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Goal takes a look at the best players to select or avoid, the bargain buys and the top choice for captain's double points ahead of the weekend's Premier League action

START 'EM - WHICH PLAYERS SHOULD YOU PICK?

Arsenal face a tricky trip to Stoke on Saturday but the Potters are not as formidable a force at home as they were under Tony Pulis. Sure, they may have defeated Chelsea at the Britannia Stadium but they are a more technical side than years gone by and have sacrificed some of their physicality in the process.

It points to Olivier Giroud (7.5) as a good option to transfer into your team this week. The Frenchman made a superb return to the first team after a couple of games' rest, netting twice and picking up an assist against Sunderland.

Hull have proved many doubters wrong this season and the faith shown in Steve Bruce led to what is proving to be an excellent double acquisition in the shape of Shane Long and Nikica Jelavic (7). The latter has rediscovered his goalscoring touch and a home game against an inconsistent Newcastle should give the Croatian ample opportunity to add to his haul.

Though Garry Monk’s Swansea will be coming off a Thursday-night trip to Naples, their home game against Crystal Palace should be viewed as a fine chance to collect points. Pulis has done a sterling job at Selhurst Park but on the road they continue to suffer and the in-form Wilfried Bony (7.5) will be looking to build on his tally of nine Premier League goals.

Kevin Nolan (6) has finally hit form for Sam Allardyce, notching five goals in his past four games. Take advantage of his upturn in form.

It goes without saying that if you have the money, the likes of Emmanuel Adebayor (7), Luis Suarez (10) and Daniel Sturridge (8.5) should be in your thoughts.

SIT 'EM - WHICH PLAYERS SHOULD YOU AVOID?

Newcastle still seem out of sorts - despite a weekend win over Aston Villa - and a trip to surprise package Hull should set off alarm bells. Avoid anyone at the back but particularly Tim Krul (4.5) in a week where the value lies elsewhere.

Sticking with goalkeepers, Simon Mignolet (5) has had a difficult time of late, conceding three at home to Swansea. Though Southampton have little to play for, don't expect the Reds to keep a clean sheet at St Mary's.

Michael Dawson (5.5) has been in awful form for an off-colour Tottenham and even a home game against Cardiff shouldn't be seen as guaranteed clean sheet. He's worth discarding to free up funds elsewhere.

Chelsea played in midweek and face Felix Magath's Fulham side in the west London derby on Sunday - a tricky game despite the Cottagers sitting rock bottom in the Premier League. Avoid Fernando Torres (8) - who was substituted with 'exhaustion' - and Samuel Eto'o (9).

THE BARGAIN BASEMENT

Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy (4.5) has been in great form recently, keeping a clean sheet against Tottenham at Carrow Road on Sunday. Though his side head to Villa Park, they face one of the poorest home teams in the league.

With the news that Phil Jagielka is to miss Everton's home game with West Ham, Antolin Alcarez (4) suddenly makes a lot of sense. Roberto Martinez has few options at the back but the Paraguayan should be passed fit and available for Saturday.

In-form Liverpool will look to take their goalscoring prowess to the south coast on Saturday and if you're looking for a cheap option who is likely to be heavily involved in the final third, look no further than Raheem Sterling (5) who will be celebrating his England call-up for the friendly against Denmark.

Finally, Newcastle haven't scored in their last two Premier League away games, so consider deploying Curtis Davies (4) as a value option in your defence.

CAPTAIN'S CHOICE - TOP TIP FOR DOUBLE POINTS

With Southampton seemingly on their holidays it's difficult to ignore Daniel Sturridge (8.5) as your choice as captain for the second consecutive week. Luis Suarez (10) has now gone five games without a goal - an unfortunate biproduct of the return of his strike partner.

If, however, you feel Tottenham stand a chance of wiping the floor with relegation-threatened Cardiff, Emmanuel Adebayor (7) is the logical captaincy option.

Otherwise there are very few obvious candidates, with perhaps Olivier Giroud (7.5) and Wilfried Bony (7.5) making an outside case for double points. We're inclined to keep faith with Sturridge.

GAMEWEEK 28 - BEST XI


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