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Weekly Picks

AM's Players To Watch - Gameweek 36

by Nik Argiropoulos
Updated On: April 26, 2019, 1:45 pm ET

Welcome to AM's Players To Watch for Gameweek 36. As long-time readers of my columns will know, my advice in seasons gone by had revolved around games that would allow you to make unlimited transfers each gameweek, selecting an entirely new 11 players if you so wished. Unfortunately Yahoo Fantasy Premier League is a glorious but distant memory, while Togga, sadly, was not able to return for this campaign which put an end to the Perfect XI column I'd been penning for the past two years.

From now on I'll be a bit more general in my advice. Whether you're playing Official FPL, FPL or Fantrax Draft, Fantrax Salary Cap, Sky Sports, The Sun, The Telegraph or any number of other the fantasy games available to fans each season, I'll be offering my top picks for the week ahead, mixing "must-haves" with hunch picks and players flying under the radar. Hopefully this will offer something for everyone, whether you're considering captain options, looking to make a transfer or pick up a free agent in draft.

Gameweek 35 advice was so-so. Matt Doherty, Andre Gray and Raheem Sterling all delivered but Raúl Jiménez (C) and Heung-Min Son were disappointing double-gameweek performers. I played my final chip, bench-boost, and managed 117 points, moving me back in to the Top 10k for now. A strong finish is needed to stay there, so let's get in to it by looking at the fixtures for the weekend ahead ...

Friday 26 April
Liverpool v Huddersfield

Saturday 27 April
Spurs v West Ham
Crystal Palace v Everton
Fulham v Cardiff
Southampton v Bournemouth
Watford v Wolves
Brighton v Newcastle

Sunday 28 April
Leicester v Arsenal
Burnley v Man City
Man Utd v Chelsea

The first thing to note is the Friday night deadline, and all teams are back to having just a single fixture. The second thing to note is the fact we're presented with quite possibly the most attractive fixture of the season, as Liverpool host Huddersfield at Anfield. It's also worth paying attention to Tottenham at home to West Ham and Manchester City travelling to Burnley. The remaining fixtures all look too close to call in either team's favour, but we'll look to pick a goal-scorer out from the pack. Here are the players ....

Virgil Van Dijk (DF - Liverpool v Huddersfield) - Liverpool defensive cover is a must with Huddersfield coming to town and so usually we'd turn to either Andrew Robertson or Trent Alexander-Arnold. However, with the possibility of one of the fullbacks being rotated given Barcelona follow in midweek I'm leaning towards Virgil Van Dijk as the safest play. A clean sheet seems extremely likely and the Dutchman is due a goal from a set piece, of which there should be plenty with the Reds dominating possession from the start.

Dele Alli (MF - Tottenham v West Ham ) - There are a couple of times in a season when I get the "Dele Alli hunch", and this is one of them. While Son, Lucas Moura and Christian Eriksen have been stealing the headlines in Harry Kane's absence thus far, a home derby against West Ham feels like the sort of match that the 22-year old will relish more than most, especially when you consider three points against their rivals would put Spurs within touching distance of Champions League football next season. Don't let me down Dele!

Roberto Firmino (FW - Liverpool v Huddersfield) - It's been a reasonably quiet year for Roberto Firmino in comparison with last season's exploits but the Brazilian's form is gaining pace as we enter the home-straight. Three goals and two assists in his past four Liverpool appearances suggests Bobby is feeling sharp and he'll be looking to fill his boots against the hard-working but limited Terriers.

Leroy Sané (MF - Manchester City @ Burnley) - Leroy Sané would walk in to every other starting XI in the Premier League but has found himself on the periphery of things at Manchester City since the turn of the year. Only Pep knows why, but the talented German attacker played a key role from the bench at Old Trafford on Wednesday night and may have done enough for a start at Burnley. It's a risky pick no doubt, but if Sane gets the chance the rewards could be huge as a major differential.

Jamie Vardy (FW - Leicester v Arsenal) - The midweek hammering from Wolves sums up Arsenal's rotten away form over the course of the season and I don't expect it to improve on Sunday. Leicester have been in fine fettle since Brendan Rodgers arrived and Jamie Vardy has been leading the charge with nine goals in his past 10 appearances. The striker needs four more to hit his target of 20 Premier League goals for the season and he could easily get halfway there against the dodgy Gunners rearguard.

Captain Choice: Sadio Mane (MF - Liverpool v Huddersfield) - Were you expecting Mohamed Salah? Well, he was all set to slot in as my captain choice until we saw photos of him at an awards ceremony in New York City in midweek, missing training and therefore putting his starting status in doubt for a Friday night kick off. While we await confirmation from Jurgen Klopp's press conference we'll turn to Sadio Mane, who has trained through the week and should offer the main attacking threat alongside Firmino.  
That's it for Gameweek 36. Check out the Rotoworld Features page to access a host of fantastic content to get you ready for the weekend. If you have any questions about a specific player or your own fantasy team then feel free to post them in the comments below or hit me on Twitter (@nikarg) and I will get back to you.

Thanks for reading - good luck to all managers this weekend.

Nik Argiropoulos

Nik Argiropoulos is a London-based soccer writer for NBC Sports Edge and co-founder of Never Manage Alone. You can find him on Twitter @nikarg.