The midweek Premier League fixtures have barely been digested but already it is time to turn our attention to the weekend. Fantasy managers have had plenty to contend with recently. The fixture pile up has seen squad rotation, injuries and blanks but all 20 teams take to the field this weekend. Where will the points come from?
It’s far from a straight forward weekend. There are two derbies to contend with. Arsenal make the short trip to Spurs on Saturday whilst Everton host the Merseyside derby on Sunday. How do we pick through this minefield to find the points?
Here are five players who could score big for you in game week 29.
1) Eden Hazard (Chelsea, Midfield, £10.8m)
If you could hand pick a team to play against at the moment, I think you’d say Fulham. The Cottagers seem in total disarray and not just defensively. They’ve gone from being a team who scores a lot and concede more to just being a team who concede a lot. With that in mind, it seems like the ideal opponent for Eden Hazard.Embed from Getty Images
Chelsea should be in good spirits after their derby win over Tottenham. Hazard was withdrawn after an hour so he should be fit and raring to go here. Although the goals have dried up a little recently, he did score twice against Huddersfield who are similar in form to Fulham. In a weekend where there are few cut and dried fixtures, this looks like a good option for FPL points.
2) Sergio Aguero (Man City, Forward, £11.7m)
Aguero is undoubtedly an FPL favourite and you’re always running a tightrope if you don’t have him. Pep Guardiola loves to unsettle FPL managers by dropping Aguero when you least expect it. There’s always a risk of that, especially as this will be Man City’s third game in a week and Aguero played 120 minutes last Sunday. Gabriel Jesus has been injured though and we wait with baited breath to see if he is fit enough to return this weekend.Embed from Getty Images
Assuming he isn’t, that should secure Aguero’s spot in the lineup for Man City’s trip to Bournemouth. The Cherries started this season on fire but are barely even smouldering at the moment as injuries have taken their toll. They shipped five against Arsenal on Wednesday and it’s hard to see them keeping out Aguero and company this weekend. One point of note is that Aguero’s goals have mostly come at home recently, though that is largely down to the fixture list rather than a lack of form.
3) Paul Pogba (Manchester United, Midfield, £8.9m)
The transformation of Paul Pogba since Ole Solskjaer took over has been ridiculous. I’ll sound like a broken record but just about every week Pogba comes up with some attacking returns. Struggling Southampton are the visitors to Old Trafford this weekend so you would expect Man Utd to pick up the win.Embed from Getty Images
Injuries are a cause for concern but they proved against Crystal Palace they have the strength in depth to cope. Although he had few opportunities in their previous home game, this should be a different matter. His upcoming European ban should save him from any squad rotation as the Red Devils look to chase down the top four.
4) Sadio Mane (Liverpool, Midfield, £9.6m)
Mane has emerged as Liverpool’s form man. He has six goals in his last six games, including two against Watford on Wednesday. Everton have been suspect away from home and with it being a derby, the home crowd will be expectant. That should leave some space for Liverpool’s attackers and with Mo Salah looking decidedly off colour recently, that makes Sadio the main Mane.Embed from Getty Images
Liverpool’s prospects are boosted by not having a blank fixture in week 31 due to being out of the FA Cup. It does mean they won’t have a double game week in week 32 but that is looking a contender for the free hit chip, if you still have it.
5) Jamie Vardy (Leicester, Forward, £8.8m)
Anybody for new manager bounce? Leicester had been treading water under Claude Puel but with a new manager in the dugout, we’ve seen countless what a difference it can make. Vardy has struggled for consistency this season, with Puel’s tactics taking the brunt of the blame for that. With Rodgers watching from the stands, Vardy netted in the home win over Brighton and the Foxes will surely be fired up for the trip to Watford this Sunday. Six of Vardy’s nine goals this season have come away from home and Watford are not the sort of side to sit back. That should suit Vardy and Leicester’s counter attacking so I’m backing Vardy as this week’s outsider.
In the OffsideRulePod league, I clung onto my lead but it is down to three points after a couple of very average scores. Gary has moved into second place but the chasing pack is getting ever closer. Captain Aguero, Ward-Prowse and Andrew Robertson were the main contributors to his score of 69. Sadly for me there is still an awful long time to go!
That’s all for this week but I’ll be back next week to look ahead to game week 30. Good luck!
You can follow Dave on Twitter @CM9798