Welcome to the Fantasy Football Scout Guide to Gameweek 23 ahead of today’s 11:00 GMT deadline.
The big news is the announcement of more Double Gameweeks in 24 and 25. Legomané updated his ticker, which includes non-Premier League matches.
Manchester City, Everton, Burnley, Fulham, Southampton and Leeds are the six teams to benefit from an extra fixture.
There will also be a double in Gameweek 26, but which teams play twice depends on the FA Cup results in midweek. The winners will have their Gameweek 29 matches shifted to 26.
The other outstanding fixtures yet to be rescheduled are:
- Aston Villa vs Tottenham Hotspur
- Aston Villa vs Everton
- Manchester City vs Southampton
- Fulham vs Tottenham
Six and the City
The Man City backline continues to dish out regular six-point returns thanks to their incredible run of clean sheets. Provided, that is, your selected defenders make the starting XI.
John Stones (£5.2m) returned to the starting XI against Burnley but with Aymeric Laporte (£6.0m) fit and available there’s now the risk of a benching, as happened against Sheffield United.
Some on site, such as Camzy, are considering switching to one City defender and two attackers. And, whisper it softly, on the Scoutcast Karam even suggested selling Ilkay Gündogan (£5.9m) for those who want to stick with two at the back.
The reason is Raheem Sterling (£11.6m):
I started to like someone else, he’s not performing at £11.6m just yet, but if I want to move away from defence and I want to stay in attack, then I think I would take a risk on Sterling … his expected goals is 2.31, the most of any City asset over the last four Gameweeks … for me – as someone who is struggling now with the rank – the fixtures are there for scoring goals, I think Sterling is worth a shout. Now I know Gündogan is crazy value, which I agree, but if you need that element of taking a risk – and we know that Sterling is capable of braces, and he looked good against Burnley.
The only thing on Gündogan is … he’s created nine chances in the last three but only had three shots – two of those were goals. In the last match he had an xG of 0.03 … I’d just keep an eye on if things are shifting or how City are playing against a deep defence, whether Gündogan is the goalscorer. For me that would just be the difference whether I captain him or not – not whether I have him or not.
David noted the impact of Gabriel Jesus (£9.2m) over the last two matches, his presence in the City team does stop Gündogan from shooting as often.
But the former Borussia Dortmund midfielder remained a creative force, fashioning two big chances for Sterling and creating five goal scoring opportunities in total – the most of any player at Turf Moor.
Another factor in the German’s favour is that his ‘expected minutes’, something Career Hall of Fame No 1, Fábio Borges, places great importance on, is high:
Gündogan has less competition to worry about and seems to be in the form of his life so I’m hoping he will play both matches [over the Double Gameweek]. The fact that he could be on penalties and is ridiculously priced at £5.9 million makes him a much better pick than Sterling in my opinion … if I didn’t already have Dias and Gündogan in my squad, they would definitely be my main transfer targets from Guardiola’s team.
Fábio talked through his transfer targets for the upcoming small Double Gameweeks in his latest FFScout contribution. Nick Pope (£5.5m) or a Burnley defender were high on his list of priorities given their favourable fixtures.
While fellow Pro Pundit Lateriser touted Luke Shaw (£4.9m) in his recent article:
With Shaw, you are not just dependent on clean sheet points. He’s become incredibly vital to the Red Devils and is a ball progressor and an attacking outlet on that left-hand side. In the last six Gameweeks, Shaw has created 19 chances, which is top amongst all defenders. Shaw is also top for big chances created (five) in the same period and is on some set pieces and corners.
And the highest ranked of our elite contributors, Andy, who climbed another 200 places to 479th overall after Gameweek 22, reviewed his season so far, reflecting on what has worked well for him.
This year I’ve made a conscious decision to always have who I believe is the best captain each week, even if that means transferring out a big hitter. This sounds simple, but often FPL managers will forgo the best captain because they don’t want to sell a big hitter … I’ve sold Salah, Son, and Kane twice already this season and I’ve found not having value wrapped up in them makes my decisions much easier knowing I can just buy them back as there’s no money “lost”.
The armband for Andy this week is firmly on Son Heung-min (£9.7m) ahead of an encounter against West Brom’s obliging defence.
However, Captain Sensible writer, Jan, does not necessarily agree:
Despite receiving plenty of attention in the captaincy debate for Gameweek 22, I do not think Son is necessarily as strong a candidate as some might think.
Jan notes the slump in form for Tottenham Hotspur along with the poor underlying statistics for Son in particular – his total of 15 touches in the box over his last four matches is bettered by 33 Premier League players.
So while West Brom have conceded two goals in each of their last seven matches, could a defensive approach from Sam Allardyce frustrate an off-colour Spurs?
Bruno Fernandes (£11.5m) and Marcus Rashford (£9.6m) are alternatives from a buoyant Manchester United side, and West Ham’s Michail Antonio (£6.7m) could prosper against Fulham.
Fernandes is my top captaincy pick for Gameweek 23. Given that his underlying statistics are continuously impressive and his Manchester United colleagues are back in their groove, he could easily repeat the haul he achieved the last time Manchester United faced Everton.
However for David – who enjoyed a successful 17-Gameweek captain run back in 2018/19 – Antonio is his favoured armband selection from this week’s Scout Picks.
The in-form West Ham striker has hit attacking returns in four of his five last games. With the highest expected goals rating of any forward in the last six Gameweeks, we are backing Antonio to continue his impressive form against a Fulham side whose recent defensive improvements have stuttered.
– Scout Picks
In the Team News, Jamie Vardy (£10.0m) is set to return following his hernia operation, while Ricardo Pereira (£5.9m) could be a useful asset in the absence of Timothy Castagne (£5.7m) over the coming weeks.
And Wilfried Zaha (£7.2m) has been ruled out with a hamstring injury.
🗣️ Roy Hodgson confirms that Wilfried Zaha will miss the trip to Leeds with a hamstring injury that could keep him out for “much longer”. #FFScout #FPL #GW23 #CPFC #FantasyPL pic.twitter.com/QE3Z9iUY4F
— Fantasy Football Scout (@FFScout) February 5, 2021
While from Pep Guardiola’s Friday press conference, we received confirmation that Sergio Aguero (£10.3m), Kevin De Bruyne (£11.8m) and Nathan Aké (£5.4m) are still on the sidelines with their respective issues.
Community Competitions and Head-to-Head Fixtures
RedLightning rounded-up the latest Community mini-leagues and competitions.
Pro Pundit Andy’s youtube.com/letstalkfpl mini-league is currently the Best League in FPL based on the average score of the top five teams, taking over from our Community Members League, which slips to third.
For those participating in the Head-to-Head Leagues, the main page can be linked to here. The fixtures for Gameweek 23 can be found below:
Use the drop-down menus to show your league and division. To find out which league and division you are in, follow the instructions on the main Head-to-Head page.
Once the Gameweek starts, if you click on your opponent’s name you will be linked to their team on the FPL website.
May your arrows be green!
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