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Week 36 Official FPL Player Picks: Four Divided by Three

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There are only three weeks left in the season, but plenty of teams have four games remaining. Are you focused on this week when picking players, or do you have a weather-eye on the horizon?

Raheem Sterling - Manchester City - Premier League
Raheem Sterling is back in a purple patch of form
Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Following a shortened week with only 12 teams active, we go back to a normal schedule in Week 36. Of course, Week 37 has a number of squads playing twice, before everyone plays, and at exactly the same time in the Week 38 finale. So here’s where the rubber meets the road, as it’s time for your strategy to take hold. Good or bad, who knows? All you can do is what seems to make the best sense now.

If you’re not looking ahead, but are instead staying in the moment, these are the players who should treat you right this weekend:

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KEEPERS

Martin Dubravka (£4.5, Newcastle v. West Brom)

The Magpies allow fewer than a goal per game at home, while Albion is tied for the least away strikes. Dubravka also happens to have three clean sheets in four tries at St. James’ Park.

Tom Heaton or Nick Pope (£4.7 or £5.0, Burnley v. Brighton)

The Clarets have struggled to keep clean sheets lately, but they still boast an elite defense. And now Brighton, which is tied with West Brom for the fewest away goals in the Premiership, comes to Turf Moor. The only question is, shall Sean Dyche call on Tom Heaton again or return to Nick Pope?

Loris Karius (£4.9, Liverpool v. Stoke)

Liverpool and Karius have six clean sheets in the past eleven league games, including three straight at Anfield. Stoke has scored just 13 goals in 17 away games, with only two goals in the past five. How does that math add up for you?

Hugo Lloris (£5.4, Tottenham v. Watford)

Spurs have a tendency to give up an awful goal all too frequently due to their high line. That said, they’ve conceded the third fewest scores at home, and Watford’s offense is middling. Much like a roller coaster ride, keep your eyes closed and it just might turn out alright.

Jonas Lossl (£4.6, Huddersfield v. Everton)

The Terriers have kept two clean sheets in their past three home games, while Everton has one of the league’s most anemic away offenses. As a fictitious race car driver once said to his buddy on the paved oval, shake and bake!

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DEFENDERS

Virgil van Dijk (£5.7, Liverpool v. Stoke)

Jurgen Klopp may well rotate some pieces in the back, but VvD seems like his trusty lucky charm with 10 straight starts. At home against Stoke City, what more can you ask for?

Kevin Long (£4.1, Burnley v. Brighton)

Assuming Long keeps starting as expected, he’s got a good chance at a clean sheet, he has a goal and an assist across his past four games, and he’s super cheap. Giddyup!

Chris Smalling (£5.6, Manchester United v. Arsenal)

Three goals and two clean sheets in the past six games means that Smalling is making us all forget about Antonio Valencia’s offensive exploits from the Red Devils’ back line.

Jan Vertonghen (£6.0, Tottenham v. Watford)

Who’s going to be in Mauricio Pochettino’s XI on the defensive end from among Ben Davies, Kieran Trippier, Serge Aurier, Danny Rose, Davinson Sanchez, and Toby Alderweireld? Difficult to say with a high degree of certainty. But the Jan Man has started all but once this season, so he’s as close to a lock as you can get for Spurs.

DeAndre Yedlin (£4.5, Newcastle v. West Brom)

The fleet American wing back’s past four home games: 6, 6, 9, and 5 points. Why not keep rock and rolling at home against West Brom?

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MIDFIELDERS

Christian Eriksen (£9.5, Tottenham v. Watford)

The great Dane has at least a goal or assist in 14 of his past 20 games, which compares very favorably to fellow midfield Spurs Dele Alli and Son Heung-Min (only 10 times each). So if you’re going with Tottenham on offense, he’s got to be the pick to click.

Matt Ritchie (£5.4, Newcastle v. West Brom)

All three of Ritchie’s goals, and four of his seven assists, have come at home... where he happens to toil this week... against godawful Albion.

Mo Salah (£10.6, Liverpool v. Stoke)

With a rout seemingly well in hand, Jurgen Klopp took Salah out (oops!) in the second half of Tuesday’s Champions League game against Roma. So Mo should be plenty fresh for Stoke and shooting for the goal scoring record.

Alexis Sanchez (£11.5, Manchester United v. Arsenal)

If you’re keying on motivation as a tool for success, Alexis will have plenty of it against his former team. Arsene Wenger may also rest several key Gunners, who will have their minds more on the Europa League.

Raheem Sterling (£9.0, Manchester City at West Ham)

After Sterling collected his 14th goal in 20 appearances, I predicted that he would come back to earth. And I was right. Sterling went through a bit of a dry spell, scoring “only” four more times in his subsequent 10 games. But those four goals — along with four assists — have all come in his past six games, which means that he’s again on fire. In an amazingly productive Citizens’ midfield, Sterling stands on top, fantasy-wise.

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FORWARDS

Danny Ings (£5.4, Liverpool v. Stoke)

With any luck, Roberto Firmino will get a rest, so Ings should see another spot start. With even more fortune, the extremely cheap Ings will find the back of the net as he did at West Brom last weekend.

Gabriel Jesus (£10.3, Manchester City at West Ham)

Since Sergio Aguero’s injury, Jesus has three goals and three assists in five games. Keep plugging him in and reaping the rewards.

Harry Kane (£12.7, Tottenham v. Watford)

The Tottenham talisman has only two goals in his past five games, and one of those came retrospectively and with no shortage of controversy. Remember what happened after he didn’t score in the first three games this season? Ten goals in the next six games happened, that’s what. With shambolic Watford coming to Wembley, Kane is primed for an explosion.

Romelu Lukaku (£11.5, Manchester United v. Arsenal)

With only one of his 16 goals coming against Big Six foes this season, the Troll King has been downright dreadful against top competition. From that perspective, it’s difficult to feel confident about him here, but Lukaku is in good form with at least a goal or assist in eight of his past twelve overall. Arsenal has been poor away from the Emirates, and the Gunners will be expected to rest some key players, so go ahead, don your rose-colored beer-goggles (in which even a troll looks beautiful), and look for the Belgian to rewrite the narrative here.

Ayoze Perez (£5.4, Newcastle v. West Brom)

Perez hasn’t really done much this season (five goals, six assists), but hey, that’s one reason why he’s cheap. He does have two goals and an assist in his past two home games, and now the worst team in the league comes to town.

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After scoring 83 points with the triple captain in GW34, and bagging an even better 93 with the free hit in GW35, I’m loving life with the chips! Can we have a chip every week, please? Reverting to my old team after the free hit wasn’t particularly appetizing, and I’d like to optimize the bench boost chip in the DGW37.

So I’m looking ahead, loading up on players from teams having four games left: three Citizens, three Swans, three Spurs, two Foxes, two Red Devils, one Gunner, one Magpie (and a partridge in a pear tree), thus burning my wildcard chip in Week 36. It’s not a perfect team for Week 35, so sadly my squad doesn’t have many of the players I’m recommending above, but I’m hoping it will hold up alright and pay off in next week’s bench-boost. Fingers, toes and almost all other appendages crossed!

What changes are you making to your teams this week? Who else looks good to you aside from the players listed above? What’s your strategy for the final three weeks? After you take the poll below, let us know in the comments!

Poll

Which chip, if any, are you utilizing this week?

This poll is closed

  • 11%
    Bench boost
    (10 votes)
  • 0%
    Free hit
    (0 votes)
  • 6%
    Triple captain
    (6 votes)
  • 20%
    Wildcard
    (18 votes)
  • 61%
    None, going chipless!
    (55 votes)
89 votes total Vote Now