The first game week of 2022 rolls on after a disjointed schedule in the final weeks of the year. Nevertheless, Fantasy Premier League managers are hoping to start 2022 with a bang despite two fixtures already having being called off.
Gameweek 21 is also the last game week before several FPL assets jet off for AFCON 2021 – Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Emmanuel Dennis in particular. Joao Cancelo was involved in a physical altercation with robbers during the week and could also be ruled out to compile the problems for another seemingly chaotic game week.
FootballCastle will be providing you with a number of differential replacements for the unavailable stars, as well as bargains who could prove vital in upcoming games.
David De Gea (£5.2m)
The Manchester United goalkeeper made a string of important saves in recent games and has been their most consistent performer this season. De Gea faces a kind run of fixtures and could be reliable between the sticks in your team.
Marc Cucurella (£5.0m)
The Spaniard was wonderful at both ends of the pitch in GW20 against Chelsea by clearing a shot off the line and supplying the assist for Danny Welbeck’s late equalizer.
The left-back has totalled 17 FPL points in his last two appearances for Brighton and is well placed to continue his good run.
Matty Cash (£5.0m)
The 24-year-old has improved alongside the defensive stability since Steven Gerrard took over and crucially retains his attacking threat from right-back.
Cash faces Brentford who have failed to score in their last two games and could slot right in to replace the injured Reece James. Aston Villa’s tempting schedule and their full-back’s good form make him a top pick given his price.
Kevin De Bruyne (£11.9m)
The Belgian’s stock will definitely increase once Salah becomes unavailable and rightly so given he has registered three goals and 26 FPL points in the last three appearances.
De Bruyne has also scored more times against Arsenal (five) than any opponent in his career so GW21 could be a brilliant time to bring him in.
Mason Mount (£7.7m)
The Englishman provided his sixth assist of the season in GW20 and has been Chelsea’s best points provider throughout December. Mount is capable of hauling in the all-important clash against title rivals Liverpool having also scored the winner at Anfield back in March.
Lucas Moura (£6.5m)
The winger has been in form under Antonio Conte and delivered 36 points in the last six games. The Brazilian looks reborn in the back-three system and could once again wreak havoc against Watford
Youri Tielemans (£6.4m)
Leicester face Norwich who have not scored in their last five matches and conceded 14 goals in that time. Tielemans has delivered five goals and two assists this season and would fancy his chances against the bottom side.
An appealing fixture with Burnley follows and the Belgian looks a reliable pick from now.
James Maddison (£6.9m)
Tielemans’ teammate has been in supreme form with four double-digit hauls in his last six games. He faces his former club in GW21 and we can’t see beyond an attacking return against Norwich.
Son Heung-min (£10.5m)
After registering four goals and two assists in each of his last five games, Son will be expected to continue his hot streak against Watford who are without a clean sheet this campaign.
The Hornets’ 2.3 goals conceded per home game is the highest in the league and Son could well extend his run of six goals in 11 meetings with Watford.
Jarrod Bowen (£6.6m)
The 24-year-old laid on two assists and scored another for a season-high FPL return of 14 points last time out against Watford. Hence, Bowen is the most transferred in player ahead of GW21 against Crystal Palace and has a good run of fixtures afterwards.
Harry Kane (£12.2m)
The England captain scored for the third game running in GW20 and it is safe to say Harry Kane the goalscorer is officially back. A look at key statistics also backs that claim.
In seven appearances under Antonio Conte, Kane has recorded more shots on target, big chances and expected goals than he managed in nine outings under the former manager.
Ollie Watkins (£7.8m)
Since Gerrard’s appointment, Watkins has scored three times and provided one assist in seven games. Having also played every single minute under the new gaffer, the striker will be keen to haul against former employers Brentford.
Armando Broja (£5.3m)
After scoring four times from only seven starts, the on-loan striker is in line to return to the starting line-up against Newcastle following a cameo in GW20.
Their opponents are without a clean sheet away from home this season and Broja will be keen to continue that spell.