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?
Chelsea playmaker Eden Hazard (9.5) has been in sensational form this season, scoring or assisting 21 goals in the Premier League – just over a third of the Blues' total goals. Next up he faces a Stoke City side who are particularly bad travellers, having conceded 30 goals on the road this season – the fourth worst record in the division. The Potters also concede the most fouls in English football, while the Belgian is the most fouled player in the league, which could present Hazard with the chance to net from the spot just as he did in Paris on Wednesday.
Tottenham have struggled of late but enter a more favourable run of fixtures as the season draws to a close. One man who has shone among the gloom at White Hart Lane is Christian Eriksen (7.5). On his last outing at the club's north London home he netted twice and provided an assist as Spurs beat Southampton 3-2, and the Dane – who could be provided with a better foil in the form of the returning Emmanuel Adebayor – will fancy his chances against struggling Sunderland.
John Terry (5.5) may have netted an own goal to gift Crystal Palace a shock win last weekend, but he remains a hugely reliable points scorer – in fact, Everton's Seamus Coleman is the only defender to collect more points than the Chelsea man – and Stoke's limp away attack offers the chance to add to his clean sheet tally. Liverpool full-back Glen Johnson (5.5), meanwhile, has scored in three of his last five games against former club West Ham, who he faces on Sunday.
With six goals in his last six Premier League games, and two in his last outing against Aston Villa, Wayne Rooney (8.5) has ensured Manchester United have yet to truly feel the absence of Robin van Persie. In fact, those two strikes last Saturday mean Villa (12) are the only side Rooney has scored more goals against than this weekend's opponents Newcastle (10). Additionally, away from the Old Trafford spotlight, United have excelled on their travels, picking up more points on the road than any other side.
|SIT 'EM - WHICH PLAYERS SHOULD YOU AVOID?
Arsenal, incredibly, have conceded the fifth-most goals away from home in the Premier League this season – that's even more than 19th placed Sunderland. This weekend, the Gunners face a taxing away trip to Everton in a match that will be decisive in the race for the top four. The Toffees' form at Goodison Park, coupled with the north Londoners' struggles (they have one clean sheet in their last 10 games in all competitions) means Bacary Sagna (5.0) & Co. should be avoided.
Swansea forward Wilfried Bony (7.5) has been in good form of late, but some of the problems he's had while partnering Michu have resurfaced upon the Spaniard's return to fitness and the first team. Additionally, eight of the Ivorian's 11 goals have come at the Liberty Stadium, with goals harder to come by on the road, and he's likely to struggle at the KC Stadium, where Hull City have been solid. The Tigers have only conceded 16 goals all year at home.
Papiss Cisse (7.0) scored his first goal of 2014 against Crystal Palace, hinting at a much-needed return to form – especially in the absence of Loic Remy. However, the Magpies have struggled offensively, and failed to score in 10 of their last 14 Premier League matches. Their plight is unlikely to improve when they host Manchester United, who boast the best away record in the league (and limited Bayern Munich to just one goal in midweek). Only two sides, Everton and Chelsea, have conceded fewer goals on the road.
Stoke City and their plethora of battle-hardened defenders, led by skipper Ryan Shawcross (5.0), have been a dependable source of points when playing home, but have struggled hugely on the road. The Potters have conceded twice as many goals on their at travels (30 compared to 15 at the Britannia) and have struggled on previous visits to Stamford Bridge. Since winning promotion to the top flight, they've conceded, on average, two goals per game and never kept a clean sheet.
|THE BARGAIN BASEMENT
Despite Norwich City's struggles this season, they have proven to be a particularly hard nut to crack at Carrow Road. The Canaries are unbeaten in their last six home games, recording five clean sheets and conceding just once. Martin Olsson (4.0) and the rest of the Norwich backline will be strong favourites to shut out a West Brom side surrounded by controversy and turmoil, while the Swede's adventurous runs forward might even carve out a few chances on goal.
Fulham may be in a perilous position at the bottom of the Premier League, but manager Felix Magath has not conceded defeat just yet. The Cottagers have a series of winnable fixtures before the season ends and their performances, if not results, have picked up. With three goals in his last five appearances, Ashkan Dejagah (4.0), who also worked under Magath at Wolfsburg, looks a good pick (and useful differential) to net away to a Villa side who have struggled in their own back yard.
Cardiff boast an imperious record at home to Crystal Palace, unbeaten in the Eagles' last nine visits. Tony Pulis' side have the worst shot conversion in the league, have scored just six goals all season on the road and haven't netted in their last six away games – all of which bodes well for Steven Caulker (4.5). The centre-back looks nailed on to pick up a clean sheet, while his five goals this term mark him out as a major threat to get on the scoresheet too
Jay Rodriguez (5.5) may be lining up against Manchester City this weekend, but when a player is in such good form, it doesn't matter who they're up against. The Southampton forward has netted five goals in his last four appearances, scoring in each game, while the only Englishman with more goals than Rodriguez's 15 this term is Liverpool's prolific frontman Daniel Sturridge. The former Burnley man's tally makes him the joint fourth-highest scorer this season.
|CAPTAIN'S CHOICE - TOP TIP FOR DOUBLE POINTS
Liverpool striker Luiz Suarez (10.0) has been the most frequent captain's choice this season, and it is very easy to see why. The Uruguayan leads the Premier League's scoring charts with 29 goals, while his 11 assists is also the most in the division – it is increasingly rare for the hotshot striker not to at least record an assist in a gameweek.
On Sunday he faces a trip to Upton Park to face a West Ham side he scored twice against earlier this season, and the former Ajax man will have the dual motivation of both Premier League glory and the possibility of breaking the division's goal record for a single 38-game season, held by Alan Shearer and Cristiano Ronaldo, that stands at 31.
|GAMEWEEK 33 - BEST XI
Sign up to Goal's Premier League Fantasy Football competition for the chance to win monthly prizes. It is simple and fast to register and pick your team, so you can start competing against friends or colleagues for the ultimate bragging rights!