I want to end this block of fixtures with a bang, and it'll take every pound of your budget (£102.5m) to squeeze this lot into a 3-4-3. It's time to go big, and I see a boatload of goals this weekend. Good luck, everyone; enjoy the rest, and we'll see you again after the World Cup.
FPL GW16 XI:
Emiliano Martinez (£4.9m - 2.9 Predicted Points)
For the final round before the break, I'm going for a highly differential goalkeeper, given my belief in Villa's new manager Unai Emery (despite his short time in post). The predicted data isn't great - only a 22 per cent chance of a clean sheet - but I believe the visitors will close the first half of their season out with two positive results after taking three points off Manchester United (GW15).
Emery is a mastermind of managing the underdog, and he will set his team to frustrate opponents.
Substitute: Danny Ward (£4.1m - 3.0 Predicted Points) – A starting placeholder.
Kurt Zouma (£4.5m - 3.1 Predicted Points)
The inclusion of Kurt Zouma has double appeal. A West Ham clean sheet comes in at 36 per cent, and despite their indifferent form, just two wins from their last six, David Moyes should be confident heading into this match.
Leicester sit fourteenth for xG since game week ten, while the Hammers have overperformed their xG conceded metric, which places them sixth.
Zouma also has set-piece potential as the Foxes do not defend the dead-ball very well and they sit fifth from bottom for aerial duels won. No team conceded more goals than Leicester (19) during 2021-22 from corners and free-kicks, and while they may have improved, this is only marginal, and they sit in the bottom three across the opening game weeks.
Kieran Trippier (£5.9m - 4.4 Predicted Points) and Fabian Schar (£4.9m - 3.5 Predicted Points)
The Newcastle double-up is essential, as no team has a better goal-against (GA) record with only 11 conceded. On Saturday, the Magpies entertain a Chelsea side that has struggled to find the net, with injuries making Graham Potter's task even more difficult on Saturday.
The Blues are thirteenth for xG and twelfth for total goals (17), and because of all this, I feel that the 31 per cent projected clean sheet rating is on the low side.
Substitutes: Neco Williams (£4.1m - 2.4 Predicted Points) and Tyrone Mings (£4.3m - 2.3 Predicted Points)
Gabriel Martinelli (£6.7m - 4.7 Predicted Points)
The Arsenal team will be laser-focused on winning at Molineux and remaining top during the World Cup break. Wolves are under new management, but the problem is a distinct lack of quality, and they will find it difficult to contain a side that has already scored 31 times this season and won five of their seven away fixtures.
Gabriel Martinelli is a great pick against a poor defence that averages over 1.5 goals against.
Wilfred Zaha (£7.5m - 4.4 Predicted Points)
The Eagles' talisman could spearhead the attack again, with Odsonne Edouard rated as a significant doubt (hamstring). Zaha showed last time out why he is such a good FPL pick with a goal plus an assist, and he will be looking to bank another double-digit haul before the break.
Despite a nice win in the Carabao Cup, statistically, Forest are the worst team in the league, and they do give up lots of opportunities (19th for xG conceded). This game is tailor-made for Zaha, who has a 1-in-2 chance of popping up with another attacking return.
Miguel Almiron (£5.8m - 4.4 Predicted Points)
With seven goals from his previous seven appearances, no player is returning more at present, and the Chelsea game provides another exciting opportunity for the South American to add to his tally.
The Blues have been poor defensively since Graham Potter took over, averaging 1.6xG conceded since game week nine. In contrast, Newcastle had the best attack during this period, with the second-best xG and the most goals (20). The predicted data underplays this pick, with Almiron given a meagre 21 per cent chance of finishing on a high, but this is an excellent fixture for Newcastle, who will want to stay in the Top Three for Christmas.
Kevin De Bruyne (£12.6m - 7.3 Predicted Points)
The midfield maestro tops the performance table across several attacking metrics with the highest chances created, the best xA data and the most FPL points in his position. De Bruyne is essential as the principal architect in the Premier League's best attack.
City welcome Brentford to The Etihad, and Thomas Frank's men have conceded 11 times on the road across their last three matches. This has contributed massively to their poor xG conceded numbers (18th), and it comes as no surprise to see De Bruyne placed fourth for predicted points with a 73 per cent chance of any return.
Substitute: Andreas Perreira (£4.6m - 3.4 Predicted Points) – A starting placeholder.
Harry Kane (£11.6m - 5.9 Predicted Points)
The England skipper continues to carry his teammates with Kane, the epitome of consistency – he has a 6.57 FPL point average per 90 and 1.1xGI. The game on Saturday, at home to Leeds, should suit Spurs as Jesse Marsch's focus is more on attack and the high press.
That leaves them vulnerable to the counterattack with lots of space in behind, which explains their 12 goals conceded in six games (1.8xG conceded). Kane is ranked third overall for predicted points, and his great odds of any return (74%) make him an excellent captaincy option despite Antonio Conte's admission that the striker is suffering from fatigue.
Erling Haaland (£12.1m - 2.7 Predicted Points)
Rested midweek and still not in perfect condition, but Haaland is still a must for GW16.
He has the highest xPoints and is heavily fancied to return (80%) - not much else needs to be said. Case closed for the armband.
Darwin Nunez (£8.9m - 4.6 Predicted Points)
The Uruguayan is one of my biggest differential picks of the season. While many have their eyes set on Mohamed Salah, I believe this game will suit Nunez much more.
Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold should prove to be chief creators, and his threat in the air will worry the Saints, who have the second-lowest aerial duels-win ratio. Nunez has averaged 1.2xGI per 90 since the international break, and his 55 per cent chance of returning may be a tad on the low side. I feel this could be a big haul.
Best FPL Tips For Gameweek 16:
FIRST PUBLISHED: 12th August 2021