So, you’ve managed to get to late January without using your second Fantasy Premier League wildcard.
That’s an impressive feat given a reduced Gameweek 18 was followed by a Double Gameweek 19, but we figured you might be running out of options now.
With Kevin De Bruyne and Jamie Vardy sidelined – and Marcus Rashford pulled off as a precaution in Sunday’s FA Cup win – you might find your injury-hit squad needs a complete overhaul. Below, we pull together our wildcard tips ahead of another round of Premier League action.
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 West Ham’s trip to Crystal Palace (18:00 kick-off).
Emiliano Martinez: Only Ederson has kept more clean sheets than Martinez and at 5.1 the Aston Villa man represents excellent value. He also averages more than 3.53 saves per 90, so is bound to clock up those extra points. Villa are 7/4 to keep a clean sheet at Burnley.
Sam Johnstone: The West Brom goalkeeper doesn’t keep many clean sheets, but he’s a cheap back-up who faces plenty of shots. He averages well over four saves a game and has only two fewer FPL points than David de Gea. Johnstone’s season-high was an 11-point haul against Man City, who they face next. Manchester City to have eight or more shots on target is 10/11.
Ben Chilwell: The Chelsea full-back is one of four defenders with 80 points or more so far this season. He has registered two goals, four assists and six clean sheets heading into a favourable run, with fixtures against Wolves (H), Burnley (H), Sheffield United (A) and Newcastle (H) in the next five. Chilwell to score first is 18/1.
Vladimir Coufal: West Ham have kept five clean sheets in six matches across all competitions and face teams below them in the table in four of their next five matches. Coufal (four assists) is a cheaper West Ham option than Cresswell (six assists), though form suggests the latter is more likely to bring attacking returns if you have the funds. West Ham are 7/4 to keep a clean sheet at Palace.
Crystal Palace’s Tyrick Mitchell is a budget alternative for your back line if you want to free up space for Cresswell, with the Eagles not facing one of the ‘Big Six’ in their next seven.
Ruben Dias: It’s very difficult to look past Manchester City defenders at the moment, with Pep Guardiola’s men keeping 11 clean sheets across all competitions since the start of December. Ruben Dias is their top-scoring defender on FPL so far this season, with 10 clean sheets and an assist to his name. John Stones is a cheaper alternative, fresh from his first two Premier League goals for City against Crystal Palace in Gameweek 19. Ruben Dias to score first at West Brom is 25/1.
Joao Cancelo: Ok, you’ve done your homework. Cancelo might rank third on FPL among the City centre-backs but he has also played more key passes (four) and had more shots (14) than any of his defensive colleagues. He twice went close against Aston Villa last week and only Kevin De Bruyne has created more chances than Cancelo in the City squad this season. It’s only a matter of time before the attacking returns start pouring in. He’s 25/1 to open the scoring at The Hawthorns.
Harry Maguire: The England centre-back is a decent bet for a clean sheet with the goal-shy Blades due at Old Trafford in Gameweek 20. He has the highest xG of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s back line and harshly had a goal chalked off at Burnley this month. Maguire is 13/2 to score any time against former club Sheffield United.
Heung-min Son: You might think it’s worth doubling on United goal-getters against Sheffield United, but I’ve plumped for Son amid uncertainty over Marcus Rashford’s condition. Son has the best goals per 90 (0.71) at Spurs this season and will fancy his chances on the counter against a patched up Liverpool defence. Scorer at Anfield in December, he’s 4/1 to open the scoring this time.
Bruno Fernandes: The Portuguese midfielder is simply unavoidable. Manchester United host basement club Sheffield United in Gameweek 20 and Fernandes should be fresh after his match-winning 25-minute cameo in the FA Cup against Liverpool. Fernandes has more goals and more assists than any United player this term, and the fact he is on penalties makes him an ideal captaincy pick. Fancy him to score from further out? He’s 5/1 to score from outside the box against the Blades.
Ilkay Gundogan: The Kevin De Bruyne conundrum leaves managers wondering who to include from Manchester City. Gundogan is great value and has benefitted from a run of seven starts, scoring five in that time. He has the same xG as Raheem Sterling, who will cost you 5.9 more, while Gundogan assumed penlaty duties against Aston Villa after Sterling’s miss against Brighton earlier this month. Gundogan to score from outside the box is 9/1.
James Maddison: The Leicester man has produced attacking returns in four of his last five Premier League fixtures, including three goals in his last three. He’s decent value at 7.2 and the Foxes will be looking to him for attacking contributions with Jamie Vardy sidelined by injury. Wilfried Zaha is another to consider with Palace’s kind run of fixtures, though he missed the defeat to City with a slight knock last week. Maddison is 11/5 to continue his fine form and score any time at Everton.
Jack Grealish: Grealish produced attacking returns for the eighth time this season in Saturday’s win over Newcastle. He carves out chances others wouldn’t with a 5.37 xA score translating to eight assists. The England man pops up with the odd goal too. Grealish is 13/2 to score first at Burnley.
Michail Antonio: Back from injury and back among the goals. Antonio scored two match-winners and two three-point bonus hauls in a single Gameweek to mark his return. Need I say more? Yes? OK, he’s West Ham’s leading scorer despite only playing 11 league matches, and has also had more shots on target than any Hammers player (13). As pointed out further up, the Hammers have a decent run of games, too. Antonio and Zaha both to score at Selhurst Park is 8/1.
Patrick Bamford: It’s hard to overlook Danny Ings this Gameweek, but we found his 8.3 pricetag too big to justify. Bamford is a cheaper alternative with Leeds visiting a Newcastle side they put five past at Elland Road. He’s scored 10 goals and grabbed two assists so far this season, and taken more than double the shots of any Leeds team-mate (65). He’s bound to get a sight of goal at St. James’ Park. Bamford to score first at Newcastle is 16/5.
Ollie Watkins: Back on the goal trail against Newcastle, Watkins will fancy his chances away at Burnley. He has a club-best xG of 8.82 and has also played three key passes for team-mates this term. Looking ahead, Villa look likely to have a double Gameweek in GW26. Watkins to score first at Turf Moor is 9/2.
Odds correct at the time of writing. 18+ Only. UK only. Terms and Conditions Apply. BeGambleAware.