A weird GW comes to a close as the top 3 captaincy options failed to deliver and left FPL managers disappointed. Harry Kane suffered a recurrence of his ankle injury while Sergio Aguero was also ruled out before the match against Stoke. Mo Salah blanked for the 1st time in 6 GW’s as he was kept in check by Ashley Young at Old Trafford. In this week’s article, we review the gameweek with prime focus on the teams who will be involved in Gameweek 31.
Big game Rashford back in the running as Salah finally blanks
Marcus Rashford has made it a habit to score against the big guns and the brace against Liverpool will give the 20-year-old a much-needed boost to get back in the running for a starting spot at United. The match at Old Trafford was also the first time in 6 matches that Mo Salah failed to score a goal. However, being the only team in the top 6 to play in GW31, Liverpool assets are a must have.
Visiting Anfield will be struggling Watford, who were beaten comprehensively by Arsenal at the Emirates. Facing one of the worst defences in the league, Salah and co will be gunning to add to their tally of 68 goals, the 2nd highest in the league. Salah, Mane, Firmino are the obvious options while Robertson also stands a chance to give returns on both ends of the pitch.
Keep faith in Bournemouth stars
Although the Cherries were hammered by Spurs at home, Eddie Howe’s men will have plenty of chances to redeem themselves when they welcome rock-bottom West Brom next weekend. The baggies look destined to drop to the Championship after their 4-1 defeat at home to Leicester City left them with just 20 points in 30 games, 8 points off safety, and with no direction under Alan Pardew. Stanislas, Wilson, King, Ake and Daniels give some decent options on both ends of the pitch for Bournemouth, who are more than capable of scoring a bunch when they are in the groove. Junior Stanislas, who has 3 goals and 2 assists in the last 7 matches, is the biggest attacking threat and managers would be better off staying away from any West Brom options.
GW 30 disappointments make Huddersfield vs Palace a crucial 6-pointer
The relegation battle this season is open as ever as still all the teams in the bottom half stand a chance to get relegated. Huddersfield will count themselves unlucky as they failed to break 10-man Swansea after comprehensively dominating the match while Palace could have gotten lucky and stolen a point from Chelsea at the Bridge. 15th place Huddersfield will welcome 18th place Palace on Saturday in one of the many crunch relegation battles to come.
The return of Wilfried Zaha will be a major boost for Roy Hodgson as the Ivorian is capable of deciding in which tier the Londoners will feature next season. For the Terriers, David Wagner will be hoping that his forwards will be able to put some goals past Palace’s shaky defence. Mounie, Mooy, Pritchard, Van la Parra, Zaha and Van Aanholt are some of the players to watch out for in this fixture.
City make light work of Stoke
It was business as usual for Pep Guardiola’s men as their comfortable 2-0 win at the Bet365 stadium left the Potters stuck at 19th place. David Silva continued to shine since returning to the starting line up with his 3rd consecutive 8+ points return. The Potters will face Everton in a crucial tie at home next weekend and anything less than 3 points could spell danger for Paul Lambert’s side.
Everton returned to winning ways with a 2-0 win against Brighton thanks to Cenk Tosun, who has now scored in consecutive matches for the Toffees. Seamus Coleman and Leighton Baines also returned to the lineup with the later providing the assist for Tosun’s goal. Stoke will need Xherdan Shaqiri in full force if they are to have any hopes of surviving the drop.
Son, Willian, Auba and other post-GW31 options
We cannot ignore some notable performances from players who could be useful ahead of the blank GW 31. Marcus Rashford and Romelu Lukaku were the best players on the pitch as United held off Liverpool. Lukaku has now given good returns in 4 of the last 5 matches. Chelsea loanee Kenedy lit up St James’ Park with a quick-fire double and gives a great midfield option at just £4.7. Mahrez and Ihenacho got a goal and assist each while Vardy continued his good form with his 14th goal of the season.
Chris Wood came off the bench to score twice and set up Ashley Barnes for another as Burnley humiliated West Ham in a match marred by fan protests and pitch invaders. Willian continued his purple patch for Chelsea while Son was the hero for Spurs as his brace took Tottenham past Bournemouth after Kane had gone off injured in the first half. Arsene Wenger got a much-needed win as Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan made light work of Watford, grabbing a goal and assist each, while Petr Cech had to work hard to finally reach his 200th PL clean sheet as he denied Troy Deeney from the spot.