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Fantasy Premier League Pundit Picks: Gameweek 31

FPL returns with some tantalising mid-week fixtures, is your team ready? 

Prithviraj Dev | New Delhi |

The English Premier League returns with midweek fixtures that promise to enthral and frustrate in equal measure as results are sure to go haywire.

For Fantasy Premier League (FPL) managers, however, the uncertainty can induce a headache as you scramble to pick the best players for your team.

Be at ease, for The Statesman is there to sort through the chaff 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

Ben Foster
Team: West Bromwich Albion
Fixtures: Watford (A), Southampton (H), Liverpool (H), and Leicester (H)
Price: 4.7 (+)
Score: 97
Ownership: 14.5%

Why yes: Back to back clean sheets? With Tony Pulis in the dugout and Forster between the sticks, anything is possible. Watford may have beaten Sunderland in their last game, but the Baggies are flying high after their 0-0 draw at Old Trafford. 

Why no: West Brom don't play in Gameweek 34 and games after Southampton look quite tough.

Defenders

Ben Mee
Team: Burnley
Fixtures: Stoke (H), Middlesbrough (A), Everton (A), Man Utd (A) and Crystal Palace (A)
Price: 4.7 (+)
Score: 80
Ownership: 3.6%

Why yes: Stoke aren't in great form and at home, Burnley aren't easy to breach. Mee may play as a centre back, but is a goal threat from set-pieces and is a good option in this price range. 

Why no: Fixtures after Middlesbrough don't look easy. Should you already have Tom Heaton as your FPL goalkeeper, Mee can be given a miss.

Andrew Robertson
Team: Hull City
Fixtures: Middlesbrough (H), Man City (A), Stoke (A), Watford (H) and Southampton (A)
Price: 4.4 (-)
Score: 56
Ownership: 2.0%

Why yes: Under Marco Silva, Hull play like a stingy side and as a bonus, Robertson can chip in with the odd goal. Middlesbrough arent a free-scoring side by any stretch of the imagination, so a low-scoring game is anticipated.

Why no: His defensive teammates are worthy options and are all much cheaper. Hull travel to Man City next week and that is a game where it is extremely unlikely any visiting side keeps a clean sheet.

Midfielders
Heung-Min Son
Team: Tottenham Hotspur
Fixtures: Swansea (A), Watford (H), Bournemouth (H), Crystal Palace (A) and Arsenal (H)
Price: 7.0 (-)
Score: 108
Ownership: 6.1%

Why yes: In Harry Kane’s absence, the Korean can really thrive and he proved his worth with a goal coming off the bench against Burnley. A start beckons as manager Mauricio Pochettino is sure to rest some Spurs players. His teammates (Dele Alli and Chrstian Eriksen) are considerably more expensive than him.

Why no: Those aforementioned players do start week in week out, however and from an FPL perspective, are much more effective than the Son. Also, if you already have either of them, picking Son would not be a wise move.

Alex Iwobi
Team: Arsenal
Fixtures: West Ham (H), Crystal Palace (A), Middlesbrough (A), Leicester (H) and Spurs (A)
Price: 5.6 (-)
Score: 87
Ownership: 1.7%

Why yes: He looked bright in the draw with Man City and after some much-needed rest, should slot back in to the starting XI against an dreadfully poor West Ham team. The draw against City could be something the Gunners build on as the season nears its end and Iwobi (Most cost-effective Arsenal midfielder there is) will definitely benefit.

Why no: His starting spot is still not guaranteed and if you should already have Alexis Sanchez or Theo Walcott, buying Iwobi is not advised. 

Forwards

Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Team: Manchester United
Fixtures: Everton (H), Sunderland (A), Chelsea (H), Burnley (A)-Man City (A) and Swansea (H)
Price: 11.4 (-)
Score: 144
Ownership: 26.8%

Why yes: The big man is back and how his side have needed him. Everton are low on morale after their damaging loss to Liverpool and Ibrahimovic should have no problem picking up where he left off. United have a double fixture in Gameweek 34.

Why no: Is mightily expensive and if recent reports are believed, United manager Jose Mourinho may start to prioritise the Europa League over the Premier League. Which means Zlatan may get rested before continental ties.

Christian Benteke
Team: Crystal Palace
Fixtures: Southampton (A), Arsenal (H), Leicester (H), Liverpool (A)Spurs (H) and Burnley (H)
Price: 7.0 (-)
Score: 97
Ownership: 5.0%

Why yes: Palace are in brilliant form and Benteke was impressive against Chelsea (Then again, who wasn't from the Eagles side?). With Wilfried Zaha blitzing defence week in week out, the Belgian will directly/indirectly reap the benefits from the winger’s displays. 

Why no: Palace will be pushed to the limit after Southampton and in those games Benteke may just be starved of quality service. Zaha is a good pick for midfield and should you already have him, Benteke should be skipped.

PS: The Gameweek deadline is 6.45 pm GMT/12.15 am IST.