Fantasy football managers will be scrambling to get their teams in shape as the Premier League returns for Gameweek 18.
Just 12 teams feature this week, meaning managers are likely to have several redundant players in their sides heading into Tuesday’s opening fixtures. It could mean you’re mulling over playing your Free Hit chip, which can be used once a season and allows managers to completely overhaul their playing squad for one Gameweek only.
Below, we’ve pulled together our recommended Free Hit squad using information from Opta and Sky Bet.
Opta’s stats power the FPL game and help steer the Sky Bet market so what better way to figure out how to build your squad this week? Be warned, Tuesday’s deadline is at 16.30 ahead of Newcastle’s trip to Sheffield United (18.00 KO).
Gameweek 18 XI (4-3-3): Leno, Cancelo, Saiss, Tierney, Neto, Fernandes, De Bruyne, Saka, Cavani, Wilson, Kane
Bernd Leno: Whisper it quietly, but Arsenal are back. Leno has kept three straight clean sheets in all competitions and is 6/5 to make that four on the spin when they host Crystal Palace. As a bonus, Leno has saved the only penalty he has faced this season.
Joao Cancelo: It’s safe to take a punt on City keeping a clean sheet at home against Brighton, so who of their defenders will bank attacking points? Cancelo is their top-scoring defender on FPL this term (55 points) and has had more shots (9) than any of Pep Guardiola’s back line.
Romain Saiss: Wolves won’t have the injured Dominic Calvert-Lewin to think about when Everton visit Molineux – boosting their hopes of a clean sheet. At the other end, Romain Saiss is the second top-scoring central defender in the entire league this term (three goals). The 30-year-old is 4/1 to score at any time.
Kieran Tierney: Tierney has created the most chances of any Arsenal player in the Premier League this season (21) and chipped in with a goal and an assist in the win over West Brom last time out. He’s 7/2 to assist 1+ goals against the Eagles as Mikel Arteta’s side aim to maintain their positive form.
Neto: In Raul Jimenez’s absence, Neto has been among those to step up with four goals and three assists this term and represents a reasonably priced option in midfield at £6m. The Portuguese is among the best priced players to open the scoring for the hosts (5/1) tonight.
Kevin De Bruyne: Form suggests now is the time to reinvest in Manchester City with Kevin De Bruyne finding his groove again in his last Premier League outing against Chelsea (13 points). The post denied the Belgian a stunning effort from outside the box at Old Trafford last week – finding the net tonight from range is priced at 9/2 with Sky Bet.
Bruno Fernandes: After being handed a (very) rare breather against Watford on Saturday, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be hoping for a refreshed Bruno Fernandes to take charge at Burnley. The Portuguese has registered at least a goal or assist in 11 of United’s 16 league games and is priced at 21/20 to get on the score sheet tonight.
Bukayo Saka: While still one of Arsenal’s most productive players (three goals, three assists in the league this term), Saka remains available at a very cheap £5.3m. The England international started from the bench in the FA Cup at the weekend but seems nailed on to return to the starting XI.
Callum Wilson: As reasonably priced as they come at £6.6m, Wilson could represent another shrewd option against Sheffield United’s leaky defence. Chris Wilder’s side picked up their first win of the season against League One Bristol Rovers on Saturday but fielded perhaps his strongest XI, something Newcastle and Wilson will hope to capitalise on. The former Bournemouth man is the game’s favourite to get on the score sheet at 6/4.
Harry Kane: Left back in London on FA Cup weekend, a refreshed Kane could be bad news for Fulham and a decent captain option for FPL managers. A hat-trick tonight is priced at 18/1 while the old Kane-Heung-min Son one-two is available at 22/1.
Edinson Cavani: Fresh from a two-week break owing to a three-match suspension, Edinson Cavani will be eager to make up for lost time at Turf Moor. All four of the Uruguayan’s goals for United have come on the road this season with Sky Bet pricing him as first goal scorer at 16/5.
To complete your squad, search for players at a value of 4.0 and below. You will need a back-up goalkeeper, two defenders and a deputy midfielder. Two chips cannot be played at one time so it is unlikely your bench players will be required in Gameweek 18.
Odds correct at the time of writing. 18+ Only. UK only. Terms and Conditions Apply. BeGambleAware.