Gameweek 23 preview

January 31, 2017

Arsenal v Watford
Bournemouth v Crystal Palace
Burnley v Leicester
Middlesbrough v West Brom
Sunderland v Spurs
Swansea v Southampton
Liverpool v Chelsea
West Ham v Man City
Man Utd v Hull
Stoke v Everton


Its the last gameweek in January. By Wednesday evening we will know our January manager of the month. We’ll also know the ten teams joining FC Caligula in the first round proper of the Buckets Cup. That draw will be made and published on the Cup page ahead of gameweek 24 which kicks off on Saturday.

The final of the cup will take place in gameweek 29 – so to get there you’ve got to negotiate gameweek 26 – which now has a reduced schedule due to it being League Cup final weekend. Manchester United and Southampton’s fixtures have been cancelled giving them, and Manchester City and Arsenal, a week off. Forward planning needed. Probably even from now. I’m sure there are many teams carrying both Zlatan and Sanchez. They’re the most owned attacker and midfielder in the game. Positioning yourself for a two free transfer week is a must. The wildcard is much better utilised for the double gameweeks up ahead. Gameweek 28 will see another reduced week as it’s FA Cup quarter final weekend, although it’s debatable as to whether there’ll be any Premier League teams left in it the way things are going. Sutton v Lincoln final all the way.

Last season the double gameweeks popped up at 34 and 37 due to the gaps in the fixture caldendar. I’ve no idea whether that will be repeated this season. It depends on how well our teams perform in Europe I suppose. With three of the four teams sitting out gameweek 26 still involved in European competition, we may have to wait that long.

The transfer window will close midway through this gameweek. It’s notable the amount of players that have swapped one Premier League side for another. All could come into future contention. Morgan Schneiderlin, Jeffrey Schlupp, Saido Berahino, Tom Carroll, Oumar Niasse and Tom Cleverley should get more game time at their new clubs. Their lack of action has seen their values drop. Schneiderlin (£4.6m) and Berahino (£6m) look particularity attractive.

Robert Snodgrass has been a permanent fixture in and around the top 10 midfielders since the season started. You’d think more assist points would be on the table providing balls to Andy Carroll than there would be hoping Adama Diomande gets his 50p head pointing in the right direction.

Patrick Van Aanholt has jumped out of the frying pan – although you have to say he does have better players around him at Palace. He played well under Allardyce at Sunderland, and in the same way he provided many an assist for Jermain Defoe (who’s going to do that now?), he may be the key to Christian Beneteke getting a few more goals.


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