Ahead of Gameweek 30, we examine the 10 matches closely and tip one player from each match to shine for his respective team, regardless of what the final results would be. However, in picking your players, don’t forget that next week only eight teams will play: Liverpool, Everton, Huddersfield, West Brom, Watford, Bournemouth, Crystal Palace and Stoke, while the rest will be involved in the FA Cup. So, choose wisely and consider the tokens you have on hand.
Manchester United vs Liverpool
With Manchester United defenders surely looking to contain Mohamad Salah, look to Sadio Mane (9.4m) to provide the speed and winning touch for Liverpool. If anything, Crystal Palace’s performance last weekend proved that United’s defence is penetrable, while Liverpool’s defence has been solid of late, conceding only one goal in the past five games in all competitions.
Everton vs Brighton
Everton have received a welcome boost with the possible returns of Leighton Baines and Phil Jagielka to the starting line-up. Jordan Pickford (4.9m) will have a great chance of picking up a clean sheet and keeping out an in-form Brighton. The suspension of the unreliable Ashley Williams also helps!
Huddersfield vs Swansea
Aaron Mooy’s return will provide more fuel for Steve Mounie (5.7m), as Huddersfield host Swansea. Swansea have won just twice on the road, and I can’t see them getting a result here, despite an astonishing 4-1 win against West Ham last week.
Newcastle vs Southampton
Newcastle will be happy to return to St James Park, where their last appearance there was a hard fought 1-0 win against a lofty Manchester United. On top of that, Southampton have won only one away game in their last 12. Jamaal Lascelles (4.7m) is set to earn the team a useful clean sheet, and possibly a goal too.
West Brom vs Leicester
A Jamie Vardy (8.7m) hat-trick, anyone? According to reports, even West Brom’s players are amazed that manager Alan Pardew hasn’t been sacked yet. If that’s true, it means that they’re not playing for their manager anymore, and Leicester will have a field day.
West Ham vs Burnley
After a strong defensive setup in the first half of the season, Burnley have now failed to keep a single clean sheet for 2018. Marko Arnautovic (7.0m) will be chomping at the bits after blanking in his last two matches, and West Ham will want to bounce back from their surprise thrashing at the hands of Swansea.
Chelsea vs Crystal Palace
With a crucial Barcelona clash in midweek, Chelsea need a morale booster ahead of a crucial Barcelona clash in midweek, and they have just the right opponents in Crystal Palace. The away side’s squad is down to their bare bones, making them very vulnerable. Alvaro Morata (10.4m) should return to the Chelsea line-up to provide some much-needed balance upfront.
Arsenal vs Watford
Will Arsene Wenger do what Mourinho did last year, and focus on winning the Europa League to gain entry into the UEFA Champions League? I believe that’s what he’ll try, and for that I’m plumping on Watford on winning this one, with Abdoulaye Doucoure (5.5m) set to score another goal from midfield.
Bournemouth vs Tottenham Hotspur
A demoralised Tottenham are ripe for the taking and Callum Wilson (5.9m) could break his four-game goal drought here. We saw what happened to Spurs in their last two seasons after it became impossible for them to catch the leaders in the Premier League. This time around, it’s a heart-breaking knockout from the CL.
Stoke vs Manchester City
If you’re looking to bring in a Stoke player with a view towards Gameweek 31, that will be a bad idea. With Manchester City’s Champions League quarter-final berth secured, look for a celebration of sorts as they go berserk against Stoke. And who else to lead the celebration than Sergio Aguero (11.9m), who was rested in the second-leg loss to Basel?