The Fantasy Football Fairy is back with his top picks for gameweek 27.
In gameweek 26 Arsenal and Watford thrashed Everton and Chelsea respectively while Liverpool and Spurs served up a cracker as the race for Champions League places heats up. Swansea and Stoke have been looking promising under new management and if rumours are to be believed we may have some more managerial casualties in the not so distant future.
Spurs and Arsenal go head-to-head in the north London derby this weekend as only one place separates the sides going into gameweek 27.
Manchester United, Manchester City and an out-of-sorts Chelsea have favourable fixtures this weekend, according to the bookies prices, as we build up to another few days of Premier League action.
Outlined below are my top picks to help you gain some points on your mini league rivals and jump up the rankings.
Premium: Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea) – £5.5m
Despite openly stating that his ‘heart is in Madrid’ this week, £5.5m-priced Thibaut Courtois should keep his place for Chelsea’s Monday night fixture against West Brom. Before losing to both Bournemouth and most recently Watford, Antonio Conte’s troops produced 13 clean sheets in 24 games, conceding 16 goals.
West Brom have only scored three goals in their last four away games, conceding nine times.
Mid-Priced: Jordan Pickford (Everton) – £4.9m
Everton’s last clean sheet came back in gameweek 20 when £4.9m-priced Jordan Pickford returned his third double figure haul of the season. Sam Allardyce’s side have conceded 15 times in the past six gameweeks, which will likely lead to the return of a back four for this weekend’s visit of Leicester.
Irish defender Seamus Coleman should take over the reins from Jonjoe Kenny at right-back as Leighton Baines remains out.
Budget: Asmir Begovic (Bournemouth) – £4.5m
Budget goalkeeper Asmir Begovic, at £4.5m, has played every minute of Premier League action for Bournemouth this season returning five clean sheets. Bournemouth conceded two goals away to Stoke last weekend after their shock away win at Stamford Bridge in gameweek 25.
This weekend’s visitors, Huddersfield Town, boast the joint worst goalscoring record this season with a mere 19 goals scored in 26 games.
Premium: Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City) – £6.5m
Despite only keeping one clean sheet in the past five gameweeks, Manchester City have the second best defensive record in the league this season, conceding 19 times.
This weekend’s visitors, Leicester City, look likely to be without star midfielder Riyad Mahrez, which bodes well for defensive returns. The £6.5m-priced Argentine defender has scored four times and returned 16 bonus points in the Premier League this season.
Mid-Priced: Chris Smalling (Manchester United) – £5.3m
Injuries kept both Phil Jones and Eric Bailly from Manchester United’s lineup for last weekend’s home win against Huddersfield. The £5.3m-priced defender has started the last four gameweeks for Jose Mourinho’s side returning three clean sheets and three bonus points for FPL managers.
Manchester United travel to face Newcastle on Sunday afternoon in search of a record high 16th clean sheet of the season.
Budget: Moritz Bauer (Stoke) – £4.5m
January signing Moritz Bauer has slotted in somewhat seamlessly under the radar for Paul Lambert’s Stoke in the last four gameweeks, producing twelve FPL points.
Stoke face Brighton who have been saving their goalscoring for home fixtures in recent weeks, which bodes well for gameweek 27. Stoke have produced two clean sheets in the past four gameweeks.
Premium: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) – £10.3m
The £10.3m-priced Egyptian midfielder is quite simply too hard to ignore on current form after his attacking masterclass against Spurs last Sunday returned 15 FPL points. The last time Mohamed Salah faced this weekend’s visitors, Southampton, back in gameweek 12, he returned 16 points for his FPL managers.
Sunday’s opponents have remarkably only managed two clean sheets at home all season conceding 19 times.
Mid-Priced: Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) – £9m
Manchester City’s opponents on Saturday afternoon, Leicester, have the second worst away record of all teams in the Premier League this season.
This bodes well for £9m-priced Raheem Sterling who has scored nine goals and provided seven assists at home this season. As Leroy Sane remains sidelined due to injury, the English midfielder looks nailed on in a front three against Leicester City.
Budget: Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke) – £6.1m
Budget-priced midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri, at £6.1m, scored a fine goal last weekend against Bournemouth and has been producing some strong performances of late.
This weekend he faces Brighton as Stoke look to continue their fine home form under Paul Lambert. The Swiss international has scored one goal and assisted another over the past four gameweeks while having nine attempts on goal.
Premium: Sergio Aguero (Manchester City) – £11.9m
Sergio Aguero held the captaincy armband for 940,000 FPL managers last weekend against Burnley where he returned a mere two FPL appearance points. The £11.9m-priced forward has scored 17 league goals this season, with eleven of these coming at the Etihad Stadium.
Leicester City’s away record bodes well for owners in the late kick-off on Saturday evening, as the Argentine has scored seven goals in his last six home fixtures.
Mid-Priced: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal) – £10.5
Arsenal’s attacking masterclass against Everton on Saturday evening demonstrated the potential of Arsene Wenger’s new-look attack. New signings Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were handed their first starts and they both took their chances.
The former Borussia Dortmund forward only took 37 minutes to open his account with an expertly taken finish in the first half. Arsenal face Spurs in the early kick-off on Saturday in a game that should produce goals and attacking FPL points alike.
Budget: Javier Hernandez (West Ham) – £6.7m
West Ham welcome Watford to the London Stadium after last weekend’s disappointing performance away to Brighton. David Moyes’ men will be looking to get back to winning ways and budget striker Javier Hernandez, at £6.7m, will likely be called upon to score goals on the back of attacking returns in his last three league games.
Since coming on as a late sub in gameweek 24, the Mexican poacher has scored two goals and assisted another as he leads the line for West Ham.