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FPL tips: Shares in City trending up in reduced gameweek

Man City FPL

Gameweek 18 throws up an unusual Fantasy Premier League challenge, with only 12 teams in action – and Manchester City provide the pick of the options.

Pep Guardiola’s side take on Brighton and are also scheduled for double duty in the bumper gameweek that follows, making their players appealing whether or not you are playing your free hit this week.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at the week’s recommended pick-ups, starting with a resurgent member of the City midfield.

Starting Gun

Leading midfield picks for FPL gameweek 18

Ilkay Gundogan is our top recommendation for FPL gameweek 18 (PA graphic)

Ilkay Gundogan has scored in three of City’s last four games, with three clean sheets and seven bonus points helping him to 33 in total in that stretch.

That has provided a huge differential boost for the 1.8 per cent of managers with him in their teams, also boosting his PA Transfer Score to the highest in the league this week.

Transfer score is based on a player’s recent form, as well as the supplementary factors of low cost, ownership and upcoming fixture difficulty rating (FDR).

At £5.4m and facing the Seagulls, Crystal Palace and – as long as their coronavirus outbreak eases – Aston Villa over the next two weeks, all at home, Gundogan scores an impressive 87 out of 100.

Midfield is where the action is, with Everton’s Gylfi Sigurdsson second overall on 79 after two goals, an assist, four clean sheets and eight bonus points in his last five games. Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka narrowly edges out Manchester United’s Scott McTominay for the final podium place on 73.

Toffees have defence wrapped up

Leading defensive picks for FPL gameweek 18

Everton dominate in defence (PA graphic)

City’s John Stones ranks third among defenders – behind two players from his former club Everton, after three clean sheets in their last five.

Yerry Mina is the form player thanks to his goal against Arsenal but team-mate Mason Holgate is £800,000 cheaper in FPL at £4.8m to nudge him to the highest defensive transfer score, 78.

Mina and Stones score 77 and 75 respectively so there is little to choose between the trio, with City’s Joao Cancelo and Ruben Dias both at 72 as the two clubs provide five of this week’s top six.

Leading goalkeeping picks for FPL gameweek 18

Ederson completes the City contingent but Alphonse Areola slots in as our top goalkeeping pick (PA graphic)

Tottenham’s change of opponent means Fulham’s Alphonse Areola parachutes into top spot in the goalkeeper rankings with a transfer score of 73, dropping City’s Ederson (69) to second.

Burnley’s Nick Pope (68) completes the goalkeeping podium, with clubs not playing in gameweek 18 excluded from the list. The Toffees’ Jordan Pickford ranks only eighth behind Bernd Leno, David De Gea, Hugo Lloris and Karl Darlow.

Martial art

Leading attacking picks for FPL gameweek 18

Anthony Martial and Alexandre Lacazette are the leading options up front (PA graphic)

The options up front are not as eye-catching but Manchester United’s Anthony Martial leads the way.

The Frenchman has just two goals in his last five games but added three assists in the 6-2 thumping of Leeds, with another against Sheffield United and a bonus point in each game, to boost his case.

His transfer score of 69 is five more than any other striker, with compatriot Alexandre Lacazette next up on 64 after four goals in Arsenal’s last three games.

Joelinton is the surprise name in third, on 62. Newcastle’s Brazilian has begun to find his feet in recent weeks, though his goal and two assists in wins over Crystal Palace and West Brom increasingly look like a product of the opposition. Team-mate Andy Carroll is an intriguing alternative just outside the podium places on 57.