ANY Dream Team gaffer worth their salt knows to squeeze the schedule for all it’s worth.
Aston Villa, Chelsea and Nottingham Forest are the only teams set to fulfil two fixtures in Gameweek 22 and so their best assets should be given due consideration.
The Villains will host the Blues next Wednesday (February 7th) in a FA Cup fourth round replay to determine which side will face the winners of Plymouth v Leeds in the next stage of the competition.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s men are scheduled to meet Bristol City on the same night with the victor due to meet Manchester United in the fifth round.
GAMEWEEK 22 DOUBLE FIXTURES:
- Aston Villa: vs Sheffield United (a), Chelsea (h)
- Chelsea: vs Wolves (h), Aston Villa (a)
- Nottingham Forest: vs Bournemouth (a), Bristol City (h)
Forest’s double header is inviting but they may not be in a position to take full advantage.
Results have improved since Steve Cooper was dismissed but defeat to out-of-form Brentford followed by a 0-0 draw to the Robins has come as something of a reality check for the team currently 16th in the Premier League table.
The good news is that Morgan Gibbs-White (£3.1m) returned from injury in the second half against Bristol City – the 24-year-old midfielder is his side’s best Dream Team performer this season having earned 110 points.
Forest’s No10 would be the man to own for Dream Team gaffers who want to target the club’s Gameweek 22 fixtures but such a ploy would likely be nothing more than a hopeful, short-term punt.
Gibbs-White and company are due to face Newcastle, West Ham, Aston Villa, Liverpool and Brighton between Gameweeks 23 and 27 – a run that includes four of the current top seven.
Backing Chelsea and Villa assets seems to be a wiser strategy.
Gaffers losing patience with Ollie Watkins (£4m) amid a downturn in form would probably do well to retain him for Gameweek 22 – if he fails to deliver the goods across two fixtures then that would surely be the final straw.
Ezri Konsa (£3.2m) is a decent pick as he’s level with Kieran Trippier (£4.8m) on 37 bonus points this season, the joint-most among defenders.
And the midfield options of John McGinn (£3.6m), Douglas Luiz (£3.5m), Leon Bailey (£2.9m) and Moussa Diaby (£3m) all have their merits – all four have 100+ points to their name.
As for Mauricio Pochettino’s troops, Cole Palmer (£4.1m) is evidently the standout candidate.
With 11 goals and nine assists this season, the 21-year-old may also be the optimum captain for Gameweek 22.
That being said, Wolves are unbeaten in their last seven games while a trip to Villa Park is statistically among the most difficult fixtures this season.
However, Chelsea are in good form themselves having lost just one of their last seven fixtures, scoring 16 goals in that time.
Doubling up on Chelsea midfielders in Gameweek 22 with Palmer and Raheem Sterling (£4m) is certainly a viable tactic.
Dream Team managers shouldn’t alter their entire strategy because of three FA Cup replays but some representation in the next round of midweek fixtures could go a long way.
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