Premier League fantasy tips and FPL captain picks for Gameweek 31
The Premier League threw up a couple of surprises last weekend after pausing for the final international break of the 2020/21 season.
West Brom thrashed Chelsea while Tottenham were held at Newcastle in a pair of results which could have lasting implications at both ends of the table. Attention now turns to the coming weekend, with all 10 teams in action once over a four-day period.
Whether you’re weighing up using your Wildcard, Free Hit, or simply want to take a punt on one or two of our suggestions, we’ve pulled together an 11-man team of players you should be considering for Gameweek 31. Our captaincy suggestion this week is Pedro Neto.
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, Friday’s deadline is at 18:30 ahead of Wolves’ trip to Fulham (20:00 kick-off).
Edouard Mendy: Chelsea have kept eight clean sheets in 11 Premier League fixtures since Thomas Tuchel’s appointment and face Palace, Brighton and Fulham in three of their next four. Only Ederson has more shutouts than Mendy’s 14 this season and the Chelsean goalkeeper has picked up 31 FPL points across the last four GWs. Chelsea to win to nil is 13/8.
Sergio Reguilon: Although Spurs sit out of GW 33, it is worth loading up on Tottenham players with a DGW on the horizon. Only Heung-min Son and Harry Kane have more assists than Reguilon at Spurs this season and the Argentine has now made four straight starts for the first time since returning from injury. Reguilon to score any time is 18/1.
Conor Coady: Wolves face Sheffield United, Burnley, West Brom and Brighton in their next four. How’s that for a tasy run of fixtures? Coady is Wolves’ top-scoring defender on FPL this term and has had more big chances (3) than any of his defensive team-mates this term. Coady to score any time is 16/1.
Luke Shaw: The full-back still represents great value at £5.3m after chipping in with a goal and five assists already this season. Only Bruno Fernandes has created more chances for United this season and he’s picked up a massive 37 FPL points over the last four GWs. Shaw to assist 1+ goals is 7/2.
Cesar Azpilicueta: If you put a freak defeat to West Brom to one side, Chelsea have been defensively sound under Tuchel. Azpilicueta has played every minute since the German arrived (scoring once) and has only scored fewer than 5 FPL points in a single GW three times across that same period. He has also created 20 chances for team-mates this term. Chelsea to win to nil is 13/8.
Pedro Neto: We’ve already touched on Wolves’ kind fixture list, so it will come as little surprise that we’re tipping Neto to excel in the coming weeks. As well as his five goals and six assists this season, no Wolves player has created more chances or had more shots on goal. At just £5.7m, he’s great value having scored 123 FPL points already this season. Neto to score is 4/1.
Ilkay Gundogan: *Obligatory Pep Guardiola rotation warning*. Yes, it’s impossible to know for sure that Gundogan will play against Leeds this weekend but after a rest in GW 30 there is every chance. He has taken on a more attacking role this term and tops the club’s scoring charts (12). Of his team-mates, only Raheem Sterling has had more big chances in front of goal this season. Gundogan to assist Kevin De Bruyne and De Bruyne to assist Gundogan 33/1.
Mohamed Salah: The Liverpool star is firmly in the frame for the Golden Boot with one goal fewer than the Premier League’s leading scorer Kane. Despite the Reds’ struggles, particularly at home, Salah seems to have found his rhythm again, with three goals in his last four across all competitions. He ranks first at Liverpool for goals, shots and big chances ahead of a pair of kind fixtures. Salah to score first and Liverpool to win 2-1 is 28/1.
Heung-min Son: Son has just two goals in his last 17 matches across all competitions and, while that’s not my best-ever sales pitch, you sense it is only a matter of time before he rediscovers his touch in front of goal. Only five players in the whole division have more goals than Son this term, while the 28-year-old has nine assists to show for the club-high 53 chances he has created. The fixtures look kind, too. Heung-min Son to score from outside the area is 14/1.
Harry Kane: If you’re playing your wildcard, you’ve got to find space for Kane. Spurs have two matches in Gameweek 32 and you don’t want to be left scrambling to crowbar in Tottenham assets ahead of the double header. Kane is the Premier League’s top scorer and is in red-hot form, grabbing six goals and two assists in his last five GWs. He’s a good long-term investment too, with favourable fixtures through to Gameweek 37. Kane to score first and either Tottenham to win 2-1 or Draw 1-1 is 16/1.
Jamie Vardy: It’s a toss-up between Vardy and the in-form Kelechi Iheanacho with fixtures against West Brom, Palace, Southampton and Newcastle in their next five. Despite Vardy’s recent barren spell, no Leicester player has created more big chances and provided more assists over the last six matches. We’re backing him to deliver attacking returns in the coming weeks. Vardy to score first and Leicester to win 2-1 is 66/1.
Who’s it time to get rid of/avoid?
Kieran Tierney: Arsenal have confirmed that Kieran Tierney is out for four to six weeks after sustaining knee ligament damage during Saturday’s defeat to Liverpool.
Thiago Silva: The Chelsea defender will serve a one-match ban against Palace following his sending off for two yellow cards against West Brom last weekend.
Michy Batshuayi: Despite returning to the scoresheet on Monday, the Belgium international will have to sit out as Palace face his parent club Chelsea this weekend.
Jack Harrison: Also unable to face his parent club (Manchester City) a week on from his goal against Sheffield United.
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