The Hard Tackle gives you all the key FPL tips and suggestions ahead of Gameweek 35.
An enthralling season of the Premier League has almost reached its end. With London giants Chelsea ahead of the chasing pack, it is far from guaranteed that they will lift the crown come the end of the campaign.
Tottenham Hotspur are hot on their heels, and are only four points behind them. While Chelsea are handed a tricky away fixture against Everton at Goodison Park, Spurs have an equally challenging encounter against rivals Arsenal at home.
The league is not the only thing that is left to be fought for at the top of the table as the race for the top four is heating up with Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal all staking a claim for a top four berth.
After playing out a goalless draw against United on Thursday, City will now travel to the Riverside Stadium to take on a relegation-threatened Middlesbrough side while Red Devils play host to another low-lying team in the form of Swansea City.
Liverpool play in the Gameweek’s final fixture as they visit the Hawthorns to take on West Brom. Philippe Coutinho (8.6m) has been a popular feature among FPL managers all season long, and his recent form makes a huge case for his selection.
The Brazilian attacker has averaged 7.6 points per game for the last three Gameweeks, and due to the absence of Sadio Mane, has often been Liverpool’s focal point. Also, with a favourable fixture list ahead, it makes sense to buy Coutinho.
However, Spurs midfielder Dele Alli (9.2m), who is in the same bracket as the Liverpool star is owned by 35 percent of FPL managers. But given his next few games, it would be a wise decision to offload him before his prize plummets and replace him with Coutinho.
The double Gameweek often gets managers thinking out of the box, and due to Manchester United playing Burnley and Manchester City, striker Marcus Rashford (6.6m) was in heavy demand.
It was certain that the Englishman would lead the line for the Old Trafford outfit and was a popular option for the captain’s armband as well. However, the gamble did not pay off as Rashford only accumulated three points over the two matches.
Now with United seeking a pathway into the Champions League via the Europa League, Jose Mourinho is likely to rest Rashford for the weekend as the Red Devils take on Celta Vigo in the semi-finals on Thursday.
Another player to avoid is Everton striker Romelu Lukaku (10.5m). The Belgian drew a blank last week against West Ham, and has a tough game against Chelsea this time around. The Blues’ back three, despite being a tad vulnerable, has been solid throughout the season.
It will thus be a Herculean task for Lukaku to find the back of the net against the Blues on Sunday, and it would be better if he was omitted from the team.
Leicester’s Jamie Vardy (9.9m) is been in red hot for of late, and should be considered as the man to bring in for Lukaku. The Foxes face Watford and West Brom in the next two weeks and also play two games in Gameweek 37.
Crystal Palace’s Christian Benteke (7.4m) also must be considered for selection. The Belgian was impressive against Liverpool last week and has an easy home fixture against Burnley who have been woeful on the road this term.
For managers willing to invest in their defence, a resurgent Vincent Kompany (5.9m) makes a huge case for selection. The Manchester City captain has missed most of the season through injury, but has returned and added solidity to the back line.
He has kept a clean sheet in each of his last two matches, and has accumulated 23 points in that period. He has also earned 5 Bonus Points in these last two weeks, and is a necessity given City’s easy run until the end of the season.
THT’s Team of the Week
All out attack
Goalkeeper: Jordan Pickford (Sunderland)
Defenders: Marcos Alonso (Chelsea), Antonio Valencia (Manchester United)
Midfielders: Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal), Manuel Lanzini (West Ham), Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool), Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace), Josh King (Bournemouth)
Strikers: Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Romelu Lukaku (Everton), Benik Afobe (Bournemouth)
Bench: Lee Grant (Stoke City), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Stephen Ward (Burnley), Winston Reid (West Ham)
Points earned last week: 67