The FA Cup is one of the best competitions in the world and with Rochdale pulling off a 2-2 draw with Spurs to gain a Wembley replay, it shows once again why it is revered as one of the best cup competitions in football.
The impact of the competition is felt however in the Premier League and as such has an impact on Fantasy Premier League managers. Today, we will be looking ahead to game week 28 but we need to have one eye on GW31 which will have just four fixtures if Spurs do manage to see off Rochdale in that replay. Further repercussions are set for GW35 and a double gameweek 34 is expected – don’t you just love FPL?!!
We mentioned last week that GW31 was likely to be hit and it is now confirmed as Bournemouth, West Brom, Huddersfield, Crystal Palace, Stoke, Everton, Liverpool and Watford are the only guarantees for game time that week. Spurs and Newcastle will play if Spurs don’t beat Rochdale at home in their replay – but that isn’t likely.
If you still have a free hit chip up your sleeve then it makes sense to save it for GW31 rather than GW35 as there will be more teams playing in GW35. Instead, it makes more sense to start to centre your teams around the double game week 34 (yet to be confirmed) whilst reserving the free hit for the blanks. If you have that free hit chip then you have a significant advantage and can call it business as usual for gameweek 28 – which is what we will be doing for the purpose of this article.
Game Week 28 Top Picks
With games spanning from Saturday 24th February to Thursday 1st March, game week 28 will be a long protracted affair… we assess the fixtures most likely to return big in the last FPL game week of the month.
Leicester City Vs. Stoke City
The Riyad Mahrez saga looks to have blown over now but it has hardly effected Jamie Vardy who has scored a goal per game in each of the last four Premier League games for Leicester. At £8.6m he is a top choice and with a home game against Stoke and relatively easy fixtures between now and GW38, it could be worth joining the 18.1% of managers who have put their faith in him.
Looks like a home win in this game.
Liverpool Vs. West Ham
You never quite know what you are going to get with West Ham these days and whilst they have been rocked with injury they have not lived up to their early promise under David Moyes yet. The same could be said for Liverpool who seem to blow a team apart one week and then lose to a Swansea-like team the next, although you have to say that this game looks perfectly set for the home side.
It was the Salah and Firmino show again last time out and it might be getting a little repetitive but these are the two to focus on again here. Marko Arnautovic was a top pick before he got injured and we tipped him in ‘The Last Word’ last week and he duly obliged with a goal. £6.9m is a bargain for forward but be warned that West Ham have a tough run in to come.
Man Utd Vs. Chelsea
Prepare for a tight affair in this one as Mourinho will be looking to do a number on his old club as he welcomes them to Old Trafford. Whether the issues with Paul Pogba will be sorted in time for this game remain to be seen, but unless there is an early goal in this game it is one for the defenders.
United have been more consistent in defence this season – a lot more so than Chelsea – and so our money is on the home side to squeak this one. Lukaku scored a couple in the cup against Huddersfield and will hopefully continue his scoring run to reward his managers who have kept the faith.
Crystal Palace Vs. Spurs
Palace were poor against Everton last time out and with things so tight at the bottom of the league they will need to fight with all they have in this game. Spurs were hardly convincing in the cup and their Champions League performances might be catching up with them a little. That being said, Spurs should have enough to overcome Roy Hodgson’s side here and with Lucas Moura scoring a debut goal against Rochdale, he is a new player for managers to consider.
Expect Hodgson to sure his defence up for this one so it might be worth looking elsewhere for a captain pick this week.
Arsenal Vs. Man City
If the Man Utd Vs. Chelsea game is expected to be a bore fest then this one has all the makings of being the complete opposite. Both of these sides excel in attack rather than defence and with Arsenal having home advantage they will have to go out and attack City.
Aubameyang provides Arsenal with the opportunity of a serious counter attacking threat when City do push on which they will do for large parts of the game so this is a fascinating encounter.
Aguero scored four goals last time out but with Jesus returning to full training his place could be under threat. That being said, with Sane still out injured, there is room in the team for both. Take you pick from the wealth of talent on both sides and if you haven’t picked up Aubameyang or Mkhitaryan for budget prices yet then there is no better time.
We will be back later this week with the captain picks and the podcast so be sure to check back.