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Matchday 30 of the Barclays Premier League breathes down heavily upon us and is sure to be no short of exhilarating yet arduous football, especially when the feisty Manchester United versus Liverpool game is less than 24 hours away. Most importantly, it’s a fight for the top four, which makes it all the most absorbing. For a Friday forecast, PL fans must fasten their seat belts, especially when the battle for survival is only set to get more nailbiting.
On the schedule, the weekend kicks off with the most awaited fixture, when Manchester United host Liverpool. The Saturday goal rush includes blockbusters as Everton take on an in-form Brighton, relegation battlers Huddersfield Town welcome Swansea City, Newcastle lock horns with the Saints, basement club West Bromwich Albion face off against Leicester City and an optimistic West Ham side host Burnley.
Chelsea FC end the busy Saturday with a game against the Eagles, as Antonio Conte seeks resurgence and intensity. Sunday brings both the North London clubs into action. While one of them is soaring and striving at the moment, the other is completely down in terms of league form.
The Gunners play against Watford whereas Spurs travel to the South Coast, to take on the Cherries. Monday night football will see Stoke City tempt their fortunes against champions-elect Manchester City.
Apart from the usual tactics, how can FPL managers consolidate their lineup with a different formula?
Despite having relatively easier fixtures this week, Chelsea and Leicester City have endured a slump of form in recent weeks. The Blues have slipped to 5th place after they lost four out of five, whereas the Foxes have won just one in that period.
Both these sides have conceded goals in each of their last five outings and hence, FPL managers must avoid players like Maguire and Christensen. Also to add, both these outfits have lacked intensity and have not quite worked to their full potential in recent games.
If one’s not been able to grab points using their midfielders and are looking to offload one of their big money forwards, they can choose the effective and efficient ones that don’t come with a hurtful price tag. On the top of that list would be the likes of Jamie Vardy and Roberto Firmino, who come at a price of below £10m.
The latter is already having his best goalscoring season and has 4 goals and 3 assists in his last 7 league games. To pick reasonably, Glenn Murray at £5.9m is an absolute steal, especially because he has 5 goals in his last 5 games. Ashley Barnes too looks in good shape and should be a decent choice, as he has scored 2 in his last two.
Here, one must take two things into the account. One, recent form and two, ease of the fixture. Going by the obvious choices, Sergio Agüero and Leroy Sané are surely up there for the captain’s role, as they play a struggling Stoke side. Mohamed Salah can be added to the list due to his influence and the fact that he simply can’t stop scoring.
As far as a red-hot team like Spurs is concerned, Harry Kane is a sure option against Bournemouth. Elsewhere, Riyad Mahrez against a hapless West Brom side and Eden Hazard against Crystal Palace at home are handy options. If one’s looking to gamble, they could go for Jordan Ayew, who has been in ripe form and is consistently guiding Swansea upwards.