Welcome to the Penultimate FPL Player Picks of the season!
We’re back with another quick turnaround, with the last fixture of game-week 36 being played on Friday evening even as we turn our heads to Saturday’s game-week 37 kickoff.
In game-week 36, Pep Roulette struck again with a vengeance to frustrate many FPL Managers: Manchester City’s top-three FPL points earners (Mahrez, Sterling and KDB) were all benched. Worse, Mahrez and Sterling subbed in late with nothing-performances to thwart even the consolation of fantasy bench cover. This was to be partly expected with Pep’s side facing Arsenal in an FA Cup Semi-Final tomorrow Saturday.
The other FA Cup Semi-Final will be contested between Chelsea & Manchester United on the Sunday. FPL Managers were pleased to see their Manchester United assets not fall victim to rotation in the 2-0 Victory over Crystal Palace in Game-week 36. Rotation will be a concern for the four FA Cup semifinal sides (especially with the potential of extra time), who play their respective EPL fixtures on Tuesday & Wednesday.
The battle for the top four remains as tight as ever and will go to the wire, with just 1 point separating Chelsea from the chasing Leicester and Manchester United. The fight for the remaining Europa League place is also tight, with just three points separating Wolves, Spurs, Sheffield United and Arsenal.
As always, after consideration with regards to form, fixtures, rotation (and the FA Cup), let’s now take a look at our FPL Player Picks for the Penultimate game-week:
Nick Pope - £5.1Mil - Norwich (A)
The goalkeeper with the most clean-sheets faces the side who have scored the least amount of goals in the league this season. This is the key reason to select an in-form Pope in our picks against a side that has scored only once in its last five matches.
Dean Henderson - £5.2Mil - Everton (H)
After 4 matches unbeaten, Sheffield United’s run come to an end at the hands of Leicester, although Henderson still made a healthy five saves in the match and has been bringing in points consistency in recent times. The Blades are still well in the mix for a European spot and face an Everton side who haven’t got anything to play for.
Matt Doherty - £6.5Mil - Crystal Palace (H)
Doherty initially frustrated his owners after starting on the bench in Game-week 36, however he shown banished the frustrations after coming on to grab an assist for Jiménez’s sublime volley. He then went onto concede a last minute penalty, frustrating the owners of other Wolves defensive assets. Doherty should be set to start against a Crystal Palace side that has lost its last six fixtures, scoring only twice.
James Tarkowski - £5.4Mil - Norwich (A)
Tarkowski is part of a Burnley side that has been in strong form since the restart, losing only once during this time. The Clarets face an already relegated Norwich side that has scored only once in five matches. Tarkowski does also offer attacking potential with a goal and clean-sheet since the restart.
Trent Alexander-Arnold - £7.7Mil - Chelsea (H)
The buzz around TAA has been relatively quiet lately, with Liverpool having comfortably wrapped up the title and unable to break any further records. After a shock defeat to Arsenal, Klopp will expect his side to bounce back in a tasty fixture against Chelsea, which should offer attacking returns for TAA against a side prepping for an FA Cup semifinal fixture three days earlier.
David Silva - £7.4Mil - Watford (A)
David Silva is one Citizen who has benefited from ‘Pep Roulette’. Silva started in place of De Bruyne and has now started in three of the last four PL matches. He has produced impressive attacking returns with two goals and three assists in his last three matches. Silva is likely to be on the bench for the FA Cup Semi-Final against Arsenal, which would mean he’s likely to feature in this EPL fixture. At 5.7% ownership, and taking a bow at the end of his final season at Man City, he is a good differential for those looking to make up ground in their leagues.
Anthony Martial - £8.4Mil - West Ham (H)
Another FPL player pick, another Manchester United asset. Like a number of Man United assets, Martial has been in fine form since the restart and been consistent, with two goals and two assists in his last three matches. Solskjær rotated the side for the FA Quarter-Final, and is likely to do so again this week as Ighalo has notably impressed in this competition. This puts high value on Martial, who should be fresh for their favourable fixture against West Ham.
David Brooks - £6.1Mil - Southampton (H)
Many were expecting Bournemouth to be on the end of a heavy defeat against Manchester City in game-week 36; however, Bournemouth pleasantly surprised and put up a late fight in a 2-1 defeat. This is more promising for the Cherries, and David Brooks looks vital to their plight. He now has a goal and assist in his last three matches, and at 0.1% ownership he is a great differential.
Mo Salah - £12.5Mil - Chelsea (H)
Salah has an impressive home-scoring record in the EPL this season, with 15 of his 19 goals coming at Anfield. He was also unlucky not to score in Liverpool’s shock 2-1 defeat against the Gunners in game-week 36. He’s registering a healthy number of shots per match and will look to get on the scoresheet against his former club.
Harry Kane - £10.9Mil - Leicester (H)
After a slow start since the EPL restart, Harry Kane and Spurs have started to find some form. Kane got a brace against Newcastle in the previous game-week, moving past his drought and looks set for a strong finish. Spurs continue to push for a European place and are in good form. Kane scored in the reverse fixture earlier in the season.
Chris Wood - £6.1Mil - Norwich (A)
After his late penalty against Wolves, Burnley’s frontman is back on many managers’ radar. Wood has a respectable 12 goals to his name this season and has a favourable fixture against the already relegated Norwich City.
Raul Jiménez - £8.1Mil - Crystal Palace (H)
Jiménez has well and truly put his goal drought behind him with a stunning volley against Burnley. This makes it 2 in 2 for the Mexican International, who is spearheading Wolves’s quest for a European place. Wolves face a a Crystal Palace side going through a terrible time of six consecutive losses in the League.
Danny Ings - £7.5Mil - Bournemouth (A)
Ings has remained consistent in the restart and has now registered an impressive 20 goals this season, after his recent goal in the draw against Brighton. Southampton face a Bournemouth side who notably have a hard time keeping out the goals. Ings is currently three goals behind Jamie Vardy in the race for the Golden Boot.
What do make of our Player Picks this week? Are you avoiding any players that are likely to feature in the FA Cup? Is this a good time to play any remaining Chips you have, or will you wait till the last game of the season? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments below!