Gameweek 19 would take place on boxing day as well as marking the half way stage of this Premier League season, with each side having faced all opposition sides once. The gameweek kicked off with Fulham hosting Wolves before Everton travelled to Burnley and Leicester faced title-chasing Manchester City. Leaders Liverpool were in action against Newcastle United, with Spurs hosting Bournemouth and Chelsea making the short trip to Watford. The week ended with Southampton welcoming West Ham. Anyway, here’s the FPL Updates Gameweek 19 Review…
Neil Etheridge – Cardiff City weren’t given a chance by many at the start of the season, however they find themselves outside of the drop zone at Christmas as the Bluebirds have found their feet in recent months. One of their standout performers has been ‘keeper Neil Etheridge, who seems to have seen off the challenge of former QPR man Alex Smithies for the number one shirt in the Welsh capital. The Philippines international made several top saves to help his side take a point away at Crystal Palace on Wednesday.
Kyle Walker-Peters – Teenager Kyle Walker-Peters was given the opportunity of a rare Premier League start for Spurs as they welcomed AFC Bournemouth to Wembley on Wednesday afternoon. He didn’t disappoint, as he turned in a man of the match performance, recording three assists on the day as his side ran away with the game against the Cherries, putting five past Eddie Howe’s side. In truth, the away team didn’t put up much resistance, but Spurs deserve credit for some fantastic attacking football on the day.
Lucas Digne – It has taken time for French full-back Lucas Digne to come up to speed with the Premier League, but the Everton man’s performances have been getting better and better. He netted a brace from the back on Wednesday, as his side dismantled Burnley 5-1 at Turf Moor, which is no mean feat given the Clarets’ pride in their home record in recent seasons. The former Barcelona man found the net when Joe Hart couldn’t save his freekick, however his second was better, as he thundered home into the bottom corner.
Dejan Lovren & Trent Alexander-Arnold – Liverpool may just be starting to think it’s their year, after they punished Newcastle at Anfield on Wednesday, netting four in the process. It’s rare to see Dejan Lovren on the scoresheet, however the Croatian opened the scoring against the Magpies, before the Reds ran away with it. What may please Jurgen Klopp more is yet another clean sheet. Their defence has been a criticism of his side in recent seasons, and with a six-point lead at the top, the former Dortmund man will hope they can see it out.
Felipe Anderson – West Ham United travelled to Southampton on Thursday evening looking to bounce back from a shock home defeat to Watford after some strong league form. However, they found themselves behind when a mix up at the back-saw Nathan Redmond scramble the ball over the line. Despite the setback, the Hammers levelled soon after, with Felipe Anderson drilling home from range. They took the lead shortly after as Southampton committed too many forward, only for a resulting break to see Brazilian Anderson fire the ball past Alex McCarthy.
Paul Pogba – Much was made of the relationship between Paul Pogba and former boss José Mourinho, but the Frenchman seems a player reborn under new boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. He was in fine form yet again as the Red Devils made light work of Huddersfield Town at Old Trafford. After Nemanja Matic gave United the lead a second half Pogba brace would make the game safe. They will be disappointed to have conceded a late Town consolation courtesy of Matias Jorgenson, however ultimately, it’s another three points.
Eden Hazard – Watford welcomed a Chelsea side to Vicarage Road that had been very inconsistent after a superb start to the season under Mauricio Sarri. He opted to start Eden Hazard up front this time, and the Belgian proved his credentials when he found the net in first half injury time. However, in the seconds that remained the Hornets equalised through Roberto Pereyra. With the scores locked in a tight game, the Blues were awarded a controversial penalty when Hazard was felled, which gave the former Lille man the perfect spot to step forward and score what turned out to be the winner.
Heung-Min Son & Christian Eriksen – Spurs have been one of the Premier League’s form sides over recent weeks and continued their superb run of results as they dismantled AFC Bournemouth 5-0 at Wembley on Boxing Day. While the star of the show was youngster Kyle Walker-Peters, two players who have been stunning in recent weeks continued to show why they are among the best in the league. They were Korean forward Heung-Min Son and Danish playmaker Christian Eriksen, and Spurs may be wary of interest in the pair during coming transfer windows.
Jurgen Locadia – It’s been a tough start to life with Brighton and Hove Albion for Jurgen Locadia since signing from PSV in January of last season. He’s been unable to nail down a starting spot due the form of the likes of Glenn Murray but impressed as the Seagulls ground out a very credible draw against Arsenal at the AMEX on Wednesday. Arsenal took the lead early through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but the home side hit back ten minutes before the interval as Locadia rounded Bernd Leno and rolled home to earn a point for Chris Hughton’s strugglers.
Written by Ryan Nevin (@RNevin7)