We’re firmly into the home straight of the 2020/21 FPL season now and it’s a sprint to the finish to see who can get that magical Top 10k / 5k / 1k spot that will be bragged about over pints for years to come.
This is where the wheat gets cut from the chaff, where the brave take chances and where you can make yourself a legend.
Are you ready? Well, are you?
Defender: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Liverpool
Possibly the most talked about defender in the English game right now, we need to separate ourselves from the hyperbole and the hysteria, to focus on his numbers.
Right now, his numbers are good. Three clean sheets in his last five games, maximum bonus points on all three occasions and an assist thrown in for good measure.
This week he faces a home game against Aston Villa, and while it’s true to say that Liverpool haven’t won at Anfield in over 98 years or so, Villa are not the same team with Jack Grealish, and there is a doubt around his availability for this game. Even with Grealish back, the return of Fabinho as a defensive midfielder has protected the inexperienced CB pairing behind him.
While they were exposed once more against Real Madrid in midweek, Aston Villa are not Real Madrid, with all due respect.
If TAA is out of your budget however, I wouldn’t put you off looking at Kabak or Phillips for the clean sheet potential.
Midfielder: Matheus Pereira, West Bromwich Albion
Fresh from mauling the much-vaunted Thomas Tuchel last weekend, Big Sam Allardyce will now pit his wits against Ralph Hassenhutl.
Matheus Pereira was astonishing at Stamford Bridge with two goals and two assists netting him an astonishing 21 points, and there’s reason to believe he can continue this form against a Southampton side who should be safe with a 10 point barrier between them and the drop zone.
The Saints have the second worst defensive record in the division however (ironically second to their opponents this week), so I expect goals in this fixture. My hunch is that Pereira will be among them.
Forward: Aleksandar Mitrovic, Fulham
When you’re hot, you’re hot and right now Mitro is red hot.
If you haven’t been following the gazillions of international matches during the recent international break you may have missed the fact that Mitrovic was banging them in from all angles for his country. He brought that confidence and form back to the Premier League by putting Fulham ahead against Aston Villa in GW30. While that itself turned out to be nothing more than a consolation for the Cottagers, it will have kept up Mitro’s dander, and this week he faces a Friday Night Lights outing at home to the defensively wobbly Wolves.
Captain: Harry Kane, Tottenham Hotspur
Just the seventh double digit haul of the season for Harry Kane as he now leads the race for this seasons golden boot.
At this stage of the season you are searching for those players with motivation, and looking to avoid those who like to mentally don their flip-flops in April and head for the metaphorical beach of their mind weeks before the curtain falls on the season.
One of those previous six double digit hauls for Kane this season was at Old Trafford, where Spurs walloped United. Kane has Maguire’s number. He knows it. Harry knows it. Jose knows it.
Now, you know it.
Outsider: Matej Vydra, Burnley
This tip is partly motivated by form and partly motivated by ‘Who plays Newcastle next?’.
Vydra has two goals and an assist in his last four and is getting regular starts alongside Chris Wood. He is owned by just 1.1% and costs £4.8m.
Burnley also are motivated as they look to AVENGE their defeat at St. James’s Park in GW4.
If I’m right, it’ll be misery around South S.H.I.E.L.D.S as we all shout HAIL VYDRA!