The double game week in the Fantasy Premier League turned out to be a massive letdown for most, with no double clean sheets, no explosive action, and only two players scoring two goals. One was a single-match player (Wilfred Zaha) and the other was a guy who hasn’t started regularly enough (Olivier Giroud). Some popular picks bit the dust (Marcus Alonso), while others like Charlie Austin didn’t start both games.
The looming FA Cup semi-final fixtures also played a role, with key players like Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku, Antonio Valencia and even Charlie Austin getting benched. And due to the FA Cup as well, only 12 teams will be in action in Premier League this week. Let’s take a look at each match in turn:
West Brom v Liverpool
This would have been a straightforward get-the-Liverpool-front three move a few weeks back, but Darren Moore has worked wonders with the team since being appointed as caretaker manager at the start of April. Whether the bottom-place West Brom will avoid Premier League relegation or not is still dependent on other teams messing up, but at this point, they’re still in it. Every match is a must win for them to keep up their survival hopes.
Pick Mohamad Salah (10.6m) for the Golden Boot duel, but captaining him might not be a good idea.
Watford v Crystal Palace
Wilfred Zaha is gearing up to by Crystal Palace’s saviour once again. Here’s one crazy stat: Did you know that the three bonus points Zaha picked up in last week’s goal-fest against Brighton were the bonus points he’s had all season? Watford’s last win was six matches ago, and there’s a perception that the team think they are already safe, and complacency has set in.
Zaha (6.9m), of course, but if you’re short on funds, Luka Milivojevic (5.2m) has been a beast. His last four matches read 10, 9, 10, 9. He is no longer the holding midfielder who takes penalties, as his two assists in the last match can attest to. Wayne Hennessey (4.4m) could be a strong goalkeeper pick for the clean sheet too.
Arsenal v West Ham
Being a London derby, this match is as unpredictable as it can get. One more win will most likely secure West Ham’s Premier League status. On the other hand, Arsenal are surely prioritising the Europa League and Arsene Wenger will be keen to protect his injury-prone players. Having said that, there’s been talk about Wenger putting out a trial first eleven in preparation for the Europa League match. Plenty of uncertainty with that team.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang did not score against Newcastle last week but still managed an assist. However, between him and Marko Arnautovic (7.0m),, I would go for the latter, who looks determined to continue proving that his poor form at Stoke was Mark Hughes’ fault.
Stoke v Burnley
For this encounter, we have one team fighting for survival at 19th place, and one team unexpectedly fighting for a Europe spot at seventh. Although Burnley’s midweek defeat against Chelsea shouldn’t stop them from pushing on, Stoke might edge out in terms of motivation. With three other matches left to save themselves – one against Liverpool and two against their relegation rivals – Stoke will need this win.
Jack Butland (5.0m) tops the list of saves for a reason, and the goalkeeper will need to be at his best to stop Burnley.
Manchester City v Swansea
Manchester City are in party mode after securing the Premier League title. Although they won’t have Sergio Aguero, who is out due to surgery, his team-mates are almost certain to put up a show.
Pick at least two from Raheem Sterling (8.8m), David Silva (8.2m), Gabriel Jesus (10.1m) and Kevin De Bruyne (10.3m). Placing your captaincy here is not a bad idea either.
Everton v Newcastle
Newcastle are on a crazy run of form, having recorded four wins in a row, with Arsenal their latest victim. Meanwhile, Everton have kept two clean sheets in their last 12 matches, and seriously look off gear.
With three goals and two assists in the last three matches, Ayoze Perez (5.3m) is on an excellent run of form and could continue against the lacklustre Toffees. A dark horse pick would be Islam Slimani (6.6m), who had a strong cameo performance against the Gunners. Clean sheets are also possible, making Jamal Lascelles (4.8m) a strong option, especially when considering his goal-scoring potential.