Being prepared for FPL’s December madness

Eight FPL gameweeks occur throughout the December-to-New Year period – not quite the catchy Christmas song that celebrates partridges and pear trees but a useful mental note for managers to remember. Whereas other countries insert a festive break into their league calendar, the Premier League takes the other extreme by escalating the number of fixtures.

Tues 30th Nov – Thurs 2nd Decdeadline: Tues 30th Nov, 18:00 (GMT)Gameweek 14
Sat 4th Dec – Mon 6th Decdeadline: Sat 4th Dec, 11:00Gameweek 15
Fri 10th Dec – Sun 12th Decdeadline: Fri 10th Dec, 18:30Gameweek 16
Tues 14th Dec – Thurs 16th Decdeadline: Tues 14th Dec, 18:00Gameweek 17
Sat 18th Dec – Sun 19th Decdeadline: Sat 18th Dec, 11:00Gameweek 18
Sun 26th Dec – Mon 27th Decdeadline: Sun 26th Dec, 11:00Gameweek 19
Tues 28th Dec – Thurs 30th Decdeadline: Tues 28th Dec, 11:00Gameweek 20
Sat 1st Jan – Mon 3rd Jandeadline: Sat 1st Jan, 11:00Gameweek 21

Set phone notifications for deadlines

Especially the early New Years Day one! The frequency of deadlines increases – sometimes just two days apart – so it can be easy to lose track. It might be a good idea to set an alarm for 30 minutes beforehand.

Gain some squad depth

We’ve already seen this season how important it is to stray from the ‘cheapest possible bench’ tactic, with rotations, Covid cases and a reluctance from managers to reveal injury truths leading to many automatic substitutions. Whilst those who purchased Tino Livramento at £4.0m have satisfied both scenarios, it might be worth having a fifth midfielder and third striker who are both above £4.5m. The likes of Emmanuel Dennis (£5.2m), Armando Broja (£5.0m), Joshua King (£5.6m), Conor Gallagher (recently £5.6m) and Emile Smith Rowe (recently £5.3m) offer more than just playing time.

Be aware of the African Cup of Nations

As of now, the likes of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Said Benrahma, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Edouard Mendy, Wilfired Zaha, Ismaila Sarr, Riyad Mahrez and Kelechi Iheanacho will depart for the African Cup of Nations after Gameweek 19. With the final taking place on February 6th, players could be unavailable until Gameweek 24 and therefore miss four league matches.

Firstly, the removal of these players needs considering. But secondly, their absence could suddenly make assets like Diogo Jota, Alexandre Lacazette, Kepa Arrizabalaga and Patson Daka more appealing.

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