Fuzzy's FPL Favorites - GW18

Fuzzy's FPL Favorites - GW18
Steve Rothgeb takes a look at the FPL landscape ahead of Week 18, touching on players worth buying, selling, avoiding and keeping the faith with.
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Everton officially announced new contracts for a trio of upstart academy products who have become starters this season.

The club signed Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who has two goals and six assists this season, to a six-year contract through 2023 while defenders Jonjoe Kenny and Mason Holgate sign on through the summer of 2022. Said manager Sam Allardyce: "We’re delighted that these young men have committed long-term to the Club and there’s no doubt in my mind that they will play big roles at Everton for a long time to come. The depth of young talent in our squad is very encouraging, a clear sign that we do things right as a Club in our development of young players and Mason, Jonjoe and Dominic epitomise what we are trying to accomplish with young players here at Everton."
Dec 14 - 11:52 PM

Time may be running out on Christian Benteke's starting role atop Crystal Palace's formation as manager Roy Hodgson grows impatient.

The Crystal Palace manager suggested that his patience is running thin as the club's record signing has yet to score a Premier League goal this season. Given Bakary Sako's recent run of form, Hodgson indicated that Benteke may not have a starting spot for long during the festive period: "If the goals aren't coming he needs to be making certain he's making a good contribution to the team's play, both in terms of our attacking and our defensive play. We certainly can't afford to carry anybody, let alone carry a goalscorer that isn't scoring goals."
Source: Sky Sports
Dec 14 - 11:46 PM

Defensive problems are beginning to mount for Stoke City with Kurt Zouma set for a spell on the sidelines.

The on-loan Chelsea defender has started all but one Premier League game for the Potters since arriving in the summer, but a suspected hamstring injury threatens to sideline him over over Christmas. Already without Bruno Martins Indi until late January, Mark Hughes will now look to partner Kevin Wimmer with captain Ryan Shawcross over the busy festive period if tests confirm a muscular tear or strain. The Stoke manager is under increasing pressure following a poor run of results, and Hughes felt the loss of Zouma was indicative of his sides current bad luck. "It's hard to take, Burnley didn't deserve to win, clearly. I'm pleased with what we produced tonight," he said. "We felt the loss of Kurt Zouma. If we'd have kept Ryan and Kurt they'd have dealt with that situation."
Dec 14 - 6:00 AM

Jonjo Shelvey will miss the next two games following his dismissal on Wednesday evening.

The Newcastle midfielder was making his first start since November as Rafa Benitez made a raft of changes to try and halt the clubs alarming slide down the table. The Geordies have taken just one-point from a possible 24 [at least three points fewer than any other Premier League side] over the last 8-games leaving them teetering on the edge of the relegation zone. And another dreary night on Tyneside was capped when Shelvey received his second booking deep into injury time [90+4] for a horrible tackle on Everton midfielder Idrissa Gueye. His sending off means the 25-year-old must now serve a two-match ban since this is his second red card of the campaign. Despite "being different" [from the one versus Tottenham], [it's] still a red card," and Benitez was clearly unhappy. Isaac Hayden is expected to return to the side in a game at the Emirates which Newcastle can ill-afford to lose.
Dec 14 - 5:42 AM

Jose Mourinho didn’t go as far as to say that Eric Bailly would not play again this season, but the United boss did imply the defender will be sidelined for a significant period.

Speaking after the 1-0 win over Bournemouth on Wednesday, Mourinho admitted Bailly had suffered a "serious" ankle injury while on international duty in November. "We are trying a conservative treatment," he said. "But, if [that fails], probably he will have a surgical procedure," although Mourinho was keen to stress that he is "not a doctor" and any diagnosis or timescale would be better coming from a qualified medical practitioner. The return of Marcos Rojo has helped to ease the burden while the improved form of Victor Lindelof is encouraging. Phil Jones and Chris Smalling are fit, for now at least, but it would be extremely naïve to think that the pair will remain that way for long given their recent history. Daley Blind is an option and Michael Carrick could also be deployed at centre-back once fully fit.
Dec 14 - 5:14 AM

Bournemouth created plenty of chances but found Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea impenetrable in a 1-0 at Old Trafford.

Eddie Howe's side were potent on the attack and registered five more shots on target than Manchester United, but couldn't find the back of the net on a rainy night in Manchester. Charlie Daniels was first to challenge with a powerful strike but his low drive was tipped away by De Gea. The Cherries responded after United took the lead through Romelu Lukaku on 25 minutes, but De Gea reached to parry away Junior Stanislas' deflected strike and later thwarted a pair of effort by substitute Jermain Defoe. The result leaves Bournemouth just two points above the relegation zone and winless in five league matches. Speaking after the match, Howe said: "They have an outstanding goalkeeper who made a number of good saves and maybe we could have done better in and around their box, but when you consider the opposition and where we were playing, I was very pleased with my players."
Source: Sky Sports
Dec 13 - 7:36 PM

Claude Puel got the better of his former club Southampton as Leicester City ran rampant in a 4-1 win at the St. Mary's Stadium.

Coming off a strong performance in the 1-1 draw against Arsenal, Southampton's defense was unable to handle a rejuvenated Leicester City attack. Riyad Mahrez struck first, afforded too much space as he dribbled unchallenged to the edge of the area and fired into the bottom corner past Fraser Forster. Shinji Okazaki made it 2-0 shortly after the half-hour mark when Southampton failed to clear a Christian Fuchs shot, while Harry Maguire was given time to turn and pick out Andy King at the far post six minutes later. The home side improved after the break and pulled one back when Yoshida rose to head in Ryan Bertrand's corner. But the Foxes crushed any hopes of comeback when Jamie Vardy picked out Okazaki's diagonal run and the striker completed his brace. Overall, it was a bad night for the Saints.
Source: NBC Sports
Dec 13 - 6:45 PM

Romelu Lukaku scored the lone goal as Manchester United rebounded from their Manchester derby defeat with a 1-0 victory over Bournemouth on a rainy night at Old Trafford.

Jose Mourinho made four changes to the side that fell 2-1 at the weekend, bring in Luke Shaw, Phil Jones, Scott McTominay and Juan Mata. On 25 minutes United struck when Mata feathered a cross to the back post, and Lukaku leapt highest to head home his goal 14th of the season. Bournemouth had chances throughout the match but David de Gea was up for the challenge, making a seven saves en route to his 11th clean sheet of the season. United could have doubled their advantage twice in the second-half, but Martial fired a sitter over from six yards out and Marcus Rashford rattled a drive back off the crossbar. The victory means United remain second in the table and three points clear of third-place Chelsea.
Source: NBC Sports
Dec 13 - 6:01 PM
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