FPL Implications of Aston Villa-Newcastle postponement
On Tuesday it was announced that Newcastle’s visit to Aston Villa on GW11 has been postponed.
Deadline Change / Fixture Update
The first thing you would notice is the change in deadline for FPL transfers of GW11. The #AVLNEW fixture was supposed to be on Friday 2000hrs GMT – the postponement meant that GW11 transfer deadline is 1100hrs GMT, 90mins before the now first fixture of the weekend, #BUREVE.
Within FPL, Aston Villa and Newcastle players now have a <blank> for GW11. Suffice to say, if these players are still in your starting XI, your substitutes will come in automatically for them.
Wilson (FWD) is the most popular Newcastle FPL asset at ~13%. It is particularly painful for the 212k odd managers who brought him in early this GW, after his 12pt haul on GW10.
The next most popular is Saint-Maximin (MID) at ~5%. He missed the GW10 game and is unlikely to be fit enough in any case.
If you have Wilson in your team, the obvious advice is the keep him. On GW12 and GW14, Newcastle have home games against WBA and Fulham respectively – currently the two leakiest defences in the Premier League. Ride this gameweek out and Wilson will reap rewards soon after. This generic advice applies to all other Newcastle assets, especially defenders. The Magpies have yet to keep a clean sheet at home but they are likely to come from home games against WBA or Fulham or both.
Aston Villa Assets
Villa will present the more poignant issue to all FPL managers. Grealish (MID | 41%), Martinez (GK | 26%) and Mings (DEF | 13%) are all highly popular and it would be difficult to find a team without a single Villa asset.
Generally from a form perspective, Villa have been on a downward trend, losing 4 of their last 5 games. Likewise, they have only kept 1 clean sheet in that series.
Villa’s overall form this season can also be described as erratic. They have beaten Liverpool, Arsenal and Leicester but had lost to teams like Brighton, Leeds and Southampton. At best, they can be described as unpredictable.
With that in mind, it is not easy to make of Villa’s up coming fixtures – WOL (A), BUR (H), WBA (A) and CRY (H). It may not be a total surprise if they fail to keep a clean sheet in those four games.
The only truly consistent player in the Villa team is Grealish, who already has 5 goals and 6 assists to his name. He has only blanked in 2 games (in which he was booked).
All said, if you have Grealish, it is probably worth keeping him. However, if you have a double-up on Villa defenders / GK, perhaps time is ripe here to get rid of one asset.
For GK, Johnstone (WBA), Meslier (LEE) and Fabianski (WHU) are good picks in the general bracket.
For defenders, options are aplenty – in our wildcard selection, we have Vestergaard (SOU) and Bellerin (ARS) worth considering.
Villa Double Gameweeks
At this point in time there is no telling when this fixture will be rescheduled to.
Scanning down the FPL Calendar, Newcastle is still in the EFL Cup so the midweek of 22-23 Dec is out.
The next “open” mid-week is 19/20 Jan, in between GW19 and GW20 – this is significant as the second wildcard of the season would already been free to use by then.
Villa have two DGWs to come but neither seems likely to be before the second wildcard so we are not bring that factor into consideration at this stage.
In gameweeks as such, it is also worth thinking about taking a hit of -4.
There will never be a right or wrong answer to this, only hindsight. The only thing w will say is if you take a hit when u take out a Villa / Newcastle player this week, you will be technically only suffering a -2 hit (playing >60min and no yellow or penalty miss) and not -4.
Wildcard / Free Hit
It would be rather knee-jerk to use a chip like wildcard or Free hit – the maximum number of players you will be missing is 6, which is not likely under any circumstances.
Straight-out no go for us, unless you have already planned to use the wildcard beforehand.
To be very honest Premier League has done very well to keep postponed games to the minimum since Project Restart in Jun.
We have advocated the FPL Corona Chip strategy from day one – broadly:
- Reducing concentration risk of players from any one team
- Having a strong bench
- Never having Captain and Vice-Captain from the same team
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