It was good news for Manchester City and Liverpool fans in midweek as they breezed through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League, but Tottenham went crashing out at the hands of Juventus. We don’t care about European football here at FPL Best Picks headquarters however, especially being Wigan fans, because winning our Fantasy Premier League titles is all that matters. Part one of the article will help you pick a goalkeeper and defenders for this gameweek.
Budget Option: Lukasz Fabianski (4.7m)
Do you know who’s fourth in the FPL goalkeeping standings? Fabianski. Do you know where Swansea are in the table? 13th. That just shows you the power of save and bonus points. The Swans shot stopper has made 102 saves and racked up eight bonus points, all in addition to his eight clean sheets. We’re after another shutout this weekend as well because Fabianski gets Huddersfield, who have failed to score in four of their last six Premier League games. Swansea meanwhile have three clean sheets in their last five across all competitions, so all the signs point towards the keeper having a good week.
Premium Option: Ederson (5.6m)
People have naturally been raving about the attacking flair and relentless goal scoring of Manchester City this season, but they are also now the outright best defensive side in the Premier League having conceded just 20 times in 29 games during this campaign. It helps that Pep Guardiola has spent over £200m on defenders and goalkeepers, but who cares when it hauls in the fantasy points for your team. Ederson, who has 13 clean sheets on the season, gets a tasty matchup against Stoke, a side that has scored just six times in the last nine league games.
Premium Option to AVOID: David De Gea (5.9m)
Considered by many to be the best goalkeeper in world football, a notion backed up by his impressive 142 fantasy points this season, De Gea has long been the cream of the goalkeeping crop in the English top flight. Unfortunately not even the talented Spaniard can hold together a Manchester United defence that is somehow maintaining a decent defensive record despite looking utterly shambolic. The Red Devils leaked two against Crystal Palace last time out, and this week they face a Liverpool side that tears teams to shreds. Even with master bus parker Jose Mourinho at the helm, I still can’t see United escaping unscathed.
Budget Option: Lewis Dunk (4.5m)
I put Dunk in my team last weekend and he scored, so I’ve figured that the FPL gods are looking favourably upon me. Brighton have actually conceded just 38 goals this season, which makes them the seventh best defensive team in the league, ahead of Arsenal. I like what Chris Hughton is doing with the Seagulls and I fancy them to hold firm against an Everton team that is a complete mess at present. The Toffees have scored nine goals in their last 11 league games, and while they should avoid relegation under Sam Allardyce they don’t look like a very good team.
Premium Option: Ben Davies (5.9m)
Tottenham threw away a 1-0 lead against Juventus in midweek to crash out of the Champions League, but Mauricio Pochettino won’t let that result affect his players. Spurs travel to Bournemouth at the weekend for what should be a fairly routine victory, and the North London side have been brilliant defensively, conceding just three goals in their last seven top-flight games. Of all the Spurs defenders I think Ben Davies is the best FPL option, largely because he has the most points, which always helps. The fullback has contributed two goals and six assists, which is a great return, and he should grab a clean sheet this week too.
Premium Option to AVOID: Virgil van Dijk (5.6m)
Don’t get me wrong, Liverpool look like a good defensive side now, and the addition of Virgil van Dijk has done wonders for Jurgen Klopp’s side. What worries me this week however is that they travel to Old Trafford to take on their bitter rivals Manchester United. While the Red Devils haven’t been firing on all cylinders recently, a derby like this always gets players fired up. It could be a high-scoring affair this weekend, so both sides’ defenders are probably best left alone.
On paper Manchester United vs Liverpool takes away some of the best defenders and attackers in FPL, but I still fancy both sides to get on the score sheet. That does mean that neither side’s defenders are good options this week, so make sure you have some good backup options for the likes of Chris Smalling.
There are a lot of matchups between lower table sides this weekend which can be exploited with the right picks, and the cheap options from these teams will be the players that help you win you league. Keep an eye on team news to make sure you maximise the advantage.
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