Premier League football resumed last week following the coronavirus-enforced hiatus, and with it came the return of FPL. The deadline for GW31+ is fast approaching, with managers allowed until 5pm BST on Tuesday to organise their teams. Ahead of the upcoming gameweek, Express Sport has spoken to FPL expert AbuBakar Siddiq about some transfer selections that may prove fruitful.
After taking an interest in FPL 10 years ago, Siddiq has gone on to become one of the game’s leading players, with his highlight being a fourth-place finish worldwide in the 2014/15 season.
“I was introduced to the game by a friend of mine in 2010, and I developed an instant like for the game given my enthusiasm for football in general,” Siddiq told Express Sport.
“What I liked the most was that playing FPL meant that I could watch a lot of games I would have no interest in had I not been playing the game.
“And then came a once in a million season in 2014/15 where I had a genuine chance of winning FPL and in the race I ended up finishing fourth.
“I have been completely hooked ever since and haven’t looked back.”
Fantasy Premier League transfer tips for GW31+
Siddiq has provided his top picks for each position, plus a differential option.
Goalkeeper: Nick Pope (£4.9m)
Siddiq says: “Burnley keepers are usually a safe bet for FPL, as they present a rare combination of being value for money along with their clean sheet and saves potential.
“Burnley have kept the most amount of clean sheets at home this season, and Pope by far has the best minutes per baseline bonus ratio of all Burnley defenders hence it is extremely likely that he will haul big whenever Burnley are to keep a clean sheet.”
Differential goalkeeper: Martin Dubravka (£5.1m)
Siddiq says: “Newcastle have conceded the joint fewest amount of goals at home this season, and are coming on the back of an emphatic win against Sheffield United.
“Villa, despite playing twice this gameweek, have the 2nd lowest xG from open play, and seem heavily dependent on set plays which Newcastle should be well equipped to deal with.”
Defender: Matt Doherty (£6.3m)
Siddiq says: “We witnessed yet another superb display from the Wolves defence against West Ham on Saturday.
“What makes Doherty super explosive is that not only does he rank highest among defenders for big chances but Wolves have conceded the fewest amount of big chances all season making his FPL pedigree three dimensional.”
Differential defender: James Justin (£4.7m)
Siddiq says: “The Leicester right-back is my differential defender. With a stellar performance against Watford and a long term injury to Ricardo Pereira, Justin has made the right-back slot his own.
“At just £4.7m, he represents a cheap way into a solid Leicester defence – no defender accumulated bonus at a faster rate in GW30+ than Justin.”
Midfielder: Bruno Fernandes (£8.6m)
Siddiq says: “Given Manchester United’s fixtures, Bruno Fernandes seems a must-have from GW31+ onwards. The fact that he’s on penalties is massive.
“No team has been awarded more penalties than Man United over the past 2 seasons – to put into context, United have been awarded 23 with the next highest being Leicester with 14.
“From the evidence so far, he also seems very bonus friendly, having earned bonus points in 50% of the league games he has played till date.”
Differential midfielder: Heung-Min Son (£9.7m)
Siddiq says: “Heung-Min Son averaged ≈7.63 points in the reverse fixtures against his upcoming eight opponents this season, including three double-digit hauls.
“He could be a massive differential with just ≈6% ownership for those who are willing to take the plunge.”
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Forward: Raul Jimenez (£8.1m)
Siddiq says: “Raul Jimenez is my pick here and I think the Wolves forward has such numbers that he picks himself.
“Jimenez has the best-expected goal involvement, shots inside the box, chances created and big chances created of all forwards this season. He should have some fun against an out of sorts Bournemouth defence this week.”
Differential forward: Marcus Rashford (£8.8m)
Siddiq says: “Marcus Rashford is my differential forward this week. Rashford was in a lot of active teams earlier on in the season but is now more of a differential due to his injury.
“Despite having his minutes curtailed by injury, Rashford has recorded the second-highest number of big chances at home of all forwards this season and will now fancy himself against a second-string Sheffield United defence, who will be missing their regulars in [Dean] Henderson, [John] Egan and [Jack] O’Connell.”
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