Friday night football returns this weekend so set a reminder on your phone or stick a post-it note on your desk to ensure that your weekend isn’t ruined before it has even begun by neglecting your Fantasy Premier League team.
Wolves and Leeds United set the ball rolling for Gameweek 25 when they face each other at Molineux at 8pm on Friday night and Marcelo Bielsa’s side will be in action for a second time on Tuesday night when they host Southampton at Elland Road.
It’s a mini double gameweek this time with Leeds and Southampton the only clubs playing twice, however, this is the calm before the storm with numerous sides set to have two fixtures next week. In the meantime, keep an eye out for updates from the Premier League regarding Gameweek 26.
In terms of this week, it makes sense to prioritise players from Leeds and Southampton, despite the former’s tendency to be on the wrong end of a thrashing – as happened at the Emirates on Sunday – and the latter’s iffy form which has seen them lose six league games on the spin – including that 9-0 at Old Trafford (sorry Saints fans!).
With both Leeds and Southampton struggling at the back, i has identified three of their attackers to look at this week, as well as two single gameweek players.
Danny Ings (Southampton)
A true FPL legend after a sensational 2019-20 season, Danny Ings hasn’t been quite as popular this time around after having his price ramped up in pre-season. Injury issues and Southampton’s poor recent form has also contributed to his low ownership of just north of 10 per cent.
Ings looks set to become very popular very soon, though, with Southampton potentially in line to have three successive double gameweeks due to their fixture backlog. Ings has seemingly hit form at just the right time too, ending a five game goalless run with back-to-back strikes against Wolves in the FA Cup and Premier League.
The second of those, a delicious volley hit on the run, is surely reason enough to take a punt on Southampton’s main man for fixtures against Chelsea and Leeds this week.
Price: £8.4m Points: 89
Raphinha was drafted into our FPL picks for Gameweek 21 and then again for Gameweek 23 as a late substitute for the stricken Thiago Silva but he has been promoted to the starting line-up this week after continuing to rack up the FPL points.
The Brazilian has registered attacking returns in each of his last five appearances, scoring 13, five, nine, six and five points respectively and will expect to continue that run against two obliging defences in Wolves and Southampton in Gameweek 25.
Despite his recent consistency and generously low price tag (£5.3m), Raphinha is still owned by fewer than five per cent of managers and assuming that remains the case by Friday’s deadline, he could be an explosive differential. His opposite winger Jack Harrison (£5.4m) is also a good option.
Price: £5.3m Points: 80
Lewis Dunk (Brighton)
At this point in proceedings, it’s time to hold our hands up and make a confession: we’ve been sleeping on Brighton & Hove Albion. The Seagulls are unbeaten in six and have conceded only one goal during that time to create some breathing space between themselves and the bottom three.
Lewis Dunk has been their standout performer, averaging 7.3 points per game over his last six appearances after marshalling his team to five clean sheets. He was also on the scoresheet in the one game they conceded in against Burnley in Gameweek 23.
Only Trent Alexander-Arnold (with 30) and Harry Maguire (22) have had more shots on goal than Dunk (21) this season and he offers considerable points potential at both ends of the pitch against out-of-form Crystal Palace on Monday.
Price: £4.9m Points: 81
Patrick Bamford (Leeds)
If you are one of the four million or so managers that own Patrick Bamford, scoot on down to the fifth and final selection in our tips this week. If you aren’t, however, here are a few reasons why you may want to make signing him a priority this week.
Bamford’s statistics in both the long and short term make for great reading. Harry Kane (£11.0m) is the only forward in the game to have outscored him – 153 points to 132 – while he has fired off 12 shots and created seven chances over the past four gameweeks, both joint-leading totals among strikers.
There is no such thing as an essential player in FPL. However, as the second-most owned player in the game (behind Bruno Fernandes) and with two good fixtures coming up, Bamford is as close to essential as you’re ever likely to get.
Price: £6.8m Points: 132
Pedro Neto (Wolves)
Having already waxed lyrical about Ings’ strike at St Mary’s this weekend, it would be remiss to not mention Pedro Neto’s fine individual effort in the same game.
Receiving the ball on the right, Neto jinked his way through a bewildered Saints backline before bending an unstoppable finish beyond Alex McCarthy from an acute angle. It was a superb piece of skill and close control that had shades of Lionel Messi about it.
Neto has been a shining light for Wolves this season and emerged as their go-to FPL asset in the absence of Raul Jimenez, combining five goals with six assists. The 20-year-old’s threat on the counter-attack could reap the rewards against a leaky, makeshift Leeds defence.
Price: £6.6m Points: 105
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