Once again the Premier League has to take a break so some cup magic might or might not occur, but luckily it returns in midweek, making Tuesday and Wednesday that little bit easier for all you hard workers. Gameweek 25 throws up some interesting fixtures, and the Best Picks series is back to help you navigate the midfielder and forward minefield.
Budget Option: Richarlison (6.3m)
The Brazilian was in scintillating form earlier in the season, but he has failed to find the back of the net in any of the last 12 games league games. Richarlison’s dip in form has unsurprisingly coincided with that of his team in general, but now Marco Silva is gone the winger could get back on track. Luckily the Hornets have a game against the league’s worst defensive side in Stoke City for this gameweek, and if there’s any game in which Richarlison can get back on track it’s this one. The talent is obvious, so it seems only a matter of time.
Budget Option: Theo Walcott (7.1m)
The former Arsenal man started life at Everton with an assist, and he adds some much needed pace to the Toffees’ attack. It shouldn’t be long before he finds the back of the net, given his goal scoring record in North London, and a home game against Leicester provides a great opportunity for Walcott to open his account. The Foxes have conceded 32 times this season and are prone to getting involved in high scoring matches, so look for the winger to turn Everton into a much better attacking side.
Premium Option: Mohamed Salah (10.2m)
Liverpool ran out as shock 1-0 losers away at bottom of the table Swansea last gameweek, but they should bounce back pretty quickly as they remain one of Europe’s most explosive attacking teams. Salah has been exceptional this season, with a stunning 18 goals and eight assists so far, and he gets to take on an extremely porous Huddersfield defence this week. The Terriers have conceded 41 times in this campaign, making them the fourth worst defensive team in the league. I fully expect Salah to feast here, and he is a must have for every FPL manager.
Budget Option: Jamie Vardy (8.5m)
The Leicester striker pushes the boundaries of ‘budget’ forwards somewhat, but he does offer a cheaper alternative to someone like Romelu Lukaku this week. Vardy gets Everton on Wednesday night, and despite having Sam Allardyce as manager, the Toffees haven’t kept a clean sheet in five games across all competitions. Their abundance of defensive injuries seems to be limiting Big Sam’s ability to shut games down, and Leicester should take advantage of that. The Foxes have scored 36 goals this season, with Vardy grabbing 10 of those, and he should add to that tally here.
Premium Option: Sergio Aguero (11.8m)
Historically the most explosive FPL option at the forward position, Aguero didn’t disappoint last week as he delivered a hat-trick against Newcastle. With Gabriel Jesus still out injured, the Argentine’s position looks incredibly secure, and he remains a world class goal scorer. The Cityzens get a juicy matchup against West Brom this week, and the Baggies have leaked 31 goals this season. It’s top vs second from bottom, and I expect this to go only one way. Pep Guardiola’s men can score as many as they want, so Aguero should get in on the act. Being on penalty duty is also great.
Premium Option to AVOID: Romelu Lukaku (11.3m)
One of the more frustrating and inconsistent FPL strikers, Lukaku has registered a goal and an assist in his last two games, which represents somewhat of a hot streak for the Belgian. This gameweek however he is presented with an away game against Tottenham, which makes him an incredibly risky option. Spurs have conceded just 22 times this season, and few people expect this to be a high-scoring affair, especially given Jose Mourinho’s tendency to kill games such as these. Lukaku should be avoided this week, and if you have to play someone from this game it should be Harry Kane.
Gameweek 25 begins on a Tuesday with a 18:45 deadline, so make sure you get your team sorted out before then and avoid being caught out. You never know, the person above you in your league might just forget.
With cup games at the weekend followed by Premier League games in midweek and next weekend, rotation is inevitable. Keep on top of team news and, as always, have backup plans in place.
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