After one of the highest scoring gameweeks in FPL history due to the exploits of Liverpool’s Mohammed Salah in DGW 26, GW 27 was a return to normalcy – with only one team (Burnley) doubling and big hitters like Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea blanking due to the FA Cup Final. Here are some talking points from the latest round of matches:
Invest in the Southampton defence – but beware of rotation.
Southampton have been one of the most in-form sides in the Premier League, having been undefeated in their last five league games – which included tough clashes with Tottenham, Manchester United and Manchester City. Their last two games have been dominating 2-0 wins over Everton and Norwich, with their defence looking compact and assured. With a tasty DGW 28 against Aston Villa (A) and Newcastle (H), it may make sense to invest in their defence – with Jan Bednarek (4.4), Tino Livramento (4.4), Mohammed Salisu (4.5) and Kyle Walker Peters (4.8) all viable options and reasonably priced below 5 million.
However, Hasenhuttl has been singing the praises of Romain Perraud, the French right back who deputised effectively for Livramento during his injury, and the Austrian is notoriously open to rotating his assets to keep them fresh. With Perraud able to play at both full back positions, Walker Peters and Livramento are rotation risks but their attacking potential may still make them worthy picks for the upcoming gameweek.
Are Tottenham back?
Recently, Tottenham have been experiencing drastic fluctuations in form – with an enthralling victory at title-holders Manchester City followed by two consecutive losses against Wolves and Burnley (where they failed to notch a single goal). However, Saturday’s impressive display against (a now manager-less) Leeds United showcased the true potential of this Spurs side from a FPL perspective. Harry Kane (12.3) is back to his blistering best, scoring an incisive volley and delivering a pinpoint assist for his strike partner Son-Heung Min (10.8).
The England captain is a standout option for the next few gameweeks due to Tottenham’s great fixtures (including a DGW 29) coupled with a general dearth of options in the forwards bracket. Son also offers an exciting route into the Tottenham attack, and tends to prosper when Kane is flourishing. In addition to the conventional two Spurs attackers, Dejan Kulusevski (6.0) offers great differential potential and has impressed in his first few Premier League games. He looked fantastic going forwards against Leeds and scored his second goal in three starts. Both him and defender Matt Doherty (4.7) are interesting shouts if they can nail down a place for the long term.
Jump off the Brighton train before it’s too late
Brighton and Hove Albion started the season brightly, with many pundits tipping them to fight for European places. However, their recent form has been terrible – with three losses in their last three matches. In that span, they have failed to score a single goal and have conceded seven. Many managers had invested in Brighton defence to target DGW 25 and still hold some of their assets like goalkeeper Robert Sanchez (4.6), defenders Tariq Lamptey (4.5) and Marc Cucurella (5.1), and striker Neal Maupay (6.6). It may be wise to transfer them out for assets from teams with better form and fixtures. Brighton players are unlikely to score significant FPL points from their upcoming fixtures, with only one DGW in 29 (which is against European challengers Spurs and title contenders Liverpool) and Manchester City and Arsenal among their next six opponents.
Template West Ham assets – tough calls are coming soon.
West Ham experienced a boost in their pursuit for a European berth after winning 1-0 against fellow challengers Wolves. However, there may be some tough calls coming soon for FPL managers, with high ownership assets like Jarrod Bowen (7.1) and Michail Antonio (7.6) embarking on a topsy-turvy run of fixtures without any DGWs scheduled (contingent to FA Cup results). In a GW 28 where 5 teams double, they face Liverpool at Anfield, and managers need to decide whether it’s worth leaving 7+ million on the bench with similarly priced Villa and Saints players offering better short-term gains and captaincy potential with their tasty doubles. It will be a difficult decision to make, especially with Bowen’s consistency throughout this season and Antonio’s emphatic performance against Wolves on the weekend suggesting that he may be returning to his best after a recent drought.
That concludes the first article of our FPL Debrief section, we will be publishing our player picks for DGW 28 on Friday. Stay tuned!
Written by Hrishikesh Chaudhuri | Feature Image by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
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