22/04/2024

Alisson Becker makes another save against West Ham United. (Image: Liverpool FC/Twitter)

Without the likes of Manchester City and Arsenal assets, managers survived an unusual, low-scoring gameweek.

Life without Erling Haaland forced most managers to opt for a different captain. The varied options allowed for a wide range of selections, making the gameweek interesting.

Once again, managers have a quick turnaround, with less than two days to prepare for GW13 over the weekend.

Updates

Aston Villa part company with Steven Gerrard

Immediately following its 3-0 loss to Fulham, Aston Villa announced the departure of Gerrard as head coach. Villa finished the game with 10 men after Douglas Luiz was sent off in the 62nd minute.

Villa only now sit outside of the relegation zone on goals scored – two more than Wolves in 18th. It hasn’t won in four matches, only claiming two points since GW8.

The West Midlands side has struggled in attack this season, scoring only seven goals in 11 fixtures. The most it has scored in one match was two, in its 2-1 win over Everton in GW2.

Injuries

A few injury concerns echoed through the Premier League after GW12, however one was a somewhat popular selection. With over 15 per cent ownership, Bukayo Saka remains in doubt for Arsenal’s GW13 fixture.

Saka didn’t feature in a Premier League match, although played for Arsenal in the Europa League. He suffered a knock to his leg, and played on for approximately 10 more minutes, before coming off in the last five minutes.

“He got a kick, he was limping a bit but hopefully, he will be fine,” Mikel Arteta mentioned post-match, after Arsenal’s 1-0 win over PSV.

Arsenal travels to the south coast to play Southampton, just two days after its Europa League group-stage victory.

Suspensions

James Maddison is predicted to return to Leicester City’s starting eleven for its GW13 fixture against Wolves.

Maddison missed Leicester’s GW12 fixture, due to accumulating five yellow cards up until GW11.

Although there were no major assets to be suspended, there is a number that are on the verge.

Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes and Diogo Dalot are both on four yellow cards. Arsenal duo Gabriel Jesus and William Saliba are also only one yellow card away from a one-game suspension.

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Who’s Hot?

Alisson Becker (£5.4m): 15 points vs West Ham United

Liverpool’s brick wall has found some form, especially over the past two gameweeks. In GW11, Alisson was the equal-highest-scoring goalkeeper alongside Chelsea’s Kepa Arrizabalaga.

In Liverpool’s GW12 fixture against West Ham, Alisson did one better, scoring a 15-pointer in the 1-0 win.

Not only did Alisson and Liverpool keep a clean sheet, maximising points, but he also saved the vital penalty off the boot of Jarrod Bowen.

Alisson collected all three bonus points and earned himself the player of the gameweek, as the top-scoring player – the first goalkeeper to do so this season.

Liverpool faces last-placed Nottingham Forest in GW13, with another clean sheet imminent, followed by Leeds at home.

Eberechi Eze (£5.6m): 10 points vs Wolves

In October, Eze has shown an improvement in his game, taking it to a new level.

He bagged goals in Crystal Palace’s wins against Leeds in GW10 and Wolves in GW12. Both ended 2-1, with his goals making a statement.

In Crystal Palace’s two wins, Eze has accumulated two double-digit hauls – two 10-pointers. In said games, he has collected three bonus points.

Eze is viewed to be a budget option for teammate Wilfried Zaha. Zaha does have more attacking threats with a higher xG (expected goals), while Eze has more creativity due to his higher xA (expected assists).

Kieran Trippier (£5.7m) 9 points vs Everton

Possibly the most consistent asset, if not defender, as of late Trippier has backed his budget with returns most weeks.

You’d have to date back to GW5 against Liverpool when Trippier last blanked this season. Since then, he has claimed two assists and four clean sheets.

Trippier is now the highest-scoring defender in the game (64 points), ahead of Joao Cancelo with 63 points. Despite playing one extra game, Trippier has shown that he is becoming a reliable asset.

According to FPL Factory, Tripper has a higher creativity rating compared to Cancelo – who has a slightly higher attacking threat.

Captaincy Selection

Mohamed Salah vs Nottingham Forest

Despite blanking in Liverpool’s narrow 1-0 escape against West Ham, Salah still looked dangerous and remains in form.

Before West Ham, Salah had scored the winner against Manchester City and the quickest hat-trick in Champions League history.

Salah has looked more dangerous when playing central as a striker, rather than his traditional right wing. He has been given more opportunities as a striker in recent games, hope looms that the same will stand against Nottingham Forest.

Forest are bottom of the league and has conceded the equal-second most amount of goals. Forest has shown good quality of football as of late, however against relegation candidates.

Erling Haaland vs Brighton and Hove Albion

Everyone’s favourite FPL asset this season will return in GW13 when Manchester City host Brighton.

After not featuring mid-week Haaland is hoped to be well-rested and come out firing on all cylinders against the top six hopefuls.

The Norwegian has scored in all, but one home fixture in the Premier League this season – averaging two goals per home match.

Brighton has fared well since the exit of Graham Potter but is yet to face the brute force of Haaland. It is expected that Haaland will make returns, as it is also expected that people will give him the armband.

Bukayo Saka v Southampton

This one is a toss of the coin with teammate Gabriel Martinelli on the other side. Both are quality candidates to captain any squad in GW13, yet Saka is in a better patch of form.

To compare the two, Saka has a higher xG per 90 minutes compared to Martinelli (0.4 – 0.3). Yet, Martinelli has more shots and shots on target which give him the ability to have a bigger influence.

From a creativity standpoint, both fare well. Although Martinelli has a higher xA per 90 minutes (0.3 – 0.1) and more passes into the penalty area, Saka has more assists on the tally (5 – 3).

Since GW4, Saka has only blanked once (in GW9 against Tottenham). While Martinelli, may get bigger hauls when he returns, he has only returned in three games since GW4.

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