We are heading into one of the busiest, most exciting weeks of the FPL season. 11 out of 20 sides have a Double Gameweek 19 on the horizon, representing opportunities for huge points hauls.
While it’s important for Double Gameweek 19 not to dominate squad planning, many players will be very tempting ahead of Saturday’s deadline. Here are a few names to think about when finalising squads for this bumper FPL Gameweek.
Ruben Dias and John Stones – Defenders – Manchester City – 5.8m/5.0m
Aside from Kevin de Bruyne and Ederson, selecting Manchester City players in FPL has been an impossible task. Risk of rotation and a vast array of options ensure predicting Pep Guardiola’s teams is a thankless task.
However, in Ruben Dias and John Stones, Guardiola appears to have found a central defensive partnership he can rely on. Manchester City have conceded just one goal in nine games in which the pair have started together, a solitary consolation goal in a comfortable 3-1 win over Chelsea.
Dias has been a revelation since his £61m move from Benfica in the summer. An average of 3.1 clearances per match so far highlight Dias’ reputation as a defender that enjoys defending. The Portuguese’s sole focus is to prevent goals and his introduction into the Manchester City defence has tightened them up immensely.
Meanwhile, John Stones is enjoying a renaissance alongside Dias. Many thought that Dias’ arrival, plus that of Nathan Ake for £41m, marked the end of Stones’ City career, however, the England international has usurped America Laporte in the heart of the defence.
Stones’ improved defensive instincts are shown in 2.6 clearances per game. This is an increase of 1.9 per game on last season.
Since it’s so difficult to select Manchester City’s attacking assets, a defensive double-up of Dias-Stones is a move I like. With home games to Crystal Palace and Aston Villa in the Double Gameweek 19, the defensive duo are fancied to collect more clean sheets.
Tomas Soucek – Midfielder – West Ham – 5.3m
At 5.3m, Tomas Soucek is one of the best value picks in the entire game. Soucek has five league goals to his name, evidence of his exceptional aerial power from both open play and dead ball situations.
West Ham’s Double Gameweek 19 fixtures of Burnley and West Brom at home appear potential opportunities for Soucek to exploit his aerial qualities against teams with deep-lying defences. A certainty to start, the Czech star is, at worst, an excellent first substitute in this Double Gameweek 19.
Soucek is a must-have FPL asset. At 5.3m, he provides guaranteed selection and an eye for goal. He is West Ham’s version of Marouane Fellaini, a player whom excelled under David Moyes at Everton. It is time to select the unfashionable yet highly effective Tomas Soucek in FPL, starting with this Double Gameweek 19.
Callum Hudson-Odoi – Midfielder – Chelsea – 5.7m
In FPL, taking a punt on a player is a fun way to keep the game interesting. Callum Hudson-Odoi could be the best short-term punt ahead of the Double Gameweek 19. Fixtures against Fulham and Leicester, particularly the West London derby, should present the youngster with an opportunity to cement his place in the Chelsea side.
Hudson-Odoi appears to be gaining the trust of Frank Lampard. Improved off-the-ball contributions are complimenting his undoubted talent on the ball. In 2020/21, Hudson-Odoi has impressed almost every time he’s stepped foot onto the pitch. Five goals and two assists in just 839 minutes represents a goal contribution every 119 minutes for the 20-year-old winger.
At 5.7m, Hudson-Odoi is the cheapest Chelsea attacker. However, after his fine performances in recent weeks, a start against Fulham is a distinct possibility. Hudson-Odoi is owned by a mere 0.3% of FPL managers. Admittedly a punt, the youngster could prove to be a differential for managers prepared to take the risk.
Jamie Vardy – Forward – Leicester – 10.2m
In terms of forwards to target ahead of Double Gameweek 19, it’s hard to look beyond Jamie Vardy. Leicester’s star man has two home games to look forward to.
Vardy is as reliable an FPL pick as it gets. He has 11 goals in 16 appearances as well as five assists. Players that can average at least one return per appearance are like gold dust to FPL managers.
Despite his premium value, Vardy is worth the price. While other premium strikers are either struggling for form or playing only once in Gameweek 19, Vardy’s form plus fixtures ensure he is the best bet in the striking department ahead of Double Gameweek 19.