With the frantic festive fixtures behind us, the league is restored to its normal pace starting this gameweek. However, the never-ending pressure of remaining ahead of the peers and climbing up the ranking ladder continues to give millions of managers a brainstorm. To ease up your team-selection and transfer-related issues, here we suggest you the three hidden gems for gameweek 23 who could be the final piece in the jigsaw puzzle you were desperately seeking out for all this while.
1. ANDRÉ CARRILLO
Fixture: Southampton (H)
The Peruvian is among one of the least fancied FPL assets, a fact justified by his 0.1% ownership. However, with a couple of goals and an assist coming in his last three appearances across all competitions, Carrillo’s stock might just be about to rise in the coming gameweeks. A constant menace down the right flank for the Hornets, the winger is expected to start against a flailing Southampton side that have kept just one shutout in their last 13 Premier League outings. This fixture has been a goal feast with the last 8 meetings between the two sides producing a mammoth 34 goals at Vicarage Road. And with more fancied choices from Watford like Richarlison and Doucoure struggling to assert themselves of late, an in-form and a fairly cheap alternative in Carrillo could be the way to go forward.
2. CHRISTIAN ATSU
Fixture: Swansea City (H)
Atsu has blown hot and cold so far but nevertheless, provides a value-for-money fifth-midfielder option at £4.8. After being rested for the FA Cup tie, the Ghanaian should return to the Magpies eleven when they host basement-dwellers Swansea City. The Swans, who are still settling to life under new manager Carlos Carvalhal, have let in 17 goals in last eight league matches away from home after keeping a cleansheet in each of their first three away games. The Welsh club are without a cleansheet for six league games – with only Watford, Bournemouth and Stoke City on a longer run without one. As the visitors endure an abysmal run of form, the fixture provides a perfect opportunity to the former Chelsea man – ranked third among Newcastle players on ICT Index (only Matt Ritchie and Joselu faring better) – to bestow his 1.9% owners with some precious points.
3. LUKE SHAW
Fixture: Stoke City (H)
Putting his fitness issues behind him, Shaw is finally enjoying a good run in the Manchester United eleven. The left-back has given a good account of himself all this while and could be set for an extended run in the line up provided he maintains both form and fitness. Relegation-threatened Stoke City are the visitors to Old Trafford this gameweek and the manager-less Potters are struggling at every front, having failed to score in five of their last 9 league games as well as shipping a league-high 27 goals on the road. The Red Devils, on the other hand, have kept a league-high 12 cleansheets with 8 of those coming at their home turf. Available at a very nominal price, the former Southampton man provides the cheapest route into one of the league’s best defence and could well prove to be a bargain in the long run.