The restart of the FPL season keeps the fixtures coming, with less than 24 hours between the conclusion of Gameweek 18 and the beginning of Double Gameweek 19. In a fairly low-scoring week, Harry Kane, Kevin De Bruyne, and Mohamed Salah all blanked, whereas all of Arsenal's FPL assets, Ivan Toney and Kieran Trippier shined.
I saw another green arrow despite taking a huge risk by captaining Darwin Nunez. Thankfully, he only trailed Erling Haaland by one point and could have even outscored the Norwegian. A nine-pointer from Luke Shaw and Andreas Pereira's contribution off the bench to replace Dejan Kulusevski helped me get to 55 FPL points for the week.
Gameweek 19 will be a Double Gameweek that will see Chelsea and Fulham play twice. However, FPL managers haven't flocked to bring in players from both teams with as much enthusiasm as we usually do. It might have something to do with Chelsea's form and fixtures (they face Manchester City in one of their two games) and Aleksandar Mitrovic's risk of suspension for the Cottagers.
Whatever changes you're making to your FPL team, get your team locked in ahead of the deadline.
Gameweek 19 Deadline: Tuesday, January 2; 04:00 pm (GMT)/ 09:30 pm (Indian Standard Time)
FPL Gameweek 19 Fixtures
Gameweek 19 begins with a Monday evening meeting between Brentford and Liverpool. Arsenal host Newcastle United in what could be a title-defining clash on Tuesday night, with Manchester United also taking on Bournemouth at Old Trafford. Tottenham Hotspur play away at Selhurst Park on Wednesday night.
Chelsea and Manchester City lock horns at Stamford Bridge on Thursday night. The Gameweek ends with the 'Double' fixture between Fulham and Chelsea a week later.
FPL Team suggested for the previous gameweek
Here's the suggested team for Gameweek 18:
Goalkeepers: Kepa Arrizabalaga (CHE) (£4.5 m) and Danny Ward (LEI) (£4.1 m).
Defenders: Matt Doherty (TOT) (£4.6 m), Reece James (CHE) (£5.8 m), Kieran Trippier (NEW) (£5.9 m), Luke Shaw (MUN) (£4.8 m), and Hugo Bueno (WOL) (£3.9 m)
Midfielders: Wilfried Zaha (CRY) (£7.4 m), Dejan Kulusevski (TOT) (£8.0 m), Miguel Almiron (NEW) (£5.8 m), Andreas Pereira (FUL) (£4.6 m), and Marcus Rashford (MUN) (£6.8 m).
Forwards: Darwin Nunez (LIV) (£9.0 m), Harry Kane (TOT) (£11.6 m), and Erling Haaland (MCI) (£12.2 m).
Captain/Vice-Captain: Erling Haaland/ Harry Kane.
GW 18 Transfers made: 0.
Points Scored (- hits): 55 (-0): 55.
Overall Points: 930.
Overall Rank: 4,262,070.
Free Transfers available: 2.
1) Wilfried Zaha (CRY) (MID) (£7.4 m) - OUT | Martin Odegaard (MID) (ARS) (£6.5 m) - IN
Why I thought going into the restart of the season without an Arsenal player, I do not know. To be fair, I felt that in the absence of Gabriel Jesus and some fairly tricky fixtures up ahead, I thought I could compensate them with players from other teams, but they're playing some delightful football. With a Double Gameweek potentially coming up, I had to bring in Martin Odegaard, who's offering insane value for his price.
With an xGI/90 of 0.67 and set-piece duties, the Arsenal captain is oozing class and is an excellent FPL pick. I'm not that tempted by any Chelsea midfielder and might let the deadline pass, banking a free transfer and not adding another Double GW player.
Best FPL Team for Gameweek 19
Gameweek 19 Bench: Danny Ward (GK) vs LIV (A), Andreas Pereira (MID) vs SOU (H), Hugo Bueno (DEF) vs MUN (H), Reece James (DEF) vs NFO (A).
I'm surprised at the restraint I've decided to show in banking a free transfer instead of taking a -4 or a -8 to attack the first Double GW of the new year. However, watching Chelsea (and Spurs) play, the only move I felt I needed to make was to bring an Arsenal player in.
For my team this week, I only have two doublers in Kepa Arrizabalaga and Andreas. The Fulham midfielder has a good chance of picking up a neat FPL haul in his two fixtures, and while it's unlikely that Kepa will keep a shutout against Manchester City, he has been very consistent in picking up save points.
Spurs were absolutely shambolic against Aston Villa so it's honestly frightening to think how they'll play against Crystal Palace, a side they tend to struggle against away from home. However, Matt Doherty has arguably been one of their better performers and I'm hoping he and Kane conjure up some magic in Kulusevski's potential absence.
Odegaard, Trippier, and Miguel Almiron should be the most valuable FPL assets, and it'll be interesting to see what transpires when all of them take the field in DGW 19. Nunez remains such an exciting player to watch, and I have a feeling a tricky away fixture at Brentford is where he delivers on his underlying stats.
Lastly, both Marcus Rashford and Shaw have been in excellent form, rewarding their FPL owners. A home fixture against Bournemouth allows them the perfect opportunity to extend that run.
Having secured two small green arrows to start the season, I'm hoping I can keep that run going this Gameweek. Due to my lack of investment in Double GW players, I'm not expecting a major rank rise this week, but if my differential picks like Doherty, Shaw, and Kane deliver, I can continue this upturn in form.
Gameweek 19 - FPL Captaincy
I'm really tempted to hand the armband to Andreas. The Fulham midfielder has the potential to get a double-digit haul this week, with both Leicester City and Chelsea not being the most secure of defenses this season. While this is a long shot, if Mitrovic gets suspended for the second fixture after getting another yellow card, Pereira could even be on penalties.
That said, Rashford and other single fixture FPL assets also offer great value.
Best FPL XI for Gameweek 19 - Summary
GK - Kepa Arrizabalaga (CHE) vs MCI (H), FUL (A)
DEF: Matt Doherty (TOT) vs CRY (A), Luke Shaw (MUN) vs BOU (H), and Kieran Trippier (NEW) vs ARS (A).
MID: Martin Odegaard (ARS) vs NEW (H), Andreas Pereira (FUL) vs LEI (A), CHE (H), Miguel Almiron (NEW) vs ARS (A), and Marcus Rashford (MUN) vs BOU (H).
FWD: Darwin Nunez (LIV) vs BRE (A), Harry Kane (TOT) vs CRY (A), and Erling Haaland (MCI) vs CHE (A).
Bench: GK - Danny Ward (GK) vs FUL (H), 1st Sub: Dejan Kulusevski (MID) vs CRY (A), 2nd Sub: Hugo Bueno (DEF) vs AVL (A), 3rd Sub: Reece James (DEF) vs MCI (H), FUL (A).
Chips activated: None.
Transfers made: 1.
Points Hits taken (if any): None
Captain: Andreas Pereira. | VC: Harry Kane.