Fantasy Premier League Gameweek 28: transfers, captains and wildcard tips as Liverpool face Man City

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Our high-flying FPL managers offers his hints, tips and forward planning ideas ahead of Gameweek 28.

Welcome to 3 Added Minutes’ regular Fantasy Premier League advice column – and this time, our high-flying manager will descend from his lofty perch just outside the Top 1,000 to offer us all some advice on how to navigate Gameweek 28, which just happens to feature a pretty mouthwatering tie between Liverpool and Manchester City.

Before we hand you over to Matthew, it’s our duty to remind you that the deadline for all your transfers this week is Saturday 11:00 GMT, ahead of Manchester United v Everton. Good luck!

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Big on Bournemouth, low on Luton?

Hello everyone – I’m going to start this week by telling a lot of you to stop reading and go back to last week’s article instead. An unusual tactic for readership engagement which my editor will love (Note from the editor: you're on thin ice, Gregory) I’m sure, but that’s the article in which I discussed tactics for GW29 and whether you might want to use a free hit to get through all the blanks or to just roll with what you have, and I know that’s the first question a lot of you will have.

For those who’ve read that already, or simply know what they’re planning to do without my input, we’ll essentially be splitting this week’s transfer advice into two sections – and we’ll start by looking at players you should buy or sell if you’re rolling through without taking a free hit or using a different chip.

There are only eight teams in action, so you’re locked into buying from them and selling players who aren’t involved. The most tempting place to start is Luton Town, because they have a double gameweek this time out and a home fixture against Nottingham Forest in GW29, but how far can we trust their best assets to score big?

Carlton Morris and Alfie Doughty have both been pretty consistent this season, so I like both of them to a certain degree, but the issue to bear in mind is that their fixtures after GW29 are absolutely hideous, so you’re either going to want to plan to move them on quickly or use a wildcard soon afterwards. That isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker but does make going hard on Luton assets a little less appealing. I like Doughty and Morris but I wouldn’t go any further and I wouldn’t be in a rush to buy them over other options.

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Looking at teams whose fixtures around GW29 are a little softer, Nottingham Forest jump out. Anthony Elanga hasn’t been great lately and I certainly don’t fancy their defensive players, but Taiwo Awoniyi is a reliable striker who should pick up some points, so he’s definitely higher on my list than most.

Aston Villa play Spurs and Manchester City in GWs 28 & 30, which dents their medium-term returns somewhat, but Ollie Watkins is still essential and Leon Bailey is a good option too. I’m less keen on their defenders, especially given that Alex Moreno has been poor of late.

Spurs themselves have some decent fixtures after GW29, so they’re a club I’d want to triple up on. Son Heung-Min is a must-have, and I like James Maddison right now too even if his recent returns haven’t been huge. I’d happily take one Spurs defender, probably Pedro Porro or Destiny Udogie, but they’re all passable.

Fulham are a sneaky option, which they frankly haven’t been for most of the season. They’re on good form and have good fixtures coming up. Rodrigo Muñiz is suddenly on fire but players like Alex Iwobi and Antonee Robinson are also possible cheap options that could offer up some points over the course of several weeks. Finally, West Ham midfielders are definitely a good way to go, and I’d want Jarrod Bowen and Mohammed Kudus in my GW29 team regardless of whether I’m free hitting or not.

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Now, let’s take a look at teams we want to buy into if we’re planning to free hit through GW29, a list of managers which includes me, and let’s start by debating options from Liverpool and City, given that they awkwardly play each other this week.

Mohamed Salah is an important place to start. He should be back from injury and there’s a good chance his price spikes quickly, although that process should be slowed down by his blank the week after. If you’re free hitting in GW29, however, he’s definitely a player worth getting back in even with a tough game this week – Liverpool have good fixtures after their break.

A lot of teams will have triple City at this point, but they have some tough games on the horizon and that makes this a decent point to slowly move away. If you have Kevin de Bruyne, he’s a natural swap for Salah. Even if you think City will win this weekend, it’s unlikely that their players rack up big points totals and they have a couple of tough games out the other side. Wait for confirmation that Salah will play before making that move, of course. It’s also absolutely fine to wait until GW30 for that play if you have some spare money in the bank to absorb any price rises on Salah.

The other big-ticket player practically every team should have this week is Dominic Solanke. Sheffield United and Luton Town at home is about as generous a double gameweek as you can get, and they have a good run of games after their rest week too. Not having Solanke is simply a mistake for teams who are free hitting next week. I don’t blame anyone for taking a punt on Justin Kluivert, too, although few teams will have enough transfer space to make that particular leap of faith.

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Crystal Palace have some nice fixtures too and Eberechi Eze is a very interesting differential option, but the only other team I want to max out on is Arsenal. Their game at the Etihad in GW30 makes their assets a shade less enticing, but they should bag plenty of points either side of that and their blank. Bukayo Saka is another essentiality, while Kai Havertz and Gabriel Martinelli are good picks too.

In terms of players to drop other than those from City, I’d give Brighton assets one more week given they have a home game against Forest, but I want rid of them immediately thereafter given their recent form. Those are the obvious places to make changes from – everyone else comes down to individual form as few teams have especially dreadful runs of fixtures other than City and Luton.

How far ahead you’re looking when considering your transfers will depend on when you plan to use your second wildcard – we’ll discuss that in more detail ahead of GW30, but with likely doubles in GW34 and 37, you’ll probably want to drop it somewhere ahead of that. If you think you want to use it early, in 30 or 31 say, then future fixtures obviously matter less and you can just buy for the short-term. Give that some thought before finalising your transfers.

Captain picks and selection headaches

There’s a clear pick for captain this week – Solanke. If you didn’t use your triple captain chip already, I’d also recommend using it here. If you don’t have him, then Saka is my personal pick for the next best alternative.

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Selection headaches come in the form of knocks to Harry Maguire, Kieran Trippier, Gabriel Martinelli, Marcos Senesi, and Pedro Neto all of whom might miss out. We’re also waiting for news on Hwang Hee-Chan, but it doesn’t look promising. If any of those players are in your plans, keep an ear on the pressers on Friday.

All signs suggest that Salah will feature, but there are no guarantees as yet. Richarlison is definitely out, and Rasmus Højlund will probably miss out too, which may affect several teams’ planning.

3 Added Minutes FC

Finally, a quick update on my example team, 3 Added Minutes FC. A solid 79-point week sees us more or less hold position a little way outside the Top 1,000. I’ve got two transfers to use this week and as I’m free hitting in GW29, I want to use both to avoid losing one.

How the remarkably successful 3 Added Minutes FC is shaping up ahead of GW 28How the remarkably successful 3 Added Minutes FC is shaping up ahead of GW 28
How the remarkably successful 3 Added Minutes FC is shaping up ahead of GW 28 | Fantasy Premier League

Barring bad news from the press conferences, I’m going to swap De Bruyne for Salah and that means finding £1.3m from somewhere else – Bowen is the likely sacrifice, with Anthony Gordon at the head of the queue to bring in, although I could drop Foden to maximise my points this week given that West Ham play Burnley.

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What you can’t see is my bench, which includes Solanke (thank god), Maguire and Ezri Konsa. I’m hoping Maguire will be fit, but Konsa will play in a pinch. My options in midfield and attack are deep, which is why I’d be less fussed about losing Foden or Bowen as someone good will have to be benched anyway. Hopefully my defence can chip in for once. Anyway, that’s all for this week. Best of luck, and may all of your cunning plans for the next couple of weeks come to fruition.

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