Gameweek 20 brought some more unusual results. Leicester didn’t claim a win for their 3rd game in a row and West Ham beat Liverpool at home. This weekend sees the FA Cup 3rd Round come into play which will frustrate many an FPL manager. It may be early, but it’s never too early to plan ahead. Injuries may play a part in the upcoming cup fixtures, but here is the gameweek 21 preview.
Aston Villa vs Crystal Palace
Aston Villa seriously need to start getting results if they want to stay up. They are still stuck on 8 points because of their 3-1 away defeat to Sunderland which was very much a relegation six pointer for the both of them. Crystal Palace are on a shaky run of form themselves. They haven’t won in 3 and got convincingly beat by a rejuvenated Chelsea side at home.
Star Man – Carles Gil (4.6m)
Scored a cracker against Sunderland which may earn him a starting place against Palace.
Prediction – Aston Villa 1-1 Crystal Palace
Bournemouth vs West Ham
Bournemouth are continuously finding good results against higher opposition, especially away from home. They earned a hard fought draw away at Leicester where they had Simon Francis sent off and Artur Boruc save a Riyad Mahrez penalty. West Ham after a long run of draws have won their last 2 games against in form sides, Southampton and Liverpool. A lot of the credits go to Antonio who found himself on the score sheet in both games.
Star Man – Dimitri Payet (7.7m)
Back from injury and played a part against Liverpool where he looked like his best.
Prediction – Bournemouth 1-2 West Ham
Newcastle vs Manchester United
Newcastle haven’t won since they beat both Liverpool and Tottenham. Since those 2 results they drew with bottom of the league Aston Villa and lost 1-0 in their most recent 3 games. Manchester United, despite some fans believing they’ve had a bad season, are placed 5th in the league. They won their last game against Swansea which saw club captain Wayne Rooney score his 1st league goal for weeks.
Star Man – Wayne Rooney (9.9m)
Scored his first goal in the league for weeks which may spur him on for a return to form?
Prediction – Newcastle 1-2 Manchester United
Chelsea vs West Brom
The Chelsea players are looking like their old selves in recent games after Hiddink’s recent appointment. Their most recent result was a 3-0 thrashing of Alan Pardew’s Palace away from home. West Brom are also a team that are improving. They have now won 2 on the bounce at home against Newcastle and Stoke respectively. However in the reverse fixture of this match up, West Brom lost 3-2.
Star Man – Willian (7.1m)
Man of the match performance against Crystal Palace and very cheap for a Chelsea attacker.
Prediction – Chelsea 2-0 West Bromwich Albion
Manchester City vs Everton
Both teams are currently contesting in the Capital One Cup so this game will certainly be interesting tactically as they wouldn’t want to give too much away. Manchester City have welcomed the return of Aguero who certainly made a difference against Watford where he scored the winning goal in a 2-1 victory. Everton have a hard fixture list ahead of them which started last week against Tottenham. They drew with Spurs 1-1 but it could have quite easily been worse for the Toffees.
Star Man – Sergio Agüero (13.1m)
Fit and firing once again and when he gets going he normally can’t stop!
Prediction – Manchester City 2-1 Everton
Southampton vs Watford
After Southampton beat Arsenal 4-0 their fans must of thought that their season will change for the better… oh how they were wrong! They have lost both of their last 2 games against West Ham and Norwich away from home. Watford are on a very hard run of fixtures which is starting to change for the better. Their most recent result was a 2-1 loss at home where they were leading going into the final 15 minutes or so.
Star Man – Ben Watson (4.3m)
Southampton aren’t great from corners and Watson can send in a beauty.
Prediction – Southampton 1-2 Watford
Stoke vs Norwich
Stoke since beating Manchester United and Everton have lost twice in a row against West Brom and Liverpool in the Capital One Cup. Norwich have now won 3 out of their last 4 games which has seen them climb out of the relegation zone and create a 6 point gap between them and 18th placed Newcastle. Their most recent result was a 1-0 home win against Southampton which saw Tettey score a Yaya Toure-esque goal.
Star Man – Xherdan Shaqiri (6.7m)
Continued tormenting defences against West Brom and is also a decent, cheap midfielder.
Prediction – Stoke 1-0 Norwich
Swansea vs Sunderland
Swansea have been unlucky recently against the Manchester clubs away from home. They lost both of the fixtures 2-1 after equalising in both games before conceding a rather late goal to wipe it out. The Sunderland players and staff will be bouncing after their result against Aston Villa which could be the difference between them going down or not. They won in the end 3-1 which also improved their goal difference importantly.
Star Man – Wayne Routledge (5.1m)
Plays up top for Swansea and the Sunderland defenders won’t be able to handle his pace.
Prediction – Swansea 2-0 Sunderland
Liverpool vs Arsenal
Liverpool lost to West Ham last weekend but because of their win against Stoke in the Capital One Cup they’ve won 3 out of their last 4 games. All their wins came from 1-0 results. Arsenal find themselves top of the league for the second consecutive week and have extended the points gap, thanks to their recent, unconvincing 1-0 win against relegation threatened Newcastle at the Emirates.
Star Man – Olivier Giroud (9.2m)
A Frenchman in form against a Liverpool team who aren’t looking too great in recent times.
Prediction – Liverpool 1-2 Arsenal
Tottenham vs Leicester
Tottenham have still only lost twice this season, with those results coming against Manchester United and Newcastle. Their recent draw to Everton extended their form which they could have quite easily won if it wasn’t for a few missed opportunities. Leicester on the other hand have gone off the boil recently. They haven’t won in three albeit they have played Man City and Liverpool in that time. This might be the beginning of the end of Leicester’s title race.
Star Man – Dele Alli (5.4m)
Stupidly cheap attacking midfielder at a big club and continues to score and assist goals.
Prediction – Tottenham 1-1 Leicester
Written by Harry Clark