Friday Foreplay

Friday Foreplay – Gameweek 19

Gummi Fantasy Football Tips, Gameweek Previews

Learning to live together
Learning to live together
Learning to live together

If only Olivier Giroud would have taken that lesson to heart in his last game, I wouldn’t have experienced the dreadful feeling of having your captain sent off to ruin an otherwise decent Gameweek. But enough of my misery, today is a new day and we can hopefully learn to live together in the glory that is Gameweek 19. To dramatic? All right then, let us just dive into All Things FPL’s (ATFPL) Gameweek 19 preview and its captain picks, heavy hitters, clean sheets, punts, and the big ol’ rumbling gut

Captain Picks

A speculative pick no more, as it seems David Silva is perfectly suited to playing in Manchester City’s strikerless formation. Three goals, an assist, and maximum bonus points in City’s last two games makes him a wonderful pick as City welcome Burnley to the Etihad. Better yet, he has three home games in the next four matches and is unlikely to be rested being only three games into his return from injury.

ATFPL’s second pick is also a City player, due to the home game against Burnley, and is another goalscoring midfielder in Yaya Touré. Burnley are conceding the most goal attempts and big chances in the last four Gameweeks and Touré is leading City in averaged goal attempts, shots inside the box and shots on target in the last four Gameweeks. He is arguably a better pick than Silva.

Charlie Austin amazingly has the best Captain Foresight score of the Gameweek, highlighting the incredible rise of the free-scoring Englishman this season. He is scoring against the league’s bottom dwellers as well as the elites, at home and away, adding assists, and picking up bonus points. What more could a Fantasy Manager want, especially for a starting price of 6.0 million? On twelve goals, with six goals in his last six Gameweeks and facing Crystal Palace at Loftus Road, there is a valid argument for picking him over either City midfielders this Gameweek. That would have been an insane statement at the start of the season, but there you go, the wonders of the Fantasy Premier League.

Heavy Hitters

Diego Costa is actually one of the three players in the Captain Foresight picks, but is left out of the Foreplay captains section because of the tough fixture, away at Southampton. With 13 goals in 15 league appearances, it wouldn’t be a big surprise if he scores, but a double digit score is unlikely given Southampton’s defensive displays this season. Captain a City player or Austin over Costa, but he’s a decent pick if you have none of the above.

Raheem Sterling finally delivered last Gameweek to justify his inclusion in Fantasy Managers’ squad. He’s been showing decent underlying numbers and it was only a matter of time before he scored. In fact, he was the Gut pick two Gameweeks ago. Better late than never, I guess. Liverpool’s opponents, Swansea, are actually defensively sound, fourth in the league in goals scored, but are considerably worse away from home, dropping down to tenth with 1.50 goals conceded on average.

Robin van Persie’s resurrection continues with another goal in Manchester United’s convincing win against Newcastle. For Fantasy Managers the highlight was how well the attack played with Wayne Rooney the obvious man of the match, but also featuring fine performances from Radamel Falcao, Juan Mata, and Van Persie, as well as great support from United’s wing-backs (Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia). It looks like Louis van Gaal has got United playing his game so expect service to be provided to Van Persie—he’ll score plenty this season.

Olivier Giroud’s idiotic red card scuppered any claims he is a decent alternative to Alexis Sánchez as the Arsenal Fantasy player of choice. The Chilean was wonderful yet again despite missing a penalty, scoring one and assisting one to carry Arsenal to another win. If, like me, you don’t own the midfielder, be very afraid. He is fast becoming the defining player of the FPL game.


Bojan Krkić is finding the form Fantasy Managers were hoping from him at the start of the season. His goals were the difference in Stoke’s 0-1 away win at Everton, putting him at three goals, an assist, and 10 bonus points in his last eight Gameweeks. It’s not mind-blowing, but a decent return for a striker priced at 5.0 million. Stoke have three home games in the five fixtures before the close of the January transfer window so he could be a stop-gap budget purchase to get in an expensive midfielder or defender.

Never mind that Andy Carroll didn’t deliver against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge; very few strikers will do this season. However, at home against a brittle Arsenal defence that have been conceding from set pieces with alarming regularity, he could be just the man for the occasion.

Christian Benteke’s return for Aston Villa was just what they needed to provide the missing attacking boost in their play. He will be key to keeping Paul Lambert’s men in the division and could even surprise a few when they have all their players fit. They have a decent midfield and a lightning fast attack and are well suited to sit back and counter at pace. Benteke is one to watch out for in the second part of the FPL season.

Clean Sheets

The ATFPL Clean Sheet Consortium likes the look of…

…Aston Villa’s Alan Hutton facing a Sunderland team with four goals in their last six league games and 0.75 goals per away game, the 15th worst in the league.

…a bargain bin pick in Hull’s Alex Bruce, now likely to get games with Michael Dawson and Andrew Robertson injured and James Chester Suspended. Hull face Leicester who have been awful away from home, scoring three goals in their last six away matches—they are also generally poor away from home, scoring 0.44 goals on average per match.

Pablo Zabaleta for Manchester City playing at home against Burnley. The Argentinian was rested last game and should start this Gameweek.

Big ol’ Rumbling Gut Pick

Frank Lampard could start for Manchester City due to festive rotation and is always likely to score. Heck, even if he comes on as a substitute he is likely to score; hence, ATFPL’s gut rumbles for the City midfielder.

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