FPL 6 picks review & preview (GW18 and GW19)

By Matthew Petersen @Matt_Petersen13

I’m back! To all the loyal readers and followers this season, I apologise for not producing an article last week. With all the fixture postponements due to Covid-19 outbreaks, I found it difficult to select players when fixtures were being cancelled at the last minute. With only four fixtures, that meant a pool of eight teams to choose from which makes it difficult. However, GW18 went ahead and Man City extended their lead at the top of the league with a 4-0 victory over Newcastle. That victory was made even sweeter considering Liverpool and Chelsea dropped points after 2-2 and 0-0 draws against Tottenham and Wolves respectively. Elsewhere, Arsenal solidified their spot in the top 4 after a 4-1 rout of Leeds. This gameweek had an average of 39 points with few managers able to field a full team of 11 players. GW19 has already gotten off to a shaky start as Liverpool vs Leeds, Watford vs Wolves, and Everton vs Burnley have already been called off. This means plenty of double gameweeks (DGWs) are on the way with chip planning and transfer strategy key during this time.

Gameweek 18 top 3 performers:

1. Joao Cancelo – 18 points (90 minutes, one goal, one assist, clean sheet, 3BPS)

2. Gabriel Martinelli – 15 points (90 minutes, two goals, 3BPS)

=3. Ruben Dias – 12 points (69 minutes, one goal, clean sheet)

=3. Riyad Mahrez – 12 points (76 minutes, one goal, one assist, clean sheet, 1BPS)

Let’s take a look at the top picks for this week, reviewing their GW18 performance and previewing their GW19 points potential, based on recent form and favourable fixtures

1. Kevin De Bruyne – £11.9m (MID); 3.5% ownership

GW18 review – 3 points (90 minutes, clean sheet)

GW19 preview – Leicester (H)

Kevin De Bruyne has always been the undisputed superstar at Man City and lately, he has found form again. He scored twice against Leeds and has managed four goals so far this season, and rather surprisingly, no assists but that is sure to change soon. Expect Pep to stick with KDB over the next few weeks, especially in a tricky game against Leicester this weekend, the same side that beat them 5-2 in the reverse fixture last season and a team that has managed to get the better of Pep a few times before that too. City are on red-hot form and will want to cement their place at the top of the table going into the new year.

2. Harry Kane – £12.1m (FOR); 6.6% ownership

GW18 review – 6 points (90 minutes, one goal)

GW19 preview – Crystal Palace (H)

Due to Spurs’ postponements, Kane has missed three games in this busy period but he managed to score in his last fixture against Liverpool. He was rather lucky not to possibly get sent off in the Liverpool game but stayed on and arguably could have had a hat-trick, meaning he’s not short of goalscoring chances, it’s merely about when he’ll find his magic touch and start scoring again. Spurs face Crystal Palace, who beat them 3-0 in the return fixture earlier this season so this is a grudge match for Spurs, who will be the benefactors of at least two DGWs coming up this season. Should Kane pick up form at the right time, he will be hard to ignore.   

3. Gabriel Martinelli – £5.3m (MID); 6.3% ownership

GW18 review – performance noted under top 3 performers

GW19 preview – Norwich (A)

Another of Arsenal’s excellent young talents. Martinelli has been a shining light recently and with the youngster finally getting an extended run in the team, he is showing why there is so much hype around him. He has scored three goals and grabbed four assists so far this season, and Norwich will need to be on high alert to deal with Martinelli’s explosive pace and energy and calm finishing in front of goal. Expect Martinelli to continue his good form and offer managers another Arsenal midfield selection headache.

4. Jarrod Bowen – £6.5m (MID); 6.4% ownership

GW18 review – N/A (GW18 game postponed)

GW19 preview – Southampton (H)

West Ham were victims of the Covid postponements and were due to start a run of fixtures that included FDRs of 2 and 3 for the foreseeable future. The postponement does mean a DGW is on the way for them. Jarrod Bowen has been part of the exciting West Ham attack that has propelled them to the top 6. He’s managed three goals and seven assists so far this season and will be fresh after their postponement. A home game against a struggling Southampton will give them a good opportunity to score some points and get back to winning ways.  

5. Kieran Tierney – £4.8m (DEF); 6.8% ownership

GW18 review – 2 points (90 minutes)

GW19 preview – Norwich (A)

Kieran Tierney is the 2nd Arsenal pick this week. Having lost his place to Nuno Tavares after picking up an injury earlier this season, Tierney’s return to the starting lineup has rejuvenated himself and his team. Prior to his GW18 blank, Tierney returned 31 points in the previous three gameweeks and was one of the top-scoring defenders, notching two assists and keeping three clean sheets, in that time. Arsenal face Norwich next, as they hope to strengthen their grip on the top 4 and Tierney offers a good two-way threat.  

6. David De Gea – £5.1m (GK); 8.2% ownership

GW18 review – N/A (GW18 game postponed)

GW19 preview – Newcastle (H)

In David De Gea’s last league appearance (in GW16) he picked up 10 points, including a clean sheet, five saves and 3BPS. United face Newcastle in what would be their first game since 11 December, hoping to continue where they left off and get straight back to winning ways. De Gea has kept four clean sheets, including two in his last two games. I expect United to keep up their good form, especially with their good run of fixtures. They also will benefit from two DGWs due to Covid postponements.

*Prices and ownership statistics are correct as of 24 December 2021*