Who are the best Double Gameweek 19 players? With the Press Conferences complete and the latest information in, Colm Hayes runs the rules over the best options with just hours left to the deadline…
Kevin De Bruyne (£11.8m) is one of the main armband contenders for Double Gameweek 19 as City face Crystal Palace and Aston Villa at home.
With City’s envious fixture list from Double Gameweek 19 to Gameweek 23, the midfielder is top of many FPL bosses’ wishlists ahead of Saturday’s 11am [GMT] deadline.
The safest, most profitable play looks to be selecting two Manchester City defenders alongside De Bruyne – or perhaps even a defensive triple-up of Ruben Dias, Joao Cancelo (both £5.8m) and John Stones (£5.0m). Since Gameweek 10, the trio have missed just two league fixtures between them.
On team news ahead of Palace’s visit, Pep Guardiola said:
“Today they are off. Tomorrow we train. I would love to update you. I think Eric Garcia will be back. The guys from the academy will be back. Aymeric and Nathan are not fit, Sergio also. The rest are okay.”
While Eric Garcia (£4.7m) is unlikely to oust either Dias or Stones, Cancelo comes with the regular rotation advisory after some choice words from Guardiola. Speaking on competition for places at City, the Spaniard remarked:
“Every player has competition with his team-mates. Even the manager, if we’re not playing good I have competition. To get the best out of ourselves, we have to feel our seat is not safe. Even Joao Cancelo.
“Kyle [Walker] had competition with Danilo who played [at Real] Madrid and Juventus. Always he had competition but I felt he was more necessary than the other ones.”
Unfortunately, David Moyes did not speak about Michail Antonio (£6.2m) in his pre-match press conference on Friday. The forward lasted 90 minutes in the FA Cup on Monday and is in training.
Lukasz Fabianski (£5.1m) remains a doubt ahead of home match-ups with Burnley and West Brom in double Gameweek 19, though was also pictured in training on Friday. David Moyes said:
“We’ve been okay with injuries recently and have only had Łukasz Fabianski and Arthur Masuaku missing. Fabian Balbuena has had to isolate too because he came into contact with somebody [who tested positive for Covid-19].
“We’re waiting on Łukasz to see how he is because we’re not sure yet. And as we know, Arthur is probably a couple of months away from being involved again.”
In defence, Vladimir Coufal (£4.7m) has been almost an ever-present since his Gameweek 4 debut. Craig Dawson (£4.5m) now appears to have cemented a place in David Moyes’ back four and has just Issa Diop (£4.3m) for competition at present.
Tomas Soucek (£5.3m) is literally head and shoulders above any West Ham midfield option, or any other option in his price bracket considering his form and the Hammers’ DGW19 fixtures
Having declared a fully-fit squad on Thursday, Chelsea assets could be back on the menu for games against Fulham (a) and Leicester (a).
At just £5.1m, Reece James is hugely tempting but recent injury issues make the full-back a gamble in FPL terms. Ben Chilwell (£6.1m) and Kurt Zouma (£5.8m) may struggle to attract investors at the same price points as Man City defenders.
For those with the luxury of being able to make a goalkeeper transfer, Edouard Mendy (£5.1m) is a ‘lock’ in double gameweek terms.
Timo Werner (£9.2m), Hakim Ziyech (£8.1m) and Christian Pulisic (£8.2m) represent risky investments that could pay off. Chelsea have a reasonable run of matches from Gameweek 20 but it would take a brave manager to punt on their attack at present.
Jamie Vardy (£10.2m) is the standout Foxes pick for double Gameweek 19. On the striker and James Maddison, Brendan Rodgers said on Thursday ahead of Southampton’s visit:
“Both those players are available. It wasn’t so much a rest [for the FA Cup]. They couldn’t play or if they did play, there was going to be a huge risk for them. “They’ve had ongoing issues throughout the season unfortunately and [Stoke] was a game where we saw a window to get some medical work done with them knowing we’ve got other players who can play. That’s worked well for us. They’ve re-joined the group so they’ll be available this weekend.”
We already have evidence, from Leicester’s tight turnaround between Gameweeks 15 and 16, that Vardy is at risk of being benched during hectic schedules.
However, that rest came against Crystal Palace as part of a Saturday-Monday turnaround. It seems likelier that Vardy might start both double Gameweek 19 ties, considering the second is against Chelsea and Leicester have a Saturday-Tuesday schedule this time.
Vardy investors must know that there is a risk attached in regards to minutes; if not for Gameweek 19, then perhaps during the glut of games between Gameweeks 20 and 23.
James Justin (£5.0m) should continue to be safe from the potential threat of Ricardo Pereira (£5.9m). On the Portuguese full-back, Rodgers explained:
“We just need to get him back step by step. He’s training with the team now and looking very good. We don’t need to rush it. He’s working hard with the medical team. He’s gone through all the tests, all the measures. He’s been out and trained with the squad for a little while.
“It’s just, step by step, giving him some game time and getting him back on the field. But there’s no big rush with him.”
Anthony Martial (£8.8m) is probably off the table as a double Gameweek asset after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s pre-Liverpool update. The Man Utd boss said:
“I’ll give everyone tomorrow as well to prove their fitness, to get a chance to go to that game. There are a couple of knocks that we got at Burnley that I’m not sure about. I’m going to give everyone a chance, another day. Anthony is not out of it.
“I think the only ones that are certainly out it are Brandon [Williams] and Phil Jones. They are the two that definitely cannot make the game. A couple of others may be doubts, but we’re hoping – fingers crossed.”
Bruno Fernandes (£11.3m) sits on four yellow cards, which takes him out of captaincy consideration for all but the most risk-embracing FPL players.
Since Gameweek 8, Marcus Rashford (£9.6m) has registered at least one attacking return in each of Man Utd’s six away games, ahead of trips to Liverpool and Fulham.
Scott Parker’s troops have two difficult double Gameweek 19 fixtures as Chelsea and Man Utd visit Craven Cottage.
Alphonse Areola (£4.5m) could rack up save points as a bench-boosted goalkeeper.
In attack, Ademola Lookman (£5.0m) and Ivan Cavaleiro (£5.3m) – who combined for the Cottagers’ midweek goal at Spurs – provide differential options in the budget midfielder bracket.
At £4.5m, Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa has started each of Fulham’s last seven league fixtures.
Despite a relatively poor run of form for the Reds, Mohamed Salah (£12.5m) will be one of the most-captained players with a double Gameweek 19 containing two home games.
Sadio Mane (£11.9m) stood out in attack as Liverpool fell to a 1-0 defeat at Southampton in Gameweek 17.
Andy Robertson (£7.4m) remains the go-to Liverpool defender but with games against Man Utd, Spurs and Man City over the next five gameweeks, interest in the Scot and Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.3m) may be stifled. Jurgen Klopp may also be without Joel Matip (£5.4m) for the Man Utd clash at least. The Reds boss said:
“Joel is close. Does it now make sense to throw him into a game with one or two sessions, which he didn’t do yet, but today and tomorrow he might be involved?”
The Villans’ first double Gameweek fixture is not until Wednesday, meaning Dean Smith won’t speak to the press pre-deadline.
Add that to the club’s Covid-19 situation and it’s difficult to gauge which Villa assets are worth targeting.
Jack Grealish (£7.7m), Anwar El Ghazi (£5.8m) and Ollie Watkins (£6.1m) all represent good options in attack. One word of caution on Grealish is that he sits one yellow card away from a one-game ban.
Matt Targett (£4.6m) is in the same booking situation, so Ezri Konsa (£4.7m) and Emi Martinez (£5.1m) are the standout options in Smith’s backline.
However, FPL bosses investing in Villa assets are essentially going in blind, considering the lack of information available.
Since returning from a brief injury in Gameweek 11, Nick Pope (£5.4m) has averaged 4.3 saves per game. Burnley face ties at West Ham and Liverpool in double Gameweek 19.
If you are particularly keen on adding a Clarets defender, Matt Lowton is available at just £4.4m. Charlie Taylor (£4.5m) remains flagged.
In the absence of any team news from Sam Allardyce and a squad already bereft of FPL options, Sam Johnstone (£4.5m) is probably the only fantasy candidate from the Baggies ahead of trips to Wolves and West Ham.
Callum Wilson (£6.6m) faces away clashes at Arsenal and Aston Villa in double Gameweek 19, though the Magpies’ form and complete lack of attacking endeavour make the striker a hard sell at present.
Good luck for the Gameweek!