With double-gameweek 34 still on-going, the Fantasy Football Fairy is back with his top picks ahead of Gameweek 35.
Gameweek 35 presents a reduced set of Premier League fixtures as only six games will take place in this round of action. The last time we had a reduced set of fixtures back in gameweek 31 a certain Egyptian midfielder decided to run riot and produce a twenty-nine FPL points haul – more of the same please Mohamed.
Manchester City and Liverpool players dominate my selections this gameweek as they face Swansea and West Brom, respectively. I have also opted for some differential picks as FPL managers may be tempted to take some gambles to try catch mini-league rivals as the season draws to a close.
Outlined below are my top picks to help you gain some points on your mini league rivals and finish the season strongly.
Premium: Ederson Santana de Moraes (Manchester City) – £5.6m
Manchester City face travel sick Swansea this weekend in their first game since being announced Premier League champions for 2017-2018. Brazilian goalkeeper Ederson is currently selected by 8% of FPL managers after racking up fourteen clean sheets already this season.
The £5.6m shot-stopper has started all thirty four league fixtures for Pep Guardiola and will be keen to continue to impress as he battles with Roma goalkeeper Alisson Becker for the Brazil number one jersey ahead of the World Cup.
Mid-Priced: Jack Butland (Stoke) – £5.0m
Another goalkeeper hitting form ahead of the World Cup is Englishman Jack Butland. Pundits are now of the opinion that Jordan Pickford will start as first choice for England this summer, but with Jack Butland, Joe Hart and Nick Pope amongst others waiting in the wings, it’s all to play for.
Stoke welcome Burnley to the bet365 stadium on Sunday afternoon in urgent need of a win if they are to have any hope of Premier League survival.
Budget: Loris Karius (Liverpool) – £4.9m
Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius as now started twelve league fixtures in a row and remarkably only boasts 1.5% ownership at the time of writing.
£4.9m priced Karius has produced three clean sheets in his last four fixtures as Liverpool have only conceded five goals in their last twelve fixtures in all competitions.
Jurgen Klopp is likely to rotate some of his defence ahead of Liverpool’s Champions League semi-final clash at home to Roma on Tuesday evening.
Premium: Hector Bellerin (Arsenal) – £5.9m
Arsene Wenger’s press conference on Thursday morning suggests he will field a stronger team than Gameweek 34 and Spanish defender Hector Bellerin looks likely to start at right back against West Ham on Sunday.
£5.9m-priced Bellerin was rested for last weekend’s defeat away to Newcastle and will be keen to get some game time before the mouth-watering Europa League clash with Atletico Madrid at the Emirates on Thursday night.
Bellerin has chipped in with two goals and two assists in the league for Arsenal this season.
Mid-Priced: Leighton Baines (Everton) – £5.6m
Leighton Baines is a nostalgic pick, I’m not going to lie. The thirty-three-year-old left back has been a fantasy favourite of mine for years and he unfortunately missed majority of this season for Everton.
At £5.6m and with penalty kicks amongst other set pieces in his locker, I fancy his chances against Newcastle on Monday night. Rafa Benitez looks to have pulled off the impossible and steered the Toon Army to Premier League safety as they now sit tenth in the Premier League table, just one point behind Everton.
Baines has now started the last five games and has scored two goals, two assists and three clean sheets this season.
Budget: Francisco Fermenia (Watford) – £4.3m
The inclusion of Spanish defender Francisco ‘Kiko’ Fermenia seems somewhat of a risk given Watford’s current form but with 1.6% ownership in FPL, he offers an intriguing option for those looking for a differential on their mini-league rivals.
£4.3m-priced Fermenia has now started Watford’s last five fixtures and scored a well taken goal in Gameweek 32 against Bournemouth. Watford face Crystal Palace in Saturday’s only 3pm kick-off.
Premium: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) – £10.5m
Boasting 58% ownership in FPL, it has almost become boring recommending Mohamed Salah as the premium midfield pick, but with thirty Premier League goals already this season, he is impossible to ignore.
The £10.5m priced midfielder has racked up a huge 281 FPL points this season and is on course to break the 300+ mark.
Salah has scored six league goals in his last three starts, these statistics cannot be matched. The tussle between the Egyptian and Harry Kane for the Golden Boot looks set to go to the wire, which is music to the ears of FPL managers.
Mid-Priced: Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) – £8.7m
Manchester City welcome Swansea to the Etihad in the late kick-off Sunday and 19% owned Raheem Sterling will fancy his chances of adding further returns to his most profitable ever FPL season.
The £8.7m priced Englishman has already racked up seventeen league goals, ten more than least season and provided thirteen assists for his teammates. Over the last six gameweeks, the midfielder sits second for attempts with twenty-two shots fired on opposition goal, just behind Mohamed Salah.
Budget: Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace) – £6.9m
Since returning to action in Gameweek 30 against Chelsea, Wilfried Zaha has been in sensational form for Roy Hodgson’s rejuvenated Crystal Palace side.
£6.9m priced Zaha has taken the reins as an attacking driving force and in four and a half games, the Ivory Coast international has produced two goals and three assists. Crystal Palace now sit in sixteenth position with thirty four points and their run-in is a lot more attractive than other relegation candidates.
Premium: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal) – £10.7m
Since arriving in the Premier League in Gameweek 26, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has proven to be a consistent goalscorer and team player for Arsene Wenger’s ‘B’ team.
Arsenal’s focus has clearly shifted to the Europa League and with Aubameyang being ineligible he makes for a great fantasy option.
The £10.7m Gabon striker faces West Ham on Sunday, a team that have conceded fourteen goals over their last six away fixtures, which is music to the ears of Aubameyang owners.
Mid-Priced: Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City) – £10m
News broke on social media this week that Manchester City star striker Sergio Aguero will likely miss the rest of the season after undergoing knee surgery. Thankfully, it seems he should be fit in time for the World Cup in Russia this summer.
Gabriel Jesus, therefore, becomes a very interesting FPL option as he should be assured of starts for the remainder of the season. The £10m-priced Brazilian has scored ten league goals and provided six assists this season. Jesus has started three of the last four fixtures, returning two goals and two assists.
Budget: Jay Rodriguez (West Brom) – £5.3m
West Brom striker Jay Rodriguez finds himself caught up in controversy at the moment after being cleared of suspected racially abusing Brighton defender Gaetan Bong.
The 2% owned forward has stated that he wants to put the horrendously difficult accusation behind him and focus on trying to keep West Brom in the Premier League. The in-form £5.3m frontman faces Liverpool this weekend who are likely to rotate ahead of their Champions League semi-final in midweek. Rodriguez has scored an impressive three times in his last four fixtures.