The Champions League offered an action packed interlude but all eyes are back on the Premier League this weekend. A certain injury has made waves in fantasy football circles but will there be other rotation issues to avoid?
We’re back to a full round of the games after the reduced schedule last week. There’s also the added bonus of Brighton vs Cardiff on Tuesday night, meaning both sides have a double game week. More on that later though.
Here are five picks for the week ahead, starting with the big talking point – Harry Kane’s dodgy ankle.
1) Heung-Min Son (Tottenham, Midfield, £8.6m)
From the moment Harry Kane hobbled down the tunnel on Tuesday night, a million wildcard templates were torn up. Kane was the solid pick amongst a sea of uncertainty. Usually safe from rotation, his thirst for goals makes him a must have at this time of the season. Not now though. The suggestions are that Kane’s season is all but over, although we are awaiting official confirmation.Embed from Getty Images
Step forward Heung-Min Son as our first pick. Just as he did on Tuesday, Son will be expected to fill the boots of the England captain. Tottenham host Huddersfield, who are of course already relegated and shipping a few goals a week. Although there’s bound to be a temptation to rest a few players, Pochettino will know the top 4 is still his best bet of a place in the Champions League next season. Win the game first and then withdraw a few. Although Eriksen, Alli and Lucas Moura all offer solid alternatives, Son is likely to be played as a striker. He’s a midfielder on the FPL game and this positional boost makes him our top target this week.
2) Mo Salah (Liverpool, Midfield, £13.1m)
He’s back! Some would argue he never left but Salah’s goal at Southampton last Friday was met with a huge amount of relief from not just Liverpool fans but also FPL managers. The debate has often been Mane or Salah and it has been difficult to justify Salah recently. What we do know though is that the Egyptian can score in patches when on form and Liverpool will need to be firing on all cylinders to beat Chelsea on Sunday.Embed from Getty Images
With Salah operating down the right of Liverpool’s attack, that could put him in direction competition with Alonso or Emerson, both of whom would rather be going in the opposite direction. Chelsea themselves have a Europa League tie to get back from on Thursday evening and Liverpool will be hoping it has an effect on their performance.
3) Shane Duffy (Brighton, Defender, £4.7m)
Brighton don’t just have two games, they have two home games. With Bournemouth and then Cardiff heading to Sussex, these are the games Brighton have traditionally being very strong in. Shane Duffy offers a threat at both ends of the field. You’d fancy Brighton to pick up at least one clean sheet from the two games and he’s just as likely to pop up with a goal at the other.Embed from Getty Images
An alternative would be Glenn Murray but with his advancing years it is difficult to say with any certainty that he will play both games.
4) Kevin De Bruyne (Man City, Midfield, £9.7m)
It seems crazy that De Bruyne has less FPL points than Fernandinho and Gundogan this season. This has mostly been down to an injury based absence but the form of Silva’s David & Bernardo has been difficult to ignore. His selection for Man City’s trip to Crystal Palace is a bit of a gamble but not without logic though.Embed from Getty Images
At this stage of the season we’ve seen Guardiola rotate his team more than ever. De Bruyne was afforded only a few minutes on Tuesday night whilst Bernardo seems to be struggling with an injury. It seems almost certain that those afforded relatively few minutes of Tuesday will get some game time here, especially with those who started not having the best of nights. Usual FPL assets Aguero and Sterling are rotation risks – especially the former. Aguero missed a penalty and didn’t look 100% fit in that defeat to Spurs so it may well be Gabriel Jesus who leads the line here. As ever though, try and second guess Guardiola at your own risk.
5) Anthony Martial (Man Utd, Midfield, £7.2m)
On a similar note to De Bruyne, Martial only appeared from the bench in Man Utd’s defeat to Barcelona on Wednesday. Diogo Dalot played in a more advanced role but surely we’ll see a more attacking lineup for the visit of West Ham?Embed from Getty Images
With Pogba off-form and Lukaku and Rashford vying for the same position, Martial looks a reasonable choice as a differential. He’s far from guaranteed a start himself of course but he should at least be fresh having sat out for most of Wednesday.
In the OffsideRulePod league, my lead is still slender though improved slightly thanks to captain Hazard on Monday evening. His 32 point haul along with Jamie Vardy’s 16 were the main ingredients for success. End the season now!
It’s another Friday evening deadline this week, so make sure your teams are sorted in good time. There are 8 teams playing twice next week so be sure to have a peak at the fixtures in advance to maximise your transfers. Good luck!
You can follow Dave on Twitter @CM9798