With Liverpool taking a sabbatical from Premier League matters to focus on conquering the world in Qatar, it’s all change this week in fantasy football.
With the Reds out of action, changes galore may be needed for hundreds of thousands of managers, with a transfer scramble on the horizon for those in pure panic mode.
Last weekend, Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne served up a fantasy masterclass with 19 points, scoring two goals and assisting the other as the Citizens swept aside Arsenal 3-0 at the Emirates Stadium.
Elsewhere, Sheffield United’s John Fleck was the hipster’s choice as his brace against Aston Villa scored you 15 points – and Mohamed Salah also popped up with a double for Jurgen Klopp’s men en-route to 16 points of his own.
But enough of last week, let’s look ahead to this weekend and the prospect of a very intriguing gameweek 18. Time to assess w
Aaron Ramsdale: Gameweek 17 marked an unexpected revival for Bournemouth’s number one as Ramsdale claimed his first clean sheet in five games during his side’s shock 1-0 win away at Chelsea. The 21-year-old made five stops that day and will be full of confidence heading into the Cherries’ home game with Burnley on Saturday.
Kepa Arrizabalaga: The Chelsea keeper has failed to keep a clean sheet in his last three games, and shipped three goals in the Blues’ last away game against Everton. With a trip to Tottenham next on the agenda and a visit to the Emirates on the horizon, this week could be a good time to say adiós to Kepa.
Martin Kelly: With Palace’s injuries and suspensions at the back, the former Liverpool man has greatly profited from a run in the side. Kelly also has the in-form Guaita behind him, making sure goals are kept to a minimum and the defender costs just £4.4m. After their trip to St James’ Park, Roy Hodgson’s side play West Ham and Southampton, a very favourable run of games indeed.
Kevin De Bruyne: Gameweek 17’s star man is on fire after his scintillating display against the Gunners and managers everywhere will be clamouring to hand him the armband this weekend. Man City face Leicester in a tough test at the Etihad but if anyone can provide a spark for Pep Guardiola’s side, it’s the Belgian playmaker. The Foxes have the meanest defence in the league, but KDB has had more shots on target than anyone this campaign.
Jack Grealish: At times this season, Villa’s captain has been a one-man band for the Midlanders and he appears determined to earn a place in England’s Euro 2020 squad for the summer. Grealish will eye Saturday’s encounter with struggling Southampton as the perfect opportunity to impress and showcase his undoubted talent. A home game with Norwich is then followed by a trip to Watford, making the 24-year-old’s selection a no brainer, not to mention his £6.2m price tag.
Leander Dendoncker: In the main, the Belgian has been deployed at centre-half for Wolves and has proved an astute buy for many an FPL manager. But, after a trip to Norwich, Wolves face Man City and Liverpool, so now could be a good time to get rid of the Donk.
Marcus Rashford: The Manchester United hitman may have failed to notch against Everton in his last league game, but the England man did score in the 3-0 midweek Carabao Cup win over Colchester. Rashford has 10 goals in 17 games in the Premier League this season and will fancy a few more when his side travel to bottom of the table Watford on Sunday.
Teemu Pukki: The Finnish striker went quiet after a storming start to the season but it appears he may have rediscovered his golden touch in front of goal, having struck three times in his last four league games. Pukki scored in his last game away at Leicester and will now be looking to score in front of the Carrow Road faithful when the Canaries host Wolves on Saturday.
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