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Fantasy Football Tips Gameweek 18

Fantasy Football Tips Gameweek 18

Fantasy Football Tips Gameweek 18

GW17 may still be open, at the time of writing, and we do of course wish Tom Lockyer and his family all the best in his recovery. But GW18 begins on Thursday, so we are off again already. This week brings its own challenges, with Man City and Brentford on a blank GW, and this being the first of three GW’s crammed into 13 days. Rest and rotation will of course become an issue along the way, and we cannot really help you with that. What we can help with is a few player picks to get you going on that journey.

Goalkeeper: Petrovic (Swirly)

Having already been posed the questions of “Who?” and “That’s a funny way to spell Dubravka” (who is also a good shout, of course), I will press ahead and make the case for Djordje Petrovic, the stand-in for Robert Sanchez as he nurses a knee injury which looks to keep him sidelined for at least six more weeks if the ‘papers are to be believed. There is the spectre of another goalkeeper coming in during the next transfer window – all within Financial Fair Play restrictions, of course – but let’s press ahead on the proviso that the alleged Aaron Ramsdale interest won’t escalate any further in the foreseeable future.

So, let’s take a look at the short time that Petrovic has played – all one match and a few minutes of a substitution to take care of the Chelsea sticks. Whilst playing Sheffield United at Stamford Bridge is a straightforward start for pretty much any Premier League goalkeeper, you can look forward to Wolves, Crystal Palace, Luton and Fulham before a trickier tie away at Liverpool completes the route to the end of January 2024. Certainly not a bad set of fixtures and an opportunity to show improvement on Sanchez’s record of conceding 26 goals and keeping just five clean sheets in the 19 appearances he’s made across all competitions for the club this season. Of course, it’s not always the goalkeeper to blame for conceding multiple times and the lack of personnel in that department admittedly doesn’t help – Chilwell, Cucurella, James, Chalobah and Fofana all have the dreaded red flag against them going into Gameweek 18. However, the aforementioned four games do carry with them clean sheet potential for Petrovic, if the remaining players are at the races to protect him.

With 0.3% ownership, the Serbia international who signed from New England Revolution earlier this year is a real differential the likes of Matt ‘Differential King’ X would be proud of. Talking of whom…

Defender: Trippier (MattX)

This one might back fire and we are waiting on more news from Eddie Howe but I saw a comment from Howe stating that Trippier might not play against Chelsea as it looks like he picked up an injury in the Champions League. Let’s hope he gets a rest against Chelsea and after the rest against Fulham, the English right-back should be fully energised and ready for the visit to Luton.

Tripps is having another great season for attacking returns, he doesn’t feel like such an option though due to his price which currently sits at £6.9 but he is almost at the 1 goal and 9 assists from last term without even half the year being gone. Tripps is right now on 7 assists, 6 clean sheets and is still a BPS magnet with 18 of those. He is averaging 5.1 points per game and I would hope this continues. This weekend’s opponents, Luton, rank among the top three sides for headers and shots allowed from set-pieces this is fantastic news for Trippier who we all know can provide quality at free-kicks and corners.

Obviously, Newcastle have lost the ever-dependable Nick Pope in goals but Martin Dubravka is a worthy deputy. There is a lot of injuries in the Newcastle squad so they might not be as defensively solid as we would like but coming up against Luton this weekend and then Forest next weekend are two games where they could be okay. Luton will likely be affected after their captain, Tom Lockyer, had a second cardiac arrest in the space of six months. This must be tough on every member of the club and while I hate saying this, it is possibly a great time to play a club with part of their mind elsewhere. There is of course the possibility that Luton will be inspired to fight and win for their fallen comrade but against a Newcastle side who have shown some real steel in recent seasons I think it will be too much for the Hatters.

Midfielder: Gordon / Bruno Guimarães (Matt)

This one is probably a pointless pick as most will likely already own the young midfielder but if you are like me and don’t then maybe this is the week you should finally bring him in. Anthony Gordon (£6.2) was yellow flagged last week but still made an appearance in the 3-0 win over Fulham. He had a pretty solid showing with 4 chances created and 1 of those being deemed a big chance. Putting him in the top 7 players in both categories. Only Burn and Bruno G were better in the Newcastle team. Gordon also grabbed an assist in the match so he is always heavily involved.

If you do have Gordon already maybe a double up is in order with Bruno G (£5.8). That Brazilian is one of my favourite players in the league. Genuinely I have been impressed by him since the first game he had in England. Always a dominating figure in the midfield and seems to be a fairly likeably chap. Once again, he was a commanding presence for the Geordies against Fulham creating 5 chances and assisting once. He might not be scoring goals as of late but he has the potential as we saw in the last 2 seasons with his 9 goals. Again, coming up against a Luton side who have just lost their captain, teammate and friend, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Newcastle put up a big score. Luton are ranked as 19th for xGC and 17th for xGC at home so they aren’t the worst in the league but they are certainly helping prop up the rest of the table. The best news for the GeeGees (Gordon and Guimaraes) are most of the goals conceded by Luton happen down the middle or on their right side which could mean Gordon and Bruno might be amongst the points.

Forward: Watkins (Jamie Mc)

Knott – Danehouse/Getty Images)

Déjà vu – the strange feeling that in some way you have already experienced what is happening now.
This to me feels very much like a Leicester City Premier League Champions type of season.
Can Aston Villa replicate that miracle and be the 2023-24 Premier League Champions???

Let us look at the contenders. Chelsea – mid table mediocrity. Manchester United being Manchester United. Newcastle United – injuries galore. Tottenham Hotspur – Angeball’s Boom & Bust. Manchester City – dropping points. Liverpool & Arsenal however are both certainly in this season’s title race.

The game week fixtures, and timing of the game week fixtures have been kind to the Villans with a Friday night home game against bottom of the league, Sheffield United whilst Liverpool host Arsenal the following day.

There is a more than decent possibility that Aston Villa could be top of the league come Christmas Day. Who would have thought that on the opening day of the season when Aston Villa lost 5.1 at Newcastle United!!!

In the thirty years of the Premier League era, sixteen of the teams who have led the way on Christmas Day have gone onto lift the title.
So, who is going to be the Aston Villa’s Jamie Vardy…I present for your consideration; Ollie Watkins (£8.6m with 47.1% ownership and is the fourth most popular player in the game).
Watkins currently has 108 points which is fourth highest for all players and he is one of only four players to break through the magical 100-point barrier.

Watkins plays most 90 minutes every game week which is certainly comforting at this time of the season when rotation can seriously impact our squads. Watkins has scored nine goals (fifth highest in the game) and assisted nine times (highest in the game) this season. Further breakdown highlights five home goals and four away goals with five assists at home and four assists away from Villa Park.

Watkins has already had a £0.1m price increase this game week and is currently sitting at 96.1% (6,210 further transfers required) in FPL Statistics with a further £0.1m price increase likely prior to the 6.30pm deadline this THURSDAY 21st December 23.

At the time of writing, 346,992 managers have transferred Watkins into their squad with a surprising 6,697 managers deciding to now go without.

Not only should this be considered as a tips article but a possible captaincy article. Watkins is having a more than decent season on his own but Aston Villa as a team have been outstanding at home winning all eight of their league games. Surely a banker home win if ever there was one with our man Ollie on the scoresheet.
Merry Christmas to everyone and good luck for the game week.

Left-field: Leon Bailey (Matt)

Now for the differential pick and one who I actually like but has a bit of an asterisk after his name is Aston Villa winger, Leon Bailey. The Jamaican has been in a fine vein of form over the last four games with an attacking return in each game that has seen a run of 2 goals and 2 assists. This has seen him with a form of 4.1 pts per game in the last 5 which is a solid return considering the issue he has. The big issue that is following Bailey is the fact his minutes aren’t exactly the most nailed on. He has not played 90 minutes once this season and only got above 60 on three occasions but two of those have come in the last five games. I spoke to our resident Villian, Swirly, who informed me that Bailey has been carrying a slight knock which might suggest Emery’s reluctance to use him for extended periods. Swirls does hope, as do I, that Bailey gets 60+ minutes this weekend and against the worst team in the league it wouldn’t be the worst time for him to make an extended appearance. Even if he does start from the bench this game week I wouldn’t be too worried as it would just mean he comes on fresh against tired Sheffield United legs. This tactic has worked in the last game where he came off the bench to nab an assist. Before that he proved he can get another assist inside 45 minutes when he assisted against Arsenal in the first half before being taken off.

The best thing about Bailey is he loves a game at Villa Park! He has either scored or assisted in all seven of his home league games. He provided some attacking spark last week so Emery might just go with him from the off now! Sheffield Utd are ranked as the worst team for xGC and 18th for xGC away from home so things are looking good for red-hot Villa. The even better news is that most of the chances and goals conceded by Sheffield United are down their left-hand side which for those of you who know their sides is the exact side Bailey will be attacking! Maybe, he is a last-minute wait-and-see call and hope Emery gives us some insight or hints in his presser. If you own Gordon, Palmer and have someone on the bench to cover any no-show I would genuinely take a cheeky punt on the £5.6m winger only owned by 2.4% of managers!

Thanks for reading Fantasy Football Tips Gameweek 18. This article was written by Jamie Mc, Matt X and Swirly.



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  1. 13
    AJW says:

    G’day again people – and wishing you a happy festive season, wherever you are in the world, and whatever your personal belief system is! Honestly, we are all one community in this world together and sometimes FPL is good ‘mirror’ of this fact!

    Just wondering if anyone sees something I didn’t in this lot – I have made one trade of Alvarez>Solanke (bandwagon I know, but sometimes you just gotta bite the bullet!), with 4.7m ITB. Have plans to get back Haaland (in the future, not now!!!) if necessary by downgrading a mid-fielder and selling off Darwin (probably after GW 19’s fabulous feature match ‘gainst Burnley).
    BUT is there anything else you’d do in my place this week? Given that it would be for a – 4 hit.

    Thanks for your eventual comments, even if it is just to say ‘Happy end of the year mate’!!!


    Click on image to enlarge:

  2. 14
    chelseachick_uk says:

    Morning all,

    Not sure what to do here … no GK and no real back up for defence.

    1FT and plenty ITB from selling Haa.

    Might need a -4 here??

    Any ideas?

    Also – do we get unlimited transfers after Christmas?


    Click on image to enlarge:

    • 14.1
      AJW says:

      I think Dubra is still pretty cheap CC. Don’t know much about Petravic (or Petrovic?). Might be worth trading Sanchez and copping a – 4 (as it would get you some points over Xmas too). That mid-field is worth not touching for the moment!
      Hope you are okay. Happy festive season! smile

    • 14.2
      inittowinit says:

      Probably just get a keeper. Depends what Dyche says about Mykolenko.

      And no there’s no unlimited after Christmas this time. Unless I missed something! Next WC can be used after GW20 though.

      • AJW says:

        No deffo no unlimited transfers, unless one of the boffins at FPL Towers drops an acid trip and goes haywire on the authorisations button!

        Hahaha – don’t want to give ’em any ideas! smile

        • chelseachick_uk says:

          Thank you both! good

          Think I’ll go Petrovic – he did well in the penalty shoot out, so that’s good enough for me & I went Sanchez originally coz of CFC’s decent run of fixtures.

          I’m good thanks AJW – hope you are too friends – need the Christmas break!
          Hope you have a great one too.

          Will keep an ear out for Myko’ news.

          rofl FML … whose idea was it to get rid of unlimited transfers at Xmas?! Humbugs.


  3. 15
    coys9 says:

    Morning all, any ideas what to do here? 1 FT 7.1m itb. Have more a less just enough for Alvarez to Haaland next Gw. Should I swap Alvarez for a one week punt or just roll the FT and play Semenyo

    Click on image to enlarge:

  4. 16
    Rogueblood says:

    1FT 9.0 ITB willing to take a hit if needed what you doing with this lot? Will more than likely do Alverez to Haaland next week so in reality really have 2.0 ITB

    Click on image to enlarge:

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