GW36 Preview: Arsenal’s Lukas Podolski could offer valuable points in closing weeks
Now removed of the pressure associated with a title race, Arsenal seem to have gone back to playing attractive, attacking football, at least if the second half against West Ham and the Hull game which followed are anything to go by.
Also key to those Gunners victories has been the presence of Lukas Podolski (£7.8m) in the starting lineup, with the German managing to double his tally of Premier League goals output for the season in the space of six days last week.
Owned by just 2.3% of Fantasy bosses at the time of writing, the key problem with selecting Podolski for your team has always been the fact that he tends not to last the full 90 minutes for Arsenal, but he did just that against West Ham and was withdrawn with just seven minutes left against Hull.
Arsene Wenger appears to have noted that his side play better with another attacking threat playing off Olivier Giroud (£8.5m), and although both Mesut Ozil (£9.5m) and Aaron Ramsey (£7.2m) have returned from their injuries in recent weeks and both are worth considering for selection, Wenger surely has to keep Podolski in his team based on recent form.
The Gunners are now widely expected to sew up their usual spot in the top four in the coming weeks, as they host Newcastle on Monday, then face a home game with West Brom before going to Norwich on the final day.
Podolski will be key to that effort as they bid to go into the FA Cup final in the greatest possible mood, and having more than made his point to his manager in recent weeks, he could make your team a few more before the end of the campaign.
Elsewhere, another potentially decisive Premier League weekend will see Liverpool host Chelsea knowing that a win would place them within touching distance of the Premier League title.
Of course this will be a hugely difficult game for the Reds, but the form of Raheem Sterling (£5.8m) is proving impossible to ignore, and he could again be turned to in another clash which is sure to have Anfield rocking.
The fact that six clubs face double Gameweeks next week should be uppermost in your thinking though, especially given that Manchester City are one of them and are refusing to give up on their title challenge.
Sergio Aguero (£12.5m) has bounced back from injury and scored in the win over West Brom on Monday, and although City face a tough trip to Crystal Palace on Sunday and Aguero perhaps isn’t quite 100% fit yet, he is still one of the top performers in the division even when he’s not in full working order.
David Silva (£9.8m) got injured in that game and things don’t look good for him, but Samir Nasri (£8.6m) remains in fine fettle and he’ll be crucial if City are going to continue to have a say in the destination of the title.
Another side who double up in Gameweek 37 are Sunderland, and following their stunning win at Chelsea they’ll be bouncing into this weekend’s crucial game at home to Cardiff full of confidence.
Fabio Borini (£6.2m) proved his worth to the club with the winning penalty at Stamford Bridge, but perhaps it will pay to back winger Adam Johnson (£6.4m) to rediscover some of the form that he found earlier in the season and impress in a match which is bound to go a long way towards deciding who’ll stay in the Premier League for next season.