The Premier league is back after a break for the FA Cup. GW28 has thrown up a couple of exciting games this game week, pitting Man Utd against Chelsea and Arsenal hosting Man City. The battle for the top 4 will take another twist, who will be brave enough to go for a victory?
I’ll preview these two games plus taking a some of the other weekend games.
Liverpool vs West Ham
Liverpool turned West Ham over comfortably in the reverse fixture in GW11. Mo Salah remains the main man this season and he is currently in a great run of form, 4 goals and an assist in the last 3 games. West Ham will find it tricky to break Liverpool down, their defensive weaknesses have been helped with the arrival of Van Dijk and with 3 clean sheets in 4 games, suddenly Liverpool defenders are a real option again. Van Dijk aside, the rest of the defenders (and keeper) show great value in price, being £5M or less.
West Ham themselves are in reletively good form and will be looking to build on their unbeaten run. Arnautovic is back and a lot will rest of him again if West Ham are to get anything from the game.
Teams Star Man: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) & Marco Arnautovic (West Ham)
Possible Punt: Loris Karius (Liverpool – just 0.6% ownership)
Man Utd vs Chelsea
Jose hosts his former side on Sunday and if history is anything to go by you would expect him to “park the bus” and be tight defensively to try and nick a 1-0 win.
Hazard owners will be hoping his recent form continues (5 goals in 4) and will be vital if Chelsea are going to get anything from the game. I expect Giroud to continue up front and his arial presence could cause the United defense some issues and bring the likes of Willian and Hazard into the game in and around the box.
What better game for Pogba to step up and put on a performance many know he has in him. Will Jose put the recent issues behind him and play him in a midfield three enabling him to be most dangerous offenstively this week? If so he remains a great FPL option, but in a holding two he offers little in way of points returns.
Teams Star man: Alexis Sánchez (Man Utd) & Eden Hazard (Chelsea)
Possible Punt: Willian (Chelsea – 6.9% ownership)
Leicester City vs Stoke
Leicester host Stoke and will be looking to get back to winning ways after losing 5-1 to Man City in GW27. Jamie Vardy has his goal scoring boots on again and while he isn’t returning double digits returns he has returned 27 points from the last 4 games with a goal in each of them. Their upcoming fixtures make him a real 3rd forward option for the remainder of the season and at £8.6M allows you to spend well elsewhere.
Stoke are inconsistent at best this season and will be targeting the next two games for maximum returns before their fixtures turn. Anything good recently for Stoke has come out of Shaqiri, a player who for the past few seasons has shown glimpses of what he is capable of, but this season has seen him return his highest haul in a season, with 11 games still to go.
I don’t see many goals in this, and if you own defenders from either side I think they would be a good gamble to pick up a clean sheet from. However if you are looking to bring one in definitely look at Leicester, especially with their run for the rest of the season.
Teams Star man: Jamie Vardy (Leciester) & Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke)
Possible Punt: Wes Morgan (Leicester – just 1.6% ownership)
Arsenal vs Man City
Much will depend how the same fixture plays out in the Cup Final this weekend. It’ll be interesting to see how the tactics and lineups vary, for me, it should be more open than a final and there is too much attacking talent in both sides to see anything but a higher scoring game.
Mkhitaryan has settled into Arsenal life well and with Ozil will be the main creators of anything good that comes out of Arsenal this weekend. Ozil needs to be up for this game and put in one of his big game performances, however Mkhitaryan is cheaper than Ozil so remains the better option for me currently. Aubameyang comes up with his first real challenge in the Premier League following his recent signing and is someone I’ll be paying close attention to in order to see how he does against a stronger team before deciding if he is a real FPL option at £10.5M
City will do what they do best, keep the ball and let Silva and De Bruyne to dictate the tempo of the game. The King of Assists (De Bruyne) has returned 29 points in the last 3 games, providing 4 assists in that time and chipping in with a goal too. The most in form player in FPL currently so is hard to resist transferring in, although at £10.4M requires a big financial commitment. The left back postion remains the obvious weakness in their defense but for me the biggest question will be who will be the centre back pairing, who is best placed to deal with Aubameyang and the creativity of Ozil and Mkhitaryan?
Teams Star man: Mesut Özil (Arsenal) & Kevin De Bruyne (Man City)
Possible Punt: Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal – just 4.3% ownership)