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Now that we have reached the business end of the season, we are fortunate enough to have Premier League games thrown at us thick and fast. This weekend sees only six Premier League fixtures being played out thanks to the FA Cup semi-finals.
So let’s consider the must-haves and must-nots for Gameweek 34.
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When looking to bring in a defender in fantasy football, it is key to pick a player that either has the potential of bagging a clean sheet or who finds themselves high up the pitch and with the potential for a goal or assist. Antonio Valencia has both attributes and this week, he could be crucial in the away game against Burnley. Harry Maguire has been one of Hull’s bright sparks this season and with 2 goals in 2 Premier League games, can he do a Phil Jagielka and make it 3 in a row? Our final must defender is just that man, Jagielka. With 3 goals in his last 3, he may do well to make it 4, but he and Everton should brush past a West Ham side who have been in poor form. Everton will also see this as a great opportunity to get back to clean sheet ways, having uncharacteristically not kept one over the last 4 weeks.
Hull play at home this week, which, if we go off recent form, means the Tigers probably won’t lose! Kamil Grosicky has shown some glimpses of class since joining the Tigers and they will be looking to him once again this week as they host Watford. Another team that will need their big player to step up is Swansea. Gylfi Sigurdsson has failed to provide any attacking return in the last 5 gameweeks. He had returned at least an assist in the previous seven, however with a crucial game against Stoke, the Icelandic playmaker may just step up to the plate. Our final must have midfielder is Liverpool’s playmaker, Philippe Coutinho. Coutinho blanked last week, but it was the first time in 4 gameweeks and Coutinho still has 3 goals in his last 4!
Alvaro Negredo has now scored 2 in his last 3 and he may just be finding some form at the perfect time for a relegation threatened Middlesbrough side. Boro travel to Bournemouth in a 3pm kick off, which could end up being quite an open affair with both sides going for the win. Romelu Lukaku loves playing against West Ham, with 7 goals and 4 assists in his last 8 Premier League fixtures against The Hammers. Need we say anymore?
Bearing in mind who our final must have was, its only right that Jose Fonte, James Collins and co should be avoided this week, as a clean sheet is highly unlikely. West Ham have only 1 clean sheet from their last 17 games, a woeful record and so these guys are definitely worth leaving off this week. Due to the aforementioned home form of Hull, and the fact that Watford have only kept 2 clean sheets away from home all season, we would advise against bringing in defenders Jose Holebas and Daryl Janmaat.
Etienne Capoue scored some attacking returns last time out for the first time in 9 gameweeks. For his previous goal, you have to go all the way back to Premier League gameweek 12 against Leicester! Hull may have not kept a clean sheet at home in their last 4 but they are producing results. If Watford are to score anything at the KCOM Stadium, it will be minimal. Another player we advise against is Joey Barton. Despite Burnley’s pretty impressive home sturdiness, Barton does very little in terms of fantasy points and therefore would be one to leave out of your teams.
No attacking returns in 6 games and struggling for consistent game time is enough reason to consider Andre Gray a must not this week. With Manchester United coming to town, you can’t expect many attacking returns from the Burnley striker should he get a meaningful amount of game time so definitely consider other options this week. Our final must-not comes in the form of Palace striker, Christian Benteke. This is a risky shout given his recent form of 3 goals and an assist in 4 games but at Anfield against his former employees who are chasing security on their top 4 spot, this could be a tough afternoon for the big Belgian.