Will Man Utd, Chelsea and Arsenal Suffer a Champions League Hangover
Game Week 16 – The Champions League Hangover
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If you thought being an FPL manager was tough enough, imagine for a second being a manager of an actual Premier League side, take it one step further and imagine managing a team that is competing on multiple fronts – one that includes the Champions League. As much as it is frustrating for us FPL managers when our players pick up injuries in these European encounters, it is equally frustrating for the likes of Pellegrini, LVG, Mourinho and Arsene Wenger – added to that, the pressure of trying to qualify (as Man Utd, Chelsea and Arsenal still have to do) and being able to compete on Saturday/Sunday in the Premier League.
With the exception of Man City, all of the English teams still face an uphill struggle to guarantee their Champions League status, with perhaps Man Utd and Arsenal having the toughest assignments away from home – so it is worth bearing in mind the potential hangover from these European games when it comes to planning your team for game week 16.
The Game Week 16 Hangover
Given that our teams have such tough tasks this week in Europe – we assess the chances of European qualification and the impact that this could have on game week 16.
Tuesday: Wolfsburg Vs. Man Utd and Man City Vs. M’gladbach
Man City are comfortably through the latter stages of the Champions League and are guaranteed second spot, which even with a victory tonight looks like it will be the outcome, however – if they lose tonight they will still finish in second spot so they can rest a few players if they so wish. Man Utd on the other hand (who also occupy second spot) find themselves with 8 points and need to win tonight to guarantee qualification. A win for The Reds would also secure top spot in what has been a tricky group but to win at Wolfsburg is no easy feat and the way United have lacked cutting edge in front of goal is a concern for Louis Van Gaal’s side.
Both sides have a relatively easy fixture in game week 16 with City taking on Swansea and Utd travelling to Bournemouth. Swansea will probably prove an easier task and so we will be sticking with our City players for FPL over their United counterparts – we are predicting another disappointing United display both tonight and against Swansea, whilst Man City (who will definitely be without Aguero for the UCL clash) will have a bit left in reserve for the Swansea clash.
Wednesday: Olympiakos Vs. Arsenal and Chelsea Vs. Porto
Arsenal got off to the worst possible start in the Champions League this season and despite a win over Bayern Munich they have stuttered throught this group phase meaning they have to beat Olympiakos by any other score than 1-0 or 2-1 to qualify. It is a long journey and will be both mentally and physically tiring. Chelsea take on Mourinho’s old club Porto and need to avoid defeat to guarantee qualification. The pressure will be on but I think Mourinho’s men will see it through.
The impact of these games on both of these clubs could come down to the results. If Arsenal and Chelsea both qualify then it could have a positive effect. If Arsenal don’t pull it off (which we think is a tough task and is unlikely) then it makes the trip to Villa Park all the more difficult. Arsenal have the quality to rip Villa to pieces – but the point being here that if Arsenal qualify, then expect something big at Villa Park – if they don’t, then the trip and the impact of crashing out of UCL group stages could carry over to the Premier League on Sunday.
A final word:
Keep an eye out on the Champions League this week, as the results will impact on your team in some way for GW16. We will of course keep you up to date with any injury concerns as a result but you should be tracking these yourself as well.
Fingers crossed for an injury free week.
You can check out our other game week 16 tips here.