Fantasy Football: Gameweek 29 - who should you pick this week?

In a reduced programme of only five Premier League fixtures, make sure to bench some of your regular scorers, while Branislav Ivanovic and John Ruddy offer value at the back

The highest-profile game in Saturday's minimised Premier League action is at Stamford Bridge, where leaders Chelsea take on Champions League-chasing Tottenham. It can be sometimes hard to pinpoint Chelsea's best attacking options, but after his hat-trick against Fulham, Andre Schurrle (7.5) is sure to get another chance to impress - particularly given that Eden Hazard picked up a minor injury in midweek.

The smartest investments may be at the other end of the pitch. Branislav Ivanovic (6.5) is one of only four defenders to have broken the 100-point barrier so far this season and has 41 from his last six matches, a fantastic return from the back. Meanwhile, Emmanuel Adebayor (7) is sure to start and is the visitors' best hope of a goal. With the reduced programme, you can afford to try your luck by picking such stars from either side.

The next safest place to look - perhaps surprisingly - is at Carrow Road, where Norwich City have quietly been building a fine record. Chris Hughton's men have kept clean sheets in their last four home games so keeper John Ruddy (4.5) is a solid choice, especially given that Stoke City are without the influential Charlie Adam.

With some of the fantasy game's most reliable scorers - Liverpool and Everton regulars, in particular - not playing this week, you can also load up on the remaining teams' more solid scorers. Wayne Rooney (8.5) and Patrice Evra (6.5) are Manchester United's two most successful individuals this season and are therefore worth a pick to do well against a troubled West Brom team.


This being a reduced gameweek, with only five games rather than the usual 10, it goes without saying that you should look to bench anyone not featuring in league action. Spend that money elsewhere - with fewer huge-money players from which to pick for a change, you can ensure a strong squad across the pitch rather than putting all your faith in one big name.

Of those still playing, though, there are some still worth avoiding. Hazard (9.5) is one, for example. Though he says that he expects to face Spurs, the Chelsea forward suffered an ankle knock while on international duty for Belgium and, depending on how cautious Jose Mourinho and his medical staff are, he is likely not to play the full 90 minutes and could potentially not be risked at all.

Ben Foster (4.5) may have been called up to the England squad in midweek but the West Brom goalkeeper has only twice picked up more than two points in a gameweek all season. For all of Manchester United's struggles this season, they are not safe opposition to back a change on that front.

Another, more prominent, Three Lions figure on Wednesday was Luke Shaw (4.5). While the 18-year-old has had a magnificent season, Southampton have little left to play for and an away trip to a Crystal Palace side still needing points to avoid relegation could threaten their chances of a clean sheet.


Nineteenth plays 20th in a colossal relegation clash on Saturday and Steven Caulker (4.5) could make a real difference for Cardiff City against Fulham. In a game likely to be defined by desire and determination rather than total football, the centre-back is a good bet to flourish against a Cottagers front line which will still be missing £10 million man Kostas Mitroglou. He will also be a target for attacking set-pieces, having already made a decisive contribution precisely that way in the season's first Welsh derby against Swansea.

Meanwhile, at Selhurst Park, Tom Ince (5.5) has impressed in his first three outings for Palace and has a chance to make as big a statement as possible in the last few games of the season with regards to securing a lucrative permanent transfer in the summer. A Saints side who checked meekly out of the FA Cup and were comfortably beaten by Liverpool last time out might prove suitable fodder away from home.


With such a fine recent record, as well as having home advantage against a sometimes-unconvincing Spurs side, Ivanovic offers the surest bet for a solid haul. For those feeling a little more daring, if United fire as they ought to against West Brom then surely Rooney will be involved heavily.


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