21/04/2024

Riyad Mahrez is one of the most in-form players in the Premier League right now. (Image: Riyad Mahrez/Twitter)

Following two consecutive gameweeks including double fixtures, reality is finally restored with a regular gameweek, for now.

Some information has been made available regarding the upcoming gameweeks, while more will be released in due course. As for now, here is what you need to know ahead of GW21.

Availability Updates

Manchester United will be without Casemiro against Arsenal after the Brazilian picked up his fifth yellow card of the season.

Casemiro has played an integral role for United this campaign, and his absence will be missed in the midfield. He is only owned by 2.9 per cent of managers, and recently had a good patch of form, scoring a goal and two assists in four gameweeks.

Another couple of highly owned assets look likely to miss the near future, the first of which being Nottingham Forest’s Dean Henderson.

Henderson is owned by nine per cent of managers and is coming off the back of two clean sheets. He is expected to be sidelined until GW24 with a thigh injury.

Finally, Manchester United is suspected to be without Anthony Martial for their trip to Arsenal. Martial is currently flagged and missed the most recent fixture against Crystal Palace due to a leg injury.

If the forward is to return, it could be in GW21. But, to stay on the side of caution it is important to note he failed a fitness test during the past week.

Looking Ahead

As some managers plan for the future, it may be important to note another upcoming double gameweek.

For GW23, both Manchester City and Arsenal have confirmed DGWs, hence why holding three assets of each team remains to be vital.

Also in GW25, there will be teams that will have blank fixtures, due to EFL Cup Final commitments.

From the remaining four teams; Southampton, Newcastle, Nottingham Forest, and Manchester United, the two that make it to the Final will miss GW25, along with their opponents.

Also, Leandro Trossard looks set to make a move from Brighton to Arsenal. If you are a manager that owns three Arsenal assets and Trossard, you might find yourself in a dilemma.

Since the maximum number of assets per team is three, once Trossard transfers you might have four Arsenal assets. However, you will be forced to transfer one Arsenal asset out when you make another transfer to restore normality.

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Who’s Hot?

Following an impressive display for Portugal during the World Cup, Bruno Fernandes has returned to Old Trafford with bounds of confidence. The 28-year-old has been one of the main catalysts of United’s team since the New Year.

The Portuguese is coming off four straight games involving an attacking return, including twice in the double gameweek.

Priced at £9.8m, Fernandes could be a decent differential option, if one was to downgrade the likes of Kevin De Bruyne or Mo Salah.

His ownership rate of just 4.3 per cent is really enticing too.

On the other side of Manchester, Riyad Mahrez has scored the most of any City asset since the resumption of the Premier League. Yes, more than Erling Haaland.

Mahrez has been a regular for Pep Guardiola since the return of domestic football. He was known for being a victim of the famous ‘Pep roulette’.

Since GW17, Mahrez has only blanked once, compared to the rest of the season (GW1-GW16) he only returned twice.

It’s not often a defender is dominant in FPL. Their score heavily depends on those around them for clean sheet points.

However, Kieran Trippier broke that stereotype becoming one of the most wanted players in the game.

This season, Trippier has only blanked three times, meaning in every other game, he has picked up a goal, assist or clean sheet, as well as bonus points.

His ownership now sits at 68.1 per cent. So if you don’t own him, what are you doing?

Captaincy Selection

The obvious choice every week is Erling Haaland, but only because most managers will do the same. If Haaland posts a big score and you didn’t captain him, you’re in for a massive red arrow.

Haaland found himself back on the scoresheet for City in their 4-2 win over Spurs. Has he found his form after two blanks or is he due to drop off?

Other options for captaincy selection from City right now could be the differential midfield duo, Kevin De Bruyne or Riyad Mahrez.

As mentioned above, Trippier has only blanked three times this season, yet people remain hesitant to give him the armband.

Newcastle visits the low-scoring Crystal Palace in GW21, who scored only 18 goals this season which is among the bottom of the table.

Tripper could be on for another clean sheet, and if so a better chance for bonus points. Double that and you could have an 18-pointer. Similar logic could also apply to any Newcastle defender.

Lastly, Arsenal’s Martin Ødegaard has also proved why he is one of the Premier League’s best midfielders. In his last five games, he has registered three double-digit hauls, returning in four of those fixtures.

Arsenal will be coming up against a weaker Manchester United, who shouldn’t be underestimated. However, no Casemiro and potentially Martial, it could offer a leakier defence and a weaker attack.

A decent differential option here, yet Ødegaard is still quite the risk, considering the difficulty of the fixture.

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