Based on the last four matches and the next four, let’s look at which teams’ players can be targeted for FPL success.
It was assumed that David Moyes’ side would regress from an encouraging 2020/21 campaign because of the strains placed by midweek European football. That assumption was wrong, as the Hammers are excelling in both competitions and have a very light injury list where Michail Antonio has so far avoided problems. Said Benrahma is well-owned but only has one goal and one assist since Gameweek 2, despite ranking highly for goal attempts. However, it is Jarrod Bowen who has taken over, providing goal involvement in all but one of their last seven league encounters. Two goals, six assists and 6.57 points-per-game.
Only a late Burnley equaliser prevented Chelsea from claiming a four-out-of-four winning record. It included a 7-0 win over Norwich and a 3-0 victory in Newcastle, both without a recognised strikers. Yet that’s not a problem when you have wing-backs like Reece James and Ben Chilwell, providing five goals and an assist during this period. Mason Mount claimed 24 points from the Norwich win but has since been missing because of dental problems.
The Gunners began this spell by losing a lead against Crystal Palace, before an injury time equaliser from Alexandre Lacazette. Considering the impressive displays of Palace – ranked sixth in form – this draw doesn’t look so bad in hindsight. Then there were wins over Aston Villa, Leicester and Watford. Popular assets Aaron Ramsdale and Ben White have added two clean sheets, with Emile Smith Rowe becoming the go-to midfielder after scoring in their last three matches. His regular minutes, hauls and cheap price have seen him shoot up £0.5m in value since the last international break.
One of FPL’s new mottos is ‘Never Bench Livramento’. Many do but still get lucky via autosubs but Gameweek 11 wasn’t like that. Tino Livramento has a goal, assist and five clean sheets from his last eight matches, only blanking once. This coincides with a great turnaround from a Southampton side that looked doomed after big summer sales and a poor start to the season. Four games ago, they were yet to win one but have since emerged victorious on three occasions and drew the other.
Antonio Conte is an impressive coup for Spurs and many FPL managers are committing to their assets, despite going two games without any shots on target. One more and they set an unwanted Premier League record, although a home clash with Leeds offers encouragement. Then it’s Burnley (a), Brentford (H) and Norwich (H), which makes it difficult to resist having either Harry Kane or Son Heung-min. At least the 0-0 draw at Everton provided a clean sheet, something Conte expected to bring more of. Keep an eye on Sergio Reguilon, Emerson Royal and Eric Dier.
Similar fixtures occur for Newcastle, who are also under new management. Eddie Howe’s side have a trip to Arsenal sandwiched between the home games against Brentford and Norwich, also hosting Burnley afterwards. They are winless and without a clean sheet but know these are must-win matches in their fight against relegation. Callum Wilson is a reliable striker amongst a fog of low returns from FPL forwards. Eye-test exceller Allan Saint-Maximin still has appeal, although their defence should be avoided until more is known about the Howe regime.
Not that Burnley will roll over for Spurs and Newcastle, as the Clarets also see their run of fixtures as a great way to continue momentum after beating Brentford and drawing at both Chelsea and Southampton. Maxwel Cornet is on fire right now, bringing three goals and 26 points from that trio of matches.
Maybe, just maybe Norwich have a chance of arresting their bad start and mounting a survival attempt. Gameweek 11 brought their first win of the season and, naturally, the immediate sacking of manager Daniel Farke. Whoever replaces him begins with Southampton (H), Wolves (H), Newcastle (a) and Tottenham (a) and potential for extreme differentials like Teemu Pukki, Mathias Normann and Andrew Omobamidele.
GOOD FORM AND FIXTURES
Frustratingly, there isn’t currently a sweet spot where the in-form teams are about to enter a fantastic-looking run of games. Perhaps the closest is Liverpool, where many already have both Mohamed Salah and Trent Alexander-Arnold. The appeal of Diogo Jota has been boosted by the hamstring injury of Roberto Firmino.