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Here, seven-time top 10k finisher Zophar tackles the FPL topics of Double Gameweek 19 and whether or not it’s time to say goodbye to some of our Manchester City assets.
Due to a quick turnaround between Gameweeks 18 and 19, with Chelsea only playing last night, I wanted to get this article out pre-deadline with my quick thoughts about the double.
The Blues started well in Gameweek 17 against Bournemouth but once Reece James (£5.7m) he went off injured, it was quite pedestrian again. However, with the game already sealed, that could have been excused as game management.
Against Forest, the Blues were appealing. Raheem Sterling‘s (£9.7m) goal was down to good fortune rather than any creativity or merit. Defensively, they looked shaky against a Forest side that is hardly prolific, registering just 0.94 expected goals (xG) and two big chances – one of which was Sterling’s.
I’ll keep it short – I would not recommend investing in any Chelsea asset ahead of an unappealing double. If you have Kepa Arrizabalaga (£4.6m), stick with him as he is good for save points if not clean sheets.
In defence, Cesar Azpilicueta (£4.8m) really should be at a retirement home by now and it was a clear opposition ploy to target his side of the pitch. Thiago Silva (£5.4m) should get both games with a rest coming in the FA Cup but I wouldn’t feel confident with him in the long term.
Despite Marc Cucurella (£5.2m) being a popular acquisition, I would not go there as Ben Chilwell (£5.8m) is back in training. There is currently no creativity coming from the full-backs, so the sooner Chilly gets back in the side, the better.
In midfield, it would not surprise me to see Mason Mount (£7.6m) benched in either game, while the Blues looked much better once Hakim Ziyech (£5.5m) came on for Christian Pulisic (£5.7m).
If you definitely want to punt on a midfielder then Sterling is your man but I feel there are better options in midfield from other teams.
up top, Kai Havertz (£7.8m) should be secure for game time but he often dropped deep and occupied wide areas which is not what you want from your FPL asset. The post-double fixtures are encouraging but I can see someone like Darwin Nunez (£9.0m) outscoring him even with a single fixture.
Still, if you fancy Chelsea attacking investment he is probably the only one I would semi-recommend as his price tag is quite reasonable.
Despite the threat of suspension, I think Aleksandar Mitrovic (£7.1m) is close to a ‘must-have’ for this double. Leicester City are under pressure to pick up points after two straight losses and will have to attack, then the second game is a London derby.
Andreas Pereira (£4.6m) is a bit trickier. If you have a five-man midfield, just roll with that – your Arsenal men probably outscore him and Miguel Almiron (£5.9m) still offers great long-term value.
Who to sell is a bit tricky. Anthony Martial (£6.7m) has an appealing fixture at home to Bournemouth, while getting rid of Darwin against Brentford – the side that has allowed the most shots over the last six gameweeks – seems unwise.
However, with Martial starting the last two games, I think his minutes will be limited to an hour. I also think Mitrovic is a better asset beyond this Double Gameweek, despite the difficult fixtures immediately after it.
So I would be comfortable making the Martial to Mitrovic swap. It’s a bit tougher if you have someone like Eddie Nketiah (£6.5m) but I would still do it, as Mitro’s ceiling over two games is quite high if he avoids the suspension.
SELL JAMES NOW OR WAIT FOR ANNOUNCEMENTS?
If you don’t already have Luke Shaw (£5.0m), I’d make the move this week even if it’s for a hit, as it will likely pay off. I really like what I’m seeing from him in terms of body language and I have to (sadly) admit that Manchester United are now an elite defence. Their numbers since the thrashing at Manchester City have been nothing short of incredible.
My thinking with defensive assets is to prioritize players from good defenses that have attacking potential. I would rather have Shaw in my team over eight-to-ten weeks than someone like Lewis Dunks (£4.7m) who may double in 21.
If you already have a Man United defender, sticking with James and waiting for Double Gameweek announcements makes sense. Sven Botman (£4.4m) has a tough fixture this week and that can probably wait.
I think captaincy is harder than usual this week. Man City are likely to be a wounded animal after falling further behind Arsenal and, if they score early, the Stamford Bridge crowd could turn on the players and create a very negative atmosphere.
Erling Haaland‘s (£12.2m) effective ownership (EO) is likely to be around 160-to-180 per cent, so a big score from the Norwegian could set you back significantly in rank. I can easily see him scoring a couple against Chelsea.
I am currently on Haaland as I fear the worst as a Chelsea fan but will likely be swayed by Mitrovic’s double.
PHIL FODEN AND JOAO CANCELO
Again, I’ll keep it brief here – I think Phil Foden (£8.2m) needs to go, even with the likely Double Gameweek 20. There are too many other midfielders offering similar potential with guaranteed minutes and you cannot afford to be subjected to Pep Guardiola’s whims and fancies every week.
If you can bench him and play Andreas this week, that’s a good option. It allows you to see if Pep does indeed restore him to the line-up.
João Cancelo (£7.3m) is a bit trickier. I still think his benching is more to do with a lack of fitness after the World Cup, despite the comments Pep has made about player body language in training. I think he will start at Stamford Bridge, so he will not look to sell right away.
Good luck and see you next week.