Five talking points ahead of FPL Gameweek 13
Forwards dominate GW13's talking points as FPL managers toy with the removal of Sergio Aguero from their squads.
After a low-scoring GW12, managers will be hoping for bigger returns from what looks to be a more appetising fixture list.
However, the transfer activity reveals some of the most popular strikers from the beginning of the season are being shed by FPL bosses as Saturday's 11.30am GW13 deadline looms.
A Kun-ing plan or a road to misery?
After a disappointing one-goal performance at home to Middlesbrough in GW11, Sergio Aguero was heavily backed to bag big returns in GW12 against a Crystal Palace side yet to notch a clean sheet.
SCOUT: Aguero the top captain choice with 29% but the top 100 managers think differently: 44% have opted for Lukaku, 25% for the City man pic.twitter.com/zWUccTLnm4— FPL (@OfficialFPL) November 19, 2016
However, almost a third of managers were left frustrated after the Argentina striker posted a blank. While he generally disappointed with just one shot on target from four efforts, the one on target was inches from being a goal:
#Aguero was unlucky to have not scored against Crystal Palace— FPL Thunshot (@FPLThunshot) November 21, 2016
Ball got cleared off the line to rob him of the goal
The emergence of Harry Kane after his injury, coupled with Diego Costa’s scintillating goalscoring from, mean that over 25,000 managers have decided to part company with the City star.
Though the last time Aguero was doubted, after posting three blanks in a row, he fired a brace past West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns.
Re: Sergio Agüero.— #FPL General (@FPLGeneral) November 22, 2016
For me it's simple.
He's the best striker in the league.
3 goals in his last 3.
In the past couple of seasons, the solution was simple: If Aguero is fit, you need him in your team. There is no right or wrong answer to the Aguero conundrum this season, however, as template teams continue to be broken while a new abundance of forward options mean that the City striker is dispensable considering what those freed-up funds can now purchase.
Is Aguero really a 'must-own' this season? pic.twitter.com/sBAOQ8UFs6— FPLPriceChanges+ (@FPLPriceChanges) November 24, 2016
The real question is, will you be able to peek out from behind the couch when Pep Guardiola’s side kick-off against Burnley on at 12.30pm on Saturday:
One thing to note is that Aguero was limping in the final minutes of City's Champions League clash against Borussia Monchengladbach last night but the manager has allayed any serious injury fears:
Pep said after the match that Aguero is "okay" after taking a knock and limping in the final minutes.— City Watch (@City_Watch) November 23, 2016
UPDATE (14:40 25/11/16)
The Argentine striker is now doubtful for tomorrow's clash after Guardiola revealed Aguero has a "problem":
PEP: Sergio is not injured but he has a problem in his foot. Today he has traIning at 4pm and we will see his condition. Zabaleta as well.— Manchester City (@ManCity) November 25, 2016
Hopefully there will be a further update on the £13.2m forward before tomorrow's deadline.
Harry Kane's audition against the Chelsea defence
Saturday’s late kick-off at Stamford Bridge should provide some FPL clues, and hopefully an excellent viewing experience. However, Tottenham have been stuttering ever since a brilliant GW7 victory against City.
Between GW8 and GW11, Mauricio Pochettino’s side managed just three goals. It could easily have been four strikes in five league ties was it not for Heung-min Son's trickery and Kane's late brace against West Ham last weekend.
What an end to this game! Kane x2 Son x2 assists!— FPL Bonus Points (@BonusFPL) November 19, 2016
Spurs were poor again in midweek, with the England striker continuing to look off the pace while fluffing an excellent chance from close range. Despite this, the 23-year-old continues to score. If the north London outfit can rediscover their attacking groove in tandem with a fully-fit, fully-involved Kane, expect the £10.8m-priced forward’s price to skyrocket (with Aguero the likely makeweight).
A test against a Blues backline that hasn’t conceded in their previous six league games will provide the ultimate test of Kane’s ability, while Antonio Conte’s defence will be looking to put forward another case for investment (not that it’s particularly necessary).
Spurs embark on a decent run of games from next week onwards, while Chelsea’s rosy fixture list from GW15 could be cause for a triple up. Hopefully the London derby will answer more FPL questions than it asks.
Last chance for Lukaku?
Much like Aguero, Romelu Lukaku’s failure to deliver as a top GW12 captain choice has seen the masses tire of the unpredictable Everton striker. Over 60,000 managers have gotten rid of the big Belgian as Ronald Koeman’s side travel to a defensively-robust Southamtpon side.
Again, the form of Costa and Kane has seen a search for funds in order to upgrade the Toffees frontman, while Jermain Defoe provides a tempting downgrade for those looking to make other moves.
Forwards minutes per goal this season #FPL— Andy (@andy85wsm) November 21, 2016
Aguero - 103.5
Costa - 105.4
Kane - 116.2
Lukaku - 132.2
Defoe = 153.1
Ibra - 165
Ronald Koeman’s side travel to Manchester United and Watford after GW13 before a home tie against Arsenal in GW16. Now priced at £9.9m, Lukaku is likely to fall £0.1m before Saturday’s deadline. A third blank in a row on Sunday could see his price plummet as FPL managers lose faith in the Belgium hitman.
UPDATE (20:28 25/11/16)
Lukaku is now down to £9.8m, with further price drops from tomorrow likely. The Everton fan could easily drop more than once before GW14 if he fails to find the net away to the Saints.
Have Sunderland learned their lesson or will Liverpool be let loose?
Despite being heavily sold, Aguero remains a strong captaincy contender for those holding the diminutive forward (though Friday's injury news will likely put most managerts off). He is battling for armband affections with two Liverpool attackers in the form of Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino who take on Sunderland.
In GW10, the Black Cats were trounced 4-1 at home by a rampant Arsenal. Since then, a formation switch owing to the introduction of Victor Anichebe (£4.6m) has seen David Moyes’ men pick up the maximum six points from their last two fixtures.
Klopp: "Sunderland have taken 6pts out of their last 2 games, we only took four so they are favourites if you like."— James Pearce (@JamesPearceEcho) November 24, 2016
Having been kept scoreless for just the third time in 12 gameweeks by a resilient Southampton side at St Mary’s, an Anfield clash against a team who have conceded 21 times so far this season seems like an ideal fixture for Jurgen Klopp’s men to return to scoring form.
Owners of Reds defensive assets may be less excited about the tie, considering the form of Anichebe and Jermain Defoe who have five goals and three assists between them since GW11.
Klopp was coy on his players’ fitness during today’s press conference so FPL managers are advised to keep an eye out ahead of Saturday’s deadline:
Klopp: “We had a few players they couldn’t train properly this week, so you always have some problems." #LFC— Ben Dinnery (@BenDinnery) November 24, 2016
Now is a good time to start planning for the inevitable rotation that will begin to bite in just a few gameweeks' time.
GW16 sees the first midweek fixtures of the 2016/17 calendar, with some sides facing three ties in just eight days.
While putting together a team of 15 players that starts week-in, week-out with this season's spread of expensive attacking assets may be tough, managers should aim to have 14 starters in place ahead of GW15 to avoid fielding less than 11 players during a hectic week of Premier League action.
More Yaya Toure-esque surprises are sure to pop up in December to exasperate FPL players:
Going to get rid of Gündoğan now. With Yaya Touré back, he is a massive rotation risk!#FPL— FPL Maestro (@FPLMaestro) November 22, 2016