Another Premier League weekend is just around the corner, featuring a North London derby, a crucial relegation clash between Stoke and Brighton, Virgil Van Dijk’s return to Southampton with Liverpool, and much more besides. With some teams recovering from midweek FA Cup antics and others preparing for European fixtures in the week ahead, getting your Fantasy Premier League team right could be a challenge, but luckily our friends at Armchair Fancast – the weekly podcast discussing all the latest happenings from the Premier League – are here to help with five great value picks for the week. Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes here, and follow them on Twitter here!
- Alfie Mawson (SWA, £5.1): Swansea’s recovery under Carlos Carvalhal has caught many by surprise, not least the shoring up of their defence, which has only conceded six times in six games since the former Sheffield Wednesday boss came on board (by way of comparison they leaked 15 goals in the previous six games). Mawson has shown attacking threat as well as defensive prowess recently, and his match against Burnley this weekend is the first of five consecutive matches for the Swans that look eminently winnable.
- Nathan Ake (BOU, £5.0): Bournemouth are unbeaten in 7 games – their longest ever such run in the Premier League – while opponents Huddersfield have plummeted to 19th thanks to five consecutive defeats, four of which were to nil. This all suggests a comfortable away win for the Cherries this weekend and quite possibly a clean sheet too, so any of their back line is a good choice. We’ve picked Ake here because he carries the most attacking threat, having scored in the win against Chelsea last week and also against West Ham over Christmas.
- James Ward-Prowse (SOU, £5.1): Who do you think is the most in-form player in the game? Salah? Aguero? Hazard perhaps? All wrong – it’s James Ward-Prowse, averaging over 9 points in the last 4 gameweeks. His rise in form has mirrored his team’s too – Southampton haven’t lost in the league since 2nd January and are hosting a Liverpool side that has conceded at least once in 10 of its 13 away games so far. Ward-Prowse is still only owned by about 2% of players too, so it’s worth jumping on this bandwagon now before everyone else realises what they’re missing.
- Xherdan Shaqiri (STK, £6.1): Stoke are still struggling near the foot of the table despite Paul Lambert’s arrival, but one man who looks rejuvenated is Shaqiri. The Swiss midfielder picked up a goal and 2 bonus points despite his team’s loss to Bournemouth last weekend, and his performances suggest that plenty more may follow. With the exception of a trip to the Etihad, Stoke’s next 5 games look reasonable – especially this Saturday afternoon against Brighton, who have the worst scoring record of any team in the league away from home.
- Salomon Rondon (WBA, £6.0): Whether or not this is a good pick all depends on just how bad you think things are at Chelsea. On paper a home match against the bottom team in the league should be a breeze, but something is clearly wrong at Stamford Bridge following the recent disasters against Bournemouth and Watford. If Conte’s men find that bad news really does come in threes (and that still remains a huge “if”) then Rondon is the most likely to benefit – he’s the Baggies’ joint top goalscorer, having most recently netted in last week’s 3-2 loss to Southampton.
Author: Dave Bradshaw