This week’s selection dilemmas in the Premier League are all based around teams with two games. Six teams have the chance to provide double points for fantasy owners and three of those look to be teams to target if you’re looking to make changes to your team.
Man Utd’s starting lineups under Ryan Giggs may be difficult to predict but two home games give you a great chance to score some big points. United's local rivals Man City have a tough away game at Everton but follow that with a home matchup with Aston Villa who are leaking goals at the moment. Yaya Toure marked his return to action last week with a goal and with Pellegrini likely to pick his best available team for the next three games, you can be sure that City players will be very profitable this week. My final team to watch is Sunderland who look like they might pull off the great escape and start away at Man Utd but follow that up with a winnable game against West Brom.
I would avoid players from the other three teams with two games this week, Hull, Aston Villa and West Brom as all three have been inconsistent and face tough fixtures. Despite only having one game each, Arsenal and Chelsea should also record home victories and could provide some valuable players but tread carefully at Stamford Bridge as Mourinho’s selections at the moment are as difficult to predict as Giggs’.
I’ve picked out 5 players who you may wish to pick-up this week and 5 men who you could consider dropping from your roster. There have been no significant new injuries this week so my 5 to cut are mainly players out of form but who will probably keep their place in their respective teams.
5 to pick-up
Edin Dzeko (striker) – Bosnian Dzeko and his Man City teammates will be going out all guns blazing to win their last 3 games and take the title from Liverpool’s grasp starting with two games this week against Everton and Aston Villa. The powerful striker has a remarkably consistent record since joining City with returns of 14 goals and 6 assists in each of the past two seasons. This year he has 12 goals and 6 assists and I wouldn’t bet against him scoring another two before the end of the campaign to continue this strange run. Gameweek 37 fixtures - @Everton and Aston Villa.
Wayne Rooney (striker) – I wouldn’t normally recommend a signing like Rooney but any Suarez or Sturridge owners who want to gamble this week would be wise to consider a move for the England striker. Home matchups with Sunderland and Hull give him an excellent chance of building on six goals in his last six games. Gameweek 37 fixtures – Sunderland and Hull.
Update - Ryan Giggs announced in his Friday press conference that Rooney is a doubt for the Sunderland game due to sickness and a groin injury. There may be more news ahead of the game.
Connor Wickham (striker) – The young Sunderland man made my pick-up list (and team) last week and turned in a man of the match performance with two goals and an assist. This week’s first game against Man United could be tough but a midweek home fixture with West Brom looks more promising on paper. Adam Johnson and Fabio Borini could also offer some fantasy value from the Black Cats but Wickham has again got to be the pick of the bunch. Gameweek 37 fixtures - @Man Utd and West Brom.
Laurent Koscielny (defender) – Arsenal may only have one match this week but they have an excellent chance of a clean sheet against low-scoring West Brom. The French defender is always a threat from set-pieces and collected his second goal of the season last week against Newcastle. The Gunners’ final matchup is at Norwich which should also offer a fine chance for defensive points and Koscielny offers great value as he is cheaper than many of his colleagues. Gameweek 37 fixture – West Brom.
Jonjo Shelvey (midfielder) – Former Liverpool playmaker Shelvey has been an impressive fantasy performer this season with six goals and seven assists from midfield with the pick of all his goals this season coming only last week - http://youtu.be/JNcre8DbPZo. Priced at just £5.1m, he has a chance to add to his tally in the home game with Southampton, who may already have begun thinking about their summer holidays. Gameweek 37 fixture – Southampton.
5 to cut
Adam Lallana – The Southampton captain has been arguably the biggest breakout player in this year’s Premier League but his production has slowed in recent weeks with one goal in his last four games and only one assist in the past ten. Nearly 31% of managers own the England winger and you could gain an advantage in your league if you decide to drop him.
Jason Puncheon – Puncheon has led from the front in Palace’s remarkable turnaround with all seven of his league goals coming since January when he turned his loan move to Palace into a permanent stay. But as Palace are now safe from relegation and facing a tough home game with Liverpool followed by a final day match at Fulham, it may be time to thank the former Southampton man for his contribution this season and move forward without him.
Ryan Shawcross – The giant Stoke defender collected a red card last week and will sit out this week’s clash with Fulham. With only one more game to go in the season, cut Shawcross if you’re one of the 8% of managers who own him.
Kevin Nolan – West Ham may as well just end their season now and have only pride to play for against Spurs this week. Skipper Kevin Nolan has been his usual menacing self with seven goals from midfield this term but he hasn’t scored since February and could be the one to make way in your team for someone like Shelvey, Juan Mata or Adam Johnson.
Jose Fonte / Luke Shaw – I’ve picked out two particular players here but this could be applied to all Southampton defenders. Despite their clean sheet against Everton last week, the Saints’ last two fixtures at Swansea and at home to a resurgent Man United could prove tough in terms of the defensive points as they have very little left to play for this year.
How did I do with last week’s predictions?
5 to pick-up
Connor Wickham – 2 goals, 1 assist, 3 bonus points in Sunderland’s emphatic victory – Hit
Juan Mata – 2 goals, 2 bonus points despite only playing for 30 mins in Ryan Giggs’ first game as boss – Hit
Wilfried Bony – 2 goals, 3 bonus points as Swansea overcame sorry Aston Villa – Hit
Raheem Sterling – Only 2 points in Liverpool’s disappointing defeat to Chelsea – Miss
Lukas Podolski – The German failed to score in Arsenal’s comfortable win over Newcastle – Miss
5 to cut
Kevin Mirallas – Missed the Southampton game through injury and out for the season - Hit
John Terry – Missed the triumph at Liverpool through injury but ended Wednesday night in tears after returning to the team for Wednesday’s defeat to Atletico Madrid – Hit
Petr Cech – Still out with a shoulder injury - Hit
Sylvain Distin – Sat out the defeat at Southampton and could miss the rest of the season - Hit
David Silva – Took no part in the win at Palace but could be fit for this weekend – Hit
Please note – All fantasy statistics are taken from fantasy.premierleague.com
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