Transfer recommendations ahead of Gameweek 19 – target Carabao Cup semi-finals after FA Cup lottery

GAMEWEEK 19 is a tricky one for Dream Team managers to negotiate.

Attempting to predict the Premier League clubs’ starting line-ups for the FA Cup third round fixtures is a near-impossible task as it’s traditionally a weekend that involves extensive rotation.

Looking at the schedule, it may be wise for gaffers to target the additional midweek games – in the form of the Carabao Cup semi-final first legs – in search of suitable returns in what could prove to be a banana skin of a Gameweek.


A popular recruit this week


A popular recruit this weekCredit: Getty

With that in mind, allow us to suggest some recommendations.

Cole Palmer (£3.4m)

Some Dream Team bosses will see this suggestion as a ship that’s already sailed given the 21-year-old banked 17 points against Luton last weekend.

And sure, those who transferred him in prior to Gameweek 18 will be happy as Larry but given Chelsea are one of only three teams set to pull double duty in Gameweek 19, there could be plenty more points to come.

Mauricio Pochettino may choose to rotate his preferred starting line-up but Palmer should get his fair share of minutes across games against Preston (FA Cup) and Middlesbrough (Carabao Cup).

Both opponents are currently languishing in the middle of the Championship table with the former having conceded plenty of goals so the Blues’ in-form No20 should enjoy himself if given a decent run out.

After his Player of the Match display against the Hatters, Palmer has eight goals and seven assists to his name.

The 21-year-old is now Chelsea’s top Dream Team performer too, having moved onto 124 points for the season.

The Blues will fulfil their second semi-final leg against Boro next week, meaning consecutive double Gameweeks at a time when the schedule relaxes for most other teams.

Trent Alexander-Arnold (£6m) and/or Joe Gomez (£3.4m)

An affordable differential?


An affordable differential?Credit: Dream Team

We try to avoid painfully obvious transfer recommendations in this weekly article and Alexander-Arnold certainly falls into that category as Dream Team’s top defender but he’s worth underlining this week in particular.

Like Chelsea, Liverpool will be in action in both domestic cups in Gameweek 19 and while their games are against tougher opposition, the Reds themselves are considerably stronger than the Blues at present.

Jurgen Klopp’s side face Arsenal on Sunday in what may end up a match-up between two second-string outfits before hosting Fulham in midweek.

Again, the England international’s minutes are not guaranteed but he’ll probably feature in both fixtures in some capacity.

On a similar theme, Gomez is a viable and potentially smart, value-for-money option.

The 26-year-old doesn’t provide the same attacking threat as Alexander-Arnold – not many defenders do – but with Andy Robertson (£3.7m) and Kostas Tsimikas (£3.5m) both sidelined, he’s very much first-choice left-back for the time being.

Some gaffers may not be able to afford Alexander-Arnold and so Gomez offers an affordable route into Liverpool’s defence ahead of back-to-back double Gameweeks.

Pairing the two would be perfectly reasonable too – a clean sheet in either fixture would yield healthy returns.

See also Virgil van Dijk (£4.3m), who splits the difference in terms of price.

Darwin Nunez (£4.1m)

An enigmatic figure


An enigmatic figureCredit: AFP

Seriously, Liverpool are a great team to back this month.

Much of what applied to the defenders is also relevant when discussing the Uruguayan striker.

Nunez can be a very frustrating Dream Team asset to own because he misses more than his fair share of chances but, on the other hand, he’s provided eight goals and 11 assists in all competitions this season.

Only Dream Team’s top boy Mohamed Salah (£6.5m) has more goal involvements to his name among Anfield residents and with the Egyptian superstar off to AFCON, Nunez is arguably Klopp’s most-potent weapon.

It’s not unthinkable that some combination of Luis Diaz (£3.3m), Cody Gakpo (£3.6m), Diogo Jota (£3.9m) and Harvey Elliott (£2.7m) will make up the starting front three at some stage but Nunez’s unique brand of chaos is irreplaceable.

To ram the point home, Liverpool’s No9 squandered several chances against Newcastle last time out but he still added ten points to his total from just over an hour’s playing time.

Kevin De Bruyne (£6.7m)



Loading…Credit: Getty

A tongue-in-cheek suggestion to finish.

Manchester City’s brilliant Belgian was an unused substitute against Sheffield United and is therefore expected to get some minutes against Huddersfield this weekend.

The sensible thing to do would be to wait for a glimpse of De Bruyne in action before deciding on his Dream Team viability but such is the enormity of the playmaker’s talent, the thought of even a 20-minute cameo against a relegation-threatened Championship outfit is enough to spark the embers of temptation.

One thing’s for sure, if De Bruyne returns and resumes normal service, his ownership will increase sharply – there’s something to be said for getting in early.

At the very least, he’s one to keep a close eye on this weekend.

The deadline for Gameweek 19 is 6:15pm on Friday – don’t get caught out by Brentford v Wolves kicking-off at 7:15pm!

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