So there goes DGW19, then. A gameweek dragged out so much it actually felt as long as all those weeks we spent planning for it. An extremely mixed bag, we saw some great three-digit scores and huge rank rises for some – while others were left wondering what might have been.
But, alas, it’s now resigned to the FPL history vaults. Time to look forward again.
It’s strange to think that we are only just at the halfway point of the season. It’s been, well, volatile to say least, feeling longer than usual thanks to COVID-19, fixture rearrangements, injuries, drawn-out gameweeks and many clawing their way back from indifferent starts. Those first few weeks feel like a lifetime ago.
But here we are, still hanging in there and, with another expected double (GW26) and blank (GW29) lurking just around the corner, many will be looking to hit that magical wildcard button in GW25. Especially those with other chips still to deploy.
Now, we don’t actually know who will double just yet – which makes that wildcard a handy tool to have in the back pocket for GW25 (or later). What it does mean, is that both prospective wildcarders and non-wildcarders can, for now, focus on these next five weeks.
Assuming they go ahead as planned, of course… because who really knows anymore. But let’s take a look at five teams that could be worth targeting for their upcoming fixtures anyway.
After a mixed start, its fair to say Manchester City are well-and-truly back in the race. Since their flat 1-1 draw with strugglers West Brom back in GW13, the Cityzens have won six on the bounce, finding the net 13 times and conceding just the once (Hudson-Odoi’s late consolation in GW17).
They’ve been outstanding at the back with Dias and Stones, along with the ultra-attacking and versatile Cancelo. Many have already doubled-up, with the centre backs particularly serving up double gameweek joy recently.
They should have little bother in the next three, then its Liverpool at Anfield and Spurs at home. City are more than capable of scoring a few across those two games – and clean sheets would not be a surprise either right now.
With KDB now out for 4-6 weeks with a hamstring injury, many will also be looking for a direct City replacement. But does that mean more rotation uncertainty? Or less? Only Pep knows, of course.
The real question is do you back the steadiness of their defence? Or the potential explosiveness of the attack?
Key picks: Dias (DEF – 5.9) – Stones (DEF – 5.1) – Cancelo (DEF – 5.8) – Gundogan (MID – 5.5) – Sterling (MID – 11.4).
Top of the league United have steadily racked up those wins in recent weeks. With FPL point machine Bruno at the heart of it all, a resurgent Pogba and those around them also digging deep for Ole, the side has made itself a tough nut to crack.
Since a 1-0 home defeat to Arsenal back in November, United are unbeaten in 13 league games, scoring 27 times, beating fellow high-flyers Leicester and earning clean sheets against both City and Liverpool in hard-fought 0-0 draws.
With three home games in the next five against Sheffield United (GW20), Southampton (GW22) and Everton (GW23), alongside an away trip to West Brom in GW24, it’s hard to see United not continuing their good run. A visit to the Emirates in GW23 poses a potential stumbling block with Arsenal’s recent uptick in form – but it shouldn’t be enough to put you off if you’re considering United assets.
Key picks: Wan Bissaka (DEF – 5.4) – Shaw (DEF – 4.8) – Maguire (DEF – 5.4) – Bruno (MID – 11.3) – Rashford (MID – 9.6) – Pogba (MID – 7.7).
West Ham have proved a huge FPL hit this year, which, it’s safe to say, I don’t think many of us saw coming back in the summer.
Hammers asset owners have been laughing all the way to the FPL points bank, cashing in on the likes of Cresswell (7 clean sheets, 6 assists), Coufal (5 cleans, 4 assists), as well as budget star Soucek’s impressive five goal tally. Ogbonna (7 clean sheets, 2 goals) has also looked impressive, racking up 73 points so far.
With Antonio fit (touch wood) and bagging goals (plus max bonus) in both his DGW19 fixtures, West Ham also now have their main man back.
Key picks: Antonio (FWD – 6.3) – Soucek (MID – 5.3) – Bowen (MID – 6.3) – Cresswell (DEF – 5.4) – Coufal (DEF – 4.7).
Dean Smith has done a magnificent job at Villa Park. He’s taken a team on the brink of relegation to one that can beat anyone in the league. Villa currently sit in 8th, with two games in hand due to postponements. Win those? They’ll have more points than Liverpool (7-2 anyone?).
Grealish is the standout and has just hit 105 points for the season, while managers have been finding an impressive number of points in the likes of Emi Martinez (92pts), Matt Targett (74pts) and Ollie Watkins (77pts).
Captain Jack still has to avoid another yellow in the next two games to dodge a suspension – but there’s no reason Villa assets cannot continue to bring in points over the next five matches.
Key picks: Martinez (GK – 5.1) – Targett (DEF – 4.6) – Cash (DEF – 5.0) – Grealish (MID – 7.7) – Watkins (FWD – 6.1)
Sitting in third, high-flying Leicester now face a run of games that could see them well-and-truly stake their claim in the title race.
Fixtures against Everton (A), Leeds (H), Fulham (A), Wolves (A) should see the Foxes find the back of the net plenty of times, even with Vardy on the sidelines. They then face Liverpool (H) – who are not exactly showing the kind of form we’ve come to expect of them in recent seasons.
With a goal in each of his last three games, James Maddison has really stepped up to the plate. That equates to 27 points in his last three and 82 for the season to date – and he’s still under 10% owned. Elsewhere, Harvey Barnes is quietly going about his business, scoring in three of his last five – while James Justin has brought owners plenty of clean sheet joy this season.
With talisman Vardy out, those prone to the odd punt may also find some points in a potentially out-of-position Ayozi Perez – while Tielemans may also be on spot kick duty, having hit one in the FA Cup win against Brentford (both Maddison and Perez were on the field).
Key picks: Justin (DEF – 5.0) – Maddison (MID – 7.1) – Barnes (MID – 6.8) – Tielemans (MID – 6.4) – Perez (MID – 6.0)