Fantasy Premier League Pundit Picks: Gameweek 34

(L-R) Roberto Firmino, David de Gea and Christian Benteke (Photos: AFP)

Double gameweek time, with plenty of options around, who will you go for?

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The English Premier League enters the final leg and the stakes are now higher than ever before.

Everyone has a different overall goal.  But they are fighting for every single ball. While it makes for arresting viewing, Fantasy Premier League (FPL) managers would prefer the results be pre-determined.
Since there is no crystal ball on hand, make do with the next best thing! For The Statesman assuages the selection dilemma with a comprehensive article on who to buy for the coming gameweek.

The indicators are:

Teams in BOLD are top 4 contenders.

Prices marked with a (+) indicate an increase in Base Price.
Prices marked with a (-) indicate a decrease in Base Price.

Goalkeepers

David de Gea
Team: Manchester United
Fixtures: Burnley (A)-Man City (A), Swansea (H), Arsenal (A), Spurs (A)-Southampton (A) and Crystal Palace (H)
Price: 5.4 (-)
Score: 113
Ownership: 33.4%

Why yes: Rested for United’s Europa League clash against Anderlecht, de Gea is set to return to the line up for this crucial double fixture gameweek. With United playing two double fixtures (Gameweek 34 and Gameweek 37), the Spaniard is a must-have, especially if you don’t have a United defender already.

Why no: The Red Devils continue to progress in the Europa League and they are definitely shifting their focus there as the season winds down. So don’t expect them to turn in too many sterling performances, they will just about do the bare minimum. Quite a few of their remaining fixtures are against teams in the top six.

Defenders

Antonio Barragán
Team: Middlesbrough
Fixtures: Bournemouth (A)-Sunderland (H), Man City (H), Chelsea (A), Southampton (H) and Liverpool (A)
Price: 4.4 (-)
Score: 71
Ownership: 1.3%

Why yes: Middlesbrough have an impressive defence (It’s actually better than anyone in the entire bottom-half!) and Barragan has been pretty decent all season. They have a double fixture gameweek and among the other teams that are playing two matches, Middlesbrough’s fixtures are the easiest.

Why no: They are on the verge of getting relegated and should results go against them in the next couple of matches, expect to see a rapid decline in the form of Steve Agnew’s men.

Patrick van Aanholt
Team: Crystal Palace 
Fixtures: Liverpool (A)-Spurs (H), Burnley (H), Man City (A), Hull (H) and Man United (A)
Price: 4.9 (-)
Score: 89
Ownership: 3.7%

Why yes: Back in the line up after an ankle injury had sidelined him for a couple of weeks, van Aanholt should wreak havoc against a shaky Liverpool defence. Palace are in excellent form and considering they have a double fixture gameweek, picking their rampaging full-back is a good choice.

Why no: If you already have Wayne Hennessey in your FPL team, then van Aanholt can be given a miss. Also, a majority of the Eagles fixtures’ are difficult.

Midfielders
Ander Herrera
Team: Manchester United
Fixtures: Burnley (A)-Man City (A), Swansea (H), Arsenal (A), Spurs (A)-Southampton (A) and Crystal Palace (H)
Price: 6.3 (-)
Score: 80
Ownership: 1.5 %

Why yes: No this isn't just because he managed to keep Eden Hazard in his pocket. Herrera was rested for the Europa League win over Anderlecht and as a result, he will be fresh for the double fixture Gameweeek United have. Always thinking positively, expect him to pick up an assist or two at least.

Why no: He picks up yellow cards on a regular basis and while he is a fine midfielder, from a FPL perspective perhaps Anthony Martial would make more sense. And if you already have Marcus Rashford in your side, Herrera should be avoided.

Roberto Firmino
Team: Liverpool
Fixtures: Crystal Palace (H), Watford (A), Southampton (H), West Ham (A) and Middlesbrough (H)
Price: 8.6 (-)
Score: 166
Ownership: 12.8%

Why yes: Back in form again after going missing for a while, Firmino is revelling in Sadio Mane’s absence. If he’s not scoring, he is assisting and vice-versa. Liverpool have the easiest fixtures from any side in the top six and Firmino is

Why no: If you already have Philippe Coutinho or Divock Origi, picking Firmino as well doesn't make sense. Also, Liverpool are known to implode against lesser teams, so don't take anything for granted.

Forwards

Alvaro Negredo
Team: Middlesbrough 
Fixtures: Bournemouth (A)-Sunderland (H), Man City (H), Chelsea (A), Southampton (H) and Liverpool (A)
Price: 6.2 (-)
Score: 110
Ownership: 12.6%

Why yes: Considering Middlesbrough have the easiest double fixture Gameweek and the fact that Negredo is in decent form, this is an easy low-budget choice. 

Why no: Middlesbrough have the worst attack in the league and are overly dependent on the Spaniard to win each game, which obviously doesn't work every singe time. They are 18th in the league table and it isn't prudent to pick too many players from a team that are so lowly.

Christian Benteke
Team: Crystal Palace 
Fixtures: Liverpool (A)-Spurs (H), Burnley (H), Man City (A), Hull (H) and Man United (A)
Price: 7.2 (-)
Score: 110
Ownership: 9.6%

Why yes:  Banging in the goals after undergoing a barren patch, Benteke is an excellent option in the mid-price forward range. Palace are in great form at the moment and they have a double fixture gameweek and against Liverpool at least, he should score.

Why no: Should you already have Wilfried Zaha in midfield, Benteke can be overlooked. The Eagles have some extremely tough fixtures up ahead.

PS: The Gameweek  deadline is 2.30 pm GMT/6.30 pm IST.

THE STATESMAN PULSE

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