REVEALED: The #FPL Team You Should Pick For ‘Wildcard Week 34’, Featuring Arsenal, Chelsea & Liverpool Stars
So we’re doing something a little different this week.
Instead of the usual array of five players to pick for the upcoming Gameweek, we’ll instead be honouring the fact that it’s Wildcard Week by giving you our recommendation for the rest of the season, on one of the final weeks you can use your wildcard for 2014/15.
Ready? Let’s go:
GOALKEEPERS: David Ospina, Boaz Myhill
We know that we don’t often like discussing goalkeepers here, but the rise of Arsenal’s David Ospina since replacing Wojciech Szczesny in the Gunners goal in January makes him difficult to ignore.
With Arsenal facing two matches in Gameweek 37 then he can be a man to trust stand between your sticks, with West Brom’s Boaz Myhill a cheap substitute and also guaranteed to play for his side.
DEFENDERS: Nacho Monreal, Jeffrey Schlupp, Branislav Ivanovic, Alberto Moreno, Aaron Cresswell
Four of our five featured defenders face Double Gameweeks between now and the end of the season, with Leicester’s Jeffrey Schlupp, Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic and Liverpool’s Alberto Moreno all in action twice over the coming week.
Arsenal’s Nacho Monreal has done well to displace Kieran Gibbs from the Gunners’ left-back spot this season, whilst Aaron Cresswell could be a beneficiary of West Ham’s somewhat kind run-in to the end of the season, and has been hugely impressive in his first Premier League campaign.
MIDFIELDERS: Jordan Henderson, Philippe Coutinho, Andy King, Cesc Fabregas, Eden Hazard
Double Gameweeks are again a key element of our midfield quintet, which is dominated by Liverpool and Chelsea players.
Your captaincy choices for this week should centre here, too, and perhaps a gamble on the Reds’ creator in chief Philippe Coutinho could pay off given that Cesc Fabregas and Eden Hazard face a tough game at Arsenal.
Jordan Henderson could also be a good left-field choice for the captain’s armband, whilst Leicester’s Andy King completes our five given that he’s scored twice in his last three games.
FORWARDS: Harry Kane, Sergio Aguero, Olivier Giroud
There are some players that you simply can’t ignore, however, and Harry Kane’s form this season means that he’s one of them.
The Tottenham forward faces a tough fixture at Southampton this weekend, and might find himself in the unusual position of being left on the bench by many Fantasy bosses, particularly if they’ve also got Sergio Aguero and Olivier Giroud to call upon.
Aguero has found his form again after struggling for a few weeks, whilst Giroud is now Arsenal’s main man after a terrific run of form, and the Frenchman has seen his ownership level rocket as a result.
It’s a bit of a stealth Double Gameweek, this.
Because of the FA Cup semi-finals, two teams don’t play at all, whilst of the four who play twice, one are away to the current league leaders and two of the others have spent all of their season in the lower reaches of the table. One of them is currently rock bottom.
All of which leads you to one team this week, and luckily they are a team bang in form.
Everton know that over the next week they can cement their claims for a top four finish and Champions League football next season.
Following their sixth win in a row against Arsenal last weekend, Roberto Martinez’s Blues now go to a slumping Sunderland before following that up with a home game against a carefree Crystal Palace who are pretty much assured of their Premier League status for next season.
Because of the opportunity for Everton goals, the eyes are immediately drawn to forward Romelu Lukaku (£9.0m), who is sure to see his ownership rate rise over the coming days.
The Belgian recorded a double figure points score for the fourth time this season and the second time in three games in the demolition of the Gunners, and wherever he ends up playing next season the on-loan Chelsea man appears determined to shoot Everton into the top four during this one.
Lukaku has received strong attacking support from the likes of Steven Naismith (£4.6m) and Kevin Mirallas (£7.6m) in recent weeks, but the Blues’ defence also deserves some attention given that they are facing two of the lowest scorers in the division.
Everyone knows about how well Seamus Coleman (£6.9m) has done this season, but his young teammate John Stones (£4.1m) has come into the team in the last six matches, and it’s no coincidence that Everton have won all of those games.
Stones has been excellent since coming in for the injured Phil Jagielka, and this week it could pay to partner him with Coleman in your defence as the Blues look to keep things tight at the back.
Of the other teams facing Double Gameweeks, Manchester City head into what is surely the match of the season against Liverpool on Sunday and then follow that up with the much more winnable contest at home to Sunderland.
The Anfield meeting will of course be on a knife edge, and whilst you really can’t confidently predict which way it will go, the opportunity of some extra points for City players before they go into the Sunderland game means that they really can’t be ignored.
David Silva (£9.5m) has been excellent since moving into the No. 10 position behind the main striker, usually Edin Dzeko (£7.2m), but after his goal against Southampton it is perhaps Samir Nasri (£8.2m) who warrants the most attention.
The Frenchman will be a key goal threat at Anfield, and will also fancy his chances of impressing against Sunderland, a match which – like Everton v Crystal Palace – takes place now after it was postponed due to high winds in February.
Elsewhere, the big relegation battle between Fulham and Norwich at Craven Cottage could see Steve Sidwell (£5.3m) impress for the home side, whilst Stoke City look like being the latest team to profit from the fact that Newcastle United appear to have packed up for the season. Marko Arnautovic (£5.1m) and Peter Odemwingie (£5.4m) could impress at the Britannia Stadium.
West Brom’s Morgan Amalfitano (£4.2m) has rediscovered some of his early season form in the past few weeks and he could be worth a gamble as the Baggies host Tottenham, whilst after he returned from the bench in dismal circumstances at Goodison Park last Sunday, Arsenal could give Aaron Ramsey (£6.9m) a start in their match against West Ham.
The sun is shining and Michu (£8.0m) is scoring goals. It suddenly feels like August again doesn’t it?
Swansea’s Spaniard made one of the most spectacular entrances into Fantasy Premier League that we can remember, scoring four goals in his first three games and finishing the year 2012 on 13 strikes. All whilst handily listed as a midfielder.
The goals saw his Fantasy price rocket up from an initial £6.5m, with his ownership percentage increasing each week as a result. However since a goal against Manchester United just before Christmas, Michu has scored just four in 12 games since then. As a player who doesn’t contribute many assists (just two in that time and three all season), the Spaniard started to lose support.
The early season additions to many teams still sees his ownership percentage at a huge 44.1%, above the likes of Luis Suarez (39.8%), Robin van Persie (37.8%) and indeed everyone else, and after a recent return to goalscoring form there will be even more managers who are willing to take him on board in the closing weeks of the season.
Strikes against Tottenham and Norwich in the past two weeks have taken Michu’s tally to 17 goals this campaign, and after Swansea missed out on playing last weekend he has a double gameweek on the horizon in a bid to find even more.
This weekend though he faces a home game against a Southampton side who have failed to win away at a team ranked above them in the table all season, and so Michael Laudrup’s side will be confident of delivering a victory which will keep them in the top half of the table.
Michu is almost certain to be key to those hopes.
Elsewhere on a Saturday which is likely to go a long way towards determining who will be relegated this season, Norwich host a struggling Reading outfit who still look set to go down despite goalkeeper Alex McCarthy (£3.9m) earning them a point from a goalless draw with Liverpool last weekend.
Like Michu, Robert Snodgrass (£6.3m) scored in the last game at Carrow Road – Norwich’s 2-2 draw with Swansea – and the Scottish midfielder is likely to be a key element to the Canaries’ attempts to break down the Royals on Saturday, when Snodgrass will be looking to improve on his record of five goals and six assists this season.
FA Cup finalists Wigan are another side battling the drop, and although they could find it tough this weekend as they return to London to face West Ham, they do so offer intriguing cheap forward options in Arouna Kone (£6.6m) and Callum McManaman (£4.5m).
QPR simply have to beat struggling Stoke if any hope of them staying up is to remain, and so Loic Remy (£5.9m) is certain to be one to watch, whilst Sunderland’s Adam Johnson (£6.7m) is sure to be key to his side’s hopes of a second successive win as they host a strong Everton outfit.
Sunday’s matches bring together four of the top seven in a couple of big-hitting clashes, and whilst Tottenham will be hoping for the return to fitness of Gareth Bale (£10.5m) ahead of their match against Manchester City, it is a return to form that Suarez (£11.1m) will be after as Liverpool host Chelsea. After hitting 11 goals in 10 matches, the Uruguayan now hasn’t managed any in his last four.
Monday night will see Manchester United expect a victory from their home clash with Aston Villa, and whilst Van Persie (£13.6m) managed to find the net for the first time in 12 and a half hours of football for United against Stoke last weekend, it could be Wayne Rooney (£12.1m) who steals the show this time.
Stationed in a deeper role against Stoke, Rooney will be determined to return to a position further forward here, and he could just make struggling Villa pay.