What a week so far for football! Midweek we had a breathtaking semifinal first-leg in the Champions League, Man City topping Real Madrid 4-3 in a seven-goal thriller. Liverpool had it simpler, tight early but ultimately cruising to a comfortable 2-0 victory over Villareal. It’s great to see England’s top two sides winning UCL semifinals while dueling each other for the EPL’s top spot at the same time. Who wants what more?
That duel continues this weekend, Round 35 openning with Newcastle v Liverpool. Fantrax managers who log in to our Pre-Deadline and Live Chat during the countdown hour should see confirmed lineups for that match ahead of the transfer deadline.
OK, on to the picks.
David De Gea (MUN vs BRE, $14.1)
Man United may be in tatters at the moment, but it’s only a matter of time till we see improvement (the 1-1 draw with Chelsea was a step in the right direction). De Gea is a reliable shot-stopper, and he banks plenty of save points even when United concedes. But Brentford blanked last week, so this could also be a chance for a clean-sheet.
Edouard Mendy (EVE vs CHE, $13.43)
Here’s another premium keeper currently at a decent price. Everton is woeful to the point of facing the shockingly real possibility of relegation. The Blues are looking over their own shoulders as a back-in-form Arsenal gives chase. They should be up for this one, so they should inflict further damage on the Toffees.
Joachim Anderson (SOU vs CRY, $10.38)
Palace banked another clean sheet last week, and Anderson was at the heart of it. It wasn’t so long ago that he also grabbed a couple of assists, so there’s potential here for points at both ends of the pitch.
Ben Davies (TOT vs LEI, $8.3)
Tottenham’s results are inconsistent, but Spurs are at least keeping tight at the back. Davies is nailed-on as a starter, and Tottenham has another chance for a clean sheet against a Leicester side that blanked last time out.
Marcos Alonso (EVE vs CHE, $11.3)
I’m doubling-up on Chelsea’s defense, and for good reason. We’ve already spoken about Everton’s poor attack, but Alonso offers potential for returns further up the pitch as well. He scored against Man U and has piled up four goal contributions over his last six games.
James Ward-Prowse (SOU vs CRY, $18.29)
Set-piece specialist Ward-Prowse is hard to ignore after his brilliant brace helped his side bank a point last time out. JWP is making his way onto big clubs’ radars again, and he looks like good value with a couple of decent fixtures coming up.
Kai Havertz (EVE vs CHE, $7.3)
Another position, another Chelsea pick. Havertz came off a bit early in the dogged game against West Ham, so he should be in line for another start up top this weekend. He’s cheap and has been Chelsea’s go-to-guy in recent times. And Everton should present more opportunity than West Ham.
Bruno Guimaraes (NEW vs LIV, $4.94)
What a bargain this guy is! He now has four goal contributions in his last three matches, three goals plus an assist. He may be facing Liverpool, but you just have to back him right now. Newcastle has been scoring well recently, so he’s definitely worth a punt as an enabler at least.
Timo Werner (EVE vs CHE, $4.47)
The same logic that justified my other Chelsea picks also applies to Werner, whose inclusion makes a rare Player Picks four-pack from the same club. Werner is back in favor at Stamford Bridge and could wreak havoc against a poor Everton side who are down on their luck.
Eddie Nketiah (WHU vs ARS, $1.72)
Nketiah looks to have nailed himself on at the centre forward spot in Arsenal’s attack, and he has been busy up there recently. He got close against Man Utd and scored the week before that, so he’s well-worth it for the low price. Arsenal still has eyes on a top-four finish, so there is plenty to play for.
Gabriel Jesus (LEE vs MCY, $7.05)
It’s hard to ignore a player who scores four goals in one match, also providing an assist for good measure. He carried on the scoring against Real Madrid, but to be honest he could’ve netted even more. Man City is trying to keep Liverpool at bay, full-on fighting in both the domestic league and Europe. The Citizens will surely continue with the man who has five goals in his last two matches.
Is your selection influenced by the mid-week fixtures? Any key differentials? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments!