns are starting to match Vardy and Mahrez. Once again it was a counter attacking team completely unhinging one of the bigger clubs, it looks like the middle teams are no longer going to play for passive draws. That can only be a good thing! You should have Ighalo in your team, but consider a Watford defender as well. They have been rock solid at home, keeping 6 clean sheets in just 9 home games! Great for rotation.
Alli – Fair play to Alli, he is looking like a serious option at 5.2. I’m certainly not convinced he should be a starter, but he will provide great backup during the hectic Christmas period. Long term I’d rather have a basement price M5, however he looks a solid short term option.
Barkley – Barkley has been inconsistent at times, however he’s the fourth best midfielder in terms of ppg and third highest scorer overall. When Barkley does get it right he will have you seeing green arrows! Due to his popularity I’m happy to look elsewhere, but Ross continues to make me pay. Everton may not be able to defend, but boy they’re dangerous going forward.
Ozil – Yep, standard. Nothing to add here presuming we all own him!
Mahrez – Also standard. I said last week we needed to consider making him a permanent captain, it worked well this week! Incredible player.
Ivanovic – It was fantastic to see Ivanovic back to his attacking best, unfortunately Chelsea were hardly back to their defensive best. Sunderland got 1 goal back and it could have easily been more. You’re taking a massive gamble getting him, but that’s what this game is about! Definitely one for the watchlist.
Walker – Spurs’ defensive options have been popular this season, this time it was Walker’s turn to get in on the act. At 5.1 he represents solid value as an alternative to his full back partner Danny Rose. Alderweireld has obviously been the pick of the bunch, however at 5.9 his value is diminishing. Definitely get a Tottenham defender in your side.
Liverpool/Manchester United – If you look at the Premier League form table, it makes for incredible reading. Leicester, Palace, Watford and Bournemouth are the top 4 teams over the past 2 months. Meanwhile United, City, Chelsea, Everton and Liverpool don’t even make the top half on form! Everton are scoring freely so I’m not too worried from an FPL point of view. Chelsea are a write off for now and City are just getting their players back.
It’s Liverpool and Man United’s lacklustre form that has me concerned. Liverpool showed so much promise in their 4-1 thrashing of Man City, but they simply can’t build on it. United were always hanging on thanks to their defensive form, but that seems to have gone out the window lately. To be fair they have had some serious injury problems. Overall, we’ve learnt that pricetags and big teams are overrated! Leicester and Watford is where it’s at…
Wijnaldum – What did I say?! Trading a player in (and captaining them) for just one fixture is risky at the best of times, especially if they have passed double figures just twice all season! Newcastle are like a box of chocolates, and so is Wijnaldum. You never know what you’re going to get, so if you’re investing make sure it’s long term!
Coutinho – Coutinho was all the rage before his hamstring problem, since then Mahrez and co. have taken their games to a new level! Most teams have a spot or two free in midfield, and Coutinho is a risk that could pay off. Take note of the word risk. He tends to score in bursts, don’t get stuck with him during a quite period. I’d avoid.
De Bruyne – De Bruyne has gone quiet lately, and as a result he’s getting the chop from a lot of managers. The questions I have are who are they getting in that’s a better player, and what are they doing with the extra funds??? De Bruyne remains one of the best midfield options and I highly recommend you hold him. He was heavily involved against Arsenal, if only his final product was to its usual standard. Aguero is returning, and I fully expect City and De Bruyne to return with him.
Sanchez – One man who won’t be returning before 2016 is Sanchez. He suffered a ‘slight’ setback from his hamstring recovery, personally I never really thought he was going to make it back within 3 weeks anyway. Expect to see him early in the new year (Mid January has been mentioned), until then we have even more funds free in the bank!
Benteke – Klopp clearly doesn’t like Liverpool’s big summer signing, Benteke just doesn’t fit his high pressure game plan. Expect Klopp to make some serious moves in the transfer market, and don’t be surprised if one of them is seeing the back of the big Belgian.
Player of the Week
Ighalo – Wow, what a performance and what a player! I have been preaching over the past couple of weeks that Ighalo is looking unbelievably dangerous, well now he has now proven he can do it against the big clubs as well. You simply must get him in, at 6.1 he’s a joke. If you don’t own Ighalo and Vardy while playing 3-4-3 then I’m sorry but you’re doing it wrong! He has overtaken Lukaku in my striker peking order, the next few games will be very telling though. Chelsea, Tottenham and Man City is (supposedly) as hard as it gets! Hopefully Ighalo stays in January, it would be a shame to see him leave…
I wish all you fellow addicts a very Merry Christmas, I guess the family can have us for one day! Don’t worry though, we’ll be back before the new year. After all we have another 3 gameweeks to worry about!
p.s Make sure you eat too much.