Gameweek 34 Preview – 14 April 2016

Gameweek 34 Preview of Fantasy Premier League, courtesy of Bet365

This is a huge Fantasy Football gameweek, with 10 teams in action twice. Those of you with a wildcard remaining should be seriously considering using that this week to ensure your whole starting XI have two matches in which to rack up those crucial points. There’ll also be plenty of managers who’ve saved their Triple Captain, All Out Attack or Bench Boost chips specifically with this week in mind, so there’s potential for huge points. One point to note though – you can’t use your wildcard in the same week as a chip, so choose wisely between the two if you have both remaining.

The obvious team to put your faith in this week are Arsenal. They’re in third place in the league and have a game in hand over both Leicester and Tottenham, so are just about still in the title race. They have two home matches against teams in the bottom half in Crystal Palace and West Brom. Both of those sides have a big enough gap in terms of points to the bottom three, so there’s no real danger of relegation for either, meaning that their players’ minds may be shifting to their summer holidays or avoiding injury for the upcoming European Championships. There are several players appealing for the Gunners for various reasons. Danny Welbeck (£7.4m) will be keen to put in some good performances to secure his place in the England Euro 2016 squad, so he could be a good option up front. He has 3 goals and 2 assists from his 7 games since returning from injury, and is restricting the more expensive Olivier Giroud (£8.7m) to substitute appearances at the moment. Alexis Sánchez (£10.9m) seems to be coming into some form too, having scored 3 and assisted 3 in his last 5 league games. Mesut Özil (£9.6m) has been their most reliable performer in 2015/16, picking up 18 assists so far this campaign, and he was back amongst the goals with his sixth of the season against West Ham last week. In goal, the Premier League’s record holder for clean sheets Petr Cech (£5.8m) is back from injury, and is up against two of the least effective attacks in the league – Palace have only 35 goals from 33 games and the only team that West Brom have outscored are Aston Villa.

Manchester United also have two very winnable home matches, against Aston Villa and Crystal Palace. United have 10 clean sheets from their 15 home matches in the league this season, so their defensive players could be very reliable options this week. David de Gea (£5.8m) and Chris Smalling (£6.5m) are the obvious choices, as they are the two who are guaranteed their starting positions. If you’re looking for a more cost-effective option though Timothy Fosu-Mensah (£3.9m) could be the way to go. In his last 2 league matches he’s picked up points for an assist in the 1-0 win against Everton and a clean sheet, having been subbed off with the score still 0-0 after 67 minutes of the last match against Tottenham. He impressed last night in the FA Cup against West Ham, and considering the way the defence fell apart after he left the field on Sunday it would be a surprise if Van Gaal didn’t pick him for the next two matches. In the attacking third it’s worth considering the likes of Jesse Lingard (£4.3m), Anthony Martial (£7.6m), Marcus Rashford (£4.5m) and the returning Wayne Rooney (£9.9m).

Romelu Lukaku (£9.0m) failed to score in his double gameweek this week, and those of you who’d drafted him in and captained him will be feeling a little perplexed by this. He has a chance to make immediate amends with another double gameweek though, as Everton host Southampton on Saturday and travel to Anfield to face Liverpool on Wednesday. If he doesn’t score against Southampton then he’ll have equalled his longest goalscoring drought of the season, so will be due a goal by the time the derby comes around! He should be on the scoresheet at least once over these next 2 games. Prior to the derby Liverpool are away to Bournemouth, so are facing two sides who’ve conceded 98 goals between them in the league this season. Their attacking players will be looking forward to these fixtures, and Roberto Firmino (£8.1m) is the standout option. Before his injury he’d scored 7 and assisted 4 in 8 Premier League matches. He managed 62 minutes against Stoke last weekend, so should be fit enough for the 2 upcoming matches.

Another team to look out for are Man City. Confidence will be sky high after their Champions League Quarter Final victory against PSG, and they have trips to Chelsea and Newcastle this week. Kevin De Bruyne (£10.3m) has made a blistering comeback from injury, scoring against Bournemouth and in both legs of that Champions League Quarter Final. His importance to the team is underlined by the fact that City won just two of the seven league games he missed, and those wins came against Aston Villa and Sunderland. He’ll need a run of games to help ensure he’s fit for the Semi-Finals, so expect him to start both games this week. Another man that can’t be ignored is Sergio Agüero (£13.5m). He has 18 league goals so far in this campaign and scored against both Chelsea and Newcastle in the reverse fixtures earlier in the season, with his 5-goal haul against Newcastle perhaps the outstanding individual performance of 2015/16.