With two games remaining in GW20 we are starting to turn our attention towards game week 21 with the Premier League action returning on Saturday afternoon. With a 2pm deadline you will have a little longer to ponder any possible team changes ahead of the weekend games but with GW22 kicking off at 12.30pm on New Year’s Day even we are starting to feel a little sorry for these overworked footballers (okay, not that much).
With the blank GW21 for West Ham and Spurs followed by the double game week for the same two teams, it probably makes sense to combine these tips all together – but don’t fear, we will have a GW22 captain picks article coming out on New Year’s Eve when we have all the info we need to make an informed decision.
With Premier League games every day between Saturday and Thursday there is plenty to consider – so let’s dive straight in with our gameweek 21 tips.
Game Week 21 Top Picks
The first thing to discuss ahead of GW21 is the whole blank game week situation for Spurs and West Ham. There are a few things to consider here and the main thing is how many Spurs/West Ham players you already have and how many you want for GW22.
One thing is a given, you simply need Harry Kane as a minimum in GW22 and he will probably have to be your captain. Other options include Son and the back in form Dele Alli for Spurs and Marko Arnautovic for West Ham but don’t go spending loads of minus points on them.
If you had already opted to take some of these players out of your team then there is a big argument to be made for making no GW21 changes and having 2 free transfers for GW22. However, if you do have Kane it is worth just taking the hit in GW21 and leaving him on the bench.
If you have free hit and are planning on using it then you needn’t worry too much this week and can play the week as normal – whatever you do, just make sure you have decided this week so you have a two game week strategy in place. We are not advocating using the wildcard so early unless your team really needs it.
Bournemouth Vs. Everton
Huge clean sheet potential again for Everton here with Jonjoe Kenny being our top pick at just £4.5m and with 4 clean sheets and an assist in the last 6 games he is a top choice. Bournemouth might have scored three against West Ham last week but we don’t see that happening here and if you aren’t yet capitalising on the cheap Sam Allardyce clean sheet points from Everton then get on it now.
Chelsea Vs. Stoke
Chelsea despatched Brighton pretty comfortably last weekend and Stoke are an even easier opposition when it comes to scoring goals. Mark Hughes has avoided defeat for the last two games but he will do well to replicate that here and we are backing Morata to bag again. He scored a hat-trick against Stoke earlier this season and we could see a brace or better at the Bridge.
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We are running out of patience with Hazard but don’t be surprised to see him score or assist in this game if he starts. We should also see a Chelsea clean sheet in this game.
Liverpool Vs. Leicester
Leicester went down 2-1 to Watford in GW20 and this is a much sterner test up against a rampant Liverpool attacking force. There should be goals in this game for both sides but if Klopp plays the same front line as he did against Swansea then there is every chance of 3+ goals for the home side.
Coutinho has scored 4 goals and had 5 assists in his last 6 games and is fast becoming a must have player alongside Mo Salah and the bang in form Firmino. With Firmino and Coutinho costing just £18m for the two they are an absolute bargain and there is a real case to be made now for a midfield consisting of 2 Liverpool and 2 Man City players.
Man Utd Vs. Southampton
Southampton were very poor without Van Dijk at the back and he is likely to be missing for this game too. United were equally poor against Burnley and this should make for an entertaining game at Old Trafford. Jesse Lingard has made himself very selectable at just £6.1m and following 3 goals and an assist in his last 3 games whilst surely Lukaku will start to fire soon.
Ashley Young is another cheap pick for United whilst we hope to see a clean sheet for the home side with Phil Jones being the selection.
Crystal Palace Vs. Man City
Newcastle took some stick for the way they initially approached the game with City in midweek but they only lost narrowly in the end and had chances to score themselves. Crystal Palace may have conceded three goals to Arsenal but they will no doubt approach this game a little differently.
We don’t see this being a runaway victory for Man City who are likely to shuffle their pack considerably with Leroy Sane set for a recall to the starting line up. Sterling and Aguero could well be rested and we still don’t know the full story with David Silva so it is anyone’s guess as to whether he will return.
This is a game to stick with who you already have for City and from a Palace point of view Zaha remains the top pick.
West Brom Vs. Arsenal
Alexis Sanchez may well be leaving The Emirates in January and if that is the case it could well be the reason why his performances have suddenly improved. A big performance from the Chilean at Palace saw him score a couple of goals and he could be a good swap for Hazard if you have him. Wenger is unlikely to rest Sanchez for this game which poses a similar task as the Palace game with WBA most likely setting up to defend from the off.