FPL Season 2020-21: Gameweek 28 preview

“On Sunday, it’s London derby time when Arsenal host Spurs at the Emirates” (CC by 3.0). Image by Felicilijonas.

After a long run of consecutive smaller and bigger double gameweeks, gameweek 28 sees us returning to the traditional FPL format of one game for every team. It’s been a while, right? Round 27 was a tricky one and potentially a very good one for those managers who made the right Man City bets. The Team of the Week features no less than three City players, with Riyad Mahrez (20 FPL points), Kevin de Bruyne (16 FPL points) and Phil Foden (12 FPL points) all delivering double-digit hauls. Other notable performers in GW28 were Harry Kane, with 2 goals and 2 assists for 19 FPL points, James Ward-Prowse with 18 FPL points courtesy of two penalties, and goal-scoring, bonus-point-snapping Luke Shaw with 14 points.

Looking ahead at gameweek 28, we see a set of interesting match-ups, many of which are hard to predict at the moment. From a neutral point of view, the London derby between Arsenal and Spurs at the Emirates on Sunday and the top-of-table clash between Man United and West Ham at Old Trafford stand out. Having said that, fixtures like Leeds at home versus Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea, on-and-off Southampton against this season’s under-performers Brighton and Wolves versus Liverpool on Monday could give some serious fireworks as well. On top of that, it should be noted that gameweek 29 will be a major blank gameweek, with just eight teams featuring, so keep that in mind when considering your transfer in the build-up to GW28.

Don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 28 is set at 18h30 (UK time) on Friday, March 12th.

Do check out the Predicted Line-Ups for the Premier League clubs as well as the latest injury news (click on ‘Team’ to sort per club rather than the default ‘date’) before finalising your transfer(s).

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per March 11th, 2021)

GKMcCarthy (SOU), De Gea (UTD), Pope (BUR)Martinez (AST), Mendy (CHE), Forster (SOU)
DEFCancelo (CIT), Robertson (LIV), Stones (CIT)Shaw (UTD), Cresswell (WHU), Dias (CIT)Possible knee-jerk reactions to Cancelo and Stones rotations, Shaw form, Dias undroppable
MIDSalah (LIV), Barnes (LEI), Maddison (LEI)Bale (TOT), Mount (CHE), De Bruyne (CIT)In-form midfielders, Barnes and Maddison injuries
FORIngs (SOU), Calvert-Lewin (EVE), Vardy (LEI)Kane (TOT), Richarlison (EVE), Watkins (AST)Kane double haul, Ings injury, Watkins fixture in GW29

Premium pick

After a 19-point haul and with a traditionally high-scoring derby coming up next, it’s hard to ignore Harry Kane (£11.3m) as the stand-out premium fantasy pick for gameweek 28. His 2 goals and 2 assists against Crystal Palace over the weekend saw him raise his tallies for the season to a mind-blowing 16 goals and 13 assists, making him the second-highest-scoring player in FPL, just behind Bruno Fernandes. As far as encounter between Arsenal and Spurs go, there have been a total of 17 goals over the last five games and four of those were scored by the HurriKane. He has been directly involved in just over 60% of his team’s goals, in part because he is on penalties for them as well, and despite Arsenal not boasting the most obliging of defences at the moment, the England number nine looks like one to back for this weekend.

Non-premium picks

A brilliant run of goal-scoring form came to an end for Richarlison (£8.0m) against Chelsea last weekend as the Toffees failed to find the net at all against Tuchel’s new and improved Blues. As far as the Brazilian is concerned, this meant not scoring a goal for the first time since gameweek 24, a run that saw him net four times and collect a total of 30 FPL points. He could very well get back up on his scoring horse coming weekend though, as Everton host Burnley on Saturday. The Clarets, though in better form of late, still boast some of the worst defensive stats in game as they rank amongst the bottom three teams for important variables as Shots conceded in the box, Shots on target conceded, and Big chances conceded. If Everton want to keep their hopes of European football alive, a win is a must at Goodison Park and Richarlison will be instrumental in that effort.

Our second non-premium fantasy pick for gameweek 28 is Mason Mount (£7.0m), who has proven to be more than just a decent solution to Chelsea’s transfer ban situation last season. Much more. Despite the arrival of more than a few multi-million signings, the academy graduate has kept his place in the starting eleven and with good reason. With 5 goals and 5 assists, he is currently the highest-scoring Blue in the official game. The still just 22-year old attacking midfielder was rested for Chelsea’s home victory over Everton and will be ready to fire against the Premier League’s leakiest defence after West Brom, Leeds United. The Whites have conceded 46 goals in 27 games so far and they are the team who have conceded most goals from set-pieces as well, which is good news for Mount as one of Chelsea’s principal set-piece masters in charge. The more than reasonably priced Englishman could be gold this weekend.

The budget enabler

As is often the case, our budget-enabling fantasy pick of the week is also a very big differential. With key players Harvey Barnes and James Maddison injured for the foreseeable future, one of the players called upon by manager Brendan Rodgers to step up is Kelechi Iheanacho (£5.6m). The Nigerian forward has started for the Foxes in their last three PL games and he has not disappointed, scoring back-to-back goals in his last two games for a total of 18 FPL points. In the absence of the previously mentioned players, Leicester have deployed two strikers instead of the usual lone Vardy up front, and Iheanacho is delivering for the moment. Up next is bottom-ranked Sheffield United, who have conceded 45 goals so far this season. If there was ever a good moment for the Leicester striker to make it three consecutive outings with a goal, it’s this weekend.

A differential pick or two

Iheanacho’s current ownership of 0.8% makes him a huge differential as well, but he’s not the only one on the Leicester roster. With Barnes and Maddison out of action, young Belgian Youri Tielemans (£6.4m) has become a main man on the Leicester midfield and his ownership also sits at a lowly 4.0%. Like his Nigerian team mate, Tielemans also seems to have upped his game of late, scoring 1 goal and providing 1 assist over this last three league games for a total of 12 FPL points. This weekend, he is facing a Sheffield United side that ranks amongst the bottom three teams in the league for Shots on target conceded and Big chances conceded, which bodes well for a midfielder like Tielemans who loves to give it a try from distance and is not afraid to attempt a through pass from time to time.

Our second differential fantasy pick and final fantasy pick for gameweek 28 is what you might call a bit of a pricey punt. Expectations were sky high when Chelsea splashed a cool £70 million for Kai Havertz (£8.2m) in the summer, but the former Leverkusen man learnt very quickly that the Premier League is a beast of its own. With just 12 starts in the league so far, the German wünderkind has not made the entry that Chelsea fans would’ve hoped for, but in GW27, he showed a glimpse of what could come. Havertz started up front for the Blues against Everton and promptly provided 2 assists for a nice 9-point haul. With manager Thomas Tuchel apparently not entirely convinced by Tammy Abraham and Olivier Giroud, we might be seeing more of the German forward in coming weeks, starting with the away game against Leeds to build on his successful showing last weekend. Owned by just 2.4% of FPL managers, Havertz could be a risky pick to set you apart from the rest in the your mini-league.

The captaincy

We already mentioned it before, but after his showing against Crystal Palace and keeping his record in the derby against Arsenal in the back of our heads, Harry Kane is the one to get our captain’s armband in gameweek 28. He is sure to start and already has 29 returns to his name this season. Kane has been on target four times in his last five meetings with the Gunners and he is on many free-kicks and, of course, penalties as well. Expect the 38.4%-owned forward to be heavily captained this coming weekend.

If you’re not sure about Spurs or simply can’t afford the pricey Kane, fear not, because there are several other good options available for this weekend as well. As always, Bruno Fernandes is a reliable choice, even when United host in-form West Ham. Jamie Vardy at home to Sheffield United could be a good one as well. If you’re prepared to play a bit of Pep roulette, you could opt for any of Kevin de Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, Ilkay Gündogan, or the on-fire Riyad Mahrez as they visit Craven Cottage on Saturday. More outfield picks for the captaincy this weekend include Mason Mount against Leeds, Richarlison or Dominic Calvery-Lewin against Burnley at home, or even Christian Benteke at home to leaky West Brom.

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