FPL Gameweek 30 – The Fixtures

With the impending blank and double gameweeks right around the corner, Gameweek 30 offers the last semblance of normality (at least for a little while) for FPL managers. Preparing for the upcoming BGW31 is vital, so with that in mind we take a look at a number of potential transfer targets from sides that not only have an attractive looking fixture in GW30 but who also are set to play in BGW31.

GW30 FIXTURES [Deadline: Saturday, 11.30am]

Saturday 9th March

Crystal Palace vs Brighton (12:30)

Cardiff vs West Ham (15:00)

Huddersfield vs Bournemouth (15:00)

Leicester vs Fulham (15:00)

Newcastle vs Everton (15:00)

Southampton vs Spurs (15:00)

Man City vs Watford (17:30)

Sunday 10th March

Liverpool vs Burnley (12:00)

Chelsea vs Wolves (14:05)

Arsenal vs Man Utd (16:30)

TOUGH AT THE KLOPP

After Liverpool got knocked off top spot at the weekend, the Anfield faithful will be hoping a home game against Burnley will return the club to winning ways. With Liverpool also set to face Fulham (a) and Southampton (a) in Gameweeks 31 and 33, tripling up on Liverpool assets would appear a wise investment. Normally this would bring Mohamed Salah (£13.4m) to the forefront of FPL managers thoughts, however with five blanks in his last six gameweeks, faith in Anfield’s Egyptian King is starting to waver.

A cheaper alternative to Salah could be Sadio Mane (£9.8m) (six goals in his last seven apps) but given the form of Liverpool’s defence, a double or even triple-up out of Trent Alexander-Arnold (£5.5m), Andrew Robertson (£6.9m), Virgil van Dijk (£6.6m) and Alisson (£6.0m) could be on the cards. The four players have been scoring, assisting and clean sheeting for fun over the last four gameweeks, on their way to a combined 134 points over those four matches.

RODGERS OUTFOXED

Back in the dugout, it was a rude return to life as a Premier League manager for Brendan Rodgers as his Leicester side conceded in the 92nd minute against Watford to fall to a 2-1 defeat. The former Celtic and Liverpool manager wasted little time in putting his own stamp on the squad, rolling out a 3-4-3 formation with Wes Morgan (£4.5m) offering a cheap route into the Leicester backline, as he returned to partner Harry Maguire (£5.4m) and Jonny Evans (£4.8m) in the back three. This defensive shift meant Ricardo Pereira (£5.4m) and Ben Chilwell (£5.0m) operated much higher up the pitch than normal and it is these two that maybe offer the most value for money from Leicester’s defensive players (despite recent disappointment).

At the sharp end of the pitch, Harvey Barnes (£5.5m) and James Maddison (£6.7m) were the two attacking midfielders chosen to flank Jamie Vardy (£8.9m). Vardy continued to show his value with a second goal in as many matches and with Leicester set to play Fulham (H), Burnley (a), Bournemouth (H), Huddersfield (a) and Newcastle (H) in their next five fixtures, the Englishman will be looking to fill his boots.

HAPPY HAMMERS

West Ham got back to winning ways as they recorded a 2-0 victory last time out at home to Newcastle. In addition to the three points, their clean sheet was a first in seven Premier League matches. If the Hammers are to gain a measure of consistency and sustain a winning run then stringing together a few clean sheets would greatly improve their prospects. Facing the Premier League’s two lowest scoring teams in the next two gameweeks - Cardiff (a) and Huddersfield (H) - they’ll not have a better chance to do so all season.

The top defensive choice from West Ham is their last line of defence. Not only capable of keeping a clean sheet, Lukasz Fabianski (£4.7m) has registered more saves then any other keeper this season, a statistic illustrated by the fact he has registered a saves point in five of his last six matches.

Along the backline, the full-back positions seem to be in a state of flux with two from Pablo Zabaleta (£4.3m), Aaron Cresswell (£5.0m), Ryan Fredericks (£4.5m) and Arthur Masuaku (£4.3m) being selected on any given matchday. Therefore the security of minutes brings us to Issa Diop (£4.3m) and Declan Rice (£4.6m) as the top options to bring in, with Rice the preferred choice, as he plays a little further forward.

Amongst the attacking outlets, Felipe Anderson (£7.2m) seems the safest bet to play 90 minutes in all upcoming matches and is currently West Ham’s top scoring FPL asset. A word of caution though, as the Brazilian has just one attacking return in his last ten matches.

A CLUSTER OF CHERRIES

Having come through matches against Arsenal and Manchester City, Bournemouth has arguably one of the friendliest looking run-ins to end the season. The Cherries are set to face Huddersfield (a), Newcastle (H), Leicester (a), Burnley (H), Brighton (a), Fulham (H), Southampton (a), Spurs (H) and Crystal Palace (a) between now and their summer holidays. Guaranteed to have a match in BGW31 and BGW33, a triple-up on Bournemouth players requires serious consideration, particularly for FPL managers who have already made use of their wildcards.

As our resident FPL guru’s Trystan Pugh and Rob Esteva constantly point out in the TSZ podcast (to be found at the top of the article), Bournemouth are “horrendously leaky” and they would “avoid them completely” when it comes to Bournemouth’s defensive players. In the interest of transparency, it should be pointed out that Rob is, in his own words, “anti-Bournemouth”. Moving on!

Further forward, the quartet of Ryan Fraser (£6.1m), David Brooks (£5.0m), Joshua King (£6.5m) and Callum Wilson (£6.3m) have consistently offered FPL points at budget prices. Of the midfield options, Fraser may be the top Bournemouth point scorer but he has struggled for form since Wilson’s injury. Fortunately for Fraser owners, Wilson is back in training.

Still if you can’t decide which to bring in then fear not! FPL_Col has done the heavy lifting and laid out the stats for you:

Of the two forwards, King is our differential captain pick for Gameweek 30.

HIGUAI-IN!!

With an upcoming match against Wolves (H) in Gameweek 30, Chelsea are in a rare position whereby they have a fixture in BGW31, vs Everton (a), and the potential for two fixtures in DGW32.

For those players without the chips to navigate this period of the FPL season, now is the time to stockpile Chelsea players. Lost in the debacle that was Kepa Arrizabalaga (£5.4m) in the League Cup final, there was a solid Chelsea performance, which was backed up with a 2-0 win against Spurs followed by a gritty 2-1 victory away to Fulham. The players do indeed seem to be playing for their manager. David Luiz (£5.9m) was rested for the match against Fulham, as was Marcos Alonso (£6.4m). Of the two, Alonso looks on the shakiest ground with Emerson Palmieri (£5.2m) having also replaced the Spaniard in that infamous League Cup final.

While Eden Hazard (£10.8m) registered an assist, it was Gonzalo Higuaín (£9.6m) who scored in that match and is starting to look more like the player that was so prolific under Sarri at Napoli. On the other side of midfield Willian (£7.1m) and Pedro (£6.3m) offer cheaper alternatives into the Chelsea frontmen.

BEST OF THE GW31 FIXTURELESS REST

Manchester City

Next five fixtures: Watford (H), BLANK, Fulham (a), Cardiff (H), Crystal Palace (a)

Potential Targets: Sergio Aguero (£11.8m), Raheem Sterling (£11.4m), David Silva (£8.5m), Bernardo Silva (£7.5m), Leroy Sane (£9.4m)

Other than the obvious, the one player to watch here is Sane. With Kevin De Bruyne (£9.7m) once again injured and Fernandinho (£5.3m) suspended, Bernardo Silva could be in-line for a return to the middle of midfield, leaving a vacancy on one of City’s wings.

Spurs

Next five fixtures: Southampton (a), BLANK, Liverpool (a), Brighton (H), Huddersfield (H)

Potential Targets: Harry Kane (£12.4m),Christian Eriksen (£9.3m), Heung-Min Son (£8.8m), Kieran Trippier (£6.1m), Hugo Lloris (£5.5m)