The Fantasy Premier League schedule is going into overdrive during April with five rounds of fixtures taking place over the next few weeks, starting with Gameweek 30 on Saturday.
Following the all-you-can-eat buffet that was the biggest double gameweek of the campaign in round 29 comes a more modest sharing platter this week with just the 10 fixtures being played on Easter weekend.
There are interesting match-ups wherever you look: Champions League-chasing Manchester United are in action against Championship-threatened Everton; bottom-of-the-table Southampton entertain title-challenging Manchester City and beleaguered Spurs face buoyant Brighton in an intriguing top-four clash.
Appetising as those and other fixtures are, it is impossible to look past The Big One at Anfield when Liverpool take on league leaders Arsenal on Sunday. Jurgen Klopp rested (or demoted, depending on your viewpoint) Mo Salah, Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold in midweek, perhaps with a view to bloodying Arsenal noses on Sunday.
Liverpool are a shadow of their former selves, but Anfield has an unnerving, unsettling effect on opposition teams, as Mikel Arteta knows only too well having been on the end of a couple of hidings there. Gary Neville has gone as far as crowning Arsenal the Premier League champions if they return to London from Merseyside with three points safely stored in their overhead luggage. It’s a biggie, that’s for sure.
Gameweek 29 top scorers
- Martinez (Aston Villa) – 14
- Steele (Brighton) – 10
- Kepa (Chelsea), Fabianski (West Ham) – 8
- Aguerd (West Ham) – 15
- Trippier (Newcastle) – 12
- Kehrer (West Ham) – 11
- Mings (Aston Villa), Keane (Everton) – 10
- Mitoma (Brighton) – 14
- De Bruyne (Man City) – 13
- Sinisterra (Leeds), Grealish (Man City) – 12
- McGinn (Aston Villa), Harrison (Leeds), Willock (Newcastle) – 10
- Watkins (Aston Villa) – 17
- Jesus (Arsenal) – 12
- Solanke (Bournemouth) – 11
- Alvarez (Man City) – 10
*Man Utd vs Brentford and West Ham vs Newcastle still to play
FPL managers who no longer have access to their second Wildcard of the campaign may want to start using their transfers to snap up Brighton, Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United assets, ahead of Double Gameweek 34.
Here is this week’s team for Gameweek 30:
Gameweek 30 fixtures
Saturday 8 April
- Man Utd vs Everton
- Aston Villa vs Nottingham Forest
- Brentford vs Newcastle
- Fulham vs West Ham
- Leicester vs Bournemouth
- Spurs vs Brighton
- Wolves vs Chelsea
- Southampton vs Man City
Sunday 9 April
- Leeds vs Crystal Palace
- Liverpool vs Arsenal
Emi Martinez (Aston Villa)
Emi Martinez is one of the least popular goalkeeping options in FPL this season – the injured Edouard Mendy and Dean Henderson are in more teams than the World Cup winner – but he is gradually rising up the FPL charts after an impressive run of form that peaked with a seven-save display at Stamford Bridge.
Unai Emery has tightened up Villa significantly, to the extent that they have kept four clean sheets in their last six matches, only conceding twice in that run. Another shutout could be forthcoming for Martinez and co this weekend when they face the lowest-scoring away side in the country: Nottingham Forest have managed a pitiful five goals on the road.
Price: £4.9m Points: 102 Gameweek 30 fixture: Nottingham Forest (h)
Kieran Trippier (Newcastle)
After 11 gameweeks without a double-digit score, Kieran Trippier finally helped himself to a huge points haul as Newcastle deservedly beat Manchester United. A typically pinpoint set-piece delivery for Callum Wilson’s match-clinching goal allied to a clean sheet gave Trippier a dozen points in the opening match of the gameweek, with West Ham still to come.
It was a timely reminder of Trippier’s qualities and why he is near enough an essential FPL pick this season. So inspired has Trippier’s form been that he is chasing down the all-time FPL record points tally from a defender across a single campaign. He’s 47 points behind Andy Robertson’s tally of 213 from 2018-19 with 11 games to go.
Price: £6.1m Points: 166 Gameweek 30 fixture: Brentford (a)
Luke Shaw (Man Utd)
Manchester United were desperately poor against Newcastle last weekend and have been out of sorts since lifting the Carabao Cup trophy at Wembley at the end of February. They are a different beast at Old Trafford, though, and Erik ten Hag will be hoping that home comforts can help his side rediscover their best form.
Luke Shaw has been a reliable source of points in home matches since the World Cup. In his seven appearances from Gameweek 17 onwards Shaw has returned 42 points, a total which includes a goal and an assist apiece along with four clean sheets. Everton, meanwhile, have scored only 10 times in their 14 away games.
Price: £5.2m Points: 95 Gameweek 30 fixture: Everton (h)
Reece James (Chelsea)
Chelsea had 39 shots and recorded an xG of 4.57 across their two fixtures in Gameweek 29 without managing a single goal. It doesn’t matter if the manager on the touchline is Graham Potter, Bruno Saltor or Julian Nagelsmann, that lack of potency is inevitably going to prove costly. They could have played into the early hours and still not got the better of Alisson on Tuesday night.
A clean sheet against Liverpool was welcome, though, and with Kai Havertz and Joao Felix frustrating in attack, being solid at the back is integral to Chelsea’s chances of ascending the table. Reece James was unfortunate to have a sweetly struck volley ruled out for a marginal offside in that stalemate and is slowly getting back to form after a stop-start season.
Price: £5.8m Points: 41 Gameweek 30 fixture: Wolves (a)
Jack Grealish (Man City)
Jack Grealish hasn’t really been a viable FPL option since his talismanic Aston Villa days, but that could be starting to change as he is becoming an increasingly vital member of Pep Guardiola’s starting line-up. Since the World Cup, only Ederson, Rodri and Erling Haaland have played more Premier League minutes for City than Grealish.
During that time, Grealish has scored three goals and provided six assists in 14 appearances to total 66 points; only Haaland with 80, has more in that period among City’s contingent. With Phil Foden sidelined after having his appendix removed, Grealish’s starting place should be secure over the coming weeks.
Price: £6.8m Points: 93 Gameweek 30 fixture: Southampton (a)
Kaoru Mitoma (Brighton)
According to FPL’s fixture difficult rating chart, Brighton’s next game against Spurs scores a four out of five; that seems hugely generous to Spurs given their form over the past few months. There is one team heading into Saturday’s game at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium playing with confidence… and it ain’t the one at home.
As ever, picking a Brighton midfielder from the crowd is tricky, but Kaoru Mitoma is starting to stand out from the pack. A goal against Brentford followed by an assist at Bournemouth in Gameweek 29 took him to 11 goal contributions in his last 15 Premier League games. Pedro Porro could be in for a long afternoon.
Price: £5.6m Points: 110 Gameweek 30 fixture: Spurs (a)
Marcus Rashford (Man Utd)
Manchester United were bad against Newcastle, very, very bad. Even Marcus Rashford was unable to rise above the mediocrity, putting in an unusually ineffective performance: Wout Weghorst was the only United starter to manage fewer touches than Rashford at St James’ Park. Truth be told, he didn’t look 100 per cent fit.
Despite blanking in each of his last three appearances, Rashford is still the top-scoring player in FPL since the World Cup with his 95 points in that period one ahead of Bukayo Saka. With favourable fixtures until the end of the season and a double gameweek on the horizon, it’s worth keeping the faith in United’s No 10.
Price: £7.3m Points: 158 Gameweek 30 fixture: Everton (h)
Harvey Barnes (Leicester)
Of the gaggle of clubs scrapping towards the foot of the Premier League table, Leicester (along with West Ham) have been the prime candidates for the “too good to go down” moniker. Now manager-less and on a run of six defeats in their last seven, they are staring down the barrel of their own grim reality. Saturday’s game against Bournemouth is their most significant since the 2021 FA Cup final; that in itself is a mark of their downfall.
Were it not for James Maddison and Harvey Barnes, the Foxes might already be condemned to their fate. Barnes has been the more productive of the two recently with four goals and two assists in his last 10 appearances and is significantly cheaper too.
Price: £6.7m Points: 111 Gameweek 30 fixture: Bournemouth (h)
Erling Haaland (Man City)
FPL managers who sold Erling Haaland ahead of Double Gameweek 29 were vindicated when he was left out of City’s squad against Liverpool due to injury. However, if Guardiola provides a positive update on the Norwegian’s condition, he will swiftly soar to the top of their shopping lists ahead of a dream fixture against bottom-of-the-table Southampton. Hold off buying him until Pep’s presser on Friday.
Ruben Selles’ Saints have conceded more goals at home than any other team in the division and have the worst overall record in front of their own fans. With Arsenal showing no signs of weakness yet, City have adopted full-blown hunting mode to try and catch them. Add Haaland into the mix and things could get ugly for Southampton.
Price: £12.0m Points: 203 Gameweek 30 fixture: Southampton (a)
Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa)
Ollie Watkins continued his fine recent form in Double Gameweek 29 by netting in both games against Chelsea and Leicester, extending his goalscoring streak in away games to six matches in the process. The forward has been outstanding under Emery, providing at least a goal or an assist in 12 of his 15 appearances since the Spaniard took charge. An England recall in June surely beckons.
From looking like potential relegation candidates under Steven Gerrard, the Villans are now mounting a late charge for Europe and Watkins will be integral to their hopes of securing a top-seven finish. Villa’s upcoming opponents Nottingham Forest have conceded 34 goals on their travels, a total that only Bournemouth can beat.
Price: £7.5m Points: 123 Gameweek 30 fixture: Nottingham Forest (h)
Harry Kane (Spurs)
It is an indication of Harry Kane’s consistency this season that he is only 14 points behind the weekly record-breaker Erling Haaland at the top of the FPL standings. Kane has played a few more games than Haaland, but in a far inferior team; 22 goals with nine games remaining is some effort on his part.
It’s a good job for Spurs that Kane has been consistent, given Son Heung-min, Dejan Kulusevski and Richarlison have mustered just eight league goals between them. Brighton have conceded twice to Leeds and three times against Brentford in recent weeks which enhances Kane’s prospects for Saturday’s top-four match-up.
Price: £11.7m Points: 189 Gameweek 30 fixture: Brighton (h)