FPL Gameweek 21: Transfer Tips, Captain & Team

fpl gw21 tips

It is time to prepare our Fantasy Premier League teams for Gameweek 21 and a period, where we will be without some key FPL assets, such as Salah, Son, Kudus, and Hwang, who are going to AFCON and Asian Cup. And while December schedule was very busy and we saw 7 gameweeks in just one month, there will be just 2 gameweeks in January due to the Winter Break.

Let’s jump to our FPL GW21 Tips with the best picks, fixtures, transfer targets, odds, captain picks, and team selection.

1. Dealing with AFCON and Asian Cup

How long will AFCON and Asian Cup players be out?

Some players might just miss one gameweek (or two gameweeks) – players that will be eliminated in the group stage. Gameweek 22 starts on January 30, while the last AFCON Group stage game is scheduled on January 24.

See more in our FPL calendar.

Other players (those who make it to the final will likely miss 4 gameweeks, as the AFCON final is scheduled on 11 February, while the GW25 starts on 17 February. Or it could even be 5 gameweeks – if there is a delay for returning players due to the winning celebration.

Read more about which players will miss PL due to AFCON and Asian Cup in our article: Which players go to AFCON and Asian Cup? (+Impact on FPL)

Selling AFCON and Asian Cup players

  • If you have a lot of AFCON and Asian Cup players in your team, you could consider benching some of them – those who are less expensive and less likely to progress from the group stage (as they might miss just 1 gameweek)
  • Prioritize selling more expensive players and players who are likely to progress deep in their tournaments

*If you have Onana and a playing bench goalkeeper, keep Onana as he actually might play in GW21

Transfer AFCON and Asian Cup players first

  • If you have some players in your team that you are not happy long term (for example Diaby, Rashford, Darwin, etc…) it is not a priority to sell them now, so you should give them another chance. Prioritize selling players that went to AFCON or Asian Cup

Read more:

2. Fantasy Premier League Gameweek 21 Tips

  • Do not forget that the deadline for GW21 was moved to Friday!!
  • There are FA Cup and Carabao Cup games before GW21 (see more in our FPL calendar), so anything could happen before GW21 deadline
  • Toney should be back for Gameweek 21, so do not overlook him. Put him on your watchlist. But it remains to be seen whether he plays in GW21 or not, as there are rumors he might be sold in January.
  • De Bruyne was back on Man. City bench – expect Alvarez to get fewer minutes in the future (but that should not be a problem right away)
  • If you have one free transfer, just do not make an early transfer – it doesn’t make sense, save your free transfer close to the deadline as there are two weeks between GW20 – GW21 deadline. You will have to suffer a few price drops, but it is far better than transferring in a player who might get injured during two weeks long break.
  • If you have two free transfers, you can potentially use one free transfer early, and save the other for the deadline, however, we would still advise saving both free transfers to Friday 12 January.

Should you take hits if you have too many injured players?

  • Mini-wildcard is an option (2 free transfers + 1 hit for -4) to rebalance your squad to deal with AFCON absences
  • We think it is okay to take up to -8 points hit this gameweek given how many absentees we have. If you cannot fix issues in your team with -8 points hit, you might consider suing your wildcard. But be careful, we still think the second wildcard will be more valuable a bit later in the season. Read more: When to use second wildcard in 2023/24 season?

Haaland plan for GW21/GW22

  • Wait for Haaland’s injury news. Despite that Newcastle is struggling defensively, Haaland is not a priority transfer for us in GW21 (if fit).
  • Haaland was back in training for City, but Guardiola said again that “maybe Newcastle”, so it is not 100% guaranteed he will start in GW21. But it looks like for GW22 he will be fit. Haaland also missed the Cup game against Huddersfield on January 7.
  • As it stands, we are not going to buy Haaland in GW21. But that could change if there is new information before the deadline. Read more about it in our article: Our Haaland plan for GW21

What to do with Bowen and Trent Alexander Arnold?

Read more in our articles:

3. FPL Gameweek 21 Transfer Tips and Key Players to pick

Key players to pick

  • Saka, Odegaard – aim to have at least one Arsenal midfielder – you could even double up on their midfield as you will be looking for Son and Salah replacement
  • Gabriel/Saliba/Raya –  have at least one Arsenal defensive player
  • Palmer – good stats, fixtures, on penalties
  • Watkins
  • Pedro Porro – attacking threat, on set pieces while Maddison is out

Transfer targets

  • Jota
  • Gross
  • Foden
  • Doughty
  • Estupinan – back from injury, great fixture run
  • Joao Pedro
  • VVD
  • Walker
  • Richarlison
  • Bowen, Ward Prowse, Souček

Who to transfer out – prioritize transferring out AFCON and Asian Cup players, solve other issues later

  • Salah
  • Son
  • Kudus
  • Hwang
  • Mitoma
  • Jackson
  • Wissa
  • Trent Alexander Arnold

4. Fixtures to target in FPL GW21

In which fixtures we could expect a lot of fantasy points? These are the fixtures to target in Gameweek 21 according to bookies odds.

  • Arsenal vs. Crystal Palace: The Gunners 76 % to win, 40 % to score 2.5+ goal
  • Chelsea vs. Fulham: The Blues 65 % to win, 35 % to score 2.5+ goal
  • Brighton vs. Wolves: Brighton 61 % to win, 31 % to score 2.5+ goal
  • Bournemouth vs. Liverpool: The Reds 60 % to win, 38 % to score 2.5+ goals

Find 2.5+ goals odds for all teams in our article: Premier League Over 2.5 Goals Odds.

5. Updated watchlists: Best players to pick in Gameweek 21 and beyond

We also looked at players from each position: goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders, and forwards and updated our watchlists.

We examine which players are best picks in each price bracket: budget enablers, midpriced picks, and premium options. Check our watchlists with our ratings and comments here:

6. Best captain pick in Gameweek 21

According to our captaincy indexSaka is the best captain in FPL Gameweek 21 with a captaincy index score of 1.38.

Palmer (captaincy index score 1.3) is the number 2 captaincy pick and Sterling (1.28) is number 3.

But you could also consider Jota, Odegaard or Alvarez (if Haaland is still not back).

7. What bookies odds say about Gameweek 21

As usual, we converted bookies odds into probabilities using our Odds to probability calculator, to assess the potential of gameweek 21.

Clean sheet odds for GW21

Arsenal (55 %) is the most likely team to keep a clean sheet in GW21. Bookies also favor Chelsea (39 %) and Brighton (38 %) to potentially keep a clean sheet in GW21 But we are pretty skeptical about Brighton’s clean sheet odds according to bookies odds, as Brighton is yet to keep a clean sheet this season.

Bookies expect 4.84 clean sheets in gameweek 21 in the last season, we were used to a rate of 5.45 per clean sheets gameweek. This season we have seen clean sheets at the rate of 4.25 clean sheets per gameweek.

You can see the expected clean sheets table and clean sheet odds for all Premier League teams here.

Expected clean sheets

Due to correction in the number of clean sheets: Bournemouth, Everton

Bournemouth overperformed their defensive expectations the most of all teams. They should have kept 3.4 clean sheets instead of 5 according to our expected clean sheets table.

Due to an improvement in the number of clean sheets: Brighton, Chelsea

Brighton underperformed their defensive expectations the most from all teams. They should have kept 5.01 clean sheets instead of 1 according to our expected clean sheets table.

You can see the expected clean sheets table and clean sheet odds for all Premier League teams here.

Goalscoring odds for GW21

Check who leads any time goalscoring odds for GW21 here: Premier League Goalsocring Odds.

8. Using Chips (Wildcard) in GW21

GW21 might be tempting to use your second wildcard to deal with AFCON and Asian Cup absentees. However, if you could manage this difficult period with free transfers and just very few hits – we think you should do that. The second wildcard will be more valuable later in the season.

Read more: When to use a second wildcard in FPL?

9. FPL GW21 Team selection: Scout Picks

Now let’s look at our FPL team selection for Gameweek 21. Saka is our captain.

fpl gw21 team selection
fpl gw21 team selection

10. Fantasy Premier League Tips

Find more tips, strategies and picks for Fantasy Premier League in these articles:

We hope our FPL GW21 tips with the best picks, fixtures, transfer targets, odds, captain picks, and team selection helped you to gather some useful information before the Gameweek 21 deadline.

Feel free to JOIN our Fantasy Football Reports mini-league by clicking this link or using our league code ti56kl.

Good luck in FPL GW21!

Matej Šuľan

Fantasy Football enthusiast with two top 1k finishes in FPL. Best FPL overall rank: 119th in 2019/20 season. Five top 500 finishes in UCL Fantasy, best overall rank: 23rd in 2018/19 season. Founder of Fantasy Football Reports.

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