Here we’ll preview gameweek 29 game-by-game, mulling over recent stats to consider which team is likely to have the advantage.
We’ll also provide a player pick for each fixture – someone we think could haul in the upcoming gameweek.
Fulham vs Leeds
Friday 19th March 20:00
This match is likely to be hard-fought, with Fulham looking to escape the impending threat of relegation and Leeds never likely to take their foot off the gas with Marcelo Bielsa in charge. It should make for an entertaining game of football.
Leeds won the reverse fixture 4-3 in gameweek 2 – although that predated Fulham’s new-found defensive resilience. Scott Parker’s men have kept five clean sheets in their last eight and they are bound to provide stiff resistance against a Leeds side who have not been quite so free-scoring as late. Raphinha (5.6m) is always a threat though, although his returns are somewhat limited by the wasteful finishing from those around him.
Alphonse Areola (4.6m) could be an inspired pick in goal for Fulham. The PSG loanee has proved to be one of the best goalkeepers in the league this season and he is likely to be called into action several times against an attacking, albeit wasteful, Leeds side. Other options include captain Joachim Andersen (4.5m) and fellow centre-back Tosin Adarabioyo (4.5m). Leeds famously struggle to defend set pieces and both players could pick up attacking returns on set pieces.
The chart below compares Andersen (red) and Adarabioyo (blue). There is very little in it, but Adarabioyo shades it on xG and xPts over the whole season – so perhaps he is the man to punt on for GW29.
Player pick – Tosin Adarabioyo
Brighton vs Newcastle
Saturday 20th March 20:00
Brighton ended a five-match winless run in GW28, as a goal from Leandro Trossard in the 56th minute proved to be the winner at Southampton. They now host a Newcastle side who are edging closer and closer towards the relegation zone.
Brighton won the reverse fixture 3-0 and they should be confident ahead of this weekend’s meeting. Neal Maupay (6.1m) scored a brace that day as he enjoyed a fine spell of form at the start of the season. The French forward has failed to score in his last nine however, so it is probably best to avoid the number 9 for GW29.
It is at the back where Brighton look ripe for investment this week. Since GW23, only Chelsea have had a lower xGC. With an xGC of just 4.29 in that time, Brighton’s numbers are significantly better than even Manchester City’s (8.84). The table below illustrates this.
Lewis Dunk (5.0m) is perhaps the standout pick here then. The physical centre-back has had seven shots since GW23 – only six other defenders have taken on more in that time. With four goals already this season, his goal threat is well-known. Against a vulnerable Newcastle side, there is a good chance of both defensive and attacking returns for Dunk in GW29.
Player pick – Lewis Dunk
West Ham vs Arsenal
Sunday 21st March 15:00
West Ham’s poor run of form against the top teams continued in GW28, as they fell to a 1-0 defeat at Old Trafford. David Moyes’ men have managed just one win this season against the current top six, a 3-0 win away at Leicester. They host Arsenal in GW29, who they lost 2-1 to at the Emirates earlier in the season.
The Hammers should take confidence from the fact that Arsenal played in midweek. The Gunners scraped through their Europa League Round of 16 tie despite losing 1-0 against Olympiakos in the second leg. West Ham will hope to take advantage of their fresher legs on Sunday afternoon.
Jesse Lingard (6.1m) has been West Ham’s danger man of late. The midfielder will be fresh having been ineligible to face his former club Manchester United in GW28. An England recall will have also handed Lingard a huge confidence boost which may well lead to a decisive performance against Arsenal, who have failed to keep a clean sheet since January in the Premier League.
With four goals and two assists in his last six, back Lingard to come up with the goods again this weekend. Michail Antonio (6.7m) and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (11.5m) are two others who could be worth punts, but Lingard seems to be the safe option at present.
Player pick – Jesse Lingard
Aston Villa vs Tottenham
Sunday 21st March 19:30
Tottenham were left humiliated on Thursday night, as they were unceremoniously dumped out of the Europa League after a 3-0 defeat at Dinamo Zagreb. It remains to be seen how Jose Mourinho will react, but there could be some personnel changes come Sunday evening when Spurs travel to Villa Park.
Dean Smith’s men will hope to take advantage of the disarray, with Villa themselves not enjoying the best of form at present. Their performances have taken a dive since Jack Grealish was injured and their captain remains a doubt ahead of kick-off.
They have won just one of their last six, although they have conceded just four goal in that time. Bonus point King Emi Martinez (5.4m) remains a fantastic option then, although he will have to be at his best to keep the likes of Harry Kane (11.5m) and Gareth Bale (9.6m) out.
Kane’s effective ownership is likely to be through the roof in GW29, despite playing 120 minutes on Thursday night. With 16 goals and 13 assists so far this season, the England international is by far and away the most appealing captaincy pick this week. It is probably too dangerous to avoid having Kane, so he is our player pick for this fixture.
Player pick – Harry Kane
Best of luck for gameweek 29 FPL managers!
All stats from fantasyfootballhub.co.uk