Gameweek 30 is gone and we are left with just eight gameweeks left until the end of the season. The run-in is always bittersweet, as we cherish the drama that unfolds in the home stretch, but also dread that lull that will follow. Amidst all this pressure and excitement, we still need to carefully attend to our teams in order to ensure that they are well-primed to take advantage of every game-week.
To that end, I’ve curated a list of names to consider if you’re eyeing transfers for GW-31. This round is a normal gameweek, with just 10 fixtures and each club playing once. But gameweek-32 comes with blanks for four teams: Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, and Brighton are idle. It’s important to keep this in mind as you mull over transfer decisions this week.
Hugo Lloris (£5.4m, Tottenham v Bournemouth)
Lloris is somewhat of a surprise pick due to Tottenham’s recent defensive record, but the prospect of hosting goal-shy Bournemouth this weekend presents the Frenchman with a good chance to secure the club’s first league clean sheet since GW-25. Tottenham is currently embroiled in the race for the table’s Champions League slots, and that should be enough motivation for the North Londoners to be at their best.
David De Gea (£5.0m, Nottingham Forest v Man United)
De Gea collected his 13th clean sheet of the season against Everton at Old Trafford last week. The Spanish international has been crucial to Manchester United’s campaign for a top-four finish this season and will be relied upon to get the Red Devils over the line. The Spaniard has averaged 5.4 ppg over his last seven matches, and up next is a Nottingham side that is on a nine-game winless skid, scoring just seven goals over that stretch.
Caveat: United is idle in GW32.
Kevin Trippier (£6.2m, Aston Villa v Newcastle)
By far the most-owned and best-performing defender of the season, Trippier retains his place in our player picks due to Newcastle’s form and his ability to deliver attacking returns, especially from set pieces. The Mapgies have won five games on the bounce, and with favorable fixtures ahead, clean sheets should be in the cards too.
Gabriel Magalhaes (£5.3m, West Ham v Arsenal)
In the absence of William Saliba, Gabriel has taken on an even bigger role as the Gunners’ defensive leader. The Brazilian international limited Salah’s impact last week and will be expected to continue in the same vein when the Gunners take on the Hammers this weekend. Gabriel can also chip in with goals at the other end of the pitch, just as he has done three times in league play this season.
Nathan Ake (£5.1m, Man City v Leicester City)
Ake seems to have cemented his place as Pep Guardiola’s preferred left-back in the second half of the season; indeed the gaffer recently referred to him as “undroppable”. The left-footed defender has started the Citizens’ last five league games, as well as Tuesday’s crucial Champions League victory over Bayern Munich. His understanding with Grealish grows with every match, the two operating well together on the left flank. With City now just six points shy of Arsenal with a game in hand, we can expect Pep to continue to field his strongest side, and Ake is currently very much a part of that.
Caveat: City is idle in GW-32.
Marc Guehi (£4.4m, Southampton v Crystal Palace)
Guehi capped off his impressive recent showings for Crystal Palace with a well-taken goal against Leeds last week. The England international has formed a formidable partnership with Joachim Andersen in the centre of defence. With the Eagles set to take on bottom-placed Southampton this weekend, prospects for a clean sheet look good. After that the good times should only continue for Palace, with nice fixtures ahead for pretty much the entire run-in.
Kevin De Bruyne (£12.1m, Man City v Leicester City)
Is De Bruyne back to his best? The Belgian magician seems to be returning to his mercurial best at the perfect time as the Citizens look to chase down Arsenal in the race for the Premier League title. The midfielder has scored one goal and provided three assists in the Citizens last two games, amassing 22 points in the process.
Caveat: City is idle in GW-32.
Gabriel Martinelli (£6.7m, West Ham v Arsenal)
With 14 goals to his name so far, Martinelli is just two away from becoming the highest-scoring Brazilian in a Premier League season — a record that would distinguish him from players such as Richarlison, Gabriel Jesus, Roberto Firmino, and Phillipe Coutinho. The attacker has enjoyed a breakout campaign and is currently the Gunners’ top scorer. Martinelli has provided attacking returns in seven of his last eight games.
Bukayo Saka (£8.6m, West Ham v Arsenal)
Not far behind Martinelli on Arsenal’s list of leading scorers is Saka, with twelve. His 22 goal contributions says everything you need to know about the depth of Saka’s influence on Arsenal’s title tilt this season. He’s been quiet for a couple games, but up next is a West Ham side that has the added distraction of the European Conference quarterfinals this week and next. This should give the Gunners and Saka an extra advantage when they take to the field on Sunday.
Kaoru Mitoma (£5.7m, Chelsea v Brighton)
Breakout star of the season? Only an offside flag and a blatantly erroneous penalty denial cheated Mitoma out of his sixth straight attacking return on Saturday. The Japan international has been sensational for Brighton this season and is currently leading their charge for a European place next season. The midfielder has contributed seven goals and seven assists so far.
Caveat: Brighton is idle in GW-32.
Erling Haaland (£12.2m, Man City v Leicester City)
Can he stop scoring? Haaland bounced back from injury in remarkable fashion, scoring two goals and setting the Citizens on their path to a 4-1 victory over bottom-placed Southampton. The goals took him to 30 for the league season in just 27 games played. That is simply outrageous, and in this kind of unstoppable form it’s a risk to go without him, even if he will blank in GW-32.
Ivan Toney (£7.8m, Wolves v Brentford)
First Premier League penalty miss of his career? No problem. Toney shrugged off the disappointment and buried another one just 14 minutes later against Newcastle last week. The goal was his 18th of the league season and leaves him just five goals behind second-placed Kane and 12 behind Haaland. With the Bees still hovering just outside the European places, more goals are expected from Toney.
Be aware that in order to avoid a two-match ban, Toney must make it through GW-32 without picking up another yellow card. Moreover, he is no doubt facing a lengthy suspension for violating the FA’s betting rules. But as long as you have contingency plans for these caveats, go ahead and enjoy the fruits of Toney’s amazingly consistent form.
Callum Wilson (£6.9m, Aston Villa v Newcastle)
It’s difficult to say whether Wilson or Isak is Eddie Howe’s first-choice striker right now, but after a recent run of starts for the Swede, Wilson seems to have at least battled back to equipoise: Howe has tended to alternate between the two in recent weeks. Isak got the nod last time out, so Howe could be set to rotate back to Wilson on Saturday. It may not even matter; while Wilson notched a brace in his last start, he also produced attacking returns in his last two games coming off the bench.
Gabriel Jesus (£8.0m, West Ham v Arsenal)
Gabriel Jesus is picking up form at the right time as the Gunners pursue what would be their first league title in over 15 years. The Brazilian international has scored three goals in his last two games, and with the likes of Trossard and Nketiah pushing for starts ahead of him, Jesus knows he needs to maintain this purple patch of form. He’ll look to keep the run going when Arsenal take on West Ham this weekend.
Ollie Watkins (£7.6m, Aston Villa v Newcastle)
Is there a more consistent striker in the Premier League right now? Watkins has rewarded his fantasy with attacking returns in ten of his last eleven games and is jostling with Erling Haaland for the title of most in-form forward in the Premier League. The England international has scored in three straight and looks primed to continue his run this weekend.
Who are you planning to captain - dare you risk Haaland, or do others appeal? Do you back my picks? On whom did I miss out? Please log in and let us know in the comments below!