Fantasy Premier League’s gameweek 19 takes place this Sunday and Monday with the bulk of matches being played on Sunday. In my preview for these sets of matches I plan to look over the changes I made to my team as well as those I wish I had made or possibly will make.
In the Boxing Day gameweek 18 fixtures my FPL teams didn’t fare too well. Since I have been playing with two separate fantasy Premier League teams this year I have continued to try to make different changes in both and experiment as much as possible.
Friday saw my experimental team rack up 72 points while my “main” team got me only 60; one point below the average. The problem that I have run into is that this team has fallen behind. I have made some ill-advised decisions along the way that have led to the team that I now have. In order to revamp this team I either need to have a bunch of points deducted, or wait for the next wildcard.
I decided to swap out Stewart Downing for James Milner and stuck Eden Hazard on the bench after reading all kinds of reports saying he was going to be rested on Friday. Instead he started, played 90 minutes and scored 6 points thanks to an assist and clean sheet bonus.
The other bad news came in the form of starting Andy Carroll (in place of Hazard) as well as the poor outings by Wilfried Bony and Cesc Fabregas. Brad Guzan, Kieran Trippier and James Milner all gave me two points apiece and I had expected a bit more from them all.
It wasn’t all bad though. Captaining Robin van Persie gave me 14 points, even if the captaincy may have been better placed elsewhere. Christian Eriksen and Ryan Bertrand both added 8 points while Gylffi Sigurdsson’s goal gave me another 11.
I can see my mistakes in retrospect. Hazard is the type of player who should be started unless it’s a 100% sure thing that he is being benched. Andy Carroll was risky at best in going up against Chelsea’s sturdy back line at Stamford Bridge.
Otherwise, there was little else I can see in the way of mistakes. Bony’s stats have shown him to be a must start, Milner was trending upward in City’s current form, Fabregas should have done better, Kieran Trippier is a risk, but there was always the chance of getting something against struggling Liverpool, and Guzan is a goalkeeper who typically gets a fair amount of points due to the number of saves he makes.
With Sunday’s matches quickly approaching it will be a difficult game of guess and pick. Which players will be rested? Which match-ups will be the best to look at, especially in terms of defensive pairing?
There are some tough matches this weekend and I am predicting another round of matches that should see plenty of goals.
As far as FPL teams go, you would do well to look at the home teams this weekend. QPR at home has been a good bet, especially with Charlie Austin. I will likely pick him up, most likely in place of Andy Carroll.
I do have a dilemma with Robin van Persie now that Wayne Rooney has been in such excellent form. Not only is Rooney scoring goals, but his role in midfield has him seeing more of the ball and increasing his chances of creating goals as well.
Manchester City are heavy favorites to score goals against struggling Burnley and this could easily be a clean sheet as well. Choosing City players is a more difficult proposition since I wouldn’t be surprised to see several players rested. It does look likely that Pablo Zabaleta will return after being rested on Boxing Day.
Of the players from week 18’s dream team, I would recommend David Silva, Gaston Ramirez, Gylffi Sigurdsson, and Asmir Begovic. The remaining players all have difficult matches that may or may not work out.
For my team, I plan to drop Andy Carroll, most likely for Charlie Austin, then probably move on Milner for G. Ramirez. I’m still debating whether or not to drop one of Hazard or Fabregas and bring in Alexis Sanchez.
Despite missing a penalty on Friday, Sanchez still scored a goal and got an assist. With Giroud out for three matches it looks very likely that he will be Arsenal’s go to player to get them goals.
Remember to make sure your team will be fit and healthy and ready to play. You can get player updates from PremierInjuries.com.