Premier League action returns this weekend following a two-week absence. With only eleven gameweeks left in the 2017/18 season, dedicated Fantasy Premier League managers will be looking to finish the season strong.
Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United welcome Antonio Conte’s Chelsea to Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon in what should be a fiery affair. Both managers have made it very clear in recent weeks that they don’t have much time for each other and post-game bragging rights will be at stake in the big game.
FPL managers should expect goals on Monday night as Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal welcome Pep Guardiola’s free-scoring Manchester City to the Etihad.
Elsewhere, Spurs, Liverpool, Everton, Leicester, Bournemouth, Brighton and West Brom will all fancy their chances of picking up points this weekend.
Outlined below are my top picks to help you gain some points on your mini league rivals and jump up the rankings.
Premium: Hugo Lloris (Spurs) – £5.4m
With four of the Premier League’s top six teams facing each other this weekend, Spurs’ Hugo Lloris gets the nod as my premium goalkeeper pick. Tottenham have secured five clean sheets away from home this season; twelve in total in the Premier League.
After producing a great performance against Juventus in the Champions League last week, £5.4m-priced Lloris will be confident of keeping Crystal Palace at bay in Sunday’s early kick-off.
Mid-Priced: Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester) – £5m
Leicester welcome Stoke to the King Power Stadium this weekend as Kasper Schmeichel and his Leicester teammates try to finally leapfrog Burnley into seventh position in the Premier League table.
The £5m-priced goalkeeper has played every minute of action this season, securing seven clean sheets in the process. With some very winnable fixtures on the horizon for Leicester, Schmeichel looks a solid option in the mid-priced bracket.
Budget: Loris Karius (Liverpool) – £4.8m
It’s now five league starts in a row for budget-priced goalkeeper Loris Karius as he gets set to face West Ham on Saturday afternoon.
The German goalkeeper has two clean sheets and a penalty save in his last three games alone, returning an average of eight points per game over these fixtures.
Premium: Harry Maguire (Leicester) – £5.5m
The English centre-half has fired in twelve goal attempts this season and at times has looked like a centre forward battering ram for Leicester. At £5.5m, Maguire offers FPL managers returns at both ends of the pitch as he has scored on two occasions and assisted four goals.
Leicester welcome Stoke in the early kick-off Saturday and should Maguire get on the end of a Riyad Mahrez cross FPL managers will have a great start to the gameweek.
Mid-Priced: Nathan Ake (Bournemouth) – £5m
Another attack-minded defender is selected for gameweek 28 as Bournemouth welcome Newcastle to the Vitality Stadium. Nathan Ake has scored twice and assisted once in the Premier League this season and in gameweek 20 he returned nine FPL points – despite conceding three times.
Newcastle’s January loan signing Islam Slimani is ranked 50/50 to feature due to a thigh injury and therefore Eddie Howe will be confident of shutting out the opposition. Bournemouth have kept five clean sheets this season, conceding 41 times, and opponents Newcastle have scored 13 times in 13 appearances on the road.
Budget: Stephen Ward (Burnley) – £4.7m
Irish defender Stephen Ward should return for Burnley this weekend after missing two months of action with a knee injury. The £4.7m-priced defender hasn’t featured since gameweek 17 and intriguingly Sean Dyche’s troops haven’t won a game in the Premier League since then.
Burnley sit tight in seventh position in the table after five draws in nine games conceding only ten goals in 13 home appearance this season.
Premium: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) – £10.4m
The only player in the FPL game to warrant ‘essential’ status has delivered attacking returns for owners in 16 of his last eighteen appearances. £10.4m-priced Mohamed Salah racked up 15 FPL points in gameweek eleven when Liverpool last faced West Ham and chances are he will be delivering returns once again this weekend.
His goal against Porto in the Champions League last week was remarkably his 30th of the season in all competitions.
Mid-Priced: Gylfi Sigurdsson (Everton) – £8m
£8m-priced Gylfi Sigurdsson reminded FPL managers of his talent back in gameweek 27 as he delivered a goal and assist in a Man of the Match performance against Crystal Palace, scoring 12 FPL points.
The Icelandic midfielder has consistently returned 150+ points over the past three seasons and his performance was a timely reminder of his attributes ahead of a nice run of fixtures.
This weekend’s opponents, Watford, boast the worst home defensive record in the league, with 26 goals conceded.
Budget: Pascal Groß (Brighton) – £5.9m
Brighton’s home game against Swansea looks set to be an important fixture for both clubs as only one point separates the teams ahead of gameweek 28.
Budget midfield pick Pascal Groß has scored ten plus FPL points on four occasions this season. Notably all of these were home fixtures and he looked back to his best in gameweek 26 against West Ham. The German signing has scored five goals and made six assists this season.
Premium: Harry Kane (Spurs) – £12.8m
Crystal Palace have been haemorrhaging goals of late, with nine conceded in their last four fixtures alone. This bodes well for premium option Harry Kane who has scored five goals in his last four away Premier League games, as he continues to lead the scoring charts.
Over half of the £12.8m-priced forward’s goals have come on the road, where the Englishman has racked up 55 attempts; 21 of those on target.
Mid-Priced: Jamie Vardy (Leicester) – £8.6m
Four goals in his last four Premier League starts show the form of Jamie Vardy at this current time. The English forward has stepped up his consistency in the absence of Riyad Mahrez in recent weeks and with a return for the Algerian likely, this should bode well for Vardy.
This weekend’s opponents, Stoke City, have only managed one clean sheet away from home all season, conceding a league high 32 goals.
Budget: Salomón Rondón (West Brom) – £6m
The inclusion of budget forward pick Salomón Rondón might come as somewhat of a shock considering he has only scored four league goals this season for West Brom, but from a statistical perspective the Venezuelan international is well overdue.
The £6m-priced forward ranks third for goal attempts over the past four gameweeks, just behind the likes of Sergio Aguero and Harry Kane and ahead of Roberto Firmino amongst others.
Over those fixtures he has managed 14 attempts, nine from inside the box with four on target.