By Sachin Dholakia
watfordfc.com's resident FPL expert Sachin Dholakia reviews the latest weekend of Fantasy Premier League action.
It was a scrappy encounter at Vicarage Road as the Hornets defenders came out on top in Gameweek 23 after a 0-0 draw with Burnley.
Kiko Femenía (9 points) was the standout player, obtaining all three bonus points in addition to his clean sheet, despite limping off late on in the second half. Adrian Mariappa (8) picked up two bonus points, while Christian Kabasele (7) and Burnley keeper Tom Heaton (7) picked up one apiece.
Both Heaton and Ben Foster (8) made good saves to deny a crucial opening goal, although the referee denied the visitors a late winner with a dubious offside call.
Despite the draw, the Golden Boys remain 7th in the league but face a tough away fixture against Spurs at Wembley after the FA Cup tie at Newcastle. On a team-by-team basis, the Hornets appear to have the toughest five upcoming fixtures out of any team in the league and it could be worth looking elsewhere despite the temptation to stay loyal.
It was a high-scoring week elsewhere in the league, with an unlikely top points-scorer in Newcastle’s Fabian Schär, who scored a massive 21 points courtesy of two goals and a clean sheet in their 3-0 win over Cardiff.
Diogo Jota (19) scored a hat-trick as Wolves beat Leicester 4-3 at Molineux while another 4-3 saw Mo Salah (15) come out on top with yet another two goals in their enthralling game against Crystal Palace. The Egyptian has five 10+ scores in the last six weeks and has risen to a hefty price of £13.5, although he’ll prove hard to resist even at that price if he keeps this form up.
Danilo (15) made the most of injuries in Manchester City’s defence to score and keep a clean sheet in a 3-0 away win against struggling Huddersfield, while Arsenal defenders Laurent Koscielny (15) and Sokratis (12) impressed in their win over Chelsea.
It was yet another quiet week for strikers with only Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson (9) making an appearance in the FPL dream team. As evident this season so far, funds should be focussed on improving your midfield, with only one premium striker the preferred option for many FPL managers this season.
Liam Moretti stormed to the top of the Watford global league with the highest score in the Top 10 courtesy of a well-timed wildcard, although it remains to be seen if there will be any regret for the Double Gameweeks! Congratulations if you made the Top 10 this week.
Tip Of The Week
Use a wide range of sources to find out if players are returning from injury. The official FPL ‘likely to play’ percentages can sometimes be widely off the mark so the best source would be managers in pre-game press conferences and announcements from the club itself.
If you time a player returning perfectly, you could get them in at a cheap price and watch their price increase with regular starts in the weeks that follow.
Players To Watch
1) Sead Kolašinac (Arsenal, £4.9) has started all but one of the last thirteen league games for Arsenal, and has picked up 14 points in the last three Gameweeks after a clean sheet and an assist. Manchester City aside, Arsenal have some favourable fixtures coming up and the Bosnian is likely to add to his points tally.
2) Danny Ings (Southampton, £5.5) has returned from injury and is set to lead the line again for Southampton after an impressive scoring run earlier on in the season. He’s available for a budget price compared to the more expensive Jiménez and Rashford who have seen multiple price rises – the forward could be an interesting differential.
3) Paul Pogba (Manchester United, £8.7) has already risen by £0.9 over the last six weeks and is now at nearly 40% ownership, but there is no denying the impact that new manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær has had on the Frenchman. He remains on penalty duties and has favourable fixtures, so it may harm you to not have him in your team.
Likely Price Rises:
Marcus Rashford (Manchester United, £7.7), Mo Salah (Liverpool, £13.5), Leroy Sané (Manchester City, £9.7), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool, £9.3)
Likely Price Falls:
Dele Alli (Tottenham £8.9), Eden Hazard (Chelsea, £11.0), Robert Snodgrass (West Ham, £5.2), Felipe Anderson (West Ham, £7.3)
Best of luck for Gameweek 24 FPL managers!