FPL Tips: Captain Rashford & 3 Double GW must-haves

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Each week, Sport360 will bring you tips for the English Premier League’s official fantasy football game. Fancy pitting your wits against us? You can join “Sport360 Fans'” league using the code 118790-38575.

The much anticipated Double Gameweek in round 34 is upon but beware, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.

You might be tempted to try and capitalise on the three teams that play twice in this round and while it’s always favourable to do that, don’t go wildly out of your way to make it happen.

Manchester United, Crystal Palace and Middlesbrough are the teams in question when it comes to the DGW. However, most United players are unlikely to play both games, Palace have two difficult fixtures with Liverpool away and Tottenham at home while relegation-threatened Middlesbrough are hardly reliable for points despite the kind fixtures.

Nevertheless, this column will address the players to look at for the DGW while also making a case for Marcus Rashford as captain.

But first, here’s a look at the tactical geniuses who make up the top five in our fans league this week.


WHO TO PICK AS CAPTAIN

Romelu Lukaku [10.5m] was our captain pick in Gameweek 33 and he did well to return six point thanks to his goal in Everton’s 3-1 win over Burnley.

This week, we’re backing Marcus Rashford [6.5m] who is most certainly a gamble but hey, what’s life without a few risks?

The 19-year-old has hardly been a regular in the Premier League this season but he has gained some momentum of late, playing at least some part in the last 10 games and starting six of them.

It seems unlikely that he will start both games after being integral in United’s intense win over Chelsea and then playing extra-time o Thursday night as well. However, he’s not been used at full tilt this season and he is ever so young so he should have plenty of gas in the tank.

Furthermore, those two vital goals over the past week might well be among the most important in United’s season and would have boosted his confidence exponentially, an area he seemed to be lacking in earlier in the campaign.

If you’re looking to stick with a single-game candidate though, Lukaku again is your best bet as he travels to West Ham United, a team he seems to enjoy playing.

THREE MUST-HAVES

If you insist on bringing in players who will feature in the DGW, here are a few worth considering.

ERIC BAILLY – MANCHESTER UNITED (5.4M)

Antonio Valencia (6.0m) has been the prime option in United’s back-line this season but Jose Mourinho has made it clear recently that he cannot play every game until the end of the campaign and will be rested. You’d think Burnly on Sunday would be one he’d miss out on after playing against Chelsea and Anderlecht.

Eric Bailly meanwhile seems indispensable at the moment given United’s injury crisis in central defence with Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and, most recently, Marcos Rojo out of action. He’s never scored or assisted this season but his style of play in terms of carrying the ball forward, blocks, interceptions, tackles and distribution has seen him register 13 bonus points.

CHRISTIAN BENTEKE – CRYSTAL PALACE (7.2M)

Wilfried Zaha (6.0m) has scored the most points for Palace this season despite going away for the AFCON briefly but given the fixtures they have in this round, Christian Benteke is more likely to deliver.

The Belgian has been in good form of late, registering three goals and an assist in the last four games.

ALVARO NEGREDO – MIDDLESBROUGH (6.2M)

The Spaniard has disappointed in the second half of the season, going on a run of just one goal in 11 appearances. However, he’s scored twice in his last three and has Bournemouth and Sunderland to face in this round.


Fancy pitting your wits against us? Join the “Sport360 Fans'” league using the code 118790-38575. 

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PFA TOTY: Best XI that missed out

Brendon Netto 20/04/2017

Chelsea and Tottenham both have four representatives in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year.

N'Golo Kante and Eden Hazard, both nominated for the PFA Player of the Year award, make the cut while team-mates Gary Cahill and David Luiz are also in the line-up.

Dele Alli and striker Harry Kane, as well as full-backs Danny Rose and Kyle Walker are included in the XI from Spurs.

Manchester United's David De Gea gets the nod for a fourth consecutive season in goal. Meanwhile, Liverpool's Sadio Mane and Everton striker Romelu Lukaku who leads the race for the Golden Boot with 24 goals, complete the line-up. Here's a look at 10 of the best performers this season who were excluded. ALEXIS SANCHEZ - ARSENAL Why he could've been in the XI: His exclusion is probably the most baffling. He's consistently performed in an Arsenal side that hasn't. Not only has he managed 19 goals and nine assists in the league this season, he's always shown great commitment and work ethic. What went against him: He's in a team that simply isn't competing at a level that they need to. It's hard to make a case for Eden Hazard over Sanchez apart from the fact that the Belgian will most likely have a Premier League medal around his neck at the end of the campaign. CESAR AZPILICUETA - CHELSEA Why he could've been in the XI: When Antonio Conte shifted three at the back, the system that's been the foundation of what could end up being a title-winning season, he made the shift to centre-back effortlessly. The Spaniard has been extremely reliable, playing every single minute of Chelsea's campaign and adapting to playing more centrally with ease. What went against him: Competition. The Team of the Year includes Chelsea's other two centre-backs Gary Cahill and David Luiz. DIEGO COSTA - CHELSEA Why he could've been in the XI: He was Chelsea's go-to man for the first half of the season. He consistently made the difference, scoring crucial goals that earned his sides narrow wins. What went against him: He's on a bit of a drought at the moment, failing to score in his last five outings. However, he hasn't been the same player ever since the rumours of a move to China cropped up. ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC - MANCHESTER UNITED Why he could've been in the XI: He's carried Manchester United for most of the season and is the only reason why they even have a chance of finishing in the top four. Not only has he scored 17 goals in the league,  but much of his side's attacking play revolves around him. What went against him: It must me said that the Swede has been wasteful in front of goal, missing 18 big chances so far, more than any other player.
MARCOS ALONSO - CHELSEA Why he could've been in the XI: He's been fantastic in defence and attack. The Spaniard has five goals in the league, Gareth McAuley is the only defender to score more (6). He also has four assists to his name. What went against him: It was always going to be a close call between him and Danny Rose and you can't say the Englishman doesn't deserve his place given Tottenham's season as well. KEVIN DE BRUYNE - MANCHESTER CITY Why he could've been in the XI: The Beligian has registered the most assists so far this season (13). He's been City's most consistent player, even earning high praise from Pep Guardiola who ranks him just a notch below Lionel Messi. What went against him: After a solid start to the season, he did go off the boil a bit before starting to deliver again. Hasn't done enough to force himself into the best XI. ANTONIO VALENCIA - MANCHESTER UNITED Why he could've been in the XI: He's been the most consistent in United's back-line that's kept 12 clean sheets, just one less than Spurs and Chelsea. He's been quality going forward as well, making more crosses per game (1.5) than any other defender. What went against him: Despite his forays forward, his return of three assists and a goal isn't overly impressive while Kyle Walker has blown the competition out of the water with his form at right-back.  
ROBERTO FIRMINO - LIVERPOOL Why he could've been in the XI: He's scored 11 goals and made six assists while only missing two games all season. He's had to step up when the likes of Adam Lallana, Sadio Mane or Philippe Coutinho has been unavailable. What went against him: Despite being more of a permanent fixture in the side, Mane has been the more explosive threat at Liverpool. TOM HEATON - BURNLEY Why he could've been in the XI: The English keeper has had an outstanding season, making some of the best saves of the campaign. In fact he's made the most saves in the league with 126 and has also saved a penalty. What went against him: Unfortunately, and as you'd expect at Burnley, Heaton hasn't had enough clean sheets but nine isn't too shabby at all either. CHRISTIAN ERIKSEN - TOTTENHAM Why he could've been in the XI: He's quite simply been the midfield lynchpin for Spurs, influencing their play more than any other player. In fact, he's made the most key passes per game (3) in the league apart from Dimitri Payet (4.1) who left for Marseille in January. He also has 12 assists this season, just one less than lead Kevin De Bruyne. What went against him: His team-mate Dele Alli has overshadowed him to a certain extent with his penchant for goal-scoring. The Englishman is the highest-scoring midfielder in the league with 16 strikes. TOBY ALDERWEIRELD - TOTTENHAM Why he could've been in the XI: He's been an absolute rock at the back for Spurs. Apart from being a supreme reader of the game, he's also been key to the team's build-up play with his excellent distribution. What went against him: It must've been touch-and-go. He's been far more integral to his side than either Luiz or Cahill. The fact that Spurs are second and not first is his only shortcoming compared to the Chelsea duo.

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Man City set up fan zone in Abu Dhabi for FA Cup semi-final

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City often hold fan events in Abu Dhabi.

Manchester City FC fans of all ages will gather at Zayed Sports City this weekend for the vital FA Cup semi-final game with rivals Arsenal.

And ahead of it, star defender John Stones paid tribute to those in Abu Dhabi and across the country who support the team.

He said: “We had heard a lot about the support the team has in Abu Dhabi and on the recent trip we all saw that and it was fantastic to meet fans and interact as much as possible.

“Events that bring them together are great and the club does a lot in this area – both getting young people playing and having them watch us play.”

The Fanzone event in Abu Dhabi will be held on the football pitch next to the tennis stadium – with the doors opening at 5.30pm on Saturday, April 23 and kick-off at 6pm.

Activities and competitions will take place before the game and at half-time with refreshments available throughout the day.

Entry is free with everyone welcome. Fans can register by going to https://www.mancity.com/campaigns/zayed-sports-city—official-screening-event.

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