Picks of the Week –  Must haves for Gameweek 16

Last updated on December 8th, 2023

Who should be your priority players for the next Gameweek, position by position

Written by Keiran Trotter (@fpl_del)

Firstly an apology. I wasn’t able to get a gameweek 15 article out due to the quick turnaround and work commitments. I also want the most up-to-date data for this article so it’s going to be a bit shorter than normal given I’ve only got from 10:15pm on Thursday until 12pm on Friday to do that so you have a bit of time to digest it. 

Week 14 Review

Gameweek 14 is old news now but just in case you were wondering I opted for Mark Flekken (2 points) as my keeper, Trent Alexander-Arnold (13 points) as my defender, Mo Salah (5 points) as my midfielder and Darwin Nunez (2 points) as my forward. So 22 points in total, which isn’t amazing but was an improvement on the previous week. I’m looking to get back up into the thirties this week, so let’s delve straight in!


With an away trip to Luton this gameweek, Manchester City are this week’s bookies favourite for a clean sheet with a 54% chance. City haven’t won in their last 4 conceding 9 in the process but Luton is as good as it gets for an opportunity to turn it around. On the plus side, Ederson (£5.5m) was inspired in City’s 1-0 defeat at Villa and if he can continue that form City could be on for their first clean sheet in 6 games.

Mark Flekken (£4.5m) is my goalkeeper for this gameweek and with a trip to Sheffield United, they face the least potent team in the league. Chris Wilder takes charge of United again for only the second time in 2 and a half years and I’m expecting a response from them. Liverpool on Wednesday night was a free hit for them and they managed 6 attempts at goal despite only having 24% of the ball. I think I prefer Ederson to Flekken.

With Manchester United at home to Bournemouth Andre Onana (£4.8m) might be an option but United are so hit and miss at the minute and Bournemouth are on a run of 4 wins and a draw in their last 6 scoring an average of 2 goals a game. For me, Ederson is my choice for the clean sheet this week! 


Clean sheets seem to be few and far between at the moment, so as usual we’ll be focussing on where our attacking returns might come from.

The top 5 defenders for expected goal involvement over the last 6 weeks are as follows:

  1. Pedro Porro (£5.3m) – 2.42
  2. Trent Alexander- Arnold (£8.0m) – 2.3
  3. Kieran Trippier (£7.0m) – 2.3
  4. Luca Digne (4.7m) – 1.73
  5. Oleksandr Zinchenko (£5.2m) – 1.45

4 of these 5 players feature in the top 5 of big chances created in the last 6 gameweeks. Of these 5 players above, Porro and Trippier face each other this gameweek, as do Digne and Zinchenko. Trent has an away trip to struggling Palace, so he’s clearly the pick of that bunch.

There are 4 defenders who have had 2 big chances over the last 6 gameweek:

Marc Cucurella (£4.8m)

Jamaal Lacelles (£4.2m)

Ethan Pinnock (£4.6m)

Paul Torres (£4.6m)

Chelsea put in another Jekyll and/or Hyde performance against Manchester United so I’m not sure I trust Cucurella away at a galvanised Everton and Brentford are away at Sheffield United so Pinnock is clearly a better option. He’s not the threat that Trent Alexander-Arnold is though, so that’s where my defensive pick is going this week (again!).


The top 5 midfielders for xGI over the last 6 gameweeks are as follows:

Mo Salah (£13.1m) – 4.62

Bryan Mbeumo (£7.1m) – 4.5

Cole Palmer (£5.4m) – 3.73

Phil Foden (£7.5m) – 3.26

Bernado Silva (£6.4m) – 3.06

The top 4 all have 3 goals to their name and Silva has 2. Foden has achieved those stats in one less game than the others and whilst Palace are struggling, they are always capable of being stubborn at home. I’m immediately reminded of Salah’s 2 goals and an assist off the bench away at Palace in 2020 but it’s not a fixture he has traditionally excelled in so I’m actually going to opt for Phil Foden this week. I like City’s Luton fixture better and I think they will be hurting after recent results and Pep will want a response from them.

Forwards (minus Haaland)

Whichever stat you look at, expected goals/goal involvement, total points, big chances, attempts, it’s the same 4 or 5 forwards cropping up for consideration, whether you look at current form (last 6 gameweeks) or the season as a whole.

Ollie Watkins (£8.4m) blanked for the first time in ages against City but he’s been so consistent. Villa are going to pose a threat to Arsenal on the break and I wouldn’t back against him getting on the scoresheet.

Julian Alvarez (£7.0m) has the best fixture of the bunch, but as we’ve seen, he’s tended to be more of a creator than a scorer this season and only has 2 returns (assists) in his last 6 games. Luton could be a great opportunity for a haul for him though.

Nicolas Jackson (£6.9m) continues to flatter to deceive. He’s getting lots of chances but not really turning them into big points and with Everton bang in form, this isn’t a great fixture for him.

Likewise, Darwin Nunez (£7.7m) has been wasteful and I actually think he might lose his place to Cody Gakpo this week, so he’s too much of a risk for me.

Dom Solanke (£6.5m) has a tricky tie against West Ham off the back of an away win at Spurs. He’s only 1 goal behind Ollie Watkins and Bournemouth have been great recently, he’s just not passing the eye test for me.

Joao Pedro (£5.4m) could be the leftfield choice for me this week, if he could be guaranteed a start. He’s got 3 goals off the bench recently but then blanked when given the start against Brentford. A home tie against Burnley is as good as it gets so it’s between Watkins and him for me this week and I’m going to give Pedro the nod for a change.

Picks of the Week

Ederson (Man City GK £5.5m)

Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool DF £8.0m)

Phil Foden (Man City MF £7.5m)

Joao Pedro (Brighton FW £5.4m)

Best of luck for the week ahead and I’ll see you next week for another review and set of Picks of the Week.

Mark De Carvalho
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