Game Week 17 kicks of on Tuesday night as we welcome another round of FPL fixtures and whilst we absolutely love the midweek action and getting even more Fantasy Premier League time we also have to prepare for the likelihood of squad rotation.
GW17 is another week where all the big teams face relatively easier fixtures with no top 6 clashes take place. In fact, all of the teams in the top 6 play teams in the bottom half of the table – but this doesn’t necessarily mean it will be a walk in the park.
Spurs and Man United have the easiest assignments as they contemplate home fixtures against Brighton and Bournemouth respectively. Brighton in particular are in poor form after conceding 7 goals in their last two league games and a trip to Wembley after Spurs just hit 5 past Stoke will not be a welcome experience.
We take a look at the key fixtures for game week 17 and look for the best FPL pointers:
Huddersfield Vs. Chelsea
Chelsea travel to Huddersfield on what will be a cold wintry night in West Yorkshire and although the temperatures might be freezing they should be fired up for this one after losing to bitter rivals West Ham.
Huddersfield might just fancy their chances following a solid 2-0 win over Brighton and they certainly won’t be fearing this game too much. Let’s not forget it hasn’t been that long since they beat Man Utd at the Kirklees Stadium and David Wagner will have his team well drilled for this encounter with the current Champions.
All of the that being said, Chelsea will be revved up for this game and there has to be a reaction from them as they look to close ground on those above them. Morata continues to disappoint but don’t rule him out just yet and Eden Hazard who has previously been rested in midweek games will surely have to play form the start here. He is still the must have Chelsea player and you would be foolish to drop him.
We are going 2-1 to Chelsea here.
Swansea Vs. Man City
A crucial victory for both of these sides in GW16 (for very different reasons) sets this game up nicely but with Pep being the the most likely to rotate his team in GW17 there could be some disappointed FPL managers come Wednesday evening.
David Silva has been a player that we have been championing all season long and he has been excellent in the last few games with 2 goals in this last 2 starts. However, Silva is one of the players who is highly likely to be rotated with either Sane or Sterling being the other to rotate. Jesus is also likely to be swapped to Aguero as Guardiola looks to keep his side as fresh as possible for the gruelling winter run in.
Despite a slim 1-0 win for Swansea at the weekend, we can’t give them too much hope and it will be interesting to see if Wilfried Bony goes up against his old club. Bony has scored 2 in 2 and would love to score against his former employers but this will be a very tough game for Swansea.
Probably not a hammering for Swansea here but a loss all the same is likely.
Liverpool Vs. West Brom
Jurgen Klopp rotated his side heavily for the derby game against Everton and despite almost 75 minutes of sheer dominance from his side they only managed a 1-1 draw. Mo Salah scored a wonderful goal to take the Reds in to the lead and again secured all 3 bonus points as he stretched his lead as the top FPL points scorer for the season – surely he won’t be rested for the visit of West Brom!
Klopp might be forced in to playing his strongest side in this game and although the title has all but disappeared from their sites, they are in the midst of a desperate battle for top 4. Firmino is likely to start this game, as is his Brazilian compatriot and this should be a comfortable win for Liverpool.
Salah is a very good captain choice for game week 17 – but you will have to have a strong stomach in case he is rotated and ends up coming on from the bench.
This might be a game in which Liverpool keep a clean sheet – a win for Klopp and his boys is highly likely here.
Man Utd Vs. Bournemouth
Man Utd came up very short against Man City at the weekend but this is a very different prospect and Old Trafford will be expecting a huge response in this game. The unbeaten home record may be gone but there is every reason to expect them to go on another run now and Eddie Howe’s team haven’t won for 4 games now.
The home team might decide to go with Phil Jones back in defence and could provide a welcome boost to FPL managers’ defences as he is still a cheap(ish) option for a premium defender.
Mourinho is still missing Paul Pogba and it is having a big impact on his side, but cheap options such as Rashford, Lingard and Martial all offer decent potential in this game. Lukaku has to get back to scoring ways in the league and we are backing the Belgian to score in this game.
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Spurs Vs. Brighton
Spurs have been in and out form wise of late, but one thing you can pretty much guarantee with them is who will play. With the exception of Davies and Trippier (who will likely be rotated in GW17) the team pretty much picks itself and after a 5-1 demolition of Stoke, this will be another game to back the likes of Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen.
Brighton conceded two away to Huddersfield last time out and five away to Liverpool the game before that. It is not beyond the realms of possibility that this could be another 5 goal haul for Spurs and this is where the captain pick is likely to come from.
If Son starts again he could well return big again as he looks to build on the 2 goals and 2 assists from his last 2 games. He has started 7 of the last 9 games and that is good enough for us to recommend putting him in your side. At £7.9m and only 2.4% ownership he is well worth a punt.
West Ham Vs. Arsenal
Ir doesn’t get any easier for David Moyes as he looks to complete a tough run of fixtures that has seen him face Man City (a), Chelsea (h) and Arsenal (h) and if he manages a win here he could well be up for a manager of the month award! It is good to see him getting his mojo back (I don’t think we’ve ever used the word mojo before) and his team can take a lot of credit from the way they dispatched Chelsea on Saturday.
This game will be similar in many ways to the Chelsea game and the fact that Arsenal themselves failed to win against Southampton at the weekend will mean give West Ham plenty of hope.
This is a tough game to predict and Wenger is likely to rotate a couple of positions which could give West Ham a slight edge. We are going to sit on the fence and predict a 1-1 draw in this game – so probably not one to get too excited about.
Best of the Rest
Southampton face Leicester on Wednesday evening but it is Leicester (under former Saints boss Puel) who go in to this game in the best form. That being said, Charlie Austin is enjoying a great run with 4 goals in his last 3 starts. I can never quite work out why he doesn’t get rewarded with more game time as his goal return warrants it for me.
Leicester have been getting results but they have been leaky at the back so Austin offers an excellent cheap alternative up front at just £6.1m.
Everton have definitely improved under Sam Allardyce and although their first half performance at Liverpool was poor they managed to squeeze out a result. at just £4.3m Kenny is a great defensive pick and they could well keep a clean sheet at Newcastle.
Wayne Rooney is another among the goals at the moment and at £7.3m is a very decent pick for game week 17.
We will back on Tuesday morning with our captain picks and ‘The Last Word’ on Tuesday evening 90 minutes before the deadline – be sure to check it out as it has the last minute crucial thoughts he get set for GW17 – get an edge over your rivals and get it all when you sign up here.