Fantasy Football tips: Cancelo, Fernandes, Gundogan, Soucek

Fantasy Football tips: Cancelo, Fernandes, Gundogan, Soucek

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At the moment it feels like we want six Manchester City players in our squads.

I’ve got the double defence of John Stones and Ruben Dias and I brought Ilkay Gundogan in to replace Kevin de Bruyne in gameweek 20, so I was delighted to see him continue his remarkable goal-scoring form.

But I also find myself casting envious eyes at the Joao Cancelo owners and fearing that any one of Raheem Sterling, Riyad Mahrez, Phil Foden or Bernardo Silva has a massive score around the corner.

Cancelo in particular is a fantastic asset, classed as a defender so picking up the clean sheet points, but regularly becoming that extra midfielder with the potential to create goals and score them.

The three most transferred-in players prior to gameweek 21 so far are Cancelo, Gundogan and Stones but Statman Dave told us in the Fantasy 606 podcast that if you’ve got the money to spend then Sterling could be your man – and Chris Sutton, ahead of the game as always, has already benefitted to the tune of 11 points in gameweek 20.

Time to strike a hammer blow?

West Ham's Tomas Soucek
Tomas Soucek has scored seven goals for West Ham so far this season

You could also say the same about West Ham’s players at the moment – there are so many to choose from who are consistently racking up points. There are defenders who create chances such as Aaron Cresswell and Vladimir Coufal, midfielders who score goals like Tomas Soucek and a fit striker in Michail Antonio who’s returned with goals against Burnley and West Brom and could easily have had two or three more in the win over Crystal Palace.

A quick word for Soucek, who is fast becoming the Lord Lundstram of the 2020-21 season. He has started every game and has 96 points in the bank thanks to seven goals, one assist and 13 bonus points. Sheffield United’s John Lundstram finished with 144 points last season, so Soucek is well on target to go past that.

His rivals in the ‘best budget midfielder’ department on current form would have to be Bukayo Saka and Raphina, both at £5.4m at the time of writing – so if you want to cheer yourself up with something cheap in the January sales, that could be the way to go.

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Give Tuchel time and don’t give up on Bruno

It was instructive to watch Chelsea’s first performance under Thomas Tuchel in gameweek 20 – and more pertinently to see the experienced team he selected.

If you haven’t got Chelsea players in your squad then I would hold fire on buying them for now, while Tuchel gets his feet under the table, particularly with regard to midfielders and strikers.

Next up is a home game against Burnley then a trip to Tottenham, both of whom boast pretty miserly defences, so let’s see which combinations he goes for and whether there’s an immediate upturn in fortunes before friendlier-looking fixtures against Sheffield United and Newcastle.

That’s not forgetting of course that Sheffield United have just turned Manchester United over on their own patch, giving us managers pause for thought about piling in on the likes of Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire and Paul Pogba to add to your must-have Bruno Fernandes.

Yes I know he’s blanked in three of the last four gameweeks and an incredible 2.7m managers saw nothing for handing him the captain’s armband in gameweek 20, but stick with him or I fear you’ll regret it.

It was good to see Maguire getting his second goal of the season in that game because he’s been threatening to do that for a while but I still think there’s better value for money in his price bracket, with the likes of Cresswell, Stones and James Justin getting the nod for me – or even Matt Targett at just £4.7m, who’s the highest scorer in an impressive Aston Villa backline.

The other issue I’m toying with in my team is whether it’s time to say goodbye to Patrick Bamford after blanks in his last three outings and a 59th-minute substitution in gameweek 20.

I’m not the only one, because he’s currently the most transferred-out player this week and Antonio or Ollie Watkins would be the obvious replacements.

There’s more FPL advice from Statman Dave and Chris Sutton in the Fantasy 606 podcast which is available on the BBC Sounds app and you can e-mail us on fantasy606@bbc.co.uk with your thoughts.

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