The FPL gameweek before Christmas have been played and Leicester City are guaranteed to be top of the Premier League on Christmas Day. No matter what’s in store for the rest of their season, to be top is some achievement considering this time last year they were rock bottom of the league, heading straight back to The Championship.
There were more shocks with Manchester United losing at home to Norwich, leading to speculation that Louis van Gaal will be replaced by recently sacked Jose Mourinho. Also, now that United’s defence isn’t looking as solid as it was a few weeks ago, this means bad news for a lot of FPL payers who have David de Gea and Chris Smalling.
Elsewhere; Liverpool took a pretty severe beating away at Watford, Crystal Palace continued their fine start to the league with a win away at Stoke, Chelsea got back to winning ways in their first game since Mourhino’s departure and Arsenal beat Manchester City 2-1 in a top-of-the-table clash.
The usual (or unusual depending on how you look at it) players were at it again, with Odion Ighalo, Riyad Mahrez, and James Vardey all scoring big points. Here’s how the Gameweek 17 dreamteam panned out.
Hugo Lloris – A clean sheet, a couple of fine saves and 9 points, means Hugo Lloris is the highest scoring keeper this week, as Spurs beat Southampton 2-0 away from home. The Spurs captain now has six clean sheets for the season and moved to fifth in the table for top performing goalkeepers in FPL.
Kyle Walker – There’s a common theme with Spurs this season and that’s strong defensive performances! Kyle Walker’s resurgence continued in Gameweek 17 with clean sheet points, an assist and three bonus points taking his total to 11. At 5.1m he must be a tempting choice for the festive fixtures ahead.
Branislav Ivanovic – Ivanovic has been a permanent fixture in many people’s FPL teams for years now. However, Chelsea’s poor form this season has seen his own form drop dramatically which has led to him being left out of many FPL teams; he’s now only selected by 7.4% of players. That 7% will be delighted, as he scored this week, set one up and finished with three bonus points, finishing the week with 14 points as Chelsea beat Sunderland 3-1 at Stamford Bridge. Have the shackles been released now that Jose Mourinho has left?
Nathan Ake – Another Chelsea player, albeit on loan at Watford, impressed this week, scoring 14 points as Watford trounced Liverpool 3-0 at Vicarage Road. Ake’s been a permanent fixture in the Watford team this season and capped the week off with a goal, a clean sheet and two bonus points.
Charlie Daniels – It’s three wins in three now for Bournemouth, with their latest coming in a 2-1 win against West Brom. It seems Eddie Howe’s team have found a balance between the attacking football that served them so well in The Championship and solid defensive performances needed for Premier League success. Charlie Daniels bagged himself a goal this week and three bonus points, giving him a total of 11.
Riyad Mahrez – Of course Mahrez is in this week; he’s here every week. There isn’t much left to be said about the Algerian, who has literally set the Premier League on fire. Two ‘calm as you like’ penalties in a 3-2 away win at Everton, along with three bonus points, gives Mahrez 15 points for the week – more than any other player.
Deli Alli – Alli continues to be a revelation this season, with another solid performance for Spurs. A goal and an assist gives him 67 points this season. A yellow card at the weekend wasn’t enough to stop him scoring 12 points thanks to a goal, an assist and two bonus points.
Mesut Ozil – The majestic midfielder continued his fine form for Arsenal this season with two more assists, taking his total to 15 for the season, double the amount of his closest rivals. Arsenal beat Manchester City 2-1 and Ozil was at the heart of everything. 11 points this week takes his total to 113 so far for the season.
Odion Ighalo – The Nigerian striker has been a storming success this season and he continued his impressive form with two goals in Watford’s win over Liverpool. Three bonus points means Ighalo finishes the week off with 13 points. It’s hard to believe he’s still only 6.0m.
Shinji Okazaki – It’s usually James Vardy who shows up in these weekly reviews, but after a fine performance against Everton, it’s Okazaki who is taking all the plaudits. A goal, assist and two bonus points gives the Leicester striker a total of 11 points for the week.
Cameron Jerome – Jerome rounds the week off, taking the last spot for high scoring players, with a hardworking performance for Norwich against Manchester United. He hasn’t been in the best form this season, but his goal, assist and two bonus points give him 11 for the week and sends the Norwich fans home extremely happy.
So, how did you do this week? The usual hitters continued their rich vein of form, but there were also some unsung heroes racking up the points; a great week for anyone who took a risk, or two.
Written by Simon Banks