GW27 has been in the knowledge of most FPL managers, carefully planning for the blank fixtures that await. For those that have read that sentence and choked on their drink, unaware of these upcoming blanks, here’s the roundup:
Everton v Man City – rearranged from GW27 to GW25
Chelsea v Brighton – rearranged from GW27 to a undecided date.
For those that are holding a large number of these players, it would be worth prioritising your upcoming transfers to ensure you have a starting 11 for this blank. While it might seem tempting to use your free hit in this period, there are arguments that a bigger blank will happen later in the season – GW31 and 33.
In this article, we are going to go through some notable players that we feel should be on manager’s radars. And for those players that have the upcoming blanks, some thoughts on what to do with them and suitable replacements.
Popular Player Ownership
A big question that has been doing the rounds is whether Man City and Chelsea players should be sold. I think that the best strategy to take with this, is to look at the overall strength of your squad and whether benching a few of these players is an option. Managers have a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 3 free transfers before the blank GW27. Those that own 6 total blank players, it is likely that you won’t be able to field a full strength team unless you take a points hit. So prioritising your transfers is important and therefore considering the short term fixtures are essential.
Of the 4 teams, these are the top 4 highest owned players from each team:
Brighton have been out of form recently, only picking up 2 points in their last 5 matches. However, their long term fixtures are now turning great and if you own a Brighton asset we would recommend holding and benching for blank GW27.
If you own more than 1 player, then a consideration should be made to selling but we believe that ownership in the other 3 teams should be more of a priority. Ryan (£4.4m/2.9%) has returned from the Asia Cup, therefore Button has reverted back to an unused substitute for squads. But at £4.0m, he provides the budget option to strengthen the squad in other areas.
Everton have been the problematic team for many managers, with Richarlison and Digne being highly owned in parts of the season. Along with Everton having a blank GW27, their fixtures become a lot harder from that week onwards.
The Digne rollercoaster has been one full of exciting loops and horrific drops, notably the back to back negative points haul.
We think that the upcoming blank and current suspension is all the indicators managers need to jump off Digne. While he provides attacking returns, the Everton defence doesn’t provide the clean sheet security that is ideal when owning a defender.
At £5.3m, some managers may sell for less, but a few options are available as replacements. Kolasniac (£5.0m/5.3%) is a stand out option for us, who has 3 brilliant fixtures coming up.
While we mentioned about the security of clean sheets, although Arsenal do not necessarily provide this, they have the fixtures to deliver attacking returns. Kola has 5 assists in 14 league matches, and with the absence of Bellerin the emphasis is on Kola to provide the attacking width for Arsenal. He has produced 3 shots and 3 key passes over the last 3 matches, notably against tough opposition including Chelsea and Man City.
If managers are looking for more of a long term option for Digne, then we think Leicester’s Pereira (£5.3m/11.7%) is a great option. At £5.3m, he might be a stretch regarding budget, but he has recorded 2 goals and 5 assists this season. As mentioned Leicester’s fixtures are great after GW27, perfectly coinciding with Everton’s downturn. We think Kolasniac is the short term, highest ceiling option, while Pereira provides the long term security for managers.
Richarlison is another interesting player this season, priced at £6.8m, he has scored 10 goals and assisted 2. We think that he has been given unfair stick recently for his performances, with little providing better value at this price range. However, for those that have lost patience with the Brazilian, a cheaper alternative has emerged.
Jota (£6.0m/3.5%) burst back on the scene with a hat trick against Leicester and has since returning an assist in each of his last 2 league matches. At £6.0m, the current form of both Jota and Wolves is very appealing and over the next 4 fixtures Wolves have some great matches.
Of all the teams that have a blank gameweek, we think City players should be the ones that deserve to be benched instead of sold. The highly owned players are delivering great points per game, and have a great run of fixtures once you look past the blank.
We think that holding at least 1 City attacking player is important, mainly in the midfield options.
Sane and Sterling have been returning consistent points over the past month, while remaining low ownership in comparison to other premium midfielders. As mentioned, we think that if you own either player, the best move is to bench the player and ensure that you have a starting 11 for GW27.
Aguero has been the star man for GW25 already, after his hat trick against Arsenal on Sunday. With another fixture on Wednesday against Everton, he could really reward owners and those that captained or triple captained him. While he has been brilliant this gameweek, we think that another striker should be the target for Aguero owners.
We have mentioned the favourable fixtures for Arsenal, and we think Aubameyang could be the high scorer of the next 3 game weeks. Valued at £11.2m, he offers a slightly cheaper alternative to Aguero while having much better fixtures. The big positive to owning Aubameyang is the brilliant blank GW27 fixture against Southampton, which is a great captaincy option.
He has scored 9 of his 15 league goals at home, and we think he will continue this form in GW27 and 28. Not to mentioned GW26 against Huddersfield who were dismantled by Chelsea last weekend. Managers were rewarded for jumping from Aubameyang to Aguero for the double gameweek, but we think managers will be rewarded more with the transfer back to the Arsenal hitman.
Alonso has tested the patience of owners all season, and has finally been overtaken as the highest points scoring defender by Robertson. He hasn’t produced a attacking return since GW11, and now has his starting position under threat by Emerson. We think that there are better options than Alonso, and priced at £6.5m his sale can fund plenty of replacements.
The obvious replacement is a Liverpool defender, who don’t have any blank or double fixtures this season. This is an important thing to remember, as it makes their assets reliable and in turn desirable for the rest of the season. Robertson is the best defender to own, providing attacking potential and clean sheets. Priced at £6.8m, he is more expensive than Alonso but for those managers that have the funds, he is a reliable replacement.
Cheaper options in Van Dijk, Lovren and Alexander-Arnold (when fit) each provide FPL value too.
Hazard is the last man we have highlighted from the blank teams. Having been sold by over 180,000 managers ahead of GW25, he scored a brace picking up 2 bonus points against a woeful Huddersfield. We think however, that Hazard is a tough one to negotiate for owners. Chelsea have a bad run of gameweeks, featuring GW26 v City, GW27 blank and GW28 v Spurs.
The obvious transfer would be into a City midfielder, however with their blank it isn’t a smart move from managers right now. Outside of City, the premium midfielders are limited unless you have the cash to upgrade to Salah. Otherwise a financial downgrade is the best option, and we have a few options that should be top of the list.
Son (£8.7m/15%) returned from the Asia cup for GW24, and has scored in each of his last 2 league games, now 10 for the season. As a short term option, Son is a good move with games against Leicester and importantly a GW27 fixture against Burnley. However, while Son deserves high praise, we think the transfer for Son does come with some negatives. Firstly, it is clear that he is tired and with an upcoming Champions League match 3 days after Leicester, it could see his minutes managed.
It is also no secret that Spurs are injury hit, and haven’t been performing as well compared to before. Leicester are no push overs, having conceded 18 goals in 13 away matches while Spurs haven’t been blowing teams away at home having scored 21 goals in 12 home games. Burnley meanwhile, are 6 games unbeaten only conceding 5 goals over this period. Son is clearly the best option for Spurs as a FPL option, but don’t be surprised if him and Spurs scrape through these upcoming games.
The other alternative seems another obvious option, Paul Pogba (£8.6m/38%). He has been one of the stand out players since the arrival of Solskjear, scoring 6 goals and assisting 6 in his last 8 league matches.
Man Utd have a mixed bag of fixtures, playing Liverpool GW27, Arsenal GW30 and notably Man City GW31. However, this fixture is one that is likely to be a blank due to the cup competitions, so worth remembering if you own or plan on buying United assets.
Pogba is producing amazing stats, an incredible 20 shots and 7 key passes in the last 4 league games. His high ownership means that his continual form has a big effect of overall rank for non-owners, and we think he should be one to consider for managers.
That’s our thoughts on some of the popular players ahead of the blank GW27, including some replacements for managers to consider. We hope this has provided some tips and knowledge for the upcoming fixtures, let us know on Twitter if you have any further thoughts.
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