FPL Season 2020-21: Gameweek 36 preview

“Manchester City can officially become Premier League champions at St. James’ Park if they beat Newcastle on Friday” (CC by 2.0). Image by Yellow Book ltd.

We now have just three gameweeks to go until the end of the 2020-21 Premier League campaign and after the double gameweek 35, we now have to deal with a blank gameweek. Even though just four teams are blanking this FPL round, those four teams do contain more than a few popular fantasy assets:

BLANK GW36
Arsenal
Chelsea
Leicester
Manchester United

This means that highly-owned players such as Bruno Fernandes, Luke Shaw and Kelechi Iheanacho will all be missing out. Gameweek 36 is nonetheless offering a fixture set full of potential for FPL managers. In terms of favourable fixtures, Everton’s home game against Sheffield United, Liverpool’s visit to the Hawthornes, and Southampton hosting Leeds look enticing. If you’re willing to deal with extreme rotation risk, even Man City’s away game at Newcastle, their potential championship-winning game, could be interesting as well.

In any case, don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 36 is set at 18h30 (UK time) on Friday, May 14th.

Also 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 May 12th, 2021)


TRANSFERS OUTTRANSFERS INPOSSIBLE REASONS
GKMartinez (AST), Schmeichel (LEI), Mendy (CHE)Meslier (LEE), Mendy (CHE), Ederson (CIT)BGW36, Leeds fixtures
DEFDunk (BRI), Castagne (LEI), Shaw (UTD)Dallas (LEE), Coufal (WHU), Alexander-Arnold (LIV)BGW36, Dunk red card
MIDBruno (UTD), Mount (CHE), Rashford (UTD)Son (TOT), Salah (LIV), Raphinha (LEE)BGW36, Leeds and Liverpool fixtures
FORIheanacho (LEI), Vardy (LEI), Watkins (AST)Bamford (LEE), Calvert-Lewin (EVE), Antonio (WHU)BGW36, Leeds and West Ham fixtures

Premium pick

Our premium fantasy pick for gameweek 36 is largely focused on fixture, though Mo Salah (£12.7m) is considered as one of those elite players who can deliver big regardless of the opposition. This coming Sunday the Reds are visiting West Brom for what’s one of the weekend’s juiciest fixtures. Whilst the Baggies have just been relegated, Liverpool are still battling for a Champions League spot and Mo Salah is just one goal behind Harry Kane in the domestic Golden Boot race. In other words, a clash of interests and one that could lead to a big haul for Salah. With 20 goals and 5 assists so far, the Egyptian star man reached the 200-point mark in FPL for the fourth consecutive season after his assist against Southampton in GW35 and he is now facing the league’s worst defence. We’re expecting an all-out attack Liverpool with Mo at the centre of it for this one.

Non-premium picks

Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.6m) finds himself in a similar boat as Salah, in the sense that, like the Liverpool star, the Everton striker still has plenty to play for in these final games of the 2020-21 Premier League campaign. As a team, the Toffees are just two points off the top six with three games to go. As an individual player, DCL has had a brilliant season so far, and he will want to use the last few games of the season to work on his current tallies (16 goals, 6 assists)) and definitely confirm his spot in England’s squad for the upcoming European Championship. He still has one game of his double gameweek 35 to go (Villa away on Thursday evening) and after that, he will be facing relegated Sheffield United at Goodison Park on Sunday. The Blades have conceded 62 goals in 35 league games this season, including two at home against Palace last weekend, and DCL could add to those sub-par numbers this weekend.

Selecting Danny Ings (£8.4m) as our second non-premium fantasy pick might feel a bit like we’re chasing the points after his brace against Crystal Palace this week, but we prefer to see it more as jumping on a proven goalscorer who returned from injury in style and who has a couple of interesting games coming up next. In gameweek 35, the Southampton forward netted twice for a total of 13 FPL points and stayed on the pitch for 75 minutes. Up next are Fulham on Saturday followed by a game against Leeds, both at Saint Mary’s. It’s true that Southampton have not much left to play for this season and Ings does pose a constant injury threat to any managerial plans, but the 28-year old could very well be bringing in more FPL points over the coming days.

The budget enabler

Most FPL managers are well aware of the fact that Fantasy Premier League management comes with an additional risk to be taken into account when selecting squads towards the end of the season. As the final game nears, more and more teams will be “on the beach”, as they say, meaning that those teams no longer have anything to play for in the league (other than some EPL finishing places cash) and whose results are therefore now even less predictable than usual. One of the teams to which this theory could be applied is Leeds, who are currently in tenth place, seven points off the top six with three games to go. Still, the Whites did not show any signs of slowing down against Spurs in GW35 and they have one of the most favourable fixture calendars until the end of the season with Southampton away and West Brom at home following this weekend’s game at Turf Moor. That’s why we have gone with Raphinha (£5.4m) as our budget enabler of the week. The Brazilian winger missed a few weeks due to injury, but returned with an assist and 4 FPL points against Spurs last Saturday. That brought his totals for the seasons to 6 goals and 8 assists from 24 starts in the league. In our opinion, considering all of the above, Raphinha is criminally under-owned at the moment.

A differential pick or two

After 5 goals and 1 assist in his last three league outings, and 8 goals and 3 assists in his last eight outings, Chris Wood (£6.4m) has made a very deserved return to our weekly gameweek preview, in the differential category this time. The Burnley forward is still owned by just 3.5% of FPL managers at the time of writing, while only Kelechi Iheanacho has managed to record a higher FPL points average than Wood over the past 30 days (8.25 points). To make matters even more interesting, Wood also has decent upcoming fixtures from a fantasy-forward-with-penalty-duties’ point of view: Leeds at home, Liverpool at home, Sheffield United away. Thanks to their important 0-2 victory over Fulham, which officially confirmed the Cottagers’ relegation, Burnley are now assured of at least one other season of Premier League action. Hopefully it will lead to a bit more freedom and a bit less pressure on the pitch for the final games, with a few more Wood goals as a result.

As our second differential fantasy pick for BGW36, we have gone with a defender who has made an excellent impression in his first year in the Premier League. Vladimir Coufal (£4.7m) has so far been part of 8 clean sheets for West Ham this season, while also providing no less than 8 assists. Only his team mate Aaron Cresswell and Everton defender Lucas Digne created more goals than the West Ham right-back amongst defender in the official fantasy game. With West Brom away and Southampton at home after this weekend’s encounter Brighton at the AmEx, there could be points at both ends of the pitch for Coufal. His ownership currently sits at 7.0%, which makes him an interesting and very much affordable differential option for the season’s final stages.

The captaincy

Naturally, the absence of Arsenal, Chelsea, Leicester and Man United in this blank gameweek somewhat limits the options for the captain’s armband, but our choice would have been Mo Salah in any case. The Egyptian forward is supposed to start every single game until the end in order to help Liverpool to a Champions League spot and himself to the Golden Boot, plus he is on penalties as well, and it’s West Brom at the Hawthornes this weekend for the Reds. We’re hoping for a bigtime Salah haul.

The fact that options are limited by the blanking teams does not mean that there are no other decent alternatives for the captaincy, though. Everton hosting Sheffield United brings Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison into the picture, for example. With Leeds visiting Burnley on Saturday, you could also opt for Bamford, while Southampton’s home encounter with relegated Fulham could be a favourable one for Danny Ings or even James Ward-Prowse.

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FPL Season 2020-21: Gameweek 35 preview

“Are we getting a preview of the next Champions League final at Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening?” (CC by 4.0). Image by: Ank Kumar.

Ah, the European Super League. Some of the business men and women behind a few of Europe’s biggest (or should we say, most heavily financed?) clubs must have thought that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic had become a bit tame or repetitive, and that European football would benefit from a little excitement. A little encouraging stab in the back, if you will.

The plans did not go as hoped, though, and a few hours after the Super League announcement, the some clubs started to regret their back-room decision-making. We figured that would largely be it, bar some ongoing discussion about punishments and new rules, but the red side of Manchester still had a surprise up its sleeve. Last Sunday, instead of Manchester United vs Liverpool taking place at Old Trafford, thousands of fans invaded the pitch and the surrounding areas prior to the game to make a statement against the brilliantly worked out and marketed plans for a European Super League by a few club owners and financiers, including their own.

As far as FPL goes, this has further complicated what was already promising to be a heated end to the fantasy Premier League season. For details and explanations, be sure to check out Ben Crellin’s Twitter account (@BenCrellin). Below are the doubles (and the one treble!) taking place in gameweek 35:

DGW35Game 1Game 2Game 3
Aston VillaManchester United (H)Everton (H)
Crystal PalaceSheffield United (a)Southampton (a)
EvertonWest Ham (a)Aston Villa (a)
SouthamptonLiverpool (a)Crystal Palace (H)
Manchester UnitedAston Villa (a)Leicester (H)Liverpool (H)
LiverpoolSouthampton (H)Man Utd (a)
ArsenalWest Brom (H)Chelsea (a)
ChelseaManchester City (a)Arsenal (H)
LeicesterNewcastle (H)Manchester United (a)
TGW35 fixtures

In any case, don’t forget, the deadline for triple gameweek 35 is set at 18h30 (UK time) on Friday, May 7th.

Also 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 May 6th, 2021)


TRANSFERS OUTTRANSFERS INPOSSIBLE REASONS
GKMartinez (AST), Lloris (TOT), Ederson (CIT)Guaita (CRY), Mendy (CHE), Henderson (UTD)TGW35
DEFDias (CIT), Stones (CIT), Cresswell (WHU),Shaw (UTD), AWB (UTD), Digne (EVE),TGW35, Stones red card
MIDGündogan (CIT), Son (TOT, Lingard (WH), Jota (LIV)JWP (SOU), Zaha (CRY), Greenwood, Rashford & Fernandes (all UTD)TGW35 for MU
FORBamford (LEE), Kane (TOT), Vardy (LEI)Calvert-Lewin (EVE),Iheanacho (LEI), Cavani (UTD), Watkins (AST)TGW35, Kane blank in GW34, Vardy less involved

Premium pick

We’re kicking this weekend’s fantasy recommendations off with one of the players who currently finds himself in the previously discussed fixture heaven. Bruno Fernandes (£11.5m) could be playing 3 times in GW35. Already owned by a massive 55% that percentage will only increase over the next 36 hours with Villa, Leicester and Liverpool all to play for Man United in one gameweek.

Non-premium picks

Another week, another return for Kelechi Iheanacho (£6.3m). The Leicester striker is in absolutely blistering form at the moment, which is why we keep including him in our gameweek previews. Since scoring back in GW26, the Nigerian recorded an incredible 8 goals and 2 assists for a total of 73 FPL points over that same period. As a matter of fact, the only blank he recorded over that run came at home against Man City in GW30. As far as the upcoming GW35 goes, Leicester has one of the more favourable double match-ups (Newcastle at home, Man United away) and with the Foxes still very much on route for a Champions League spot, this could be a big round for Nacho. At the moment, there is no striker in the English top flight who needs less minutes to score a goal than him (116 minutes per goal).

Speaking of favourable match-ups, Crystal Palace have probably the best upcoming schedule on paper with a double gameweek featuring away games against Sheffield United and West Ham followed by a home game against Aston Villa. The main problem, from an FPL point of view at least, is that the Eagles are rather mediocre, both defensively and offensively. As a result, there really is one man to consider for the double gameweek, apart from goalkeeper Vicente Guaita maybe, and that is the man around whom everything revolves in the Palace attack, Wilfried Zaha (£7.1m). The Ivorian forward is the team’s top scorer by some distance (10 goals and 4 assists) and he gets an extra FPL point for a clean sheet as well, which could be particularly relevant for the first encounter. Going for Palace and Zaha in GW35 is obviously a bit of a punt, but with the player’s 9,7% current ownership, it could be just what your fantasy team needs in these final weeks of the season.

The budget enabler

Our budget enabler for gameweek 35 could very well turn out to be one of the outstanding performers once the round is over. Despite a more than decent 8 goals and 6 assists to his name, James Ward-Prowse (£5.8m) is still a very much affordable midfielder in the official game. The 26-year old midfielder is Southampton’s captain as well as the team’s principal set-piece delivery man. Add to that the fact that the Saints are playing twice in gameweek 35 (Man United away, Palace home) without blanking in gameweek 36 and we wouldn’t be surprised to see him return soon. Manager Ralph Hasenhüttl’s men know that one more victory practically secures another season of Premier League action and after the good showing against Leicester in GW34, confidence and fixtures could be converging just at the right moment for FPL managers to bring in JWP.

A differential pick or two

Each season features a few players who, as the season advances, manage to play themselves back into their manager’s good graces and the team’s starting eleven. This season, Gylfi Sigurdsson (£6.9m) could be included in that category. The Icelandic midfielder started the 2020-21 somewhat on the fringes of the starting eleven, in big part due to the hyped arrival of James Rodriguez, but nowadays, he is a fixed part of Carlo Ancelotti’s attacking set-up at Everton. He started the last five games and takes care of a few set-pieces as well, especially now that the previously mentioned James is out with an injury. Sigurdsson has scored 6 goals and provided 4 assists already this season, which is not bad, but which are tallies on which he will want to build as well during DGW35, undoubtedly. West Ham and Aston Villa are no push-overs, especially not at their own grounds, but the Toffees are still eyeing those European spots as well, so Siggie could be an explosive differential (current ownership: 3%).

Since his return to fitness back in gameweek 32, James Maddison (£7.3m) has not managed yet to add a goal or an assist to his totals for the season (8 goals, 7 assists), which can be considered underwhelming knowing that he faced West Brom, Palace and Southampton since GW32. The English midfielder did not play badly though, and manager Brendan Rodgers’ considers him a fixed part of his starting eleven. On top of that and as stated earlier, Leicester are still fighting to maintain their current Champions League slot. On a more personal level, Maddison is fighting for a spot in England’s Euro “2020 in 2021” squad, which should only encourage him to perform better. Newcastle at home and direct rival Manchester United looks like a promising double gameweek 35 for Maddison and the rest of the Foxes, though keep in the back of your head that Leicester will also be playing the FA Cup final against Chelsea four days after the clash with United.

The captaincy

With a Man United triple gameweek, our armband this round has to go on a United player and we’re going going with the ever reliable Bruno Fernandes. Of course, there are some other good options as well from Manchester United such as Greenwood, Rashford or maybe one of the defenders (a central defender – Maguire – is more likely to play all 3 games in a row than a full-back – Shaw). Outside of Man United, man on fire Kelechi Iheanacho against Newcastle at home and Man United at Old Trafford looks interesting, as does the Nigerian’s team mate Jamie Vardy. With games against Villa and West Ham coming up, Everton attackers Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin could haul as well. In the “high risk, high reward” category for GW35, we can see, amongst other names, Wilfried Zaha (Sheffield United, Southampton, both away), Ollie Watkins (Man United, Everton, both home), and James Ward-Prowse (Liverpool away, Palace home).

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FPL Season 2020-21: Gameweek 34 preview

“Derby time at Old Trafford on Sunday” (CC by 1.0). Image by Ank Kumar.

We’re currently moving through the business end of the 2020-21 Premier League campaign at lightning speed, with gameweek 34 kicking off on Friday evening once again. GW33 wasn’t a particularly outstanding round for many managers, with an average of 36 points. Of course, popular FPL fantasy assets like Harry Kane, Heung-Min Son and Kevin de Bruyne had a blank gameweek, but plenty of other much-selected players with a game blanked as well. The heavily owned likes of Bruno Fernandes, Jesse Lingard and Patrick Bamford failed to record any attacking returns, for example, while the top three of last week’s highest-scoring players features hattrick hero Chris Wood (20, owned by 2.5%), ‘man on fire’ Kelechi Iheanacho (12, owned by 22.8%) and Chelsea left-back Ben Chilwell (12, owned by 13.5%).

With just five gameweeks to go now until the end of the season, GW34 is going to be an interesting one. The eye catcher of the weekend is obviously the clash between traditional arch rivals Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon, though the West London derby between Chelsea and Fulham at Stamford Bridge a day earlier could give fireworks as well. From a purely FPL point of view, managers will be eyeing Spurs’ home encounter with relegated Sheffield United and Leicester’s visit to Southampton on Friday, while Palace vs Man City, Brighton vs Leeds and Burnley against West Ham have potential for serious FPL joy as well.

In any case, don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 34 is set at 18h30 (UK time) on Friday, April 30th.

Also 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 April 29th, 2021)


TRANSFERS OUTTRANSFERS INPOSSIBLE REASONS
GKMartinez (AST), Patricio (WOL), McCarthy (SOU)Meslier (LEE), Mendy (CHE), Ederson (CIT)
DEFStones (CIT), Cresswell (WHU), Keane (EVE)Dallas (LEE), Chilwell (CHE), Dias (CIT)Red card Stones, injury worries for Cresswell and Keane
MIDFernandes (UTD), Jota (LIV), Raphinha (LEE)Son (TOT), Pereira (WBA), Lingard (WHU)Fernandes form, Raphinha injury, Son fixtures, Lingard form
FORWatkins (AST), Vardy (LEI), Lacazette (ARS), Bamford (LEE)Iheanacho (LEI), Kane (TOT), Wood (BUR)Form of the incoming forwards, Lacazette injury

Premium pick

In gameweek 33, Harry Kane (£11.8m) became the single player to collect the most triple captain armbands in one round, in great part thanks to his double gameweek against Everton (away) and Southampton (home). With a brace versus Everton and a total of 12 FPL points, his start to GW33 was delightful, but an unfortunate ankle injury at the very end of the game made him miss the encounter with Southampton. A missed opportunity for the triple captainers, but still a decent haul. Up next are Sheffield United for the official game’s second-highest points scorer (218 FPL points) and with the Englishman back to fitness and currently owned by 45.1% of FPL managers, he will likely be amongst the most popular premium picks again this weekend. Kane has an incredible 21 goals and 13 assists to his name already, while the Blades have officially been relegated and boast one of the league’s leakiest defences. Looks like a bit of a no-brainer.

Non-premium picks

The stars of form and fixtures seem to be aligning for Jesse Lingard (£6.6m) this weekend, as the West Ham star is facing Burnley at Turf Moor this weekend. In truth, no away game at Burnley is ever a walk-over, especially not with the Clarets coming off a resounding 0-4 away victory over Wolves, but we can see this West Ham side coming away with a good result here. The Hammers are in the midst of a tense race for a Champions League spot for next season and as far Lingard himself is concerned, the Manchester United loanee is on fire. He got his first Premier League minutes of the season back in GW22, on his debut for West Ham, and has not looked back since. J-Lingz currently has 9 goals and 4 assists to his name for an average of no less than 7,5 FPL points per game as he quickly became the focal point of West Ham’s attacking moves and penalties. With games against Brighton, West Brom and Southampton still on the calendar after coming weekend’s encounter with Burnley, he could be a good signing until the end of the season.

After a returns drought of five gameweeks, Richarlison (£7.8m) got himself back into the points again last week with a lucky assist and 5 FPL points versus Arsenal, courtesy of a Bernd Leno howler. The fixture calendar looks quite favourable for Everton from now until the end of the season, with home games against Villa, Sheffield United and Wolves still to come in the final weeks of the season. What’s more, as one of four team’s so far, the Toffees look to have a double gameweek in 35, where they will play West Ham and Aston Villa away from home, and no blank in gameweek 36. First up are Aston Villa at the London Stadium though, which means a match between two sides still very much in the fight for a European ticket. Like Lingard earlier, Richarlison could be a set-and-forget signing for what’s left of the 2020-21 campaign.

The budget enabler

Since gameweek 26, Kelechi Iheanacho (£6.2m) has scored 9 goals and provided 1 assist for a total of 68 FPL points. What’s more, he has recorded three double-digit hauls in his last five outings, more than any other player in the official game over that same period. We featured him in our budget enabler section last week as well, but the Nigerian striker is in such form that we simply can’t ignore him for the coming weekend. At his current price of just £6.2m, he is an absolute steal and he has at least two favourable fixtures coming up next. This weekend, it’s a visit to Saint Mary’s followed by a home game against Newcastle in gameweek 35 (and possibly an away game against Man United if Leicester end up getting a double gameweek). Right now, Iheanacho is as nailed-on in Brendan Rodgers’ starting eleven as they come and the Foxes are still fighting to secure Champions League football next season, so he should definitely be on your watchlists, at least.

A differential pick or two

Under Thomas Tuchel, Chelsea have rapidly become an organised, hard-to-beat unit and despite the German coach’ tendency to rotate (especially now that the Blues are on the verge of the Champions League final), their roster features a few interesting FPL targets. One of them is central defender Antonio Rüdiger (£4.7m) who is a fixed started under Tuchel, but who seems to have gone somewhat under the FPL radar so far. Despite a rather good 10 clean sheets from his last 14 league starts, the German defender is still in just 6.6% of FPL teams. On top of that, his price tag is more than acceptable still. On Saturday, Chelsea are hosting almost-relegated West London rivals Fulham, who boast the least effective attack in the league after Sheffield United. This should be good news for Chelsea and makes Rüdiger into a nice differential for this weekend.

Our second differential fantasy pick for gameweek 34 is one who could provide considerable differential value over the short term. Eddie Nketiah (£5.3m) is currently owned by just 0.6% of FPL managers and he might be the only fit first-team striker for the Gunners when they visit Newcastle on Sunday. As the moment of writing, both Lacazette and Aubameyang are flagged in the official game, so we do advise to keep an eye on development in that area, seeing as Nketiah could be a very shrewd investment for your team in case the previously named duo’s absence is confirmed for the coming weekend as well. He scored against Fulham back in GW32 but blanked in the 73 minutes of playing time he got last weekend, so hopefully he’s found his scoring boots again for the clash with the Magpies.

The captaincy

With Harry Kane back to fitness and raring to secure the 2020-21 Premier League Golden Boot, and with Spurs in the middle of an intense battle for a top-four finish, we did not have to ponder too long about putting the GW34 captain’s armband on the English forward’s arm for gameweek 34. On top of that, Tottenham are hosting relegated Sheffield United on Sunday and despite the Blades having just booked their first victory since gameweek 26 by beating Brighton 1-0 in GW32, we’re betting on Kane to make the difference here.

He is, of course, not the only fantasy asset with haul potential in the Premier League this weekend. His team mate Heung-Min Son is obviously a very good alternative, while the Jamie Vardy and the on-fire Kelechi Ihaenacho look promising as well for their visit to Saint Mary’s this Friday. If you manage to guess the starting eleven in between two Champions League semi-finals, a Man City player against Palace at Selhurst Park could pay off handsomely. The same goes, to a certain extent, for Chelsea’s players and their home game against Fulham on Sunday. For the more risk-prone FPL managers amongst us, captaining Jesse Lingard versus Burnley or Richarlison against Aston Villa could see you soar up the ranks as well.

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FPL Season 2020-21: Gameweek 33 Preview

“On Saturday, West Ham are hosting Chelsea for what could be the banger of the weekend” (CC by 2.0). Image by @cfcunofficial.

After the small double gameweek last round, we now need to deal with a mini blank gameweek. Four teams are blanking in GW33, including two sides with plenty of popular fantasy assets, namely Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur. This means that popular picks like Harry Kane (current ownership: 50.9%), Heung-Min Son (48%), Ilkay Gündogan (25.8%) and Ruben Dias (24.1%) will not be featuring this weekend. The other two sides blanking this weekend are Southampton and Fulham, but we expect that the impact of their absence on the FPL community will be relatively limited.

Just £1.80 to enter for 4 days of EPL action & £9,000 of guaranteed prizes incl £900 to the winner!

Enough with the teams not playing though, because this round also offers us more than a few interesting fixtures, at least from an FPL manager’s point of view. Liverpool and Leicester both have home games against Newcastle and Crystal Palace, respectively, while Manchester United are travelling to Elland Road for what could easily end up being a goal bonanza. Wolves and Villa are facing pretty favourable opposition as well, at home against Burnley and West Brom, respectively, while Arsenal versus Everton on Friday and West Ham hosting Chelsea on Sunday are, on paper, the biggest encounters of the weekend.

In any case, don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 33 is set at 18h30 (UK time) on Friday, April 23rd.

Also 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 April 21st, 2021)


TRANSFERS OUTTRANSFERS INPOSSIBLE REASONS
GKPope (BUR), Lloris (TOT), Ederson (CIT)Martinez (AST), Patricio (WOL), Schmeichel (LEI)
DEFCresswell (WHU), Stones (CIT), Cancelo (CIT)Alexander-Arnold (LIV), Dallas (LEE), Dunk (BRI)City blanks, Cresswell injured, TAA form
MIDSon (TOT), Gündogan (CIT), De Bruyne (CIT)Lingard (WHU), Salah (LIV), Greenwood (UTD)City and Spurs blank in GW33
FORCalvert-Lewin (EVE), Kane (TOT), Antonio (WHU)Iheanacho (LEI), Watkins (AST), Vardy (LEI)All transferred-out players are or could be injured, Iheanacho form

Premium pick

With Spurs and City absent from this gameweek, we’re expecting Mo Salah (£12.5m) to be amongst the most popular premium fantasy picks. Actually, even if Spurs and City would play this round, Liverpool’s Egyptian talisman would still be amongst the top picks for their home game against Newcastle. The Reds still have everything to play as they are currently in sixth place, two points off fourth place and another season of Champions League season. In that light, the late draw with Leeds in GW32 was a downer for Jurgen Klopp’s men and they’ll be raring to make up for it. Salah featured only as a 71st minute sub and could not make the difference in twenty minutes. He did score in the two prior gameweeks and we honestly don’t think that he will be missing many more minutes of Liverpool’s favourable season run-in from now on. On top of that, he is after the Premier League Golden Boot as well, so a defence as leaky as Newcastle’s looks like a perfect match for a rested Mo.

Non-premium picks

When it comes to Edinson Cavani (£7.9m), you will simply need to expect that he is somehow still subject to rotation under Ole Gunnar Solskjear, despite only star man Bruno Fernandes and club icon Marcus Rashford scoring more than his current 8 goals (and 3 assists). The Uruguayan forward found the net in both GW31 and GW32, against Spurs and Burnley respectively, and will undoubtedly be looking forward to facing Leeds at Elland Road on Sunday. The Whites have already conceded 50 goals this season and even though their 1-1 draw against Liverpool this week shows that they are no push-overs by any stretch, this game has all the makings of a goal fest. Remember back in GW14, when an unchained Man United side smashed Leeds 6-2? We’re hoping for a similar scoreline, but this time with Cavani at the middle of it.

By following that same train of thought, we figured that it could be smart to include a second Red Devil in our fantasy picks for gameweek 33 as well. Looking at the recent performances of the non-premium fantasy assets on the United roster (meaning, with a price of less than £9.5m), it’s pretty hard to not highlight Mason Greenwood (£7.1m) at the moment. The English youngster is going through a bit of a purple patch since gameweek 30, scoring 4 goals and providing 1 assist in his last three outings for a total of 32 FPL points. It’s hard to imagine him being dropped from the starting eleven in this kind of form, so he is more than worth considering for United’s game at Elland Road coming weekend.

The budget enabler

Back in the build-up to gameweek 31, Kelechi Iheanacho (£6.1m) was still priced at just £5.8m, but his fantasy football popularity and therefore his price tag have grown considerably since then. That’s not so surprising, of course, considering that the Leicester striker has scored 7 goals in his last six Premier League games, as well as the only and therefore winning goal in the FA semi-final against Southampton this week. Even at his current price, Iheanacho is still an incredible bargain, especially when looking at the medium-term schedule for the Foxes. They are hosting Palace this weekend before travelling to Southampton and then playing home versus Newcastle, all of which are games in which Leicester are expected to have the upper hand. This looks good for the in-form Iheanacho, because at the same time, Palace are currently ranking amongst the bottom-five teams in the league when it comes to most of the important defensive indicators, including shots conceded, shots on target conceded and big chances conceded. Why would the Nigerian attacker not be in your team by now?

A differential pick or two

With Harvey Barnes out injured, the Leicester midfield does not offer too many high-ceiling fantasy options for FPL managers this season, which is why the return to fitness (after sitting out a minor disciplinary measure) of James Maddison (£7.2m) is good news. The talented Englishman (current ownership: 5.9%) has not really had the best of season, in part due to ongoing injury niggles, but he has still notched 8 goals and 7 assists so far, from just 18 league starts. Those are more than decent stats and with the upcoming schedule looking so kind to Leicester (Crystal Palace home this weekend, then Southampton away and Newcastle home), Maddison looks like a fantasy pick with potential. We expect him to slot right back into Brendan Rodgers’ starting eleven to provide the front two with ammunition as the most advanced midfielder. The Foxes are smack in the middle of the battle for the Champions League spots and they have just qualified for the FA Cup final as well, so we reckon Rodgers and everything Leicester around the world will be delighted to have Maddison back.

It’s true that the Wolverhampton Wanderers are not having their best season since returning to the Premier League, which explains why none of their players boast an FPL ownership of more than 7.3%. While they don’t offer much from an attacking point of view, there is value to be found in their defence. In their last five league games, Nuno Espirito Santo’s men recorded 3 clean sheets, and the next three games are Burnley at home, West Brom at the Hawthornes and Brighton at home. In other words, a Wolves defender does not look like such a silly investment at the moment, which is why we have included Conor Coady (£4.9m) in our fantasy picks for GW33. The English central defender is a mainstay in the Wolves defence, whether they play with a back-four or a back-five, which is why he is our Wolf of choice. His single goal so far this campaign shows that we should not expect too much attacking spectacle from him, but more clean sheets could definitely be on the way.

The captaincy

Gameweek 33 is presenting us with more than a few very good to decent options for the captain’s armband. We have gone with Mo Salah this week as Liverpool host Newcastle, seeing as the Reds are heavy favourites here and Salah is leading the Golden Boot race at the moment. We know that Jurgen Klopp’s men have been maddeningly inconsistent this season, but amongst all the chaos and disappointment, Mo has still managed 19 goals and 4 assists in the league alone so far.

For those not sure of our captaincy decision, Bruno Fernandes provides a practically equal alternative. United’s Portuguese playmaker is facing leaky Leeds and is on penalties as well. His team mates Edinson Cavani, Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford could be good shouts as well. At Leicester, Iheanacho is a prime candidate, while Jamie Vardy should never be written off. In terms of riskier fantasy picks, putting the armband on Nelson Semedo against Burnley, Leandro Trossard against Sheffield United, or Ollie Watkins against West Brom could pay off handsomely as well.

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FPL Season 2020-21: Gameweek 32 preview

“Are we in for a goal fest at Elland Road this coming Monday?” (Part of the public domain). Image by John Tillyard.

Gameweek 31 was once again a playground for the lesser owned fantasy assets, as many budget and mid-priced players recorded big hauls last weekend. The official Team of the Week features six players with an ownership below 2.5% and only two assets owned by more than 24% of FPL managers. The player with the highest ownership in this team though, Stuart Dallas, did crown himself Player of the Week with 17 FPL points, courtesy of a brace against Manchester City. Following him are West Brom’s Sam Johnstone and Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic with 15 FPL points each, and the on-fire Jesse Lingard with 14 FPL points.

Talk of the town for gameweek 32 is obviously Spurs’ double gameweek, as this is going to have a major impact on transfer and captaincy decision in the build-up to Friday’s deadline. José Mourinho’s men are first visiting Everton before hosting Southampton and with neither opponent being in scintillating form at the moment, many an FPL manager’s eye will be on Kane, Son and friends. Apart from the the Spurs double, the upcoming stretched gameweek offers a few other appealing fixtures as well, including West Ham rolling up to Saint James’ Park, Man United hosting Burnley, and Leeds and Liverpool squaring off at Elland Road.

In any case, don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 32 is set at 18h30 (UK time) on Friday, April 16th..

Also 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 April 7th, 2021)


TRANSFERS OUTTRANSFERS INPOSSIBLE REASONS
GKPope (BUR), Martinez (AST), McCarthy (SOU)Lloris (TOT), Patricio (WOL), Mendy (CHE)Spurs DGW, Wolves fixtures
DEFCresswell (WHU), Cancelo (CIT), Dias (CIT)Dallas (LEE), Alexander-Arnold (LIV), Reguilón (TOT)Spurs DGW, TAA form, Liverpool eliminated from CL
MIDGündogan (CIT), Neto (WOL), Raphinha (LEE)Lingard (WHU), Son (TOT), Mount (CHE)Spurs DGW, Lingard and Mount form, Neto injury
FORCalvert-Lewin (EVE), Antonio (WHU), Bamford (LEE)Iheanacho (LEI), Kane (TOT), Lacazette (ARS)Spurs DGW, form of incoming transfers

Premium pick

His form has been more or less consistently high throughout the season, so when the fixtures line up as well, Harry Kane (£11.7m) automatically becomes a fantasy asset of major interest. This week, his Spurs side are the only side to have a double fixture, consisting of an away game at Goodison Park followed by a home game versus Southampton. With 19 goals and 13 assists so far, Kane has been directly involved in no less than 62% of Tottenham’s goals, a league high. It’s not hard to imagine the England man netting against both of these teams. Everton have taken 2 points from their last 4 games, conceding 6 times in the process, while over that same period, the Saints got 3 points and conceded a worrying 12 goals.

Non-premium picks

This season more than ever, it’s difficult to speak about Kane without mentioning his team mate and partner up front Heung-Min Son (£9.4m). After a relatively dry period in terms of FPL points since his goal back in GW23, the Korean forward got himself on the score sheet again last weekend against Manchester United. He is now up against Everton and Southampton, which could bode very well for the roughly 45% of FPL managers currently owning him. They’ll be hoping that Son can build on his 14 goals and 9 assists against two sides that have been far from their best of late. Is a tenth double-digit haul of the season on the way for the Spurs’ Korean superstar?

At this moment, there are probably few fantasy assets offering a better price-potential ratio than Liverpool’s Diogo Jota. At a price of just £7.0m, the Portuguese forward offers a cut-price way into Jurgen Klopp’s attack. It’s true that the Reds are not having the best of seasons, but remember that Wednesday night’s Champions League elimination versus Real Madrid could be a positive thing for FPL managers. Liverpool have just the Premier League to focus on now (currently placed 6th just 3 points from top 4 qualification) and at the same time, they have one of the kindest fixture runs until the end of the season. The scene seems set for a strong and positive end to the 2020-21 campaign, and we expect Jota, who scored 3 goals in his last three games, to play an important role in the process.

The budget enabler

We just wrote that Jota’s price-potential ratio is almost unbeatable at the moment, but if there is one player who might offer an even better ratio, it’s Kelechi Iheanacho (£6.0m). Since conquering a spot in Brendan Rodgers’ starting eleven back in GW26, the Leicester striker has scored an incredible 7 goals and recorded an impressive 52 FPL points. His impact has been such, in fact, that the Foxes have even adjusted their tactics to accommodate Nacho’s inclusion in the starting lineup, from a single-striker setup with Jamie Vardy up top to a striker duo. Up next for Leicester are West Brom, who rank bottom for most of the key defensive indicators, including conceded goal, conceded shots on target and conceded big chances. Let’s see if Iheanacho can keep up his recent 10-point-per-game average at home against the Baggies.

A differential pick or two

It seems like, at any point during the season, there are always a few players who fly under the FPL radar, no matter how well they perform. Take Alexandre Lacazette (£8.3m), for example. The Frenchman has scored 5 goals and provided 1 assist over the past six league games for a total of 43 FPL points, but is still owned by just 8.2% of all FPL managers. On top of that, Arsenal are hosting Fulham on Sunday. While the Cottagers could turn out to be a tougher nut to crack for Arsenal than they hoped, Lacazette currently looks like the player most likely to score in this encounter. With Everton (home), Newcastle (away) and West Brom (home) after that, he could even be a good shout for the medium to long-term.

We’re finishing gameweek 31’s round of fantasy picks with a real differential, as Adama Traoré (£6.0m) is currently in just 5.2% of FPL squads. That’s not such a surprising number when you consider that his GW30 stoppage time winner against Fulham was his first goal in 49 Premier League outings. However, the Spanish winger might well have found a bit of form, seeing as he has scored a goal and provided an assist over the past 2 games. Up next are Sheffield United, which looks like a perfect opportunity for Traoré to make it three consecutive games with attacking returns. The Wolves will have to make do without Raul Jimenez, Pedro Neto and Ruben Neves for their attacking ideas, so it could end up being a low-scoring affair at Molineux, but a punt on their Spanish bulldozer could pay off more than handsomely.

The captaincy

Considering the fixtures in gameweek 32, we figured the mainstream captaincy battle will be between Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son, and we have gone with the former. As mentioned earlier, Spurs have two games this round and both look winnable. Neither Everton nor Southampton are flying at the moment and their defences will likely have a lot of trouble dealing with Tottenham’s attacking block. Though Son is an excellent choice as well, we have gone with Kane, who is his side’s star player, on penalties and on plenty of free kicks as well for the captaincy in GW32.

If you’re not convinced by Spurs’ double gameweek or don’t feel confident bringing in players who will blank in GW33, you have more than a few good alternatives at your disposal. Bruno Fernandes at home against Burnley looks like a safe pick, while Salah or Jota away against Leeds could result in major hauls as well. In the round’s last game, Leicester are hosting West Brom, which brings the likes of Jamie Vardy and Kelechi Iheanacho in the picture. For a daring punt, Jesse Lingard away against Newcastle looks like a stand-out option.

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FPL Season 2020-21: Gameweek 31 preview

You thought the FPL was going to calm down a bit now that the main part of double gameweek season has come to an end, didn’t you? Well, think again, because with five teams still active in the continental competitions, things will only continue to heat up over the coming weeks. This Guardiola quote:

Next game, we are going to play fresh legs. And against Leeds, more than ever, fresh legs.” – Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola on his starting line-up against Leicester in GW30 after the game and before the Champions League game against Dortmund last Tuesday.

only serves as a heads up in that sense. A majority of the popular fantasy picks from Man City, Man United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal are likely to carry an elevated rotation risk. Add to that the upcoming League Cup final (Man City v Spurs on Sun 25th April) and further FA Cup knockout stages, and you’ll understand why we strongly recommend to keep a close eye on starting lineups and team developments over the coming months for these teams. Another place to keep an eye on is Whichbookie.com for its reviews of the newest and the best bookmaker betting websites.

Including gameweek 31 we are now eight rounds away from the end of the 2020-21 Premier League campaign, though Man City might decide the title race early. The Cityzens need 10 more points from their remaining seven games to win the league for the fifth time in their history and the fifth time since the 2011-12 season. That means that we have really come to the business end of the season now. As far as the FPL goes, a surge in chip and wildcard activity is expected in the build-up to GW31 as managers try to play the calendar fixture swings and make a final push for eternal FPL glory.

In any case, don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 31 is set at 18h30 (UK time) on Friday, April 9th.

Also 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 April 7th, 2021)

 TRANSFERS OUTTRANSFERS INPOSSIBLE REASONS
GKMartinez (AST), McCarthy (SOU), Pope (BUR)Forster (SOU), Mendy (CHE), Leno (ARS) 
DEFDallas (LEE), Cancelo (CIT), Stones (CIT)Alexander-Arnold (LIV), Dias (CIT), Phillips (LIV)City rotation, Leeds fixtures
MIDBale (TOT), Gündogan (CIT), Raphinha (LEE)Jota (LIV), Lingard (WHU), Salah (LIV)Jota and Lingard in form, Liverpool fixtures, City rotation
FORBamford (LEE), Antonio (WHU), Watkins (AST)Iheanacho (LEI), Kane (TOT), Lacazette (ARS)Leeds, West Ham and Villa fixtures, Iheanacho and Kane form

Premium pick

Manchester City are hosting leaky Leeds United this weekend, so naturally, different City fantasy assets come to mind when it comes to picking a premium option for our recommendations this week. It could end up in a goal bonanza after all, but the problem is the rotation risk. Pep has already announced severe rotation measures and we decided we’re simply not risking it this time. Instead, we have gone with Mo Salah (£12.4m) who seems to be on the way back to a bit of goal-scoring form. He scored for the first time since gameweek 24 last week against Arsenal and he was also the one to score against Real Madrid in the mid-week Champions League game. With Fabinho back in the middle and Jota providing some much needed fresh blood in attack, the Reds are starting to look a bit more like their last year selves at last albeit still inconsistent. Up next are Aston Villa at Anfield. Not an easy fixture by any stretch, but a good opportunity for Liverpool and Salah to show that they are still alive and kicking.

Non-premium picks

Our first non-premium fantasy pick for gameweek 31 looks a bit like we’re chasing the points, but with this weekend offering plenty of hard-to-predict fixtures, it could be just the right time to bring in Danny Ings (£8.4m). The Southampton striker returned to fitness and the starting lineup against Burnley last weekend, and immediately showed what he is capable of by delivering a goal and an assist for a total of 11 FPL points. Those returns have brought his tallies for the season to 9 goals and 4 assists. It’s true that the Saints are not in very good form at the moment and the upcoming away game against West Brom could be a tricky one, especially with the Baggies coming off a more than impressive 2-5 victory over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, but Ingsy has shown in the past that he can always score. We hope that this will be the case against the league’s leakiest defence coming Monday.

Our first non-premium suggestion for the upcoming round of FPL is also a striker. With a current tenth place, Arsenal are performing way below their potential this season and this reality has had its effect on the value and popularity of their fantasy assets as well. Forward Alexandre Lacazette (£8.2m) is Gunner with most goals to his name at the moment (13) and we feel that he could add to that tally on Sunday, when they visit Bramall Lane. The Frenchman could not make the difference in GW30 against Liverpool, but he did score 2 goals and gave 1 assist in the two games prior to last weekend. Only West Brom have let in more goals than Sheffield United so far and the Blades seem resigned to relegation at the end of the season. Lacazette will be eyeing to pile on to that misery, though you should pay attention to Arsenal’s mid-week Europa League match against Slavia Prague for information regarding starting spots, fitness and possible injuries.

The budget enabler

Arsenal’s favourable match-up has even led us to double up on their fantasy assets this weekend. At a price of just £5.2m, Bukayo Saka is still very much under-priced, though it has been a while since he last delivered an attacking return in the Premier League. That was an assist back in gameweek 24, his fourth of the season on top of 5 scored goals. Apart from the must-win encounter with Sheffield United this Sunday, the Gunners’ calendar looks good on the medium term as well, with Fulham, Everton, West Brom (all home) and Newcastle (away) following the Sheffield United game. Like many other interesting players, Saka has become a bit more vulnerable to rotation over the past months, but he should still be getting plenty of Premier League minutes, which with his price tag makes him an appealing budget-enabling option for your midfield.

A differential pick or two

Our first differential fantasy pick for gameweek 31 is heavily influenced by the fixture schedule, as Wolves are playing Sheffield United, Burnley, Brighton (all at home) and West Brom after this weekend’s away game against Fulham. As a result of this favourable run, we figured a Wolves defender could be a wise investment, despite Nuno Espirito Santo’s men not being as solid in the back as usual this season. We ended up with Conor Coady (£4.8m) as he looks to be both the surest and the least expensive route into the Wolves defence and Willy Boly has now been ruled out due to illness for the next week. The England international has been part of 8 clean sheets so far this season and he has also scored once, against City at the Etihad back in gameweek 26. The fact that there is no European football or another cup tournament to take into account here is an added plus when bringing in the 5.4%-owned Coady for your team.

Despite scoring 7 goals, providing 5 assists, collecting a very decent total of 128 FPL points so far and sporting a bargain price tag, James Ward-Prowse (£5.9m) is still just eligible for our differential pick category with an ownership of 9.8%. We discussed the potential merits of bringing Ings in this week and many of the arguments made for him go in favour of JWP as well. The Saints are out of form themselves, but facing West Brom at the Hawthornes, which changes things a bit. The Baggies are unlikely to thump two bigger opponents in a row and we think that there could be goals in this one, most of them for Southampton. That would be good news for Ward-Prowse and the FPL managers who own him by then, as he is Southampton’s main set-piece specialist.

The captaincy

As with our premium fantasy pick recommendation for this weekend, we also adjusted our preferences a bit in terms of the captaincy choice due to the increased and increasing rotation uncertainty when it comes to Man City assets. As a result, we have give the GW31 captain’s armband to Mo Salah this week, who seems to have found his scoring boots once again. A goal against Arsenal in gameweek 30 and a goal against Real Madrid on Tuesday sounds promising for the upcoming home game against Aston Villa.

If you’re not going near Liverpool yet, which is understandable as well, then you can still opt for a City man. The likes of Kevin de Bruyne, Riyad Mahrez, Raheem Sterling and Ilkay Gündogan could all haul big at home against Leeds. The main question is who will be playing and who won’t on Saturday. Maybe it’s Aguero time? Besides that, you could take a punt on Lacazette versus Sheffield United at Bramall Lane, or Danny Ings or James Ward-Prowse versus West Bromwich Albion.

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FPL Season 2020-21: Gameweek 30 preview

“Big game time at the King Power on Saturday: Leicester vs Manchester City (CC by 1.0) Image by: DougPR.

With a few days to go until the kick-off for gameweek 30, an extended period without Premier League football is coming to an end and that’s something of a rarity this season. The scheduling has been especially nightmare-ish this campaign with a lot of blank and double gameweek-related twists and turns making the management of your FPL team more unpredictable than ever. Therefore, the past two weeks have felt like a bit of a breather for many FPL managers. The players, though, will be coming off two weeks of international World Cup qualifiers and friendly games. This goes only for the internationals, of course, but many Premier League players play for their respective national teams, so keep an eye on this when making your plans for gameweek 30.

As far as the return to PL action goes, the upcoming weekend is once again offering a set of interesting fixtures for both avid FPL managers and casual Premier League fans. The category “Favourable fixtures” includes encounters between Chelsea and West Brom at Stamford Bridge, Leeds versus Sheffield United at Elland Road and Spurs visiting Saint James’ Park, while GW30 will also be the stage for some major clashes. Saturday evening in particular offers some classic top-of-the-table action with Leicester hosting Manchester City and Liverpool visiting Arsenal and if you’re not sure which way the matches might go consider looking at some Correct Score Tips to give you guidance on the expected results. 

In any case, don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 30 is set at 11h00 (UK time) on Saturday, April 3rd. Also 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 31st, 2021)


TRANSFERS OUTTRANSFERS INPOSSIBLE REASONS
GKMcCarthy (SOU), Martinez (AST), Pope (BUR)Mendy (CHE), Martinez (AST), Meslier (LEE)
DEFDunk (BRI), Cancelo (CIT), Dallas (LEE)Shaw (UTD), Azpilicueta (CHE), Rüdiger (CHE)Chelsea defensive stats, Shaw performances
MIDSon (TOT), Bale (TOT), Aubameyang (ARS)Lingard (WHU), Fernandes (UTD), Mount (CHE)Son injury, Spurs and Arsenal favourable fixtures, form of incoming transfers.
FORWatkins (AST), Bamford (LEE), Antonio (WHU)Iheanacho (LEI), Kane (TOT), Calvert-Lewin (EVE)Iheanacho form, Kane form and fixtures

Premium pick

Of all players with at least five Premier League starts under their belts, only West Ham’s Jesse Lingard is currently offering a higher FPL points return per game than Manchester United talisman Bruno Fernandes (£11.5m). The Portuguese midfielder is averaging 7.2 FPL points per game, and is the leading Red Devil for both goals scored (16) and assists provided (12). On top of that, in a weekend in which rotation could be widespread due to World Cup qualification fatigue, it’s positive to note that Bruno played just a game and a half for Portugal this international break. He came on after 45 minutes against Azerbaijan, he played the full 90 minutes against Serbia, and then missed last Tuesday’s clash with Luxembourg due to a yellow card suspension. This represents his first week-long break from football since November. The United star should be rested and raring to go when Brighton visit Old Trafford on Sunday.

Non-premium picks

There are a few good fixtures coming up in gameweek 30, but from an FPL point of view at least, the game between Chelsea and West Brom in London is probably the most favourable. Rotation is, of course, a real threat when it comes to Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea side, but Mason Mount (£7.0m) has seemingly once again nailed down a starting spot in the side. The English youngster has so far played 225 out of the possible 270 minutes of international football this break. This means it might not be the freshest of Mounts who will turn up for the encounter with the Baggies this Saturday, but chances are he will still turn up. He already has 5 goals and 5 assists to his name this season, and he has completely missed just one game this season, back in gameweek 4, so keep an eye on him for your upcoming transfer plans.

Like Mount, Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.6m) is away on international duty this international break, though he has not yet featured as much as his England team mate. DCL played 63 minutes last week against San Marino (and scored a brace) and remained on the bench for the duration of last weekend’s qualifier against Albania and then came on as a sub for Kane against Poland. Everton are however only playing their GW30 match next Monday. In other words, bar injuries or other negative news, expect Calvert-Lewin in the starting line-up when Crystal Palace visit Goodison Park. The Eagles have conceded a worrying 1.9 goals per away game this season and, over the last six gameweeks, only Sheffield United and Wolves conceded more shots in the box, so Everton are clear favourites for a comfortable win here despite losing their last 2 Premier League matches.

The budget enabler

If you would have told us before the start of this season that by gameweek 30, Che Adams (£5.8m) would be amongst the most on-fire fantasy assets of that moment, we might not have believed you despite his obvious strengths (strength being the main one!). We would have been proven wrong because the Southampton striker is actually going through a bit of purple patch at the moment. Adams scored 4 goals in the first 26 rounds of the current campaign, but has netted three consecutive already since gameweek 27. Sheffield United, Manchester City and Brighton, definitely not the most obliging of defences, were all introduced to his new found goalscoring boots. With Danny Ings probably still out injured, Adams will continue to carry much of his team’s attacking responsibilities, though we think that even with Ings fully fit, he will continue to start. The Saints are playing the resurgent Burnley at home on Sunday and West Brom at the Hawthornes in gameweek 31, so Che Adams could be a very wise decision for your valuable budget.

A differential pick or two

It sounds a bit incredible, so we’re writing it down here, just to be sure: Chelsea have taken 9 clean sheets from their last twelve Premier League encounters, more than any other team in the division. Of those twelve games, César Azpilicueta (£5.8m) started eleven and the Spanish veteran recorded no less than 71 FPL points over that same run. It’s true that he is not cheap, but the Blues have the highest chance of a clean sheet this weekend when West Brom pops over and their fixture schedule post-gameweek 30 is pretty good as well. The fact that Azpi is still owned by just 6.5% of FPL managers makes him into an interesting differential pick on the short and medium term.

We already mentioned the increased rotation risk regarding Chelsea assets ever since Thomas Tuchel took over as head coach, but considering their excellent match-up this weekend and their decent fixture calendar after that, we included Kai Havertz (£8.2m) in this week’s differential category. His start to life in the Premier League has been underwhelming, but he has been coming into some form recently. Tuchel started playing the German wonderkid as a false nine a few weeks ago and he has been delivering since then, for club and FPL. He completed the 90 minutes in the last two league games and got 2 assists for a total of 12 FPL points over that period. Not an amazing return either, but Havertz is also the Chelsea player with most shots in the box and most shots on target since gameweek 27. He looks to be settling in Tuchel’s system and now could be a good, early point to get on the train. Do bear in mind that Chelsea have a Champions League quarter final during the week.

The captaincy

Gameweek 30 is providing us with a very interesting selection of good captaincy candidates, though we do want to repeat that fatigue and the subsequent heightened rotation risks could have an impact on FPL developments this weekend. In any case, we have gone with Bruno Fernandes for the armband this gameweek, as the stars seems to have aligned to allow for a successful return to club football by the Portuguese playmaker. United are in decent form, Bruno himself is almost completely fixture-proof, and he was reasonably rested by Portugal. We’re betting on him to return this round.

Not convinced by Bruno’s potential, or perhaps you don’t have the possibilities or the budget to bring him in for this one? No problem, because there are good alternatives as well. Chelsea at home to West Brom brings Mason Mount and even Kai Havertz into the picture. Leeds hosting Sheffield United automatically turns Patrick Bamford (if fit) and also Raphinha into captaincy candidates. Spurs striker Harry Kane is the most likely to return big when struggling Newcastle welcome them to Saint James’ Park on Sunday. The more risk-prone FPL managers could opt for Calvert-Lewin or Richarlison against Palace, or Michail Antonio away against Wolves.

FPL Season 2020-21: Gameweek 29 preview

“A big game for the relegation battle at the AmEx in Brighton on Saturday” (CC by 2.0). Image by Paul Gillett.

If gameweek 28 showed us one thing (once more), it’s that the FPL does not need a double or a blank gameweek for the round to be a massacre. With the calendar offering a few decent fixtures from a fantasy point of view, GW28 had all the makings of a more straight forward affair, but it wasn’t to be. From the five most-captained players bringing home a grand total of 8 FPL points together to the official Team of the Week containing just four players with an ownership of more than 8%, last week was yet another one of the differentials. On top of that, two of three highest-owned assets in the game, Heung-Min Son and Patrick Bamford, were injured early on and are now serious doubts for the upcoming blank gameweek.

To make matters worse, they were surely the focal points of many fantasy teams in gameweek 29, as we will see just eight teams in action this weekend, two of which are Spurs and Leeds. For convenience, we have listed the four encounters here below:

HOMEAWAYDATE
FulhamLeedsFri 19/03
BrightonNewcastleSat 20/03
West HamArsenalSun 21/03
Aston VillaSpursSun 21/03

As a result of the reduced fixture calendar, our fantasy picks for this weekend will focus on players from these eight teams. With the current fitness doubts regarding Son and Bamford in the back of our heads, we have not included them in our selection, but we do recommend keeping an eye on developments. They are highly owned and, if declared fit in time, could play a major role in BGW29. Also keep in mind that chip deployment, Free Hits and Wildcards in particular, will likely be high this weekend.

Don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 29 is set at 18h30 (UK time) on Friday, March 19th.

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 17th, 2021)


TRANSFERS OUTTRANSFERS INPOSSIBLE REASONS
GKMcCarthy (SOU), Pope (BUR), Ederson (CIT)Meslier (LEE), Martinez (AST), Mendy (CHE)BGW29 players brought in
DEFCancelo (CIT), Dias (CIT), Stones (CIT)Dallas (LEE), Dunk (BRI), Cresswell (WHU)BGW29 players brought in
MIDSon (TOT), Gündogan (CIT), Salah (LIV)Bale (TOT), Lingard (WHU), Raphinha (LEE)BGW29 players brought in, Son possibly out injured
FORBamford (LEE), Calvert-Lewin (EVE), Vardy (LEI)Kane (TOT), Antonio (WHU), Watkins (AST)BGW29 players brought in, Bamford possibly out injured

Premium pick

We are expecting Harry Kane (£11.5m) to be the most-captained player this weekend, simply because he is one of the very top fantasy assets featuring in this blank gameweek. With an incredible 16 goals and 13 assists, no player has recorded more attacking returns than the England striker and Spurs have found a bit of form over the last few gameweeks. As a matter of fact, since gameweek 26, only leaders Manchester City have scored more than Tottenham’s 10 goals. Kane was directly involved in five of those goals (3 goals, 2 assists), while his direct goal involvement over the whole season currently sits at a whopping 62%. He will start, he is on penalties, and despite Aston Villa being a solid unit this season, Kane looks to be the premium fantasy pick of the bunch this weekend.

Non-premium picks

With just four fixtures on the calendar this weekend and with Leeds rolling up to Craven Cottage, you can expect plenty of FPL managers to be tripling up on Leeds players. With Bamford a doubt for Friday’s game, Raphinha (£5.6m) will be in the cross-hairs of many managers, though his current ownership still sits at a surprisingly low 13.6%. Surprising, because the Brazilian winger comes at a bargain price, and already has 5 goals and 6 assists to his name. It’s true that the Whites have seen a dramatic fall in productivity in front of goal lately, not having netted once in the last three rounds, but with an away game at Fulham, they in theory have this weekend’s most favourable fixture. The Cottagers are in full-on survival mode and will not be easy to beat, but Leeds will attack with abandon as usual and Raphinha, who is also on many set-pieces, will definitely get a few chances to work on his tallies.

Our second non-premium fantasy pick for BGW29 is Michail Antonio (£6.6m). With their current fifth place in the league and a game in hand, West Ham are looking more and more like this season’s real surprise package. Despite missing a part of the campaign due to injury, Antonio has managed to play a considerable role in their excellent performance so far, with 7 goals and 3 assists. He was unlucky not to get involved in any goals over the past two weeks, especially the Leeds game in GW27 could’ve been very different for him, but the Hammers forward is proving to boast goalscoring capabilities regardless of the opposition. For example, he scored back-to-back goals in gameweeks 25 and 26 against Spurs and Man City, respectively. Up next are Arsenal at home for a real London derby and despite the Gunners coming off a hard-fought victory over rivals Spurs, they are not favourites for this one. The Hammers are, and we feel Antonio could be a decisive factor on Sunday.

The budget enabler

With the very kindly priced Dan Burn currently an injury doubt for Brighton, we have opted for his team mate Joel Veltman (£4.4m) as our budget-enabler for blank gameweek 29. The Dutchman provides a safe and very budget-friendly way into one of the league’s most solid defences, in terms of underlying statistics at least. Eight teams have conceded less than the Seagulls, but when it comes to expected conceded goals, they rank first, even above Man City. This week’s opponents Newcastle, on the other hand, rank 19th in terms of expected goals (in away games) and they have netted just three times in their last five games. In other words, this encounter looks like a major mismatch on paper, in favour of Brighton’s defence.

A differential pick or two

Since arriving at the Emirates on loan from Real Madrid during the January transfer window, Martin Ødegaard (£5.9m) has had a relatively slow start in an Arsenal shirt, but he seems to be hitting form of late. After scoring his first goal for the Gunners against Olympiacos in the Europa League last week, the Norwegian midfielder was also on target against Spurs in gameweek 28. Over the past two gameweeks, he has ranked amongst the top two players in his team for both chances created and shots on goal, and against a very solid West Ham United defence, he will be key for Mikel Arteta’s men if they want to find a way through. It will be far from an easy game for the Gunners, but with a current ownership of just 1.4%, Ødegaard could be a big-time differential pick for blank gameweek 29.

It has been discussed before, but Brighton are probably this season’s most underperforming team by some difference. A major reason for that is their problematic shyness in front of goal. Just six teams have scored less than the Seagulls so far and their top scorer is Leandro Trossard (£5.7m) with 3 goals and 5 assists. The Belgian’s latest goal came against Southampton just last weekend and with a home game against a Newcastle side in trouble coming up on Saturday, we recommend him as an interesting differential fantasy pick. The Magpies rank amongst the bottom five teams for several important defensive statistics, including conceded shots and conceded shots on target, and Trossard likes to shoot, including from set-pieces. The clash at the AmEx is an authentic six-pointer in relation to the relegation battle and Brighton looks like they’ll be bringing it home.

The captaincy

Before last weekend’s Spurs game, we thought it was between Son and Kane for the captaincy in gameweek 29, but with the Korean an injury doubt now, the armband goes to the English striker. As discussed earlier, no player in the official game has registered more attacking returns than Kane this season and if there is one player fixture-proof, it’s him. The visit to Villa Park could be a tricky one for Spurs, but in a reduced gameweek, the HurriKane looks like the safest bet for your captaincy.

If you’re not convinced by Kane or don’t have the funds to bring him in, then one of his team mates could be a decent alternative, Gareth Bale in particular. Outside of Spurs, BGW29 could be an opportunity to captain a Seagull for a change, with the likes of Trossard, Maupay and Dunk representing appealing differential value. On Friday, Leeds are visiting Fulham and we expect a few managers to put the armband of Raphinha as well, or Bamford if declared fit.

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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)


TRANSFERS OUTTRANSFERS INPOSSIBLE REASONS
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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FPL Season 2020-21: Gameweek 27 preview

“Are Fulham making it six consecutive defeats at Anfield for Liverpool this weekend?” (CC by 4.0). Image by Ank Kumar.

Another round, another double gameweek in the world of the Fantasy Premier League, although a much smaller one than last time. DGW26 had been heavily anticipated as the biggest double gameweek in FPL history and despite more than a few managers crossing the 100-point mark, the many blanks from premium-priced and/or heavily-owned FPL assets caused plenty of heartbreak as well. The likes of Bruno Fernandes, Raheem Sterling, Mo Salah, Jamie Cardy and Dominic Calvert-Lewin all failed to return for their owners, but fortunately, we’ve got yet another round of action coming up in less than 24 hours. Below you can find a quick overview of the teams doubling in gameweek 27:

TEAM1ST FIXTURE2ND FIXTURE
MANCHESTER CITYManchester United (home)Southampton (home)
SOUTHAMPTONSheffield United (away)Man City (away)

The Man City double looks juicy, no doubt, but Southampton’s double gameweek could be a bit of a trap. The Saints are not in their best form of the season at the moment, and the upcoming two away games will not be walk-overs. The Blades have found a bit of (defensive) form of late, while City, well… once again look like the skyblue Pep Guardiola machine we all love or loathe. As a result, we have not focused on just these two teams for our fantasy picks this week.

Don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 26 is set at 11h00 (UK time) on Saturday 6th March.

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 5th, 2021)


TRANSFERS OUTTRANSFERS INPOSSIBLE REASONS
GKPope (BUR), Ederson (CIT), McCarthy (SOU)Martinez (AST), Ederson (CIT), Mendy (CHE)
DEFCancelo (CIT), Justin (LEI), Wan-Bissaka (UTD)Dias (CIT), Stones (CIT), Dallas (LEE)City double coming up, Dallas out of position, Justin injury
MIDBarnes (LEI), Maddison (LEI), Grealish (AST)Lingard (WHU), Mount (CHE), De Bruyne (CIT)All transferred-out midfielders are injured
FORCalvert-Lewin (EVE), Bamford (LEE), Vardy (LEI)Kane (TOT), Antonio (WHU), Richarlison (EVE)Blanking popular forwards being transferred out

Premium pick

So, our premium pick for the huge double gameweek 26 was a big bust and you know what? We’re repeating our pick for gameweek 27! Raheem Sterling (£11.6m) was rested for City’s first game against West Ham and then failed to get amongst the points in the 4-1 victory over Wolves, but he has a chance to redeem him this round as the Cityzens host Manchester United and Southampton at the Etihad. We can’t imagine Raz not starting against arch rivals United and considering his rest in GW26, he should be good for a start against the Saints a few days after that as well. On top of that, the return leg against Mönchengladbach in the Champions League is only played on March 16th, three days after gameweek 28 and almost three weeks before gameweek 30 (City blanks in GW29). We expect Sterling to feature a lot over the coming weeks, which will give him a chance to build on his current 9 goals and 7 assists in the league.

Non-premium picks

For our first non-premium fantasy pick of the week, we’re sticking with Manchester City and their upcoming double gameweek. For many of the same reasons as mentioned above in the case of Sterling, Ilkay Gündogan (£6.2m) should be good for some points over the coming weeks. The Turkish midfielder played 88 minutes in the first game, but failed to return points and then got 8 minutes in the second game against Wolves and grabbed an assist. The return of the De Bruyne has risen Gündogan’s rotation risk a bit but we expect to see plenty of Gündo in DGW26. He already has 11 goals and 3 assists this season, and with a price tag of just £6.2m, he has recently been essential in FPL.

Our second pick in the non-premium category does not have a double gameweek, but could very well payout like he does. Michail Antonio (£6.5m) has once again been delivering for West Ham, and the 11.1% of FPL managers who currently own him, with goals in consecutive gameweeks against Spurs and Man City. In just 15 Premier League starts this season, the powerful forward managed 7 goals and 3 assists, playing a big part in the Hammers’ impressive fourth place in the league. Up next are Leeds United, who are a dream to play against for opposition strikers. Only West Brom have conceded more than Marcelo Bielsa’s men, while the Whites also rank amongst the bottom three teams for defensive metrics like shots conceded in the box, shots on target conceded, and big chances conceded. An Antonio haul could be incoming.

The budget enabler

Second in the league overall for shots on target over the past seven gameweeks. More key passes and created big chances than any other player in the league over the past six gameweeks. Three goals and 4 assists over the past eight gameweeks. Looking at these facts, it seems incredible that Leeds winger Raphinha (£5.4m) is still owned by just 9.9% of FPL managers, while carrying a real budget price tag. The Whites are facing in-form West Ham away from home in gameweek 27, which is not looking like an easy fixture by any stretch of the imagination. Then again, they will be on the attack on Monday and they will be creating chances, which means that their Brazilian winger will be involved in some threatening situations, especially seeing as he is in charge of many set-pieces as well.

A differential pick or two

It may sound incredible to some, considering the amount of memes that have circulated online over the past seasons, but our first differential fantasy pick for gameweek 27 is Jesse Lingard (£6.0m). The English midfielder’s name was rarely found on the score sheets while at United the past few years, but he seems to have found his scoring boots and his form since moving to West Ham United on loan in January. He started for the Hammers in the last five games, and scored 3 goals and provided 1 assist over that run for a total of 39 FPL points. J-Linz has slotted right into manager David Moyes’ plans and with leaky Leeds at home up next, chances for more attacking returns look to be on the cards for him.

Our final fantasy pick for gameweek 27 marks the return to fitness of Diogo Jota (£6.6m). The Portuguese forward arrived in Liverpool last summer on the back of a huge £45 million transfer fee and did not need much time to make an impact. Despite starting just five times in his first nine games as a Red, he managed to score 5 goals before a serious knee injury saw him sidelined since the start of December. He is now back though, and considering Liverpool’s horrid form and similar results of late, he could be just what they need to get back on track again. Jota got 28 minutes as a substitute against Chelsea in gameweek 26 and we would not be surprised to see him get more involvement this Sunday as Liverpool host Fulham at Anfield.

The captaincy

Captaining a Manchester City player is always a bit risky and counting on that player to feature twice in a row as part of a double gameweek even more so, but we are putting our faith in Raheem Sterling this week nonetheless for the DGW27 Captain. He looks likely to feature prominently in DGW26 after being rested for a game in gameweek 26 and with the form Guardiola’s men are in at the moment, there will be few better options for the armband. Alternatives could be, of course, Kevin de Bruyne, the in-form Riyad Mahrez, or one of their defensive players.

If you are hesitant about City captains or don’t own any of the above mentioned fantasy assets, fear not. Gameweek 27 offers a few other appealing captaincy options as well. Michail Antonio is coming off consecutive goals against strong opposition and plays Leeds at the London Stadium next. Mo Salah is facing Fulham at home, which could be a double-digit haul despite the Reds’ current form. Also, Spurs duo Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son will be looking to break down a sturdy Palace defence on Sunday. Those managers searching for a serious punt could opt for Danny Ings’ double gameweek against Sheffield United and Man City, or West Brom’s Mbaye Diagne for their home game against Newcastle.

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