How many of our picks are in your squad?
Normally, we wouldn’t waste our time telling you to sign Salah, who is the highest points scorer in the game and as close to essential as any player could ever be, but this week it is absolutely essential that he is part of your squad.
An extremely promising double gameweek of two home fixtures against Norwich and Leeds – the two worst defences in the top flight – will see Salah be the leading captaincy option by far and this season’s triple captain for many, many managers.
Despite that, at the time of writing, his ownership sits just slightly under 50%. His recent absence at the Africa Cup of Nations means a lot of managers are still waiting to bring the Egyptian back in. Don’t delay it any longer. However you do it, make sure he is in your squad by the deadline.
While Liverpool have the strongest double on paper, Arsenal’s has plenty of potential too and particularly on the defensive end as Mikel Arteta’s much-improved side prepare to welcome the rather goal-shy Brentford and Wolves to the Emirates.
With a decent chance of clean sheet points, anything on top of that would be an added bonus and makes Tierney the most enticing option in the Arsenal backline. His 5.1m price comes in under that of team-mate Gabriel, who has some goal threat of his own nevertheless.
If you are investing in Arsenal though, be aware that they have no fixture next week. Liverpool and Chelsea do not play either. You should only buy from these clubs if you can manage those absences, either by using your bench or playing a Free Hit.
For those who are saving a Free Hit for a rainy day and want to avoid blanks while exploiting doubles, Burnley are an ideal place to look for bargains. Sean Dyche’s side have a ‘double-double’ on the horizon and the potential for more to come.
Many managers are sweating on the fitness of Wout Weghorst, who could be key to our late season strategy if the injury he picked up against Liverpool is not deemed to be serious. Dyche said on Thursday that they are “expecting him to be OK”.
Otherwise, the safest picks are the familiar trio of Tarkowski, Ben Mee and goalkeeper Nick Pope. Tarkowski’s set-piece threat swings it for us, as Burnley face Crystal Palace and Leicester in next week’s double. This week’s – against Brighton and Tottenham – could be fruitful too.
It is a double gameweek but that does not mean that those with just one fixture should be ignored. In fact, there are plenty of strong single gameweek options with West Ham hosting Newcastle, Aston Villa up against Watford, Manchester United taking on Leeds and Brighton hosting Burnley.
Our favourite single gameweek punt is Southampton’s Broja, though, who begins a promising set of fixtures at St Mary’s against a leaky Everton. The Albanian’s popularity should rocket over the next few weeks so early investment could be wise and his 5.3m price remains excellent value for a player with impressive underlyings.
Returning to those doublers though, this could be a good few weeks to be Saka owner, provided you can navigate next week’s blank. Not only do Arsenal have a decent double this time around, but they could well have another just around the corner in gameweek 28.
Their postponed trip to Stamford Bridge – due to Chelsea’s Club World Cup participation – could fall into that week along with a visit to Vicarage Road. Attacking returns are not as predictable as defensives ones at the Emirates but, with Gabriel Martinelli suspended for the first of this week’s games, moving to Saka is the next best move.