It’s finally here, the Premier League “ winter break”. The 10 fixtures for gameweek 26 will be spread over a nine-day period so that each team gets about a week off. So it’s not the same as the Bundesliga getting almost a month but it’s a start to a *possible* extended break for the Premier League and a good litmus test for figuring things out for the World Cup in 2022. There were some FA Cup replays that took place on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week and there was quite a bit of drama in those.
The Baby Reds took care of business winning 1-0 versus Shrewsbury while Jurgen Klopp and the entire first team were on holiday. The Geordie faithful showed an interesting celebratory flair after Allan Saint-Maximin’s 116th-minute winner and Spurs were bailed out by a questionable penalty versus Southampton. And just like that, the Premier League goes marching on through the FA Cup and the possibility of a very sparse gameweek 31 looms.
With making transfers for this gameweek, if someone has a knock and is playing on the second half of fixtures I’m still adding them (unless it’s James Ward-Prowse). It may be a little naive but all things considered, if someone’s at 50-75 percent to play, they’ll feature in this round. I did a double transfer of Djibril SidIbe and Richarlison out in favor of Son Heung Min and Serge Aurier. While that puts me behind the eight ball since Everton likely plays in gameweek 31 the points for now as I look to rectify my rank are more important.
Top Transfer Targets will take a look at the ownership tiers in FPL breaking down the best options in each. The tiers will be broken down as 25-40 percent owned, 15-24 percent, 10-15 percent, under 10 percent. This article will also include players to offload, some due to injury or being dropped by their teams, and others due to performance.
Let’s look at the fixtures over the next few weeks:
Saturday 8 February
Everton v Crystal Palace
Brighton v Watford
Sunday 9 February
Sheffield United v Bournemouth
Manchester City v West Ham United
Friday 14 February
Wolverhampton v Leicester
Saturday 15 February
Southampton v Burnley
Norwich v Liverpool
Sunday 16 February
Aston Villa v Tottenham
Arsenal v Newcastle
Monday 17 February
Chelsea v Manchester United
Players to drop:
John Lundstram (DEF Sheffield United 5.0m, 44.5%): It’s time, Lord Lundstram’s reign is over. With Sander Berge already pipping him for a starting spot as Lunstram was already a rotation risk, he’s no longer the best set and forget 4.0m defender in the game. The good news is that if you got Lundstram at the beginning of the season, you’ve added a nice spot of 0.5 to your budget. The simple slide is to move Lundstram to John Egan to keep your Sheffield United defense intact. While you’d lose your attacking output you’d still keep one of the best defenses in the game. Another pricier option is moving to Serge Aurier. With a good game versus Aston Villa this gameweek and spurs turning things around defensively, Aurier can really reel in the points.
The 40 percent Club is ever-growing and now includes Kevin De Bruyne, John Lundstram, Virgil Van Dijk, Mo Salah and Trent Alexander Arnold. So there’s the Liverpool three that most are carrying at this point in the season!
Don’t get caught out in the crowd (25-40 percent owned at the time of writing):
Danny Ings (FWD Southampton 7.0m, 28.9%): Ings has been on a slight cold streak lately but don’t let that deter your faith in the Saints marksman. Ings hasn’t scored in three but did find the back of the net in a stellar showing versus Tottenham in the FA Cup. Ing’s upcoming games will see him face Burnley, Aston Villa, West Ham, and Newcastle. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him score in all four but at least two out of the four seems pretty close to a lock.
Solid if not stellar (10-15 percent):
Nick Pope (GK Burnley 4.7m, 14.8%): I wanted to give this spot to Dean Henderson badly but I’m against spending 5.0m or more for a keeper (yes even for Allison). Pope has solid fixtures, plays in gameweek 28 and has everything that you’d like to target in a Mat Ryan replacement keeper.
Rolling the dice (under 10 percent):
Heung-Min Son (MID Tottenham 10.0m, 9.6%): One of the biggest pros of the signing of Steven Bergwijn is that it makes Son that much harder to defend. Starting the game on the right side of Midfield, Son then came over to the left and even played center forward versus Manchester City. Then versus Southampton, Son took a confident penalty and raved about how he's been practicing them so far. Do we possibly have a new Spurs penalty taker? Considering that this is only the second penalty won without Kane on the pitch in the last few years since Keiran Trippier's miss, possibly. All of this together plus the upcoming matches for Spurs and possible doubles in the future 100% has Son very high on my radar.
Serge Aurier (DEF Tottenham 5.0m, 6.1%): It's the attack of the Hotspur as I recommend back to back Spurs. While this will possibly give you headaches in gameweek 31, Aurier is returning with ease with two clean sheets and an assist in his last three matches. Becoming a trusted member of the Mourinho backline, Aurier doesn’t have a bad run and now he has new toys to assist as well.
Chris Wood (FWD Burnley 6.2m, 2.0%): Chris Wood has been finding his form for the Clarets. In his last five fixtures, Wood has three goals and one assist. And while he was unlucky to find the scoresheet versus Arsenal, it wasn’t due to not having the chances. Wood has Southampton, Bournemouth, and Newcastle on the horizon as well.