FPL Gameweek 18 Preview – Tips, Fixtures, Stats – 20/21

The New Year’s Day Fixtures came with a bang and brought more twists and turns in the Premier League title race. Leaders, Liverpool, are now three games without a win and their arch-rivals, Manchester United, can take the top spot with just a point in Gameweek 18.

Fantasy Premier League managers are now faced with a Blank Gameweek, containing just six matches. The Free Hit chip will be active for many.

To help find the best choices from a limited pool of players, we look at each Premier League teams’ percentage chance of winning, the most likely goalscorers and which defenders to target for a clean sheet.

Sheffield United vs Newcastle

  • Home Win: 40%
  • Draw: 30%
  • Away Win: 30%

New year, but the same old story for Sheffield United as they lost their 15th match out of 17. The Blades rarely threatened Crystal Palace in their 2-0 defeat and have still only scored eight goals so far, this Premier League season. Sheffield haven’t scored in the last three games.

In Gameweek 18, Newcastle United head to Bramall Lane and will look to get their season back on track after going five Premier League games without a win. Newcastle lost 2-1 to Leicester in the last Gameweek and the absence of Allan Saint-Maximin and Ryan Fraser continued to impact the creativity of The Magpies. Andy Carroll’s goal could earn him a start this week, making him a great punt for a Free Hit, priced at just £5.2m.

Goalscorer: Callum Wilson 35%

Clean Sheet

  • Home: 38%
  • Away: 32%

Differential Pick: Federico Fernandez 32% Clean Sheet, 1.9% ownership (£4.7m)

Burnley vs Man United

  • Home Win: 13%
  • Draw: 21%
  • Away Win: 66%

Prior to Burnley’s postponed game with Fulham, they grinded out a 1-0 win against bottom of the league, Sheffield United. The Clarets put on another strong defensive display which earned them their third clean sheet from the last five games. Ben Mee scored the only goal and with the clean sheet, he scored 15 FPL points.

Top place hopefuls, Manchester United, will take on Burnley at Turf Moor and just one point will see them knock Liverpool off the top spot. The Red Devils earned a 2-1 win against Aston Villa last time and they are now the most in form team in the league. On top of this, their midfielder, Bruno Fernandes, picked up his 11th goal of the season. Averaging 8.3 points per game, the Portuguese playmaker is the most in form player in FPL.

Goalscorer: Bruno Fernandes 44%

Clean Sheet

  • Home: 14%
  • Away: 40%

Differential Pick: Anthony Martial 38% to score, 6.1% ownership (£8.7m)

Wolves vs Everton

  • Home Win: 40%
  • Draw: 29%
  • Away Win: 31%

It’s now four games without a win for Wolves as they gave up their 3-1 half-time lead to draw 3-3 away at Brighton. On the positive side, it was the first time Wolves had scored more than two goals in a Premier League game this season. £5.1m Defender, Romain Saiss, appears to have muscled his way back into the starting XI and scored his second goal in the last three games.

Wolves will face Everton in Gameweek 18 with the latter slipping out of the top four after losing 1-0 to West Ham. Although the game was even, it was decided by a late West Ham winner. It’s worth noting that striker, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, has now gone five games without a goal and is now averaging just 3.4 points per game.

Goalscorer: Dominic Calvert-Lewin 35%

Clean Sheet

  • Home: 35%
  • Away: 30%

Differential Pick: Conor Coady 35% Clean Sheet, 5.8% ownership (£4.9m)

Man City vs Brighton

  • Home Win: 82%
  • Draw: 13%
  • Away Win: 5%

Manchester City appear to have found their rhythm as they swept aside Chelsea in their 3-1 victory. This made it seven Premier League games unbeaten for The Citizens as they continued to creep up the table. Playmaker, Kevin De Bruyne, has taken up the role of the false nine and is excelling in the position as he picked up a goal and an assist in the last Gameweek.

Brighton are up against Man City midweek after they rescued a point against Wolves in their 3-3 draw. Neal Maupay came back into the starting XI and scored his second goal in the last three games. He will be up against a stronger defensive this week though as City have conceded just two goals in the last seven games.

Goalscorer: Raheem Sterling 60%

Clean Sheet

  • Home: 57%
  • Away: 7%

Differential Pick: John Stones 57% Clean Sheet, 6.9% ownership (£5.0m)

Tottenham vs Fulham

  • Home Win: 70%
  • Draw: 20%
  • Away Win: 10%

Tottenham Hotspur are coming off a strong 3-0 win against Leeds last week and that dynamic duo teamed up again. Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min both picked up a goal and an assist in the victory. The pair now have 22 goals and 16 assists, between them, from 16 Premier League games.

A quick fixture reshuffle sees Spurs host Fulham in Gameweek 18. The Cottagers sit in 18th place after not featuring in the last two Gameweeks. They have, however, drawn four in a row and appear to be tougher to break down than at the start of the season.

Goalscorer: Harry Kane 59%

Clean Sheet

  • Home: 48%
  • Away: 12%

Differential Pick: Eric Dier 48% Clean Sheet, 6.0% ownership (£5.1m)

Arsenal vs Crystal Palace

  • Home Win: 63%
  • Draw: 23%
  • Away Win: 14%

Arsenal made it three wins on the bounce and last week was their most impressive as they crushed West Brom 4-0. Striker, Alexandre Lacazette, has now scored four goals in the last three games. Priced at £8.3m and with just a 6.4% ownership, the Frenchman could prove to be a great differential.

Crystal Palace head to the Emirates this week after picking up their first win in six Premier League games. Eberechi Eze ran the game for The Eagles and picked up the second goal in the 2-0 win. The forward will be hoping to prevent The Gunners from gaining their third Clean Sheet in a row.

Goalscorer: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang 51%

Clean Sheet

  • Home: 45%
  • Away: 17%

Differential Pick: Alexandre Lacazette 48% to score, 7.2% ownership (£8.3m)

Previous fan of the Fantasy Football Pundit page and now a contributor. FPL obsessed Nottingham Forest fan, who loves picking out the season’s hidden gems and differentials.