Friday, February 23, 2024
HomeFootballFANTASY FOOTBALL EXPERT: Harry Kane is back in the goals and LOVES...

FANTASY FOOTBALL EXPERT: Harry Kane is back in the goals and LOVES a North London derby… and look to Jamie Vardy as a differential captain against struggling Sheffield United

To those, like me, who didn’t own Riyad Mahrez or Kevin De Bruyne, it’s been a scalding week.

It was always the right call to double up on Manchester City assets with Pep Guardiola‘s side in back-to-back double gameweeks. 

But Raheem Sterling was not the investment, as it now proves, to make and so for those who fell on the right side of City roulette, a hat tip to you. 

Manchester United had Luke Shaw to thank for helping claim derby bragging rights at City Manchester United had Luke Shaw to thank for helping claim derby bragging rights at City

Manchester United had Luke Shaw to thank for helping claim derby bragging rights at City

Liverpool's woes went from bad to worse as Fulham left Anfield with three valuable points Liverpool's woes went from bad to worse as Fulham left Anfield with three valuable points

Liverpool’s woes went from bad to worse as Fulham left Anfield with three valuable points

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Elsewhere Manchester United took local bragging rights by ending City’s winning run – no more Bruno Fernandes can’t do it in big games, that’s over.

But Liverpool, the less said the better. They really do face a fight to make the top four after losing at Anfield to Fulham. 

As always, in this column I’ll be breaking down what we learned from the latest round of games, how best to utilise the free transfer for our squads and the differentials that can make the biggest difference week-to-week. 

 

Biggest takeaways from GW27 

Manchester City ARE beatable, they are human. For a while there it looked like they may never lose a football match ever again.

A nod to Luke Shaw, as well. He is in sublime form and could have had a brace at City in what was a Man of the Match performance.

City will still win the league and their assets are still a must-have but it was a reminder that they can be beaten. 

Something that was less surprising was that Arsenal remain a liability defensively, as they proved comically at Burnley.

Granit Xhaka was again in the firing line as he was lumped with the blame for Burnley’s opener in the 1-1 draw at Burnley.

Granit Xhaka (right) was in the firing line after a costly mistake in the draw away at Burnley Granit Xhaka (right) was in the firing line after a costly mistake in the draw away at Burnley

Granit Xhaka (right) was in the firing line after a costly mistake in the draw away at Burnley

Jurgen Klopp's frustrations hit a new low after Fulham turned his side over at Anfield last week Jurgen Klopp's frustrations hit a new low after Fulham turned his side over at Anfield last week

Jurgen Klopp’s frustrations hit a new low after Fulham turned his side over at Anfield last week

Arsenal assets, particularly defensively, have been seen as damaged goods from an FPL perspective and it appeared to be with good reason watching on the performance in Lancashire. 

Wins for Leicester, Tottenham, Chelsea and West Ham keep the top four race very interesting with just five points separating the Blues in fourth and Tottenham, on 45 points, down in seventh. 

Worryingly Liverpool find themselves seven adrift of the top four and having blanked in 11 of his last 14 gameweeks, it comes as no surprise to see FPL bosses cutting their losses on Mohamed Salah.

Liverpool travel to Wolves on Monday night knowing another defeat could prove the final nail in their coffin as hopes of next season’s Champions League continue to fade by the week.  

 

Best use of free transfer this week 

Harry Kane (Tottenham) – £11.3m

There is just something about Kane and a north London derby – he absolutely loves them.

That has not gone unnoticed given he has been signed by more than 350,000 FPL managers ahead of a trip to the Emirates Stadium.

He is the most-signed player for GW28 and with good reason. 

Kane’s 12-point return against Arsenal earlier in the season highlight just how key he could prove to be as a captain pick. 

Harry Kane's brace in the Europa League has convinced FPL bosses to splash the cash Harry Kane's brace in the Europa League has convinced FPL bosses to splash the cash

Harry Kane’s brace in the Europa League has convinced FPL bosses to splash the cash

His 19-point return against Crystal Palace was sensational for those who already owned him and Kane’s brace in midweek in the Europa League suggests he is hitting a purple patch.

Mourinho played down fears of an injury when Kane was seen with ice strapped on and it has clearly not put off FPL bosses.

If you’re in a league where the margins are tight, you may not be able to miss out on Kane.

You’ve been warned.  

 

GW28 FIXTURES

Friday March 12 

Newcastle v Aston Villa 

Saturday March 13 

Leeds v Chelsea  

Crystal Palace v West Brom

Everton v Burnley 

Fulham v Man City  

Sunday March 14

Southampton v Brighton

Leicester v Sheffield United

Arsenal v Tottenham

Man United v West Ham 

Monday March 15 

Wolves v Liverpool 

Three differentials that caught my eye

Gylfi Sigurdsson (Everton) – £6.8m [Selected by 1.9%]

While there has been frustration aplenty surrounding the blanks of Dominic Calvert-Lewin – it is not just me grumbling here – there has been plenty to cheer watching Sigurdsson. 

The Iceland international has produced attacking returns in three of his last four league games – only failing to provide a goal or an assist in the loss to Chelsea last time out.

He is not aa guaranteed starter under Carlo Ancelotti and while that is a worry he is showing he can influence the game at any time.

It was Sigurdsson’s crucial delivery for the opening goal at West Brom that set Everton on their way at the Hawthorns. 

His total of 87 points so far is only eight shy of what he managed in 2019-20 and with an ownership of just 1.9 per cent, Sigurdsson is a very attractive differential ahead of a home fixture with Burnley. 

Matt Targett (Aston Villa) – £5m [Selected by 14.3%]

There are a lot of routes into Aston Villa’s defence but it is Targett that has now become the must-have ahead of Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa.

Four clean sheets in the last six games is very enticing at a stage of the season where more and more stalemate’s are cropping up.

Dean Smith’s side have the third-meanest defence in the Premier League this season.

Only Manchester City and Manchester United have conceded less than Villa. 

A trip to the north east to face a blunted Newcastle side feels like a fixture ready-made for a Targett shut-out.  

Matt Targett has proven to be Aston Villa's most popular defender among Fantasy managers Matt Targett has proven to be Aston Villa's most popular defender among Fantasy managers

Matt Targett has proven to be Aston Villa’s most popular defender among Fantasy managers

Mason Mount has continued his fine form since Thomas Tuchel succeeded Frank Lampard Mason Mount has continued his fine form since Thomas Tuchel succeeded Frank Lampard

Mason Mount has continued his fine form since Thomas Tuchel succeeded Frank Lampard

Mason Mount (Chelsea) – £7m [Selected by 13.9%]

Any fears Mount would be cast aside under Tuchel have quickly evaporated. 

Two double digit returns in the last four games bode well as Chelsea head to a Leeds side that have shown they are not all that obsessed with clean sheets this season. 

The fact he was a substitute against Everton suggests he will get a nod from the start at Elland Road – and that’s key.

You see, Mount has scored three of his five goals this season in his last five starts, producing 35 points in that run.

Also factor in that since Tuchel succeeded Lampard, Mount’s 20 shots and 20 chances created are both team-leading totals.

The numbers do not lie when it comes to the midfielder.   

Everything good going forward at Chelsea is running through Mount.  

 

Captaincy advice

Jamie Vardy (Leicester) – £10.2m 

It’s been something of the Kelechi Iheanacho show up top for Leicester of late but history favours Vardy in this fixture.

Sheffield United are in disarray and Sportsmail exclusively revealed on Friday that boss Chris Wilder was to be axed by the end of the day.

That is far from ideal preparation ahead of a trip to Leicester and with just four wins from 28 league games this season, Leicester will have nothing to fear.

Jamie Vardy has a favourable record against Sheffield United with three goals in four matches Jamie Vardy has a favourable record against Sheffield United with three goals in four matches

Jamie Vardy has a favourable record against Sheffield United with three goals in four matches

Vardy has three goals in four matches against the Blades and it represents, along with Middlesbrough, one of his most lucrative goals-per-game match-ups.

Blanks in his last three games is a real concern but Vardy never feels far from an explosion in front of goal and this weekend feels prime-time for him to do so. 

There will be interest in Kane after his brace in midweek and also in regular selections Bruno Fernandes and Kevin de Bruyne, but I need differential points now and so it is Vardy who will take the armband. 

 

Team of the Week 

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Previous 1 Next EXCLUSIVE: Sergio Aguero is frustrated over a lack of game… How WE would make VAR better: Mark Clattenburg insists… CHRIS SUTTON: This may be a sad and sour farewell to Sergio… Jurgen Klopp’s simple ‘no’ spoke a thousand words……

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