At this stage of the season the results start to go a bit crazy as teams fight for survival, European places and the pride of finishing above their rivals. That’s what makes this period so exciting, as if the Premier League wasn’t brilliant enough, and it means keeping on top of your FPL team is vital. Luckily the Best Picks article is back, with part two focusing on midfielders and forwards.
Budget Option: Wilfried Zaha (6.8m)
I for one am surprised that Crystal Palace are struggling down in 17th spot when they have such a star-studded attacking line-up. Zaha is one of their most exciting players and he has flashed his brilliance at times this season, scoring four and assisting five despite missing the start of the campaign through injury. The Eagles get Bournemouth this weekend – a side that has just one clean sheet in their last 21 league games – which should provide a tantalising opportunity for the Ivorian to add to his tallies.
Premium Option: Christian Eriksen (9.4m)
Tottenham were sensational last week when they beat their London rivals Chelsea 1-3 at Stamford Bridge. Without Harry Kane they still look like a hugely impressive team and a clash with Stoke, who have conceded a ludicrous 61 goals this season, should serve up another drubbing in favour of Mauricio Pochettino’s side. Dele Alli got the goals last time out but Eriksen has been the more consistent option, so he’s the one to go with.
Premium Option to AVOID: Alexis Sanchez (11.5m)
He may have registered both a goal and an assist last week against Swansea, but Sanchez is yet to really settle in and perform at Manchester United. The Chilean is struggling and that looks set to continue in a game against the league’s best defence in eternal rivals Manchester City. This game has crucial significance for both sides and it’s too unpredictable to rely on an option as inconsistent as Sanchez.
Budget Option: Ashley Barnes (5.4m)
The Burnley marksman is turning into one of the best cheap FPL forward options in a long time. At just £5.4m Barnes is almost half the price of many of the top strikers and has still netted seven goals, including four in his last four. That streak of remarkable form should continue this weekend as the Clarets face a Watford side that has conceded 57 goals this season, including ten in their last three matches. For his price you really can’t go wrong when taking a punt on Barnes.
Premium Option: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (10.8m)
Arsenal have been much improved in recent weeks, winning their last five in a row in all competitions. One man who has been the driving force behind their resurgence is Aubameyang, who now has five goals in his six Premier League games for the Gunners. The Gabon international grabbed two last time out against Stoke and should be able to add to his tally against Southampton this weekend. The Saints have just one clean sheet in their last ten league games and that drought will probably continue here.
Premium Option to AVOID: Gabriel Jesus (10.0m)
As you can tell by this point, especially if you read part one, I really don’t like the Manchester derby this weekend as an FPL option. Jesus barely got a touch against Liverpool in midweek and a cagey game this weekend could see a similar situation for the young Brazilian. I fully expect Manchester City to get on the score sheet, but in a narrow game it isn’t worth taking the chance when there are better options out there.
A Merseyside derby and a Manchester derby in one weekend? That’s what dreams are made of. Not in FPL terms though as these games are difficult to predict, but the players involved should not be ignored as some crazy results can come from these matches.
With the intensity of play increasing in the final weeks, injuries begin to pile up. Keep on top of team news and make sure you have backup options.
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