After a week of FA Cup & League Cup matches, the Premier League returns this weekend for a full round of matches for Gameweek 21. In gameweek 20 saw Chelsea’s unbeaten run finally come to an end thanks to two goals from red hot Bamidele Alli. That make Alli the equal join top points scorer for the round, along side Olivier Giroud – who has now scored 3 goals from his last 3 starts, and defensive duo Ryan Shawcross & Leighton Baines who both picked up a goal and a clean sheet. With the winter transfer window now open, there will also be some players transferring clubs this month. For example Morgan Schneiderlin completed his transfer from Manchester United to Everton this week. An interesting one for FPL managers is that Nathan Aké has been recalled by Chelsea from his loan at Bournemouth. So if you already has 3 Chelsea players plus Aké, you will now be forced to transfer out one of your Chelsea players before you can make more transfers. The deadline for changes to your teams for Gameweek 21 is 11:30pm GMT January 15th. Ensure you have all your transfers, wildcards and captain nominations locked in before hand. Without further ado, lets look at our top 3 player picks for gameweek 21:
Top Player Tips
1) Olivier Giroud £8.6 (Arsenal)
Having finally forced his way backed into the Arsenal first team, Olivier Giroud’s form of late makes him hard for Arsene Wenger to continue to over look. Wenger has played Alexis Sanchez in a central striker role for much of the season, resigning Giroud to a spot on the bench. But Giroud still has 6 goals & 4 assists to his name for the season, despite his limited playing time. Over the new years period, Giroud has started the last 3 matches and scored in each of them. Giroud also came to Arsenal’s rescue with a vital goal in the their FA Cup fixture last weekend too. Arsenal’s opponents for gameweek 21 are 19th placed Swansea City. The reverse fixture was a 3-2 win to Arsenal in gameweek 8. This one has goals in it for Arsenal, and Giroud is their focal points right now.
2) Charlie Daniels £5.2 Bournemouth (Bournemouth)
With 3 goals, 3 assists ans 6 clean sheets for the season, Bournemouth’s Charlie Daniels is the 3rd highest points scoring defender this Fantasy League season so far. Bournemouth are certainly punching above their weight this season, currently sitting on 9th placed on the table – above the likes of Southampton, West Ham and reigning champions Leicester City. If Bournemouth & Daniels can continue this good form, they will be well clear of the relegation zone come the end of the season. Bournemouth have one of the most favorable run of fixtures for January, facing Hull City (Away), Watford (Home) and Crystal Palace (Home). All teams are below them on the table, and gameweek 21’s opponents Hull City are bottom of the league. I’d be expecting a clean sheet in their, and hopefully another Daniels goal.
3) Dele Alli £8.6 (Spurs)
The bandwagon of the gameweek has to be high flying Spurs midfielder Dele Alli, who has scored 7 goals in his last 4 Premier League games! This includes a brace in each of his last 3 matches, matching his goal scoring tally of 10 from the season before…and we’re only half way through the season. That corresponds to 44 points in the last 3 gameweeks, which has rocketed Alli up to the 3rd top points scoring midfielder in the FPL this season. With >450,000 transfer in for the round already, he’s by far the hottest item for the gameweek. Tottenham’s opponents for gameweek 21 are 8th placed West Bromwich Albion, so are often quite resilient against superior opposition. After that Spurs face Manchester City (away) in gameweek 22, so while Alli is in top form, it’s up to FPL manager to decide if form trumps fixtures here.