Change is coming in the Premier League as Chelsea has moved on from Frank Lampard. This is news that has been coming as Chelsea spent enough money to make the minimum expectation a top-four finish. But this firing wasn’t just on that as much as it was also on the failure (so far) to integrate high priced imports like Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, and Hakim Ziyech. Each of them has had moments of brilliance but none were consistent enough for the ever-fickle Chelsea board to be satisfied.
Lampard may feel hard done being sacked at the midway point but he knew what he was signing up for. The Chelsea board chews managers up and spits them out if they don’t bring silverware and that’s something that the likely replacement Thomas Tuchel will be saddled with as well. If he can’t make the top four with Chelsea this season then we’re going to be looking at an odd situation this summer where the board will likely make another move for a long-term replacement, whoever that may be.
When it comes to picking out who has the most to gain from Tuchel’s appointment it’s a tough one as Tuchel prefers a 4-3-3 formation which is the same formation that Lampard couldn’t get the best out of this team with. But Tuchel also has a history with Christian Pulisic and is expected to make Havertz and Werner work so as far as those three go, Chelsea will go. This is a case where I’m not comfortable picking out who wins out before we see what the formation is but in FPL we have time to wait and see what happens and in draft leagues, the price tag on Chelsea assets has gone down so much that you can scoop them for pennies on the dollar and wait to see what happens.
Moving to the transfer window it has opened with a whimper with one of the larger deals being that Tottenham sold a pitch to Leeds United. Yep… a pitch. Willan Jose has moved to Wolves to fill the massive void left by Raúl Jiménez and Jean-Philippe Mateta has joined Crystal Palace on loan to hopefully solve their forward woes. Both are loans with options to buy if they go well but it could be some time before either makes a massive difference in the fates of FPL managers.
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 this week’s schedule:
Tuesday 26 January
Crystal Palace v West Ham United
Newcastle United v Leeds United
Southampton v Arsenal
West Brom v Manchester City
Wednesday 27 January
Burnley v Aston Villa
Chelsea v Wolverhampton
Brighton v Fulham
Everton v Leicester City
Manchester United v Sheffield United
Thursday 28 January
Tottenham v Liverpool
Don’t get caught out in the crowd (25-40 percent rostered at the time of writing):
James Justin (DEF Leicester City 5.0m, 25.7%): Justin is in a tough situation because he was expected to lose his spot in the lineup with the return of Ricardo Pereira but he’s played so well that it’s hard to see him making way in the Premier League. With their upcoming schedule, a Leicester defender seems to be essential in FPL and with Peiera being subbed on as a winger in Leicester’s last game versus Chelsea it seems like all three fullbacks could coexist. If that’s the case, Justin being a bonus point magnet will go a long way for the Foxes. Upcoming fixtures versus Leeds United and Fulham offer good shots for both clean sheets and attacking return with how much time Justin spends forward in this formation and he’s not so expensive that it’s possible to pivot if needed down the line.
Worth your consideration (16-24 percent rostered):
Callum Wilson (FWD Newcastle United 6.6m, 19.4%): Wilson has been a revelation at forward for Newcastle United. If you said that Allan Saint-Maximin would miss most of the season to date and that Newcastle wouldn’t be in the relegation zone, I wouldn’t believe you. While I still can’t say that I understand how Newcastle isn’t in the relegation zone, Wilson is a very large force behind anything good that happens for the team with his 14 goal involvements so far this season. With Saint-Maximin finally rejoining the squad, it will open more options for the Newcastle attack starting with a good fixture versus Leeds United.
This makes Wilson an ideal forward three for those who are retooling as we head down the stretch. Even when Newcastle has a tougher fixture, Wilson being on penalties will always give him a decent shot at returns.
Solid if not Steller ( 10-15 percent rostered):
Phil Foden (MID Manchester City 6.3m, 11.5%): With Kevin De Bruyne out injured for at least a few weeks, the creative load is expected to fall to Bernardo Silva or Phil Foden. Considering his price tag, that means get in Foden now to ensure maximum value while he also has a good game against West Brom during midweek. Even if you’re only running Foden for the next three games or so, he’s a solid mid four and will at minimum get some corners for City.
Rolling the dice (under 10 percent rostered):
Raheem Sterling (MID Manchester City 11.5m, 8.1%): Kevin De Bruyne is out part two leads to openings for other premium assets to slide into your side. Sterling has battered lower half opposition this season with goals against Arsenal, Leeds United, Fulham, and Crystal Palace. Expand that to assists and eight of Sterling’s ten goal contributions have come against the bottom half of the league. With City facing West Brom, Sheffield United, and Burnley I like his chances if he starts a few games during that run. Someone will have to step up to keep City’s title challenge going and my money is on Sterling being that guy. If you’re looking for a differential captain with no Bruno Fernandes this week, Sterling fits into your armband as well.