As the 4th round of the FA Cup comes to a close, we shift our focus to EPL GW-24, reviewing who offers the best value, weighing involvement in the FA Cup, or AFCON whose final between Senegal & Egypt takes place this evening. This game-week has a blank, Brighton and Chelsea absent, the Blues missing GW-25 also.
Emi Martinez (£5.5, AVL vs LEE): Performances are looking good for Aston Villa, new transfers getting settled under new boss Steven Gerrard. Martinez kept a clean-sheet at Everton last time out, now facing a Leeds side that blanked against Newcastle recently.
David De Gea (£5.2, MUN vs BUR): De Gea will come back in for Man United after sitting out the FA Cup loss to Middlesbrough. De Gea kept a clean-sheet against West Ham last time out and now faces Burnley who became Watford’s first clean-sheet of the campaign last time out.
Aymeric Laporte (£5.8, MCI vs BRE): Laporte is something of a differential (as far as Man City assets go). Laporte is very much in favor under Guardiola at the moment (and was afforded a rest in the FA Cup), racking up many appearances in recent league matches. Laporte has an eye for goal, netting twice and providing two assists in his last five appearances.
Brendan Williams (£3.9, NOR vs CRY): Williams comes in as our budget option, with 5% ownership currently. Norwich is showing signs of improvement, keeping a rare clean-sheet last time out in the league and also in the FA Cup this weekend (against Wolves). Williams also got an assist in GW-22, so attacking returns aren’t out of the question.
Andrew Robertson (£7.1, LIV vs LEI): Robertson, who is usually overshadowed by TAA’s hauls, has stepped up in recent times to deliver as well. He has three assists in his last two league appearances. He also picked up another in the FA Cup victory over Cardiff, so he goes into this game in good form.
Phillipe Coutinho (£7.0, AST vs LEE): The Villans were knocked out of the FA Cup back in round 3, so Coutinho and Co were afforded some time off. It’s still early days for Coutinho in his Villa career, but he already has one goal in his first two games and will look to build on that against a Leeds side that often struggles to keep the ball out of its net.
Diogo Jota (£8.4, LIV vs LEI): Jota should continue to start in the absence of Salah and Mane who both play off against each other this evening (Sunday) in the AFCON Final. Jota has two assists in his last two EPL appearances and kept his form in the FA Cup today, both scoring and assisting. Caveat: Liverpool doesn’t play until Thursday, so there’s a chance that Salah and Mane could show up.
Kevin De Bruyne (£12.2, MCI vs BRE): De Bruyne has steadily improved since coming back from injury, and now he looks to be back to his best. Man City is heavily favored against a Brentford side that has been struggling for form recently. De Bruyne kept up his minutes yesterday, assisting twice in the FA Cup 4th-round 4-1 victory over Fulham before being hooked off after 68 minutes. The Citizens stumbled against the Saints in their last league tie, so look for them to assert themselves early and often to prove regular service has been restored — and expect KDB to be involved more often than not.
Michael Olise (£5.4, NOR vs CRY): Olise has a goal and assist in his last three matches, featuring a couple of tricky fixtures. He has looked sharp and took this form into the FA Cup this weekend, scoring and assisting against Hartlepool. With less than 1% ownership, Olise is a real differential who now faces a Norwich side still very vulnerable at the back.
Harry Kane (£12.3, TOT vs SOU): Kane is getting back to his old self and offering better returns to investors. He has a goal plus an assist in his last two matches and will be boosted by the return of Tottenham strike partner Son. Southampton hasn’t been able to keep a clean-sheet in recent times, and Kane should be plenty sharp after his brace against Brighton yesterday in the FA Cup.
Teemu Pukki (£5.8, NOR vs CRY): There haven’t exactly been many ‘Pukki Party’ moments this season, but Norwich is finally showing some signs of life, clawing out of the relegation zone with back to back wins against Watford and Everton. Pukki registered an assist last time out and offers a decent budget option at low ownership (<5%).
Michail Antonio (£7.9, WHU vs WAT): Antonio has been through a quiet patch, but has produced sporadically in recent game-weeks. He was afforded a well-earned rest in the Hammers’ FA Cup scare against Kidderminster Harriers yesterday. Up next is relegation-fodder Watford.
What do you make of our picks this game-week? How many do you have? How are you managing the Brighton and Chelsea blanks (Chelsea to miss two weeks!)? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments!