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?
One of the major criticisms of David Moyes' Manchester United reign was his failure to get the best out of club-record signing Juan Mata (10.0). Freed of the Scot's shackles, the Spaniard will look to build on the three goals and two assists he has picked up in his last three outings. A favourable home tie against Norwich is followed by a double gameweek.
Liverpool's precocious winger Raheem Sterling (5.0) scored twice and picked up an assist last time out against Norwich, having a hand in each goal scored at Carrow Road. With Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho expected to play a weakened XI at Anfield on Sunday, the stage could be set for the Jamaica-born attacker to run riot once again.
One man set to profit from Mourinho's rotation is January signing Mohamed Salah (7.0), who is ineligible for the Champions League having already featured in the tournament with former club Basel. The Egyptian was electric against Stoke, created more chances than any other player against Swansea, and will fancy his chances against an often porous Liverpool backline.
Aaron Ramsey (5.5) made his first Premier League start since December against Hull City, and showed no signs of rustiness to score and assist. The Welshman's goals per game rate is the best in the Arsenal squad, and he will be confident of adding to his nine goal tally against a Newcastle side already on their holidays.
|SIT 'EM - WHICH PLAYERS SHOULD YOU AVOID?
An injury picked up against Atletico Madrid in midweek has ruled John Terry (5.5) out of the rest of the league season, though he could yet be fit in time for the Champions League final should Chelsea get past Diego Simeone's side. Mourinho's threat of a weakened XI means the usually reliable Blues backline should be avoided against a ruthless Liverpool outfit.
Tottenham forward Emmanuel Adebayor (7.0) became a Fantasy Football must-have upon his reincarnation under Tim Sherwood, but having scored just once since mid February his appeal has waned. A trip to Stoke, who have conceded just 15 goals at home this season, could see the Togo international's struggles in front of goal continue.
An injury picked up against Sunderland means Manchester City playmaker David Silva (9.0) is a major doubt to feature again this season. Those in need of a replacement for the creative Spaniard, though, need look no further than his team-mate Samir Nasri.
Crystal Palace have defied all expectations under Tony Pulis and have been an unexpectedly excellent source of points in recent weeks, especially from a backline that has kept five clean sheets in their last six games. But with Julian Speroni (4.0) & Co. gearing up to face Manchester City and Liverpool in back-to-back matches, it might be time to avoid the overachieving Eagles.
|THE BARGAIN BASEMENT
Injury to Kevin Mirallas gives Barcelona loanee Gerard Deulofeu (5.5) the opportunity to have a sustained run in the Everton side. The Spaniard has one goal and three assists in his last four starts for the Toffees. Having scored or assisted every 113 minutes, and with only Mirallas having created a clear-cut chance at a better rate, Deulofeu could have a big impact.
Newcastle have failed to score in 12 of their last 17 matches (and all but one of their away games since January), while Arsenal have the joint-best home defence in the Premier League. Laurent Koscielny (5.0) and the rest of the Gunners backline look odds on to pick up a cleansheet, while the Frenchman has netted against the Magpies previously.
Given that Norwich have scored just 11 goals away from home this season, Manchester United will be pretty confident of shutting out the struggling Canaries. Makeshift right-back Chris Smalling (5.0), meanwhile, was an occasional threat against Everton, winning five aerial duels and coming close to netting a consolation goal. He'll be expected to raid down the right flank on Saturday.
Fulham's lack of creativity against Tottenham last time out was largely due to the absence of Lewis Holtby (6.5). The Spurs loanee has created a chance at a significantly better rate than any of his team-mates and is the club's joint leading assister, while this weekend's opponents, Hull City, may struggled to focus with the FA Cup final right around the corner.
|CAPTAIN'S CHOICE - TOP TIP FOR DOUBLE POINTS
With caretaker manager Ryan Giggs rallying his charges and urging them to play 'the Manchester United way', the Red Devils can be expected to play more attacking, adventurous football than under the cautious and pragmatic Moyes – and Wayne Rooney (8.5) is likely to be the prime benefactor.
The England international had been in good form prior to a recent toe injury, scoring six goals in his last seven Premier League appearances, and on Saturday he faces the second worst away defence in the league, with Norwich having conceded 2.3 goals per game on their travels. With United playing twice in the next gameweek, Rooney could be decisive in the run-in.
|GAMEWEEK 36 - BEST XI
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