- Wolves and Everton headline a reduced Fantasy Premier League Gameweek 18
- Six games set for midweek action, with Aston Villa’s home game with Spurs remaining in doubt due to Covid-19
- FPL managers may be considering use of free-hit chip this week
PREMIER LEAGUE – As league action returns in midweek but with just six games scheduled, who do you need in your squads for Fantasy Premier League Gameweek 18?
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With a scheduled six but possibly only five games to shape Fantasy Premier League Gameweek 18, Manchester clubs form the spine of our fantasy plans in midweek, beginning with Marcus Rashford (9.6).
Manchester United for the moment at least, now look capable of mounting a title tilt this season and Rashford looks pivotal to the Red Devils’ ambitions.
Grabbing three goals in his last two away games, GW18 sees United travel a much-improved Burnley, but whose resurgence will be tested to the max against their regional neighbours.
Whilst the temptation for many will be turn to Bruno Fernandes, the Clarets will likely attempt to mark the Portuguese out of the game, where Rashford meanwhile, could find the room to operate.
Having netted at Turf Moor last season, Rashford has a growing following of 13.3% in ownership and against Burnley, could reward his owners this week.
Continuing the north-west theme, Manchester City will be a prominent figure in GW18 and Ilkay Gundogan (5.4) may get his turn to shine again.
Having missed a large chunk of the season due to a combination of injury and Covid-19, the German has been a dominant figure during the past four games and should get a further chance to shine in midfield.
Notching three in his last four, Gundogan has flourished as part of a four-man midfield, and has frequently taken up a central advanced role for the Citizens of late.
As managers scramble to fill their squads in midweek, his 5.4 price-tag may allow his suitors to juggle their cards without having to use their free-hit chip also.
And, with just 1.7% of owners opting to pick up Gundogan so far, his resurgence in form merits serious consideration not only for GW18, but looking further ahead also.
Brighton will be plucky opponents here, but having been taken the distance by Newport in the FA Cup, the Seagulls could be there for the taking.
At the Etihad this term in the league, City have netted double figures in terms of goals and in GW18, that number should rise further, with a rested Gundogan possibly at the heart of matters.
The second piece in the City fantasy jigsaw could lie in search of points in defence, and Ruben Dias (5.8) fits the bill in midweek.
As part of the City back line who have regain solidity in recent weeks, the Portuguese has been a big addition for Pep Guardiola this term.
With seven clean sheets in 13 games, Dias has helped keep a shut-out in five of the last seven, grabbing maximum bonuses away to Southampton via a 1-0 win during GW14.
Perhaps one of City’s best signings to date, Dias also holds a sizeable threat from set-pieces, adding to his value against Brighton.
Having conceded just once at home in their last four games, City will be ticking many a manager’s boxes at the back, and Dias may just bring a points boost at both ends of the field in GW18.
As Newcastle United’s rather inconsistent campaign rolls on, the Magpies will be looking for solace in the form of Callum Wilson (6.5) in GW18.
Still on the books of over a fifth of teams, Wilson’s two-game goal drought could come to end against bottom-of-the-table Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.
The Blades are yet to keep a single clean sheet this term, having shipped on average two goals a game in the last three at home in the Steel city.
Wilson has eight goals this season, but with three of which coming away from home, a visit to the worst defence in the league will leave the Newcastle striker licking his lips of a potential goal spree.
Punt of the Week: Emile Smith-Rowe
As GW18’s Punt of the Week, we turn to a man who has dug Arsenal of their league rut, in the form of Emile Smith Rowe (4.4)
No sooner had the Gunners been plunged into a hugely-unlikely relegation battle, three league games on, the picture looks far rosier, with the diminutive forward central to those efforts.
With three assists in as many games, Smith-Rowe grabbed a double away to West Brom in GW17, before coming on to rescue a place in the FA Cup fourth round for the holders over the weekend, with a sublime goal.
The Arsenal man’s appeal is undoubtedly his dirt-cheap price-tag, and as a player crucial to Arsenal’s play for the moment, Smith-Rowe looks a great bet for further points in midweek.
Visiting Crystal Palace in a typical campaign would represent a challenge for the hosts, but the Eagles currently are out of sorts, particularly in defence. Smith-Rowe will be keen to further exploit that.
Fantasy Premier League Gameweek 18 deadline is Tuesday, 16:30 UK time.
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