The action hasn’t stopped yet and Fantasy Premier League (FPL) managers will be busy preparing for gameweek 35.
There’s no Double Gameweek this week, giving us just one set of fixtures to cast our eyes over. Penny pinching and recognising value gives you a huge advantage when it comes to FPL, so this week we’re looking at differentials you could bring into your team over the big-priced players without losing much output.
So, where should you be looking in order to come out on top this week? Liverpool and Manchester City will continue their battle at the top, with both facing tricky away trips to Newcastle United and Leeds United, respectively. Both could be found guilty of having one eye on the second leg of their Champions League semi-finals though, so the risk of rotation elevates the importance budget alternatives this weekend.
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Relegation-threatened Everton host Chelsea on Sunday, desperate for three points in their battle to avoid the drop. Chelsea’s title challenge is over, could they be distracted by the news that Antonio Rudiger will be leaving the club this summer, or will they leave The Toffees in an even more sticky situation?
We’ve identified some cheaper alternatives to the expensive options in FPL. Read on to see how you might be able to gain the edge in your leagues this weekend.
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Alisson vs José Sá
Alisson (£6M): Alisson is Liverpool’s shot-stopper, so naturally ranks highly for clean sheets. Top in fact, with 19. Liverpool are still chasing four trophies this season and Alisson has, as usual, been instrumental to their success. His inclusion seems an obvious one but, at £6M, is he too expensive an acquisition when that extra money could be spent to improve in a position with higher point-gaining potential?
Sá (£5.3M): Sá has had a fine debut season for Wolves. The 29-year-old ranks sixth in the top flight for clean sheets, and is actually one of the league’s finest shot-stoppers. No goalkeeper has made more saves from inside the box than the Wolves man (80). He is certainly a cheaper option than Alisson but has only scored 17 points fewer than the Liverpool ‘keeper this season.
João Cancelo vs Matty Cash
Cancelo (£7.1M): Cancelo is a threat in both attack and defence. Among defenders, he is behind only the Liverpool full-backs for assists (6) and ranks fifth for tackles, which is impressive given his side is rarely on the back foot. He seems to have the lot when it comes to being a rounded defender, but is there anyone who could match him at a cheaper price?
Cash (£5.2M): Cash actually sits just above Cancelo for tackles with 78 (Cancelo has 76) but also beats him on goals scored, with three (to Cancelo’s one). That’s a very impressive return from a player that doesn’t receive anywhere near the same amount of plaudits as Cancelo. At just under £2M cheaper, is Cash the addition to your side that will free up funds elsewhere? Villa face rock-bottom Norwich this weekend.
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Kevin De Bruyne vs James Ward-Prowse
De Bruyne (£11.9M): De Bruyne has pulled the strings in the Manchester City side for some time. The Belgium midfielder is clear in chances created per 90 in the Premier League this term (3.46), ahead of Trent Alexander Arnold on 2.89. He’s proven he’s truly one of the elite players in the world, but he’s a costly addition to your midfield without delivering FPL hauls on a consistent basis.
Ward-Prowse (£6.4M): Ward-Prowse may not be able to match De Bruyne for numbers, but he really isn’t far off. He ranks first in the Premier League for completed crosses (72), a habit which has no doubt helped propel him to sixth in the top flight for expected assists (5.59). He’s also number one in the league when it comes to direct free-kicks (four goals). Over the season, he’s gained just 15 points fewer than De Bruyne, a total that seems disproportionate when comparing their drastic price differences.
Mohamed Salah vs Jarrod Bowen
Salah (£13.3M): I’ll be honest, it’s hard to argue a case against Salah being in your fantasy team. I feel I’ve earned my crust with this one. Salah has a phenomenal output but that also comes at a huge price at over £13M. That will take a huge portion of your budget away and could leave your team a little lopsided. On the other hand… 22 Goals, 13 assists. Need I say more.
Bowen (£6.9M): Bowen’s bright performances for The Hammers this term have seen him tiptoe around the fringes of the England squad, and it’s not hard to see why. He ranks second amongst his English colleagues for non-penalty xG this year (10.86) behind only Harry Kane. He’s also joint-third for assists (eight), with only Mason Mount and Trent Alexander-Arnold ahead of him. Bowen is actually the third-highest earning midfielder in FPL this season, something that should be hugely commended. He represent’s great value for a goalscoring threat from midfield.
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Heung-Min Son vs Martin Ødegaard
Son (£11M): Son has scored 17 goals this term, behind only Mo Salah. He has 16 of those from open play, the most of anyone in the Premier League this term. It’s been another hugely impressive season for the South Korean, but he takes a lot of your budget and that will limit your options elsewhere.
Ødegaard (£5.6M): Ødegaard has chipped in with 10 goal involvements for Arsenal this term, the fourth most in the Arsenal side (Lacazette 11, Smith Rowe 12, Saka 16). They play an out-of-form West Ham, who only have one win in their last five Premier League games and could be wearied by their European assignment against Frankfurt. That could give the Norwegian plenty of space to run the game and, at less than £6M, he could be a really astute acquisition this weekend.
Cristiano Ronaldo vs Ollie Watkins
Ronaldo (£12.2M): Ronaldo is third in the Premier League scoring charts this year (16 goals), despite his side’s forgettable campaign. It’s been a strange year for both Manchester United and Ronaldo, but it’s hard to deny his output is still there. He comes at a hefty price though, one that feels too high for a player in a very inconsistent United side.
Watkins (£7.4M): Despite the plethora of attacking options Villa have added to their team over the last year, Ollie Watkins remains the main man. He ranks first amongst his team-mates for goals scored (eight). Those goals have come from 61 shots this season, again the most in the Villa side. He’s one of only nine strikers to break the 100-point barrier this season and is a great option if you’re looking to save some cash for other key positions. As mentioned, it’s the Canaries at Villa Park this weekend.
Harry Kane vs Emmanuel Dennis
Kane (£12.5M): Harry Kane is Harry Kane, a perennial goalscorer with 20 goal involvements across the 2021/22 season — a record bettered only by Son and Salah. Kane loves playing against Leicester too, scoring 16 times in 13 appearances against the Foxes. Spurs look out of sorts though, having gone two games without a shot on target. That shot-shy run has coincided with a dip in form for Kane, who hasn’t scored in his last five games for Spurs. Could that huge pricetag be a weight around his neck, and your side, this weekend?
Dennis (£5.8M): Dennis has been Watford’s bright spark in a dingy season, contributing 10 goals in the Premier League — a tally which puts him joint-fifth amongst his fellow strikers. He’s also contributed six assists, so has already proved quite the asset at an affordable price. Watford have a six-pointer against Burnley this Gameweek, presenting the perfect opportunity for Dennis to lead his side to a win that could prompt a late survival mission.