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Fantasy Premier League managers are likely still reeling from the events of Gameweek 27. The Blank Gameweek saw four teams missing and with other popular assets failing to deliver, produced the lowest average of the season so far – a paltry 35 points.
Fortunately, there’s not much time to dwell on past failings as the midweek fixtures bring with it another round of FPL.
This time, every one of the 20 teams are back in action for GW28 with the clash between Chelsea and Tottenham at Stamford Bridge being the standout fixture.
Here are a few tips ahead of GW28.
CAPTAIN – MOHAMED SALAH | LIVERPOOL | 13.6M
Mohamed Salah was disappointing against Manchester United and hooked in the 78th minute with his side chasing a win. The Egyptian now has just one goal in his last four games. However, he has scored in every Premier League meeting with Watford, including his debut. The Hornets are fresh from a 5-1 mauling of Cardiff City but that – along with their recent run – may have skewed perceptions of them ahead of their Anfield trip.
They have had a comfortable run of games lately but still needed some excellent performances from Ben Foster to pick up points. Ahead of GW 27, Watford had conceded more shots from inside the box away from home than any other team.
Salah has managed four goals and an assist in his last four matches at Anfield. He’s also attempted 14 shots – more than any of his team-mates – over that time while only Roberto Firmino (8) has created more than his seven chances.
PAUL POGBA (8.6m) needs to fire for a severely depleted United side now more than ever. The Frenchman delivered his first blank in six GWs at home to Liverpool and only his second in 10 GWs. He will be hampered by the absences of the injured Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford or the midfield foils of Ander Herrera and Nemanja Matic. However, he may have Anthony Martial back while Crystal Palace have problems of their own having lost defensive stars Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Mamadou Sakho to injury as well.
SERGIO AGUERO (11.6m) is often a safe captaincy at home. In his last four games at the Etihad, he’s attempted 14 shots and scored from half of them. However, he didn’t create an chances in those fixtures and after playing the entire 120 minutes in City’s League Cup final win over Chelsea, Pep Guardiola may opt to bench him with Gabriel Jesus – currently a doubt – getting the nod instead. Leroy Sane, who was a substitute during the final should be a certain starter among City’s big guns.
PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG (11.2m) only came on as a late substitute against Southampton so should be nailed on for a start against Bournemouth at the Emirates Stadium. The Cherries have lost their last eight away games in a row, scoring just three times and conceding 22 goals. Only Aguero has had more big chances than Aubameyang in their last four home matches.
TWO TO WATCH
SALOMON RONDON | NEWCASTLE UNITED | 5.8M
Having managed two goals and two assists in his last five outings, Salomon Rondon is one of the most sought after budget strikers in FPL. After coming through a tough run during which they faced United, Chelsea, City and Tottenham from GW21-25, Newcastle are now enjoying good fixtures. They are not due for a blank for the rest of the season as of now and only have Arsenal and Liverpool to left play from the top six this campaign.
ASHLEY BARNES | BURNLEY | 5.6M
Speaking of in-form budget strikers, you could do worse than Burnley’s Ashley Barnes. He’s been incredibly consistent of late, scoring in each of the last four games and bagging an assist along the way as well. He’s thriving in his strike partnership with Chris Wood and only face one top six side in Liverpool over their next seven games.
TWO TO AVOID
AYMERIC LAPORTE | MANCHESTER CITY | 6.0M
City’s most reliable centre-back this season, Aymeric Laporte may have to get the boot from FPL squads for the time being. The Frenchman injured himself chasing Eden Hazard during the League Cup final and is only due back on March 9 when they host Watford in GW30 before blanking in the following round. At 6m, it’s best to get rid of the defender and perhaps draft him back him later while playing your wildcard – if you’ve pocketed it for the final stretch.
MARCUS RASHFORD | MANCHESTER UNITED | 7.8M
An ankle injury during the first half against Liverpool was no doubt aggravated as he was forced to soldier on for the entire 90 minutes as his team-mates around him dropped like flies. He will likely miss the next couple of games before facing Arsenal in GW30 followed by a blank in the next round. Like Laporte, a similar strategy applies, unless of course you have two other strikers in your squad who can tide you over.