Oh how we have missed the Fantasy Premier League. FPL gameweek 13 features several star match ups from near relegation placed Norwich vs Chelsea to London derbies in West Ham vs Tottenham. Every team will be hopeful that the break will have given them the chance to regroup and boost them to great form over the Christmas period.
Watford vs Manchester United
The home team suffered their first loss in 3 weeks against Leicester due to a couple of goalkeeping mistakes. On the other hand, it is now 4 weeks since United last conceded a goal. During their last match, LVG allowed young talent to flourish, especially in the shape of Jesse Lingard who scored to send his team 1-0 up. Yet with captain Deeney now bagging a few goals as well as on form striker Ighalo, Watford possess a major attacking threat. Placed at a respectable 11th position, manager, Flores, will set his sights at an even higher position. While we haven’t seen United as a large threat in front of goal this season, they could penetrate Watford’s slightly inexperienced defence, however this game still remains all to play for in the views of both teams.
Star Man – Juan Mata (8.7m)
Most FPL managers will be in search of a midfielder after an unfortunate injury to Payet. Mata could be that man. After an unconvincing few games, the Spaniard looks set to be the attacking outlet of the team in the next few games. A score of 9 against West Brom and a reasonable price makes Mata a decent option in your FPL midfield.
Prediction – Watford 1-2 Manchester United
Chelsea vs Norwich
Norwich City sit one position above Chelsea, who are currently in 16th. You heard that right. 3 losses on the trot and not even being able to score against their last opponents Stoke has potentially left the Blues in a position they can’t recover from. No one can predict where they will finish this season. Since their 6-2 defeat, Norwich have recovered well with a win and a very narrow defeat to league leaders City in their last two. They face Chelsea at a prime time, where a continue of form could see them widen the gap between them and the relegation zone. As for Mourinho, although unlikely, his team could end up in the relegation places by the end of gameweek 13. Scary Stuff for the current champions.
Star Man – Dieumerci Mbokani (5.7m)
This was a hard pick as nearly all of the Norwich team have been rotated in the last few weeks. But since his arrival at Carrow Road, Mbokani has put in several good performances and I believe he will be rewarded with a goal against a mess of a team in Chelsea.
Prediction – Chelsea 0-1 Norwich
Everton vs Aston Villa
The Toffees have had a complete change recently. Their strike force has become deadly and a midfield consisting of speedy and skilful players have boosted their chances of playing in Europe next season. Likewise, the appointment of Remi Garde could be seen as beginning the revolution at Villa Park. Claiming a draw against Man City is no simple achievement. They may still be rock bottom but there is indeed light at the end of the tunnel. It’s just a question of whether they can contain Everton’s deadly attack.
Star Man – Romelu Lukaku (8.6m)
In the words of Spencer Owen “It’s always a Belgian”. The striker has now scored 7 in 7 against West Ham and has been hauled into FPL teams in mass during the break. With the current shortage of effective FPL strikers, Lukaku has provided a high score at a decent price including 14 points in their 6-2 victory over Sunderland. The big man looks to be back to his best.
Prediction – Everton 2-1 Aston Villa
Newcastle vs Leicester City
Now out of the relegation zone, Newcastle face a challenge in free scoring Leicester. However, recently, The Magpies have proven to have a stronger defence than that of Leicester who generally have to recover with several second half goals. While losing out in possession and shots to Bournemouth, Newcastle still managed to pull off a win, pulling them out of the bottom 3. Leicester remain in the CL places, currently in 3rd. On paper this is a top vs bottom half of the table battle, but Newcastle could pull out all of the stops in order to deny Leicester a win and maybe put a stop to Vardy’s goal scoring reign.
Star Man – Ayoze Perez (5.1m)
It can be Vardy every week. The still moderately priced striker has become a fan favourite this season and while Leicester may be 3rd, their defence isn’t all that. With the help of team mates Wijnaldum and Mitrovic, Perez has become a key Newcastle player and may be able to leave his mark on the match.
Prediction – Newcastle 2-3 Leicester
Southampton vs Stoke City
Both teams in red and while stripes picked up 1-0 victories last week. It seems that Southampton are enjoying this season, whereas Stoke are still finding their feet. Both have proven they are hard to defeat at the back but further forward in their lineup, their attacks are incomparable. Pelle, Tadic and Mane have been superb so far but Stoke still lack that much needed forward, even with 5 Champions League winners in their team. While I don’t see them in any sort of relegation battle, they also don’t look like being contenders for higher than 10th.
Star Man – Ryan Bertrand (5.3m)
The full back has seen a good return in recent weeks with his ability to get forward combined with Southampton’s strong back line. 11 and 8 points in the last 2 weeks due to 2 clean sheets as well as 2 assists sees him as a great prospect for England … and your teams.
Prediction – Southampton 2-0 Stoke
Swansea vs Bournemouth
The suffering continues for Bournemouth after an energetic start to the season, plagued with injury. Another defeat, albeit very close have left The Cherries 2 points from safety. Swansea have also seen a miserable few weeks in comparison to their first weeks this season. No creativity to be seen and a loss to Norwich by 1 goal to 0. Yet, the club will be confident that they will be able to take advantage of their opponents lack of squad depth. However, while it may be minimal, there are signs of hope around Bournemouth. Several defensive blunders have caused their demise but there is a chance that they could recover in this match.
Star Man – Matt Ritchie (5.6m)
The midfielder worked much more effectively with the likes of Wilson and Gradel in the team but, now with the task of being Bournemouth’s key player, he must lead them towards salvation. We have already seen what he can do and if Bournemouth have any impact on this match, this man will be at the centre of it.
Prediction – Swansea 1-1 Bournemouth
West Brom vs Arsenal
Now level on points at the top of the league, Arsenal take on West Bromwich Albion, placed in the bottom half of the table. Albion have shown their defence to be a challenge to most teams as well as attacking prowess but most of the time, they have been defeated narrowly. While Arsenal were held to a 1-1 draw in the North London derby, expect the likes of Ozil, Alexis and Cazorla to create many opportunities for main striker, Giroud. The Baggies face a stretch of hard fixtures, beginning this week and although they may have an all round good squad, I don’t think they will be able to handle their opposition going into December.
Star Man – Mesut Ozil (8.9m)
Arguably the best midfielder in the league right now in form. The majority of FPL players will be bringing this German into their teams over the international break to replace the injured Payet or rather due to his outstanding recent matches. In the last 5 weeks, Ozil has earned a staggering 48 points for owners of him. Exactly double the amount he received in his first 7 matches !
Prediction – West Brom 0-2 Arsenal
Manchester City vs Liverpool
A 2-1 win against Norwich and 0-0 draw vs Villa was pretty abnormal compared to some of the large score lines we have seen prior to these last few weeks. Now City, still at the top of the league are faced with a harder fixture in Liverpool. The Reds have not stood out as such since Klopp’s arrival but have certainly improved, although they did lose their last Premier League fixture. The injury of Sakho will also set them back, having already lost a handful of players due to injury.
Star Man – Philipe Coutinho (8.2m)
Undoubtedly, Coutinho is loving life at Liverpool. 3 goals in his last 2 is just what Klopp needed having lost a couple of strikers. Coutinho may also be crucial in bringing Benteke back to the goals.
Prediction – Manchester City 2-1 Liverpool
Tottenham vs West Ham
A second London derby in a row for Spurs and one of the Hammers’ most important games of the season. It hurts me to say it as a West Ham fan and someone who has owned him since GW1 but they will have to face their rivals without star player Payet, out for 3 months with injury. Much like Tottenham last season they have been labeled a one man team, however they do possess a range of quality in their team. After a good start, they eventually drew with Everton last week and on the other side of London, Spurs continued a great run of form in their 1-1 draw to Arsenal. Harry Kane once again the goalscorer. Both teams level on points and it’s all to play for at White Hart Lane.
Star Man – Manuel Lanzini (5.3m)
I’ve nominated him for star player before and it looks like many others are taking notice of him as well. Lanzini is set to be West Ham’s main midfielder for the next 3 months and the loanee has been transferred in by many as a straight swap for Payet. The Argentine has a similar style to the likes of Payet and Zarate which saw him score the first goal of last week. At such a great price I’m sure many of you will already have him in your teams.
Prediction – Tottenham 2-2 West Ham
Crystal Palace vs Sunderland
The last match of the week includes Crystal Palace who were victorious against Liverpool last week. As for Sunderland, without their win over Newcastle, Big Sam has little to show for what contribution he has made. It’s clear Palace will get the win here but I also think that we will see an attacking master class. Palace have some very able midfielders and strikers as well as the retuning Ward adding to their already good defence.
Star Man – Scott Dann (5.1m)
One of the, if not the best centre back this season. Dann has played 90 minutes in all but one game this season and has the 5th best overall score for a defender this season. Last week he picked up 10 points through a goal and with the rest of his teams defence, has managed a good amount of clean sheets as well.
Prediction – Crystal Palace 2-0 Sunderland
By Allan Smith