Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Best Picks for Fantasy Premier League Gameweek 27 – Midfielders and Forwards

Dan Steeden in Editorial, English Premier League 8 Feb 2018

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Now that we’re back into a nice Premier League routine of football at the weekends and no annoying cup games to get in the way of things, we can really get down to achieving some sustained FPL success. Gameweek 27 brings with it a North London derby, a game that I like to refer to as Future Liverpool XI (Southampton) vs current Liverpool XI, and yet another fairly routine game that Chelsea will probably lose. Part two of this Best Picks article should help you pick some midfielders and forwards to aid you in your Ash Ketchum-esque quest to be the very best. 

Midfielders 

Budget Option: Abdoulaye Doucoure (5.4m)

Despite slipping down the table after their brilliant start to the season, and subsequently seeing Marco Silva sacked, Watford remain the highest scoring side in the Premier League outside of the top eight, with 37 goals for the campaign. With Andre Gray and Troy Deenedy only combining for seven of those, the Hornets have had to rely heavily on their midfielders. Doucoure has profited as a result, and has registered an impressive seven goals and three assists. With a tie against the calamitous West Ham this weekend providing a favourable matchup, Watford should be able to build on their morale-boosting 4-1 win over Watford last time out.

Budget Option: Theo Walcott (7.3m) 

He may have disappointed everyone by not bagging a hat-trick against his old club last weekend, but Walcott has still been in sensational form since joining Everton, registering two goals and an assist in his last three games. The Toffees host Crystal Palace this weekend, a side that has just one clean sheet in its last six games. Walcott alone has revolutionised Sam Allardyce’s attack, and they should only improve with each passing week. The winger is a steal at his price of just £7.3m, and probably worth starting every week on current form.

Premium Option: Mohamed Salah (10.4m)

It often seems stupid to suggest starting the second highest goal scorer in the league, but people still seem to be ignoring Salah’s talent. The Egyptian has an insane 21 goals and eight assists this season, and bagged a brace last time out against a tough Tottenham defence. This week should be an easier challenge as Liverpool take on Southampton, who have conceded 38 goals this season, but perplexingly didn’t sell Salah to the Reds, as they have done most of their other players. The winger should feast here, and represents a good captain option too.

Forwards 

Budget Option: Callum Wilson (6.0m)

Bournemouth have always been a fairly exciting team under Eddie Howe, but they had a difficult start to the season. They are however now unbeaten in their last seven league games, a run that has included wins over both Chelsea and Arsenal. Their success has unsurprisingly coincided with a hot streak for striker Callum Wilson, who has four goals over that same seven game stretch. The Cherries get 19th place Huddersfield on Sunday, which should present another decent opportunity for goals, especially as the Terriers have leaked a massive 46 this season.

Budget Option: Jordan Ayew (5.3m)

Like Bournemouth, Swansea have really turned their for around recently, though their success has come as a result of new manager Carlos Carvalhal. The Swans have now gone eight unbeaten in all competitions, scoring in all but one of those games, and improving their league position significantly. As the go-to man upfront, Jordan Ayew has also been much improved recently, and has scored four times in his last eight league matches. Eerily he seems to score very exactly every other game, and he didn’t net against Leicester last weekend, so he should be in line for a goal against Burnley.

Premium Option: Romelu Lukaku (11.3m) 

It has been hard to recommend starting Lukaku with any great deal of confidence this season, simply because of how unreliable he is. The arrival of Alexis Sanchez however should turn him into more of a threat, as should the return of Paul Pogba to full fitness. The Belgian has scored 12 times this season, including last weekend against Huddersfield, and he takes on struggling Newcastle on Sunday. The Magpies have conceded 36 goals and are slowly slipping down the table, troubled by the difficult situation surrounding owner Mike Ashley and the sale of the club. Lukaku should score here as part of United’s new-look offence, and he will hopefully become a more reliable option.

Premium Option to AVOID: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (10.5m)

The Gabon international marked his Arsenal debut with a goal, despite being clearly offside, and arrived from Borussia Dortmund with a remarkable goal scoring record behind him. I rate Aubameyang very highly, but I think a North London derby as his second game could be a step too far too quickly. In truth the striker didn’t touch the ball much against Everton, despite the Gunners’ dominance, and they will likely see less possession against Tottenham. I’d hold fire on Aubameyang for this week, and perhaps next week too as Arsenal face Manchester City.

Bonus Tips

North London derbies are notoriously unpredictable, but that doesn’t mean that the players involved in it are write-offs. What you will have to do however is make a bold guess, and my bold guess involves a surprise Arsenal win, but that doesn’t prevent Harry Kane from bagging a goal or two for instance.

Aside from Arsenal and Tottenham, the big clubs all have favourable matchups this week, so make sure you maximise your output from those clubs. Keep an eye on team news to make sure your representative from each will play, because you don’t want to miss out on some high-scoring affairs.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dan Steeden


Dan is a recent graduate of the University of Birmingham and an often frustrated Wigan Athletic fan. When not despairing at events unfolding at the DW Stadium he can be found fangirling over Antoine Griezmann or staying up into the early hours of the morning to cheer on the Seattle Seahawks.

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