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Fantasy Premier League Pundit Picks: Gameweek 28

With scant few teams in action, the stakes have been officially raised for Gameweek 28!

Prithviraj Dev | New Delhi |

The world’s most watched football league for a reason, the English Premier League thrills is a weekly roller-coaster ride, right from its start in August to the final weekend in May.

And should you be playing the Fantasy Premier League (FPL), expect plenty of migraines and heartburn along the way.

This week there are scant few teams in action due to the FA Cup also being played but worry not, for The Statesman has carefully curated the top picks for Gameweek 28.

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

Eldin Jakupovic
Team: Hull 
Fixtures: Swansea (H), Everton (A), West Ham (H), Middlesborough (H) and Man City (A)
Price: 4.1 (+) 
Score: 53
Ownership: 22.9%

Why yes: Admittedly, Hull haven't been in great form of late, but the games they have lost have been fine margins. In part thanks to their goalkeerper Jakupovic, who has been in fine fettle. At his price and with reasonably easy fixtures up ahead, he is an excellent back up choice for FPL at least.

Why no: Swansea aren't exactly goal-shy at the moment and it is difficult to see the Bosnian as a long-term alternative as well.

Defenders

Leighton Baines
Team: Everton
Fixtures: West Brom (H), Hull (H), Liverpool (A), Man Utd (A) and Leicester (H)
Price: 5.7 (+)
Score: 100
Ownership: 12.3%

Why yes: If you take away the loss to Tottenham last weekend, Everton have been in impressive form and should be able to ease past West Brom at home. Among the most attack minded full backs in the league, expect a goal or an assist in the next two games which are at home, coincidentally.

Why no: If you have Joel Robles or Seamus Coleman in your FPL side, then Baines could be given a miss. Games after Hull aren't going to be easy and clean sheets will be hard to get.

Aaron Cresswell
Team: West Ham
Fixtures: Bournemouth (A), Leicester (H), Hull (A), Arsenal (H) and Swansea (H)
Price: 5.2 (-)
Score : 43
Ownership: 0.4%

Why yes: Cresswell is a fine full back and on his day, can easily bag a couple of assists with his wicket left foot. With Bournemouth set to dominate possession, Cresswell and co will look to hit them on the counter and may just pick up an assist or two. 

Why no: The Hammers have very little to play for, as they are out of contention for the European spots and away from the relegation quagmire. So their desire to win isn't exactly there and they have been far from impressive defensively and with some tough fixtures up ahead, don’t expect to many clean sheets.

Midfielders
Sadio Mane
Team: Liverpool
Fixtures:  Burnley (H), Man City (A), Everton (H), Bournemouth (H) and Stoke (A)
Price: 9.6 (+)
Score: 147
Ownership: 20.4%

Why yes: In imperious form (three goals in as many games), Mane is a must-have and is arguably the most consistent Liverpool midfielder. Practically a forward but classified as an midfielder for FPL, which is an added bonus.

Why no: Has the lowest differential among his teammates and is far more expensive than all of them. 

Joshua King
Team: Bournemouth
Fixtures: West Ham (H), Swansea (H), Southampton (A), Liverpool (A) and Chelsea (H)
Price: 5.5
Score: 98
Ownership: 3.9%

Why yes: King is on a real goalscoring run at the moment (six goals in nine games) and it would be prudent to snap him up while it lasts. West Ham don’t have the best defence around and the next two games after that look pretty reasonable as well. 

Why no: He is the first wildcard pick of Gameweek 28 and it would be unwise to expect substantial returns from him in the long run, considering his price.

Forwards

Romelu Lukaku
Team: Everton
Fixtures: West Brom (H), Hull (H), Liverpool (A), Man Utd (A) and Leicester (H)
Price: 10.1
Score: 154
Ownership: 37.4%

Why yes: Probably the easiest pick for Gameweek 28, Lukaku is a no-brainer in the forward department. Everton’s highest record scorer in the Premier League, Lukaku is in the midst of a purple patch at the moment and it is likely to continue against his old club West Brom. For those looking to offload Zlatan Ibrahimovic this week, look no further.

Why no: He is among the most expensive strikers in FPL and with fixtures looking tough after Hull, Lukaku may find support from his midfield dwindling.

Andre Gray
Team: Burnley
Fixtures: Liverpool (A), Sunderland (A), Spurs (H), Stoke (H) and Middlesborough (A)
Price:  6.1 (-)
Score: 84
Ownership: 4.6%

Why yes: After bagging a brace against Swansea last weekend, Gray will be backing himself to score against a Liverpool side that leaks goals. He has scored against Liverpool before and with the Reds record against the ‘smaller’ teams suspect, he may just breach Simon Mignolet’s goal.

Why no: The second wildcard pick for Gameweek 28, Gray will find chances few and far between against a side that are looking back to their best after steamrolling Arsenal last weekend.

PS: The Gameweek deadline is 2 pm GMT/7.30 pm IST, so make sure all transfers are completed before that!