We are heading towards the Premier League’s home stretch, and only eight teams are set to play this weekend. Arsenal, Aston Villa, Brighton, Fulham, Newcastle, Tottenham and West Ham are the only teams who have action in the league, as the rest have FA Cup fixtures to focus upon. And last week’s injury disasters will make this round even more of a head-scratcher too.
This week looks like the best time to play your ‘free-hit’ if you still have it or simply prioritize your players around these players. Also, the deadline is FRIDAY again, and this time many Americans get to cope with daylight savings time too.
Friday 19 March
Saturday, 20 March
- Brighton v Newcastle
Sunday, 21 March
- West Ham v Arsenal
- Aston Villa v Tottenham
Emiliano Martinez (£5.4m, Aston Villa v Tottenham)
Over 40 per cent of FPL managers have the former Arsenal keeper in their squads, and his FPL-leading (among keepers) return has been enormous. Only Ederson has kept more clean sheets than Martinez’s 14 this season. It’s still a risk to add him when Aston Villa faces Spurs, but why not gamble? After all he has delivered.
Alphonse Areola (£4.6m, Leeds v Fulham)
Here’s another tough call for a clean sheet, but Fulham’s recent record at the back is better than league position as Areola has managed to keep three clean sheets in his previous five fixtures. Fulham’s keeper can come in handy till GW-32 as the Cottagers face no current top nine teams.
Lewis Dunk (£5.0m, Brighton v Newcastle)
With Newcastle visiting next, Brighton is in a good spot to hunt for a clean sheet, and the captain also managed to grab a goal against Southampton last week. Dunk is the Seagull’s second top-scorer in both goals and FPL points. Interestingly, he even has most shots (27) after Leandro Trossard and Neal Maupay. Alternatively. Joel Veltman can provide decent value at just £4.3m.
Kieran Tierney (£5.2m, West Ham v Arsenal)
Tierney provided an assist and a bonus point in the North London derby. Among defenders this week, the full-back has most crosses (40) and chances created (13) in his previous six matches. Despite playing a West Ham side that is third-bottom for total shots in the last four games, it will still be tough to call for a Gunners’ clean sheet, but Tierney’s attacking threat can compensate.
Aaron Cresswell (£5.9m, West Ham v Arsenal)
Cresswell has been excellent this term, the top-earning defender in FPL with 133 points including 20 bonuses. He has registered two 12-point matches in the last five. The Hammers’ full back also made 48 key passes, more than any of his teammates, plus 17 shots by himself. Set-pieces will be key for him to deliver for David Moyes’ men against Arsenal.
Tomas Soucek (£5.3m, West Ham v Arsenal)
At just £5.3m, Soucek has been a bargain this season. Despite having a tough spell, the playmaker can find Arsenal’s shaky defense as the perfect game to bring back his form and create troubles. Also, Jesse Lingard is again available after forced rest against his parent club Manchester United last week.
Ademola Lookman (£5.1m, Fulham v Leeds)
Lookman has been climbing the charts and grabbing the spotlight lately, the Fulham midfielder has creating the most shots and chances in previous six matches after Raphinha and Harry Kane. Believe it or not, form is with Fulham at the moment, and Leeds has failed to score in four of its last five fixtures making Lookman a solid option this week.
Gareth Bale (£9.6m, Aston Villa v Tottenham)
While Son Heung-Min suffered an injury against Arsenal last week, Gareth Bale was merely listless. Still, four goals and a couple of assists in the four fixtures before that offer hope of this week. Against a Villa squad that will attack, the Welshman should have enough space at the back to counter.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.4m, West Ham v Arsenal)
Despite being left on the bench in the North London derby last week for a disciplinary issue, the now-rested Arsenal captain will likely start against West Ham and work to make a statement. The forward is still in decent form with four goals in his previous four matches. It will be interesting to see what kind of a comeback he delivers.
Josh Maja (£5.5m, Leeds v Fulham)
Since his double against Everton, Maja has not found the net in his last six games. Fulham would like him to find the net more often to jump out of the relegation zone. Facing the unbalanced Leeds side, this can be the week for him to do just that.
Michail Antonio (£6.6m, West Ham v Arsenal)
West Ham has to outsmart Arsenal’s back line with pace, physicality and aerial prowess. Michail Antonio is just the player to do that. Despite his dry spell of two games with just one shot and three chances created, he did have two goals against Tottenham and Manchester City before.
Harry Kane (£11.4m, Aston Villa v Tottenham)
With Callum Wilson out and Patrick Bamford facing injury issues, Harry Kane has to be the leading striker in your squad. He’s the highest owned player who is not injured at the moment. The Englishman will probably be the most captained player this week too, and rightly so, given his form. His 19-point haul in GW-27 should be more than enough to talk about. Kane has three goals and two assists in his last four games, and he has smashed a whooping 16 shots during this time, the most of any player. And, his free-kick and penalty spot chances will always be a plus.
What do you think of our picks this week? On which player are you taking a chance? Whom are you planning to captain? Which player will shine this week? Please let us know in the comments section below!