Football Features

FPL tips and team news ahead of Premier League Gameweek 21

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 13:11, 31 December 2021

A new year presents new opportunities — not just for Premier League clubs but fantasy managers too.

And 2022 kicks off in style with Arsenal taking on Manchester City at lunchtime before Watford meet Tottenham in the afternoon. Crystal Palace vs West Ham completes the New Year’s Day offering.

There’s a slew of games on Sunday, when Brentford will be seeking a return to winning ways at Aston Villa’s expense. Both fresh from a rest, Everton and Leeds square off against Brighton and Burnley respectively. Southampton face nouveau riche Newcastle, while the mouth-watering Chelsea-Liverpool game closes out proceedings.

Manchester United host Wolves in the final match on Monday evening, with Leicester vs Norwich postponed. It should be another one to keep an eye on for all fantasy managers…

Speaking of which, have things already gone south for your fantasy team this season? FanTeam have launched a free-to-enter Second Chance competition which kicks off in January and includes a £100,000 prize pool.


How to join FanTeam’s Second Chance Premier League 2021/22 Fantasy Football tournament for free:

To sign up, you need to be over 18, Gamble Aware and meet FanTeam’s terms and conditions. Otherwise, just follow these simple steps:

  • Head to FanTeam and sign up
  • Join the ‘Second Chance Season Game’ tournament with your free entry ticket
  • Create a team and click ‘Enter Tournament’


FPL tips for Gameweek 21: Five players to consider

Raphinha, 7.6: Before their season was rudely interrupted — back-to-back fixtures against Liverpool and Aston Villa postponed — Raphinha was the shining light in Leeds’ miserable campaign. The 25-year-old Brazilian international had netted 44.4% (8/18) of their Premier League goals with five coming at home. Incredibly, despite having played 14 games fewer, he’s already surpassed last term’s output (6). He’ll fancy his chances when facing a Burnley side who’ve conceded seven times in their past five road trips

Armando Broja, 5.2: Contender for revelation of the season is Southampton’s young marksman Armando Broja, who’s currently on loan from Chelsea. The former Vitesse regular has bagged four times (of which 75% have come at home) for the Saints this season. Not necessarily the first name on Ralph Hasenhüttl’s teamsheet at times this season, Broja has now started two of the last three and could benefit from rotation in GW21 after making a 19-minute cameo off the bench in their hardfought 1-1 draw with Tottenham earlier in the week.

Ezri Konsa, 4.8: It’s fair to say Steven Gerrard has fared relatively well as Aston Villa boss so far. Under him they’ve not been the easiest to breach, conceding five in six matches before things unravelled a little against Chelsea last time out. A key part of their defensive turnaround has been Ezri Konsa, who’s featured in every Gerrard game to date. On top of that, Konsa has posed an attacking threat with two goals. Another clean sheet could be on the horizon with Brentford having blanked in two of their previous three away matches.

Cristiano Ronaldo, 11.3: There were some who doubted whether Cristiano Ronaldo could get along with interim Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick and with good reason. The much-travelled German tactician expects his forwards to be constantly on the move — something many don’t expect from the lethal Portuguese international. But those concerns are yesterday’s news with Ronaldo leading the way for United as he heads into this latest round of games having netted twice and assisted once in Rangnick’s opening four matches in charge.

Harry Kane, 11.3: Across the span of three games Harry Kane has quadrupled his Premier League output this season. England’s soon-to-be all-time top scorer had managed just one goal across his first 13 appearances before going on a scoring run of three consecutive matches. The reigning Golden Boot winner is way off the pace for this season’s crown — 11 behind Mohamed Salah — but we’ve seen Tottenham’s number nine go on a tear before and in nine previous top-flight meetings against Watford he’s grabbed three goals and two assists.


FanTeam’s Second Chance fantasy game explained:


Team news, injuries and suspensions for Gameweek 21

Sead Kolasinac remains sidelined for Arsenal through injury while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang continues to be frozen out. Calum Chambers, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Cedric Soares and Ainsley Maitland-Niles also sit out this game. As for Manchester City, there are question marks over the availability of Kyle Walker, Rodri and John Stones.

Claudio Ranieri is still missing a host of first-team players including former Tottenham defender Danny Rose, who’s in the physio room alongside Ismaila Sarr, Christian Kabasele, Ben Foster and Tom Cleverley among others. Kiko Femenia is a doubt. Steven Bergwijn, Cristian Romero and Ryan Sessegnon are ruled out for Spurs.

Patrick Vieira welcomes Wilfried Zaha back from suspension, but he’s missing Joachim Andersen, James McArthur, Eberechi Eze, Michael Olise and Nathaniel Clyne from his matchday squad. Declan Rice is also back for West Ham after serving a ban. Kurt Zouma, Angelo Ogbonna and Aaron Cresswell remain out for the Hammers through respective injuries.

Brentford boss Thomas Frank said he will be without “six normal starters” for the visit of Manchester City and those names — Kristoffer Ajer, Rico Henry, David Raya, Mathias Jorgensen, Charlie Goode, Vitaly Janelt, Bryan Mbeumo and Joshua Dasilva — could also miss this weekend’s game. Aston Villa visit West London without the suspended Tyrone Mings and injured duo Leon Bailey and Marvelous Nakamba, while there are doubts over Ashley Young’s participation.

Salomon Rondon and Richarlison are out for Everton, who could welcome Dominic Calvert-Lewin back into the fold. Andros Townsend and Yerry Mina join the aforementioned duo in the physio room while Tom Davies is a doubt. Jeremy Sarmiento, Lewis Dunk and Jurgen Locadia remain back home in Brighton.

Patrick Bamford could make his Leeds return this weekend. The same cannot be said for Liam Cooper, Charlie Cresswell, Kalvin Phillips, Rodrigo and Pascal Struijk who are ruled out for the hosts. Maxwel Cornet is back for Burnley, who must continue to do without Ashley Barnes and Connor Roberts.

Kyle Walker-Peters and Salisu are both suspended for a Southampton side also missing Alex McCarthy, Nathan Tella, Che Adams and Will Smallbone. Newcastle meanwhile make the long trek without leading scorers Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin. Isaac Hayden, Federico Fernandez, Jamal Lewis, Paul Dummett and Ryan Fraser are also on the sidelines.

Reece James and Andreas Christensen are set to miss Liverpool’s visit this weekend. They join fellow Chelsea defenders Ben Chilwell and Thiago Silva on Thomas Tuchel’s casualty list. As for Jurgen Klopp, he’s still without the suspended Andrew Robertson, while Thiago and Divock Origi are doubts.

Manchester United are missing Paul Pogba, Victor Lindelof and Anthony Martial, while Eric Bailly is doubtful after coming off in their Burnley win. There are no fewer than seven Wolves players who are either injured or questionable: Willy Boly, Rayan Ait Nouri, Hee-Chan Hwang, Yerson Mosquera, Pedro Neto and Jonny could all miss the trip to Old Trafford. Fábio Silva will be hoping to feature.

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