FPL tips: Salah, Hazard safe choices but Aguero can be differential captain of the season

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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 2326997-532303.

Following the hectic festive fixtures, breathing space ahead of Gameweek 22 has finally afforded Fantasy Premier League to take stock, make calculated decisions and plan ahead.

The Premier League returns on Saturday after the domestic cup games over the last week and many will be contemplating playing their second wildcard of the season.

Manchester United’s assets have certainly worked their way into consideration, but they travel to Tottenham in this round. There’s no shortage of high-profile options though with Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool all facing attractive fixtures.

Here are a few tips ahead of Gameweek 22.

CAPTAIN – SERGIO AGUERO | MANCHESTER CITY | 11.2M

In a GW that offers so many safe options for the armband, there’s a hint of uncertainty around Sergio Aguero. Normally, the Argentine would be a no-brainer but he has been ill this week, only returning to training on Friday while Gabriel Jesus’ four goals during City’s 9-0 League Cup win over Burton Albion has put the Brazilian in contention for a starting role.

However, Pep Guardiola seems to have preferred Aguero when both strikers are fit and the 30-year-old should have a clean bill of health by Monday night. With City in pursuit of league leaders Liverpool, the Spaniard won’t want to take any chances with his team selection.

Aguero has delivered attacking returns in all eight of his home starts this season, bagging 10 goals and six assists at Etihad Stadium. Meanwhile, Wolves have managed just one clean sheet in their last 13 GWs.

The City striker has looked really sharp since his return from injury and with an ownership of just over 22 per cent, he could be the differential captain pick of the season.

Sergio Aguero

Sergio Aguero

ALTERNATIVES

EDEN HAZARD (11.1m) has proved to be a frustrating FPL asset at times but seems to enjoy playing Newcastle. He scored against them earlier this term and bagged a brace against the Magpies at home last season.

MOHAMED SALAH (13.3m) is one of the hottest FPL players at the moment and despite failing to deliver against City, should be back among the goals away to Brighton. His underlying stats away from home are impressive so that shouldn’t deter owners looking to captain him.

BOLD CHOICE

RICHARLISON (6.9m) has been fairly quiet of late with just one goal and assist in the last five GWs. However, with Bournemouth’s leaky defence visiting Goodison Park on Sunday, you’d back the Brazilian to get on the score sheet.

Richarlison

Richarlison

TWO TO WATCH

ASHLEY BARNES  | BURNLEY | 5.6M

Burnley have enjoyed something of a resurgence recently and host a Fulham side who have kept just two clean sheets all season. That’s why at just 5.6m, Ashley Barnes should be on your radar. The striker striker has delivered in three of the last four GWs with two goals and an assist.

Ashley Barnes

KEVIN DE BRUYNE | MANCHESTER CITY | 9.7M

Last season, Kevin De Bruyne was crucial to City’s title charge and Guardiola will enjoy having him back as they look to defend their crown. He scored the opening goal against Burton and should start on Monday night after being substituted early in the second half. With an ownership of just 3.7 per cent, he offers a superb differential with good fixtures ahead.

Kevin De Bruyne

Kevin De Bruyne

TWO TO AVOID

SON HEUNG-MIN | TOTTENHAM | 8.8M

If you’re looking longingly at Son Heung-min’s excellent past few GWs, I’m afraid you’ve missed the gravy train. After four double-figure hauls in the last six GWs, the South Korean is heading off for international duty, competing in the Asian Cup in UAE. Keep an eye out for his return though which should be in early February at the latest.

Heung-min Son

Heung-min Son

FELIPE ANDERSON| WEST HAM | 7.4M

Felipe Anderson has exceeded expectations this season and while his 15-point haul in GW19 is still fresh in the memory, it was his only returns in his last four outings. With Marko Arnautovic back in action and Manuel Pellegrini adding Samir Nasri to West Ham’s ranks, Anderson’s influence on games may dwindle. The Hammers face Arsenal this week before hosting Liverpool in GW25.

Felipe Anderson (1)

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