Start your engines Fantasy Premier League players around the world, Gameweek 31 is finally upon us after the final international break of the season.
There’s, unfortunately, only two teams with double gameweek fixtures – desperately struggling Burnley and Everton in case you wanted to know – so it’s very much a case of selecting your side to take advantage of favourable upcoming fixtures.
Most players have likely used their wildcards and free hits, meaning the odd transfer made here or there could be decisive in order to climb up league tables across the land.
We all know the obvious staples of most sides, but there’s another eight players primed for consideration, specially picked out by 90min…
Fixture: Watford (h)
Nope, Luis Diaz is not Mohamed Salah or Sadio Mane, nor is he Diogo Jota. But he is a wonderfully talented forward who looks to have already forced his way into Jurgen Klopp’s regular starting XI thinking.
Jota scored the winner against Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup, but that runout could indicate that Diaz is now ahead of him in the Premier League pecking order – having adjusted to the league like a duck to water.
Roy Hodgson’s Watford await on 2 April and they’ve been pretty woeful all season, making Diaz’s 8.1 price extremely palatable.
Team: Manchester United
Fixture: Leicester (h)
You probably (definitely) already know this but Manchester United aren’t in the greatest shape right now.
They’re not winning enough games, they’re not scoring enough goals and they definitely don’t have enough points for a team harbouring aspirations of finishing in the Premier League’s top four.
United do, however, have an improving Jadon Sancho on their hands, and fresh from being overlooked by England again, he has a point to prove against Leicester, Everton and Norwich in his next three outings.
38 points in his last six games is good going, too.
Fixture: Newcastle (h)
Tottenham appear to be finding their stride under Antonio Conte after sampling five wins in their last seven Premier League games, and it’s no coincidence that the upturn in form began when Dejan Kulusevski became a regular in the team.
The Swede has delivered 44 points in that time, scoring twice and bagging five assists, and he’s fast becoming one of the most in-form players in the division.
Newcastle are next up, followed by games against Aston Villa and Brighton – all winnable for Spurs you’d argue.
Fixture: Southampton (h)
When Forrest Gump’s mama opened her box of chocolates, she probably found Leeds inside – because you really never know what you’re gonna get.
Under Jesse Marsch, the early signs are it could be points – although their 3-2 win over Wolves at Molineux was aided by some hopelessly bad defending from the hosts it must be said.
Nevertheless, low-priced Rodrigo looked a whole lot better for the Whites in that game, and there’s a huge opportunity to build on that in back-to-back matches against Southampton and Watford.
Fixture: Brentford (h)
To be successful in FPL, you sometimes have to go with a gut feeling. You have to predict when you think players are going to come into form, and you have to look beyond the gameweek in hand.
But in the case of Kai Havertz, you have a player who not only has a tasty set of fixtures – with two to be rescheduled – coming up over the next few weeks, you have one bang in form.
Brentford are in the immediate firing line (looks good) and Southampton, Leicester and Watford all have to travel to Stamford Bridge before the end of the season (looks great).
Fixture: Crystal Palace (a)
Arsenal returned to winning ways at Aston Villa after losing to Liverpool at the Emirates, making it six Premier League wins out of seven for Mikel Arteta’s boys.
Much of the Gunners’ success has actually revolved around a pretty watertight defence rather than anything flashy up front, with Ben White in the side for 13 clean sheets this season.
He’s on 103 points for the season and costs just £4.5m, which is an absolute steal compared to the prices of almost every full-back. Palace are a good side, but so were Villa – so don’t be surprised if he churns out another six points at Selhurst.
Fixtures: Man City (h), Everton (h)
It would be remiss of us not to include at least one double-gameweek player in our FPL tips.
So who have we plumped for? Relatively cheap striker, Wout Weghorst, who was included in the Netherlands’ squad for the most recent international break but did not feature against Denmark nor Germany.
He’ll be fighting fit for games against Man City (very hard) and Everton (not very hard) as a result, and with 180 minutes to find the back of the net, he’s got as good a chance as any striker on the game of finding the back of the net.
Team: Man City
Fixture: Burnley (a)
The problem with picking Manchester City players in FPL is you can never really be sure of Pep Guardiola’s rotation policy – just when you think somebody is in form, bam, he leaves them out with the Champions League in mind.
However, in the case of Phil Foden, he has started their last eight Premier League games in a row, and now Liverpool are hot on their coattails it’s going to become harder and harder to leave out the big boys.
Foden loves scoring away from home, too – indeed, six of his seven goals in the league this season have come away from the Etihad. Potentially a shrewd investment for this week and the remainder of the season.