By Neil Leverett
- Manchester City and Arsenal both play twice in Premier League Gameweek 29
- Citizens face city rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford, before entertaining Gunners; North Londoners entertain buoyant West Ham first up
- Leaders Liverpool look to bounce back from defeat at home to AFC Bournemouth, as their conquerors Watford visit Crystal Palace
PREMIER LEAGUE, UK – It’s double duty for both Manchester City and Arsenal this week, so who do you need in your Fantasy Premier League squads for Gameweek 29?
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We begin our Gameweek 29 picks with old reliable Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and after tipping the Arsenal hit-man to star against Everton two weeks ago, the Gabonese is set for double duty – and potentially double points – at home to West Ham United and away to Manchester City.
Now level with the labouring Jamie Vardy with 17 goals this term, the Gunners’ striker will be looking to pull away in the race for the Golden Boot – Aubameyang looking to claim his own prize after sharing it with both Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah last term.
Though Alexandre Lacazette has for the time being been dropped to the bench from a league perspective, Eddie Nketiah being played up front has kept Aubameyang on the left of attack but shows no sign of letting up.
Indeed, netting three in his last two games, the Arsenal forward has began to evoke memories of one Thierry Henry with his incisive dashes from out wide. Though the Hammers visit the Emirates Stadium buoyed from victory against the Saints last time out, defence is still a thorny issue for David Moyes and Aubameyang could again cash in during Gameweek 29.
After a plucky showing in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley last Sunday, Aston Villa return to their league mission in avoiding an immediate return to the Championship next season. Though a trip to Leicester City is amongst the toughest out there this term, Ally Samatta is worth serious consideration this weekend.
The Foxes look a little short on ideas and now rather trapped in the limbo of third in the Premier League table, the Villans travel across the Midlands in Gameweek 29 on a pilgrimage for points.
Samatta, since his switch from Belgian side Genk in January has been a shrewd acquisition by Villa boss Dean Smith and after netting against the Citizens last Sunday in league cup finale, the Tanzanian could be a handful for Leicester here.
Scoring on his debut three games ago, Samatta has provided Villa with a real threat up top, and with the hosts only ending a three-game goal drought against Birmingham in the Emirates FA Cup, the Foxes have conceded in their last two outings.
Desire might play a big part in this clash and quite simply the visitors may want it more. Samatta has already shown his predatory instincts against teams from the top flight and this weekend could be no exception.
Kevin De Bruyne
As the second string of our double-header tips, Kevin De Bruyne currently represents somewhat of a risk in Gameweek 29, but with a Manchester derby and a home clash with Arsenal, the gamble could pay off handsomely for those who stick their managerial necks out.
Sustaining a shoulder injury in the Carabao Cup final against Aston Villa, the Belgian is rated as doubtful for Sunday’s trip to Old Trafford, however Manchester City medical staff and boss himself Pep Guardiola are optimistic the midfield maestro could play a part yet this weekend.
Should De Bruyne only make the bench – or indeed miss out – the visit of the Gunners later next week should again present a strong possibility for a points haul, against a team whom he has flourished against in the past.
In the light of the Citizens’ well-documented penalty issues also, De Bruyne stepped up and converted from the spot against Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League and now appears the designated taker for the remainder of the season, and of therefore even greater appeal to fantasy managers this week.
Have Liverpool run out of steam? After two defeats in their last three games in all competitions, any indication the Reds’ runaway train is running low on puff were confirmed at Vicarage Road and in looking to bounce back, we are placing our faith in Trent Alexander-Arnold.
With both Salah and Mane tantalising prospects for the visit of AFC Bournemouth, the hosts’ impending second leg tie with Atletico Madrid on Wednesday may see one or both players rested in their efforts to turn the tie around against Diego Simeone‘s men.
That leaves us the comparatively safe choice of the flying full-back, who continues to rack up the fantasy points this term and who now sits third overall in the points standings.
Remarkably, last weekend’s loss to the Hornets was the first time in 13 league games this season where Alexander-Arnold did not register either a clean sheet, assist or goal. Rather intriguingly, that was against the Cherries at the Vitality earlier this term – albeit after only playing 50 minutes in a 3-0 win.
Though improving, Eddie Howe‘s visitors remain scrapping for survival which, after Liverpool’s blip in form might see an interesting encounter on Saturday lunchtime.
What cannot be overlooked however, is Bournemouth have shipped ten goals in the last four games on the road. Together with Alexander-Arnold’s wizardry from corners – and his position in backing up the home wingers – that leaves the Englishman in good stead for yet another flurry of points.
After something of a smash-and-grab versus Brighton & Hove Albion at the AMEX Stadium last weekend, Crystal Palace return their focus to home form and we in turn look to Gary Cahill.
Part of an Eagles defence that have again become obdurate, the South Londoners have recorded back-to-back clean sheets and look to make it a trifecta in Gameweek 29 against a Watford side who after taking Liverpool’s unbeaten league record, may look to consolidate at Selhurst Park.
Cahill has been central to Palace’s efforts in recent weeks, and as a player formerly regarded as one of the biggest threats from set-pieces during his time at Bolton Wanderers and Chelsea, is once more finding that facet again.
Despite not having scored a league goal since 2016, that has been down largely to his warming of the Blues’ bench and having been presented with two clean goal-scoring chances in the hosts’ 1-0 victory over Newcastle United a fortnight ago, the now veteran defender is a growing menace again.
The Hornets will of course be buoyant on their trip south through the capital, but still housed well in the relegation frame, Nigel Pearson might be looking to simply stay unbeaten here.
In turn, Roy Hodgson‘s men have become frugal on their home patch this season, and with their documented aerial threat, Cahill – with a price of just 4.4 – presents a double threat for fantasy points this weekend.
Premier League Gameweek 29 begins on Saturday lunchtime as Liverpool host AFC Bournemouth, kick-off 12:30 UK time.
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