The Premier League is nearing the finish line, and schedule turbulence continues. This week we start with a Friday deadline, and then we string out the games until next Thursday. Along the way, Tottenham will play twice (Everton Friday + Southampton Wednesday) while Crystal Palace will blank.
Let’s check out players to ponder for this week’s action. As you’ll see, due to Tottenham’s recent form I’m not high on very many Spurs players, even though they’ll get two bites of the apple in this round.
Ederson (£6.1m, Villa v Man City)
The Citizens’ back line is leading the charts with 17 clean sheets, and Ederson has a played a major part in that feat for the champions-elect. Aston Villa is still without Jack Grealish for a ‘few’ weeks, dampening the Villans’ creativity, which is why the Brazilian goal keeper has a decent chance to notch his 18th clean sheet.
Edouard Mendy (£5.2m, Chelsea v Brighton)
Mendy is another keeper who has been dominant at the back, keeping 14 clean sheets in 28 league appearances. Thomas Tuchel has been transformative for the Blues, changing their defensive dynamics. Brighton is under pressure to stay above the relegation zone, so they won’t make it easy at Stamford Bridge.
Rob Holding £4.2m, Arsenal v Fulham)
With David Luiz sidelined for a few weeks due to injury after knee surgery, Rob Holding should get the nod from Mikel Arteta to start. Arsenal plays its next four fixtures against Fulham, Everton, Newcastle and West Brom.
Craig Dawson (£4.5m, Newcastle v West Ham)
West Ham has conceded seven goals in its previous three fixtures but is challenging for a top-four spot that nobody expected before the season. David Moyes’ choreography on set-pieces and corners gives Craig Dawson an edge to be brilliant with his positional runs and heading ability.
John Stones (£5.2m, Aston Villa v Man City)
The resurrection and elevation of John Stones career has been the talk of the season, and rightly so. His partnership with Ruben Dias has been the main element in City’s recent success in the league so far, losing for only the second time in 29 matches against Leeds last weekend. Expect the Citizens to rotate after their Champions League game against Dortmund, but Stones is a guaranteed starter for now and will look to grab a clean sheet once again.
Luke Shaw (£5.3m, Burnley v Man United)
Despite not being able to provide an assist in his previous two games, Shaw has developed into an overall left-back with a balanced attacking and defending mind-set. The biggest issue throughout the season for Burnley has been the lack of scoring goals. With a seven point cushion above the relegation zone, Sean Dyche’s men won’t have enough motivation to overcome the form Man United is in.
Jesse Lingard (£6.4m, Newcastle v West Ham)
Lingard has been in top form, with eight goals and four assists in his previous nine fixtures. With Declan Rice and Michail Antonio injuries, West Ham will look for the loanee from Man United to continue his purple patch so the Hammers can challenge for the top-four spots and secure the Champions League for next season.
Diogo Jota (£7.0m, Leeds v Liverpool)
Jota looks the same player as before his injury, with six goals in his previous four appearance for club and country, 18 in total. The Portuguese looks to be preferred to Roberto Firmino, so he will continue to play an integral part of Jurgen Klopp’s side. With his price-tag, he’s worth having in your squad.
Heung-Min Son (£9.4m, Everton v Spurs); (Spurs v Southampton)
Spurs play twice this game-week, and Son is likely to feature in both, though I can’t guarantee two starts. Son did manage to score against Man United, but Spurs’ ability to hold a lead has been terrible. The South Korean has two goals plus four assists in his previous 14 league appearances and is always a threat.
Bruno Fernandes (£11.6m, Burnley v Man United)
Despite Paul Pogba’s brilliant performance against Spurs, Fernandes is still a better option with his abilities and taking PKs. Long-term, the Portuguese international is a major influence for the Red Devils and will continue to play a big part till the end of the season.
Kelechi Iheanacho (£5.9m, Leicester v West Brom)
Iheanacho has been a source of goals for Leicester City lately, with seven in five appearances. With the form the striker is in right now, he will be a regular for the Foxes.
Edinson Cavani (£7.8m, Burnley v Manchester United)
Cavani may have not have played as many games as he would have wanted, but the striker is always a big presence whenever he’s on the pitch, making important runs. Given his fitness, the Urugauyan will be a regular starter. Given United’s advantage in the Europa League against Granada, Cavani should start against Burnley.
Harry Kane (£11.7m, Everton v Spurs); (Spurs v Southampton)
Kane is likely to start both matches of the double, making him a top captain prospect (perhaps even a TC). Kane’s chances of staying at Spurs will decline if they fail to secure a top four spot, and the striker is also in a tight race for the Golden Boot. So his motivation should be high, especially after the loss to Man United. Given Everton is a direct competitor for the European spots, a loss against the Carlos Ancelotti’s side will be a major downfall for the club and the player.
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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!