Gameweek 31 was full of surprises: Manchester City fell victims to the ultimate ‘smash and grab’ at the hands of Leeds United, Adama Traore ended his year-long goal drought and VAR even decided to disallow a goal because they simply couldn’t decide if West Brom’s Mbaye Diagne was offside or not. Shocks aside, there were also plenty of high-scoring players for Fantasy Premier League bosses who will be hoping the following players are equally good captain picks this weekend.
Fantasy Premier League Captain Picks
Harry Kane (vs Everton, vs Southampton)
After a crushing defeat at the hands of 2nd-placed Manchester United, out-of-form Spurs have been gifted a great opportunity to bounce back with a double gameweek. The North London side have two very winnable games in quick succession, and many believe that if they don’t pick up all six points available then they can wave goodbye to European football next season.
If that was to be the case, that could force star striker Harry Kane into leaving in search of silverware. The forward is joint-top scorer in the Premier League with 19 goals and top assister too with 13, making him the best performing attacker in the league. Despite how unbelievably good Kane has been since 2014, he is yet to guide Tottenham to a trophy and plenty of neutrals believe he should go elsewhere in search of team accolades.
Kane has a great opportunity to add to his tally’s in Gameweek 32 with fixtures against Everton and Southampton. The Toffees played out a boring 0-0 with Brighton on Monday night, offering nothing going forward and only just surviving defensively. The Seagulls have lacked a cutting edge in the final third this season, but a player of Kane’s quality shouldn’t struggle to get past the Everton defence.
Southampton were embarrassingly torn apart by relegation-battling West Brom in Gameweek 31, and if it wasn’t for an appalling VAR decision it could have been even worse. Spurs shouldn’t struggle to get past the Saints defence and he is a confident Fantasy Premier League Captain Picks selection.
Jesse Lingard (vs Newcastle)
Not even Jesse Lingard himself could have imagined the impact he would have had upon arrival at the London Stadium. After a shaky few seasons at Manchester United, a loan move was the best possible option for the academy product. Since joining West Ham he has been recalled to the England team, been the centre of plenty of transfer talk and also scored vital goals for the Hammers.
Lingard has scored eight goals in nine appearances for the Hammers, as well as assisting three. With the usual talisman Michail Antonio sidelined with injury, the emphasis is on Lingard and Jarrod Bowen to provide the goals for David Moyes’ team as they go in search of European football for the first time in nine years.
The quick, simple counter-attacks of West Ham are expected to pull apart Newcastle’s weak defence. The Magpies are desperate for results and sit just six points above the relegation zone, but recently they have put together a few solid performances – notably beating relegation rivals Burnley last weekend. However, West Ham are expected to have too much firepower for them and if they are serious about competing for Europe then anything less than a win is disappointing for the Hammers.
Alexandre Lacazette (vs Fulham)
Arsenal bounced back from their embarrassing 3-0 to Liverpool by handing out a defeat of the same margin to 20th-placed Sheffield United. It was French striker Alexandre Lacazette who stole the show, scoring either side of Gabriel Martinelli’s goal. The forward is in brilliant form heading into Gameweek 31, where he will be lining up against another team sat in the bottom three – Fulham.
The Craven Cottage outfit currently occupy 18th position in the league table having played one more game than their fellow relegation rivals. Scott Parker’s side conceded late on against Wolves after a thunderbolt from Adama Traore crept in at the front post, and they don’t look to have enough firepower to bounce back against Mikel Arteta’s team.
The Gunners are seven points below Liverpool, who are sat in fifth, but the North London club don’t have the hardest of run-ins. If Arteta can keep Lacazette fit and firing then their chances of European football can be kept alive. Lacazette has scored 13 and assisted three this season, and a solitary goal will help him equal his best goalscoring record since arriving from Lyon in 2017. The forward has enough pace and power to get by the Fulham defence and cause them some serious issues, and for that reason, he makes this week’s Fantasy Premier League Captain Picks.
Paul Pogba (vs Burnley)
Wherever Paul Pogba goes, controversy follows. The rumours of the central midfielder leaving Old Trafford never seem to have come to end, but it is understandable recently given that his last few performances were quality enough to draw the attention of any top side in Europe. This weekend Manchester United take on Burnley, a game which should see Pogba flourish again.
The Red Devils’ excessive amount of midfield talent has sometimes forced Pogba out wide, with the position of left midfield slowly but surely being made his own when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has decided that the partnership of Fred and Scott McTominay is needed. Despite not being the fastest United player, Pogba certainly has the attributes to fill in when pushed wide. The 2018 World Cup winner is strong, has a sublime collection of skills to take on his man with and also a brilliant passing range. Playing on the left also allows the 28-year-old to cut inside on to his preferred right foot to shoot.
With two assists in his last two games, Pogba could have an enjoyable afternoon at home to Burnley on Sunday. The Clarets have slipped into 16th position on goal difference and are only seven points above the drop, with their recent 2-1 loss to Newcastle only making matters worse. Manchester United should dominate Burnley from the off and it would be a surprise if Pogba isn’t directly involved in at least one goal.
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