Holly Shand shares her five selections for FPL Gameweek 24, with four sides having two fixtures: Burnley, Everton, Fulham and Manchester City...
"Having not been benched since Gameweek 12, managers will be hopeful Gundogan can manage another pair of starts in what has been a hectic start to the calendar year."
The Headline Pick: Ilkay Gundogan - Tottenham Hotspur (H) & Everton (A)
Ilkay Gundogan owners were put through a whole range of emotions last weekend. Having missed a penalty in the first half of the Liverpool game, he then redeemed himself with a second half brace and has now put himself in pole position as the Manchester City player of choice for the Double Gameweek.
Having not been benched since Gameweek 12, managers will be hopeful Gundogan can manage another pair of starts in what has been a hectic start to the calendar year. He has seven goals and one assist from eight appearances in 2021: that's incredible consistency. The only doubt now is whether he remains on spot-kicks.
Given Manchester City's consistent winning streak, plus the differing fortunes of their opponents, it's hard to imagine anything but two more wins for Manchester City in this pair of fixtures. Their opponents have just one clean sheet between them in their last four games, conceding a combined total of 12 goals.
The Budget Pick: Dominic Calvert-Lewin - Fulham (H) & Manchester City (H)
Dominic Calvert-Lewin has returned to form at exactly the right moment, ahead of two home fixtures in the double. His ownership is starting to increase once again, supported by two goals and one assist in his last two games. It was a long list of blanks before that point, but Everton are much closer to their strongest XI now.
Calvert-Lewin is the pick of the double gameweek attackers outside of Manchester City, although expectations do need to be managed somewhat. He grabbed a brace against Fulham earlier in the season, so his prospects for the first fixture are very promising. However, I don't see Everton managing to score past a very solid Manchester City defence, so Calvert-Lewin is unlikely to come away with more than two points from the additional fixture.
The VAR Pick: Bruno Fernandes - West Brom (A)
It's rare for fantasy managers to ignore Double Gameweek players in favour of those with just one fixture, especially when it comes to captaincy, but for this week Bruno Fernandes has to be the exception to the rule. When the highest scoring player on the platform faces the worst defence in the Premier League, we have to take note.
Bruno Fernandes has been in sensational form once again this season, particularly on the road, and has better fortunes when Paul Pogba is out of the squad. He grabbed 11 points in the reverse fixture with the only goal. West Brom have conceded 11 goals in their last four games, and their record in home games makes for even poorer reading: 24 goals shipped in six.
Add into the mix the penalty aspect too, the ceiling is high for Fernandes returns in this fixture. Manchester United have received seven penalties in this campaign, second only to Leicester City. Meanwhile, West Brom have conceded four spot-kicks. Don't overlook Fernandes for the armband this week - he's a very solid option.
The Sleeper Pick: Nick Pope - Crystal Palace (A) & Fulham (H)
Picking Burnley players for the Double Gameweek is hardly enthralling, but there's great potential for their defence with games against Crystal Palace and Fulham. Palace are likely to be without their talisman Wilfried Zaha - they've failed to score this season when he has been absent. Fulham have the worst goal conversion rate in the Premier League: scoring in just one of their last four games.
This suggests that Burnley are in with a good shout of at least one clean sheet, possibly even two in this pair of fixtures. Nick Pope is the pick of their defensive assets: he's their only player to break the 100 fantasy points barrier in this campaign, sitting second to Emi Martinez in the goalkeeper rankings.
Pope's ability to amass save points and bonus points are pivotal to his fantasy pedigree. Burnley are without a clean sheet in their last four games, conceding seven goals in that time, but Pope has made 20 saves over this period. He's mopped up 17 bonus points, the most of any goalkeeper this season.
Back Burnley to keep a clean sheet against Burnley at 23/10 in Gameweek 24.
The Wildcard Pick: Raheem Sterling - Tottenham Hotspur (H) & Everton (A)
Following an emphatic performance last weekend, momentum is now swinging in favour of a double up on Manchester City attacking players. It's easily justified given their current scoring record of 13 goals in their last four games. Raheem Sterling is their highest scoring fantasy player this season, amassing eight goals and six assists from 18 starts: he's missed out on just four occasions.
However, Pep Guardiola is infamous for rotating his squad, so there's absolutely no guarantees that Sterling will play in both games. He does have goals in each of his last three starts which bodes well for his potential returns, but the risks of a random benching do have to be weighed up here. All eyes will be on the Manchester City team-sheet for their midweek FA Cup tie, so that we can make a more educated prediction on minutes in the double.
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