With the first leg of the all-English Champions League quarter final out of the way, it's time for Liverpool and Man City to turn their attention to their local rivals this weekend, with City poised to claim the Premier League title against United and Liverpool crossing the park to play Everton. Derbies are notoriously unpredictable, so instead our FPL player picks this week focus on five other teams who all have two matches in next week's bumper schedule. As always, these picks are brought to you by our friends at Armchair Fancast - the weekly podcast discussing all the latest happenings from the Premier League. Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes here, and follow them on Twitter here!
- James Tarkowski (BUR, £4.5): There’s no doubt about it, Burnley are back. With three wins in a row and only one loss in seven, it’s clear Sean Dyche has found a way to bring his team out of their winter malaise – and no-one has epitomized that comeback more than James Tarkowski. The center-back’s form has earned him an England debut in the past few weeks and a real shot at being on the plane to Russia. Of the teams above them Burnley only have Chelsea and Arsenal still to play, and even those look winnable – plus they are the only team to play three times in two weeks after Saturday’s game against Watford, so this remains a great time to invest.
- Ben Chilwell (LEI, £4.4): Having apparently won the competition with Christian Fuchs to be Leicester’s left-back, Chilwell has contributed to one of the league’s tightest defensive ships in the past few weeks. He’s also got assists in each of the past two weeks, and this week his side host a Newcastle team that has conceded an average of two goals in each of their past four away games. Leicester are another team with a solid-looking schedule for the final seven weeks, so this looks like a smart pick.
- Dele Alli (TOT, £8.9): One of the big questions for FPL managers this week is whether or not you should bring Kane back into your side yet, given his substitute appearance at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. If he starts at Stoke on Saturday then he could rake in the points, but there is a safer Tottenham option: Dele Alli was a menace against Chelsea in the number 9 role, and his two goals defied critics who have claimed he’s having a bad season. That criticism was always a bit exaggerated anyway: although his goal count is down this year he’s doing as well or better by most other measures, and has more assists than any of his seasons in a Spurs shirt so far.
- Willian (CHE, £7.1): Sadly for Chelsea fans the Blues have surrendered their Premier League title with a whimper over the latter part of this season, but Willian has been one of relatively few reasons to be optimistic. In the past four league games – three of which were losses to United, City and Spurs – he has scored twice and bagged five bonus points. The other bit of good news in West London is that the team’s run-in looks pretty relaxed too, with the exception of a clash with Liverpool in the penultimate week. Given their double hit next week, this might be a good time to go against the grain and show some faith in Chelsea – and if so then Willian is your man.
- Glenn Murray (BHA, £6.0): This might seem like an odd pick given that the goals have dried up for Brighton’s journeyman striker over the past two games, and his confidence may have taken a hit after his penalty miss last week. But don’t forget that before the international break he scored five goals in five games, and he has every opportunity to get back on form over the next couple of weeks: this week the Seagulls play Huddersfield, before a double-header next week that includes a match against out-of-form Crystal Palace. Beware, though: after that Brighton’s schedule gets positively ugly for the rest of the season, with Spurs, United, Liverpool and City all still to face.
Author: Dave Bradshaw