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Fantasy Premiers League Primer: Actionable items for Gameweek 16

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fpl gameweek 16, premier league

Just one normal week of Premier League football, that’s all we ask for. It was yet another wildly entertaining week of action in the English top flight. Has silly season seeped onto the pitch? That seems to be the only explanation for the mayhem.

Here’s what you need to be across, as we build up to FPL Gameweek 16.

When does FPL Gameweek 16 start?

Saturday 9 December, 10:00pm AEDT

Crystal Palace won’t have any time to chew their 2-0 mid-week defeat at the hands of Bournemouth given they host title challengers Liverpool to kick FPL Gameweek 16 off.

Roy Hodgson’s side haven’t won since early November, and will crucially be without Eberechi Eze (£6.0 I 3.3%) and Cheick Doucoure (£5.0 I 0.1%) against a rampant, seemingly unstoppable Liverpool side.

Although these sides did draw when at Selhurst Park back in February, that was a very different Liverpool outfit.

Jurgen Klopp’s men enter FPL gameweek 16 second on the table, having lost since they were controversially down by Tottenham at the end of September. In Trent Alexander-Arnold (8.0 I 10.8%) the Merseyside outfit have England’s form fullback, while Mohamed Salah (£13.1 I 49.9%) will be chomping at the bit to finally get his 150th Premier League goal.

At the very least, this game will produce goals. Only time will tell whether they all come from Liverpool boots or if Palace will be able to wrestle back some form and respect.

FPL Gameweek 16 notes

Hwang!!!

After years of seeing Heung-Min Son (£9.6 I 36.8%) sitting atop the Premier League charts, fans are now witnessing a scoring run for the ages by another South Korean winger.

So far this season, only three players, including Son, have scored more than Wolves’ Hwang Hee-Chan (£5.6 I 7.8%), and inn a tough 1-0 victory over Burnley, the winger popped up again.

Created by an intense and effective Wolves press, Hwang received the ball from Matheus Cunha (£5.6 I 3.0%), himself finally showing some of the talent promised when he arrived from Atletico Madrid as a withdrawn forward a la Roberto Firmino, and showed incredible composure to slot it past four Burnley players.

Whether this is just a ridiculous goalscoring purple patch from an unlikely suspect, like we’ve seen many times in Premier League history, or a forward finding his true scoring rhythm, remains to be seen.

What cannot be ignored is who the Korean’s goals are coming against; Aston Villa, Manchester City, Newcastle, Liverpool, and Brighton.

On an FPL front, he is now one of the ten highest scoring midfielders and at such a low ownership rate, could prove a real point of difference from FPL gameweek 16 onwards. The major caveat to signing him is his inevitable selection for January’s Asian Cup, where South Korea are expected to make a deep run.

Late firing Gunners cancel out Barkley brilliance

They had it, then didn’t, then had it again. Victory in the clutches of Mikel Arteta’s men twice, only to slip out through David Raya’s (£4.9 I 6.0%) errors and Ross Barkley’s (£4.9 I 0.1%) brilliance.

That was until the 96th minute, when at the death, Arsenal wrestled the lead back securing a necessary three points with a strong field of challengers breathing down their neck.

Ross Barkley would’ve thought his first Premier League goal since May 2022 was enough to end Arsenal’s 45 game run of scoring first and not losing. In a chaotic, fiery encounter, Luton’s number 6 oozed class and control, often the only calm head in a sea of mayhem.

That he scored is testament to the renaissance his Luton lifeline has created. That it didn’t matter in the end is a testament to Arsenal’s resilience, their blatant refusal to concede defeat on show in the matches dying moments.

Thomas Kaminski’s (£4.5 I 0.3%) five saves almost put Luton in a position to win. As did Alfie Doughty’s (£4.4 I 0.2%) assist and general bombing down the left wing. Both are sound FPL cheap options.

For Arsenal, in a game where forwards Gabriel’s Jesus (£7.9 I 3.3%) and Martinelli (£7.8 I 7.0%) scored their second goals of the season, it was midfielders Kai Havertz (£7.1 I 1.6%) and Declan Rice (£5.4 I 5.4%) proving their saving grace. Down 3-2, the German ghosted into the box, with defenders showing little mind to him, to connect with a Jesus flick, and level the scores.

Then, in the 96th minute, with barely seconds to spare and 20 minutes of pressure failing to break Luton Town down, a Martin Odegaard (£8.3 I 14.5%) cross finds the head of Arsenal’s £100 million holding midfielder.

4-3, three points secured, delirium at Kenilworth Road and the on the cold streets of London.

Martin Odegaard, Premier League best midfielders, FPL Gameweek 7
Arsenal’s winner against Luton Town came from Martin Odegaard’s cross I FPL Gameweek 16

Fergie time coming in clutch to assist Arsenal’s title push and extend the sides run of not losing after scoring first to 46 games.

While the match delivered a relieving three points, it created more goalkeeping headaches for Mikel Arteta. Aaron Ramsdale (£4.7 I 7.2%) watched from the bench as Raya’s failure to deal with a corner ended in Luton’s second, while arguments could be made he should do better for Barkley’s strike.

As a result, Arsenal’s once league-leading, seemingly impeachable defence looks fallible once more. A large portion of this falls on Raya’s shoulders, but FPL owners with William Saliba (£5.5 I 36.1%), Gabriel (£4.9 I 15.9%) or Ben White (£5.7 I 11.6%) should be concerned as well.

Grossly underrated

It’s often the players who don’t look like they should be good footballers that end up as the finest technicians going. Xavi is a perfect example of this. If he walked past you on the street, you’d not give him a second glance, but drop him into any midfield and he’s the best player on the park by a country mile.

To a lesser extent, this is Pascal Gross (£6.3 I 1.8%).

The German has no notable physical features; he’s not fast, he’s not strong, and nor a silky dribbler. But between the ears there might not be a better footballer in the Premier League.

Against Brentford, he proved this. A goal and an assist cancelled out Bryan Mbuemo’s (£7.1 I 32.3%) penalty, which opened the scoring in this match.

For his goal, Gross ghosts into space on the edge of the area, as he tends to do, receives a Kaoru Mitoma (£6.5 I 22.7%) pass and, with four Brentford defenders forming a wall between him and goal, somehow finds the back of the net. Doing the difficult calmer than some do the simple, that’s just his style.

In the 51st minute he does it again, drifting onto a Mitoma pass without any attention, as if he’s simply a defensive afterthought, before hanging a perfect cross up just long enough for Jack Hinshelwood (£4.5 I 0.0%) to nod it home. Grossly underrated.

Trent’s claim as FPL must continues

It wouldn’t have been worth much had Virgil Van Dijk’s (£6.1 I 8.7%) cleanly executive volley not found the back of the net. But, the Dutchman’s strike breached Wes Foderingham’s (£4.5 I 0.3%) net, compounded Sheffield United’s woes, and delivered Trent Alexander-Arnold’s (8.0 I 10.8%) third assist of the campaign.

While Trent is far from the most creative fullback this season, nor is he the most prolific of goal scorers, his recent form, which has included two goals and two assists in his last three matches, is too delightful to ignore.

With the freedom of the entire pitch and the creativity and technical capabilities of a midfielder, there can be no doubt the right back (if he can even be called that) will continue creating and scoring freely.

Mohamed Salah’s (£13.1 I 49.9%) frustrating search for his 150th Premier League goal continues. After scoring 10 in his first 12 this season, the Egyptian’s last three outings have been goalless. Against Sheffield United, Salah had a few chances, denied once by a brilliant Foderingham palm.

It’s now a matter of if, not when, for Liverpool’s right winger, the goals will continue coming.

FPL, trent
Liverpool right back, Trent Alexander-Arnold, is in rich form I FPL Gameweek 16

Fantastic Fulham fire five

For Steve Cooper and Nottingham Forest, it was an occasion to forget. For Marco Silva and Fulham, one to savour.

It marked the first time Fulham have scored five since May when they beat a soon-to-be relegated Leicester 5-3, courtesy of braces to both Alex Iwobi (£5.3 I 0.3%) and Raul Jimenez (£5.3 I 0.7%), as well as a Tom Cairney (£4.9 I 0.0%) goal.

Iwobi’s end product has often attracted the ire of his critics throughout his career. Against Forest, he showed the kind of respectable finishing touch that will be invaluable to Fulham moving forward.

Raul Jimenez’ brace is a far more significant, from a Fulham and FPL perspective. In his Wolves days, Jimenez was just about the most reliable FPL forwards owing to his fantastic goalscoring return, but also remarkable link up play. In the 2019-20 season he scored 17 and assisted seven. The season prior he scored 13 and created 10.

However, since a terrible skull injury in November 2020, the Mexican has understandably been a shadow of his former self, scoring 10 and assisting eight in each of the previous three full Premier League seasons.

His brace against Forest puts him at three goals this season, not nearly enough of a return to make a big deal of, yet. That’s not to say he shouldn’t be one to watch. Should his scoring run stretch longer then, at the very least, his low price should solidify him as a really strong bench option.

But, if all goes to plan and he is able to strike up the kind of partnerships he had at Wolves with the likes of Iwobi, Willian (£5.3 I 0.7%), and Andres Pereira (£5.3 I 0.7%), who grabbed a hat-trick of assists in this affair, then the Mexican could elevate Fulham’s ceiling exponentially

Manchester United prove too good for disconnected Chelsea

One of these sides won over the weekend, while the other lost. Based on this match you would be forgiven for thinking Manchester United was the former and Chelsea the latter.

Robert Sanchez’ (£4.6 I 6.4%) early save to deny Bruno Fernandes (£8.3 I 13.%) from the penalty spot had the potential to turn the tide in Chelsea’s favour. It didn’t, and all credit should be given to Erik Ten Hag’s Manchester United.

Their press strangled Chelsea, disrupting their build up from the back and causing several significant midfielder turnovers.

United’s persistent pressure was rewarded twice by Scott McTominay (£4.8 I 1.2%) who’s fourth and fifth goals of the season would’ve made Chelsea’s favourite son, Frank Lampard, proud. Harry Maguire (£4.3 I 2.8%) was imperious at the back, and Alejandro Garnacho, (£4.7 I 2.1%), in for the dropped Marcus Rashford (£8.5 I 11.8%), was lively and constantly dangerous.

It will be back to the drawing board for Mauricio Pochettino. Too often his side lacked control, trying to play too directly, too quickly, throwing away any rhythm and cadence at the first sniff of a hopeful through ball or wasted cross.

For FPL owners, the good news will be Cole Palmer ‘s (£5.3 I 13.9%) goal on the stroke of half-time, assisted by some beautiful movement and passing from Mykhailo Mudryk (£6.3 I 0.9%). Nicolas Jackson (£6.9 I 6.3%) will rue a first half missed chance, while Raheem Sterling (£7.0 I 10.4%) and Reece James (£5.4 I 4.4%) were equally ineffective.

Credit must be delivered to Manchester United. After an embarrassing loss to Newcastle, their response was excellent, though not perfect. Ramus Hojlund (£6.9 I 3.2%) is still waiting for his first Premier League goal, and who knows what will become of Rashford.

But for now they can rejoice in a performance a club of their stature should be consistently delivering, hopefully alleviating some of the external noise swirling around Old Trafford at the moment.

bruno fernandes, FPL
Not even a missed penalty could dampen Bruno Fernandes‘ spirits I FPL Gameweek 16

Calamitous Trippier gifts Everton three points

It took Dwight McNeil (£5.4 I 0.1%) 80 minutes to break the deadlock here. Kieran Trippier’s (£7.0 I 50.7%) sloppiness in possession punished by the winger’s thunderous strike which gave Martin Dubravka (£4.0 I 4.6%) no chance.

Newcastle’s right-back was again the culprit, robbed again in a dangerous position and punished when Abdoulaye Doucoure (5.5 I 0.8%) rolled his fifth goal of the season beyond a helpless Dubravka.

That Portuguese second half substitute Beto (£5.7 I 0.1%) made it 3-0 at the death was the cherry on top for the Toffees, who now find themselves lifted from the relegation zone they were sent to by their 10 point deduction.

Make no mistake, this was no classic smash and grab operation. Newcastle dominated possession, sure, but Everton had more shots.

At the heart of this result were James Tarkowski (£4.4 I 3.6%) and Jarrad Branthwaite (£4.1 I 2.6%) marshalling Everton’s robust, stubborn, borderline impeachable defence. The pair flung their heads and limbs at anything with the faintest scent of danger for the entirety of this affair, suffocating Newcastle’s typically potent attack.

Dyche’s men might not score many. They don’t want to. What they desire, and usually execute, is clean sheets. Their survival hinges on opponents sacrificing blood, sweat, and tears for three points.

Everton play Manchester City, Chelsea, Aston Villa, and Tottenham before 2023 concludes, so they’ll need to savour moments like these. From an FPL perspective, unless it’s Tarkowski or Branthwaite, hesitation should be shown when trading Everton players in.

From a Newcastle perspective, this result is worrisome but shouldn’t erase all the positivity of this season. Trippier is still in great form, their midfield operates fluently and functionally. They will be good. It’s just on this day, they weren’t.

Despite shipping three goals in his first start this season, Dubravka’s insanely cheap price, and Nick Pope’s (£5.5 I 9.3%) absence until April, position the Slovak as a real FPL buy option in a season where good goalkeeping options are sparse.

City stunned by blitzing Villa

A winger scoring a heavily deflected goal seems to be the theme of beating Manchester City this season. Gabriel Martinelli (£7.8 I 7.0%) did it for Arsenal, Leon Bailey (£5.5 I 1.0%) for Aston Villa.

A bending Ollie Watkins (£8.4 I 37.7%) run occupied the minds of the City defence, as it should. All the Jamaican had to do was march on and on, darting left, then right before his strike wickedly bounces of a Ruben Dias (£5.5 I 7.1%) and into the back of Ederson’s (£5.5 I 16.7%) net.

It was City’s third loss of the season, and Vila’s 14th consecutive home win. Arsenal, now six points clear of Pep Guardiola’s side, will be breathing a sigh of relief. City will take small solace in the fact both Rodri (£5.6 I 5.4%) and Kevin De Bruyne (£10.2 I 1.6%) were absent, though their absences are no excuse.

For Aston Villa, is it time they’re talked about as title challengers in the same breath as City, Arsenal, and Liverpool? Right across the pitch they’re blessed with quality. Douglas Luiz (£5.6 I 10.8%), who nearly scored, Youri Tielemans (£5.6 I 0.5%), who assisted Bailey, and John McGinn (£5.5 I 0.8%) are quality midfielders.

At the back, they are expertly coached and well marshalled by the likes of Emi Martinez (£4.9 I 7.2%) and Pau Torres (£4.6 I 4.2%). No longer are Aston Villa flying under the radar. In fact, they may be the primary target of any Premier League side hunting anything of significance this season.

manchester city, psr
Manchester City’s third loss of the season will give Pep Guardiola sleepless nights I FPL Gameweek 16

Fortune favours the Hammers

For the first half, this game looked like a no contest. Spurs were 1-0 up thanks to a Cristian Romero (£4.9 I 9.5%) header from a wonderfully delivered Pedro Porro (£5.3 I 13.5%) corner, and in total control.

At half time, Spurs had 77% possession and 13 shots to West Ham’s four. You can not fault Ange Postcoeglou’s sides capacity to control games, what must be questioned, particularly against West Ham, was a lack of incisiveness and inability to convert possession into clear cut chances without James Maddison (£7.8 I 9.3%).

A key culprit of this indecision in Dejan Kulusevski (£7.0 I 2.6%). The Swede might be one of the Premier League’s most frustrating stars. So often he beats his man, or finds himself in an ideal crossing situation, but a near-stubborn refusal to use his right foot for anything other than standing often kills Spurs attacks at the worst moment.

Heung Min-Son (£9.6 I 36.9%) pulled up with an injury toward the end of the game, which is something to be monitored ahead of FPL gameweek 16.

Credit must be given to West Ham, who fought their way back into the game through grit, and a bit of fortune. Mohammed Kudus (£6.6 I 3.4%) arduously led the line for 87 minutes, giving Spurs’ backline something to think about even in a first half when his supply levels were akin to a fishermen’s in the desert.

The Ghanaian’s shot twice deflected wickedly into the path of the in-form Jarrod Bowen (£7.6 I 17.5%) for his ninth goal of the season. 20 minutes later the West Ham winger was alert to a poor back pass from Destiny Udogie (£4.8 I 9.6%), whose early season form has gone out the window recently, causing Guglielmo Vicario (£5.2 I 8.1%) into a rash punched clearance into James Ward-Prowse’s (£6.1 I 9.7%) path for the eventual game winner.

It marked Ward-Prowse’s first goal since gameweek five. With Fulham, Wolves, and a potentially competent Manchester United in the coming weeks, is the set piece specialist poised to return to his early season goal involvement form?

Jarrod Bowen image
Brilliant Jarrod Bowen is becoming a locked on FPL must have I FPL Gameweek 16

Transfer targets under 15% ownership

DEFENDER: Pau Torres (£4.6 I 4.2%)

MIDFIELDER: Kai Havertz (£7.1 I 1.6%)

FORWARD: Raul Jimenez (£5.3 I 0.7%)

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