This will cause major headaches for the likes of Kane, Gundogan and Dias owners who may need to take a points hit to prepare their teams. Liverpool and Leicester have the stand-out fixtures as they take on Newcastle and Crystal Palace respectively, but Arsenal and Everton kick off the gameweek in the Friday night game, making this week’s transfer deadline tonight at 6.30pm.
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Mo Salah (£12.6m) vs Newcastle (H)
Having conceded eight goals across their last four games, Newcastle will probably struggle against Liverpool this weekend, as the Reds have taken the league’s most shots inside the box (38) and shots on target (24) over the same period. As ever, leading Liverpool’s attack is Mo Salah; no Liverpool player has had more shots (14) or shots in the box (11) than the Egyptian over Liverpool’s last four league games and being on penalties too gives him an added edge. I expect him to be this week’s most popular captain pick by some margin.
Kelechi Iheanacho (£6.1m) vs Crystal Palace (H)
Iheanacho’s goal vs West Brom last night made it eight goals in his last six league games and this weekend’s game against Crystal Palace provides a great chance for the Nigerian to continue his strong form. Leicester are still battling for a Champions League spot whereas Palace have only won one of their last six games. Iheanacho has taken more than double the amount of shots, shots in the box and shots on target than Jamie Vardy over the last four gameweeks, indicating his importance to the Leicester attack.
Bruno Fernandes (£11.6m) vs Leeds (A)
He may have only one assist to his name over his last four games but Fernandes remains the game’s top scoring player and has fond memories of playing against Leeds. The last time these two teams met, Man United smashed Leeds 6-2 in an incredibly open game where Fernandes scored twice, assisted once and bagged himself 17 points. Over 40,000 fantasy managers have sold Bruno in a hope that lightning doesn’t strike twice.
The Form Guide - Who’s Hot?
Mason Greenwood (Man United, £7.1m)
Similar to last year’s campaign, Mason Greenwood is finishing strongly. Last season, the Yorkshireman tallied six goal involvements across his final seven games and since gameweek 30 he’s scored four and assisted once. Solskjaer may have Thursday’s Europa League semi-final in the back of his mind which could be a worry for Greenwood as he’s only completed 90 minutes seven times this season.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool, £7.5m)
Since being dropped from the England team, the Liverpool right-back has scored or assisted in every game to clearly make his case for a recall. Trent only faces top-half opposition once in his remaining games of the season so Liverpool should have chances for clean sheets as the Merseyside club continue to battle for Champions League qualification. No player in the league has created more ‘big chances’ (3) than Trent over the last four gameweeks.
Romain Saiss (Wolves, £5.0m)
Outside of the relegation zone, only Burnley have scored fewer goals than Wolves this season; but what they lack in attack, they make up for in defence. Wolves have kept consecutive clean sheets and with Burnley, West Brom and Brighton up next, I expect them to keep more. Saiss stands out above other Wolves defenders for his attacking threat as over the last four gameweeks, no Wolves defender has had more shots on target (2), all of which have come from set pieces.
The Form Guide - Who’s Not?
John Stones (Man City, £5.2m)
Stones’s three-game suspension coupled with Man City’s blank gameweek makes ditching Stones a popular move. Over 280,000 managers have already transferred him out this week and by the time he’s eligible to play again, the league title may already be tied up.
Richarlison (Everton, £7.8m)
Although Everton’s upcoming games against Arsenal, Aston Villa and West Ham aren’t the hardest games on paper, the fact that Richarlison has blanked for five games in a row is a worry. During this spell, the Brazilian has had eleven ‘chances’ from open play and squandered each and every one of them, showcasing his drop-off in form.
Ones to Watch (Less than 5% ownership)
Jarrod Bowen (West Ham, £6.0m, 2.9%)
If you’re lagging behind your mate in your fantasy league and you fancy West Ham to do well but don’t want to bring in Lingard, consider Jarrod Bowen. No West Ham player has taken more shots in the box or had more ‘big chances’ than the former Hull player over the last four gameweeks as he’s started to play a more central role in Michail Antonio’s absence.
Robert Sanchez (Brighton, £4.5m, 3.5%)
Sanchez is one of the cheapest goalkeepers in the game and with three clean sheets in his last four games is proving to be great value. Brighton face freshly-relegated Sheffield United this week who are the lowest scorers in the league and have lost nine of their ten last league games. All the evidence suggests a Brighton win and hopefully a clean sheet too.
Timothy Castagne (Leicester, £5.7m, 4.4%)
Castagne’s display against West Brom showed encouraging signs ahead of a relatively straight-forward upcoming fixture schedule. The Belgian hit the post, created five chances and kept a clean sheet against the Baggies but more importantly, his future place in the Leicester squad seems secure as this was his eighth straight game in the Leicester starting line-up.