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FPL Gameweek 23: Gabriel Jesus, Fabian Schar, Nathan Ake and more

Our top fantasy picks ahead of the next round of Premier League fixtures

Lawrence Ostlere
Thursday 01 February 2024 22:27 GMT
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The Premier League is straight back to action this weekend after the round of midweek games, with the FPL deadline on Saturday at 11am GMT ahead of Everton v Tottenham Hotspur.

With Mohamed Salah suffering from a hamstring injury picked up on international duty with Egypt, and Son Heung-min still away at the Asian Cup, FPL managers may be busy spending funds over the coming days.

There is also the looming challenge of gameweeks 25 and 26 to consider, with Manchester City awarded a juicy home double in GW25 (time for a triple captain, perhaps?) and Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham all facing a blank GW26.

Here is a closer look at some options you may want to consider this week when making your transfers:

Fabian Schar, Newcastle United (£5.2m, defender)

Newcastle’s defence has been worryingly porous this season, but finally it is starting to look a little more solid. Three out of their past four games have ended with wins, and the victory at Villa Park last time out was particularly impressive. Fabian Schar was a big part of that success with two goals, and the defender is well worth considering for some plum fixtures against Luton, Nottingham Forest and Bournemouth in the next three. No centre-back has taken more shots than Schar’s 22 this season.

Andreas Pereira, Fulham (£5.3m, midfielder)

An interesting low-owned pick right now would be Fulham’s Brazilian playmaker, Andreas Pereira. He was heavily involved in Fulham’s attacking play against Everton in midweek, in a game full of chances which somehow finished 0-0. Andreas scooped an expected goal involvement of 0.46, threatening both to score and assist during the game. He has six assists already this season and is sixth in the league for key passes. Fulham have a nice run of fixtures, first going to Burnley before back-to-back home games against Bournemouth and Aston Villa, and we can expect Andreas to pick up some more points along the way.

Andreas Pereira is enjoying a productive season for Fulham (PA)

Gabriel Jesus, Arsenal (£8.0m, forward)

For a different attacking option, take a look at Gabriel Jesus, who has 15 points in his past two games with a goal and two assists. He has been widely dismissed as a reliable FPL pick, but actually his stats have been gradually improving through the season, and he is above the likes of Dominic Solanke and Ollie Watkins for expected goal involvements per 90 minutes this season, two players who have been hugely popular FPL picks. Jesus’s conversion of those expected numbers isn’t as bad as we often think, with 0.66 goal involvements per 90, which is joint sixth among all forwards, matching Solanke and only just behind Julian Alvarez. After a huge home clash with Liverpool this weekend come a run of good fixtures for Arsenal including Burnley away, Sheffield United away and Brentford at home.

Nathan Ake, Manchester City (£5.5m, defender)

Manchester City are top of the fixture ticker for the next six gameweeks, with four home games in that period including that juice double gameweek in 25, when they host Brentford and Chelsea. You probably already have one or two of their best attacking options in your FPL team, whether that be Erling Haaland, Kevin De Bruyne, Julian Alvarez or Phil Foden. But you might want a defensive player to complete the triple up, and Nathan Ake is our top pick. Ake scored in the FA Cup at Tottenham last week and no defender has taken more shots in the box than his six over the past six gameweeks. He starts most games, and those which he misses don’t tend to end in one-pointers off the bench, so as long as you’ve got some reasonable subs, the odd missed game should be relatively painless.

City players celebrate after Nathan Ake, right, scores their winner at Spurs (Reuters)

Anthony Gordon, Newcastle United (£6.1m, midfielder)

Another Newcastle player on our radar right now is Anthony Gordon. He was a hot pick earlier in the season before a series of four blank returns in five gameweeks saw him sold in droves. But Gordon is back on song, with a goal and an assist in recent fixtures against Liverpool and Manchester City. He is eighth for most shots taken this season among midfielders, and ninth for expected goal involvements, and this week’s home game against Luton should provide plenty of opportunity for points.

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