The Headline Pick: Mo Salah – Brighton (H)
Mo Salah redeemed himself at the weekend, following a highly unusual six game goal drought in the Premier League. His brace against West Ham puts him firmly back in our thoughts ahead of the midweek games, with some managers even prepared to trust him with the armband once again.
That brace against West Ham, plus his FA Cup brace the weekend before, gives us confidence that Salah is bang back in form. He also seemed to benefit from the absence of Mane with a knock, something which could continue into the midweek match against Brighton. Salah has had 13 shots and created six chances in his last four games.
Rotation is always a fear, but with Mane struggling for fitness, Jurgen Klopp can’t risk benching his star player. Salah is also on penalties and has a remarkable record against Brighton: five goals and four assists in seven Premier League games. Brighton have three consecutive clean sheets from their last three games, but expect the quality of the opposition to win out here.
Mo Salah is available to back at 8/11 to score two or more goals against Brighton this week.
The Budget Pick: Jack Grealish – West Ham (H)
Jack Grealish has returned to form since Aston Villa’s COVID woes, with one goal and two assists from his last four matches. Remarkably, he’s now within the top five highest scoring assets in the game and given that Villa have one or two extra games on their opponents, that’s a remarkable achievement.
The reverse fixture ended in West Ham’s favour, but Jack Grealish did get himself on the scoresheet on that occasion. He’s created more chances for his teammates than any other player in the Premier League in this campaign, amassing 11 fantasy assists along the way. He may also be on penalties.
It’s set to be an interesting matchup this Wednesday, with these two sides on a similar standing in the Premier League table. West Ham are without a clean sheet in their last three games, conceding six goals in that time, which bodes well for Villa’s attacking assets, including Grealish at the heart of things.
The VAR Pick: Bruno Fernandes – Southampton (H)
Bruno Fernandes is among a long list of premium players on a relative dry spell right now, having last assisted in Gameweek 19 and last scored in Gameweek 17. A player of his calibre is rarely out of the goals for too long though, having amassed 20 attacking returns already this season.
A home game against Southampton carries big potential for Fernandes to prosper once more: he claimed a double digit return in the reverse fixture, bagging one goal and one assist. He remains top of the underlying statistics for both goals and chances created, demonstrating that more returns should be just around the corner.
Manchester United will need to rediscover their goalscoring form, having converted just three times in their last four games. You’d imagine Fernandes lack of returns are pretty central to that. Southampton are without a clean sheet in their last three games, conceding six goals in that period.
The Sleeper Pick: Raheem Sterling – Burnley (A)
Raheem Sterling disappointed his almost one million owners at the weekend, by failing to play a single minute against Sheffield United. However, his owners should certainly keep the faith, as that rest bodes well for his inclusion in the starting eleven this midweek, away at Burnley.
It’s a fixture that Manchester City tend to prosper in, with Burnley unusually conceding four goals across their last two games. Meanwhile, Sterling has two goals and one assist from his last three starts and his pace from wide areas will be relied upon in this fixture.
The Wildcard Pick: Callum Wilson – Crystal Palace (H)
Callum Wilson was somewhat of a surprise package at the weekend, with Newcastle’s goal scoring drought a distant memory. He was clinical in the way he took his brace against Everton, which now puts him on ten goals for the season, with Newcastle taking three points home from Goodison Park.
Wilson had four big chances in that game, with his link up play prevalent. Allan Saint-Maximin is rumoured to be returning to the starting eleven for the Crystal Palace game, which can only boost the Magpies attacking threat. Crystal Palace have been particularly porous defensively on the road. Wilson grabbed a goal and an assist in the reverse fixture.
Back Newcastle United to beat Crystal Palace at 9/5 in Gameweek 22.
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