The FA Cup isn’t just an afterthought competition where the best teams rest their best players, subjecting viewers to 90 minutes of that central midfielder who’s been kept in a cupboard for three months…
It also wreaks havoc on the Premier League schedule, causing FPL mangers unnecessary anxiety. If you’re unaware, cup obligations have resulted in four teams (Brighton, Chelsea, Everton and Manchester City) forcing their Gameweek 27 matches to be rescheduled, resulting in a blank – an FPL gameweek without a match.
As fate would have it, there is also a midweek gameweek to be contested on Tuesday and Wednesday. Oh, and the deadline to set your team for GW27 is Friday, with two matches kicking off tonight. Confused? Frustrated? Angry at that central midfielder? Congratulations, now you’re a Chelsea supporter.
Sead Kolasinac (DF, £5.1m)
Selected by: 6.9%
Sure, Arsenal have only kept one clean sheet in their last 10 league fixtures, but Kolasinac has three assists and five bonus points in those matches.
The “defender” has 23 key passes this term despite limited game time earlier in the season. In fact, he’s 11th among all defenders for key passes despite having played only 1,137 minutes. That’s better than Cesar Azpilicueta (20 key passes in 2,340′) or Trent Alexander-Arnold (20 in 1,518′).
Arsenal host Southampton this weekend knowing that the Saints have only scored 13 away goals in 13 matches, while conceding 23. Need another anecdotal reason to add Sead? His last six assists have come against Burnley, Fulham, Cardiff and Huddersfield.
The Bosnian will then have a midweek clash against Bournemouth, and looks like a good bet for returns at either end of the pitch.
Miguel Almiron (MF, £6.0m)
Selected by: 0.4%
In our Deadline Day column, we discussed Newcastle’s shiny new toy. Since that stunningly insightful analysis, the MLS Cup champion has recorded just 18 minutes of EPL action (predictably so, we must add).
What we didn’t write was that in GW27 he would get to start at home against Huddersfield, a team which has allowed 26 goals in 12 away games this season. That’s bad. Nearly as bad as Burnley, who’ve allowed 25 goals in 14 away games… and who Newcastle host in that midweek GW28.
Quick reminder: Almiron is fresh off a 13-goal, 11-assist MLS season which followed a nine-goal, eight-assist MLS debut year.
Jamie Vardy (FW, £8.8m)
Selected by: 4.1%
Harry Kane is back in training and Tottenham have a tasty fixture against Burnley. As desperate as the England man will be to rush his return after five weeks out, though, his manager won’t be so keen on the idea.
So Kane’s likely out this weekend. Leicester’s Vardy is not the fresh young face of the Foxes’ future, but remains a deadly front man who is about to face Crystal Palace and Brighton at the King Power.
Things haven’t gone particularly well for him under Claude Puel so far, and missed a first-touch penalty last time out against Tottenham, but he doesn’t blank for a fixture this weekend – or actually the rest of the year – and won’t face a top-six defence for nine weeks. Get him in.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Captain, £11.1m)
Selected by: 26.5%
PEA will be one of the most heavily favored captain selections this weekend, and witj good reason: as noted above, Arsenal host Southampton in GW27 and Bournemouth in GW28.
Uni Emery rested his ill striker in the 2-1 win over Fulham knowing he needed a result against BATE Borisov in the Europa League.
So after navigating his side beyond the Belarusian side, the Spaniard will surely start his best best team for each of the next two matches. The Gunners can hardly afford to drop points as they challenge for fourth.
Aubameyang has been exceptional this season – he leads all FPL players with 24 bonus points and is third overall with 15 goals scored. More importantly for managers looking to set and forget the armband, the Gabonese speedster hasn’t blanked in three straight matches since the opening fixtures of the season.
He scored against Bournemouth in the reverse fixture but didn’t when Arsenal were embarrassed by Southampton last time out, losing 3-2 at St. Mary’s. A goal in each match and a couple of bonus points this weekend are all but guaranteed.
FantasyYIRMA started in 2012 focused primarily on news and previews for the Fantasy Premier League. Following consecutive fantasy coverage across 255 gameweeks, we have decided to try to give back to the community and taken on board Mike Phillips (aka @BangAverageMike) and John Wallin (aka @FantasyGaffer) as unpaid interns.