Fantasy Premier League (FPL) managers will be busy preparing for another double gameweek as week 34 approaches.
This is quite a unique double gameweek though as only two teams feature; Manchester United and Chelsea, who take each other on on Thursday 28 April. Those FPL managers will be looking closely at both sides to determine where the value lies.
So, where should you be looking in order to come out on top this week? Neither club has excelled in recent weeks but with Champions League places up for grabs, there will be plenty on the line at Old Trafford.
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Man United travel to The Emirates Stadium on Saturday lunchtime in their first match of the gameweek – perhaps buoyed by confirmation that Erik ten Hag will takeover the reins next season, whilst Chelsea host West Ham on Sunday afternoon with both teams facing tricky ties at the weekend before the crunch tie later in the week.
Let’s take a look at the key match ups across the sides to give you the best chance of earning bragging rights in FPL this week.
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David De Gea vs Edouard Mendy
David De Gea (£5.1M): De Gea has been more than earning his bread recently with Manchester United strongly on the back foot, and it could have been a whole lot worse but for the Spanish shot stopper. He has made 7 saves in the last month, and currently ranks second for saves from outside the box with many strikers seemingly chancing their arm against an out of form United. At £1Million cheaper than Mendy, could De Gea be the value pick?
Edouard Mendy (£6.1M): Mendy is a known entity at this stage, with Chelsea sitting third for Clean Sheets (14) thanks in part to Mendy. United are of course in shocking form, sitting 16th in the xG table (3.72) for the last month – behind Crystal Palace and Norwich City – so a Chelsea clean sheet looks a good bet, meaning it could pay to spend a little extra on the Chelsea stopper.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka vs Reece James
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (£5.1M): Wan-Bissaka is Manchester United’s main defensive man, with more interceptions (34) than any other United player, and 49 total tackles for the year, putting him behind only defensive midfield duo Scott McTominay and Fred. He might not be the sexy option but Wan-Bissaka could be a reliable choice in defence this week.
Reece James (£6.3M): James is not only a good bet for clean sheet points, but it is also worth noting that he is currently the highest scoring defender in the premier league this season with 5 goals. He’s a provider also, with 6 assists registered – the third most of any defender behind only the Liverpool full backs.
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Bruno Fernandes vs Kai Havertz
Bruno Fernandes (£11.6M): If Manchester United are to get their season back on track then Fernandes could be the man to instigate the revival. The Portuguese playmaker is United’s main source of creative output, with no other player creating more chances (82) in the side. He’s also second for Premier League goals this year (9), behind only Ronaldo, and second for assists (6) behind Pogba. He’s a costly choice but his output is obvious.
Kai Havertz (£7.9M): Havertz has been the Chelsea forward to trust this year despite the arrival of a £97.5m teammate, in Romelu Lukaku. He ranks number 1 at Chelsea for xG this season (7.35) and second over all for goals (7). He may be the pick against a fairly out of form West Ham, who have only won 3 of their last 9 Premier League games. He might not have as many FPL points as Fernandes, but could he be the choice to make this week to maximise your points?
Anthony Elanga vs Hakim Ziyech
Anthony Elanga (£4.8M): Elanga’s emergence as a bright prospect may be the only shining light on what has been a dismal season for the Red Devils. The young Swedish winner ranks fifth for xG per 90 amongst the United players this season (0.25), with the likes of Rashford, Sancho and Pogba not managing to measure up to him. He also ranks above Bruno Fernandes for open-play xG (0.24) so if Man United are going to find the net, it’s likely that Elanga will be involved.
Hakim Ziyech (£7.3M): Ziyech is rarely one to play a full 90 minutes, but his stats per 90 are certainly worth a look. He ranks 5th overall in the league for big chances created (0.58), just ahead of Harry Kane and just behind Dejan Kulusevski, Mo Salah, Michael Olise and Trent Alexander-Arnold. He could be one to set up Chelsea’s retribution against West Ham, after Arsenal put 4 past them on Wednesday and he could be the spark to ignite the Chelsea attack.
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Marcus Rashford vs Timo Werner
Marcus Rashford (£9.4M): Rashford seems to know how to unlock the Arsenal defence more so than his team mates, with no player from Arsenal or United creating more chances (10) than him since he played in his first fixture vs the North London side in 2017. He has also recorded 2 assists in that time, which again is the most (joint with Pogba) and with Ronaldo and Cavani out injured, Rashford looks likely to lead the line for the Red Devils.
Timo Werner (£8.6M): Werner has found his scoring boots in the month of April, with four goals in his last four games in all comps. Three of them have come in the Premier League, with only Spurs’ Son scoring more (4). If you haven’t already jumped on his hot streak and put him in your team, this could be the weekend to pull the trigger in the hopes that he continues his fantastic form.