Before delving into the nitty gritty of Gameweek 24 it is worth having a quick recap of the record-breaking round that preceded it.
A total of 45 goals flew in during Gameweek 23, making it the highest-scoring gameweek in Premier League history. Unless you happened to play a back five or sell Ollie Watkins (we did warn you not to), your Fantasy Premier League team probably benefited from some of those goals with well-owned assets like Watkins, Phil Foden and Richarlison all producing big scores.
Looking ahead to Gameweek 24 and there are some important considerations for FPL managers to make before clicking confirm on any transfers. The first is that Gameweek 25 (which commences on 17 February) is a double with Brentford, Liverpool, Luton and Manchester City all playing twice.
Liverpool and City have promising fixtures which makes it tempting to try and get three players from each if you can: the Reds travel to Brentford and then host Luton, while City have back-to-back home games against Chelsea and Brentford.
i‘s top scorers in Gameweek 23
- Ollie Watkins – 18 points vs Sheffield Utd: A goal and three assists earned Watkins his second-highest FPL score of the season and nudged him 10 points behind Mo Salah at the top of the standings.
- Richarlison – 15 points vs Everton: A double against former club Everton means Spurs’ in-form striker (who is listed as a midfielder in FPL) has scored nine goals in his last eight appearances. And yet he’s still owned by fewer than 20 per cent of managers.
- Kieran Trippier – 9 points vs Luton: After a barren run of form, Trippier has earned 16 points in his previous two games. Despite providing a goal and assist last weekend he still didn’t collect any bonus points after conceding four which seems rather harsh.
Includes players selected in i‘s Fantasy Football newsletter
The second point to note is that Gameweek 26 (which starts on 24 February) is a blank one due to the Carabao Cup final between Liverpool and Chelsea which means only eight Premier League fixtures will go ahead. Luton and Tottenham are the two other clubs without a match that weekend so make sure you have a plan to get a full starting line-up, or as close to one as possible.
It could be a great time to play the Free Hit then considering plenty of bosses will have three Liverpool assets and maybe one or two Luton players for the double, as well as popular picks like Richarlison, Pedro Porro and Cole Palmer. The Free Hit allows managers to make as many transfers to their team as they want for one gameweek only without incurring a points hit.
The Gameweek 24 deadline is at 11am on Saturday 10 February.
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Gameweek 24 fixtures
*3pm kick-off unless otherwise stated
Saturday 10 February
- Man City vs Everton (12.30pm)
- Fulham vs Bournemouth
- Liverpool vs Burnley
- Luton vs Sheffield Utd
- Spurs vs Brighton
- Wolves vs Brentford
- Nottingham Forest vs Newcastle (5.30pm)
Sunday 11 February
- West Ham vs Arsenal (2pm)
- Aston Villa vs Man Utd (4.30pm)
Monday 12 February
- Crystal Palace vs Chelsea (8pm)
Phil Foden (Man City)
Kevin De Bruyne’s return to fitness was perceived by some FPL bosses (including i, truth be told) to be bad news for Phil Foden given he had enjoyed an exceptional run of form in a more central position during the Belgian’s absence. How wrong we all were.
Since De Bruyne’s first league start back against Burnley in Gameweek 22, Foden has managed three goals and an assist in two matches, all of which have come while his teammate has been on the pitch. De Bruyne even assisted the second goal of Foden’s hat-trick against Brentford on Monday night.
With three consecutive home games coming up and a fixture in Gameweek 26 when none of Richarlison, Jota or Palmer will be involved, Foden is as close to being an essential FPL pick as it is possible to be. Foden’s exploits in west London propelled him into fifth place in the FPL points table.
Price: £7.9m Points: 124 Gameweek 24 fixture: Everton (h)
Elijah Adebayo (Luton)
Here are a few statistics that may surprise you. 1) Liverpool are the only club to have scored Premier League goals (with 15) over the past five gameweeks than Luton (14). 2) No player has scored more than Elijah Adebayo (five goals – level with Richarlison) during that period. 3) Adebayo has already scored more Premier League goals this season (nine) than he managed in the Championship (eight) last season. He’s a man in form all right.
Rob Edwards initially preferred Carlton Morris to Adebayo, before making a change in Gameweek 15 and Adebayo has vindicated that show of faith with goals against Arsenal, Manchester City and Newcastle and a hat-trick against Brighton.
If you’re looking to free up funds for Erling Haaland, Kevin De Bruyne, or Diogo Jota ahead of the double, investing in Luton assets looks like a great way to do so.
They host Sheffield United next, play twice in Gameweek 25 (albeit against a rejuvenated Manchester United and Liverpool) and will have another double later on in the campaign when their abandoned fixture against Bournemouth gets rescheduled.
Price: £4.9m Points: 75 Gameweek 24 fixture: Sheffield United (h)
Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)
Whether you blamed Alisson or Virgil van Dijk for Sunday’s almighty cock-up at the Emirates probably depends on whether you’re a full-time member of the goalkeeper’s union or not. Neither covered themselves in glory but having been near infallible all season until then, it would be unfair to be too critical of their collective brain fog.
Don’t let that incident dissuade you from buying Virgil van Dijk this week. In i‘s opinion, he’s the best defender to target for the next two gameweeks given Liverpool play Burnley (h), Brentford (a) and Luton (h) in that time. He is more likely to start all three than Trent Alexander-Arnold or the fit again Andy Robertson, especially with Ibrahima Konate suspended for the first of those fixtures.
The Dutchman ranks in the top five defenders for shots this season with 24 and could add to his one goal against a team that has struggled to defend set-pieces. Burnley have conceded 10 goals from such situations before with only Nottingham Forest (13) letting in more.
Price: £6.3m Points: 80 Gameweek 24 fixture: Burnley (h)
Pedro Neto (Wolves)
Matheus Cunha can find himself very hard done by to be omitted after his Stamford Bridge hat-trick but competition for the three forward slots is already fierce. With Erling Haaland, Ivan Toney, Darwin Nunez and the aforementioned Adebayo all playing twice in Gameweek 25 and Ollie Watkins offering a timely reminder of his qualities last weekend it is difficult to make the case for Cunha.
There are plenty of standout candidates vying for selection in midfield too, but with two extra spaces available it is much easier to fit in Pedro Neto. It hasn’t taken the tricky winger long to rediscover his form after a lengthy injury lay-off as he has scored once and provided two assists since returning to action in Gameweek 20. Alongside Cunha, he ran Chelsea ragged at Stamford Bridge.
Wolves are in good form and have appealing fixtures for the foreseeable future, particularly at home where they are in action against Brentford, Sheffield United and Fulham in their next three. That run is interrupted by away day trips to Tottenham and Newcastle, neither of whom have looked particularly solid at the back of late.
Price: £5.6m Points: 73 Gameweek 24 fixture: Brentford (h)
Ivan Toney (Brentford)
Ivan Toney will cost significantly more than Adebayo but he also has a decent Gameweek 24 fixture followed by two matches in Gameweek 25. If you’re planning on bench boosting in Gameweek 25, a frontline consisting of Toney, Adebayo and Haaland could be worth assembling, unless you fancy Darwin Nunez to end his love affair with the woodwork.
The England international has taken no time to get up to speed after returning to action, registering two goals and an assist in his three appearances this season. Toney’s blossoming partnership with the Premier League’s most notorious wind-up merchant Neal Maupay will also have given Thomas Frank hope that his side can pull clear of the danger zone before long.
Since Toney’s first game back, he has registered five big chances – defined by Opta as a situation where a player should reasonably be expected to score – which is more than any other player in FPL. He has a strong record against Wolves too, providing two goals and two assists in four Premier League appearances against them.
Price: £8.1m Points: 20 Gameweek 24 fixture: Wolves (a)