Gameweek 11 saw ‘Fergie time’ save Ten Hag, a young Belgian winger carve up the Premier League, and VAR dominate the headlines once again.
Here’s what you need to be across, as we build up to FPL Gameweek 12.
When does FPL Gameweek 12 start?
Saturday 11 November, 10:00pm AEDT
Wolves host high-flying Tottenham Hotspur for the opening game of FPL Gameweek 12. Without their attacking fulcrum, Pedro Neto (£5.7 I 5.2%), Gary O’Neil’s men will be tasked with one of the hardest tests of the current Premier League season: stopping Ange Postecoglou’s Spurs.
Sitting pretty at the top of the table, hardly anyone thought the Australian would have this kind of impact at all throughout his tenure, let alone inside the opening few months. He’s revolutionised Tottenham into a force to be reckoned with, led by a resurgent Heung-Min Son (£9.6 I 38.9%) and the dynamic James Maddison (£8.1 I 39.7%).
If anything, this game will be a cracker as Spurs look to cement their position at the top of the Premier League while Wolves, fresh from a devastating late loss to Sheffield United, will be keen to show there is life without Neto.
FPL Gameweek 12 notes
Fortunate United saved in stoppage time
Let’s not beat around the bush, Manchester United aren’t good at the moment. Against the good teams, they get battered. Against the small teams, they need last gasp fortune to save the day. Against Fulham, it was no different.
The sequence preceding Bruno Fernandes’ (£8.3 I 12.9%) stoppage time winner at Craven Cottage was straight from Sunday League; the ball bounced and bobbled around, defenders failed their clearances, and the ‘keeper gets half a hand to it. But boy, won’t United, and Erik Ten Hag, care.
After a week from hell, they needed that. This isn’t to say they’re back. It’s hard to see a world where they revive their season, especially given the failure of their many talents this season, including Marcus Rashford (£8.6 I 13.9%), Mason Mount (£6.8 I 0.9%), Andre Onana (£4.8 I 14.5%), and the rest. For FPL managers, offloading any United stock is the smartest decision moving forward.
Delightful Doku dazzles Cherries
Prior to the weekend, just seven players had provided four assists in a single game. Against Bournemouth, Jeremy Doku (£6.6 I 2.5%) became the eighth to do so in the Premier League. Arguably the most dynamic dribbler in the Premier League, he opened the evening with a brilliantly worked goal courtesy of Rodri’s lovely lay off.
From then on the young Belgian bent the game to his will, tricking defenders with mesmeric footwork, bamboozling them with his direct speed, and creating confusion by his floating movement in from the left-wing, exemplified best by his brilliant assist for Bernando Silva’s (£6.3 I 1.6%) first goal. The fact that he’s not in City’s best XI, largely due to Jack Grealish’s (£7.2 I 1.7%) defensive and tactical superiority, is frightening for the Premier League and exciting for Pep Guardiola.
It was a little surprising to see City walk six into the back of the net and not have Erling Haaland (£14.0 I 84.3%) feature on the scoresheet. The Norwegian behemoth was carted off at half-time after suffering a slight ankle injury. Pep assured everyone post match he’d be back by next weekend, but regardless this is one to watch given his high ownership.
Brilliant Bowen is now a must-have
Six away games, six away goals. It’s a feat that hadn’t been done until Jarrod Bowen’s (£7.4 I 21.2%) 26nd minute strike in West Ham’s 3-2 defeat to Brentford. While the Hammers’ form has slumped since their early season burst up the ladder, that of their England international has yet to falter.
Up to now, Bowen has seven Premier League goals and one assist to his name; only Erling Haaland (£14.0 I 84.3%), Mohamed Salah (£12.9 I 44.1%), and Heung-Min Son (£9.6 I 38.9%), have put the ball in the back of the net more often than the Englishman this season. How Bowen’s ownership isn’t akin to the goalscoring company he keeps defies belief. For those who own him, relish in his output, which is on track to better the 12 goals he registered in his breakout 2021-22 campaign.
Before we move on, let’s take a moment to celebrate Mohammed Kudus’ (£6.5 I 0.5%) exceptional scissor kick. It was a stellar strike from a stellar talent, and one which could kick the Ghanaian’s English career off. Watch out Premier League.
Unfortunate Everton & do we start worrying about Brighton?
For 84 minutes Sean Dyche’s Everton effectively shut out the usually exciting attacking machine that is Roberto De Zerbi’s Brighton. Despite dominating 80% of the ball, De Zerbi’s men failed to generate more xG than Dyche’s warriors. Led by James Tarkowski (£4.4 I 3.1%) and his supporting cast of Jordan Pickford (£4.4 I 7.4%) and Jarrad Branthwaite (£4.0 I 2.1%), Everton’s defence is looking robust enough to maintain their Premier League status, just as their attacking pieces are beginning to click.
For De Zerbi, it shouldn’t exactly be back to the drawing board. They aren’t the first side to fail at breaking down a Dyche organised side and they won’t be the last. But for FPL owners is it time to part ways with some of Brighton’s stars, such as Kaoru Mitoma (£6.5 I 36.6%), Joao Pedro (£5.3 I 8.9%) and Evan Ferguson (£6.0 I 7.7%)? Or is this a storm well worth riding out?
Let’s talk about Sam Johnstone
It’s been an incredibly weird FPL season when it comes to goalkeepers. So far, there is yet to be a clear stand out candidate. Instead, we find ourselves with a sea of soundly performing goalkeepers. Leading the charge has been Sam Johnstone (£4.6 I 4.4%), who’s scored more points (49) than any other goalkeeper in FPL this season, thanks in large part to his five clean sheets and 2.55 saves per game.
With an easy run of fixtures from FPL Gameweek 12 and beyond, including clashes with Everton and Luton Town, is it to take a punt on the four-time England international?
Shambolic VAR overshadows toothless Arsenal display
Let’s address the elephant in the room: VAR sucks. We can all agree on that, right? Debating whether Anthony Gordon’s (£5.7 I 7.8%) 64th minute winner was valid or not is a pedantic, futile exercise. What isn’t pointless is letting is detract from the way Eddie Howe’s Newcastle are playing. Resolute and effective are arguably the two most apt adjectives to describe the Magpies. A team of misfits well-drilled into a frightening prospect from front-to-back. They’re not to be messed with.
For Arsenal, who had nearly 60% of the ball, there is no reason to overanalyse and overreact to their first loss of the campaign against a side who’s dismantled PSG, Manchester United, and Manchester City in various competitions this season. What will worry Mikel Arteta’s is their struggles breaking down an organised defensive wall, such as the one presented to them by Newcastle, without their influential captain, Martin Odegaard (£8.4 I 18.6%).
Without their captain, who’s left-foot is a master key capable of unlocking any door, Kai Havertz (£7.1 I 1.5%) failed to provide the same creativity from midfield. A true head scratcher for Arteta, who must also question his goalkeeper, David Raya (£4.8 I 4.4%), who was tossed into the starting XI with promises of cross claiming superiority, yet failed expertly deal with Joe Willock’s (£5.3 I 0.1%) cross that set up the winner. Once again, Arsenal’s goalkeeper debate remains unfinished.
Luton crushed by late Diaz leveller
Even after withstanding 24 shots and a few Darwin Nunez (£7.5 I 16.1%) sitters, you could forgive Luton Town for thinking they’d stole the three points from Liverpool’s clutches when Tahith Chong (£4.8 I 0.1%) capped an electric 80th minute Luton counterattack.
Instead it was Luis Diaz, rising high above the Luton defence, to knock down a 91st minute equaliser. Even in the week from hell in his personal life the Colombian stood up for his team when they needed them, delivering them a much needed and well deserved draw to keep Klopp’s men within touching distance of Manchester City and Spurs at the top of the table.
It will be a night to quickly forget for Darwin Nunez, who’d look to have buried the demons that haunted him last season with four goals and five assists so far this campaign. Unfortunately for Klopp and the Uruguayan he was back to his old ways against Luton, missing three big chances including a sitter from four yards out.
In the event Nunez’s confidence takes a nose dive, Jurgen Klopp has the benefit of being able to select from a number of adequate goalscoring replacements, including Cody Gakpo (£7.2 I 2.3%) and Diogo Jota (£7.7 I 1.8%) who’ve combined for five points between them this season.
Transfer targets under 15% ownership
DEFENDER: Jarrad Branthwaite (£4.0 I 2.1%)
MIDFIELDER: Jeremy Doku (£6.6 I 2.5%)
FORWARD: Callum Wilson (£7.9 I 5.8%)