Gameweek 35+ Captain and Player Picks
Holly Shand from Fantasy Football Community returns with captaincy corner and her three player picks in three positions for Gameweek 35+.
Gameweek 34+ was pivotal once more for the captaincy. The highest backed, Kevin De Bruyne, was unlucky to come away with just 7 points from a 5-0 demolishing of Newcastle United. Mo Salah showed his passion for the Golden Boot with his 18 point haul against Brighton. This article has been written prior to Thursday’s fixtures, so the jury is still out for Bruno Fernandes and Harry Kane. There’s no let up in the schedule: Liverpool have a tight turnaround to their next game, but Leicester are blessed with nearly five days. Rotation and restricted minutes could become even more prevalent.
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: Kevin de Bruyne vs Brighton
Kevin De Bruyne’s solitary assist against Newcastle United was a significant one: he now has 18 official assists for the season and moves within two of Thierry Henry’s assist record of 20 in a single season. With just four Premier League games remaining, improving that tally will be at the forefront of his mind. He’s still the highest owned player in the game and likely to be the standout captain pick once more this weekend. Having featured as a substitute against Southampton last weekend, you’d expect him to start this game. In fantasy terms, he has 11 goals and 21 assists this season: he is level with Mo Salah as the highest returning player in the game. Since the restart, he leads the way for key passes (19), with six of those recorded as big chances. He has three goals and two assists in this period, and remains on penalties. In the reverse fixture he grabbed one goal and one assist, in a 4-0 win for Manchester City. Brighton have conceded seven goals across their three home games since the restart. Will you play it safe with the Shield Pick?
Sword Pick: Bruno Fernandes vs Southampton
Bruno Fernandes has been equally impressive since the restart, and in general since arriving in the Premier League. At the time of writing, only Willian and De Bruyne have accrued more points since the restart, but both have played more games. Fernandes has four goals and two assists in this period and has missed just 38 minutes of gametime in the opening four fixtures. It’s likely he takes the next penalty, with that responsibility shared with Marcus Rashford. He’s had eight shots on target, which is fourth highest among all Premier League players. This Manchester United attack have been so impressive since the restart and Bruno Fernandes is at the heart of it all. He dominates set pieces, with potential of both goals and assists. He’s currently averaging more than one attacking return per game, with six goals and five assists from just nine Premier League appearances at the time of writing. 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 Burnley
It’s been a quiet series of games for Trent Alexander-Arnold, with just one assist from his last three games and no offensive returns. However, in the reverse fixture, which Liverpool won 3-0, he grabbed an assist for 11 fantasy points. He has 17 attacking returns for the season from 34 games, so you’d expect that the next return is just around the corner. His underlying statistics have dropped, with just four shots and five chances created in the five games since the restart. Can he achieve the holy grail of attacking return, clean sheet and bonus points once more?
MID: Sadio Mane vs Burnley
While it was Mo Salah who took the headlines in the midweek game, Sadio Mane’s time on the bench is significant, so we can be more confident that he starts this game. He has two goals since the restart, with both of them coming at Anfield. He also found himself on the scoresheet in the reverse fixture. Burnley have been impressive defensively in recent weeks, but did ship five goals to Manchester City in their opening fixture. Mane has had six shots and created seven chances in his last four games.
FOR: Jamie Vardy vs Bournemouth
Finally, Jamie Vardy is really difficult to ignore this week, due to both his form and the fixture. He is leading the Golden Boot race, with three goals in his last two starts and seems to be enjoying himself again. He grabbed two goals and one assist in the reverse fixture, and this Bournemouth defence looks poor as their hopes of avoiding relegation evaporate. I’d expect to see Vardy on penalties, with Maddison fighting to be fit for this game. He’s taken nine shots in his last two games.
Until next time…
Find even more Fantasy Premier League Tips over on Holly’s website: Fantasy Football Community