You know it’s been an intense round of Fantasy Premier League football when the gameweek average reaches 80 points. Thanks to loads of activated chips, several highly owned players returning and just one of the sixteen games ending goalless, gameweek 29 became the highest-scoring gameweek of the season so far. The unexpected star of GW29 was Newcastle striker Callum Wilson with 19 FPL points, courtesy of three goals in his double, followed by fellow forward Ollie Watkins with 17 points (2 goals) and West Ham defender Nayef Aguerd with 15 points, thanks to a goal and a clean sheet against Southampton (he got zero points in the second game of his double against Newcastle).
The upcoming gameweek 30 is, for a change, a regular gameweek, meaning that there are no teams blanking or doubling. As such, there are a few favourable matchups this weekend, including Manchester United’s home game against Everton, Aston Villa’s home game versus Nottingham Forest and Leicester hosting Bournemouth. The stand-out fixture though, at least from an FPL point of view, seems to be Southampton versus Manchester City at Saint Mary’s, while the clash of the weekend takes places on Sunday evening when leaders Arsenal roll up to Anfield.
Don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 30 is set at 11h00 (UK time) on Saturday, April 8th, 2023.
Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per April 6th, 2023)
|TRANSFERS OUT||TRANSFERS IN||POSSIBLE REASONS|
|GK||Ward (LEI), Sanchez (BRI), Alisson (LIV)||Martinez (AST), Raya (BRE), Ederson (MCI)|
|DEF||Saliba (ARS), Shaw (MUN), Alexander-Arnold (LIV)||White (ARS), Mings (AST), Gabriel (ARS)||Saliba and Shaw injuries, White recent goals|
|MID||Almiron (NEW), Salah (LIV), Fernandes (MUN)||Grealish (MCI), De Bruyne (MCI), Mitoma (BRI)||City fixtures, Grealish form, Mitoma form|
|FOR||Haaland (MCI), Toney (BRE), Mitrovic (FUL)||Watkins (AST), Jesus (ARS), Haaland (MCI)||Watkins form + fixture, Haaland injury doubt, Mitrovic suspension|
Erling Haaland (£12.0m). The big man has returned to training after shaking off what appeared to be a minor groin issue, just in time for the visit to the league’s bottom side. Southampton are having a horrid season, taking 23 points from 29 league games so far, scoring just 23 times and conceding 47 goals in the process. Haaland, on the other hand, who by the way has scored considerably more league goals (28) by himself than the whole of Soton at this point, is expected fit and raring to go for Saturday evening. The Norwegian is still flagged in the official game though, and we honestly don’t expect his manager Pep Guardiola to offer any kind of useful information regarding this situation during Friday’s press conference, so a sliver of doubt around his fitness will remain until the deadline. Adding to that is the fact that City are up for a Champions League double against Bayern Munich as well and we know how much Pep loves to rotate. Still, with Haaland back in training, if you are part of the roughly 28% who don’t own him at the moment, we recommend you get him (back) in ASAP.
Thanks to a gentle fixture calendar for gameweek 30, there are quite a few non-premium fantasy picks that we can see delivering the goods this weekend. Based on form and fixture, we have decided to go with Ollie Watkins (£7.5m), who despite not recording giant hauls has been nothing short of sensational for Villa and their new manager Unai Emery. Since the arrival of the Spaniard back in October, whose first game in charge was a 3-1 home victory over Man United in gameweek 15, Watkins has scored 9 goals and provided 4 assists for a total of 91 FPL points, which comes down to an average of just over 6 points per game. He returned in each of his last four league encounters, including a goal in the first game of his double gameweek 29 away at Chelsea and another goal in the away game against Leicester to finish his double. On top of that, the Villa forward now has Nottingham Forest at home coming up next and the Tricky Trees have not felt comfortable on the road this season. In 14 away games, they managed just 6 points, scoring just 5 goals and conceding a whopping 34 goals. In other words, we see Watkins approaching captaincy territory for gameweek 30.
The budget enabler
For our budget enabler of the week, we went with a player whose current situation is comparable to Watkins in terms of the coveted form plus fixtures combination, though in a somewhat lower tier. Andreas Pereira (£4.3m) has proven to be excellent value so far this season as a starter for a team that performs well above expectations, while carrying a price tag of just £4.3m. The Belgium-born Brazilian has been in decent form of late, providing 2 assists in gameweek 26 against Brentford, followed by a blank against Arsenal in GW28 and a goal versus Bournemouth last weekend. What’s more, the Cottagers have a favourable run of fixtures coming up, or at least it looks like that on paper. This weekend, they are playing at home to West Ham, in gameweek 31 there is a visit to Goodison Park on the agenda and in blank gameweek 32 they are hosting Leeds United. A bit of a downer in regard to Andreas’ potential to return is the 8-match ban for star forward Aleksandar Mitrovic, though this is not expected to affect the Brazilian’s central role in the Fulham attack or his many set-piece duties. If you are struggling with budget constraints for your squad at the moment, Andreas could be a great solution.
Our differential fantasy pick for gameweek 30 is Leicester’s Harvey Barnes (£6.7m), who seems to have picked up some form. In a very disappointing double gameweek for Leicester, in which they first lost 2-1 at Selhurst Park and then 2-1 at home to Villa, Barnes was perhaps the only player who managed to show a bit of FPL potential. He blanked in the first game, but then scored a sensational goal for a total of 7 FPL points in the second game, which was also the first game after manager Brendan Rodgers was sacked mid-double gameweek. With that goal, his second in the last three league games, Barnes brought his season totals to 10 goals and 2 assists, which is actually quite decent, especially when factoring in his current price and ownership (2,3%). The 25-year-old is Leicester’s biggest attacking outlet at the moment and therefore a nailed-on starter, which means that we also see him starting in blank gameweek 32 at home to Wolves. Before that though, he has a very interesting home game versus Bournemouth coming up this weekend and then an away game against Manchester City in GW31. Apart from that difficult visit to the Etihad though, the Foxes have favourable (and winnable) fixtures all the way up to and including gameweek 35. If you’re looking for a guaranteed starter with a high upside as a differential, don’t sleep on Barnes.
For thoughts on a GW30 wildcard this fiso forum topic will help.
We expect Haaland to be fully fit for the visit to Southampton, which means that he is our captain for gameweek 30. There is, of course, the risk of rotation/minute management, especially with two legs against Bayern Munich around the corner, but we are taking the risk. A rested and recovered Haaland against the bottom side is simply too appealing to pass up, even if his minutes end up being managed.
Not up for a bit of Pep Roulette? Very understandable and fortunately, gameweek 30 is offering plenty of other good candidates for the captaincy as well. Besides the Norwegian, Marcus Rashford at home to Everton, Ollie Watkins at home to Forest and Kane at home to Brighton stand out to us. For a more differential approach, we would recommend keeping an eye on Harvey Barnes versus Bournemouth, Gabriel Martinelli or Bukayo Saka at Anfield, or Ben Chilwell for Chelsea’s visit to Wolves.