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FPL GW10 - Festive Fixture Watch

By: Post2Points (@Post2Points)

A fixture filled December is not far away as fans begin to prepare themselves to buy tickets again. The UK approaches it’s end to a full national lockdown as football grounds will open their gates for up to 4,000 spectators in the near future. Ten clubs in the league have been placed into Tier 2, meaning a total of 2,000 fans will be allowed to take a seat inside stadiums. While the other half are not allowed supporters at all and placed into Tier 3. Matches come thick and fast with crazy shock rotation for top players and injuries being inevitable. This part of the season is where the Premier League is often either won or lost.

Preparing your team now will be crucial to keeping or gaining a good position in your mini leagues and overall rank for the remainder of the season. Fighting through this stage strongly with a starting XI in every gameweek is challenging for all us managers. Gameweek deadlines now shut sooner than any season in the past, so leaked team news and player availability has yet to make an impact in 2020/21. Therefore, pushing managers to make earlier transfers in the week allowing player price points to rise within a blink of an eye. Strength and depth in your squad is a must so having all bench players that play is vital during December. It’s a key part to fulfilling a solid performance in the next six games, as star players will all be due a rest at some point.

Both Manchester clubs are struggling to keep form. Nearly a week on from Pep signing a new contract, that will keep him at the helm for another three years.

However critics across the globe are yet to see the dominant City style of play we’re all used to. They go up against a Burnley team that has only produced four goals! A simple move to a defender in your teams will be a smooth addition. Four out of the next five are played against rock bottom teams. The sky blues sit in the middle of the table for expected goals, although the assist column is much higher, ranking them fourth overall. Pep Guardiola had a tactical mishap in the Champions League earlier in the year and it paid dividends on not reaching the final. It could well be the only focus the team has to try and win it this time round. Main questions during this period is whether Sergio Agüero gets more minutes than Gabriel Jesus? Will Phil Foden finally get consistent starts in midfield? Is João Cancelo going to start every game at left back? This is the game that the community like to tag as ‘Pep Roulette’.

As for Manchester United, who play City in the middle of their rivals winnable fixtures, penalties are not as frequent as some may think. Only three goals have been scored from the spot while Leicester are way ahead on seven. A great performance from Bruno Fernandes in the Champions League states he’s on another level compared to his fellow red devils. Ole is rather reluctant to give his main man a rest but over a fixture congested end to the year, benching him for one game might show how badly United play when there’s no creative spark on the pitch. The reds are currently mid table in the Premier League with one win at home. Bruno Fernandes will probably only be rested in the game against Sheffield United in Gameweek 13, which will be played mid week on a Tuesday night. As for Marcus Rashford however, he needs to find solid form again before there can be signs that this Manchester club will start getting results.

Over this hard fought period ahead there are a few teams that stand out to me. The main one being Leicester City. The Foxes could easily go unbeaten until the new year and then suddenly be in the discussion of wining the league. Half of the ‘Big 6’ are way off the pace, it’s likely an underdog prevails in their absence. What seemed a secure second place and in the mix to finish in the top four last year.

Brendan Rodgers’ team descended down the league at the back end of last years campaign. A major learning curve on how to finish the season, until all games have been played, has surly been engraved into the minds of the team. Veteran experience is still in the squad and it would be shocking if it happened again. Schmeichel, Vardy, Fuchs and Albrighton are all still in the ranks from the team that famously won the league. Surly it’s time the Foxes leave this bad year behind them, turn on the style and lead into a fresh new calendar with plenty of points. Timothy Castagne is soon to be fully fit with young James Maddison, the much needed playmaker, will both get this team back clicking again.

Looking at the other side of the table, Newcastle are bottom for minutes-per-chance although their fixtures leading towards Boxing Day show no signs of top opposition. The much needed striker Callum Wilson is at the forefront to keeping their hopes alive. As for newly promoted Fulham, who somehow are yet to concede a goal from a defensive error, have simply been outclassed by nearly every team they’ve faced. The only win for them coming against the other new team in the league, West Brom. After half time against Everton they came out with positivity. Proving this to the manager, by scoring twice when the Toffees were in complete control going forward on the ball from the kick off. Manager Scott Parker has always been known for motivational speeches but getting the win tally doubled to two in the next three games is highly unlikely.

On the other side of London, Arsenal however are yet to score from open play in over a staggering 430 minutes. It’s far from the football that was played in winning the most recent Community Shield and the FA Cup. Aubameyang sits in 12-percent of teams, with most being users not currently playing the game. The Gabon international has scored just two goals, one being in the first match of the season, with the other a spot kick against Manchester United. Now with Nicolas Pépé sidelined for three games, having received a straight red following altercations with Leeds player Ezgjan Alioski. It comes at a bad time for the Gunners as Mikel Arteta’s team are lost for sorts and desperately need fortune to go their way over this festive period.

Most Transferred In

- Diogo Jota

- Bruno Fernandes

- Jaime Vardy

Most Transferred Out

- Wilfred Zaha

- Trent Alexander-Arnold

- Romain Saïss

Differential picks keep the game engaging but finding the right one however is the real task. West Ham often come across as a team that are not trustworthy in FPL, even though the clean sheets tally for the Hammers is joint top in the league. Choosing the right value option can give you strong returns.

The most owned player is Aaron Cresswell, who sits in just less than 10-percent of teams. Staring in the back three for his beloved team. Set piece qualities provide the best chance to grab a few double digit returns along the way. The tough run of games is over, all they can do now is build on an already solid start to the season. That said, Pablo Fornals (2.1%) is most likely to gain the highest potential in points. Starting every match under David Moyes and supplying two goals and four assists so far. One of the first names on the team sheet he’s definitely worth a look in. As former farmer Jarrod Bowen (2.2%) continues to run his heart out for the Hammers. Being the engine in the squad it allows the pace to be in West Ham’s favour when on the ball. Leaving the highly rated Saïd Benrahama (0.2%) on the bench, whose eagerly awaiting his first start his new London club. Once he’s up to speed with the team he’ll be one to keep on the watchlist once he’s played a full game.

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