Gameweek 35 Preview
With just 4 gameweeks left to play, managers will want to ensure that they’re squeezing every bit of value out of their team’s. As we’re in the business end of the season, not only will player form need to be considered, but also team form and whether they have anything left to play for.
Teams such as West Ham and Crystal Palace secured their Premier League status a while ago now and have nothing particular to play for, so you may wish to consider transferring out these players in exchange for those either pushing for Europe or fighting for survival.
Newcastle United are in freefall at the moment and they come up against a Leicester side that’s only defeat in their last 5 matches was against champions elect Chelsea. Leicester were as short as 1/12 to go down at one point this season and are now 4/1, with QPR, Burnley and Sunderland all looking doomed. Given this, both Leonardo Ulloa (£4.9m) and Jamie Vardy (£4.7m) offer great value if you’re looking for a cheaper striker to supplement more expensive players elsewhere in your squad. On the other hand, Newcastle are probably going to need to pick up another win to secure their Premier League status, so if you’re looking to make up a few points on the manager above you, then Ayoze (£4.3m) could be the gamble that you’re looking for. The Spanish youngster has endured a difficult first season in England, but has still managed to score 6 league goals this season (1 less than 5th place Liverpool’s top scorer) and after a goal against Swansea last weekend he may be worth the risk.
Elsewhere, many teams will be flooded with Chelsea players following their double gameweek last time out and you’d be wise to retain all of these. Should Mourinho’s men claim 3 points at home to Crystal Palace on Sunday lunch time then they’ll be crowned champions for the first time in 4 years. Recent PFA Player of the Year, Eden Hazard (£11.4m), is in over 46% of teams and so we’ll look at an alternative place for a tip this week. Diego Costa and Loic Remy are both still struggling with injury and after his goal midweek, it looks as if the role of lone striker is once again going to fall to 37 year old Didier Drogba (£6.0m). Although he looked off the pace against both QPR and Man United recently, he’s Chelsea’s on realistic option up top and with the magic of Hazard (£11.4m) and Fabregas (£9.4m) supplying him, you’d back him to score. Additionally, after his heroics in the Champions League final back in 2012, you could be forgiven for thinking the writings on the wall for him to score the goal at Stamford Bridge that brings Chelsea the title.
Aston Villa host Everton this weekend and although Tim Sherwood has gained a lot of plaudits for his work since he took over what looked to be a dead and buried Villa side, they’re still not safe and find themselves 2 points above the drop zone. Villa’s turnaround can be somewhat attributed to Tim Sherwood’s reignition of striker Christian Benteke (£7.6m), who has bagged 8 goals in the 9 matches since he was appointed, in comparison to 2 in the 16 prior to this. However, although Villa are fighting for their lives, Everton themselves are in fine form and come off the back of a 3-0 demolition of Manchester United last Sunday at Goodison Park. Winger Kevin Mirallas (£7.2m) has scored in each of his last 2 appearances for the Toffee’s, taking his tally for the season to 9, and with a summer transfer being muted, he’ll be looking to put himself even further in the shop window.
In addition to some clever transfers, a shrewd captain choice could easily be the difference between final league positions, so remember to take this into consideration when selecting your team this week.