Wednesday, January 26, 2022

The 11 best players to sign for your FPL team in Gameweek 21

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Both Son Heung-min and Harry Kane feature in the selection this week ahead of Spurs’ trip to Watford

The argument for keeping him was simple: he’s the most successful player in the FPL this season, and given that fact, of course, he’s by far the most popular player in the game. The argument to sell him was less clear, although his steep £13million asking price and impending exit to the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) were reason enough for some managers to ditch him.

After Liverpool’s Gameweek 19 game against Leeds fell victim to Covid, Fantasy Premier League managers were left with a conundrum: stay or mix up with Mo Salah?

In matchweek 20, that 50-50 reputation went to the players rather than the faithful as Salah scored 0 points despite playing the full 90 minutes in Liverpool’s 1-0 loss to Leicester. Salah had scored every one of his last 15 Premier League penalties before being turned down by Kasper Schmeichel at the King Power, much to the relief of those who sent him off. Fine edges indeed.

Fortunately for those frustrated by Salah’s missed penalty, another round of play begins on New Year’s Day and ends on January 3rd. It will be the last time FPL executives will see the league’s African contingent for a while, as Salah and co. will depart after their Gameweek 21 games to represent their countries at Afcon in Cameroon.

Emmanuel Dennis (if Watford agrees to release him), Edouard Mendy and Said Benrahma are among the more well-known FPL activists set to take part in the competition, while the likes of Riyad Mahrez, Wilfried Zaha and Salah’s teammates Sadio Mane and Naby Keita have also been in convene their respective nations. Managers with one or more of these players need to start planning for upcoming games without them, perhaps starting this week.

It looks like nine games will be played in Matchweek 21 after Leicester v Norwich was left out of the schedule due to a Covid outbreak in Dean Smith’s squad. Here are I‘s picks for first Premier League games of 2022!

Manchester United were indebted to their longtime No1 on Monday as David De Gea made a series of crucial saves to keep Newcastle at bay. De Gea has been United’s most consistent player this season and could soon become the FPL’s favorite goalkeeper thanks to his side’s friendly run.

Price: £5.2million Points: 71 Game week 21 game: wolves

An automatic selection in I‘s choices these days. Despite scoring just once this season, Joao Cancelo has had 12 more attempts on goal than any other defender, indicating the attacking threat he offers from either flank. Although City’s opponents Arsenal have been in exceptional form, Mikel Arteta’s young side need a landmark win against one of the big boys to demonstrate their progress. They face a difficult task to make it against City on New Year’s Day.

Update December 31: Joao Cancelo was attacked by burglars in his house. Whether he will travel to London for the game will be decided in due course.

Price: £6.9m Points: 113 Game week 21 Game: arsenal

Marc Cucurella made a big impression at both ends of the pitch in Brighton’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea in matchweek 20, firing a shot from the line inside his own penalty area before providing the assist for Danny Welbeck’s late winner. The left-back is quickly becoming a fan favorite at Brighton and has accumulated 17 FPL points in his last two appearances.

Price: £5.0m Points: 64 Game week 21 Game: Everton (a)

Southampton rode their luck against Spurs, with Antonio Conte’s side saddened by some decisions that went against them, but Ralph Hasenhuttl would have been pleased at his side’s resilience after being reduced to 10 men. Despite not conceding a goal since the 11th matchweek, the Saints meet a side from Newcastle who are expected to be without their two biggest goalscoring threats in Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin, increasing the appeal of the budget-friendly Jan Bednarek.

Price: £4.4m Points: 55 Game week 21 Game: Newcastle (h)

Son Heung-min hasn’t been at his best lately but has still managed to keep up well at FPL, registering offensive returns in each of his last five games. Son has four goals with two assists in that run and is expected to continue his hot streak against a Watford defense still looking for a first clean sheet of the campaign. Watford have conceded more goals per game at home (2.3) than any other club in the league.

Price: £10.5m Points: 102 Game week 21 Game: Watford (a)

Kevin De Bruyne has not been too prominent in the minds of FPL executives so far this season but his popularity is bound to increase in Salah’s absence. De Bruyne has 26 points in his last three games, scoring three goals in the process. The City playmaker also usually saves his best for the Gunners, having scored more times (five) against them in his career than any other club.

Price: £11.9m Points: 57 Game week 21 game: arsenal

Jarrod Bowen has been in electric form for the past few months, delivering his best performance of an already striking season in West Ham’s 4-1 win over Watford last time out. The 24-year-old tormented the Hornets’ (admittedly seedy) defensive line the entire time, scoring two goals and scoring one for himself to set a season-best 14 FPL points. Given that performance, it’s not surprising that Bowen is the most-signed player going into week 21.

Price: £6.6 million Points: 94 Game week 21 game: Crystal Palace (a)

Despite playing for a side bobbing at the bottom of the Premier League table, Raphinha has been one of the stars of the season so far. The Brazilian is one of the most watchable players in the division and is reportedly attracting interest from Bayern Munich as well as rival Premier League clubs. The winger has scored eight goals and one assist so far and emerged as Leeds’ first choice penalty taker during Patrick Bamford and Rodrigo’s injury breaks.

Price: £6.5 million Points: 82 Game week 21 game: Burnley

Ollie Watkins has impressed for Aston Villa since Steven Gerrard was appointed manager by scoring three goals and providing one assist in seven league games. The England international’s importance to Villa is underscored by his record of playing every minute of the game under his new manager. Watkins will be keen to impress against the Bees after scoring 49 goals in 143 games for the club.

Price: £7.8million Points: 63 Game week 21 game: Brentford (a)

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