With just ten games left, the 2017-18 season of the Premier League is coming to a close but as the games come thick and fast, the competition is heating up in its virtual counterpart—the Fantasy Premier League (FPL)—as well.
Leaders of mini leagues across the globe are frantically trying to get the slightest of edges over their rivals while the ones near the bottom are striving to prevent the ignominy of finishing last.
Don’t miss: Manchester City drub Arsenal again
With so much on the line, it’s an onerous task trying to pick the right player for your FPL team, but worry not for The Statesman is at hand with a overarching article ahead of every gameweek to ease your selection dilemmas.
The indicators are:
Teams in BOLD are top 4 contenders.
Prices (in £ million) marked in Green indicates a rise in Base Price.
Prices (in £ million) marked in Red indicates fall in Base Price.
Fixtures: Newcastle (H), Man United (A), Watford (H), Crystal Palace (A) and Everton (A)
Why yes: With the German seemingly established as Liverpool’s No.1, he’s a good bet against goal-shy Newcastle United. Considering Liverpool’s form, it wouldn’t be wise to go against them. As a bonus, the Reds are among the few teams to have a fixture in Gameweek 31.
Why no: The Reds do struggle to keep clean-sheets, even if they hit teams for a six in most games. Plus, the jury is still out on Karius, for he’s prone to blunders.
Team: Swansea City
Fixtures: West Ham (H), Huddersfield (A), N/A, Man United (A) and West Brom (A)
Why yes: Despite the fact that they are still in the relegation zone, the Swans have been in excellent form of late. Against an inconsistent Hammers side, expect Federico Fernandez and Co. to register a shutout. The Argentine is a thrifty option at the back and his size (6’3) makes him danger on set-pieces as well. Overall fixtures look pretty decent.
Why no: The Welsh outfit aren’t out of the woods yet and will most definitely be involved in a dog-fight as the season nears its conclusion. Think more 2-1, 1-1 type of results than the 1-0 ones FPL managers would love to get. Lukasz Fabianski(£4.7 m) is an excellent option in goal, but if you already have the Pole, you can steer clear of Fernandez.
Team: Manchester United
Fixtures: Crystal Palace (A), Liverpool (H), N/A, Swansea (H) and Man City (A)
Why yes: Back in the fold after sending a fair amount of time on the treatment table, United’s Ivorian is a lock to rake in points each time he starts. Bailly is by far United’s best defender, even if he is a little rash, and look for him to replace the injured Phil Jones with ease.
Why no: Despite his price going down due to his lack of involvement, he’s still an expensive defender. United don’t have the easiest opponents after Crystal Palace and they don’t play in Gameweek 31.
Team: Leicester City
Fixtures: Bournemouth (H), West Brom (A), N/A, Brighton (A) and Newcastle (H)
Why yes: With the kind of fixtures the Foxes have lined up, one would be foolhardy to not give Mahrez serious thought, at least. The Algerian may not be in the midst of a purple patch, but a player of his quality can storm back to form anytime literally. Picking him and Jamie Vardy (£8.7 m) isn’t the worst FPL stratagem.
Why no: The Algerian’s poor form of late stems from a failure to complete a move to Manchester City and with the Foxes not in contention for the European spots, there’s little to play for now. They don’t have a match in Gameweek 31.
Team: Tottenham Hotspur
Fixtures: Huddersfield (H), Bournemouth (A), N/A, Chelsea (A) and Stoke (A)
Why yes: Spurs’ midfield maestro continues to plug away and the Dane could well have the unique distinction of a double-figures tally in goals and assists both by the end of the season. Spurs have looked like a team reborn of late and having multiple players from their offensive department would be astute.
Why no: With Dele Alli (£8.9 m), Heung-Min Son (£8.1 m) all in good form, along with the goalscoring phenomenon that is Harry Kane (£12.9 m), how do you manage your max quota of three Lilywhites players? And we haven’t even got to their defence or goalkeeper yet. Spurs don’t play in Gameweek 31.
Team: Manchester City
Fixtures: Chelsea (H), Stoke (A), N/A, Everton (A) and Man United (H)
Why yes: Considering the amount of minutes Sergio Aguero (£12.0 m) has got of late, the Argentine is in line for a rest and Gabriel Jesus’ recovery comes at the perfect time for the league leaders. Expect the Brazilian to start against the Blues, who look like they are in disarray, and pick up where he left off from.
Why no: There’s no guarantee that Jesus will start and for that reason he’s the first wildcard pick of Gameweek 28. City have some tough games ahead and they don’t play in Gameweek 31.
Fixtures: Arsenal (H), Everton (A), N/A, Leicester (H) and Huddersfield (H)
Why yes: The second wildcard pick of Gameweek 28, the in-form Murray might just surprise an Arsenal side clearly shorn of all confidence at the moment. Their defence has always been suspect and the Gunners don’t have a particularly impressive away record as well.
Why no: Brighton don’t have a tie in Gameweek 31 and with the offensive firepower at the Gunners’ disposal (pun unintended), they might just register a stirring response.
PS: The Gameweek deadline is 11.30 am GMT/5 pm IST.
Previous articles in this series: