Our team of Hall of Famers and guest writers will provide Fantasy Premier League (FPL) tips and advice throughout 2023/24. Here, two-time Indian FPL champion Lateriser begins looking ahead to the busy December, where being a talisman takes priority over fixtures.
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It’s an exciting time in Fantasy Premier League (FPL) despite what happened in Gameweek 11. These things tend to happen – although perhaps not so extreme – but I wouldn’t dwell on it, instead let’s look forward to what is ahead of us.
A lot of us are in the market for a defender due to the amount of problems accumulated by fairly highly-owned defenders. I am one such manager and this article on how Newcastle United should line up began my search.
As things stand, Dan Burn (£4.7m) is looking at a lengthy injury layoff and that means one of Tino Livramento (£4.3m) or Lewis Hall (£4.3m) should play at full-back. In the above article, I do agree with Neale’s sentiments that Livramento is more ready for this position, so I expect him to be nailing that spot after three brilliant performances. His ability to play left-back, right-back and winger should make him good for minutes.
“He played really well again. Played really well on the right side, played really well on the left side, so that’s great to see. His versatility and his athleticism I thought was one of the standouts for us.” – Eddie Howe on Tino Livramento after the Borussia Dortmund defeat
There is also the possibility that he’ll maybe get some minutes as an attacker whenever Eddie Howe wants to give Miguel Almiron (£6.3m) or Anthony Gordon (£5.7m) a much-needed rest. Yes, the cheaper Jamaal Lascelles (£4.0m) looks a much safer option but I was a big fan of Livramento when he was at Southampton and his upside at that price is too much for me to ignore.
It also helps that Newcastle have a good-looking game against Luton Town in Blank Gameweek 18, which we need to start thinking about. The international break comes at a good time for this injury-riddled squad, although the Magpies seem so system-driven that injuries don’t seem to be affecting their strong defensive capabilities.
I was so impressed at how little they gave Arsenal and Livramento’s introduction helped them fully shut down Gabriel Martinelli (£7.7m).
Elsewhere, some managers are getting a little sceptical about Julian Alvarez (£7.2m) and are looking at short-term punts. Personally, I think it might be right to hold Alvarez as his minutes look very secure and even more so during Manchester City’s tough upcoming fixtures.
He’s one of their most important pressers. This team comes into their own during the November to December period and we’re seeing signs of that, with them netting 12 times in their last three games. I don’t see that dwindling anytime soon, irrespective of the opposition – especially with Bernardo Silva (£6.3m) in such good form and the recoveries of Rodri (£5.6m) and Jack Grealish (£7.2m). You don’t mind your Man City attacker facing Liverpool, various Tottenham injuries and an Aston Villa high-line over the next four games. They aren’t necessarily bad fixtures for attackers.
One forward I do like for the congested festive period is Taiwo Awoniyi (£6.4m). Nottingham Forest have a really good run of fixtures coming up and are showing signs of improvement. Therefore I’m keeping half an eye on Awoniyi as they seemingly play in a system that’s designed for him to score goals.
Collecting the talisman of middling teams should enter our thinking as we enter the congested festive schedule. The secure minutes of Jarrod Bowen (£7.5m) and Bryan Mbeumo (£6.8m) could play a huge role in our fortunes. Not just that, they rank inside the top three midfielders for non-penalty expected goals (NPxG) and have good upcoming fixtures.
DON’T SAKA-RIFICE SON
I’ve seen a lot of people contemplating a Son Heung-min (£9.7m) to Bukayo Saka (£8.6m) move. But Mikel Arteta has said this about the latter:
“We want our players to play for their club and national team. B didn’t train yesterday. Let’s see if he can make it tomorrow.”
That doubt needs to be taken into account. Despite Spurs’ big injury problem, I wouldn’t be trying to sell Son because his manager has an attacking philosophy. He’s still one of the best FPL picks around and you’d at least want to assess how Spurs adapt to life without James Maddison (£8.1m) and their centre-backs before making such a big decision.
That’s all from me this week. We deep-dived into Arsenal, Aston Villa, Brighton and Hove Albion and a lot more on this week’s episode of The FPL Wire which you can view below: