Fantasy Premier League 2017/18: Tips and picks for Gameweek 19
Yet another week has gone by and yet another gameweek is already upon us - it has been an unremitting December! Nobody is complaining though, as the Premier League continues to bombard us with entertainment.
Gameweek 18 saw Manchester City continue their ruthlessness by dismissing an out-of-form Spurs 4-1 at the Etihad. David Silva missed the fixture owing to personal reasons, but City didn't seem to miss him much as their incredible depth came to their aid.
Silva's replacement Ilkay Gundogan put in a stellar performance, bagging a goal and an assist. From an FPL point of view, this game proved that Manchester City's midfielders are must-haves as four of them (Gundogan, Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane and Kevin De Bruyne) scored points in the double digits.
Harry Kane blanked yet again, much to the disappointment of around two-fifths of the FPL managers. The other popular Spurs asset Christian Eriksen would have blanked too if not for his consolation goal just before the final whistle that ended Spurs' misery. Crystal Palace and West Ham showed that they aren't relegation teams anymore by convincingly winning 3-0 against Leicester City and Stoke City respectively. Both wins impressively came away from home.
Arsenal and Chelsea bagged three points with scrappy 1-0 wins at home against Newcastle United and Southampton respectively. Both winners were spectacular goals, one a delicious volley by German playmaker Mesut Ozil, and the other a precise free kick by Spanish left wing-back Marcos Alonso.
Burnley failed to capture three points that would have seen them miraculously rise to fifth. They got a point as they drew 0-0 away to Brighton, keeping yet another clean sheet in the process. They were lucky though, as Glenn Murray sent his first-half penalty sailing into the crowd.
Romelu Lukaku and Jesse Lingard found the back of the net as United won 2-1 away at West Brom. Watford were down to 10 men for the third match in a row as captain Troy Deeney's harsh tackle saw him earn a deserved red card. Huddersfield hadn't scored away from home since the very first gameweek, but managed to put four past a hapless Watford defense.
Liverpool made history by becoming the first Premier League team to win four consecutive away games with a margin of at least three goals. The front three of Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Philippe Coutinho all found the net in their impressive 4-0 rout at Bournemouth.
Everton now have four wins in their last five games, continuing their terrific run under big Sam. Wayne Rooney missed a penalty and still managed to obtain double-digit FPL figures!
Please note that the deadline for gameweek 19 is at 18:45 GMT on Friday, December 22 (i.e. 00:15 IST on 23 December). Let's take a look at five tips to keep in mind as we head toward gameweek 19:
#5 Is it time for five power midfielders?
With forwards failing us in recent gameweeks, it could be the right time to let go of the heavy hitters up front and use the funds to beef up the midfield. There are five players who have scored more FPL points than Harry Kane and they are all at least £2.5 cheaper. There is a dearth of premium options up front, whereas there is a bounty of midfielders in the £8.5 to £10.5 range. Midfielders are considerably outperforming the strikers and are much better value for money.
Kane has blanked twice now, and with a tightly wound Burnley defense in gameweek 19 and a blank in gameweek 21, things don't look too good in the near future. Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus do not get enough game time as they are constantly being rotated, and Pep has made our lives difficult with his unpredictable choice of striker.
Alvaro Morata has been out with a minor back injury and frustratingly for many picked up his fifth yellow in the Carabao Cup, forcing him to miss the game against Everton. His lack of match fitness can see minutes taken off him in the upcoming tight stretch of fixtures as well.
Alexandre Lacazette has played the entire 90 minutes of a game on just two occasions this season and isn't worth his hefty £10.4 price tag. Lukaku has been in dismal form, scoring just thrice in his last 11 games. Zlatan Ibrahimovic has just made his return and it is highly unlikely that he will start games regularly in the near future.
Midfielders, on the other hand, have been raking in the points consistently. Premium midfielders like Raheem Sterling, Mo Salah, Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne, Leroy Sane, Riyad Mahrez, Christian Eriksen and Philippe Coutinho have proven their worth by being in the points over the last few weeks.
With an abundance of talent imbibed in each one of them, they are bound to continue delivering goals and assists. Even lower budget midfielders like Son, Aaron Ramsey (until his injury), Wilfried Zaha, Jesse Lingard and Richarlison have impressed. With Paul Pogba back from his suspension, there is a surplus of options in midfield, and it could be time to free up funds elsewhere and set up an enviable midfield in your FPL team!