Last weekend saw the final Fantasy Premier League break for the FA Cup. And what a break it was!
Manchester City lost just their third match this season to League One’s Wigan, the English teams went unbeaten in the Champions League Round of 16, including games against Juventus and Barcelona, and Arsenal tried really hard to throw away a 3-0 lead in the Europa League.
This week will be tough for FPL players as four of the top six face off against each other, while a lot of the teams in the relegation scrum go head to head.
More important are the long-term considerations of last week’s break. We now know for certain (with the exception of Spurs vs Newcastle) which games in Gameweek 31 have been postponed and we can begin planning accordingly.
For a full breakdown of how to navigate these choppy waters, look out for my Double and Blank Gameweek Planning article.
Best: Liverpool – West Ham (h), Newcastle (h), Man United (a), Watford (h), Crystal Palace (a), Everton (a)
With three of their next four being played at Anfield, a fixture in the upcoming Blank Gameweek (week 31) and four out of six of their opponents in the bottom half, now is the time to load up on Liverpool players.
Klopp's men have also had a rest over the FA Cup weekend, so expect them to continue their momentum after their amazing Champions League win.
Worst: Chelsea – Man United (a), Man City (a), Crystal Palace (h), BLANK, Spurs (h), West Ham (h)
Two consecutive trips to Manchester and a Blank Gameweek does not bode well for investing in Conte’s men.
If you factor in their recent struggles (one win in three league games) and the difficult second leg against Barcelona on the horizon then now is not a good time to invest.
Mohamed Salah (MID, 10.4m, West Ham at home)
My new tactic of leaving the armband on Salah for the rest of the season started fairly well as he continued his unbelievable form with a goal and an assist.
The only disappointment was that I still had a red arrow thanks to Sergio Aguero and his four-goal bonanza. I own Aguero but, if you didn’t give him the armband, then you were punished!
Liverpool have enjoyed a ten-day rest after putting five goals past Porto, so expect them to attack West Ham from the first whistle.
I’m sure you own Salah now: if you don’t then I think you probably need to give up FPL... I’m leaving the armband on him and I recommend you do the same.
Harry Kane (FWD, 12.8m, Crystal Palace away)
In the last four weeks, Harry Kane has scored three goals. It’s not amazing but it’s a consistent output.
In that time he has also dropped by 0.2m. It's hard to follow the logic here. This is the leading Premier League goalscorer and a man with 20+ goals in four consecutive seasons. Kane is a season keeper (barring injury) and a solid captain choice.
Spurs will also be riding high after fighting back against Juventus, having played the Italians off the park for long stretches of the match last week.
Now, they need to focus on securing Champions League football for a third consecutive season. They must win against Crystal Palace and Harry Kane will lead the charge.
Gylfi Sigurdsson (MID, 8.0m, Watford away)
Siggy has been FPL royalty for many years with 3 150+ point-seasons with 27 goals and 27 assists in that time.
His big money move to Everton has not reaped the rewards many people had hoped, and this season has been disappointing. However, with a strong set of fixtures on the horizon including no blank weeks, now could be the time to welcome him back into the fold.
Sigurdsson has history with set-piece duties, garnering goals and assists from his excellent free kicks and we all know how Big Sam loves a good set-piece routine.
The Icelander is a slightly expensive gamble and there is a risk of rotation but, after his performance against Crystal Palace, it's hard to see him being dropped anytime soon.
Riyad Mahrez (MID, 8.6m, Stoke at home)
Mahrez had three goals and two assists in the fixtures leading up to January 31st. Then it all kicked off as he demanded a deadline day move to Manchester City and the club refused.
There were rumours he would never play for the club again but, after a brief sulk, he has returned to active duty just in time for an incredible set of fixtures that extends to the end of the season.
It seems likely that Mahrez will continue to push for a transfer, and the potential of a dream move will be his motivation to perform for the rest of the season.
He picked up an assist in Leicester’s FA Cup run and he could be an excellent differential for your team in the final run in.
Andrew Robertson (DEF, 4.8m, West Ham at home)
I highlighted Robertson last week and I’m sticking by the young Scot.
He is benefitting from Virgil van Dijk’s presence in the Liverpool defence (clean sheets against Southampton and Porto) and it looks like he is now preferred to Alberto Moreno at left back.
Liverpool’s fixtures are full of clean-sheet potential and he is a cheap option in a team fighting at the top of the table which is exactly what you want.
Van Dijk now also looks like a viable option, although I would argue the extra 0.8m you save on Robertson can be put to more effective use elsewhere.
Kyle Naughton (DEF, 4.6m, Brighton away)
Swansea are making another dash for safety in the final weeks of the season. They are unbeaten in five league games and have kept two clean sheets in that period.
Naughton has played every minute of the last four matches and only missed out before that due to a ban. He also popped up with an assist in the last week, showing his attacking potential.
Swansea have three fantastic fixtures against Brighton, West Ham and Huddersfield, and, under Carvalhal, they have picked up form and can now be considered as FPL options, making Naughton the perfect choice for a player in need of a cheap defender.
Manchester City/Manchester United/Chelsea
All three of these teams play each other in the next two weeks and they all have a blank week in Gameweek 31.
It may seem strange to recommend avoiding the top three clubs but they have got horrendous fixtures and they are all distracted by the Champions League.
I don’t think you should start selling off their players (although I am considering saying farewell to Marcos Alonso to free up some cash) but now is not the best time to transfer them in.
Serge Aurier/Kieran Trippier/Ben Davies/Danny Rose
Pochettino’s merry-go-round in defence is back. Danny Rose played against Rochdale in the cup so Davies is no longer a viable option, and Aurier and Trippier have been rotated in and out for months.
It’s a real shame because all four are quality players with huge potential for FPL but the golden rule is to avoid rotation risk players.
If you want to bring in a Spurs defender (three clean sheets in five games), then maybe consider Lloris or Vertonghen.
- Gabriel Jesus
- Alexandre Lacazette
- Daniel Sturridge
- Phil Jones
- Mesut Ozil
Let us know who your transfer will be this week or get in touch for advice from our FPL team in the comments section below.