The less said about last gameweek the better. A dismal display resulting in 25 points with just two returns coming from a John Stones clean sheet (thanks to an early sub) and Bryan Mbeumo’s assist made it a gameweek to forget for us and most other FPL managers alike.
Looking ahead to Gameweek 12, a few flattering fixtures mean former favourites emerging as genuine options. Mostly, it’s business as usual at the back but with a couple of interesting differentials in attack, the Bookies XI looks primed and ready for the weekend ahead.
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Goalscorer odds Gameweek 12
|Virgil van Dijk||10%||10||LIV||DEF|
Erling Haaland (61%) followed up his triple return in Gameweek 10 with a dismal one point, even as Man City ran out 6-1 winners against Bournemouth. The City striker was subbed at half-time due to injury but made a swift return in the Champions League midweek netting a brace.
This Sunday afternoon he travels to Stamford Bridge to play a very up-and-down Chelsea side with mixed results of late and looked woeful against a Spurs side even down to nine men.
By far top for goals scored (11), big chances (19) and shots on target (22), the Bookies are backing the goal-scoring machine that is Erling Haaland to sweep the Blues aside in Gameweek 12.
Mohammed Salah (52%) drew an unlikely blank against Luton Town having just two shots, neither of which were on target but did create two big chances which Darwin Nunez duly wasted.
This week he takes on Brentford at Anfield as Liverpool hope to get back to winning ways, and with the Reds and Salah’s imperious home record, the Bookies fancy him to score. Blanking just once in his last 14 matches at home in a run stretching back to January of this year shows why the Egyptian is more likely than not to score this weekend.
Bukayo Saka (52%) hobbled off midweek after scoring one and assisting another in the Champions League. Mikel Arteta and FPL managers alike will be hoping he’s fit and firing in time for the Gunners game against Burnley this weekend with the Arsenal boss describing the injury as “just a kick”.
Burnley are 18th for goals conceded this season with 27 goals and so far no clean sheets and though Arsenal’s underlying attacking data, the Gunners have managed 15 goals in six home matches (3rd) just one less than Manchester City.
With Eddie Nketiah (52%) an injury doubt, Evan Ferguson (51%) looks a better pick as the Irishman seems favoured in Premier League games following European matches, starting the last four.
Sheffield United are statistically the worst defence in the league and with the Seagulls scoring 14 goals in six home games this season, Ferguson looks worth a punt.
Ollie Watkins (48%) now comes off the back of two blanks in a row but will be looking to put that right when he and Villa welcome Fulham this weekend. 20 goals in five home games makes the Villains the best home attack in the league.
Marco Silva’s side have conceded 10 in six away games (13th), 18 big chances (16th) as well as 11.44 expected goals (18th).
Marcus Rashford (48%) will be well rested after his 42nd minute red card on Wednesday night. The Red Devils winger has had an underwhelming season so far but with Luton Town at home this week, the Bookies are backing Rashford to break out of his funk. It’s a risky bet, but one we’re willing to roll the dice on this week.
On the bench for us in attack this weekend is Simon Adingra (£5.0m), as well as Naouirou Ahamada (£4.3m)
Clean sheet odds Gameweek 12
|Team||Clean Sheet Probability||Odds|
Arsenal (58%) have conceded just 0.61 expected goals in their last two games against Newcastle and Sevilla, and will consider themselves unlucky not to have kept a clean sheet away at the Magpies last weekend.
This weekend they welcome Burnley, who have drawn a blank in five of their 11 games this season and will be without striker Lyle Foster again. Vincent Kompany’s side sit 19th for goals, expected goals and big chances created in all away games so far this season. Despite questionable performances of late, David Raya (£4.8m) is expected to get the nod, he’s joined by William Saliba (£5.2m) who looks the most nailed in this Arsenal defence at the minute.
Brighton (50%) are still without a clean sheet in the league so far this season and they won’t have a better chance when they welcome Sheffield United to the Amex this weekend. Despite the Blades getting their first three points last weekend they still managed just 0.18 xG from open play and remain rock bottom of all attacking metrics.
Brighton will feel hard done by not having a clean sheet as yet, conceding just one goal on seven occasions and conceding a total of 20 goals from an xGC of 16.27.
Pervis Estupinan (£5.0m) is fit again. Starting the season with over 50% ownership he now sits at 19%. He could make a shrewd pick this gameweek.
Manchester United (48%) (no seriously hear me out) kept their first clean sheet in five games last weekend for their trip to Fulham and were 2-0 up and cruising before a red card changed the game on Wednesday.
A home game against Luton Town is the perfect tonic for their midweek woes and the Bookies still fancy them for a clean sheet. The Hatters have scored just two goals from open play in their six away games so far this season.
Harry Maguire (no seriously hear me out) looks a bargain at just £4.2m, a bonus point magnet with a threat from set-pieces makes him the best pick in this United defence.
Aston Villa (42%) are another side highly rated by the Bookies despite a poor defensive record. No clean sheets in their last five games despite a nice run of fixtures has managers feeling a change maybe needed, but the Bookies are counselling patience for one more week as Unai Emery’s side welcome Fulham on Sunday, who have been weak in attack all season, failing to score in five of their 11 games and scoring just one on three other occasions.
Matty Cash (£5.2m) remains top of the charts for xGI among defenders and while his zero pointer last weekend is frustrating, he is worth holding at least one more week.
On the bench for us this weekend in defence we have Alphonse Areola (£4.3m) who’s been struggling for clean sheets of late, as well as Jamaal Lascelles who looks a steal at £4.0m with Sven Botman out.
Odhrán Brennan is a data journalist for a sports data company, living in Finland. He’s been playing FPL since the 06/07 season and is a long-suffering fan of both Arsenal and the Republic of Ireland national team. You can follow him on Twitter here