First Team 16/01/2019

FPL Review: Gameweek 22

By Sachin Dholakia's resident FPL expert Sachin Dholakia reviews the latest weekend of Fantasy Premier League action.

An excellent second-half display at Selhurst Park saw the Hornets come from a goal down to run out 2-1 winners against Crystal Palace in Gameweek 22.

An unfortunate own goal by Craig Cathcart (6) gave the hosts the lead in the first half but the Northern Ireland international made amends in the second with a goal at the other end, heading past Wayne Hennessey from a José Holebas (7) corner. Tom Cleverley (7) snatched all three points shortly after with an unstoppable volley into the top corner to give Watford a well-deserved victory.

Craig Cathcart atoned for his own goal by netting the equaliser at Selhurst Park

The Hornets have risen to 7th in the league, and face Burnley at Vicarage Road in Gameweek 23. Captain Troy Deeney (£5.9) and Roberto Pereyra (£6.3) are the most transferred-in players of the week so far, with Gerard Deulofeu (£5.5) also a bargain option having been deployed up-front in recent games.

José Holebas (£4.8) provided his sixth assist of the season against Palace but could be tested against a Burnley side returning to form and scoring twice in each of their last three games.

José Holebas has been a FPL favourite so far this season as one of the most productive defenders in the league

Elsewhere in the league, Declan Rice (15) led the point-scoring charts this week after notching his first goal for West Ham in a surprise 1-0 defeat of Arsenal. The defender has started every game since Gameweek 5 and remains priced at £4.4, although this is likely to increase soon.

Declan Rice is listed as a defender on FPL, but plays in midfield - he could get more points from being higher up the pitch

Gabriel Jesus (13) scored twice as Manchester City beat 10-man Wolves 3-0 at the Etihad stadium, while Mo Salah made it four goals in five games with his penalty the difference at the AMEX stadium as Liverpool beat Brighton.  David De Gea (12) made a staggering 11 saves as Manchester United battled to a 1-0 win against Tottenham at Wembley.

There were also unlikely scorers in Gameweek 22, with Jeff Hendrick (11) and Shane Long (12) both scoring for Burnley and Southampton respectively. Long’s last four goals for the Saints have come under four different managers and will be relieved to return to the scoresheet. Kurt Zouma (13) also scored the opening goal for Everton in their 2-0 win over Bournemouth.

It's tight at the top! Just three points separate first- and second-place

David Weale’s ‘Gracia’s Amigos’ stormed to the top of the Watford global league courtesy of captain Mo Salah, while Sam Lloyd was the big new entry in the Top-10 with a massive 89 points in the week. Congratulations if you were the Top-10 points-scorers this week!

Tip of the week

Captain choice is always difficult, and it may always seem like you choose the wrong captain each week. As a general rule, only captain a player you know is guaranteed to be starting – there’s nothing more disheartening than seeing your captain on the bench and coming on in the 88th minute to get 1 point.

If chasing in mini-leagues, midfielders as your captain could provide the difference due to the extra point for scoring a goal, as well as the opportunity of a clean sheet. It’s also easier for a midfielder to pick up bonus points for scoring.

Players to Watch

Luke Shaw is one of many United players that has ben revitalised since the departure of José Mourinho

1) Luke Shaw (Manchester United, £5.0) has returned to the staring-XI under new manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær and has now started the last five games for Manchester United. Back-to-back home games against Burnley and Brighton provide the perfect opportunity to pick up more points.

2) Roberto Firmino (Liverpool, £9.2) has started all but two games for Liverpool this season and has been in prolific form at Anfield, with a home tie against Crystal Palace to be played in Gameweek 23. He could be a good alternative to the injured Harry Kane or the mis-firing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. 

3) Dele Alli (Tottenham, £8.9) is easing his way back into the first team having started the last three games. Spurs have the easiest upcoming five fixtures out of any top six team and Alli could be deployed further forward with Heung-min Son away on international duty with South Korea.

Likely Price Rises:

Marcus Rashford (Manchester United, £7.4), Paul Pogba (Manchester United, £8.5), Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City, £10.1), Lucas Digne (Everton, £5.2)

Likely Price Falls:

Harry Kane (Tottenham £12.6), Callum Wilson (Bournemouth, £6.6), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal, £11.4), Willy Boly (Wolves, £4.6)

Best of luck for Gameweek 23 FPL managers!

First Team 15/01/2019

Femenia: “We Always Try To Make Them Happy”

Watch Kiko Femenía's post-match interview above, as he reacts to Watford's win over Crystal Palace, or read on below.

Kiko Femenía came away from Selhurst Park with the praise of many Hornets fans after he kept Wilfired Zaha quiet for the majority of the game.

The right-back was pleased, he said, to give something back to the travelling supporters.

“We always try to make them happy, we are very happy with them for the support they give us every game,” said the Spaniard. “Hopefully we can give them more things to enjoy.”

The Hornets have been steadily picking up points in recent weeks and now sit seventh in the league, the ‘best of the rest’ behind the so-called ‘big six’.

The defender was, like the rest of the team, delighted with the manner of the win after the Golden Boys completed a second-half comeback with goals from Craig Cathcart and Tom Cleverley.

“Crystal Palace played a great game, and they are usually strong at home, so it's a great win for us,” said Femenía.

“Zaha is a very good player so it was a tough game for us, especially with the goal that we conceded from the corner - we are disappointed with that - but it was a great turnaround.

“We are very happy with the win and very happy with how we have started the new year.”