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Premier League 2022/23 Season: FPL Fantasy Forecast - Gameweek 18

Ahead of each Gameweek in the Premier League, The Hype Train's team - Robert Austin, Sam Austin, and Phil Jones - provide a rundown of the upcoming round of games in the Premier League; predicting scores for every game, picking a budgeted squad of 15 players that we think are the top selections each week, whilst ee also comb over other relevant statistics, impressions and insight from around the game and the league to best navigate you through the world of fantasy football, all for free. Welcome to the Forecast. All aboard.

Premier League: Gameweek 18 Fixtures:

2022/23 Premier League Season: Fixture Predictions

Below, our score predictions pit the train's three members against one another. Let's find out how they think the Gameweek will shape up for teams.

2022/23 Premier League Season: Fantasy Forecast

The team go through a list of questions and insight to provide their predictions ahead of each Gameweek. None of the team pay for any subscription based FPL services, and the type of opinions here are based in both stats and analytical thinking where possible, as we tackle the latest round of games.

2022/23 Premier League Season: Gameweek Fantasy Forecast (Sam Austin)

Fixture Predictions: Gameweek 18

West Ham 1-2 Brentford

Liverpool 3-0 Leicester

Wolves 1-2 Man United

Bournemouth 1-1 Crystal Palace

Fulham 2-0 Southampton

Man City 4-0 Everton

Newcastle 2-0 Leeds

Brighton 0-2 Arsenal

Spurs 2-1 Aston Villa

Nottingham Forest 0-2 Chelsea

FPL Forecasting: Gameweek 18

Who are the teams to look out for and avoid?:

Newcastle (Watch): Good defence, good going forward.

Man City (Watch): They are playing an underachieving Everton at home, who may drop into the relegation zone this weekend.

West Ham (Avoid): The Hammers look like they have forgotten how to score, how to get into the box, and how to defend. There is real concern that the Hammers are stooping into a relegation fight, and Brentford are in good footing to steal a win on the road this weekend.

Top FPL player targets ahead of Gameweek 18:

GK: Nick Pope (NEW, GK, £5.3mil, 21.% ownership)

DEF: Andrew Robertson (LIV, DEF, £6.8mil, 6.2% ownership)

MID: Marcus Rashford (MUN, FWD, £6.8mil, 31.2% ownership)

FWD: Aleksandar Mitrović (FUL, FWD, £6.9mil, 23.0% ownership)

Gameweek 18 - FPL Differential Picks:

WHU/BRE: Michail Antonio (WHU, FWD, £7.0mil, 1.5% ownership)

LIV/LEI: Andrew Robertson (LIV, DEF, £6.8mil, 6.2% ownership)

WOL/MUN: Anthony Martial (MUN, FWD, £6.7mil, 5.7% ownership)

BOU/CRY: Kieffer Moore (BOU, FWD, £5.4mil, 1.5% ownership)

FUL/SOU: Bobby De Cordova-Reid (FUL, MID, £5.5mil, 0.2% ownership)

MCI/EVE: Manuel Akanji (MCI, DEF, £5.0mil, 1.6% ownership)

NEW/LEE: Joelinton (NEW, MID, £5.9mil, 0.6% ownership)

BHA/ARS: Eddie Nketiah (ARS, FWD, £6.5mil, 2.5% ownership)

TOT/AVL: Son Hueng-Min (TOT, MID, £11.6mil, 6.0% ownership)

NFO/CHE: Christian Pulisic (CHE, MID, £5.7mil, 0.6% ownership)

Differential Captain: Eddie Nketiah (Arsenal)

The young Englishman looks like he is going to get a chance up front in the wake of Gabriel Jesus’ injury that the Brazilian picked up at the World Cup. The good thing for Arsenal is that Nketiah was top draw in the Gunners comprehensive win over Arsenal, even picking up his first goal of the season after a string of cameos off the bench. The team top of the league travel to Brighton, who have regularly been a thorn in the side of the Gunners, but this Arsenal team is different and they will need Nketiah to step up to take three points.

FPL Captaincy Picks:

Essential: Erling Haaland (MCI)

Alternative: Mo Salah (LIV)

Differential (low ownership %): Eddie Nketiah (ARS)

Rest of the World XI Challenge Team:

What is Sam’s team all about?: For the 22/23 season, Sam’s latest challenge sees his actual squad only being comprised of players from outside of Europe, with players only from Asia, North and South America, Australasia, and Africa considered.

Target Points: 2330pts

Total Points: 789pts

22/23 Captaincy: 8/17

Ins: Koulibaly (CHE)

Outs: Emerson Royal (TOT)

Transfer Thoughts: I am keeping the team largely the same as I don’t want to drop points, and mostly it is because a lot of players didn’t get minutes. Jimenez (WOL) who was tipped to start got a total of zero minutes, and Emerson Royal was benched for Spurs. I would liked to have brought in Pulisic but I think it is a sideways move at the moment with Anthony that will lose me points.

The Gameweek 18 team of the non-EU challenge includes:

22/23 Challenge Team: Rest of the World XI

GW17 Formation: 3-5-2

GK: Alisson (LIV)

DEF: Kalidou Koulibaly (CHE)

DEF: Thiago Silva (CHE)

DEF: Gabriel (ARS)

MID: Wilfried Zaha (CRY)

MID: Mohamad Salah (LIV) - (C)

MID: Miguel Almirón (NEW) - (VC)

MID: Gabriel Martinelli (ARS)

MID: Hueng-Min Son (TOT)

FWD: Bryan Mbeumo (BRE)

FWD: Darwin Nunez (LIV)


GK: Wily Caballero (SOU)

DEF: Pervis Estupiñán (BHA)

FWD: Raúl Jiménez (WOL)

DEF: Daniel Amartey (LEI)

2022/23 Premier League Season: Gameweek Fantasy Forecast (Robert Austin)

Fixture Predictions: Gameweek 18

West Ham 2-2 Brentford

Liverpool 3-0 Leicester

Wolves 1-1 Man United

Bournemouth 2-1 Crystal Palace

Fulham 3-1 Southampton

Man City 4-0 Everton

Newcastle 2-0 Leeds

Brighton 1-2 Arsenal

Spurs 2-0 Aston Villa

Nottingham Forest 1-2 Chelsea

FPL Forecasting: Gameweek 18

How did FPL shape up with the league’s restart?:

The more things change, the more they stay the same when it came to the FPL. Players in form, have remained in form. Mitrovic, Almiron, Haaland, Kane, Rashford, Trippier, Martinelli Toney, Salah, Saka, etc all came through for the 10+ million active squads in the game. The game has picked up where it picked off, with the main thing of note for Gameweek 17 was the predictability in the outcomes – the top half of the table were dominant and the fixtures allowed for a clear segregation of the top and bottom. What GW17 confirmed is that the trends already established (such as captaining Haaland and backing Miggy Almiron for instance) won’t go away for the rest of the season.

Erling Haaland’s making everyone else look mediocre…

20 goals after 14 league games is just ridiculous and unheard of in the league, with the frightening fact that the Norwegian could have scored more this season too, and was visibly disappointed that he didn’t score 5 against Leeds to end Gameweek 17. Haaland’s current form should see the Forward breach 40 goals in the league quite easily and it’s clear that the majority of the FPL populace with be permanently putting the armband on the 136-point player.

What this is overshadowing, largely, is the very good form of other Forward’s, Harry Kane (13), Ivan Toney (11 goals), and Alexsander Mitrovic (10), with all 4 attacker’s on course for 20+ goals themselves. Kane’s current form, if the England captain stays injury free, could see Kane get close to breaching the 30-goal mark, a feat that has only been managed 11 times in Premier League history. Each of these players are in ridiculous form, and the only suggestion is that you need to have Haaland and a combination of these attackers as we move deeper into the season, you might be left behind otherwise.

Is it the right time to Triple Captain on Haaland?:

I was asked a question by one of my football team at Hype Train FC if Triple Captaining Erling Haaland was a good idea as he (Brad) is sure that Haaland’s going to get a hat-trick. I’ve talked him out of playing his Bench Boost and explained that he should wait to use this until later in the season, after he has played his second Wildcard, but the idea of using a TC is more interesting.

I’ve been baited into the trap of playing my Triple Captaincy chip twice on the final day of the season as the perfect storm on a player fizzled out, so if you don’t want to wait, a game like this against a weak Everton side is perfect. I’d rather wait until the Double Gameweek schedule really comes about in the coming weeks, especially as Man City are involved, but you run the risk of rotation and being out of form at the right time to play the chip. So never feel guilty of playing the chip if you are sure of it, but my advice right now, be it unfounded based on my own personal experience, is to wait for just a little bit longer.

Who are the top replacements for Reece James (CHE)?:

As of writing this, 350,813 (and growing number of) players have removed Chelsea’s Reece James after he managed a frustrating 52 minutes of action during the 2-0 home win over Bournemouth. Yes, I was one of the players who opted for James, despite the fact that the defender only played 3 times after Gameweek 4. Hindsight is a wonderful tool and hopefully this is the end of the Reece James experiment for the season – James is the most transferred out player this season (5,799,020 transfers growing each day) especially as most FPL players have been continually let down by Chelsea defenders throughout the season.

Defensive replacements are quite simple, but Chelsea’s Double Gameweek during Gameweek 19 means that Marc Cucurella (£5.1m) is a cheaper and more reliable option than James, and has taken priority. Fulham’s Tim Ream (£4.5m, 0.6% ownership) is also a consideration after scoring his first goal of the season for the club and is boosted by hosting a shaky Southampton this upcoming Gameweek. Both moves are solid, sound and sensible picks, and sometimes in FPL it is good to not overthink and do the most basic move.

If you exclude the Double Gameweek, my personal preference would be to potentially bring in a Liverpool defender. The Red’s have great fixtures, both Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.2m) and Andy Robertson (£6.8m) are back to their best, and in Virgil van Dijk (£6.5m) have a goalscoring defender that benefits from the full back’s set-piece abilities.

Elsewhere, if you’re looking for a budget pick, Luke Shaw (£4.8m) can free up a million in transfer value from James, with United in good form too and also having a reasonable fixture list ahead – Wolves are also the shiest team in front of goal, only scoring 10 times to far this season – though, a managerial change means they’ll be difficult to judge for a few Gameweek’s. Alternatively, for a one week pick Ben Mee (£4.6m) is a left-field shout against a West Ham team, who like Wolves, struggle to find the net having only scored 11 goals. Man City’s defensive rotation means I’m not sure offering a valid pick from their team is the smart thing to do, even though they’re playing an Everton side who are clearly bracing themselves for another dogfight against relegation.

Lastly, if you didn’t already know but word is out about Newcastle’s defensive might this season, with Nick Pope already boasting 8 clean sheets. If you have chosen to move on a second Newcastle defender or Goalkeeper (many did Pope to Kepa for the Double Gameweek), it might be time to go back to a proven method and place faith in the addition of the brilliant Sven Botman (£4.4m) or his defensive partner, Fabian Schar (£4.9m) to double up with Kieran Trippier (£5.9m) in your FPL squad.

Here's a reminder of the upcoming Double Gameweek’s?:

GW19: Chelsea & Fulham

GW20: Spurs & Man City

GW23: Arsenal & Man City

In addition - Arsenal, Everton, Brighton, and maybe Bournemouth & Crystal Palace – will have a future Double Gameweek announced for GW21.

DGW Fixtures:

GW19 – Chelsea: Man City (H), Fulham (A)

GW19 – Fulham: Leicester (A), Chelsea (H)

GW20 – Spurs: Arsenal (H), Man City (A)

GW20 – Man City: Man United (A), Spurs (H)

GW23 – Arsenal: Brentford (H), Man City (H)

GW23 – Man City: Aston Villa (H), Arsenal (A)

Who are the teams to look out for and avoid?:

Wolves & West Ham & Everton (Avoid): The Toffees haven’t scored in 4 away games, whilst Wolves (10) and West Ham (11) are the lowest scorers in the league. This should, at least on paper, result in likely clean sheets from Brentford, and the two Manchester clubs.

Liverpool (Watch): Newcastle absolutely tore Leicester to shreds and play in a similar fashion with a pressing game that has the likes of Nunz and Salah quick on the break. If the last game was a model for Leicester’s weaknesses, Newcastle exposed their lack of composure with the ball in Leicester’s defensive half and could be played through easily against a deep line. Liverpool have players who on their day can offer a better outlet, so if The Red’s are on it from the first whistle, it will be a similar outcome unless Brendan Rodgers is able to change his club’s fortunes overnight.

Brighton & Arsenal (Curious): This is one hell of a game. Brighton are in top form and are going up against an Arsenal side who are undeniable right now, and I’m expecting a very good game that will test Arsenal’s title credentials. Martin Ødegaard will be crucial for The Gunners on the road and seems to be a key player when playing away from The Emirates, with the £6.4m midfielder grabbing both goals during Gameweek 16’s 2-0 away win at Wolves prior to the break. There’s just something about Brighton at home though which is giving me a few questions marks and they might get something from this game.

Newcastle (Watch): The transformation of The Magpies has been incredible, with the 3-0 win over Leicester the pinnacle (so far) of the team’s performances. At the back, they aren’t being breached. In attack, there is a decisiveness and calmness in front of goal, typified by Miguel Almiron’s brilliant effort, and in midfield Bruno might just be the best in the league right now. Leeds are a solid, energetic opponent, but at home Newcastle are having the ball sucked into the net by the home support and they have been replicating Champions League qualification form for a year now, so this one should be another solid home win.

Fulham (Watch): Mitrovic’s goal and 2 assists against Crystal Palace has kept the Serbian’s form up, and ahead of a Double Gameweek it’s time for Mitro to show some composure – if he gets booked, he is out of one of the Double Gameweek games. As for the Southampton game, Fulham will be big favourites as Nathan Jones is struggling to settle with his new job at The Saints – and I have a feeling it will be a long remainder of the season for the visitors.

Crystal Palace (Avoid): James Tomkins and Tyrick Mitchell both getting red cards against Fulham was completely FPL player’s faults (mine included) for entrusting Wilfried Zaha and Palace. Losing two key defenders will only make the trip to Bournemouth, a tricky opponent on the road, that bit harder, and I’ve a gut feeling that this will be an away day without reward.

FPL Captaincy Picks:

Essential: Erling Haaland (MCI)

Alternative: Mohamed Salah (LIV)

Differential: Martin Ødegaard (ARS)

Reasoning: The default in FPL has already been established and I’m unsure of moving away from the Haaland/Salah combination. It almost makes left-field picks obsolete this season.

FPL Squad Picks: Gameweek 18

Formation: 3-4-3

Budget: £102.8m

Starting 11

GK: Nick Pope (NEW)

DEF: Kieran Trippier (NEW)

DEF: Virgil van Dijk (LIV)

DEF: William Saliba (ARS)

MID: Mohamed Salah (LIV) – (VC)

MID: Martin Ødegaard (ARS)

MID: Marcus Rashford (MUN)

MID: Miguel Almiron (NEW)

FOR: Erling Haaland (MCI) – (C)

FOR: Harry Kane (TOT)

FOR: Alexsander Mitrovic (FUL)


GK: Danny Ward (LEI)

MID: Andreas Pereira (FUL)

DEF: Tim Ream (FUL)

DEF: Hugo Bueno (WOL)

Want to know more about The Hype Train?

The Hype Train is an entertainment website founded in 2015, specialising in general football and Fantasy sports reporting, starting with Fantasy Premier League (FPL), before expanding to MLS Fantasy coverage in 2018.

We pride ourselves in providing beautiful graphics, statistics, in-depth analytical reporting and free weekly insight for hopeful players attempting to climb rankings tables. We are also occasional media reviewers, with a keen interest to review games, live sport, and professional wrestling.

In 2019, Hype Train Football Club was formed, becoming the first Fantasy Football website to take to the field. HTFC is a socially active team across social and web channels, providing regular match highlights, match reports, comprehensive player statistics and unique player profiles. We won both Goal of the Season Awards in the Berkshire and County FA regions, with Callum Parr-Jones winning the Berks & Bucks FA award, whilst Martin King won the PlaySport UK award.

In 2021, we formed the Reading Sunday Social League (RSSL), a competitive Sunday League involving 8 teams in its debut season. During the 2021/22 season, we won our first-ever trophy, lifting the East Berkshire Football League's Presidents Cup!

The Hype Train were nominated and shortlisted for the 'Best Football Blog' in 2016 by the Football Bloggers Association at their annual Football Blogging Awards (The FBA's), and were again shortlisted as a finalist in 2019 in the 'Best Fantasy Football Blog' category.

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