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EPL GW-31 FPL Player Picks (Friday Deadline)

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When difficult times come, good times are sure to follow.

Trent Alexander-Arnold - Liverpool - Premier League
TAA seems to be returning to his best. Will he be in your FPL squad this week?
Photo by Nick Taylor/Liverpool FC/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

[ Note: GW-31 has a FRIDAY DEADLINE — Don’t miss it! ]

The great British weather is in full swing, the sun is shining but still cold, and we saw sun with snow. I can similarly see some fixtures having the same confusing effect on our fellow FPL managers, so here’s a little help from us to you to make your day a little more stress-free.


Goalkeepers:

Nick Pope (Burnley) 5.5m:

Here’s the man that most Englishmen want between the sticks for the upcoming Euros, soft but safe hands ready for action when called upon. There are not many stand-out fixtures for keepers, but none come better than Burnley vs Newcastle. Newcastle’s goal-shy forwards seem to find the stands more often than the back of the net.

Martin Dubravka (Newcastle) 4.8m

I see this game as a possible boring draw. But in goalkeepers’ terms, it’s brilliant because boring means a possible clean sheet. Steve Bruce is a firm believer in having an organized back line plus protective midfield, so this again is ideal for us FPL managers who want as much protection for our goalkeepers as possible. Burnley does have some firepower and can be a threat going forward (especially Chris Wood), but I believe Newcastle will buckle up and try to nullify Burnley’s chances.


Defenders:

Nelson Semedo (Wolves) £5.2m

The ex-Barcelona man is playing so far forward that the name “wing-back” is not fitting. Fulham’s low-block counter system should allow Semedo the opportunity to be further up the field putting in balls for his teammates. Owned by just 2.1 per cent of FPL managers, his eye for goal could make for major points.

Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool) 7.3m

He maybe questionable to some, but not many defenders have his high ceiling. He has faced a few demons in the recent weeks both on and off the pitch and was overlooked for the England call-up. But TAA has a point to prove now, and he will do it by swinging the ball into the box with his magical right foot. This game will have extra spice due to the drubbing Klopp’s men were dealt in the reverse fixture against Aston Villa.

Lucas Digne (Everton) 6.2m

Digne is not one to shy away when facing the goal, and his creative spark shows in his stats, the Frenchman supplying an impressive six assists on the road. Digne operates as a wing-back and can be found largely in the opposition’s end of the pitch. Having the aerial threat of Richardlison and Calvert Lewin in the box to finish Digne’s crosses boosts the potential for the Evertonian fan favorite to reward his fantasy owners.


Midfielders:

Diego Jota (Liverpool) 6.9m

No player is more on fire right now than Liverpool’s Portuguese hitman. Such form ensures his spot as the go-to man in FPL. Jota’s price shows excellent value. Jesse Lingard is another compelling option in this price range, but Jota edges it for me because of his easier match-up.

James Ward-Prowse (Southampton) 5.9m

The dead-ball specialist has a better free-kick to goal ratio than five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo. This week he will be up against a Big Sam side brimming with confidence after the improbable win over Chelsea. We know how Big Sam’s West Brom will set up, which is with every man hiding behind the ball. That could allow Ward-Prowse space to find the back of the net. This game will also give Ward-Prowse plenty of opportunity from the corner spot to whip balls in, and with each corner there is potential for an assist.

Mo Salah (Liverpool) 12.4m

Much has been said about Salah and his team being off this season, but one constant is the Egyptian’s hunger for the Golden Boot. Salah is currently one goal behind Harry Kane, which will make Salah only more ‘greedy’ to shoot. With goals in each of his last four games, I see him only adding to his total as he chases the scoring award.


Forwards:

Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City) 5.8

The former Manchester City youngster has been in the (very large) shadow of Jamie Vardy at Leicester. But lately Brendan Rodgers’ faith in him has been more than justified. His price and goal threat make him this week’s third most transferred-in player with 129,658 managers selecting him. Perhaps the attention that opposing defenders must give to Vardy leaves Iheanacho room to fly under their radar?

Sergio Aguero (Manchester City) £10.3m

He’s the king of the Eithad, the man who will never ever have to buy his own drinks while in the blue side of Manchester. Aguero is owned by just 1.3 per cent of managers for his home run-in with Leeds. I would love to say he is a sure starter, but I know that Aguero has started both the last two Premier League matches since returning from injury, and he rested in Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League win over Borussia Dortmund. Marcelo Bielsa’s side has struggled defensively in recent away matches, and no fixture is more daunting than a 2021 visit to the Eithad. The stars seem to be aligned for the City talisman: He should have a big say in this fixture and would be my captain choice.


How’s your FPL roster shaping up? Whom do you want to drop? What slots do you need to fill? What down-stream schedule issues have your attention? And what questions do you have for the rest of us? Please share your thoughts and worries in the comments below!

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