Welcome to gameweek 31, the part of the season that is going to make or break your season. There are only four games this weekend. Yeah, that’s right, four. Liverpool are the only side in the top eight that are playing, so this could be tough going for a lot of managers. Luckily the Best Picks series will help you navigate this utter mess.
Jordan Pickford (4.9m)
Of all the sides that are playing this weekend, the two Merseyside clubs look to be the best bets. Defensively Everton haven’t been as good as expected under Sam Allardyce, but they did keep a clean sheet last time out against Brighton. This week they get a Stoke side who are second bottom in the league and haven’t scored in either of their last two games. This looks like a safe enough bet for an Everton shutout, and Pickford has the potential for some save and bonus points, especially as neither side is particularly high scoring.
Virgil van Dijk (5.6m)
Liverpool look like a vastly improved defensive side now that Virgil van Dijk has joined, and they have managed five clean sheets in their last eight games across all competitions. Two of the games that they didn’t manage a shutout in were against Tottenham and Manchester United, so this weekend’s clash with Watford provides them with a good opportunity. The Hornets have scored just twice in their last four league games, so the Reds are the clear favourites here.
Theo Walcott (7.1m)
As I mentioned earlier, Everton are one of the only sides playing this week that are actually decent, and even they aren’t great. They do have a quality player in Theo Walcott however, and a game against Stoke, the league’s second worst defensive side, should be the perfect way for the winger to get back on track. The former Arsenal man registered two goals and an assist in his first two starts but has blanked since. If there’s any game in which he can start firing on all cylinders again it’s this one.
Roberto Firmino (9.5m)
With Mohamed Salah having been so insanely impressive this season, Firmino has flown somewhat under the radar. The Brazilian has registered 13 goals and eight assists however, which makes him an elite forward option. He’s also the only top striker playing this weekend, so he will likely be in everyone’s team. Liverpool play a Watford side that has conceded a whopping 50 goals this season, while they themselves have netted 18 in their last eight league games.
While it’s important to score as many points as you can in this crazy gameweek, there is absolutely no point in wasting points trying to make a load of transfers. Don’t take a hit, mainly because everyone will be in this boat, and because the points you get probably won’t outweigh those you spend.
This could be a good week to use your free hit. Shove your team full of Liverpool players, and others who are playing, just for this week and reap the rewards.
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