The gameweek 28 deadline is fast approaching, and to add to the usual transfer dilemmas both Everton and Liverpool are tempting fantasy managers with the prospect of a double gameweek. To help in your decision making, we have pulled together a few player ideas that we feel could really deliver over the coming gameweeks.
Last week we mentioned the value that statistics can offer at this stage of the season, with the rationale being that due to the number of matches that have now been played, the stats are based on enough raw data to allow us to draw meaningful conclusions from them.
If we use the stats as a guide for gameweek 28, then we are once again drawn to Hart of Man City. The stats for Hart are pretty compelling. So far this season Man City have conceded just 19 league goals, which is 6 less than any other team in the league. When it comes to clean sheets, Man City have kept 13 clean sheets in the league this season, which is more than any other team in the league. With 4 clean sheets from their last 4 league games, Hart would appear to be a nailed on keeper selection.
Looking across the rest of the league, other keepers that have caught our eye in recent weeks are both De Gea of Man United and Schwarzer of Fulham. Aswell as having strong defensive records so far this season, both clubs have the added advantage of an attractive run of fixtures against relatively easier opposition ahead of them. We feel both keepers are worthy of consideration.
It is difficult to ignore the double gameweek in store for Liverpool in gameweek 28. Reina is in good form with 3 clean sheets from his last 6 league games, and would therefore seem worth looking at. Whilst Liverpool have a couple of difficult fixtures against Everton and Sunderland in gameweek 28, the fact these are followed up with games against QPR and Wigan adds to Reina’s appeal.
We have mentioned above that we like the defensive prospects of the Man City, Man United and Fulham keepers, and the attraction of the double gameweek for the in-form Liverpool keeper. It therefore goes to say that we think the defenders from each of these clubs are worthy of consideration aswell.
Out of the Man City defence our pick would usually be Kompany, but as we write this article news has filtered through that the Man City captain has limped out of the first leg of their last-16 Europa League tie against Sporting Lisbon with a suspected calf injury. We would therefore recommend you keep a careful eye on the injury news ahead of selecting Kompany for gameweek 28. In the absence of Kompany, an alternative option in the Man City defence would be Lescott.
From the Man United defence our selection would be one of either Jones or Evra, and from Fulham it would be any one of Hangeland, Riise and Senderos (depending upon your available budget).
Looking at the double gameweek on offer in gameweek 28, we would opt for either Enrique or Skrtel from the Liverpool defence. Whilst we have not tipped Howard of Everton as a goalkeeping option, the added attraction that Baines offers in terms of getting up the pitch to deliver valuable goal and assist points means that we would be tempted to consider the Toffees defender this week. Our only word of warning is that Everton have some tough fixtures ahead of them, so clean sheets will be challenging.
Our final defensive pick is Sagna of Arsenal. The Gunners defender has been in great attacking form in recent weeks, and with 2 assists and a goal from his last 2 league fixtures he could well be worth considering. Whilst the clean sheet potential of Sagna is not as great as other defensive options, the added benefit he brings in the form of potential fantasy points from goals and assists makes him a tempting alternative.
Spurs fans and fantasy managers alike will have been pleased to see Gareth Bale back in action for Tottenham in their midweek FA Cup 5th round replay against Stevenage. The Welsh midfielder is enjoying a great season, and when he is fit and available he is almost always one of the first names on our tips sheet.
Whilst Mancini left fantasy managers hugely frustrated by benching Silva last week, it has done nothing to deter us from recommending him as a top fantasy asset. Looking on the bright side, gameweek 27 was the first time that Silva has not featured in a league game this season, so hopefully the chances of him being rested again are relatively slim. Famous last words!
Man United have a good run of fixtures ahead of them, and as such we like the look of both Nani and Young. The only risk with both players is that Man United have a number of midfielders who are now fit, so if you select either Nani or Young then you have to accept that Sir Alex may rest them every now and again.
Looking across the rest of the Premier League, other players that have caught our eye are Dempsey, Morrison, Sigurdsson and Walcott (fitness permitting). Each one is worth considering, although your ultimate selection will depend on who you already have in your fantasy squad.
Finally with a double gameweek on the cards, it would be remiss of us not to mention our preferred options from the Merseyside clubs. We caveat these recommendations by saying that if they did not have a double gameweek in gameweek 28, then none of these players would have made it into this week’s article. If you do want to take a gamble on the double gameweek, then from Liverpool we would go for either Adam, Gerrard (fitness permitting) or Kuyt. None of the Everton midfielders really jump out at us, but if you want to take a complete gamble then Drenthe would be our pick. Our only word of warning is that Drenthe tends to get limited game time, hence why we describe him as a ‘complete gamble’.
When it comes to forwards there are quite a few strikers that provide tempting options for us fantasy managers. At the top of most managers lists are the likes of Van Persie, Aguero and Ba, and given their form over most of the season you can see why.
Fortunately, there is also quite a bit of talent on offer outside of those three. Heading our list of alternative striking options are Rooney of Man United and Pogrebnyak of Fulham. Both are in great form and have a kind run of relatively easier fixtures ahead of them.
Strikers tend to feed off confidence, so when selecting a forward it often helps to look for players who are enjoying a good run of recent form. Leaving to one side players that we have already mentioned in this article, both Adebayor of Spurs and Odemwingie of West Brom meet the criteria to be described as ‘in form’ players.
Once again it is also pretty hard not to overlook Liverpool’s upcoming double gameweek. Out of the Liverpool striking options, the most obvious fantasy selection would have to be Suarez, although the very brave amongst you may be tempted to take a punt on Carroll.
Casting our eye across the rest of the Premier League, we also like the look of Holt, Yakubu, Doyle, the QPR strike partnership of Zamora and Djibril Cisse, and Papiss Cisse of Newcastle. Any one of these strikers has the ability to have a huge gameweek, and would therefore not look out of place in any fantasy team.
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