Just when we were all basking in the euphoria of how good Salah was in DGW-26, most especially for those who triple captained him, the EPL hits us with a blank for the Reds. And it’s not just the Reds — fellow big teams Chelsea (again) and Arsenal (again) are also out of action. On the flip side, Burnley is making up for missed matches with a minii-double against Palace and Leicester.
I’m writing this in high spirits after my triple captain gamble on Salah worked out. My first foray into 150 points in one game-week might just be on the cards for me as I still have a couple of players left to feature Thursday for Arsenal. Thinking about the next game-week is a bit of let down as I have no less than six players from Liverpool and Arsenal about to blank. My style of avoiding hits and not using chips in consecutive game-weeks means I’ll end up with at least one inactive player.
Limited player options and the absence of default captain Salah means this could be a huge differential game-week.
A waterfall GW-26 might give managers the wrong signal to transfer early, but managers should still wait before making transfers. Covid and/or bad weather could still postpone games.
Let’s look at the players we expect to ignite GW-27.
Sa has been a revelation for Wolves this season. The Portuguese goal-minder from Olympiakos has stepped in for the highly rated Rui Patricio who moved to Roma at the end of last season. Sa has spearheaded a Wolves defense that has conceded only 18 goals all season, one worse than league-best Man City.
David De Gea
Spanish shot stopper De Gea has been a rock for Ralf Ragnick’s Man United this season. His January PFA player of the month award was the first time a goalkeeper has won since 2016. That is a testament to how impressive he has been for the Red Devils. Despite United’s abysmal defensive record, De Gea has been a reliable option for FPL managers, making up for his limited clean sheets by racking up points for saves in every match.
Newcastle has enjoyed a good run of results in recent weeks, especially improving defensive performances. In the absence of Kieran Trippier, Schar looks like a sure and cheap option. The Magpies have managed two clean sheets in their last four games.
Cancelo has been a popular pick among FPL managers all season. His excellent attacking ability plus City’s watertight defense makes Cancelo an easy pick. The fullback constantly produces displays among the best in the world. Cancelo (142) is behind only Salah (209) and Arnold (162) for most FPL points.
Livramento bounced back from injury by amassing 12 points in GW-26. The fullback helped Saints to an away win, grabbing points for a clean sheet and an assist along the way. He has been one of the most reliable budget-friendly defenders this season. With the Saints welcoming goal-shy Norwich to the St Mary’s this weekend, a clean sheet and another attacking return might be on the cards.
Mee scored Burnley’s only goal of the 1-nil victory over Tottenham in GW-26, which victory took the Clarets to within two points of 17th place Newcastle and safety. Last week’s victory was also Burnley’s second straight clean sheet. Captain Mee has been a leader at the back, his exceptional ability to read the game and sniff out attacks evident in the victory over Spurs. The mini-double makes Mee a no-brainer.
Leeds’ second goal in the six-goal thriller against Man United was Raphinha’s ninth of the season. The Brazilian has been one of the few bright spots for a side that has fallen short of last season. He continues to be the go-to man for the Lilywhites. Leeds will rely on him to produce more match-winners to avoid the drop this season.
Fernandes continued his impressive form by producing a goal plus an assist in the Red Devils’ win over Leeds. The midfielder has shown signs of last season’s brilliance by earning double-digit points in consecutive game-weeks for the first time this season. With Salah, Jota and Mane all out of this gameweek, Bruno looks like a good big purchase replacement.
Sancho finally seems to be stepping out at Old Trafford since his big-money move from Borussia Dortmund last summer. After going nine games without a goal contribution at the beginning of the season, the Englishman has contributed a goal plus two assists in his last three games for the Red Devils.
Kevin De Bruyne
De Bruyne will be eager to lead the Citizens back winning ways when they travel to Everton, which is still adapting to new manager Frank Lampard. The match against Spurs was De Bruyne’s first blank in three game-weeks. The City playmaker has returned to form at the perfect time for Pep Guardiola’s side, and it would be hard to bet against him hitting double digits in this fixture. Everton has won only once in the last nine games.
Mahrez scored his ninth goal in nine starts for Pep Guardiola when he calmly dispatched a penalty past Tottenham’s Hugo Lloris last weekend. The Algerian’s promotion to primary penalty taker adds to his ownership appeal as the Citizens have been awarded six PKs this season.
Bowen failed to deliver an attacking return for just the second time in nine game-weeks when West Ham drew 1-all against recently improved Newcastle last week. While Michail Antonio has struggled to maintain his early season form, Bowen has recovered from an early season wobble to champion the Hammers’ fight for a Champions League slot. Bowen has amassed six goals plus five assists in West Ham’s last nine games.
Weghorst has begun his Premier League career for Burnley by scoring one goal and adding two assists in just four games. The big striker has quickly adapted to the Clarets direct style of play. He has also shown that he can keep the ball and beat defenders when he needs to do so. Despite picking up a knock in the fixture against Brighton, Weghorst is expected to be fit for GW-27. The double game-week also doubles his appeal.
Harry Kane showed flashes of earlie form when Spurs visited the Etihad over the weekend. The England captain’s two goals nicked an unlikely Spurs win to boost their fight for a Champions League slot. Also impressive was his partnership with strike partner Son, who was also on the scoresheet. Despite failing to break a low-block Burnley defense, Kane looks primed to exploit a porous Leeds that shipped six to Liverpool last time out.
Dennis scored for the first time in six matches when Watford traveled to Villa Park last week. Retained ownership of 36.1% despite his dry spell shows how vital he has been for FPL managers this season. Dennis’ record of nine goals plus five assists is still the highest among FPL strikers.
What do you think of our picks this week? Any budget player you think will shine over the weekend? Whom are you planning to captain? Who will be a hit or a miss? Which player do you think I missed? Please let us know in the comments below!