Fantasy Premier League Gameweek 31 tips: Pick Liverpool's Mohamed Salah as captain; Wilfred Zaha might fire for Crystal Palace
In a week where only one top six side play, it is easily Liverpool who have the edge over other teams when it comes to their players picked for FPL squads.
Gameweek 30 saw a few old favourites turn up and unexpectedly give good returns, as those who picked for sentimental reasons might have been rewarded. Petr Cech, Shkodran Mustafi, David Silva and Henrikh Mkhitaryan all had double digit returns as Kenedy sizzled for Newcastle.
Easily the most difficult of gameweeks to predict, gameweek 31 is very likely to thrown up unusual results.
Liverpool the favourites
In a week where only one top six side play, it is easily Liverpool who have the edge over other teams when it comes to their players picked for FPL squads. They come up at home against Javi Garcia’s Watford, so the Reds are likely to pick up three easy points at Anfield.
Having the mid-week off, the Reds have a full contingent to pick from, with Mo’ Salah, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain all favourites to picked for FPL managers.
In defence, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Loris Karius and Andy Robertson are worth picking as Jurgen Klopp will be hoping his men can manage a clean sheet in the race for the top four.
In attack, Mane could prove to be the differential. Over the last four Gameweeks, the Senegalese has matched Salah's 14 shots and eights chances created, managing five goals and one assist in his last five gameweeks. Owned by only 10.9% of managers, Mane could make that difference this week.
Don’t play your wildcard
Due to only four games played in this gameweek, there’s a potential 16-game week in the offing, sometime in the near future. There’s a likelihood that even the most unplanned of squads will include six to seven players from the eight teams in action, with foresighted managers maybe even managing an entire playing eleven.
The obvious pay-off here is an average loss of 8-10 points for the missing players in question. A smart pick on the bloated gameweek is more than likely to compensate for these points as managers would be best left, keeping their wildcard for that week.
Those wanting to cash in on this gameweek might want to play their Free Hit chip, but they must be warned that the squad will return to it’s original composition for the following gameweek.
Baines, Zaha, Schindler: the weekly picks
Leighton Baines is back to penalty taking duties and the Evertonian left-back comes up against Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium. Sure, Xherdan Shaqiri could also be a good pick but Baines will be hoping for a clean sheet. He is also on set-piece duties and could notch up an assist.
Wilfred Zaha’s injury has coincided with Crystal Palace’s wretched form but Huddersfield at home could be there for the taking as the winger returns. Easily one of the best players outside the top six when on form, Zaha could light up a bleak gameweek for FPL managers.
The smartest FPL owners always hedge their bets and so it must be done on Christopher Schindler this week. The German has been the Terriers’ best defensive player all season and he managed a clean sheet last week as well, so in case Palace and Zaha miss, have your back-up in Schindler ready.
Captaincy picks: Salah, Salah, Salah
Do you have Mo’ Salah in your squad? If not, then you should pick the Egyptian for Klopp is likely to. It is hard to look past a man who’s in this blistering form.
Last week was a dampener, yes, but free from the clutches of Ashley Young’s pocket, you can bet Salah is eager to make up for lost time. This is a man who has broken Luis Suarez’s goalscoring record for Liverpool in the month of March, so yeah, we’d say that he’s pretty good.
And in case, you feel like taking a chance or two, there’s always Bobby Firmino and Sadio Mane.
The club have cancelled Wednesday's pre-match press conference, at which Lijnders was due to speak.
Premier League: Liverpool beat Brentford to move up to second in table; Jack Harrison hat-trick fires Leeds to victory
Liverpool kept their slim hopes of reeling in Manchester City at the top of the Premier League alive by seeing off Brentford 3-0 at Anfield to move up to second in the table on Sunday.
The Egypt international has fewer than 18 months remaining on his current deal and has reiterated whether he stays or goes remains in the hands of Liverpool.