FPL Gameweek 21 preview

Here we’ll preview gameweek 21 game-by-game, mulling over recent stats to consider which team is likely to have the advantage.

We’ll also provide a player pick for each fixture – someone we think could haul in the upcoming gameweek.


Everton vs Newcastle

Saturday 30th January 12:30

 

Newcastle’s 2-1 defeat to Leeds in GW20 further cranked up the pressure on manager Steve Bruce and his fortunes are unlikely to improve this weekend, as the Magpies travel to Goodison Park. Bruce has overseen seven successive away defeats, so anything other than an Everton win would be a shock in the early kick-off.

Everton lined up with Lucas Digne (6.0m) on the left side of midfield in their 1-1 draw with Leicester last match. The Frenchman is expected to start higher up the pitch again in GW21. His service is likely to be key here, having provided six assists in just 10 appearances this season.

The presence of both Digne and James Rodriguez (7.7m) in the starting line-up also boosts the potential of early season favourite Dominic Calvert-Lewin (7.6m). Newcastle have conceded 44 shots in the box in the last three gameweeks – only Fulham and Burnley have a worse record in that time.

To conclude, this looks like a great game to punt on Everton assets. Lucas Digne and Dominic Calvert-Lewin in particular are both intriguing differential captaincy options for GW21.

 

Player pick – Lucas Digne

 

 

Crystal Palace vs Wolves

Saturday 30th January 15:00

 

Wilfred Zaha (7.2m) marked his return to the side with a goal in GW20, but he could not stop his side sliding to a 3-2 defeat to London rivals West Ham. With just one win in their last nine, Roy Hodgson will hope for an improved performance this weekend as they host Wolves.

However, after seeing Palace concede seven in their last two, the Wolves attack will be confident heading to Selhurst Park. New signing Willian Jose (7.0m) could be handed his first start, alongside Pedro Neto (5.8m) and Daniel Podence (5.3m). Neto has been Wolves’ main man so far this season and he picked up an assist the last time these sides met.

With James Tomkins still missing for the home side, it’a be a decent bet to bank on a Wolves attacker in GW21, with Neto the pick of the bunch. Wilfred Zaha also remains a good option, especially with a great run of fixtures ahead for Palace.

 

Player pick – Pedro Neto

 

 

Manchester City vs Sheffield United

Saturday 30th January 15:00

 

Manchester City were at their very best in GW20, as they thrashed West Brom 5-0 after a majestic first-half performance. Budget midfielder Ilkay Gundogan (5.8m) continued his fine form, scoring two, while Joao Cancelo (6.0m) finally registered his first haul of the season with a goal and an assist.

Sheffield United shocked everyone with a 2-1 victory at Old Trafford in GW20, but this is surely a bridge too far for Chris Wilder’s men. Travelling to the more superior Manchester club, they are likely to be on the end of another thrashing on Saturday.

Pep Guardiola has confirmed that Gundogan will start, with the German midfielder a brilliant captaincy option, having scored seven in his last eight. Cancelo too could easily build on his haul from GW20. The right-back spends most of the game in the midfield areas and his technical ability could be key in opening up the low block of Sheffield United.

City assets are now essential – so look to stock up on at least two of them ahead of City hosting the Blades on Saturday afternoon.

 

Player pick – Joao Cancelo

 

 

West Brom vs Fulham

Saturday 30th January 15:00

 

This relegation six-pointer is must-win for both teams – with both sides desperate for points in order to move closer to 17th placed Brighton. Sam Allardyce will demand an improved performance having been furious with his side’s display against Manchester City in GW20, while Scott Parker will hope to convert some encouraging performances into a long-awaited three points.

Fulham have conceded more than one goal in just one of their last eight and they look far more solid of late. West Brom have failed to score in seven of their ten matches on home soil this season – so back Fulham to keep a clean sheet in GW21.

Alphonse Areola (4.5m) has picked up seven bonus points across Fulham’s last seven games and the Frenchman is likely to be called into action at various points at West Brom. Priced at just 4.5m, the PSG loanee is a great budget option this weekend.

 

Player pick – Alphonse Areola

 

 

Arsenal vs Manchester United

Saturday 30th January 17:30

 

Arsenal’s resurgence continued in GW20, as a 3-1 win at Southampton made it six games unbeaten for Mikel Arteta’s side. The Gunners’ recent displays are certainly far improved from the insipid performances they produced earlier this season.

Arsenal have scored at least three goals in three of their last six games and their attacking options now seem like attractive picks. Only Manchester City have scored more goals in the last three gameweeks. Bukayo Saka (5.4m) has been pivotal to this upturn in form, having scored four goals in Arsenal’s last six.

Manchester United were dire in their GW20 defeat to bottom placed Sheffield United. Solskjaer’s men do have a habit of responding to defeats such as this, but the home side must be considered the favourites in their current form.

Hold onto the likes of Bruno Fernandes (11.4m) for now, but avoid handing him the captaincy in GW21 as he comes up against a much-improved Arsenal.

 

Player pick – Bukayo Saka

 

 

Southampton vs Aston Villa

Saturday 30th January 20:00

 

Southampton have lost back-to-back matches for just the second time this season, after falling to a 3-1 home defeat to Arsenal in GW20. Aston Villa too have struggled for form of late and Dean Smith will be looking for an immediate response to their 3-2 loss away at Burnley last time out.

Danny Ings (8.4m) returned to Southampton’s starting line-up in GW20, but Southampton have really struggled in front of goal recently, having scored just two in their last six in the league. Ings is always capable of scoring, but while he is angling for a move away it might be best to avoid the Saints’ main man.

Instead it might be best to look at Villa’s striker for GW21. Ollie Watkins (6.2m) has seemingly turned a corner after a poor run of form and the ex-Brentford man has now scored in each of his last two. Coming up against an out-of-form Southampton, back the Villa number 11 to grab another goal this weekend.

 

Player pick – Ollie Watkins

 

 

Chelsea vs Burnley

Sunday 31st January 12:00

 

Thomas Tuchel’s first game in charge turned out to be rather underwhelming. His side dominated the ball but they created few real chances as they shared a goalless draw with Wolves in GW20. Meanwhile Burnley won back-to-back games for the first time this season as they edged out Villa 3-2 at Turf Moor.

Tuchel opted to line up with three at the back last match, which meant Ben Chilwell (6.1m) and Callum Hudson-Odoi (5.7m) were handed starts at wing-back – which could boost the potential for points going forward. It’s possible Reece James (5.1m) will be recalled here, while Marcos Alonso (5.6m) will be hoping for a chance to reclaim his place in a position which suits him far more than left-back.

It was Mason Mount (6.8m) who made a real difference off the bench – with his pressing and his eagerness to play the incisive pass causing Wolves real problems towards the end of the game. Expect Lampard’s prodigy to start here and to stake his claim for a key role in Tuchel’s side going forward.

 

Player pick – Mason Mount

 

 

Leicester vs Leeds

Sunday 31st January 14:00

 

Leicester are now unbeaten in seven, but it felt like points dropped as they shared the points with Everton last time out. Brendan Rodgers’ men missed the clinical Jamie Vardy, with Ayoze Perez (6.0m) leading the line in his absence. Leeds narrowly beat Newcastle 2-1 in GW20, despite conceding 22 shots to the Magpies.

Leeds really struggled to contain Leicester when these sides last met in GW7 – which ended in a comfortable 4-1 win to the Foxes. Leeds always struggle against direct, pacey players – and both Jamie Vardy and Harvey Barnes (6.8m) ended up on the scoresheet that night. With Vardy still out after a hernia operation, expect Harvey Barnes to be the main man for Leicester in GW21.

Barnes ranks joint-second for xG for midfielders 8.0 or less over the last four gameweeks, with just Ilkay Gundogan ahead of him and Bukayo Saka. For those looking to be brave with their captaincy pick, Harvey Barnes could be a potential option in GW21.

 

Player pick – Harvey Barnes

 

 

West Ham vs Liverpool

Sunday 31st January 14:00

 

Liverpool proved the doubters wrong last time out as they produced a convincing performance to put Tottenham to the sword. Sadio Mane (11.8m) scored one and assisted two en route to a 3-1 win. Everyone’s favourite budget midfielder, Tomas Soucek (5.3m), also scored two as West Ham narrowly beat Crystal Palace 3-2.

This is a tricky game to call, as West Ham have been in fine form of late, winning each of their last four. Only Mane himself took more shots than Michail Antonio (6.5m) in GW20 and the West Ham forward could cause real trouble to a makeshift centre-back pairing this weekend.

It could be Soucek again though who causes the real damage. Liverpool are likely to look vulnerable on set pieces without any senior recognised centre-back and Soucek just has a habit of getting into the right positions to take full advantage of any defensive errors.

Liverpool assets are fine picks too, in fact Mo Salah (12.5m) ranks second on Fantasy Football Hub’s predicted points tool for this gameweek. But we’ll opt for Soucek as the one to watch in GW21, with the Czech international making a mockery of his budget price tag of late.

 

Player pick – Tomas Soucek

 

 

 

Brighton vs Tottenham

Sunday 31st January 19:15

 

Brighton have now kept two straight clean sheets and their chances of a third increased on Thursday night as Harry Kane (11.2m) went off injured during Tottenham’s 3-1 defeat to Liverpool. It’s difficult to predict how Spurs will perform without their talisman and Brighton will fancy their chances in GW21.

With Kane absent, it will fall to Heung-Min Son (9.8m) to provide the bulk of Tottenham’s goal threat in the next few games. The South Korean international has stepped up to the plate before during previous spells of absence for Kane and it’s not unlikely that he will haul big points over the next few gameweeks.

With just one goal in their last three, no Brighton assets really stand out here. Perhaps goalkeeper Robert Sanchez (4.4m) will be busy in GW21 and he could collect a couple of save points. But avoid the goal-shy Brighton players for now.

 

Player pick – Heung-Min Son

 

Best of luck gameweek 21 FPL managers!

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