There has been snow all across Britain this week that has been wreaking havoc with travel plans and midweek football games from the lower leagues. Shrewsbury vs Yeovil was on my agenda, but the pitch was frozen, so I have instead turned my attention to providing the very best FPL advice to you, my dear readers. Part two of this Best Picks article will focus on the midfielders and forwards who will brave the weather to bring you glory.
Budget Option: Abdoulaye Doucoure (5.5m)
Watford are the highest scorers outside of the top eight, and while they are an incredibly inconsistent team, the Hornets have been fairly reliable for racking up some FPL points amongst their attacking players. 10 goals in their last eight games across all competitions suggest that Watford are in fine form, but they have actually blanked in half of those games. Doucoure however has been the standout man this season, especially since Richarlison has gone quiet, and he has seven goals and three assists on the season. The Hornets face bottom of the league West Brom this weekend, so the midfielder has a great chance to add to his tallies.
Budget Option: Ryan Fraser (5.1m)
This budget option is a fairly rogue choice, but Bournemouth have been on a good run of form recently. In their last nine games the Cherries have scored 18 goals, which makes for an impressive average, and they have beaten both Chelsea and Arsenal in that run. Eddie Howe’s side face Leicester, a team that has leaked 41 goals in this campaign, and it’s easy to see them grabbing a couple of goals against the Foxes. Ryan Fraser has also hit a nice patch of form over the past few weeks, and has contributed three goals and two assists in his last seven league appearances.
Premium Option: Mohamed Salah (10.5m)
Liverpool have been phenomenal in an attacking sense this season, and are the second highest scorers behind the record-breaking Manchester City side. The catalyst for their success has been Salah, and the Egyptian has registered a remarkable 23 goals and 10 assists so far this season. It seems fairly pointless to advise starting him at this point, but people are still missing out on the points he provides. With a juicy matchup against a Newcastle side that has conceded 38 goals this season, I expect the Reds to run out as easy winners here.
Premium Option to AVOID: Eden Hazard (10.7m)
In part one of this article I suggested not starting Manchester City defenders against Chelsea, but that game is incredibly unpredictable, and it’s a difficult one to predict. The Blues’ in form player at the moment is Willian, and I’d be surprised if they bagged more than one goal against a stout Manchester City defence. Hazard is an expensive option at £10.7m, and probably not one worth including this week, especially as the other big teams have good matchups.
Budget Option: Callum Wilson (6.0m)
As you can tell I’m quite high on Bournemouth this week, and with their matchup against Leicester it’s easy to see why. The Foxes have gone four league games without a clean sheet, and have been unreliable in a defensive sense for much of this season. The Cherries meanwhile are on the up, and Wilson has been a beneficiary of that. The striker has four goals and two assists in his last nine Premier League appearances, and he could be a good option to pair with Fraser this weekend.
Premium Option: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (10.5m)
Arsenal have had a fairly rotten week, losing to Manchester City twice, once in the cup and once in the league, but they get a much easier matchup against Brighton at the weekend. The Seagulls have now gone seven league games without a clean sheet, while the Gunners have netted 51 goals this season. Aubameyang missed a penalty against Manchester City, but he should bounce back in this game, especially with Alexandre Lacazette out injured with a knee injury. The Gabonese international has a remarkable scoring record, and it’s only a matter of time until he adapts to the Premier League.
Premium Option to AVOID: Sergio Aguero (12.0m)
I’m nervous about advising against playing Aguero, simply because of his ridiculous goal scoring record, but with Gabriel Jesus coming back from injury, as well as a tough game against Chelsea on the cards, this week could be a rare dud for the veteran striker. The Blues have conceded just 25 goals this season, and while Manchester City have been scoring with ease all season, this could be one step too far for Aguero. Guardiola’s men have also been sharing their goals around quite nicely, so in a game of limited chances it could be anyone who grabs the goals.
Manchester City vs Chelsea is the only tricky game on paper for the top six clubs this weekend, which means there could be a lot of high-scoring players. Whenever that is the case it’s important to have a good look at the fixtures and try to guess which games are going to feature the most goals.
Premium players are expensive by definition, but there are also some good fixtures for some of the mid-table teams. While everyone else is trying to crowbar another expensive option into their team, why not try and find a bargain with a good matchup.
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