Gameweek 13 preview

November 20, 2015

21 Nov 12:45 Watford v Man Utd
21 Nov 15:00 Chelsea v Norwich
21 Nov 15:00 Everton v Aston Villa
21 Nov 15:00 Newcastle v Leicester
21 Nov 15:00 Southampton v Stoke
21 Nov 15:00 Swansea v Bournemouth
21 Nov 15:00 West Brom v Arsenal
21 Nov 17:30 Man City v Liverpool
22 Nov 16:00 Spurs vWest Ham
23 Nov 20:00 Crystal Palace v Sunderland

 

We’re through a third of the season as we return from the last international break of the year. The next break in the fixtures occurs at the third round of the FA Cup after gameweek 20. That gives us eight straight weeks of uninterrupted Premier league action to concentrate on. This international break has returned it’s fair share of casualties, most notably in the Manchester United attack, with both Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial unlikely to start against Watford.

The statistics for this game favour defensive picks. Only four of the 12 goals Watford have conceded have been at home. United and Watford have posted five 0-0 draws since the start of the season and there have been 11 0-0 draws in the Premiership in total, so they account for almost half. A depleted United attack and a strong Watford back line offer good odds on another blank scoresheet.

Unfortunately for West Ham, Dimitri Payet picked up an injury in the game before the international break, and looks likely to be out until February. Payet is the highest scoring new addition to the league and is owned by almost a quarter of all managers. It has to be time for a change. His value had increased at it’s peak by £0.8 million, although that will no doubt have dropped by the time the gameweek starts. But still, at £8 million, where he currently sits, gives enough spare change to bring in a decent replacement.

Offering even better replacement options is Alexis Sanchez. The Chilean isn’t marked as injured, but reports suggest there’s a chance he may be rested following international exertions. The bulk of Sanchez’s points were scored in a three week blast at the end of September into early October. Since then – nothing of note. Arsenal’s injury problems have forced Sanchez into having to play virtually every minute, but it’s been the considerably cheaper Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla and Olivier Giroud who have been supplying the firepower for the Gunners. It’s a risk to drop a player that will almost certainly get some gametime, but he’s so far down the midfielder form charts that it might have to be something worth considering. Every midfielder is cheaper than him, and most of them are scoring more points than him.

In the week where everybody – well Leicester fans at least – will have wanted to make Jamie Vardy their captain, it might be best avoided. Vardy comes into the gameweek rated as doubtful. The Newcastle defence will probably be hoping he doesn’t start. It may be the case that he was rested from international duty in midweek to give him every chance of being able to start. But dare you risk handing him the armband for him to not be in the squad or at best on the bench? I’d still back him to score…a 90th minute consolation.

 

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