Fantasy Premier League, Gameweek 12: Teams with best fixtures, players to buy and captaincy options
The Premier League is back and for now for a considerable stretch after the last international break of the year. GW11 seems a long time ago especially considering it was a gameweek to forget given an average score of just 42, the joint second-lowest tally this season.
It was the week for the surprise packages as the likes of Pablo Fornals, Teemu Pukki, Isaac Hayden, Leandro Trossard and Harvey Barnes made it to the team of the week when few expected them to be.
Trent Alexander-Arnold was probably the only usual player in the top scorers of GW11.
It will make FPL managers think about their plans ahead of what looks like a really tricky GW12.
In-form team Liverpool and Arsenal face off while Chelsea who FPL managers have heavily invedted in face a tricky trip to Leicester. Manchester City host Everton while Manchester United travel to Watford.
Tottenham, Norwich, Burnley and Brentford have the best fixtures but apart from the new manager bounce that could be expected at Spurs, these teams aren’t the ones you’ll like to rely on a lot.
Crystal Palace, Leicester, Leeds, Newcastle and Wolves also have relatively easy games but almost all the big guns have tricky fixtures in the next three matches.
Arsenal, Everton and Watford have the hardest games in the coming weeks.
Connor Gallagher and Reece James continue to gain ownership after impressive recent performances, so does Man City’s Joao Cancelo. Emil Smith-Rove has been excellent in recent matches and given his price, he is stepping into the must-have zone. Harry Kane for the first time this season has found his way among the top five most purchased players ahead of GW12.
Brighton goalkeeper Robert Sanchez’s suspension means FPL managers have taken the opportunity to make a change in goal. Jamie Vardy after a fairly poor run of form is also on his way out of teams. Marcos Alonso, Danny Ings and Mason Mount are the other three most sold players this week.
Whether you bring them in through transfers or (luckily enough) have them in your squad already, these are the five hottest selections for GW12:
Mohamed Salah (Liverpool): The Egyptian has had two successive quiet gameweeks by his loft standards and has still delivered an assist each during those matches. However, back at home against Arsenal, Salah is likely to improve his record against the Gunners. In nine matches against the north-London side, Salah has nine goal contributions (seven goals and two assists). Having gone two gameweeks without a goal, you feel Salah is now due one.
Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United): Remember him? Not long ago Ronaldo was considered a must-have pick but United’s poor form has meant that he has fallen out of favour in FPL. But with a trip to Watford who have the third-worst xGA (Expected Goals Against) in the last four GWs, Ronaldo could be very handy.
Son Heung-min (Tottenham Hotspur): Spurs’ most consistent player this season, he is an automatic choice with the north Londoners facing a great run of fixtures in coming weeks. With four goals and two assists to his name already, Son is expected to add to that tally in coming weeks thanks to the fixtures and also due to the positive impact that coach Conte is expected to have at the club.
Joshua King (Watford): The Hornets forward netted a hat-trick in Claudio Ranieri’s first win in charge of the team and is fourth in the xG (Expected Goals) charts in the Premier League over the last four weeks. Facing a Manchester United side who have the worst xGA in the Premier League during the same period, it’s a good bet to bank on the Watford striker who has scored four times against the Red Devils in the past.
Tino Livramento (Southampton): The find of the FPL season so far, Livramento is among the top ten scoring defenders in FPL this season. Southampton have been excellent defensively off late and have the best xGA in the league over the last four matches. Up against bottom club Norwich, the former Chelsea youth full-back will also fancy an attacking return.
Callum Wilson (Newcastle United): The Magpies have a great run of games that begin with a visit from struggling Brentford. Wilson who enjoyed a great time under coach Eddie Hove at Bournemouth would love to revive that partnership and with just under 3% ownership is a great differential buy in the coming weeks.
Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur): Kane who is owned by 9% of FPL managers still can be considered a big differential buy given how explosive he can be. After a highly fruitful internation break for the England captain, he would love to translate the form at club level where Spurs face great run of matches.
Maxwel Cornet (Burnley): The midfielder has quietly helped himself to four goals this season and has been in great form in recent weeks. Owned by just 1.5% of FPL managers he is a top differential to own as Burnley have a really good run of games. Sean Dyche’s men are also in good form having earned a draw against league leaders Chelsea before the international break.
FPL managers won’t be spoilt for choices for the captain’s armband this week and when that is the case it’s best to hand Mohamed Salah the captaincy. But if there are managers who don’t want to be so safe, Ronaldo and Phil Foden provide very decent alternatives. So do Harry Kane and Son Heung-min. Ronaldo and Foden appear to be slightly more secure options given we have fully seen how Spurs will look under Conte.
There are obviously riskier options in Wilfried Zaha and Connor Gallagher in FPL managers want to go differential.
But Salah’s consistency makes him the most logical choice for the armband.
It was another green arrow and a fairly good week for our team thanks largely to Gallagher, Alexander-Arnold and Raphinha. But with the fixtures turning for quite a few teams, it was a good time to make some changes and our two free transfers came in handy.
We brought in Son for Saka and Armstrong for Antonio. Son is a no-brainer given his matches and Armstrong is a good differential pick this week that fit our budget in place of Antonio who’s lost a bit of form and faces tough matches.
The captaincy once again goes to Salah who we expect to continue his good record against Arsenal.