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Fantasy football tips: Is is time to play your final wildcard?

If you’ve managed to hold on to your second wildcard chip until now then you’re in a great position to attack the last five gameweeks of the season.

Firstly, you want to concentrate on the double gameweek teams, starting with Chelsea who have two fixtures in gameweeks 34 and 36.

Aston Villa, Everton and Leicester all have back-to-back doubles in 36 and 37 but you have to be wary of squad rotation with Leicester, who will play the second leg of their Europa Conference League semi-final against Roma three days before their first gameweek 36 fixture at home to Everton.

There always has to be a sacrifice somewhere in the squad and it might be time to say goodbye to Son Heung-min or Harry Kane for a while as Tottenham have one of the trickier doubles in gameweek 36 with fixtures against Liverpool and Arsenal.

We discussed this on the Fantasy 606 podcast this week and that’s what our expert Statman Dave is doing with his wildcard but he’s planning on getting Son back in gameweek 37 with Spurs at home to Burnley and then having him as a captaincy option in the final game of the season away to Norwich.

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Chelsea's Kai Havertz
Chelsea’s Kai Havertz could be a valuable signing for the remainder of the season

So, let’s start with those Chelsea players and I think your targets are pretty obvious – Reece James, Mason Mount and Kai Havertz. James has been playing as the right-sided centre-back at times in recent weeks but he was switched back to the right wing-back role as Chelsea chased the game against Arsenal on Tuesday and his points-scoring potential in that position is huge.

You’ll probably want to captain a Chelsea player this week and I think I’d go for Havertz, who was rested for the Arsenal game, only coming on as a second-half substitute, whereas Mount could be due a break soon.

It might be that you want to swap one of those two out for Phil Foden when Manchester City get their double gameweek in either 36 or 37 with an away game against Wolves to be added to their schedule.

Another Chelsea option would be Edouard Mendy but I never like spending too much of my budget on my goalkeeper so I would go for Emi Martinez (£5.5m) or Kasper Schmeichel (£4.9m) for this wildcard squad.

I would be very happy to spend my money on the top-end defenders though and you might even consider going for the ultimate Manchester City and Liverpool double of Joao Cancelo, Aymeric Laporte, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson. Yes, this will limit you a little on what you can spend on the rest of your squad but I’d expect plenty of clean sheets and three of those players are effectively attackers playing in defence, while Laporte also offers a goal threat at set-pieces.

If you just can’t make the money work then Matty Cash might be a good fifth defender for you, saving you one, two or three million depending on who you decide to leave out. You definitely want Cancelo so you might just have to choose between your Liverpool full-backs.

Mohamed Salah has to be in this squad for me although Manchester City fans will argue that Kevin de Bruyne could match his output over the closing weeks of the season and that would also save you a million or so in the budget. De Bruyne is also owned by less than 8% of managers in the game, whereas Salah is close to 60% so it could be a big differential for you if you’re chasing rivals in your mini-leagues.

Philippe Coutinho looks like a good addition to this midfield with games against Leicester and Norwich ahead of Aston Villa’s doubles in gameweeks 36 and 37, and then you’ll have to have a budget choice as your fifth option with Anthony Gordon, Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall or Jacob Ramsey fitting the bill there.

You haven’t got much money left to spend up front and I think Norwich’s Teemu Pukki is going to be a hugely popular signing. He would be the only striker in my starting XI with this squad in a 5-4-1 formation, with a couple of budget forwards like Watford’s Joao Pedro and Leeds’ Joe Gelhardt sitting on the bench.

If you think that doesn’t give you enough cover up front then take a bit of money out of defence or midfield and see if you can get to Harry Kane, or failing that someone like Richarlison, Ollie Watkins or Kelechi Iheanacho. Eddie Nketiah might also be worth a look at £5.4m if he continues to start for Arsenal after his two goals at Stamford Bridge, or even Timo Werner as a differential Chelsea choice in place of Mount or Havertz.

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