Game Week 12 – The First Look
FPL players up and down the land will be rejoicing at the thought of no more international break for months and as we start our game week 12 preparations we do so with a degree of trepidation until the friendlies and play-offs are completely out of the way. The majority of the action concludes on Tuesday evening/early hours of Wednesday morning so you should be good to go by Wednesday if you haven’t already pulled the trigger early.
The big news ahead of the weekend is that Sadio Mane (who we thought might be back for Liverpool) has been sent home by Senegal and will require a fitness test after being declared as unfit by his national team doctors whilst his teammate Coutinho looks set to play for Brazil against England and as such should be back for the Reds for GW12.
Phil Jones and Dele Alli are the main injury concerns from the England camp as well as Jack Butland who will almost definitely not be fit for Stoke’s trip to Brighton. Olivier Giroud is another fringe player who might be a short term casualty of the international window which should be good news for Lacazette owners who would like to see him play 90 minutes for once.
Steve Cook may have equalled Salah’s 15 points in GW11 but it is the Egyptian who has been transferred in by the bucket load and he now features in over 40% of FPL teams. With three goals and an assist in his last three games he looks like a good prospect for game week 12 and former player of week Raheem Sterling is another who could do well as Man City head to Leicester.
Let’s take a look at our top picks for gameweek 12:
Arsenal Vs. Spurs
The weekend kicks off on Saturday lunchtime with the North London derby as Spurs visit the Emirates for another big test of their title credentials. They had to fight hard to get past a dogged Crystal Palace last time out but they are likely to have a bit more joy in front of goal in this game as it is one that Arsenal can ill afford to sit back in.
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Anything but a win for Wenger will ensure that it looks like another disappointing campaign and there could be some belated fireworks in this game. That being said, it looks like a Spurs win all day long as Arsenal’s stars have not looked at the races this season and were embarrassed by a 3-1 hammering at City in GW11.
Harry Kane should be back to full fitness for this one and although he probably isn’t captain potential this week he is certainly not one to rule out of the scoring. Surprisingly, Eriksen has been dropped by a fair few managers ahead of gameweek 12 but he still represents the best midfield threat for the visitors.
We have little confidence in Arsneal doing much here and it could be a win to nil for the away side.
Burnley Vs. Swansea
We called out Swansea a couple of weeks ago for having clean sheet potential over these few weeks. They let us down at home to Brighton last weekend but their away form has been much better than their home. A trip to Burnley may look like it has 0-0 written all over it but with Tammy Abraham (and his England cap) they may even knick this one!
We are going to continue to back the defenders of Swansea as real cheap alternatives so if you are lumbered with Otamendi (who is suspended) and want a cheap alternative then Fernandez and Naughton are your go to guys – they have Bournemouth next week too so it could be a decent two week game plan.
Crystal Palace Vs. Everton
Mixed fortunes for these two of late but it is Palace who have impressed the most despite a good comeback for Everton last week against Watford. Wilfried Zaha is the pick in this game and should be the one who leads the line for the home team who were unlucky in defeat to Spurs last time out.
We expect Palace to go on a bit of a run here and the lack of permanent leadership at Everton may well cost them 3 points this Saturday.
Leicester Vs. Man City
This looks set to be an entertaining game of football with Leicester City relishing a counter attacking game against this seasons league leaders. Who leads the line for city will be interesting to see and we expect Aguero to be the one to get the nod. He scored in an 86th minute winner over Russia in a friendly game at the weekend and may be rested for the game against Nigeria on Tuesday. Jesus is also set to play for Brazil so it could be both or toss a coin to see who plays.
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Sane is the main man for City though, and you need either him or Sterling in your side this season by the looks of things. Vardy will be threat for the home side and Okazaki keeps getting in the right place this season to steal a goal if you want a budget player.
Watford Vs. West Ham
West Ham may have David Moyes in to steady the ship for the East London side but this will be no easy game for him and he will have had little time to work with his players. Moyes has also looked a man whose confidence has been shot so it will be interesting to see how he tackles his latest project. Richarlison repaid our faith in him last week with another goal and he certainly looks a pick for this game.
Keep an eye on West Ham over the coming weeks though as they still have some quality players and there could be points to be had from their players.
Man Utd Vs. Newcastle
A huge game for United this one after a tough run of games and they really need to grab three points in convincing style in this one. There are whispers that Paul Pogba could be back for the home side although we don’t expect him to start in this game. The return of Fellaini after injury brings back the chance of a sub £5m midfield option for United but all eyes will be on Lukaku who was back amongst the goals for his country after going 4 without a goal for his club.
Many have lost faith in the Belgian and have dropped him but this could well be the week he puts himself back in the frame and we would not be surprised to see a double from him in GW12. Rashford is the other danger man and he has looked top class this season and also finds himself on set piece duties – hopefully he will start for the Red Devils.
Liverpool Vs. Southampton
Most of Liverpools squad has come through Southampton at some point but the visiting team have been poor this season and this will be a real test for them. Salah is the obvious danger but Coutinho offers the differential and is a little cheaper now at £8.8m.
This might not be one for the captain pick as Southampton can be stingy defensively but you probably need some coverage. Alberto Moreno remains our favourite defensive pick for the home side and we can see them getting a clean sheet in this one.