The Champions League has been and gone for another week which means all eyes can now turn back to the Premier League. As FPL managers search for the best ways to make up ground before the International break, I’ve highlighted five players to consider this weekend.
After the relative success of last week’s selections, I have the difficult task of proving that wasn’t a fluke by finding you the value for money this week. With a tricky looking fixture list, there are more punts than usual. Don’t forget it’s a Friday deadline this week thanks to Brighton vs West Ham on Friday night. Let’s crack on with some picks.
1) Harry Kane (Tottenham, Forward, £12.5m)
It seems ridiculous to think it wasn’t too long ago there were question marks over Kane’s form but his brace last week at Huddersfield was backed up by a fine goal against Barcelona. Kane is now the second top scoring striker in FPL after Sergio Aguero and with Cardiff making the trip to Wembley this weekend, I think Kane is the top choice for captaincy.Embed from Getty Images
I don’t envisage Cardiff being able to hold off Tottenham on that big Wembley pitch for very long and the Bluebirds have already conceded three penalties this season. What price a fourth? We all know how lethal Harry is from the spot…
If, like me, you can’t afford Kane and want some comforting news, the best I can do is tell you the Wembley pitch looked in awful condition on Wednesday which might help Cardiff spoil the game a bit. Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli missed the Barcelona game with injury and Erik Lamela came off before the end, which at least cuts down the number of players who can potentially supply Kane.
2) Raheem Sterling (Man City, Midfield, £11.1m)
I’ve opted for Raheem Sterling over Aguero this week after his match winning performance last week against Brighton. Sterling has 4 goals and 2 assists to his name already and will have a point to prove heading back to Anfield this Sunday, doubtless to a chorus of boos. Three of those goals have come in his last four appearances so his form is good and, let’s face it, you will always back Man City to score no matter who they are playing.
Liverpool had a tough fixture and ultimately a disappointing defeat in Naples on Wednesday night and it might not be the worst time to face Jurgen Klopp’s men. Of course that also applies to Sergio Aguero, who looked sharp in Tuesday in the win over Hoffenheim.
3) Johann Berg Gudmundsson (Burnley, Midfield, £5.9m)
Burnley have shown signs of being more like the side we saw last season. Whilst this is partly down to no longer having to worry about European football, there’s no doubt their fixtures have eased a little and that will continue this weekend with the visit of Huddersfield to Turf Moor. With Burnley a constant threat from set pieces Gudmundsson could be a useful differential this week. Relatively cheap in price, he could offer an alternative to James Maddison of Leicester who is increasing in value by the week for similar reasons. Gudmundsson has 4 assists to his name already, including one last weekend, so it might be a good time to bring JBG in.Embed from Getty Images
4) Olivier Giroud (Chelsea, Forward, £7.8m)
Once again I’m opting for a differential pick rather than the obvious choice of Eden Hazard. Again as a disclaimer, if you have or want to have Eden Hazard you should probably do that. It barely needs saying. However, I’m putting forward the case for Olivier Giroud. Chelsea’s French striker loves scoring against Southampton, having done so 8 times including in the FA Cup semi finals last season. Mark Hughes’ side haven’t defended particularly well all season and Chelsea will start as strong favourites.Embed from Getty Images
Coming in at just £7.8m Giroud could offer you a cheap-ish option from one of the league’s top sides though of course he is under pressure from Alvaro Morata for a starting berth.
5) Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal, Forward, £9.5m)
Fulham have conceded the most goals in the league (along with Huddersfield and Cardiff) which makes Arsenal’s attacking players an enticing prospect this week. I’ve sung the virtues of Lacazette over Aubameyang a few times in this column and I’ve seen little to persuade me otherwise. Both are excellent strikers but Lacazette is certainly playing the more centrally of the two. Fulham have plenty of goals in them but keeping them out has proven difficult and for that reason I’d even consider Lacazette for captaincy given the tumultuous fixtures this week.Embed from Getty Images
We have a new leader! Cheenjay have gone top of the table after a great week, largely thanks to a front two of Kane and Aguero, backed up by Hazard and Trippier amongst others.
There are some very left field picks this week thanks to a tricky set of fixtures. Good luck with whatever you decide to do and I’ll be back after the International break.
You can follow Dave on Twitter @CM9798