Football

Fantasy Premier League Gameweek 34 – Captain Picks

Romelu Lukaku

After enduring a horrendous gameweek 33, managers will be desperate to make quick amends as the much-awaited gameweek 34 arrives finally upon us. With as many as 8 teams including the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur lining up twice this week, our five-man captaincy list completely revolves around the teams part of this double gameweek bonanza. Based on the current form of teams, individuals and their potential impact, we have made the following 5 captaincy picks for this week.

 

HARRY KANE 

Fixtures: Manchester City (H), Brighton (A)

The drama surrounding the scorer of Spurs’ winner at Bet365 was the difference between having a respectable gameweek and a horrendous one for Kane’s 30.5% owners. And their misery was compounded when the Englishman picked up a yellow card in the dying moments of the game. Failing to deliver in a game where a bumper return was expected of him, the Tottenham striker would be desperate to make amends for the lost opportunity as he braces up for a doubleheader featuring champions-elect Manchester City and Brighton in gameweek 34.

Spurs first take on Manchester City at home, who have been on a rocky patch since returning from the international break. Three defeats on the bounce and an acrimonious Champions League exit – all stemming from their defensive collapses – have certainly dampened the mood and confidence in the Cityzens’ camp. Their next opponent whom they face on the road, Brighton, are too struggling with confidence issues as they remain winless since their win over Spurs’ fierce rivals Arsenal on March 4.

The Seagulls are in fact, the only Premier League side yet to keep a cleansheet in 2018. Brighton have conceded 12 goals in four home games against the top-six clubs. The 25-goal striker has a decent record against Pep Guardiola’s men, having bagged a couple of goals and an assist in his previous five appearances in this fixture. He is yet to open his account against Chris Hughton’s side though, as the meeting early in the season saw him fail to either score or assist a goal. Now back among the goals albeit in a controversial manner, Kane’s owners will be hoping for a hefty compensation in this double gameweek fest.

 

CHRISTIAN ERIKSEN

Fixtures: Manchester City (H), Brighton (A)

He might have been stripped of his goal now but the fact that there will be no FPL points added or deducted following the verdict implies Kane’s loss was definitely a gain for nearly 16% teams that had the Dane in their ranks. Eriksen has 5 goals and 2 assists from his last 10 appearances for Spurs across all competitions, justifying that there is nothing fortuitous about the upturn in his form. And the rapidly-growing list of managers investing in him would be hoping for more of this when he takes to the field against Manchester City and Brighton.

 

Against the former, the Spurs playmaker has scored 3 goals in 8 appearances including a consolation in the meeting early this season while he made an assist in the London club’s 2-0 win over the Seagulls at Wembley. The Dane’s purple patch coupled with City and Brighton’s miserable form coming into their respective clashes with the North London club signals towards potentially yet another great windfall of points from the 26-year-old.

 

ALEXIS SANCHEZ

Fixtures: West Bromwich Albion(H), AFC Bournemouth(A)

The international break seems to have revitalised the Chilean as El Nino Maravilla has bagged a goal and 3 assists since his return to club duty. Sanchez’ return to form is a welcomed boost for the FPL world as managers look to draft in United assets in abundance owing to a favourable end of the season run-in for them. And it all begins this gameweek only as the Red Devils go head-to-head with West Bromwich Albion and AFC Bournemouth. The duo are among the five worst-faring defences in the Premier League this calendar year.

 

While relegation-bound Baggies have shipped a league-high 24 goals in 2018, the Cherries aren’t too far behind them at 21. That’s not all, the two clubs are even among the nine teams to have let past 50 or more goals in the division this term. For someone like Sanchez, who has netted thrice against each of the two clubs during his time for the Gunners, there can’t be a better set of fixtures than this to continue with his late-season surge, which in turn, could help his owners in their own surge up the table as well.

 

ROMELU LUKAKU 

Fixtures: West Bromwich Albion (H), AFC Bournemouth (A)

While Alexis has turned on the heat in the last couple of gameweeks, one United player who has been producing the goods for weeks is Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian was neither among goals nor assists in the derby but despite the blip, he has 13 goals and 5 assists in 17 games for club and country combined this year. A great chance awaits Lukaku as well of adding to his 15-goal tally in this gameweek’s double-header featuring West Brom and Bournemouth, against each of whom he was on target during their meetings earlier in the season.

The striker also boasts an impressive individual record against both opponents – 5 goals and 3 assists against his former employers whereas 6 goals to his name against the south coast club. With both clubs struggling to defend their goal, the lanky forward is capable enough of exploiting such defences and could well be the biggest point-getter from this gameweek.

 

JAMIE VARDY

Fixtures: Burnley (A), Southampton (H)

Leicester might have succumbed to a shock defeat at the hands of Newcastle last gameweek, but their number nine was on target once again as expected. Vardy’s consolation means that the striker has now racked up 9 goals in his last 11 appearances for the Foxes across all competitions, underlining his rich vein of form. And as Leicester City takes on Burnley and Southampton in gameweek 34, Vardy’s prospects of continuing with his brilliant individual form appears even brighter. The Clarets and the Saints might be sitting in different halves of the table but one thing that unites them is their defensive form this year.

 

Both clubs have kept a solitary shutout in their 11 league games so far in 2018. For Burnley, that cleansheet came away from home at West Ham but they haven’t been able to keep a cleansheet at home since the second week of December against Stoke City. As for Southampton, they have been faring even worse, having shipped 20 goals already this year – only Everton, Bournemouth, Watford, Huddersfield and West Brom have leaked more goals. Vardy has a decent league record against both clubs – a couple of goals and as many assists (including one assist in the game earlier this season) in 7 appearances versus Southampton whereas in 5 matches with Burnley, the Englishman has 1 goal and 2 assists to his credit. The form he is in right now coupled with his forthcoming fixtures establishes Vardy as a strong armband candidate.

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