Gameweek 31+ Captain and Player Picks
Holly Shand from Fantasy Football Community returns with captaincy corner and her three player picks in three positions for Gameweek 31+.
Gameweek 30+ was an eventful one where the captaincy was concerned. In the end it was Manchester City assets who dominated, with those who backed Kevin De Bruyne and co. being richly rewarded. We do have rotation and injury to contend with in the hectic schedule. Arsenal and Watford are ahead when it comes to rest times between fixtures: Everton, Liverpool and Manchester City have less than 72 hours break before their Gameweek 31 fixture.
The shield pick is likely to be the most captained player of the week, allowing you to play safe and keep pace with the pack. The sword pick will be a less popular selection: if they perform it can shoot you up the overall rankings, but the risk from failure is higher.
Shield Pick: Mohammed Salah vs Crystal Palace
Anytime Goalscorer Odds:
Liverpool have the chance to clinch the Premier League title after a very long wait in historical and season terms. Expect Mo Salah to be at the heart of an emphatic reds win against a Crystal Palace side who could be on the beach. He has an incredible record against the Eagles, scoring three goals and grabbing two assists in three starts against them. He’s on 16 goals and 6 assists for the season and still in the hunt for the Golden Boot despite being a little behind his usual high scoring standards. The big question is whether he’s fit enough to start this one. He’s a man for the big occasion and the stage hasn’t looked more significant than this for Liverpool in their Premier League history. Will you play it safe with the Shield Pick?
Sword Pick: Richarlison vs Norwich
Anytime Goalscorer Odds:
There are plenty of intriguing captaincy options away from Liverpool, and it’s their Merseyside rivals who are likely to challenge them for the armband, given a favourable game against Norwich. Richarlison is behind just Salah, Mane and De Bruyne when it comes to fantasy returns for midfield this season, with an impressive ten goals and five assists. That’s just one attacking return off the levels he hit in the entirety of the previous season. His relationship with Dominic Calvert-Lewin is prominent and he has five goals under Ancelotti in 12 starts. Norwich have already conceded three goals to Southampton since the restart, with Everton a much more formidable attacking outfit. Are you going to take a risk in selecting the Sword Pick?
I share my top three players for each Gameweek, selecting one defender, one midfielder and one striker. These are players that I’m tipping for the FPL Dream Team and they could also make intriguing differential captain decisions for you to consider too.
DEF: Trent Alexander-Arnold vs Crystal Palace
It’s so difficult to look beyond Trent Alexander-Arnold when it comes to selecting defenders in FPL. He’s within the top five most owned players in the game and has a massive 14 assists. He always has a high ceiling, it’s difficult to forget the 24 point haul he managed in a single game earlier in the season. Crystal Palace have scored a meagre 28 goals this season, only Norwich have found the back of the net on fewer occasions. Can he achieve the holy grail of attacking return, clean sheet and bonus points once more?
MID: Bruno Fernandes vs Sheffield United
Many managers overlooked the Manchester United midfielder for the Double Gameweek and were punished when Bruno stepped up to convert a spot kick. That now puts him on six attacking returns in six Premier League starts and shows no signs of slowing down. Manchester United had another penalty shout overturned by VAR and it appears that he may share penalty duties with team-mate Marcus Rashford. He was hugely impressive against Spurs, creating the most big chances and having more shots on target than any other player. Opponents Sheffield United will be without Dean Henderson and John Egan from their defence, which should give United an offensive boost.
FOR: Raul Jimenez vs Bournemouth
Wolves face a Bournemouth side battling relegation, while they push for European cup spots at the opposite end of the Premier League table. It’s a favourable fixture and Jimenez is the main man at Wolves to chip in with attacking returns. He currently has an impressive 14 goals for the season, his highest tally in the Premier League, and shows no sign of slowing down. He grabbed a goal in the reverse fixture and has punished a number of struggling teams this season.
Until next time…
Find even more Fantasy Premier League Tips over on Holly’s website: Fantasy Football Community