The selection of Swansea City’s Jordan Ayew delivered for us last weekend, so for Gameweek 35, we’ve backed another cut-price forward to produce against a Merseyside club.
Meanwhile, favourable home fixtures have seen us opt for two German internationals who offer options to those managers looking to break away from the template Free Hit midfields.
After scoring the winning goal in West Bromwich Albion’s shock 1-0 win over Manchester United last weekend, Jay Rodriguez will be brimming with confidence ahead of the home clash against Liverpool.
The Baggies forward, who is available for just 5.3 in Fantasy Premier League (FPL), has scored three goals in his last four appearances.
Impressively, he now leads all forwards in terms of points-per-million value over the season on 19.1.
The underlying statistics over the last four matches underline his recent rash of goals. Rodriguez has produced 11 shots over that spell, with only three other forwards managing more.
A switch to a 4-4-2 formation under interim manager Darren Moore certainly looks to have been a contributing factor. West Brom have created a chance every 7.6 minutes since he took charge – up from every 9.7 minutes over the opening 32 Gameweeks.
The appeal of Rodriguez is also heightened by the prospect of a much-changed Liverpool back four at The Hawthorns.
The 2.1%-owned forward presents an intriguing option for those managers considering a three-man attack and a third striker to sit alongside Gabriel Jesus and an Arsenal option.
Although Free Hit managers will doubtless look to Manchester City’s premium assets in midfield, Ilkay Gundogan should not be overlooked.
The German international looks an assured starter with Fernandinho still serving out his suspension and, having been revealed as Pep Guardiola’s designated penalty taker; we have been forced to re-asses the Gundogan option.
The newly-crowned champions host Swansea City at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
The Swans arrive in Manchester having conceded in six of their seven road trips under Carlos Carvalhal and are ranked second for both the most shots conceded (68) and penalty area attempts allowed (42) over the last four matches.
Available for just 5.4 in FPL, Gundogan looks a bargain acquisition for those managers willing to use a precious City slot on a cut-price option. The statistics certainly suggest that we should look beyond his price tag.
Over the last two matches, only Raheem Sterling has produced more shots (nine to seven) and penalty area attempts (eight to four) than Gundogan in the City ranks.
Arsene Wenger has revealed his intent to name a strong line-up for tomorrow’s home clash against West Ham United in preparation for their Europa League semi-final with Atletico Madrid.
That should mean a recall for Mesut Ozil in midfield and perhaps as the No 10.
The playmaker was rested in the Gunners’ last match against Newcastle United and will be in need of a run-out against the Hammers.
While Ozil has only produced four goals and nine assists, he remains the hub of creativity for the Gunners. He has created 84 chances, more than double that of any team-mate.
Indeed, his average of a chance created every 26 minutes is tied with Chelsea’s Cesc Fabregas as the top-ranked rate among regular starters in midfield.
Ozil’s scheming can translate into attacking points against a West Ham side that have struggled badly on their travels.
No team has conceded more goals on the road than West Ham (38), while they have also given up the most shots from inside the penalty area, with 186.
That form has not improved in recent outings.
Taking the last four away matches as a sample, only Stoke City have conceded more shots and on target efforts than David Moyes’ backline. While the Hammers rearguard has also allowed 15 big chances in that period, more than any other side.
Although Ozil has struggled to live up to his 9.3 in FPL, he now presents a tempting one-week differential for managers with the Free Hit chip active.
With uncertainty surrounding the starts and minutes of strikers Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, the 2.6% owned Ozil may just offer a more secure method of covering Arsenal’s attacking prospects.
The Gunners will surely be given opportunities by the visiting defence, and they will surely be keen to produce a performance in reaction to Wenger’s announced departure in the summer.