It’s that time of the week when The Hard Tackle takes offers tips on the Fantasy Premier League.
In the business end of the campaign, every team is looking to pile up points on the board for very different reasons. For some, wins are crucial to keep up with the title-chasing pack, while for others the top four is the ultimate dream.
With teams fighting for bragging rights at the top of the table, a number of sides are at the foot end, desperately fighting their way away from relegation. Also, with a double gameweek next weekend, this week’s team selection could be key.
The league’s leading goal scorer and one of the six nominations for the PFA Player of the Year award, Romelu Lukaku (10.4m) kicks things off in this piece. The Everton forward has been in a scintillating run of form, and has scored 23 goals in the top flight all season.
Of late, he has been extremely prolific while playing in front of his home fans at Goodison Park. The Belgian striker has scored in each of his last seven home games, and has found the back of the net on 12 occasions during this phenomenal run.
With the Toffees set to play a Burnley side that have one of the worst away records in the league, the odds are in favour of Lukaku to have a field day. He also seems a viable captain contender, and is a safe bet to place the armband around.
Another striker drawing interest from FPL bosses is Tottenham’s Harry Kane (11.3m). He comes at 0.9 million more than the Everton forward, but is also equally prolific on his day, and cannot be overlooked.
After suffering an ankle injury, Kane returned to the fold last week against Watford, albeit via the bench, and has seen interest in him rise considerably. He is now one of the highest players to be roped in this gameweek, and with good reason.
Spurs have been absolutely ruthless in their own backyard and have won each of their last 10 games played at White Hart Lane. On Saturday, Bournemouth visit North London hoping to put an end to their run, but it is an extremely long shot.
With Dele Alli (9.2m) and Christian Eriksen (8.8m) enjoying a fine run of showings in recent matches, they are expected to wreak havoc in the Bournemouth defence and midfield, and create a number of chances for Kane.
While the English forward is a supreme option for most FPL bosses, if they are looking to avoid spending the amount, either one of Alli or Eriksen can be considered. Both midfielders are up among the leaders in the form standings, and are expected to get over 6 points against Bournemouth on Saturday.
Manchester United, Middlesbrough and Crystal Palace all have a double gameweek next week, meaning the will play two matches, and their players will also score double the amount of matchday points as they would usually.
This undoubtedly has seen the rise in demand for a certain Benjamin Button-esque United attacker Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Available at 11.4m, he is one of the most expensive players in FPL, but has delivered on a number off occasions.
However, while it may seem like a promising prospect to rope in the Swede, we suggest that you wait until gameweek 36 as another double gameweek follows it, come the end of the season.
Ibrahimovic has a daunting home game against Chelsea this week, and has two tricky away fixtures next week against Burnley and Manchester City. Also, with United still in the hunt for the Europa League, Jose Mourinho is likely to make wholesale of changes.
It may be a good punt to invest on a few Palace players as they take on Leicester City on the weekend. Still within touching distance of a Champions League semi-final berth, the Foxes boss Craig Shakespeare could field a weakened side, giving the opposition a huge advantage.
Wayne Hennessey (4.3m) in the Crystal Palace goal has kept five clean sheets in his last nine games, and could be looking for another shutout against the Foxes. He his one of the most pocket friendly keepers on the list, and will be a vital component until the end of the season.
Christian Benteke (7.2m) is the other option we consider as he will be looking to exploit on any chances the weakened Leicester back line will offer him. He did not score against Arsenal last week, but will be relishing playing against the defending champions on Saturday.
THT’s Team of the Week
Goalkeeper: Lee Grant (Stoke City)
Defenders: Marcos Alonso (Chelsea), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Antonio Valencia (Manchester United)
Midfielders: Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal), Manuel Lanzini (West Ham), Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool), Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea),
Strikers: Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Romelu Lukaku (Everton), Peter Crouch (Stoke City)
Bench: Jordan Pickford (Sunderland), Stephen Ward (Burnley), Josh King (Bournemouth), Winston Reid (West Ham)
Points earned last week: 76